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The Business of Change
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The Business of Change
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This mini-documentary discusses a new business model promoted and executed by Dean Cycon, founder and CEO of the Dean's Beans coffee company. His model, which he challenges other companies to adopt, is based on the idea that business can be a vehicle for social change, while also maintaining profitability.

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From Link TV's Profiles in Corporate Culture.

Learn more about Dean's Beans.

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Segment 1

TITLE
Dean's Beans
DEAN CYCON [Founder, Dean's Beans]
I've been a social activist all of my adult life. And at some point, I realized that, until the basic underlying structures that serve our daily life change, then as a social activist all I'd be doing is putting out brushfires here and there.
TITLE
Business of Change
DEAN CYCON
I've always wanted to change the world. I thought that would be as a lawyer, because lawyers had played such a prominent role in the ending of the Vietnam War. I became a businessman. In my world, of being a social justice lawyer, being a businessman was pretty much like being the devil. So to use business as a vehicle for social change was about as radical a thing as I could do.
TITLE
Beyond labels
DEAN CYCON
Juan Valdez does not exist. Juan Valdez is a caricature made up by the Colombia coffee federation, with some Madison Avenue people, to make people feel that coffee comes from healthy, happy, strapping, strong, mustachioed Latin males. Nobody who puts anything on a coffee label really wants you to know what's going on behind it.
TITLE
Drink responsibly
DEAN CYCON
I think the first thing that coffee drinkers have to do is, whatever coffee they've got, they have to look in that cup and say to themselves, "There's a lot more here than meets the eye." Poverty in a village. Pollution of water. War. Women's rights. Those are all costs that we have to deal with.
TITLE
Bean counting
DEAN CYCON
Business schools teach us that the path to success is to buy low and to sell high. But to be involved in social justice in coffee means we need to buy high, which means we need to pay the highest price possible, and, at the other end, we want to sell as low as we can, so that more consumers can participate in what we consider a socially just trade system.
TITLE
Fair Trade
DEAN CYCON
Fair Trade allows a consumer to know that the product that has a Fair Trade label on it represents a certain set of values. In the Fair Trade movement, what we've tried to do is make that one straight line from the farmer to the home office, or from the farmer to the consumer.
TITLE
Fair Trade Certified
DEAN CYCON
What would it look like if a company actually engaged in the lives of the villagers it bought from? What would it look like if a company paid real money for that coffee? Is it possible for a company to engage in such behavior and still be profitable? We're not trying to change everything in the world, we're trying to model that a company can positively and appropriately participate in bettering the lives of the people that it works with at all ends of the supply chain.
TITLE
Fair is fair
DEAN CYCON
Unless we treat people with dignity and take only what's a fair share for us, and not as much as we can grab, ultimately, the house of cards comes down. If, at the end of my life, I've helped bring water to a couple of thousand people, helped educate a couple of thousand kids, helped participate in the evolution of a concept of equitable, fair and just trade, I'll have done my piece. As the Indonesians say, "Add your light to the sum of lights." That's ... that's enough for me.
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Talk to Dean about responsible business at: linktv.org/deansbeans
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This message about Corporate Social Responsibility is brought to you by Dean's Beans