The Eros of Money

I've been doing a lot of great radio interviews and podcasts, but not often with that rare bird, a female economist. Crystal Arnold and I had a conversation that went a little deeper than many of my short interviews allow--into the heart of my book. We talked about what I call EroNomics, the stuff you cannot buy or sell, but can only give away and share.  Eros is the renewable fuel of any economy. It motivates, and gives us purpose. It calls on us to open to our dreams and be better than we ever knew we could be. 

Poet Audre Lorde influenced my thinking about the practicality (and even necessity) for claiming your deepest desires. She wrote an important essay "The Uses of the Erotic." Another influence was psychologist Rollo May, who wrote Love and Will. May warned Americans of a predictable demise when we deny Eros, or what psychologists call the sum total of all our instincts for self-preservation and survival. We need those instincts more than ever today.... I was delighted to discover Arnold's show, Money-Wise Woman....Here's the link! 

A Conscious CEO Among a Growing Group of Women Business Leaders

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Vermont is dear to Screwnomics’ heart because of its “good neighbors with good fences” policies, and also because we call this beautiful Green Mountain State home. Women entrepreneurs, women legislators, and women “thought leaders” thrive here—and nowhere else do so many business people care about a larger picture than their dollar-profit “bottom line.” The biggest chapter of Businesses for Social Responsibility in the country, Vermont BSR, is here:

This month, the CEO of Green Mountain Power, Mary Powell, a rare entity in herself in the energy industry, made #12 of a list of Thirty World Changing Women in Conscious Business, 2018. As background, a Catalyst study, in Nov. 2016, found that there are fewer women in the energy field than there are women in tech.

If you look at Mary Powell’s direction, predating the time of Trump, you may see why her touchy-feely management has brought her success. Says Rachel Zurer, the editor of Conscious Company Media:

“Is it just a coincidence that the first electric utility to become a B Corp is also one of the few led by a woman? We don’t know, but since she took the helm at Green Mountain Power (GMP) in 2008, Powell has continued to break barriers and shake up assumptions about what a utility can be — going as far as to call the business an “un-utility.

In one example of her obsessive focus on knowing customers, she moved the company HQ from a steel-and-glass fortress into a building shared with line-workers — in other words, the ones who meet customers every day. Under her leadership, GMP also became the first utility to partner with Tesla on Powerwall home energy solutions, and the first to offer a battery/solar off-grid package to its customers. Her focus on “leading with love” seems to be working: in a survey required by Vermont regulators in 2016, GMP received a 94 percent customer service satisfaction score and a 96 percent on providing reliable electric service.”

Powell advises other corporate leaders to “Be bold. Don’t think of yourself — think about the impact you can have. Make the mission larger than yourself.” How does she do that? What gives her hope? She said, “Love. I have long believed in the power of love: the power it holds to transform lives, the power it holds to transform companies, the power it holds to solve problems and to innovate a future that is better than our present or past.”

It’s EroNomics, the invisible passion, the renewable fuel for an economy we talk about in Screwnomics!

If you’re looking for more hope, you can access the whole list of 30 transformative business leaders, investors, and “conscious capitalists” here. This looks like a great media site.

You’ll find among these another woman hero many Vermonters have shaken hands with:  the amazing Judy Wicks, who founded the White Dog Café with its local-sourced excellent food, who also founded a woman-friendly Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).