DiscoverThe Ethical Business PodcastEpisode 9: Talking Sustainable Architecture and Design with Melonie Bayl-Smith of Bijl Architecture
Episode 9: Talking Sustainable Architecture and Design with Melonie Bayl-Smith of Bijl Architecture

Episode 9: Talking Sustainable Architecture and Design with Melonie Bayl-Smith of Bijl Architecture

Update: 2015-09-04


Melonie Bayl-Smith lives at the cutting edge of sustainable design and architecture.

Her firm, Bijl Architecture, has won numerous awards for its unique constructions and for integrating concepts of nature and sustainability into the everday lives of their clients in a unique way.

In this wide-ranging discussion, we talk about the nature of architecture and how to embrace sustainability throughout the design and construction phases of a building project, as well as the future of design and how technology might change the way we look at the world we live in.



– What sustainable architecture and design innovation actually mean.

– The interrelationship between the pillars of sustainable design; aesthetics, functionality, economic and social.

– How architects think about the future users of the designed space.

– The impact of design, urban renewal and shared resources on communities.

– How public is ‘public’ space?

– The role of technology and early adopters in design innovation.

– What to look for when building, buying or renting an office space.


– Bijl Architecture

– Nest

– Architect Competency Standards

– Barangaroo

– St Saviour’s Soup Kitchen

– Naremburn House

– Bijl Architecture Social Media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

 Thanks for Listening!

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Episode 33: Getting Small Artisans to Scale Using a New Business Model – with Lisa Moiseeva of GlobeIn
Liza Mosseiva is a social business veteran and co-founder of GlobeIn, a Silicon Valley company revolutionising the subscription box industry with its mission to deliver joy by empowering and connecting remarkable, remote artisans to mindful customers.GlobeIn was inspired by Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the ‘father’ of microfinance. Like Yunus, GlobeIn is a big proponent of the idea that businesses can – and should – exist not just for the purpose of making money but also for the purpose of solving social issues.GlobeIn works to empower remarkable artisans in remote areas with the tools to build sustainable businesses. It does this by providing them a platform to sell their products at scale, while giving consumers a unique opportunity to access some truly amazing, one-of-a-kind small batch products.IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: All about Liza’s journey to the foundation of GlobeIn.How the GlobeIn team source their products from small producers and artisans all over the world.How GlobeIn assures the quality of its handmade products.All about the challenges of dealing with production challenges.How the subscription box model can support producers achieve long-term economic gain.How GlobeIn keeps its products interesting and relevant, month after month.What impact they have already been able to have on their suppliers’ lives. LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:GlobeInGrameen Bank   Thanks for Listening!Please subscribe to our show on iTunes or Stitcher.
Episode 32: Living your values in everything you do – with Christina Zipperlen of Ananda Soul
 Christina Zipperlen is the founder and designer of the ethical jewelry & clothing brand Ananda Soul. Christina never considered herself a business woman but rather an artist and a yogi. When she moved to Bali in 2008, her intentions were to share her own encounters with spirituality, her insights on overcoming body image issues and the importance of living sustainably and in deep respect of the planet. Ananda Soul was born as the result of her expression of those values in form of wearable art.Today, Ananda Soul ethically manufactures beautiful jewelry, clothing and accessories for sale in its store and to customers all over the world. Most impressively, Ananda Soul is a product of the set principles that have been in place ever since day one and which drive every business decision Christina takes.IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:How Christina has managed to keep her business aligned with her principles and mission.Why Christina has chosen to partner with local community organisations to make her community better.How Christina is using her business as a tool for social good.What consumers can do to make the world a better place.Why purpose-driven business is always better than profit-driven business.How Christina created a novel way to get street kids into school. LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS  Thanks for Listening!Please subscribe to our show on iTunes or Stitcher.
Episode 31 – Global Sustainability with Mark Lefko
Mark Lefko has coached and mentored more than 100 CEOs and company presidents, bringing with him 35 years of real-world C-level business experience.A thought leader in the fields of leadership and sustainability and Founder and CEO of Lefko Group, Mark serves on several advisory boards and is known for his high-energy, insightful speaking engagements.“Global Sustainability,” Mark’s second book, aims to inspire executives to rally around the concept of doing well while doing good. In it, he interviews 21 world-leading CEOs including Sir Richard Branson, Marc Benioff ( and Blake McCoskie (TOMS Shoes) as well as the leaders of global juggernaut companies including Cargill, Dow Chemical, Unilever and Tata.Mark breaks down the approaches and philosophies of these titans into straightforward lessons that readers can implement into their daily lives.IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:How Mark managed to access such an incredible group of CEOs for his book.Why the world’s top CEOs are prioritising investing in the future.How CEOs are managing the need to invest in sustainability against the imperative of short-term profit (and why it’s so hard).What exciting initiatives leading companies are involved in already.The the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are driving the next phase of global business.Why companies may choose not to focus on all of the goals.What is next for the world of global sustainability.How you can learn from their experience and make your own life more sustainable.LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:MarkLefko.comUN Millennium Development GoalsUN Sustainable Development GoalsUnilever – Sustainable LivingDSMThe Tata TrustsCOP21Triple Bottom LineHonest TeaSeth Goldman
Episode 30: Social Enterprise and Investment with Danny Almagor of Small Giants
Danny Almagor is a modern-day Renaissance man. Along with his wife, Berry Liberman, Danny founded ‘Small Giants’ – Australia’s first B Corporation – to create, support, nurture and empower businesses and entrepreneurs that are shifting us to a more socially equitable and environmentally sustainable world.Small Giants has founded and invested in a range of ethical businesses, including:Tom Organic,The School of Life,Dumbo Feather Magazine,The Cape Ecovillage,Beyond,STREAT, and many more.Danny was also a founder of Engineers without Borders Australia. In addition to Danny’s numerous business achievements, he is the Founding Social Entrepreneur in Residence at RMIT and sits on the Advisory board for the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan.In 2016 he was awarded the Order of Australia. He also set a Solar car record: for travelling from Darwin to Adelaide. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:How Danny manages to fit it all in (you may not like the answer).What motivates him to work so hard.Why Small Giants is structured as a B Corporation.What Small Giants looks when making an ethical investment.How to get started in ethical entrepreneurship.How Danny got involved in the Bhutan Gross National Happiness project.And much more.LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:Small Giants ( List of Small Giants Portfolio Companies ( National Happiness Centre, Bhutan (  Thanks for Listening!Please subscribe to our show on iTunes or Stitcher.
Episode 28: Bringing Traditional African Jewelry to Market with Megan Kitt of Tuli
Megan Kitt is the founder of Tuli, an ethical business that is working to improve womens’ lives in Uganda by bringing their traditional paper jewelry products to the global market.Tuli’s mission is to empower resourceful, hard-working people in Uganda to earn long-term, sustainable incomes and, in doing so, fight poverty.Tuli uses the fashion industry to bring a large market to women in Uganda who would otherwise have little access to buyers. They work with our partners in Kampala to create designs relevant to today’s fashion market.Megan’s background is as a model and freelance journalist, which means she possesses a unique blend of experience that is perfect for combining social enterprise with fashion.Even better for us, her perspectives make for a deeply engaging interview.IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:Why Megan left her glamorous international career to start a grassroots business in a very poor country.How Megan has trained her artisans to develop products that appeal to the Western market.How Tuli ensures consistent product quality.How Tuli has managed to develop a network of bricks and mortar retailers stocking their products.What are the most important elements of building a business that truly helps lift people out of poverty.How Megan built Tuli from an idea and a passion into a thriving business concern.Why it’s important to follow your passion in life.LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:Tuli  Thanks for Listening!Please subscribe to our show on iTunes or Stitcher.
Episode 24: Building Communities with Traditional Crafts with Chris Frager from Stitch and Loom
Chris Frager is the co-founder of Stitch and Loom, a company that supports traditional artisans to keep their ancient crafts alive while sharing their beautiful handwoven rugs with buyers all over the world.Co-founder Matt and Chris share a fondness for traditional Mexican crafts and have spent the last couple traveling through Mexico partnering with artisans.By chance, they encountered an exquisite rug that was handwoven in Oaxaca by a master Zapotec weaver. They traveled to the village of Teotitlan Del Valle where a community of indigenous weavers have honed their craft for 2000 years.There they met the Bazan family and began collaborating with them along with the Mendez family. They primarily use traditional Native American patterns while incorporating more vibrant, contemporary color schemes.Their sourcing methods mirror the direct trade methods seen in the coffee industry where they travel down to Oaxaca and meet every weaver. They create personal relationships and effectively eliminate 3rd party textile factories. They choose to partner with small, family-run workshops that they know and trust, ensuring the fair treatment of all the workers.Over the last year, Matt and Chris have been welcomed into the Zapotec community and have developed a deep affinity to the Zapotec people and their ancient culture.Stitch & Loom focuses primarily on the weavers and their story, with the hopes of sustaining an indigenous community and their art for generations to come. Stitch & Loom is based in Portland, Oregon.IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
Episode 22: The Perils of Fast Fashion with Catherine van ver Meulen of THiNK Business Services
Catherine van der Meulen was the International Brand Manager for fast fashion brand Supre for over 14 years.During this time, she learned the ins and outs of an industry with a lot of ethical challenges, from oppressive labor conditions to the widespread use of toxic dyes.Since parting ways with Supre, Cath has shifted her focus to helping other brands adopt more ethical approaches through her consultancy, THiNK Business Services.In this episode, we enjoy a wide-ranging discussion about her fashion past, her awakening and the future of the fashion industry globally. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:– What instigated Cath’s change in perspective about how business should be done.– What is meant by ‘conscious capitalism’.– Why it’s important to align your actions with your values.– Why her past actions make her feel ‘ill’.– The toxicity of cottons and dyes.– The problems with ‘fast fashion’.– The paradox of fast fashion companies working to become more sustainable.– How companies can make changes to becomes more ethical.– The challenge of working in a family business.– What is meant by ‘conscious business’?– Examples of sustainable business models.– Benefits of a ‘B Corp’ assessment.– The importance of incremental change.– Suggestions for your Christmas shopping this year. LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:THiNK Business ServicesSupreCotton OnB Corp AssessmentKeep CupThe True Cost (Movie)Erin BrockovichTom Organic Cotton TamponsH&M Sustainability and RecyclingWhole FoodsPatagonia Black Friday Second Hand swapUnilever’s B Corp transitionImpact Investment GroupAndrew MacLeod: Episode 6 of the Ethical Business Podcast
Episode 21: Optimizing for Happiness while Building an Empire with Stefan Klumpp of Mobile Jazz
Stefan Klumpp is the founder of Mobile Jazz, one of the world’s leading mobile development companies.He’s built up a company with an incredible team culture, and he’s managed to do it by giving his employees the freedom to work however they want – and from wherever in the world suits them.Stefan himself lives and works while travelling in his campervan all over Europe, chasing the waves as an avid kite surfer.In this interview, we talk to Stefan about his amazing journey, his philosophy of work and management and how he has managed to achieve meteoric success by breaking a lot of traditional rules and simply focusing on happiness.Stefan’s latest project is called ‘optimizing for happiness’ – which allows him to share his philosophy on living the life you want with the world. Through ‘optimizing for happiness’, Stefan is proving that you can achieve everything you want in life – and be genuinely happy – if you have the right approach and work smartly towards that goal. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:– Stefan’s journey from a high school drop out to Stanford self-driving cars to a very successful entrepreneur– How the discovery of kite surfing changed Stefan’s life– Stefan’s secret for assessing and taking risks and how he avoids fear– How Stefan accidentally fell into app development and now leads one of the top companies in the world– Mobile Jazz’s innovative approach to people and culture– How Mobile Jazz survives and thrives with no sales people– Why employee happiness is Mobile Jazz’s top priority– The impact of paying everybody the same base salary– The rationale behind discussing culture in team meetings every week– What Stefan has discovered really motivates people– The challenges of finding and building a great team culture– How he has inverted traditional management models– Why people turn down companies like Facebook and Google to work for Mobile Jazz– Why Mobile Jazz downsized the company for cultural reasons– Why you should optimize for happiness rather than money– The importance of breaking goals into smaller and more achievable stepsLINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:– Mobile Jazz– Optimizing for Happiness– Optimizing for Happiness on Facebook– Optimizing for Happiness – The Book– Stanford self-driving car research– VW Electronic Research Lab– Maverick by Ricardo Semler
Episode 20: Shopping to Make a Difference with Rolfe Larson, Social Entrepreneurship Guru
Rolfe Larson is a passionate expert in social enterprise, who has spent his long career helping not-for-profit businesses find ways to make money and improve the world.At the same time, Rolfe has spearheaded efforts to educate consumers about making purchasing decisions that have a positive impact on their world – buying from businesses that use their profits to do good.Most recently, he launched the ‘Social Impact App’, which allows you to search within cities for the right businesses to buy from – those that support local groups or charities to achieve great things with the money you spend. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:– What is meant by a ‘social enterprise’.– How Rolfe helps social enterprises develop.– How social enterprises balance the social side against the need to make profits.– How to have a positive impact the next time you buy something.– Changes in social entrepreneurship over time.– Developments in consumer behavior and the move towards purchasing for impact.– How to align your values with your consumption.– Why entrepreneurship is within all of us.LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:– Rolfe Larson and Associates– The Social Impact App– Rolfe’s Book: ‘Venture Forth: The Essential Guide to Starting a Moneymaking Business in Your Nonprofit Organization’– Women’s Bean Project  Thanks for Listening!Please subscribe to our show on iTunes or Stitcher.
Episode 19: Expanding Your Horizons Through Travel with Shannon O’Donnell, National Geographic Traveler of the Year
Shannon O’Donnell is living a life most of us only dream of.For the past seven years, she has been traveling the world and sharing the stories of people and places that you wouldn’t otherwise hear.Venturing off the beaten track and focusing on longer, deeper relationships with her destinations has allowed Shannon access to incredible experiences that she shares with tens of thousands of devotees on her popular blog, A Little Adrift.In 2013, National Geographic rewarded Shannon for her terrific storytelling ability by naming her as a ‘Traveler of the Year’. This honor has opened many doors and allowed her to reach an even greater audience, but has not moved her from her firmly-held principles.In this interview, we delve into some of those, as we try to get to the heart of what motivates Shannon to keep exploring and uncovering new, inspirational, stories.IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:– How Shannon has been traveling the world for seven years.– Why travel continues to be special to her.– How she became National Geographic ‘Traveler of the Year’.– Why she is passionate about uncovering local businesses, entrepreneurs and social enterprises.– What stories she feels are important to amplify.– The story behind her ‘Grassroots Volunteering’ database and how she provides this service for free.– What Shannon would like her legacy to be.– The sense of responsibility she feels as a result of her ‘good fortune of circumstance’.– How she transitions to travel.– The principled approach she takes to advertising on her blog.– What’s next.LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:– National Geographic Traveler of the Year– A Little Adrift (Shannon’s Blog)– Grassroots Volunteering– Akha Ama– Grassroots Volunteering Ambassador’s Program– Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Work Week– Shannon’s Book   Thanks for Listening!Please subscribe to our show on iTunes or Stitcher.
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Episode 9: Talking Sustainable Architecture and Design with Melonie Bayl-Smith of Bijl Architecture

Episode 9: Talking Sustainable Architecture and Design with Melonie Bayl-Smith of Bijl Architecture

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