The Butterfly Effect

In the complex world of business—much like in nature—even the smallest, seemingly inconsequential change can ignite overwhelmingly significant impact. Science has coined this concept The Butterfly Effect, so named after the idea that the flapping of a butterfly's wings could set off a ripple effect that influences a large-scale chain of events. Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), founder of Interface, Inc., was such a force.

As an impassioned entrepreneur, Ray turned his company's focus toward environmental stewardship and never looked back. This seemingly small change distinguished him as the radical industrialist who would usher in a new age of industrial sustainability and inspire others to break institutional inertia and innovate a brighter world together.

In his 2009 TED talk, Ray shares his story of how he turned the traditional "take / make / waste" industrial system on its head while building a profitable manufacturing company. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.