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8. Hannah Jones

VP of Sustainable Business and Innovation, Nike

  • 01 /03
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  • 03 /03

"I didn't expect to go into business," concedes Hannah Jones, 42. A philosophy major who did a stint on pirate radio, she says she joined Nike's sustainability team to test whether it was "more effective to shout from the outside or work from the inside." Her conclusion: The creative combination of both is the most potent. She has paired Nike with NASA and venture capitalists to address water shortages; with Creative Commons to launch GreenXchange, a platform for companies to share green intellectual property; and with PopTech to create an Open Collaboration Lab for scientists and engineers. "We need to get to a place," Jones says, "where businesses leverage renewable energy, do not produce waste, and have clean water coming in and clean water coming out."