Sponsored by the ProSocial Commons

Friday, September 23, 6-7:30 PM EDT


The topic: Financial accounting values only resources on a balance sheet, e.g., money, land, and buildings. Yet many other resources are essential to well-being and sustainable prosperity, such as relationships, health, nature, and cultural heritage. How can organizations and people account for the things they truly value? Elizabeth Castillo will present social accounting as a framework to account for values and the other ingredients of sustainable prosperity. This broader view of resources provides a toolbox for crafting sustainable, prosocial business models. She’ll share examples of an arts and culture collaboration to explain how.

The speaker: Elizabeth Castillo is an assistant professor of organizational leadership at Arizona State University. Her resource allocation course received an Aspen Institute Business and Society Ideas Worth Teaching award for innovation that transforms business education. Her research uses principles from nature (e.g., mutualism, and energy transfer across trophic levels) as guides for understanding how resources flow across organizations and society. Her scholarship is inspired by two decades of work at the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership. She is secretary of the International Humanistic Management Foundation U.S. chapter and serves on the steering committee of the US Integrated Reporting Community.

The lecture: Elizabeth’s lecture will focus on the tangible and intangible resources organizations can use to create sustainable business models and account for their values. Her lecture will be followed by a short Q&A with the audience.

The in-depth discussion: For those who want to dig deeper, Elizabeth has suggested some online material that can be read beforehand, which links to the academic literature. A 30-minute discussion with a group that has read and discussed this material among themselves will follow the lecture and general Q&A.

Note: The discussion group is exclusive to members of the ProSocial Commons and will be action-oriented. Go here to learn about and join the ProSocial Commons.

Online material for the in-depth discussion:

A new theory of US nonprofits in a democracy gone awry

Counting what counts: Why social accounting matters

Restoring reciprocity: How the nonprofit sector can help save capitalism from itself

Nonprofit capacity building: A multiple capitals approach

Qualities before quantities: A framework to develop dynamic assessment of the nonprofit sector

Vital signs: Catalyzing community well-being indicators