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Building Products with Purpose

Podcast host Tania Salarvand | Podcast guest Natalie Hollier
September 12, 2019 | 15 min 41 sec

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Brief summary

Natalie Hollier, Global Head of Product Innovation at Thoughtworks, explores building products with purpose and what we can do as individuals and organizations to build more responsible businesses as a force for good for the world. If you are a business or tech leader who understands that solving societal and environmental challenges is key to connecting with your employees and customers, this is the podcast for you.


The triple bottom line approach looks at people, planet and profit. So traditionally businesses have purely looked at profit and the financial and economic model. A triple bottom line approach looks at what's the impact to society and also what's the impact to the environment, and how can we benefit all three.

One of the things that's critical for any organization to succeed in the digital era is to have really excellent technology talent and great digital teams. What we see today is that great talent is looking for cultures of innovation, learning and testing with real customers, as well as companies with exciting missions, that are really helping to do some good in the world, and not just create more revenue. 

There’s been a trend and a shift in the industry from social and environmental responsibility being tacked on as an afterthought or as an initiative within an organization to social and environmental values and sustainability becoming core to the business and actually helping to drive innovation and to drive engagement to engage customers as well as employees.

One of the things that executives can do to have the most impact is actually just to make a statement around supporting social and environmental values. And if the leaders of the company do that, that then gives permission to others in the organization to have their work follow on with those principles.

Challenging the status quo this helps us be really innovative as we're thinking about what we build and what products and services we bring into the world

It's not enough to execute something great and be first to market. Whoever has the best user experience and customer experience will capture that market share.

Organizations are starting to benchmark and evaluate where they are at today, in terms of impact. From there they can make a plan and set goals and try to improve. But they can't do that until they understand the situation. And so that's a very important first step.

Products with Purpose is a meetup, based in New York, but hosted on live streams for people to join from anywhere around the world. The goal of the meetup is to share tools and techniques and methods for anyone who's interested to incorporate social and environmental values into their work. We bring in presenters from a range of different industries and backgrounds.

One of the things that I see right now, is organizations actually not being ambitious enough and not setting high enough targets. And so when you have an organization that doesn't make as large commitments as their peers, they face a lot of pushback from their employees, customers and from investors.

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