Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author. Starting at age 20, he dedicated his life to sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. His practice has included starting and running ecological businesses, writing and teaching about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with governments and corporations on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. He has appeared on numerous media including the Today Show, Larry King, Talk of the Nation, Charlie Rose, and has been profiled or featured in hundreds of articles including the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Washington Post, Business Week, Esquire, and US News and World Report. His writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Resurgence, New Statesman, Inc, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones, Utne Reader, Orion, and over a hundred other publications.
He is author and co-author of dozens of articles, op-eds, papers, as well as six books including The Next Economy (Ballantine 1983), Growing a Business (Simon and Schuster 1987), and The Ecology of Commerce (HarperCollins 1993). The Ecology of Commerce was voted in 1998 as the #1 college text on business and the environment by professors in 67 business schools. His book, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (Little Brown, September 1999) co-authored with Amory Lovins, is published in fourteen languages and has been read and referred to by several heads of state including President Bill Clinton who has called it one of the five most important books in the world today. His books have been published in over 50 countries in 27 languages and have sold over 2 million copies. Growing a Business became the basis of a 17-part PBS series, which Mr. Hawken hosted and produced. The program, which explored the challenges and pitfalls of starting and operating socially responsive companies, was shown on television in 115 countries and watched by over 100 million people. His piece on Seattle and the WTO entitled “N30” was published on over 100 websites and by 13 magazines. His latest book was published by Viking in May 2007 entitled Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came Into Being, and Why No One Saw it Coming. (www.blessedunrest.com)
Companies he has founded or co-founded software companies specializing in proprietary content management tools; Smith & Hawken, the garden and catalog retailer; and several of the first natural food companies in the U.S that relied solely on sustainable agricultural methods. He is presently the head of PaxIT, PaxTurbine, and PaxFan, three companies associated with Pax Scientific a research and development company focused on energy-saving technologies that apply biomimicry to fluid dynamics. Paul heads the Natural Capital Institute (www.naturalcapital.org), a research organization located in Sausalito, California. The Natural Capital Institute has created a hub for global civil society (www.wiserearth.com). It is a collaboratively written, free content, open source networking platform that links NGOs, funders, business, government, social entrepreneurs, students, organizers, academics, activists, scientists, and citizens.
As a speaker, he has given keynote addresses to the Liberal Party of Canada, King of Sweden at his inaugural Environmental Seminar, American Bookseller’s Association, Urban Land Institute, SRI International, Harvard University, Stanford University, Wharton, Cornell, Prime Minister of New Zealand’s Conference on Natural Capitalism, US Department of Commerce, Australian Business Council, Yale University and Yale University Commencement, University of California (Berkeley) Commencement, Ministry of Agriculture France, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Prince of Wales Conference on Business and the Environment—Cambridge University, Commonwealth Club, Herman Miller, National Wildlife Federation, State of Washington, American Society of Landscape Architects, American Institute of Architects, American Institute of Graphic Arts, American Solar Energy Association, Apple Computer, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Cleveland City Club, Conference Board, U.S. Forest Service, Ontario Hydro, Environment Canada, EPA, and several hundred others.
He has served on the board of many environmental organizations including Point Foundation (publisher of the Whole Earth Catalogs), Center for Plant Conservation, Trust for Public Land, Friends of the Earth, and National Audubon Society. Among recognition and awards received are: Green Cross Millennium Award for Individual Environmental Leadership presented by Mikhail Gorbachev in 2003; World Council for Corporate Governance in 2002; Small Business Administration “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1990; Utne “One Hundred Visionaries who could Change our Lives” in 1995, Western Publications Association “Maggie” award for “Natural Capitalism” as the best Signed Editorial/Essay” in 1997; Creative Visionary Award by the International Society of Industrial Design; Design in Business Award for environmental responsibility by the American Center for Design; Council on Economic Priorities’ 1990 Corporate Conscience Award; American Horticultural Society Award for commitment to excellence in commercial horticulture; Metropolitan Home Design 100 Editorial Award for the 100 best people, products and ideas that shape our lives; the Cine Golden Eagle award in video for the PBS program “Marketing” from Growing a Business; California Institute of Integral Studies Award “For Ongoing Humanitarian Contributions to the Bay Area Communities”; Esquire Magazine award for the best 100 People of a Generation (1984); and five honorary doctorates.