Hub Stories: Let’s Talk Sustainable Business

[Name]: Jen Boynton


[Area of Expertise]: Media for Sustainable Business

Jen never dreamed of being Editor-in-Chief, but sometimes your passion finds you. She was an MBA student at Presidio Graduate School with no plans of going into business, looking instead to learn ways that the non-profit sector might maximize its reach. But then came Triple Pundit with an opportunity to write, and then she fell in love: “Now that I’m in it, I love the entrepreneurial lifestyle. I wasn’t necessarily planning to do that, but I think it really suits me…I wake up excited to do my work, so you can’t ask for more than that.”

Jen is the Editor-in-Chief of Triple Pundit, a media platform for conversations about sustainable business. Abbreviated “3p”— denoting the triple bottom line’s concerns for “people, profit, and planet”—it frames daily topics of interest about small businesses, entrepreneurs, and decisions made by larger companies with commentary delivered from the standpoint of sustainability. The triple bottom line is a relatively new concept, referencing the fact that the financial bottom line is not the only one companies need to think about, and Triple Pundit serves as a public voice that incorporates its socially-conscious values into the everyday discourses surrounding business.

Recent article titles on includeChicken Fat…to Fuel US Navy Ships in 2012,” “Why Second-Hand Shopping Isn’t Truly Guilt-Free,” “‘Forbes’ Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs List Lacks Social Entrepreneurs,” and “Fox News Viewers the Most Uninformed About Current Events, Including Climate Change.” Proposed child labor laws, green award ceremonies, the recent “Bank Transfer Day” and a Chevrolet Volt catching on fire are all feed and fodder for what has become one of the world’s most read websites on responsible business.

The site was founded by Nick Aster. Prior to Triple Pundit, Nick developed the online face of Mother Jones magazine and helped start, the most popular environmental website in the world. After all that, he was inspired to start something of his own. Notes Jen,

“Nick’s background has been in online media for a very long time…He was perusing an MBA in sustainable business at the same time he was working for TreeHugger and wanted to find a place to talk about all of the issues around sustainability that he was studying in school. He didn’t see any conversations like that happening online. So, the idea was: TreeHugger for the sustainable business community, and the rest is history.”

More than a news outlet, Triple Pundit is an open forum that allows contributors, guest posters and commenters to actively participate in on-going discussions on issues that question business practices of today. They publish an average of 10-15 articles per day, one of which can be your very own. Jen welcomes guest contributions from Hub members interested in reaching their growing readership of 200,000 readers per month. If you’d like to contribute, contact Jen at

Their conversations have been going strong for six years now with recent partnerships attesting to the site’s growing ethos. They have just announced a merger with Sustainable Industries, a small, print-based media company that is looking to increase its online presence. In addition to this, 3p has partnered with companies from Abbott Pharmaceuticals to UPS to Microsoft to help them tell their sustainability stories. With such collaborations, Jen anticipates more opportunities for Triple Pundit to have a greater impact: “To know that we can have those in-roads with big companies, that’s where we’re looking to broaden our reach: to help companies, large and small, to improve and become more sustainable.”

Triple Pundit recognizes that it has no “right” answers as sustainability is ever-evolving, but it strives to be a space where dialogues on these topics can intelligently and passionately take place: “It’s a great place for daily and weekly information about this very niche topic that we’re all passionate about,” says Jen, “So, whether you come everyday, whether you just subscribe to the newsletter, it’s a great place to get insight and ideas about our industry, and also a great place to share your own information if anyone is interested in blogging. You should come and blog, too!”

Triple Pundit holds Free Social Media Office Hours for small companies every 3rd Thursday of the month, alternating between the Hub’s SoMa and Berkeley locations. Feel free to drop-in and chat with Jen; she’d be happy to provide any advice her years of experience in sustainable management and online media has to offer bootstrapping entrepreneurs.

Happy Holidays!

Until next time!

Jasen, Your Hub Stories Writer

Jasen Talise is an intern writer for the Hub Bay Area. He is a fourth year studying Rhetoric and Theater at the University of California, Berkeley. His interests range from existential philosophy, competitive hip hop dance, to the culinary arts. This past year, he was a contributing writer for Issues: The Berkeley Medical Journal.


Filed under Hub Stories

2 responses to “Hub Stories: Let’s Talk Sustainable Business

  1. Samantha

    Great story Jasen! Jen rocks 🙂

  2. Will a Rival’s Better Quality UI Suddenly Destroy Your Business?
    Most companies have the wrong people doing their UI design work, and therefore are susceptible to losing their customer base to a competitor that can with speed, rise to the stature of an Apple or Google. The Apple IPod has 76% of the MP3 player market; in the U.S., Google is used about 65% of the time for on-line searches. Among the most important reasons for their rapid growth to market dominance is their better quality User Interfaces (UI).
    The remedy for the problem of poor UI design is to send part of the funding for UI work to Marketing, Sales or Advertising. They specialize in discovering what consumers want and how to arrange products in an appealing fashion. They would know which words clearly explain menu items, and where to put files so they are readily accessible. They would have valuable input regarding anything seen on the screen. Furthermore, they would have a vested interest in making a superb product. The personnel in these departments know that the level of sales and customer satisfaction determines their worth.
    The following observations could apply to every product that is dependent upon a software driven UI. This would include computer software programs, web sites, and all Software Driven Electronic Devices (SDED) such as printers, smart phones, and e-readers.
    Apple and Google had their impressive surge to the status of market leaders after making their UI straightforward and simple. This was not the sole reason for their success, but it was a major component of the formula. In the articles about their success, the ease of using their software repeatedly received much of the credit
    Typical of the praise for Apple’s superb user interface is, “They are absolute masters of UI design, and in making traditionally hard to use technology and making it accessible to novices (while not alienating the experts). They just do not have a peer in that area and everything else flows from that. My 20-month-old daughter was able to sit on my lap and play a game on my iPad. 20 months!”
    Google has become the leader in their field; the excellent UI is among the primary reasons. Larry Page, CEO and co-founder of Google said, “Our decision to focus solely on providing users with the best search experience has made us an indispensable tool for millions.”
    Computer software companies could with ease, rise to be a market leader, if their software had a high quality UI. Here is an interesting quote, “It turns out that Facebook is an almost trivial productivity loss compared to the time siphoned by poorly designed and implemented enterprise business applications.”
    Businesses could increase sales, customer satisfaction and profits with minimal investment and risk. Software and web sites written with high quality UI enable people to do their work in an efficient manner. Many people waste time trying to fix computers because the information in a pop-up box is incorrect or makes no sense to them. Other time wasters are trying to find lost files or working on web sites that should be more intuitive. One can only imagine the cumulative hours that people could save if the software they use and the web sites that they access were straight forward and eliminated the “experiment with it” until they discovered how it works approach.
    Often changes are made to a UI for no apparent reason. What was once a familiar web site now requires a new learning experience. One may feel like the person who gets into his car after a hard day at work, only to discover that someone has moved the ignition switch. After a search, the driver finds the ignition switch in the glove box.
    Last year, every ad…
    Read the entire article at

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