BLDing Ontario's B Corp Community

By Crystal Wilson


Near the end of June this year, hundreds of individuals who are committed to the B Corp community (whether through employment or business ownership) gathered together at BLD Ontario to learn from one another, celebrate the growth of the B Corp movement, and, maybe most importantly, to plant the seeds for how Certified B Corporations in Ontario will work cooperatively and collaboratively over the coming years to create and incite the positive change that is so desperately needed.  


BLD Ontario - SelfieBonus points if you can spot our co-founder, April in this shot.


As a B Corp business owner, the value of sitting amongst so many others who have invested their resources in taking the B Impact Assessment and baking its components into their work is huge.  From an employee perspective, there is incredible benefit in hearing how other businesses live out their B Corp-ness, as well as having the opportunity to take part in workshops and panels that offer this unique B Corp slant and show them new ways that they can engage with their work taking B Corp values into account.   

We were able to have 5 Flow team members attend this year's BLD event and one of the key things I have noticed since the conference is their increased confidence when speaking about our B Corp certification. Some had difficulty articulating what B Corp was prior to the conference and now have a better grasp of what it is and how it impacts their work.  

BLD Ontario - PanelThe Tools for Leadership panel facilitated by Crystal Wilson and featuring April Burrows (Flow Office Wisdom),
Trishala Pillai (Myplanet), Melanie Wood (Grantbook), Ron Spreeuwenberg (HiMama)


As part of the planning committee for the event, I had less opportunity than my team did to really soak in the information that was presented at BLD 2019, so here are a few of their key takeaways from the event:

  • Moving into leadership positions requires a shift in mindset, and requires one to be authentic/vulnerable, to ask questions and listen, and to let go of the need to feel like "the expert" and empower others.
  • When receiving feedback, it's important to note that what you are really being told is what the other person values.
  • We should stop asking "how can I get a seat at that table" and "who should be at this table" and start asking "what table exists that I don't see?" 
  • If you wouldn't treat your kid sister like that, don't treat your employees like that either.
  • Even if it doesn’t always feel like it, you are a leader and have the ability to make an impact no matter your position.

BLD Ontario - EmilyFlow's own Project Maven, Emily, taking part in the Personal Purpose: Leveraging the Power of Your Personal Brand Workshop

More information about the event and the B Corp community in Canada, check out this article by Steven Hobe of Hobe-Hosokawa Marketing.