Listen to On Leading
Blake Jones is the visionary co-founder and recent President/CEO of Namasté Solar, a Colorado-based renewable energy company that has been the recipient of numerous national awards including Inc. Magazine’s Top Small Company Workplace and Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Brilliant Companies. Also a top-rated certified B Corp recognized for their innovative businesses practices, Namasté Solar made headlines in 2011 when they officially converted to a worker-owned cooperative, which means that each worker owns an equal voting share in the company. With 160 workers, they are now one of the larger worker-owned cooperatives in the United States.
Namasté Solar knows that investing in solar energy means investing in the long-term health of communities and the environment. The company is aptly named since “namasté” is the Sanskrit word for honoring interdependence or oneness, and Namasté Solar’s operating principles reflect a deep respect for people and the planet. As a cooperative, Namasté Solar proudly chose co-ownership over hierarchy; democratic decision-making over centralized leadership; sustainable growth over aggressive expansion; and collaboration over competition. All workers are encouraged to contribute their unique gifts and perspectives to the company’s success.
Blake himself began his career as a civil, design, and field engineer for a subsidiary of Halliburton helping to develop oil and gas refineries around the Middle East. When he made the bold choice to leave the field and dedicate his life to implementing renewable energy technologies, he moved to Asia to be the Engineering and Service Manager at Lotus Energy, a Nepal-based renewable energy company. In 2004, he returned to Colorado to co-found Namasté Solar with two other partners.
For his work with Namasté Solar, Blake was named Entrepreneur of the Year for the Rocky Mountain Region by Ernst & Young and one of Denver’s 50 Most Influential People. In this podcast, Blake reflects on his experience in the oil and gas industry and the role of empathy in bridging divides for a sustainable future of clean energy. He also explains how Namasté Solar practices restorative leadership to advance prosperity for all.
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Invest in Collective Wellbeing
Namasté Solar’s mission is to propagate the responsible use of solar energy, pioneer conscientious business practices, and create holistic wealth for ourselves and our community.
At the close of the twentieth century, corporate capitalism extended its reach over the globe. While its defenders argue that globalization is the only way forward for modern democratic societies, the spread of this system is failing to meet the most basic needs of billions of individuals around the world. Humanizing the economy through mechanisms such as co-operatives builds the foundations of healthy societies, caring communities, and personal well-being.