“As CEO of Root Capital, I have worked with Jonathan for over a decade. Over the years, few people have inspired, challenged, and improved my thinking more than Jonathan. He once told me that naiveté is a strategic advantage 'for if you had any idea what you're getting into, you'd never have done it.' Well, once you've 'done it' (i.e., launched a social enterprise), you'll find no better adviser, strategist, and mentor on the planet."
-William Foote, Founder and CEO, Root Capital
Jonathan Rosenthal has spent over 30 years working to convert the destructive aspects of business into a positive force for people and the environment. He currently works as the Executive Director of the New Economy Coalition, Boston, Massachusetts.
THE EARLY DAYS OF FAIR TRADE
In 1985, Jonathan Rosenthal, Rink Dickinson and Michael Rozyne crafted a vision for a business that would reconnect people to their food in an ethical and just manner. That vision evolved into Equal Exchange, the pioneering worker-owned fair trade company that he cofounded and led. He collaborated again with Rink and Michael and AgroFair in 2005 to cofound and lead the first US fair trade fruit company, Oké USA. Jonathan now consults on fair trade issues.
FROM CONCEPTS TO REALITY
Jonathan frequently works with visionaries and leaders who are at an early stage in project or organizational development, helping them to translate concepts into full-fledged operations. He acts as a listener, supporter, collaborator or innovator, according to the needs of the client. His services include business plans, concept papers and branding projects for startups and expansions, creative capital-raising strategies, research and feasibilities studies, and guidance for new and existing cooperatives.
CONTRIBUTING TO THE MOVEMENT
The author of numerous articles and a book contributor, Jonathan is a frequent speaker at colleges and fair trade events. In addition, he’s an emeritus board member of Root Capital, an informal advisor to Fair Trade Judaica, Prosperity Candle and many other fair trade networks, organizations and companies and a founding member of Watertown Local First.
Jonathan is married to Ora Grodsky. They live near Boston, Massachusetts (USA) with their two daughters.
“Jonathan es una persona con una visión clara que ha revolucionado la vida de mucha gente en nuestros pobres paises para contribuir a cambiar la vida de quienes historicamente han estado en desventaja y por supuesto, con sus iniciativas y ejemplo tambien ha contribuido a cambiar la perspectiva en el mundo desarrollado.
Todo esto lo ha logrado fiel y firme a sus principios y valores, prefiriendo salir atropellado antes que atropellar; prefiriendo humillarse antes que ser soberbio; prefiriendo replegarse antes que imponerse....esta ha sido nuestra lucha, nuestro estandarte, nuestra mistica. Es como un espejo donde se refleja toda esta integridad suya y es el modelo que sigo, mas aun en los momentos que necesito de esa fuerza que el inyecta.
-Rosario Castellon, co-founder PRODECOOP