David Batstone is founder and president of global anti-slavery organization Not For Sale, and founder and managing partner of Just Business, an international investment group that incubates social enterprises. He is currently a professor in entrepreneurship at the School of Management, University of San Francisco, and was previously a private equity banker in the technology industry.
David has authored five books, is the recipient of two national journalist awards, and was named National Endowment for the Humanities Chair at the University of San Francisco for his work in technology and ethics.
What do you do best?
I am a inventor, a creator. I am not happy with the way the world is designed, with well over 2 billion people in the world living in dire poverty and 30 million living in slavery, and our environment degrading daily. If we want to change the world, we need to reinvent both business and social movements. The old solutions will give us the same old results. Time to invent.
What makes you the best?
I am obsessively optimistic and persistent. I seriously do not consider myself the most talented writer, investor, or social activist. But I achieve great results in all three areas because I am foolish enough to believe that I will overcome temporary setbacks and obstacles that other more talented people consider final failure.
What are your aspirations?
I aspire to create platforms where children can grow up with dignity. In the world today those platforms are few and far between. I want my future grandchildren to feel inspired about the future of the world, a place where they can thrive.
Starting REBBL, a beverage company that sells nationally, because the product is revolutionary for the health of the consumer, and sources ingredients in a way that is revolutionary for the lives of the producers. It’s a template for 21st century business.
Most Challenging Moment?
Confronting military dictatorships in Central America in the 1980s when they were targeting human rights workers and economic advocates for the poor. They had guns and bravado, and all we had was hope and inspiration.
Entrepreneurs and farmers. Both are optimists.
Scandinavia, especially Lake Siljan in Sweden
Products that contain a story of dignity. I don’t want to wear people’s suffering, consume their tragedy with my meal, or trample on their dreams with my designer shoes.
Rye whiskey, premium coffee and high alpine trekking.