Social Business News

Enviu’s new Board Chair, Lisa Jordan: “I want to be where the change is”

Lisa Jordan vowed to only take one board position at a time, but decided to make an exception for Enviu. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we would love to introduce you to our new Board Chair! She has an impressive track record of working with and managing philanthropic foundations for more than 25 years. Currently she runs her own firm, Aim for Social Change and works with a wide variety of change organizations. Most importantly, she is set to make an impact and be present where change is happening. And right now, that is Enviu.

Lisa has over 25 years of experience in the field of social impact: holding senior positions at Porticus, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Bank Information Center and Ford Foundation. Currently she is, amongst others, director of Shine, partner at Aim, and since recently, Chairman of Enviu’s advisory board.

“I usually only do one board position, and even that is a stretch. But now I have agreed to do two,” Lisa explains laughing. “It was clear to me that the market is a vehicle that I don’t have a whole lot of experience working with. And so I can learn as much as I can bring to Enviu.”

The changing market

Lisa thinks big. She always has the overarching story in mind when looking at the world around her. And right now she sees that the market is changing.

“People, regardless of if they are lawyers or engineers or communicators or salesmen, are asking the question, where can I create social change,” Lisa explains. “And the vehicle they are looking at to create that societal change is the market, because it’s where the power lies.”

And the vehicle they are looking at to create that societal change is the market, because it’s where the power lies.

“The best way I have heard this story told was at Utrecht University about two months ago where some kid stood up, a 23 year old lawyer. And he says, when I joined the firm I didn’t ask about the car, the corner office, or making partner. I asked about their social change objectives, what am I going to learn, and what complex cases can I delve into.”

“And that is really interesting. Because my generation would not have looked at the market as a source of hope, we would have looked at the market as a place where multinational corporations have everything under their monopoly and there is no space for anyone else. But that is not true anymore.”

Disrupting markets towards new normal

At Enviu we build world-changing companies. Starting from a large social or environmental issue, we develop a disruptive business intervention strategy driving change throughout industries.

“We build ventures that prove new, sustainable models,” explains Michiel Elich, CEO of Enviu. “With the ambition to systemically disrupt markets, towards a ‘new normal’. With this ambition in mind, we’re very happy to have Lisa join us. Her challenging vision, extensive experience, broad network and passion for building inclusive economies will be very valuable for us to reach the next level of impact we envision. I believe we’re a great match!”

Enviu’s holistic approach

“Enviu is trying to do something that is becoming more relevant and more popular right now. And if anybody is doing it with integrity it is this shop,” Lisa continues. “And their approach matches the way that I tend to think about things, which is a very holistic way. Not only from the shareholder approach, which is how impact investing works, not only from the social entrepreneur approach, which is how the social enterprise scene works, but combining these two. A holistic view of an impact market. How can we birth that market.”

“I would like to be part of creating that market. Because I would like to know if it is possible. I would like to know, can we take this vehicle that is a societal construct and actually make it work for society. I want to be where the change is.”

Spending your time worthy

Lisa has never done anything else than be in the impact field. From journalism, to politics, to social movements, to philanthropy, she wanted to be where she could make an impact. “It is just the vehicles that change,” she adds. “It is really about making systemic change. If you are going to spend 8 to 10 hours a day working, you better make it purposeful, right? You want to do something that is worthy.”

If you are going to spend 8 to 10 hours a day working, you better make it purposeful, right?

“So Enviu felt right. And I love the people. If you get along well, you understand each other, you have skills that you can bring to the table, and you can learn, then it is a good place to be!”