Mindfulness (Conscious Capitalism) meets Disability

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Isla Vista Cliffs — Santa Barbara, CA

On my journey along the west coast, I met up with a friend, a former Venture Capitalist and a serial entrepreneur who remarked that I am now wandering into mindfulness or rather heartfulness. He joyfully said that my deafness was a blessing — driving along the California highways, not hearing the honking or sounds but just using my eyes to take in the beautiful ocean beach landscape. I admit this is true but also allowed for me to really think about the best places I had worked in — I realized these places had a great sense of purpose and set of values.

Continuing my thread about “meets disability”, I should also mention the people and culture behind it. Companies who are aware of their wide diversity of customers whether it’s race, sexual orientation, and disability does well in terms of long term profits and image. Naturally, this seems “duh” but not easily practiced.

#deleteuber has been a huge impact on Uber. What hasn’t been reported widely was that there have been many complaints from deaf and disabled drivers/customers of Uber that the company had to react by taking steps to meet their needs. While this is admirable, Uber seems to be always reactive on multiple fronts. Conscious capitalism in practice would have benefited them greatly. One person is trying that with them.

There are two market indexes which reflects the companies’ success and how it’s tied with their work in the disability area. First one is “Return on Disability” — a stock index fund. The other one is the Disability Equality index developed by USBLN (US Business Leadership Network) and AAPD which takes in many factors: employee culture, inclusive hiring, focus on customers, and so forth. You can see some well known brands on this such as Capital One, Starbucks, Walmart, and so forth. Companies would do well by studying this — making profits but at the same time doing good.

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