The Proof Is In the Stories: Welcome B The Change Media


(3BL Media and Just Means) — Meet Zachary. He’s smiliing proud in this photo because, on this day, a little over a year ago, Zachary paid his rent for the first time in 20 years. He had recenly been released from prison and was working hard to start a new life. With a huge smile, he told me last April: “For me, it lets me know, I’m stable. Maybe in the next five years I can become a homeowner. Right now, I’m really proud of myself. I can lay my head in my own bed, in my own home. It took me three weeks to save money for rent. WorkSquare helped me do it,” said Zachary. WorkSquare, a staffing agency and Certified B Corp in Miami, Florida has provided Zachary with career opportunities and a second chance. And he knows it would have been almost impossible to start over without them.

The B Corp movement is much more than a set of standards or metrics. Yes, accountability to a comprehensive set of standards, metrics and community of change makers keeps the movement steadfast in pursuing more than wealth. But it’s not standards that shake a culture or invigorate anyone of us towards the benefit of others. It’s the stories which are birthed from the commitment to the standards. The proof of the success and value proposition of the movement is in the B Corp stories, like those of Zachary and WorkSquare. Follow just one or two B Corps like WorkSquare and you’ll be convinced, too.  A beautiful narrative of employee empowerment, community impact and environmental inviolability is arising. B The Change Media, a B Corp-only media outlet, is about to proclaim it from the rooftops (well, more like from magazines and digital platforms).

Officially launching this fall, B The Change Media will serve as the primary media hub for Benefit Corporations and Certified B Corps. In collaboration with B Lab, the nonprofit that founded the B Corp movement and manages the B Impact Assessment among many other things, B The Change Media will support the movement through news distribution across a variety of platforms. For Bryan Welch, Founder of B The Change Media and former Publisher and Editorial Director at Ogden Publications, using business as force for good has always seemed like a given. Earlier in his career, Welch ran community newspapers “which were always an idealistic business at its best.”

“Most people got into the newspaper business because they wanted to do something good for their community, do something good for the world. It always seemed like a natural prospect to me,” says Welch.

After working for several award-winning newspapers, Welch ran Ogden Publications from its early days in 1996 until just a couple of months ago. Welch and his team grew Ogden Publications to serve a steady audience of six million people with nine magazine titles, including Mother Earth News and various other platforms. Ogden Publications was also one of the founding B Corps. Welch had been looking for an objective, sustainability standard as a way to tell authentic, impact stories. He had not been convinced of any metrics until Ogden Publications took the B Impact Assessment.

“It is a huge achievement, I think, to create an assessment that is so comprehensive and works across a wide variety of businesses. I’ve not seen anything like it. There’s nothing to compare it to,” says Welch.

B The Change Media’s mission is to build, establish and propagate the B Corp movement into the mainstream audience by telling compelling stories. The goal is to make the general public excited about B Corps, entrepreneurs interested in starting B Corps and how together, B Corps can create more meaningful impact. However, in order to remain objective as a third party voice, B The Change Media will remain autonomous from B Lab and the movement.    

“We will serve the community in a very specific way: telling authentic and compelling stories and attracting people to those stories. It’s not going to be an alumni magazine, not a club newsletter. It’s going to be an aggregate of stories and media that gets people excited about business as a force for good in the world,” explains Welch.

A very high percentage of B Corps have already signed up as founding sponsors of B The Change Media. Welch is working with some B Corps who want to sponsor videos on the work of other B Corps and some who want to create inspirational messaging for their stakeholders. The types of platforms used by B The Change Media will depend on the wants of the audiences; an audience, Welch believes, that will be primarily mainstream. He views Be The Change Media as a positive, motivating voice as humanity faces complex challenges including environmental degradation. His vision is for Be The Change Media to serve as a leader of optimism through powerful stories of good and inviting people to join.

“I can’t think of a more exciting time to be alive. There’s one species that can conceptualize our impact. That’s you and me. We are alive at a time when we are being challenged to do that and the consequences of not doing it are dire. Doing good through business is one of the most powerful ways I can think of to demonstrate our capacity for innovation, for change, for saving our habitat,” says Welch.

And it’s not just doing good through business that Welch believes will turn the tide of humanity’s future. It’s the stories of hope and impact that doing good creates.

“I have a storyteller’s prejudice. I think our minds are formed around stories. Our identities are formed around stories. As a person whose vocation has always been in storytelling, I instinctively feel it’s the most powerful tool we have,” says Welch.

I couldn’t agree more. And, I’m thrilled that B The Change Media will soon help shape the minds and identities of entrepreneurs, executives, investors and dreamers alike. Business is a force for good. There is hope for our planet. A localized economy is emerging. Gender equality is becoming the new norm. The formerly incarcerated are receiving a second chance—all because of B Corps. How do I know? The proof is in the stories.  

Follow B The Change Media on Twitter.