Howard Schultz - Showcasing Everyday Activism in "Upstanders"

September 8, 2016 - Howard Schultz 09/08/2016 Views: 10,775

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz discusses "Upstanders," the company 's digital series that highlights individuals working to create a positive change in their communities. (5:55)

Watch Full Episode

Please welcome Howard Schultz.

-♪ -(cheering and applause)

Welcome. Thank youso much for being here.

First of all, I haveto apologize, Howard.

Uh... I got your nameon your cup written wrong.

We were trying to write...

And I don't knowwho did that.

I don't even knowhow that happens.

I'm so sorry. I, uh,I really don't know...

-No-no problem, Trevor.No problem. -That's just a...

a horrible, horrible mistakethat happened.


Welcome to the show.Welcome to the show.

Thank you for being here.

Um, so let'sjump straight into it.

I wa-want to go backfor a second.

I mean, you... you areat the-the head of, honestly,

one of the most recognizableand successful franchises

in the world.Uh, you're also responsible for,

I guess, most of the excitementin the world

between the hours of, like,6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

We-we try our best.

Let's-let's talk about,uh, politics and the world

and everything thatStarbucks is involved in,

because it would be so easyfor a company like Starbucks

to just be involvedin making coffee, making money.

-Yeah. -But it always seemslike you hear Starbucks

involved in other conversations.For instance,

there was the whole debacle,I guess, around, uh,

Starbucks being involvedin conversations around race,

which went horribly wrong.

I-I'm not so sure about that.

I mean, I don't thinkit was a debacle.

We are still talking about it.And, certainly,

there is a great needin this country

to be talking about raceand race relations

and what still is going onin most communities in America.

A lot of people don't wantto talk about the hardships

going on in America. And, um,what I loved about the series

that-that Starbuckshas really come out with is...

Upstanders. It's an original series

that Starbucks has created, um,

I guess, showcasing peoplewho are doing amazing things.

First question is why? Secondquestion is what inspired it?

Well, given the... the backdropof this political season,

and the lack of civility,the lack of respect,

how vitriolic it's been,I think...

You would, you would thinkthat the-the country

-is completely going south.-Yeah.

That's not the case.

There are great,ordinary Americans

doing extraordinary things.

We want those stories to be toldand we think it could be

catalytic as a... and emblematicof what we can do as Americans.

And not just point our finger atWashington, wait on Washington,

when, in fact, great peopleare doing things that

are just unbelievableand some of them are here today.

As a, as a, as the CEOof-of Starbucks,

it's funny you-you talk aboutcorporations doing their bit.

You talk about ordinarycitizens, uh, doing their bit.

What's interesting is that youfound a way to merge the two.

I-I think we actuallyhave a clip of, uh,

one of the fascinating stories.

-Let's-let's, uh, let's havea look. -Thank you.

SCHULTZ: For a generation,

good people working in food banks

have thrown away food.

Maria was the first person I met

that went about actually solving the problem

of that internal food waste

within the hunger-fighting movement.

MARIA: We're now working with more

than 800 individual organizations in 45 states.

We're helping move thousands of pounds of food a month,

both from retailers and in between food pantries.

Food that otherwise would haveended up in the trash.

That's amazing.

-That is absolutely amazing.-(cheering and applause)

Maria, Maria's actually here.

Maria's actually herein the audience.

-Thank you, Maria, for coming.(cheering and applause)

SCHULTZ:And today's her birthday.

NOAH:That is...

You know... you know, I...

and this, honestly, this is nota joke, not saying this...

that is one of the biggestthings that I have always

grappled with is food wastage.

And one out of six Americansare food insecure.

And Maria is trying to solvethat problem.

It's-it's fantastic.

Thank... I mean, congratulationsto both of you

-for teaming up on this.-(cheering and applause)

I've always been fascinatedby something.

In America, corporations,I guess, due to lobbying,

and-and all of the institutionsaround it,

it seems like corporationshave a lot more power

than they do in other places,uh, you know, around the world.

You talk about using your powerto influence what's happening

on the ground, but is thatsomething that a company

like Starbucks looks to doat a higher level?

So you go, we don't only lookto Washington,

but is that something that youas a CEO go,

"I have to actually try and getthese people

to change the world"?

I think there is a growingresponsibility for businesses

and business leadersto recognize

that we need to do more.

We need to take careof our people,

we need to serveour communities.

I mentioned to you earlier

that we just came backfrom Johannesburg.


We opened in South Africa.

And I was sitting with a younggroup of South Africans,

many of whom have never hada job before.

And I kept hearing a word.

I know you're gonna know thisimmediately.

And I didn't knowwhat the word meant.

I heard it over and over,and finally I said,

"What does that mean?"

And they told me.


Ubuntu. Yes.

And-and that word that-thatNelson Mandela used,

about "I am because of you."


So I think that the countryand the world

is in dire need of humanity.

Dire need of civilityand respect.

And ubuntu embodies that.

It really, it really does.

Um, not only is it about ubuntu, it's about stepping up.

It's about saying something.

You've done what most don't,I guess.

You came out and you, uh,endorsed Hillary Clinton,

which is a, uh, a strange move.

-I mean...-You think so?

No, no, no, I mean...

I mean as a, as a personwho's in corporate...

A lot of people will go,"Hey, I stay out of it.

"I'll see what...I'm just a coffee guy.

"I don't get involved,I don't get...

"You want it black,you want it white.

"It's up to you, man.

-It's up to you."-(laughing)

You could easily stay out of it,but-but you stepped in.

You said something publicly;why?

Because this is probably

the most important electionof my lifetime,

and she-- I believe--the most qualified candidate

to be the Presidentof the United States.

(cheering and applause)

As simple as that.

Thank you so much for beinghere, sir.

Thank you for everythingthat you're doing.

Thank you.