Our Story

In January 2012 OSC² co-founders, Ahmed Rahim, Founder and CEO of Numi Organic Tea and Lara Dickinson, natural products industry executive, discussed the need for a community of sustainable leaders who work together to have a positive effect on the natural products industry and on our environment. They observed, that while there were many sustainably minded trade organizations, few mission-driven company leaders gathered on a regular basis to solve the toughest problems facing our planet.

And so we gathered a group of 7 prospective charter members together in July of 2012 at Lara’s home in Piedmont, CA. In our time together we mapped out our mission and theory of change to become OSC², One Step Closer to an Organic and Sustainable Community.

How did we come up with this name?

Well over 13 years earlier, industry newcomers, Ahmed Rahim, Chris Mann, and Frederick Schilling gathered over drinks at Expo West and talked about working together. They wanted to create positive change beyond their own companies by building a powerful extended community. They called this community idea OSC²: One Step Closer to an Organic and Sustainable Community. No one could have dreamed of how successful each of these three industry entrepreneurs would become in the next decade. They each maintained their desire to grow their own companies, while also supporting a larger community committed to sustainable, transparent business.

What We Do

Gather as a member community
Core Chapter members
meet 8 times per year and Rising Star chapter members meet 6 times per year to work through tough business and industry challenges with a carefully facilitated agenda that involves thoughtful evaluation and meaningful connection.

Drive change through our impact programs, including:

Additional collaboratives are now forming around Organic Certification, GMO labeling, etc

Host dynamic talks and lectures for the larger natural products community. Our quarterly Future of Food Speaker Series features progressive industry leaders in conversation to share their insights and theories of change.

Build our legacy network of entrepreneurial leaders, thought leaders, and foundations that ensure that mission-driven companies thrive through our coalition work. We support new companies with sustainable missions to help create strong and successful business models.