Published on May 18, 2020

Wednesday Evening Lecture Series

$8 Members • $10 Nonmembers

Our Wednesday Evening Lecture series is going virtual—same time, different place! Now you can enjoy lectures by fascinating speakers on a variety of topics from the safety and comfort of your home. What's more, lectures are also going weekly.

Registered participants will receive an email invitation with a meeting link. We'll also send you information that walks you through some ground rules and how to join an online meeting.

May 20 • 7:30–8:30 pm

"Coffee, Birds, Social Responsibility, & Profitability"

Register Online >

Dean Cycon, founder of Dean's Beans, with coffee farmers
Dean Cycon (center) with coffee farmers

Dean Cycon has had over 40 years of experience in community development and activism, both at home and abroad, as the CEO and founder of Dean's Beans Organic Coffee Company—his socially-responsible business focused on fair trade, shade-grown coffee.

A New York environmental lawyer turned Massachusetts entrepreneur, Dean works with 20,000 shade coffee farmers in 12 countries all over the world, including Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, and Peru.

Shade coffee farms provide rich winter habitat for many of the migratory birds we see in New England in our warmer months. And by working directly with farmers, Dean is able to create relationships with farming communities while supporting "people-centered development." This type of development involves working in partnership with communities to both identify roadblocks in reaching their development goals and jointly design programs to meet those goals. 

Dean's Beans accomplishes this social responsibility while distributing shade-grown coffee to 40 states and taking in $4.5 million in annual sales. The company's relationships with farmers has inspired much larger companies—including Starbucks—to seek advice on how to better structure their own relationships with farmers.

"I created a business model for social change that can still be profitable as a model for other organizations to follow," Dean says. "It's not about making millions of dollars and being the next Starbucks. It's about being a business that behaves like a moral force in the universe."

Registration closes at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, May 20. 

Additional Information

Mass Audubon uses the Microsoft Teams platform for online programs. In order to fully participate, you will need a laptop or desktop computer with a camera, microphone, and speakers. It's possible to use a tablet, but functionality for participating will be reduced.

Teams meetings can be accessed using the Google Chrome web browser, which is free to downloadPlease note that Firefox and Safari web browsers don't work with Teams.