Russ Stoddard, Markus Kessler Launch Social Purpose Consultancy

Oct 18, 2018



If you follow Oliver Russell on social media, you may have noticed a certain German guest hanging around our office for the past few months. He supplies us with Guru Donuts, borrows the office bicycles often, and pays for his desk space in delicious Bavarian chocolate or handmade pencils made from used clothing (more on that later).

That guest is Markus Kessler, and you can expect to see a lot more of him around Boise since this week he and our agency’s fearless leader, Russ Stoddard, officially launched a new business brainchild, Humanista. Humanista is a social purpose consulting firm that serves clients across the globe as they implement tangible policies for social purpose strategies into daily practices.

Humanista Logo Black@2X

Russ and Markus are quite the kindred spirits (they’ve even been spotted accidentally wearing matching flannel shirts), and their experience in business is complementary. Russ has founded five social enterprises and four nonprofits in the past 30 years, and Markus formerly led one of Europe's largest private-label manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products. Markus currently advises and is an investor in several startup social enterprises that make sustainable packaging as an alternative to plastic and construction materials from textiles, including Eco Vision and manaomea GmbH.

“Humanista will help leaders integrate social purpose into the core of their organizations,” said Russ. “Markus and I bring 30 years of real-world experience running organizations large and small and building socially responsible companies from the ground up.” 

“I want to take the CSR movement to the next level, removing it from a siloed cottage industry filled with jargon to something all employees can embrace and fully understand,” said Markus. “That starts at the top, with the CEO, but Russ is one of the few CEOs I’ve ever met who really lives that.”

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With leaders like Russ and Markus, Humanista will work with companies, cities, and investors, well beyond the boardroom. The consulting firm owns and partners with several social enterprise labs, including PlasticWorks, Oliver Russell’s new plastic upcycling factory. These labs will allow clients to see firsthand what social purpose and sustainability looks like in action, and the economic opportunity presented by the circular economy.

Services offered by Humanista will include:

  • Social impact education and corporate training
  • CEO coaching
  • Raising capital for social enterprises
  • Strategic partnerships for collective impact
  • Impact investing
  • Interactive workshops
  • Speaking engagements

“We’re both really excited about where this venture will take us,” said Russ. “Changing the world through business is our passion, and at this moment in history, it is a more important calling than ever."