“It is also about consumers taking action by providing feedback to these businesses, starting conversations about them to influence others and engaging in social media platforms to voice their opinion.”
The book offers a fresh perspective on how anyone – individuals, businesses and other institutions – can contribute to short-and long-term societal change. Garvis states, “We can produce lasting change without the political drama. Laws are sometimes necessary, but we cannot rely solely on politicians and the time it takes to pass legislation to create these important changes. We need to move beyond the current state of hyper-partisanship. No matter how good, how powerful a law is, it is never enough. If widespread change is to be gained, it is through a larger force: culture.”
The book describes how this great world can be even better — one action at a time. He challenges Americans to come together as a community and work together — for the common good — and to set forth our own civic designs.
Garvis, a strategic counsel to leaders across various industries, cites many inspirational examples of how different businesses are contributing to dramatic cultural and social change by:
Designing Products with a Conscience. Companies can build good values into product design. Garvis points to fast-growing Oliberté Shoes, which makes each shoe with handpicked free-range leather and does all of its manufacturing in African countries with distressed economies. With locally sourced materials and a pledge to environmental responsibility, the most important aspect of Oliberté’s efforts is its intention to wean these poor nations from their dependency on aid.
Making an Impact through Personal Action. Andrew Zimmern, teacher and host of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, is tapping into his food innovation skills to make a worldwide impact in the food industry. He is getting the word out on aquaculture farmers who are bringing back economic viability and ecological sustainability on the Carolina coast with innovative artificial reef designs.
Working Together with a Civic Mindset. PricewaterhouseCoopers, through its Earn Your Future campaign, recently announced a $160 million commitment to advance youth education and financial literacy in the U.S. This will ultimately produce better outcomes in education.
Additionally, Garvis points out that it is more than just purchasing a product because we believe in the company’s values and social responsibility. “It is also about consumers taking action by providing feedback to these businesses, starting conversations about them to influence others and engaging in social media platforms to voice their opinion.”
Throughout the book, Garvis shows how individuals can partake in small actions that can lead to powerful impacts on our culture, such as:
Contribute to Positive Change. Pick an issue, a practice, or a product you would like to influence – something that really engages you – and learn everything about it to see how you can contribute to engaging others behind it.
Advocate for Healthier Food Systems. Want to combat the negative environmental impacts of industrial feedlot beef? Rather than fighting to outlaw this practice, eat free range beef or other sources of protein. Buy organic food without a law insisting upon it, and then influence others to do the same.
Make a Statement with Every Dollar. Dislike the persistent state of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa? Rather than merely sending aid, buy something made there and create economic prosperity instead. Raise the Spirit of the Community. Organize and support events in your neighborhood to help others in need, and get young children and adults involved. This will also bring better safety to your neighborhood.
Go Green. Interested in the environmental movement? Buy a car that doesn’t harm the planet with greenhouse emissions and purchase eco-friendly products. The more eco-friendly products and services that you buy everyday, surround your live with, the better for the planet and economy.
Naked Civics: Strip Away the Politics to Build a Better World is the ultimate how-to guide for implementing everyday societal change for the greater good of communities everywhere.
Retails for $4.95 (e-book) and $23.95 (hardcover). NakedCivics.com.
About Nate Garvis
Garvis has operated at the crossroads of Fortune 100 business, government, academic institutions, health systems, media, nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations for the past 20 years. He is the co-founder of Studio/E, an entrepreneurial experience for top-tier leaders and a member of numerous think-tank, business and non-profit boards.
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