Who am I?

I help emerging and innovative companies who are making an impact on this world become more successful.  I am especially passionate about helping companies that are motivated to make the world a more sustainable place and develop safer consumer products. I am a former sustainability / compliance software entrepreneur, urban planner / environmental designer, and antitrust / consumer rights litigation attorney.  I bring my clients fifteen years of professional experience in understanding our world from a critical and creative perspective.

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Joanna Malaczynski

Educational Background

  • University of Michigan Law School, Juris Doctor

  • UC Berkeley, Master of Landscape Arch & Environ Planning

  • University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts in Economics

how I got here

I founded DESi Potential based on my passion for seeing true innovation implemented in the marketplace.  For me, innovation is about building a better world and increasing our prosperity while solving our local, regional and global problems. I left a successful career in antitrust law some years ago with the belief that I could help solve our greatest social, economic, and environmental challenges with my brains. I learned over time that throwing a bunch of bright people together to work on a problem is insufficient to solve it. A bit wiser, I speculated that if lack of brains was not the key, then surely financing and the economics were the missing piece. This also proved to be insufficient. Over the years of working on complex challenges as a software entrepreneur, designer, and attorney, I realized that the greatest obstacle to solving our social, environmental and economic problems lies in our mental and economic models, which shape the framework of our reality.

My personal journey through entrepreneurship was motivated by my interest in helping companies eliminate toxic chemicals from their products. I had the good fortune of working on Proposition 65 private enforcement actions as an attorney, and this is how I got interested in the topic. Proposition 65 is a California law that requires companies to put a warning label on their products if they contain chemicals recognized under California law to cause cancer. While some progressive companies have taken steps to clean up the chemicals in their products by working with their supply chain, most companies still make choices about what stays and what goes based on a cost-benefit analysis. That is, even if a chemical is toxic, it stays if it improves the performance of the product so long as the harm done to consumers falls sufficiently under the radar to make the venture profitable.

Encouraged by new regulations that would change all this (California’s Safer Consumer Product Regulations), I started an environmental compliance software company called EcoValuate. Unfortunately these regulations politically collapsed upon themselves, and we pivoted our software tool into a sustainability tool. You can learn more about EcoValuate and other examples of my work below.


Examples of My Work

Click on any project to learn more about it.