Our November member highlight is Mark Chasan! Innevation Center member Mark Chasan is the CEO of Transformative, Inc., a consulting firm dedicated to helping socially and ecologically conscious entrepreneurs and innovators to get the resources they need to build impactful businesses. Transformative is also spearheading innovations in living systems technology and finance to accelerate the Regenerative Economy. We spoke to Mark about his entrepreneurial pursuits and his dedication to the Regenerative Economy.
Mark is a digital media pioneer, having founded eMusic, the first digital music distribution company, in 1995. eMusic merged with Goodnoise, Inc. and the combined company went public on the NASDAQ. Mark also founded Webcentral, one of the first companies offering web development, co-hosting and co-location facilities in the US, which was acquired by Interworld Communications in 1997.
After his successful entrepreneurial pursuits, Mark became a leader in IBM’s digital media consulting division. He then co-founded and managed a number of technology funds that accelerated the growth of early-stage companies and provided corporate services such as mergers & acquisitions and business integration.
Leveraging his experience in law, finance, and entrepreneurship, Mark founded Transformative in 2005 with the commitment to help eco-social entrepreneurs get resources they need to succeed, such as financing, technology and capital assets.
Mark’s inspiration for founding Transformative came from, in Mark’s own words, “(1) witnessing the destruction of natural beauty, the ecosystems that sustain life and the toxicity of industry at a very early age, and (2) the widely supported scientific evidence that human activities are a significant cause of climate change and a substantial contributor of the potential Sixth Mass Extinction.” According to Mark, “The planet will be fine without us. We can’t save the planet, but we can save humankind by serving the planet.” This will require us to urgently transform our society and economy from an “Industrial Age Society” to a Regenerative Society devoted to the thriving of people and planet.
As much of our economy (and consumption) is built around products with built-in obsolescence that ends up in the waste stream, Mark believes that “we need to change our economy from destructive and wasteful to regenerative and value-adding.” This includes localizing the supply chain, consuming less, insisting on built-to-last products, accelerating renewable energy and materials, adopting circular manufacturing, and building a sharing economy.
Outside of work, Mark enjoys the outdoors with activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and surfing. He is also a musician and plays the drums when he can find time.