Santiago Roberts is an MBA from Babson working with Spend Consciously this summer.

Santiago Roberts is an MBA from Babson working with Spend Consciously this summer.

Have you ever stopped to consider how was it possible to pay $15 for a pair of jeans made on the opposite side of the earth? Or 30 cents for a banana that comes from a remote village in the Caribbean? Or $72 for a smartphone that has gone through dozens of hands?  You would probably attribute it to the power of industrialization and economies of scale…but I would counter that it’s actually the power of not paying the real costs of things. Call them negative externalities, environmental or social costs. Call them climate change, or modern slavery, call them whatever name you want, but you can't keep on ignoring them.  Yes, technology and economies of scale have definitely had a great impact in decreasing the costs of products, but for any mind with the ability to reason, the current price of things must at least ring a bell that there must be costs that we are not paying. And nothing comes for free forever.

I’m an MBA fellow at Inspiring Capital, participating in the summer internship program. I’m currently a Babson College MBA student, and an Environmental Scientist from Argentina. Also, I’m kind of a writer (In 2015 I published my first fantasy novel). I’m a brother of seven, I have 16 nieces and nephews, a bunch of really great friends, and a girlfriend that I love dearly.  “And why are you telling me all this about you?” you may ask. Because, as with people, I think products cannot be considered or valued just on one aspect (usually price). We as people are much more than just one thing (MBA, Engineer, teacher…ext.). We are a collection of experiences, circumstances, choices, and people that surround us, and products should also be looked in that collective and holistic way.

This summer I’m working with Spend Consciously, a clever proposal that is trying to give consumers the tools to start addressing this problem. A creation of Matthew Colbert (and his 15 years of experience in politics and tech), Spend Consciously will provide all the information consumers need to be able to choose the products and brands that align with their values. This is a fundamental necessity to foster the needed change in consumerism. We need this information in order to be able to make decisions, but sometimes the amount of information can be overwhelming. Spend Consciously’s platform will enable consumers to have instant, summarized and neutral information for each product or brand, just a scan of a barcode away.

I’m super excited to be a part of this project, a platform that addresses one of the biggest problems our time. I hope that you will use it, and become an agent for change.  


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