A systems ecologist and business strategist with nearly 40 years experience in business, communications, and environmental innovation, Friend combines broad business experience with unique content experience spanning strategy, systems ecology, economic development, management cybernetics, and public policy. Tomorrow magazine called him “One of the country’s leading environmental management consultants—a real expert who combines theoretical sophistication with hands-on, in-the-trenches know-how.”
He is a founding board member of the Sustainable Business Alliance, Sustainable Berkeley, and the California Sustainable Business Council and serves on the executive board of OpenEco.org and the advisory boards of CleanFish, WattBot, Green World Campaign, and (past) San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Clean Tech Advisory Council. Friend served in the California Governor’s Ofﬁce, developing early sustainability policies and programs, was a founding board member of Internet pioneer Institute for Global Communications, was founder and Executive Director of Foundation for the Arts of Peace, and was cofounder and codirector of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a leading urban ecology and economic development “think-and-do tank,” where he pioneered the current “green roof” trend more than 35 years ago.
Friend lectures widely on business strategy and sustainability issues and writes The New Bottom Line, offering strategic perspectives on business and environment. He has contributed chapters to several books, including Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century, Sustainable Enterprise Report, Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook, Sustainable Food Systems, and Stepping Stones, and is the author of the forthcoming books The Truth About Green Business and Proﬁt on Purpose: Risk, Fiduciary Duty and the Laws of Nature.
He holds an M.S. degree in systems ecology from Antioch University, has a black belt in Aikido, and is a seasoned practitioner of “The Natural Step” environmental management system.