099: Alana Libow (Forefront Sustainable Development)

Alana Libow on Innovation City

“Risks, vulnerabilities, and constraints are actually what generate the opportunities.” — Alana Libow

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Alana Libow, Founder & Chief Strategist at Forefront Sustainable Development. Alana works to position entities from governments to global brands at the forefront of Sustainable Development by identifying opportunities, co-design initiatives, bridging innovations to investors, and deploying SDG solutions. Alana sits down with the team to discuss her passion for design thinking, understanding how different cultures operate, translating the common beliefs between the farm and the boardroom, the importance of setting expectations for stakeholders, and much more!

They discuss:

  • Her passion for design thinking
  • Working in the Caribbean
  • Understanding how different cultures operate
  • Having a background in anthropology
  • Working towards solutions that work within existing cultures instead of forcing outside solutions
  • Sustainability is important for business growth and longevity
  • ESG: Environment Social Governance
  • Risks, vulnerabilities, and constraints generate opportunities
  • Looking at how to find solutions for the long term, not short term
  • Look at your stakeholders and figure out what the risks and opportunities are for you
  • Stakeholders can be influencers (good and bad) on your business
  • The power of social media for communication
  • Her role of translating the common beliefs between the farm and the boardroom to keep both on the same page
  • Meeting with the on-the-ground people (farmers, community members, etc) and learning about their culture and everyday lives
  • Establishing trust with the on-the-ground people
  • Translating goals for each area of business
  • Teaching corporate clients the true timeline requirements VS their tight deadline wants
  • The importance of setting expectations for stakeholders
  • The timeline of projects in the agriculture space are dependent on the seasons and elements
  • Connect with Alana via email and LinkedIn