As our holidays worldwide look different this year, we want to do something different, too. That’s why we are sharing our first-ever ethical gift-giving guide. We support all socially conscious businesses globally. Our mission is, after all, to recognise, inspire, and accelerate businessworthy leadership. By shopping consciously, you help to accelerate positive social, environmental, and ethical change. We know, it’s “just shopping”, but your purchases can help provide income to disadvantaged women, people in rural, remote, and conflict-affected areas, and others to whom every bit of income matters.
Our Honourees are constant sources of inspiration, and that’s why they are leading our list of ethical gift ideas. We hope this guide empowers you to give generously, and give consciously.
Gifts that ship globally
Coffee for Peace
Founded by our 2020 Honouree Felicitas Bautista Pantoja, Coffee for Peace is a social enterprise that uses coffee production as a tool to address economic and conflict challenges in the Philippines. The company provides sustainable livelihoods for Indigenous and migrant groups in rural areas, helping local farmers escape poverty. You can feel even better about your morning coffee habit :)
Dilmah is a premium quality tea brand founded in 1988 by 2015 Honouree Merrill J Fernando. Dilmah has committed themselves to environmental sustainability and equal opportunity employment. By purchasing Dilmah, you support responsible farming and employment practices in the highlands of Sri Lanka.
Sarah’s Bag is a Lebanese fashion house and social enterprise that empowers women, employing over 200 prisoners, ex-prisoners and underprivileged women. Their artisan handbags have been spotted on the arms of Beyoncé and Amal Clooney. Founder and 2016 Honouree Sarah Beydoun has done everything she can to keep operations running during this very challenging time for Lebanon, ensuring income for her workers. It’s a purchase that you can feel good about, and look great with.
Marilyn Carlson Nelson
Our 2014 Honouree Marilyn Carlson Nelson shares her deepest insights on leadership in “How we lead matters: reflections on a life of leadership.” She shares the difficulty of making hard choices and sacrifices to run her family’s business.
An Honouree from 2010, Stef Wertheimer fled Nazi Germany at age 10. In his book, he shares the lessons he learned from a life of strife and struggle in one of the world’s newest industrial powers. The “Habit of labor: lessons from a life of struggle and success” is a truly inspirational tale.
“Trailblazer” is the book that is currently circulating its way around our office. Marc Benioff, a 2020 Honouree, is an advocate for LGBTQ rights, education inclusion, and alleviating homelessness. It’s an inspiring book that helped spark passion for action in an otherwise tough year. A good read for all aspiring CEOs.
Reflecting on his 26 years at IKEA, former CEO and 2009 Honouree Anders Dahlvig describes how to combine traditional business goals and the goal of contributing to a better society. He does this while bearing in mind global supply chains and sustaining profitability and corporate responsibility. His book “The IKEA Edge: building global growth and social good at the world’s most iconic home store” is on our bookshelf. Maybe you know someone who should also have it on theirs?
Sir Richard Branson
Author of several books, this one from 2014 Honouree Sir Richard Branson is a favourite from his line-up. “Screw business as usual” shows how easy it is for both businesses and individuals to embark on a whole new way of doing things, solving major problems and turning work into something we both love and are proud of.
Foreword by Ouided Bouchamaoui
Inspired by 200 senior international executives, Vanessa Barros goes beyond individual views of ‘professionalism’ to provide a framework to resolve intercultural conflicts. Her book “Don’t mess with my professionalism: how to resolve conflict across cultures” has a foreword written by 2014 Honouree Ouided Bouchamaoui, and will help any leader to build an inclusive culture.
Give a different kind of gift – make a donation in your name or on behalf of someone else to really spread the holiday spirit.
#SheisMore young artists
The perfect donations are those which help young people get the education and support that they need. We particularly like IIX Global’s option to sponsor young artists. Our 2017 Honouree Durreen Shahnaz is the Founder. Every USD100 donated will help offer youth artists with the opportunities for artistic development and education through their #sheismore campaign.
The SEKEM school
The late Dr Ibrahim Abouleish was the founder of the comprehensive development initiative SEKEM. The SEKEM school pledges to provide education to as many children as possible, giving them a stronger foundation for their future.
Echo Network Africa
Through her important work, Dr Jennifer Riria brings economic empowerment to marginalised women, contributing to build peace even during times of conflict. The 2014 Honouree founded Kenya Women Holding, now Echo Network Africa. You can make a donation to support mentorship for young women, maternal and child health programme, or for women entrepreneurs and leaders.
Gifts that ship regionally
For shipping in USA only:
For our readers in the U.S., Dean’s Beans is at the top of our list of good coffee products that are as fairly and sustainably sourced as it gets. 2013 Honouree Dean Cycon founded Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company in 1993 after working as an environmental and indigenous rights lawyer. He set out to prove that business could create meaningful change through ethical business practices. We think it’s safe to say he proved his point.
For shipping in Colombia only:
Corpocampo is dedicated to the sustainable production and distribution of Açaí Berry and palm heart. Founded by 2018 Honouree Edgar Montenegro, Corpocampo has provided jobs for over 240 female-headed and indigenous households, and is helping to bring local communities out of poverty. Corpocampo doesn’t ship abroad, so this one is for the lucky few in Colombia.