[Issue 088] Ask Me Anything 💭


Hey beautiful people. 

I have to confess. Whenever I don't have a perfectly formed and edited intro for the newsletter, I feel really guilty.

The past two weeks I've been traveling a ton, hustling to hit some deadlines for my job (I work full-time, in case you didn't already know!) and working on some home improvement projects in our new condo. I've also been working on guest writer collaborations and hiring for a new intern position to help me with some of the research that I'm eager to — but don't always have time to — dig into. (I'm excited to say that I've hired someone who I'll be introducing in the coming weeks!)

All that to say: I'm BEAT, so I hope you can show me some grace for slowing down a bit. Even more, I hope that leaves you excited for what's to come. Because, I certainly am! 


In the meantime, I want to invite you to submit questions HERE for an Ask Me Anything session I plan on doing later this month. It can be any question you have about corporate responsibility, Above the Bottom Line or me! The date, time and other details about the session will be shared next week.

I hope you enjoy this week's extra full section of headlines to make up for my absence.



Your H&M Addiction Is Wreaking Havoc On The Environment. Here’s How To Break It. This article details the massive amount of waste produced in the fashion industry, and describes the affect it has on the environment. To put it in perspective, a power plant in the Swedish town where H&M first began has started burning unsold products as a fuel source. In 2018, 100 billion articles of clothing where made for a total world population of just 7 billion people. // FAST COMPANY

Walgreens Is Latest to Raise Vaping And Smoking Age to 21. Raising the tobacco consumption age to 21 and above has been gaining traction across the United States. Many states have raised the minimum age, and some Senators have even proposed bills that raise the age nationwide. Companies have also begun to follow suit, after the FDA accused companies of selling tobacco products to minors, and most recently, Walgreens has changed their minimum tobacco age. // NY TIMES

Blamed For Wildfires PG&E Seeks Higher Electricity Rates. About 3 months ago, Paradise, California was ravaged by wildfires that were later blamed on PG&E and a lack of safety precautions in it’s infrastructure. Now, PG&E has begun asking state officials for permission to increase their utility rates in an effort to pay for more safety improvements. Consumer groups have countered by saying that the company is shifting the cost of their mistakes onto their customers. // NY TIMES 

Tristan Harris: ‘Tech Is Downgrading Humans’ It’s Time To Fight Back. Tristan Harris, a former Google employee turned public speaker against the affects of technology on our minds and lives, went quiet after he created an organization called the Center for Humane Technology in early 2018. Recently, he has come back after refining his campaign. This article details what he is doing now, and examines his new phrase that technology ‘downgrades humans’, meaning technology downgrades our relationships, our attention span, and our democracy. // WIRED

The Kings Of Capitalism Are Finally Worried About The Growing Gap Between Rich And Poor. This article examines the growing discomfort among even America’s richest CEO’s surrounding income inequality and capitalism. Ray Dalio, the CEO of Bridgewater, is one of the most recent CEO’s to make a statement, saying he believes the growing income gap is a “national emergency”. He joins JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffet, and even Blackstone chairman Stephen Schwarzman in expressing worry about the state of the United States. // THE GUARDIAN

Y'all late.

Y'all late.


Amazon’s Alexa Team Can Access Users’ Home Addresses. Five employees who are familiar or have worked with the Amazon Alexa program have leaked the fact that Amazon employees who audit the users’ commands also have access to their location data, and in some cases, can easily find a customer’s home address. Amazon has been known to audit the users’ commands in an effort to better the voice assistant’s voice recognition. // BLOOMBERG

These Tech Execs Faced #MeToo Allegations. They All Have New Jobs. This article by Buzzfeed talks about different tech executives who have been accused of sexual misconduct or harassment, been fired from their position, and then rehired by another company shortly after. Eyal Gutentag, the general manager for Uber who assaulted a female subordinate at an Uber event and was terminated within the week, went on to be hired by HopSkipDrive, a ride hailing service for kids, just 4 months after he was terminated at Uber. Not only did Gutentag get a new job, the assault claims also seemed to level up his career as he is now Chief Marketing Officer at ZipRecruiter. Buzzfeed also examines how this affects victims of workplace sexual harassment and what hiring an alleged harasser means in the grand scheme of things. // BUZZFEED


Hackers Have Stolen A Ton Of Data From An IT Company Whose Clients Include Oracle, Airbus, and Porsche. A German IT company, Citycomp, has reportedly been blackmailed by hackers who have stolen data on some of the worlds biggest companies. Some of these companies include Oracle, Airbus, Hugo Boss, Volkswagen, and Porsche. Citycompy has been open about the situation, but has remained “careful as the whole case is under police investigation, and the attacker is trying all tricks”. Citycomp also reported that they did not yield to the demands of the hackers. // BUSINESS INSIDER

Laundromats Are Playing An Unlikely Role In The Effort To Shrink America's Literacy Gap. Recently, the Clinton Foundation has sponsored a pilot project that is installing family-friendly reading spaces in 600 laundromats across the U.S by 2020, in an effort to provide a learning space where many families spend more than two hours a week waiting. There are 3 laundromats with reading and learning areas already installed in New York City, and the families who patron them are loving the new additions. // QUARTZ

Why Marketing To Seniors Is So Terrible. This article examines the lack of authentic and relatable marketing to seniors. Havas Group reports that only about 5% of all U.S advertising is aimed at people 50 or over, even though the world will have more 55 year olds than 5 year olds by the year 2020. The article explains why advertisers are drawn more to marketing for younger generations, and shows how this leads to marketers alienating a very powerful portion of market. It also provides examples of good marketing for older generations, like Ironman athlete Sister Madonna Buder's commercial with Nike in their 2016 "Unlimited" Campaign. // FAST COMPANY

How Starbucks Achieved 100% Equal Pay In The United States. Starbucks announced in March that they have reached equal pay among all genders and races of their U.S employees preforming similar work. They reportedly began working on this approximately 10 years ago, and are now working on insuring equal pay among their partners globally. They achieved this goal by adopting new policies like parental leave, retirement investment opportunities, tuition reimbursement, and most groundbreaking, a culture of transparency around discussing wages within the company. All these policy changes help make up for the difference in wages by supporting the employees who need it most. // FORBES

This week's headlines were curated by ABL's intern, Lora.


“Social impact isn’t a lucky guess or something you do on a wing and a prayer.”

Phillip Haid 

Nikita T. Mitchell