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Blog - November & December 2020 

November / December 2020 News, Events, and Resources from Net Impact Chicago

Hello to everyone from Net Impact Chicago (NIC)!  

Congrats, we made it through the 2020 Presidential Election.  The year is almost over and some will say “2020 will be a year to remember”.  That is definitely an understatement and while the year was not easy, we have proven we are resilient and band together when faced with challenge after challenge. 

screen shot event of Dec 2020 NIC panel

For the month of December, we virtually hosted another all-star panel discussion,

The State of Racial Disparities and Inequities in Healthcare on Monday December 7th from 5pm to 6pm. 


Much thanks to speakers and moderators, who included:

  • Shannon Russell (Slalom)

  • Monica Julieta Rodriguez (Northwestern - All of Us Research Program)

  • Jenna Sieracki (Northwestern - All of Us Research Program)

  • Benjamin Hwang (Net Impact Chicago Board Member - Moderator)

We hope to have the webinar recording up at our Vimeo channel by mid-December.

Net Impact Chicago had virtual webinar programming available from this year in case you missed past meetings: racial equity workplace health and safety, and the future of water

Net Impact Chicago Survey

Thank you for participating in October’s survey and what is clear is that people are re-evaluating what they want their futures to look like.  Below are the results and resources broken down that echo a desire for more purpose in a career. NIC will incorporate the feedback into future events.

Results for ‘Topics in 2021’:

The topics members voted to see in 2021 were emerging leaders, waste management, business impact on climate change, sustainability and impact careers beyond CSR, networking, racial equity, and skill-building for impact metrics. 

Results for ‘Types of Events for 2021’:

Events are limited to virtual events for the time being, but networking in general still came out on top. Whether that be through breakout rooms or more interactive virtual experiences until in-person events are possible again.  Workshops are also of interest for skill-building, career planning, and policy-making.

Net Impact Chicago will incorporate the above results into 2021 programming, which we still anticipate being all-virtual for the foreseeable future. 

Books, Organizations, and Memberships for Self-Development

The tone of the survey’s results was a desire for mission-driven careers and how to make that happen. NIC is here to support the community and below are several resources to dig into for self-reflection and/or more knowledge regarding sustainability topics.  

Suggested Books for finding, rediscovering, or reconfirming one’s purpose:

        The Purpose Economy, by Aaron Hurst, provides a framework for clearly understanding what drives purpose for you, in life and work. The defined purpose types listed in the book and hereprovide an outline for creating your own purpose statement on Who you Impact, Why you Work, and How you Work to greatly increase your odds of success.

        The Genius Habit, by performance strategist Laura Garnett, guides the reader in finding the thinking process or problem they are best at, to apply to their work, life, and career.

        Notable mentions: Designing Your Life, Die Empty, This Could Be Our Future

Suggested Sustainability Resources:

        Profession and Purpose, by Katie Kross, provides ideas for various sustainability business careers. With the Sustainable Career Matrix, she shows the reader how you don’t have to quit your job and work as a sustainability specialist to have a sustainable business approach.  

        Project Drawdown is the world’s leading resource for climate solutions that Drawdown greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

        The United Nations and its members adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 as a call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

        The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) is a member organization but also has its own credentials for furthering your sustainability career and knowledge.

        The Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) is the global certification body for the LEED green building program, built environment, and zero waste.

        Walk of Life Coaching, by Shannon Houde, is a fabulous resource for career coaching in the sustainability space and she also has free meetups called Coffee and Connect.

        (On-Demand) Illinois Green Alliance - Sustainability Credential Soup: Sustainability Session

We wish everyone a safe holiday season and New Year!

Look for our next newsletter in January and event in February! Come on 2021!

2021 written in night in sky pic

In the meantime, please take advantage of the resources above and below. 

What we are reading/listening to:

        5 Ways Biden’s Win Will Boost Impact Investing in Emerging markets - Next Billion

        5 Ways businesses can take action to reduce environmental racism - GreenBiz

        A Call For Equity In Genomics Research - NPR

        Biden's First 100 Days: Here's What To Expect - NPR

        Chicago’s own Rheaply featured as a circular economy case study - Ellen Macarthur Foundation

        Greentrolling: A ‘maniacal plan’ to bring down Big Oil - Grist

        How circular cities can put people first - GreenBiz

        Introduction to Goal-Planning Framework Bentoism:  The Bento Society

        Joe Biden's Novel Approach to Climate Change Could Side-Step a Divided Congress - TIME

        Overworked and exhausted, warehouse workers brace for a frenzied holiday rush - Wash. Post

        Stakeholder Capitalist: Professor R. Edward Freeman Q&A - Global Finance

        Crain's will explore the wealth gap issue in-depth in a special section. - Crain’s Chicago Business

        Sustainable Beauty Awards Announces 2020 Winners

        The fossil fuel industry wants you to believe it’s good for people of color - Los Angeles Times

        The 'market' won't save us from climate disaster. We must rethink our system - The Guardian

        This sweater was grown in a bioreactor - Fast Company

        Tupperware’s Eco line features chemically recycled plastic - Recycling Today

        What Are ‘Probable' COVID Cases and Why is Illinois Reporting Them Now? - NBC Chicago

        What Writing a Pandemic Newsletter Showed Me About America - Wired

Upcoming virtual events (some but not all past events may have been recorded):


12/01 - IL Green Alliance - Building Decarb Deep-Dive in Illinois (RSVP):  here

        12/01 and multiple dates - Schumacher Center - Two Narratives of Transition: An analysis of COVID-19 & BLM (RSVP):  here

        12/01 and multiple dates - ISSP - GBCI's Sustainability Professional Town Hall - Mobilizing the Sustainability Workforce (RSVP):  here

        12/03-4 - Women in Clean Energy for Biden - Build Back Better by Joining the Government (RSVP):  here

        12/05 - 350 Chicago monthly session - Green Century Capital Management on sustainable investing Event Calendar

        12/07 - Net Impact Chicago Webinar - The State of Racial Disparities and Inequities in Healthcare (Recording):  here

        12/07-9 - 2020 Stanford GSB Conference on Corporations and Democracy (Free RSVP):  here

        12/08 - GreenBiz Webinar - Say HY-drogen to Our Decarbonized Future (RSVP):  here

        12/08 - Elevate Energy - Elevate Together (RSVP):  here

        12/08 - Learn more about the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Emerging Leaders Program, selection criteria, and application and selection process for the class of 2022 (RSVP):  here

        12/10 - IIT webinar - Chicagoland: A Laboratory for 20th Century Design Innovations (RSVP):  here

        12/10 - NPQ webinar -  Remaking the Economy: COVD-19, Recovery and the Black Community (RSVP):  here


        01/05 - DePaul Net Impact Sustainability Professional Online Q&A (RSVP): here

        01/11-14 - REUTERS NEXT  on global change (RSVP free, limited availability):

        UChicago Webinar -  The US Election, COVID-19; Future of the Global Economy  - (RSVP): here

        01/14 – UChicago Webinar - Marketer Rishad Tobaccowala on the next 6 months (RSVP) here

        01/14 - Conscious Capitalism Chicago Meet and Greet 2021 (RSVP):  here

        01/25 - DePaul Net Impact Careers in Impact Networking  Online Event (RSVP): here

        02/09 - GreenBiz 21 convenes 1,500+ sustainability professionals online (RSVP details TBD)

        02/11 - Pritzker Forum on Global Cities - Pursuing Equity (RSVP):  here

        03/22 - 25 - The Economist  Sustainability Week 2021 (RSVP, subject to vetting):  here

        05/04 - 05 - Reuters Transform USA 2021 (RSVP, details TBD):



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