Introducing Ben Miller

Ben was training to be a psychotherapist when his activist background caught up with him. This time, instead of joining the picket line, he discovered social entrepreneurship and thought of a way to help consumers shop exclusively with companies that share their values, realizing what a wonderful world this would create.

Scalechange turned my world upside-down. I first tried to start it as a side-project while I was training to be a therapist as a grad student in New York City, but discovered that my grassroots background had not prepared me to lead a social enterprise.

Since that time, I’m climbed a very steep learning curve, completing a master’s of science in business and working with many social venture startups in order to expanding upon the business development tactics I picked up recruiting for Teach for America as undergraduate.

I learned so much working in the marketing department at Pachamama Alliance throughout 2016 and felt like I was ready to lead Scalechange and started working on it full time in 2017.

That’s when I went to India, to work directly with our tech partners in Delhi, and 9 months later, the products I’ve envisioned for so long are coming together and I’m excited to return to the States now, products-in-hand, to do fundraising and friendraising, but there aren’t a lot of resources out catering to social ventures startups.”

Ben’s Mission

Unfortunately while 82% of Americans prefer to “go green” only 16% are able to be environmentally-friendly consumers, putting 66% into a gap that Ogilvy & Mather refers to as the Middle Green.

“We believe that people aren’t able to invest with companies that share their values and divest from those that don’t due to a lack of information regarding the social and environmental impact of the products they purchase and the premium pricing of most sustainable options.”

“Fellow Social entrepreneurs, remember your activist roots and the fact that unlike NGOs you do not rely on donations so you can take a strong stance when it comes to your mission.”

Scalechange has developed the following two-fold solution to close both the information and pricing gap:

To help close the information gap, Ben launched Commonstake, a social media platform which allows users to discuss and rate the performance of companies in regard to corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Crowdsourcing allows for aggregation of international CSR data and engages mainstream consumers at an appropriately aggressive rate while other CSR platforms only inform American, early adopters.

To help close the pricing gap, Commonstake offer rebates to incentivize sustainable shopping. Companies with a sufficiently high rating on Commonstake are able to provide customers with equity in our social-venture partners.

Scalechange will measure success by tracking the progress of Commonstake users through our pipeline of engagement. The first step is the conversion of everyday consumers into conscientious stakeholders through social marketing.

The second step is the conversion of conscientious stakeholders into shareholders through customer equity awarded to sustainable shoppers. The final step is the conversion of shareholders into shareholder activists through social venture investments that they select.

By informing and influencing one another, consumers can take control of their supply chain, divesting from fossil fuels and investing in socially responsible, environmentally friendly, ethically governed companies.

A one-star increase in a Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue (Harvard Business School). Commonstake aims to gamify sustainability in a similar fashion.

Scaling Change in 2018

Worldplay Ventures, a California Benefit Corporation, incubated Scalechange during its first 2 years and managed its day to day operations while web and mobile development work was outsourced to India.

Having graduated from incubation, Scalechange is now a standalone entity.

“Going into 2018, I am the only executive officer, and am eager to build a stellar team of cofounders, investors and advisors.”

For the past 2 years Scalechange has been focused exclusively on product development and, in order to graduate from this phase, spent time managing and working with tech contractors.

“In India I was able to collaborate directly with our partners’ contractors who built our social platform and mobile app. Here’s the breakdown of our team there: 1 graphic designer, 2 mobile developers, 1 project manager, 3 Ruby developers,1 SEO specialist and 1 UX designer.”

 

What Would You R3SET?

“Corporate social responsibility is not a new topic but one of its components has recently gained a lot more attention. Climate change is the one issue that connects us all and comes with an apocalyptic deadline.

The only good thing about global warming is that it is has engaged the general population with corporate citizenship like never before. Informed and engaged as “consumer citizens,” we can stop global warming in its tracks and put an end to many other profit-driven problems as well.

How Can The R3SET Community Best Support You?

“As the first crowd-controlled VC firm, consumers run the show at Scalechange. Sustainable shoppers who get involved early will be especially influential as we collectively crowdsource the data needed to avoid companies who don’t share our values around the world and in our communities.

The dividends generated by $cale¢hange depends on the energy of early adopters using Commonstake and Scalechange’s mobile app— if we build a healthy community of socially-conscious consumers, companies will come.

Companies will have to engage their stakeholders on Commonstake, which is when revenue and the profit to reinvest in startups arrive.

In exchange for helping crowdsource information about corporate citizenship, you’ll be able to help crowdfund changemakers and increase the value of your credits as startups do well by doing good.”

Learn More About Scalechange

Consumers can earn rewards on Commonstake.com, Scalechange’s signature product, in two ways: by sharing information about companies in regard to corporate responsibility or by purchasing products or services from qualifying companies on Commonstake.

Mobile users can can also earn rewards through the Scalechange app in two ways: by walking into participating stores and scanning barcodes belonging to participating products.

 

 

 

What is your sign?

I’m a Pisces, and yes, I love the water.

Favorite Movies?

V for Vendetta, Blade Runner, Ocean’s Eleven

What books have you read that change your life?

Oh man,
The Epi-Paleo Prescription, 4 Hour Work Week, The 4th phase of Water, Man’s Search for Meaning, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Bold, The War of Art.

What would you R3SET?

I would R3SET the idea that we need to wait for someone or something else to present a solution to problems that we see.  We are the ones that we are waiting for, it’s time to take ownership of that power.

Crazy Indulgences

Reading blogs or listening to Alan Watts in middle of the night and not being able to fall asleep because I’m too fascinated by what I just learned.

Secret Obsessions

Not so secret, drinking wine and discussing biophysics and entrepreneurship.
Pretty secret, reading about different personal and organizational productivity methods and trying to combine them into one crazy system.
I’ll have to kill you if I tell you secret, uncooked brownie batter

What are some of your most memorable R3SET Moments?

Meeting innovators like Jack Kruse, Neil Strauss, and Dave Asprey at conferences like Bulletproof and Voice and Exit.
Our 2nd EQUAROX festival with fire dancers, a car show and over 20 musicians and bands to celebrate and support social justice.
Oh and selling my car to pay for it. Ha.

What do you bring to the R3SET Movement?

I have another car now I could sell. Ha.  Plus I bring a serious passion to work, an unending thirst to help people solve problems and take the next step in human evolution. Technologically, socially, and spiritually.

What is your sign?

I’m a LEO. 

 

Favorite Movies?

The Matrix 

Independence Day

Interstellar

 

What books have you read that change your life?

In the Belly of the Beast
Harry Potter Series. J.K. Rowling is a creative genius.

What would you R3set?

I’d R3SET the healthcare system in America. We’ve become overdependent on pharmaceuticals, driving profit over taking care of the common man or woman. Monetarily and culturally we are over invested in paying attention to our health only when something is wrong, and underinvested in the pursuit of understanding, “what makes us optimal?”

I’d also R3SET the mainstream notion of  human civilization being 10,000 years old – 12,000 years old, progressing and advancing linearly. There are archeological sites that continue to unearth evidence of cultures and societies with civilized and organized ways of life dating back far further than we originally supposed. Still many more sites and megaliths are either A. unknown for how old they actually are or B. undiscovered. As evidence and research continues to pour in, we are continuously rewrite our past, and that plays a critical role in our future.

Crazy Indulgences

oh yeaaaa.

 

Secret Obsessions

Watching Starcraft 2 Esports

 

What are some of your most Memorable R3set Moments?

On a Mission Trip

I’ll never forget my mission trip to Guanaja, Honduras at 12 years old. We rebuilt a school that had been destroyed by a hurricane. It completely opened my eyes to the vastness of ways of life being expressed on our planet, and gave me a much different perspective on what was actually meaningful to me in my life. Looking up at the night sky out on a dock, the stars had never been so bright, and possibilities never so tangible.

Mono In College

After my bout with mono, (I got my ass kicked) I never felt the same. Sometimes, bad memories can lead to great personal triumphs. Mono set me on the path to exploring and understanding what personal wellness is.

 

What do you bring to the R3set Movement?

Professionally I bring a mix of right brain and left brain thinking; Project Management, Creative Strategy, Business Development, Marketing, Organizational productivity consulting, and a few others.

I’m driven by a desire to launch new business models and businesses that achieve sustainable profits and are regenerative in nature when it comes to the betterment of mankind.

What is your sign?

Taurus? Yes , I am stubborn which makes me a great entrepreneur!

 

Favorite Movies?

The Matrix Trilogy

Black Panther

 

What books have you read that change your life?

Natalie Goldbergs: Long Quiet Highway

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Gary Zuckoff: The Seat of the Soul

 

What would you R3set?

“The ideology that we have to go back to is old African principles. In order to heal our nation,  we have to reinsert African American history, because these values/principles have been removed from society, yet they will help society move more holistically and heal. ”

 

Crazy Indulgences

Dulce De Leche ice cream

Politics , I love my Rachel Maddow and Visual Politks

Black Ancient Civilization and History

 

Secret Obsessions

History Channel’s Ancient Aliens  

UFC MMA

 

What are some of your most Memorable R3set Moments?

As an Artist

Reading Poetry with the  late pulitzer prize winning Gwendolyn Brooks

In Business

The moment I became an entrepreneur and I got my first check from a customer. It change my world.

Personal

Coming out as a “same gender loving man” it was the moment I experience true personal liberation.

 

What do you bring to the R3set Movement?

I have over 30 years of expertise in developing companies through critical start-up or turnaround situations, while coordinating rapid-growth market expansions.

I am a master creator and initiator of goodwill by effectively communicating “value added opportunities” that generate mutual investment buy-in for all community stakeholders’ i.e.strategic partners, organizational affiliates, community/special interest groups, and corporate partners.