Couchsurfing: A New Wave of Travel Opportunities [Corporate Conscious Wednesday]

Looking for a way to spend your two weeks vacation this year? While investigating summer travel destinations, I came across this website (and great travel opportunity), Couchsurfing.org! Couchsurfing is a site that allows users to either open up their homes to travelers or to crash on a stranger’s couch in countries all over the world. It makes for a unique travel experience, seeing the world through the eyes of locals, and it is the perfect way to meet new and interesting people you never would have met otherwise!

Once you get over the fact that you’re staying with a complete stranger in a strange town where nobody knows you, this sounds like a lot of fun! And it’s perfect for travel buffs looking to save some money along the way. Now, I’ve read a lot of reviews on Couchsurfing, and it turns out that being afraid of strangers is hardly a concern! Couchsurfing.org has a verification method, where past Couchsurfers can review their hosts and give piece of mind to the next visitors. Basically, if you were in danger, you’d know it. To read one user’s eventful account of their own experience with Couchsurfing, click here.

Saving money  may bring people in, but the experiences and the relationships keep them coming. Couchsurfing.org has recently become a B Corporation, using their worldwide connections to promote social change and tolerance, while giving their members the opportunity to create unique memories with new friends. This makes them a great candidate for B Corp’s “socially responsible business” model. However, there has been a slight controversy over Couchsurfing.org’s becoming a B Corp because the company dynamics have been slightly altered. Click here if you’re interested in getting a little background on the issue. No matter your personal opinion in the debate, you can’t deny the social benefits CouchSurfing brings to those who would prefer to spend their vacation time touring a new place with a trustworthy companion rather than a generic travel book.

Patagonia Values Customer Opinion for Company Growth [Corporate Conscious Wednesday]

Patagonia is an outdoor clothing retailer focused on simplicity and utility, two important concepts in this time of ecological and economic crisis. Taking the needs of  customers and the planet alike into consideration in its apparel production, Patagonia earns this week’s Corporate Conscious Wednesday honors!

Their mission statement reads: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis,” and that’s just what they’re doing.

Never one to be traditional, Patagonia encourages its customers to buy responsibly, even if that means they’ll buy fewer products. In an economic recession, people need to rethink their relationship with consumer products, and Patagonia’s partnership with their customers creates a great foundation for making these responsible purchases. Jess Clayton, Patagonia’s spokesperson, acknowledges the risk in asking people to buy less, and explains that “the decisions by the environment are always harder to make.” And it has worked to their advantage. Patagonia has built a dedicated fanbase of customers who strongly value their unique retail methods.

READ MORE: Patagonia: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In addition to its agreement with customers to recycle clothing and shop responsibly, Patagonia respects suggestions made by their loyal followers. In fact, Patagonia recently debuted a new wetsuit made of “the highest recycled content of any wetsuit on the market.” This suit was created in response to customer feedback that claimed their previous suits were too hot for warmer waters. So, not only does Patagonia respond effectively to customer concerns, they also seize every opportunity to create more environmentally-friendly alternatives to what’s currently out there.

Their dedication to constant improvement and customer satisfaction makes Patagonia a force to be reckoned with in society today. Bravo!

Agora Partnerships Inspires Progress [Corporate Conscious Wednesday]

The Agora Management Corporation is working to supply people with innovative ideas and the tools necessary to become successful. Agora Partnerships continues to help talented individuals form their own socially responsible businesses. This corporation provides financing and networking options to startup businesses. Additionally, Agora believes that empowering individuals to develop their own businesses benefits the whole community, creating a common set of values and a positive boost to the economy. 

In the process of assisting individuals with a vision, Agora has positively influenced the community. Individuals that work with Agora to start their own socially responsible business are able to create jobs and bring the community together. Agora Partnerships works with a wide range of entrepreneurial clients, such as a company that enhances the methods in which consumers and businesses perform transactions as well as a company that brings art from around the world to Costa Rica. The progress that Agora has made with businesses has inspired others to come forward with their progressive ideas.

Learn more about Agora Partnerships by visiting their website.