How business can help building a sweeter society


By Antonella Serrecchia

No one could ever imagine a conference about business could be so sweet. Not many people could succeed, but an ice-cream maker is surely a good candidate. His name is Ben Cohen, and he is the co-founder of the worldwide famous company Ben & Jerry.

On the 9th of November, Mr. Cohen will be the main guest of the conference organized for the Social Impact Day Groningen, an occasion for the city to discuss the combination of business and socially oriented practices, on an environmental and worker’s rights level.

Wilbert van der Kamp, a professional food blogger, will be the moderator for the evening, which will host on the stage also local entrepreneurs. To him, “the aim of the conference is to talk with Ben and see where he succeeded and failed, to give some tips.”

Christina van Dervorm is a Dutch business advisor oriented towards sustainable and creative models, as well as one of the main organizers of the event. She explained to us that Groningen has a relevant agricultural and trade tradition. “We have a beautiful city but we are struggling to connect the entrepreneurial scene with the issues of nowadays’ society.”

She reckons many people are willing to start a sustainable food company lately, but they have questions about how to run a successful  one. Christina and Wilbert agree that, since Ben Cohen started as a small company and transformed it into a big corporation without forgetting its social mission, he can represent a valuable role model.

Karen Hazelhoff, spokes-person for SGG, who dealt with the event’s publicity, is expecting more than 200 attendants, but Christina van Dervorm is even more optimistic and foresees a higher participation. She believes the audience will be very diverse, from members of the YFM, to fair trade workers and entrepreneurs, politicians, and students.


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