Paula Daniels is an award-winning social entrepreneur and Ashoka Fellow with a deep history in food and water policy. She’s the founder of the Center for Good Food Purchasing, a nationwide program that uses the power of procurement at large public institutions to create a transparent and equitable food system that prioritizes the health and well-being of people, animals, and the environment. They are currently partnered with 18 cities and 40 large public institutions, impacting more than 2.2 million meals a day and something on the order of a billion dollars of institutional food spending each year.
Before her work on the Center for Good Food Purchasing, Paula’s worked as an attorney and then senior official in the city and state governments in Los Angeles and California. She was a senior advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a commissioner on the LA Department of Public Works, California Water Commission, and the California Coastal Commission. Among a litany of recognition for the leadership in food and water policy, in 2018 she was chosen as a global Ashoka Fellow, which is an extremely prestigious award for social entrepreneurs.
In this conversation, we discuss:
- the origin of the Good Food Purchasing program and the story of how it came to be over an 8 year period
- thinking about problems & systems holistically
- how to design solutions to problems you see
- collaborate with people very diff to get important things done
- how businesspeople should think about approaching government
- always being on edge of own becoming
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