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The robust discussions resulted in a working group of 10 lawyers including attorneys from large firms, smaller firms law firm, academics, nonprofit attorneys, and foundation attorneys who kicked off a multi-year effort to create a new statute for social enterprise.
In 2009, we published a draft of a new law and distributed it to 300 social entrepreneurs, organizations, thought leaders, and incubators, and received comments from many.
One of the thought leaders in social enterprise law in California, and co-author of the FPC (flexible purpose corporation) law is R. Todd is a Partner at Jones Day and is the Practice Leader of the Energy group of the firm where he focuses on Renewable Energy and Sustainability.
Todd has had a lengthy career serving social entrepreneurs, having represented companies such as Sun Power, Embrace Technologies, Good Guide, Labor Fair.com, as well as Grameen Trust, and advising companies like Good Capital, Global Giving, and B Labs during his 25 year career at Jones Day. Innov8Social had a chance to speak with Todd Johnson about his vision for the intersection of law, policy, and social enterprise; as well as the story behind California’s flexible purpose corporation.
Not only was it the 6th state to pass benefit corporation legislation, it was also the first state to pass flexible purpose legislation—-in the same legislative term.
The governor didn’t comment on any of the vetoes, except for this one—he told the bill’s sponsor that he wanted a better bill, and wanted CA to be a leader.
I convened a meeting at our SF offices in Fall 2008.
Entrepreneurs were forced to choose between being a “for-profit” or a “not-for-profit,” terms loaded with baggage of what entities should and should not do. Companies such as Salesforce championed a 1-1-1 model and other corporations, often spurred by institutional investors, adopted strong environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) measures.
These innovations moved the for-profit model more toward a company doing good rather than merely minimizing harm. Companies like Google already had standing mottos of doing the least harm (i.e.
In response, we made changes to the proposed legislation and prepared an FAQ to explain the changes made and those that were not made in response to comments.