Carol Sanford

About Carol
About Carol

Carol Sanford has been a respected innovator in educating and advising business in creating extraordinary traditional success while at the same time creating a better world. She has worked with businesses for almost four decades who have successfully done so BY building great businesses, not creating programs for responsible practices. Responsibility will not only be in the DNA with everyone contributing, but the current approaches of doing less harm, following best practices and working with fragments will have given way to working from a living systems view that makes all systems more vital, viable and able to regenerate themselves, without tradeoffs.

To that end, Carol has been leading major consulting change efforts in both Fortune 500 and new-economy businesses for more than 30 years. Her client list includes long-term relationships with Colgate Europe and Africa and DuPont Canada, US, Asia and Europe. One Google Innovation Lab using her work to change global food systems. She also works with new-economy companies like Intel, Agilent and leaders of change such as Seventh Generation.

Central to Carol's philosophy and approach is a reimagined look at what makes an organization truly responsible. "It's important to find out what differentiates your business and cannot be copied by competitor because they cannot be you;" she says, "and then thinking about how to do business so that communities, societies, and ecology as a whole are improved. These are not separate but interwoven pursuits. It's completely doable, and a conversation worth having."

Carol’s first book, Carol The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success (published by Jossey-Bass) has won numerous awards including Best General Book by the International Book Awards, Top Fifteen Business Books by CNBC, Bullish on Books, and was in the Top Five General Business Books by 800CEOREAD, the largest distributor of business books in the world, and it was shortlisted for Best Business Book of the Year, out of 11,000 business books.  Her book is required reading at Harvard Business School, Stanford Engineering and Management Science, and MIT Sloan, among others.  Her second book, The Responsible Entrepreneur: Four Game-Changing Archetypes for Founders, Leaders and Impact Investors, will hit shelves in July 2014 with the award for Best Entrepreneur and Small Business book for 2011 and 30 Best Business Books of 2014 by Soundview.  [Click here to purchase]

Every year since 2012 she has been named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior.  She is a guest blogger for CNBC’s business blogs, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, American Express Open Forum, and CSRwire. Carol has published dozens of works in 10 languages, including a series of articles in “Executive Excellence,” Stephen Covey’s newsletter and “At Work,” a Berrett - Koehler Journal.  

She holds undergraduate degrees from UC Berkeley in Economics and Public Law and a graduate degree from California State University, San Jose in Urban Planning. She currently lives in Edmonds, Washington.

Guest Blogs & Articles by Carol Sanford


“What Kind of Incentives Work?” - CNBC.com

“The Serious Problems of Corporate Responsibility: Definition, Goals and Measures” - CNBC.com “Bullish on Books”

“The Responsible Entrepreneur - Four Archetypes of Entrepreneurship and How They Contribute to a Better World” - Stanford Social Innovation Review

“The Responsible Entrepreneur: How Big is Your Innovation Promise?” - CSRWire.com

“Building the New Archetypes of Social Entrepreneurship: Big Promise Game-Changer Indigenous Designs” - CSRWire.com

“Now What? Young Leaders Are Changing the World by Working for Themselves” - Stanford Social Innovation Review

“Forget About Best Practices” - Inc.com

“Better Way to Job Search - Change Your Criteria” - CNBC.com

“What to Do About the Problems Philanthropy Creates and Perpetuates” - Stanford Social Innovation Review

“The Limits of Best Practices” - Chief Learning Officer

“Reimagining Responsibility” - CSRWire.com

“The Past and Future of CSR” - Bainbridge Graduate Institute’s blog