Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and ask brief answers in return. Today’s guest has been a well-respected voice on business, sustainability, and innovation for more than 25 years, whom the Associated Press has called ‘The guru of green business practices.” He’s done a lot to get there, but a notable achievement is he is the founder of Greenbiz.com. Remember, “10 Words” is an ethic, not a limit, so to those of you at home, please, no counting. If you think it’s so easy, let’s see you do it.
Name Joel Makower
Born when, where Oakland, Calif., Feb. 19, 1952
Resides now Oakland
Family circumstance "Married to Randy Rosenberg for 26-plus years, and we have two lovely dogs."
Formative event “Growing up in the Vietnam War."
A strong influence outside your family "I was coming of age professionally in journalism school during the time of Watergate, so Woodward, Bernstein, all of the others were of influence to me in terms of journalism as a way to speak truth to power. I was also, at the same time, influenced by Ralph Nader. The consumer advocate, not the election-spoiler, who was about taking on corporations on behalf of consumers."
A historical figure you hold dear "I admired Martin Luther King well before he was assassinated and became the hero-martyr that he became. At 13, I made him the subject of my bar mitzvah speech, in 1965, so I guess that says something."
What came first for you, green or biz? "Probably biz. I started off my career as a consumer reporter, and I quickly realized that in order to understand consumer issues you had to understand business."