“The truth has the structure of a fiction.”- JACQUES LACAN

I graduated from a third-rate university with a master’s degree in writing and cultural theory. No one would ever design the start of a successful business career with that sentence. But over the years, I have come to realize that the connection between culture and failure and culture and success are not only intrinsically connected, but they are also controllable.


In graduate school, we studied the unfolding O.J. trial in real-time while reading Norman Mailer’s Executioner’s Song as a way to better understand America’s fascination with murder, love, and the love of murdering murderers. You see, it is difficult to understand culture through direct address: what does this culture mean? We are more successful in understanding what a culture values by looking at what the culture produces.

America produces more “pop culture” than any other export, so it makes sense then to analyze that product as a way to understand the culture it- self. Movies, for example reveal political, historical, rhetorical and social attitudes and opinions. Think: Apocalypse Now as a commentary on Imperialism, Wolf of Wall Street as commentary on Capitalism, Pretty Women as a commentary on Feminism.  With this collection of essays, I have done the same for sustainability.



This is meant to be fun. It is designed to spark debate. And moreover, it is designed to help you understand that what you produce says more about your culture than you know or intend. At its conclusion, this exploration is a business strategy to build more verdant companies, to course-correct, and to better understand your organization on a new level. The insights, or perhaps, the way of seeing insights, presented in these essays can become the foundation of your engagement strategies – with employees, customers, adversaries and other stakeholders.