The do-gooders at A Hundred Years (a social-focused creative consultancy located in the Arts District downtown) say that they are “lovers of the long view, but not the long winded.” The four entrepreneurs who hopped onstage (in front of an Airstream trailer) to speak about the intersection of business and purpose and have a beer (courtesy of neighbor Angel City Brewery) did exactly that, filling the org’s cavernous loft space with small ideas that have a much bigger picture in mind. What did I take away listening to “philanthrocapitalists” Jonathan Mooney (StreetCraftLA), Evan Kirkpatrick (Wendell Charles), Tara Kolla (Silver Lake Farms) and Jon Miller (Hive Lighting)?
Jonathan Mooney: Had so many projects going that I cannot physically list them all here. He focused on StreetCraft LA, a social venture that helps kids become their own bosses. Drug dealers get another product to sell—maybe hoodies or t-shirts. Mooney says this endeavor will become self-sustaining by the end of the year.
Evan Kirkpatrick: The Forbes columnist went over business models for do-gooders. Think Toms “One for One,” etc. His Wendell Charles Financial gets folks with funds to invest back in to their communities.
Tara Kolla: Started raising flowers for her Silverlake Farms on an urban patch of land and ran into a lot of bureaucracy. She spearheaded the Food and Flowers Freedom Act (legalizing the growing of flowers/fruit in res zones for sale off-site). “I’m really just a gardener,” she said. One of her biggest advocates? New Mayor Eric Garcetti. “His wife gardens.”
Jon Miller: His eco-friendly Hive Lighting lit him onstage and he went over how he created the Tesla of the Hollywood lighting industry.
It was cool sharing a beer with such innovative, social entrepreneurs. Huzzah to A Hundred Years CEO Marc Mertens for having the event.
Photographs courtesy Nic Ray