Podcast: Kriss Deiglmeier, CEO of Tides.org

December 1, 2014

“Never mistake a clear view for a short distance”

This quote from Kriss Deiglmeier epitomizes her work: a walking talking catalyst for social innovation and the second guest on my podcast, freshwater Talk. Her impressive career embodies a confluence of business, philanthropy, academic, environmental and social innovation interests. From her role as the founding Executive Director for Stanford Graduate School of Business’ Center for Social Innovation to her most recent role as CEO at Tides, Kriss has spent her career putting social innovation on the map, defining its contours and helping it mature as a vibrant sector.

This podcast was initiated to discuss solutions to our toughest economic and environmental issues, and Kriss’s story shows the type of big picture perspective, tenacity and innovation that’s needed to make the world a better place.

From a curiosity of social innovation sparked early at the hyper-local level while at San Francisco’s Larkin Street Youth Center, Kriss has been a leader in social innovation. She knows that it is about growing the idea, not an individual nor an organization. Her appetite for risk and passion for innovation infuses her work and perspective; it even led to a challenging life experience in which she moved her husband and two teenage children to Burma (Myanmar) in 2012 after their economic liberation. Kriss proves that marrying business with social innovation and charitable missions are crucial to solving the world’s problems.

“The heroes we have in this world are on the ground, doing great work in small incremental ways every day.”

From Fair Trade Coffee, to outlining the characteristics necessary to lead social innovation, Kriss provides a bold, authentic and practical approach to getting innovation to scale. Our conversation is full of rich one-liners, valuable experiences and nuggets of inspiration, that left me feeling energized. I am grateful for her time and for the road she is travelling.

Yours in conservation,
Joe Whitworth

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