Q & A with Triple Pundit Founder and Presidio Alumnus, Nick Aster (C2)


By Theresa Fremon (C17)

Published 10.4.12

Theresa Fremon recently had the opportunity to interview Nick Aster,  (C2) Presidio Alumnus and founder of Triple Pundit.

Theresa Fremon: What are the values behind what you do?

Nick Aster: Well, Triple Pundit came out of the Presidio Graduate School experience. While at PGS, I saw a missing link, plus tension and blame, between business, environmental, and social action communities. So, I would say it’s the conversational-bridge-building-solution-seeking value that started Triple Pundit. At that time, there was very little media talking about the triple bottom line, and I had experience blogging and publishing, so it was logical to start a website. The name “Triple Pundit” refers to the triple bottom line, which some people don’t get right away, but that’s the core of how it started.

TF: How is Triple Pundit adaptable and resilient?

NA: We have an organic growth model. Triple Pundit started “bare bones” as my personal blog, which cost nothing to create. We now have a team of multi-talented people, who wear different hats and react and change quickly, all with very little overhead cost. Triple Pundit is synonymous with Presidio Graduate School in that we see business and policy as solutions, not problems. The idea that we are in it for the long haul makes us resilient.


TF: What are the greatest needs of the Triple Pundit community?

NA: Resources and sounding boards for success on issues we care about, for example, jobs and tools for social entrepreneurship. Triple Pundit provides tips, CSR reporting, GRI Certification Courses… I’ll add a shameless plug for our certification course, October 11-12 in SF (PGS students receive a discount), for folks looking for training to be taken seriously as change agents at large companies.

TF: If Triple Pundit achieved its utmost goals and dreams, what would be next?

NA: There is no utmost goal, this is life! [laughs] Regardless, Triple Pundit wants a presence in the media as a catalyst for conversation on sustainability and business, indefinitely.

TF: How can Presidio Graduate School and Triple Pundit help each other?

NA:  We have a very long and close relationship with Presidio Graduate School, it is our origin. We are invested in the success of the school and hope the feeling is mutual. There are lots of opportunities for students here, and we hope that is well known. For example, students are encouraged to be guest writers at Triple Pundit. The best thing to do for your personal brand is write, whether in your own blog, or easier, at Triple Pundit. Practice communicating ideas and branding yourself as a thought leader. If someone Googles your name, and your writing and powerful thoughts come up on the search, that can be as important as any other thing on your resume. Also, we give conference guest passes to students with writing experience who are willing to cover the event. This is a top-notch way to get your name out since it involves arranging interviews with important people. Check out the side bar on the website, which has discount codes, it’s very useful! To help Triple Pundit, students could read and share our articles on social media, and be active students in general.

TF: How can Presidio students make PGS more significant for each other and surrounding community?

NA: Study hard and stay in school! [laughs] Be visible by blogging, writing, using the Presidio name and being present in your community. Use effective and cost-effective marketing. Get in touch with alumni; PGS is still a relatively small community, so take extra efforts to connect and expand. Plan social events, and keep alumni under that umbrella. Be a maven for the principles of this school and the school itself. Some Presidio recent grads made a company called “Chirp”… they make protein bars with crickets, to promote insects as food. It’s radical, but also hip and trendy. So I bought a box and gave them out! Support each other, or at the very least give constructive criticism.

TF: On behalf of myself and fellow Presidians: Thank you, Nick for your insightful and fun advice!

You can contact Theresa via email at Theresa.Fremon@presidio.edu

Read more about Nick: QuarterWaters, GreenWala, ClubOfPioneers, Ecouterre

Theresa Fremon (C17)

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