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New Company Offers ‘No-Skim’ Fundraising Tools To Nonprofits

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Social venture CommitChange has developed a new fundraising platform for nonprofits that doesn’t rely on collecting a percentage of funds raised, potentially netting nonprofits with a higher percentage of total donations.

The venture has garnered investments from power investors Mark Cuban, Tim Draper, Adam Draper and 500 Startups. Chris Sinton, founder of Network for Good and StartOut, has also invested and joined the board.

“We’ve decided to make all of our core technology available for free to help bolster charitable giving in the United States. We are also eliminating donation skimming as a business model and we will never profit by taking a percentage of donations,” said Roderick Campbell, CEO and Co-Founder of CommitChange.

Tim Draper, founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, said “a non-profit without CommitChange risks becoming a dinosaur.”

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 7:00 Eastern, Sinton and Campbell will join me for a live conversation about serving the nonprofit fundraising community. Tune in here then to watch the live interview.

[At the time of the interview, I will insert a video player here. Bookmark this page and come back then to watch the interview live. Replays will be available here thereafter.]

More about CommitChange:

CommitChange provides nonprofits with a full suite of integrated fundraising tools, which can be managed from a single platform. This tightly integrated solution eliminates the need for data consolidation, significantly reduces labor costs, and can provide an unprecedented level of understanding about a nonprofit’s supporters. CommitChange significantly reduces the time it takes to perform common tasks and eliminates the 2-3 weeks of training required to operate competing systems. CommitChange also requires no setup or customization, and can be deployed in minutes.

More about Network for Good:

Network for Good is an online fundraising platform for charities and non-profit organizations. The company was founded in 2001 by America Online, Cisco Systems and Yahoo! and has processed over $1 billion in donations since inception.

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Airline Upcycles Seats To Benefit Kenyan Kids, Environment

Southwest Airlines has launched a sustainability initiative called “LUV Seat: Repurpose with Purpose” to upcycle leather seat coverings, keeping them out of landfills, so as to create opportunities for people in Kenya.

The pilot project began with 43 acres of leather seating materials and works in partnership with local nonprofits. Readers can comment on Facebook with the hashtag #LUVSeat,

Marilee McInnis, a Southwest Airlines Spokesperson, noted:

In Nairobi, Kenya (the project’s pilot location), SOS Children’s Villages Kenya, the primary non-profit partner that serves orphaned children and families in need, along with Alive & Kicking, Masaai Treads, and Life Beads Kenya, will use the leather to produce goods for distribution to local community groups.

Through the partnership, SOS youth will receive paid apprenticeships and training to make shoes and soccer balls from the leather. When completed, the shoes will be distributed as part of an anti-jigger campaign. The upcycled soccer balls will be donated to support education programs that use sports to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and Malaria prevention.

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at noon Eastern, Marilee, along with Scott Hamlin, CEO of Looptworks; Amanda Eisen, Director of Corporate Partnerships for SOS Children’s Villages; and Silvia Tonui, Programme Director at What’s Good Studios will join me for a live discussion about the impact of their work on people and the environment.

More about Looptworks:

Creativity is everywhere. We transform neglected excess into fresh products that outfit your gadgets to take on life, giving you freedom to #CreateWhereYouWant.

Looptworks is an innovative design brand that creates remarkable products, like bags, digital carrying devices and clothing, using premium excess materials. By pioneering progressive design and manufacturing methods, rescuing unused textiles, and by producing quality products, Looptworks has saved over 40 million gallons of water. Paving the path for a more sustainable production industry, Looptworks is committed to using only materials that already exist, and is partnering with major retailers and brands, to transform excess into excellence.


Scott’s bio:

Scott Hamlin, a passionate conservationist, is the co-founder of LOOPTWORKS, a Portland, Oregon based design brand that creates premium apparel, bags and mobile device accessories from high quality, upcycled materials.
LOOPTWORKS has partnered with Fortune 500 companies, such as Southwest Airlines, to apply forward thinking design to their excess materials and brand marketing tools. Its products are currently being sold into Apple, Apple specialty retailers, Patagonia stores, Colleges and Universities nationwide, with distribution in Japan, Canada and Australia. You can see their full product offering at
LOOPTWORKS has been featured on Oprah’s O list, the Today Show, NBC National News, The Guardian, Entrepreneur Magazine, Shape magazine, Fast Company Magazine, Real Simple, and many other blogs and websites. LOOPTWORKS has been named one of Entrepreneur Magazines top 100 Brilliant Companies and has won the Innovations in Supply Chain Sustainability by Sustainable Business Oregon.
Recognized as a thought leader in the emerging Circular Economy and sustainable capitalism, Hamlin has joined former Vice President and Nobel Peace Laureate, Al Gore on a panel as a pioneer of sustainable industries. He has served as the key note speaker at Temple University’s Social Entrepreneurship Conference, as well as speaking engagements at Harvard University, The Green Biz Forum, and many other Universities and Business Conferences in the US, Japan, and Brazil.
Hamlin and the Looptworks Team have been working with experts in textile recycling and textile science to work towards Looptworks’ ultimate goal, closed loop manufacturing.
In addition to running a growing company, Scott spends his free time with his wife and two kids enjoying surfing, biking, running, rock climbing, hiking and playing outdoors.

More about Southwest Air:

In its 44th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 45,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Based on the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Southwest is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2013 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at


Marilee’s bio:

Marilee McInnis is a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, the nation’s largest airline in terms of passengers carried. In addition to her reputation management and corporate communication duties, Marilee directs the airline’s Green initiatives, leads the “Green Team,” helps the Company put a Green filter on business decisions, and communicates and fosters sustainability for the Company. Marilee developed and spearheads the Company’s annual integrated reporting effort, the Southwest Airlines One Report™, which makes Southwest one of only a handful of U.S. companies publishing an integrated report and the subject of Harvard’s first case study on integrated reporting. Marilee was named by Fortune magazine as one of eight rising green stars at the world’s most admired companies.

Marilee is an honors journalism graduate of the University of North Texas.

More about SOS Children’s Villages:

SOS Children’s Villages creates stable, loving families for orphaned and abandoned children. We provide mothers who give individual attention and guidance to each child until they become an independent adult. We are raising over 82,000 children in over 500 villages across 133 countries, including the US. Through our outreach programs we impact the lives of over 1 million people each year.


Amanda’s bio:

Amanda Eisen is the Director, Corporate Partnerships for SOS Children’s Villages-USA, where she is responsible for managing mutually beneficial partnerships that support SOS Children’s Villages around the world while helping companies meet their CSR goals. Prior to joining SOS Children’s Villages in 2013, Amanda was Foundation and Corporate Relations Officer at The Wilderness Society, a national organization that worked to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Previously, she served as Director of Foundation and Corporate Giving for the Prospect Park Alliance in Brooklyn, NY. Amanda earned her B.A. in English from Vassar College. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys yoga, cooking, and knitting. Amanda lives in Hyattsville, MD with her husband, six-year-old daughter, and two cats.

More about What’s Good Studios:

What’s Good Studios is a creative hub kicking out innovative content for young, modern, urban Kenyans and for the rest of the world to enjoy. What’s Good Studios is the production partner for the Southwest Leather project: Repurpose with Purpose: Luv Seat


Silvia’s bio:

Silvia is the Kenyan Programme Co-ordinator on the ground. She is a marketer with over 6 years experience in Consumer and Trade Marketing in both South Africa and Kenya. She is part of the marketing team for What’s Good Studios. She is excited to be part of the Southwest Leather Programme and especially looking forward to transforming the lives of young women and men through the programme.

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New Program For Rooftop Solar Projects

This story was originally produced for

Mosiac, the leader in crowdfunding solar power projects, recently announced a program that provides homeowners with crowdfunded loans with operations and maintenance service contracts, giving them all the benefits of a lease with a simple to understand loan.

The loans can go for up to 20 years with no prepayment penalty and require no down payment.

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 6:00 Eastern, Mosaic CEO Daniel Rosen will join me for a live discussion about the new program. Tune in here then to watch live.


More about Mosaic:

Mosaic is America’s first peer-to-peer solar finance company and is enabling thousands of American people to profit from clean energy. Mosaic provides home solar loans to cover the up-front cost of solar ownership for homeowners and finances these loans by crowdsourcing investments from the public. 

Mosaic has been honored by Fast Company as a top ten most innovative company in energy for two consecutive years, by the Department of Energy as a SunShot Grant recipient, The Sierra Club as the Trailblazer Company of the Year, and Verizon Wireless as the top environmental winner for their Powerful Answers Awards. 

Dan’s bio:

Dan Rosen - Mosaic Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer 
Dan is a serial entrepreneur with 10 years of experience leading clean energy, green building and energy efficiency companies in rural Native American communities and Israel. He is an Unreasonable Institute fellow and Brower Youth Award winner. Dan has been been on Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 Energy List two times in recognition of his leadership on innovative ways of financing clean energy.

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Devin D. Thorpe

New Site Helps Small Businesses Raise Money In Local Communities

This story was originally produced for

Kevin Hitchen’s left J.P. Morgan to help launch Localstake, a crowdfunding site that facilitates investments in local businesses. The platform has successfully raised over $3 million for entrepreneurs in its first year of operation.

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Kevin will join me for a live discussion about the company and its focus on local investment crowdfunding. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.


More about LocalStake:

Localstake is an online investment crowdfunding platform that enables startup and small businesses to raise up to $1 million in funding from individual investors in the community. Our platform allows business owners to efficiently connect with and raise funding from local investors. Individual investors of all wealth backgrounds are able to access, review, and invest in local businesses with as little as $250,something many have never really been allowed to do before. After a business has achieved funding, they are then able to utilize our Localstake to keep investors updated and engaged with helping them grow and make an impact. Since our official launch in June of 2013, we have helped companies raise over $3MM from investors.


Kevin’s bio:

Kevin Hitchen is co-founder of the investment crowdfunding platform Localstake. Prior to founding Localstake, Kevin worked in investment management at the Indiana Public Retirement System and at J.P. Morgan It was at J.P. Morgan where he and a colleague first developed the idea for Localstake.
Kevin received his Bachelors of Science in Finance from Butler University. He holds the Series 7, 24, 79, and 66 securities licenses and is a CFA charterholder.

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Lumos Ends Teacher Technology Pain

This story was originally produced for

Lumos is an EdTech startup that has created a wireless hub to connect disparate classroom technologies of various vintages.

Not only is Lumos funding its launch through crowdfunding on Indiegogo, it has created a model that allows teachers to conduct their own micro-campaigns to raise the money to get a device in their classrooms.

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 3:00 Eastern, Lumos Founder Shane Cox will join me for a live discussion about the technology and the campaigns. Tune in here then.

This video provides a quick overview of Lumos for your reference.

More about Lumos:

At Lumos, we believe that technology can be a key to unlocking the natural curiosity that drives both educators and students, and fuels the desire to learn. A key that should be within reach of every school and district, not just the wealthy. We believe that teachers deserve more than hand-me-downs from the world of consumer electronics. Our team of educators and entrepreneurs are committed to creating simple and cost effective solutions to integrate technology in the classroom; beginning with our SmartHub, the world’s first Android powered wireless presentation system.


Shane’s bio:

Shane is a principal founder and CEO of LUMOS Technologies. He has established himself as a competent innovator and entrepreneur in the field of wireless technology and has been working in the field of education for over 5 years. Shane has built multiple successful businesses over the past decade. A few of these businesses include a regional wireless internet service, call tracking and marketing analytics software, and a hosted pbx phone system.

Prior to LUMOS, Shane was a principal founder and COO at Skywire Technologies, a technology integration firm servicing the charter school industry. His primary responsibilities were to design and oversee the installation of advanced technology systems in charter schools across the U.S. This technology includes wired and wireless networks, classroom A/V, paging, phone, and surveillance systems. He experienced firsthand the frustrations that educators and school administrators face in implementing technology. This experience is what drove Shane to create LUMOS. He wanted to give schools simple and cost ­effective solutions to incorporate technology in the classroom. As a father of three children with various learning needs, Shane’s passion is in creating tools that give educators the power to engage and interact with each student using the power of technology.

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CHOICE Claims Solution To Ending Poverty

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Dr. James Mayfield has spent much of his life working to end poverty and he thinks he’s got it figured out.

“Go to the people, live among the people, learn from the people, plan with the people, work with the people, start with what the people know, and build on what the people have,” he says.

In 1982, after years as an academic and a consultant, he helped found CHOICE Humanitarian, a nonprofit organization, to work actively to end poverty. CHOICE is working now in Nepal, Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia and Kenya.

The CHOICE model has three distinct phases:

  1. Organizing: All projects are village based and begin by having the village identify leaders and key community resources to build upon; this process can take up to one year.
  2. Mobilizing: The village, over the course of two to three years, develops and completes discrete projects with the help of local government leaders, NGOs and CHOICE resources; the key is what the village learns about completing projects and making change happen.
  3. Institution Building: After three or four years, the village begins to develop a stronger local economy and greater independence with better connections to the national government and national economy, allowing the village to carry on the work of lifting itself out of poverty.

In February 2015, I will be traveling with CHOICE on an expedition to Nepal to further the work of poverty eradication there. I’m excited to get see the work in action and to actually be a part of the solution to poverty.

On July 23, 2014 at 6:00 Eastern, Dr. Mayfield will join me for a live discussion about ending extreme poverty and the work of CHOICE Humanitarian. Tune in right here then to watch the interview live.

[At the time of the interview, I will insert a video player here. Bookmark this page and come back then to watch the interview live. Replays will be available here thereafter.]

More about Choice Humanitarian:

CHOICE Humanitarian believes in the value and dignity of all human beings. We are a nonprofit organization with more than 30 years experience working to end poverty in Bolivia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, and Nepal. We do this by empowering villagers to determine their own path for self-reliance, by building village leadership and by uniquely leveraging local and international investments. Working side-by-side, together we end poverty.

Dr. James Mayfield

Mayfield’s bio:

  • Co-founder, CHOICE Humanitarian
  • Author
  • Professor Emeritus ESC +0.44%, Public Administration & Middle East Studies, University of Utah
  • Consultant to governments in 15 Countries

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Prudential Promises To Build $1B Impact Portfolio

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

At a meeting of the U.S. Advisory Board and G7′s Social Impact Investing Taskforce at the White House last month, Prudential committed to build a $1 billion impact investment portfolio by 2020.

“Impact investing uses the power of markets to unleash private capital for public good. Done well, it can scale sustainable solutions to some of our toughest social challenges, such as affordable housing, clean energy, quality education, and workforce development,” said Matt Bannick, Co-Chair of the US National Advisory Board and Managing Partner at Omidyar Network, in a statement following the event. “Impact investing has been a part of the fabric of social and community development finance in the US for decades. But we have only begun to see a glimpse of its promise, and smart public policy will help us get where we need to be.”

Following the event, the National Advisory Board made several policy recommendations:

  1. Remove regulatory barriers
  2. Increase the effectiveness of government programs like the Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  3. Provide incentives for new impact investments
  4. Support social entrepreneurs
  5. Standardize impact metrics

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM, Ommeed Sathe, Director of Social Investments for Prudential, will join me for a live discussion about impact investing and the firm’s $1 billion commitment. Tune in here then to watch the interview.

[At the time of the interview, I will insert a video player here. Bookmark this page and come back then to watch the interview live. Replays will be available here thereafter.]

More about Prudential:

For more than 135 years, Prudential Financial, Inc., has helped individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth. Today, we are one of the world’s largest financial services institutions with operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. We also have one of the most recognized and trusted brand symbols: The Rock ®, an icon of strength, stability, expertise, and innovation.

We strive to create long-term value for our stakeholders through strong business fundamentals, consistent with our mission guided by our vision and directed by our company’s core values. We are committed to keeping our promises and to doing business the right way.

Sathe’s bio:

Ommeed is responsible for underwriting, origination, pipeline development and portfolio management activities. He also is director of the Newark Investment Fund, which provides investment resources to support the Strong Healthy Cities Initiative. Before joining Prudential in June 2011, Ommeed was director of real estate development for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, a quasi-public entity that alleviates blight, redevelops residential and commercial properties and implements crucial public projects in New Orleans. Previously, he was a real estate and land use attorney with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in New York City. Ommeed has an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and urban planning from Columbia University; a Masters degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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Educator Brings Innovation To Utah Valley

Luke Peterson returned to his alma mater three years ago, he came to drive social innovation in the community and beyond—not just on campus.

Luke graduated from Utah Valley University before attending Harvard’s Kennedy school and then took a series of jobs working in small town governments, before returning to Utah County. He’s become a driving force for social innovation there and his influence is extending.

He will be speaking at the Social Innovation and Crowdfunding Conference (#GoodCrowd14) on September 26, 2014.

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Luke will join me for a live discussion about his work. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.


Luke’s bio:

Luke Peterson is an expert in innovation, specializing in cross-sector partnerships and innovation. 
After receiving a B.A. in history from Utah Valley University, Luke completed a master’s in public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He then worked in local government management and economic development for the City of Davenport, Iowa, the Town of West Warwick, Rhode Island, and Wasatch County, Utah.

Luke returned to UVU in 2011 to direct the formation of cooperative partnerships between UVU and its external partners. Luke works with individual companies, nonprofits, communities, government agencies, and entire sectors to provide engaged learning opportunities for students and faculty while creating deep value for the university’s external partners. His current project is the development of the Innovation Academy at UVU — a center designed to teach the principles of design thinking, and opportunity identification to cross-sector teams of public, social, and private sector entrepreneurs.

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Activist Walks To End Poverty

Author Jordan Phoenix is so serious about saving the world that he’s walking from Canada to Mexico to bring attention to his work and to share his unique message of personal responsibility with everyone he meets.

Jordan created Project Free World to support projects that provide food, rights, education, and work to protect the environment.

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 2:00 Eastern, Jordan will join me from the road for a live discussion about his one-person crusade. Tune in here then to watch the interview.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about Project Free World:

Project Free World facilitates the creation of collaborative grassroots projects in order to provide the proper food, rights, education, and environment to every person on the planet. It aims to connect local changemakers who have similar passions and complimentary skill sets with the most effective ideas for social change being implemented worldwide.


Jordan’s bio:

Jordan Phoenix is an author, social entrepreneur, speaker, and scalability consultant. He is the founder of Project Free World, an organization that facilitates the creation of collaborative social innovation projects in order to provide the proper food, rights, education, and environment to every person on the planet.

His book, It’s All My Fault: How I Messed Up the World, and Why I Need Your Help to Fix It describes paradigm shifting ideas to address the biggest global challenges we face as a species; such as poverty, homelessness, and underemployment.

He also writes a personal development blog called Uncommon Sense for 21st Century Living to examine the rapidly evolving landscape of life in the modern era. Jordan’s work has been featured in The New Yorker, The Times of India, RT, The Huffington Post, Lifehack, MindBodyGreen, The New York Observer, The Social Journal, GOOD, and The Spark Documentary. He was recognized as a Quora Top Writer in 2013.

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New Platform To Crowdsource Water Conservation

Lisa Gunn Adams, a professor at Kennesaw State University, is working to organize an active, real-time collaboration platform for people working to enhance waterways through crowdsourcing—and she’s crowdfunding the money to do it!

Her new platform, SPLASSH, provides a space where anyone interested in water can learn and share, from those engaged day-to-day in water conservation, to volunteers, researchers and residents of waterways. 

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at noon Eastern, Lisa will join me for a live discussion about her effort. Tune in here then to learn more.

More about SPLASSH:

SPLASSH is a socially driven network that crowdsources the condition of our waterways. The mission of SPLASSH is to inspire water conservation through awareness by engaging students, citizen scientists, and researchers to share, discuss, connect, and visually consume information about water. SPLASSH is a framework that collects information about water in real-time, allows dialogue, and most of all fosters the building of communities that share an interest in water. SPLASSH accepts all posts about water from anyone who has an interest in, observation of, or concern about water. In essence, SPLASSH is an education and dissemination tool for anyone that wants to share water projects or learn more about the most important resource we have: water. To join the SPLASSH community, just log onto and share your water project or news.


Lisa’s bio:

Adams is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Kennesaw State University. Receiving a Ph.D. from University of California, Los Angeles, a M.S. from San Diego State University, and a B.S. from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Adams’ research has involved studying fish, marine and freshwater ecosystems, otters, and coyotes. Upon moving to Georgia, Adams focused her research on watershed studies, primarily water monitoring issues. She is passionate about increasing awareness of the importance of healthy waterways with the goal of inspiring water conservation and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. Adams has published several papers in her field and serves on the board for SECOORA (Southeast Coastal Ocean Observation Regional Association).

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World Looks Anxiously To Pakistan, Afghanistan And Nigeria To Eradicate Polio

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Polio, once a global monster, is now a cornered rat, lashing out in hopes of repopulating. Reduced 99.9 percent from an average number of cases around 400,000 thirty years ago, the number of global polio cases has been cut to around 400 annually. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative hopes to see the final case of polio either late this year or early next year. All polio cases, regardless of where they are found, now originate from three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. You can count the number of cases this year in Afghanistan or Nigeria on your fingers; the end of polio there is clearly within reach.

All three countries have been impacted by conflict in recent years, making the battle against polio at this critical stage challenging. The battle is so pitched that the World Health Organization or WHO, declared a “public health emergency” in an effort to garner greater cooperation among countries to prevent the spread of polio, especially from the three endemic countries.

Rotary, one of the partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, along with the CDC, WHO and UNICEF with tremendous financial support from The Gates Foundation, has brought the three national Polio Plus Committee heads from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria to its global headquarters in Evanston, Illinois this week. Forbes has received an exclusive opportunity to visit with them live on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 4:10 PM Eastern. Aziz Memon of Pakistan, Dr. Abdulrahman Olatunji Funsho of Nigeria and Mohammad Ishaq Niazmand of Afghanistan will join us then.

More about Rotary:

Rotary is a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members from more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work impacts lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.

More about PolioPlus:

Rotary launched its PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication, in 1985. Since then, Rotary and its partners have helped reduce the number of annual cases from 350,000 to fewer than 250 and remain committed until every child is safe from the disease. Rotary has contributed more than US$1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute over $9 billion to the effort.


Aziz Memom, Polio Plus Chair, Pakistan

Memom’s bio:

Rotary’s National PolioPlus Chair for Pakistan: Aziz has been involved with Rotary for more than 20 years, and has lead Rotary’s polio eradication efforts in Pakistan as Rotary’s National PolioPlus Chair for the country for the past five years. During his term, he has worked closely with a range of partners and stakeholders to end polio in his country, including WHO, UNICEF, the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), government officials and departments, ulemas and religious scholars, celebrities, corporate executives from multinational companies and Rotarians from around the world. The Pakistani government recognized his efforts towards humanitarian and public service by awarding him the “Pride of Performance” award in March 2011, a recognition given by the President of Pakistan. Mr. Memon is also Chairman of the Kings Group, a conglomerate of five companies and one of the leading manufacturing and exporting groups in Pakistan. Aziz is based in Karachi, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Karachi.


Mohammad Ishaq Niazmand, Polio Plus Chair, Afghanistan

Niazmand’s bio:

Rotary’s National PolioPlus Chair for Afghanistan: Ishaq has been a dedicated member of the Rotary Club of Jalalabad since it was established in 2005, and he has been involved with Rotary for more than 15 years. He started his tenure as Rotary’s National PolioPlus Chair for Afghanistan in 2013. In this role, Ishaq has worked closely with partners such as the National Expanded Immunization Program of the Ministry of Health, USAID, AUAID, CIDA and GPEI partners such as WHO, UNICEF and CDC. Ishaq has a strong professional background working with educational institutions (Nanharhar University; Borlaug Institute of Texas A&M University) and NGOs (UNESCO; International Foundation of Hope).


Dr. Abdulrahman Olatunji (Tunji) Funsho, Polio Plus Chair, Nigeria

Dr. Funsho’s bio:

Rotary’s National PolioPlus Chair for Nigeria: Tunji, a cardiologist based in Lagos, Nigeria, has been a Rotary member since 1985. Dr. Funsho is a past member of the Rotary Club of Kano, and is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Lekki. He has been Rotary’s National PolioPlus Chair for Nigeria since 2013, and in that role, has worked closely with GPEI partner organizations (WHO, UNICEF, CDC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), as well as the Dangote Foundation, the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, the Traditional Leaders Council and the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN). As a member of the Presidential Task Force on Polio, he also works with the Minister of State for Health, the Inter-Agency Coordination Committee for Polio Eradication, and more.

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Skateboards Used To Foster Young Leaders In Lebanon

This is a guest post from Devon Smiley.

Beneath the bombed out shell that hides the “Paris of the Middle East”, thousands fear that tomorrow won’t come and many believe that the only hope for Lebanon is in the youth.

The Operation Change team saw this need to invest in the future leaders of Lebanon and hoped to provide a place where the youth of this community could build their confidence and escape the stress and danger of their current environment. For many local youths, skateboarding is just that escape. 

Steven Sawalich, the Senior Director of Global Media and Philanthropy of Starkey Hearing Technologies, along with volunteers joined local activists in Lebanon to build a skate park and come to the aid of a community center at risk of being torn down for good.

Tonight’s episode (Monday, July 21) features Maya, a local woman of the community, who fears that there is nothing to be done to save the community she has lived in her whole life. Upon seeing the restored community center, Maya exclaims, “There is still goodness in this world and for that I am grateful. The dream is coming true.”

Operation Change is a 10 part television docu-series airing on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) that provides an intimate view of the challenges people in developing countries across the world face as well as the inspiring efforts being made by volunteers, philanthropists and celebrities to address them. Operation Change is all about empowering people to empower themselves. In each episode, the team does just that. The countries featured include Colombia, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Israel & Palestine, Lebanon, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Tune in to OWN every Monday 10/9 Central to see how Operation Change is making in impact in some of the most tumultuous regions of the world. To learn more about Operation Change or view past episodes, please visit the official website here. In addition, viewers can immerse themselves in featured countries while experiencing social good projects and regional culture via the interactive online web platform. Each week, a viewer can also win a trip for two to join the Operation Change team and its partners in the field to help make an impact in a featured country.

Wealthy Increasingly Focused On Social Impact

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Fully 92 percent of high net worth individuals think driving global impact is important, according to a survey conducted for Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.

Other observations from the report include:

  • 75 percent of high net worth individuals or HNWIs 40 and younger believe that social impact is “very” or “extremely” important
  • HNWIs in emerging markets like China, India and Indonesia were more likely to rate having social impact as “very” or “extremely” important

The survey also identified the top five ways that HNWIs give back:

  1. Making investment choices with a clearly defined social impact objective
  2. Giving on an ongoing basis to charities
  3. More general community involvement
  4. Volunteering knowledge and expertise
  5. Making strategic business decisions with a clearly defined social impact objective

The survey results show that the top three reasons HNWIs seek to give back are their personal and family values, their desire to pass their values along to their children and their sense of responsibility to give back.

On Friday, July 18, 2014 at 3:00 Eastern, David Wilson, Head of the Strategic Analysis Group at Capgemini, will join me for a live discussion about the implication of this social activism among the wealthy. Tune in here then to watch the interview.


More about Capgemini:

Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology, outsourcing services and local professional services. Present in over 40 countries with more than 130,000 employees, the Capgemini Group helps its clients transform in order to improve their performance and competitive positioning.

We offer an array of integrated services that combine top-of-the-range technology with deep sector expertise and a strong command of our four key businesses.


David Wilson

Wilson’s bio:

David Wilson is Head of the Strategic Analysis Group, for Capgemini’s Financial Services Global Business Unit. David has professional services and financial services experience spanning the areas of strategic research and analysis, management consulting, and marketing.

David focuses on wealth management and in addition to client engagements, has co-authored leading reports such as the Capgemini RBC Wealth Management World Wealth Report, the Capgemini RBC Wealth Management Asia-Pacific Wealth Report, and the Capgemini U.S. Metro Wealth Index.

Previously, David was a strategy consultant for Capgemini Consulting’s Strategy and Transformation practice where he worked on projects across a variety of sectors.

Prior to joining Capgemini in 2007, David worked for the U.S. wealth management divisions of UBS Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch Global Private Client Group.

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Teen Social Entrepreneur Leaves His Mark On The World

Henry Miller launched his social venture (with a little help from his parents) at age eleven. He’s never looked back.

His company, Henry’s Humdingers, makes all natural condiments using raw honey. He recently appeared on Shark Tank.

He shared his story with me:

It all happened one day when me and my mom got on a plane and sat next to this bee farmer. He talked about helping bees and the dreadful hive collapse disorder. He told me humans couldn’t live seven years if bees disappeared. We wouldn’t have enough food because the bees wouldn’t be there to pollinate the corn or the wheat or even tomatoes. OK, I don’t like tomatoes, but I know we need them for stuff like pizza. At the end of the flight my mom said we could get bees and I could start my own company. I told her, Henry’s Humdingers. She laughed and called my dad and now its a real-life thing. The more I learn about bees the more interesting I think they are. Did you know only the old bees collect pollen? I love bees and all the good they do and it makes me crazy to think about all the bad things happening to them. It’s just ughhh, so I am donating part of what I make to my friends over at The Foundation For the Preservation of Honey Bees.

On July 18, 2014 at 7:00 Eastern, Henry will join me for a live discussion about his remarkable journey and his passion for using business to leave his mark on the world. Tune in right here to watch the interview live.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about Henry’s Humdingers:

Henry’s Humdingers is a quirky, imaginative food products company aimed at offering high quality, moderately priced, always unusual foods using only natural ingredients. Henry’s Humdingers is raw, natural condiment. Made of raw honey & spices. Henry’s Humdingers line has 4 different unique blends. Grumpy Grandpa made with honey, red pepper & garlic, Naughty Nana is a spicy ginger mixture, Phoebe’s Fireball is a combination of chipotle & cinnamon and Diabolical Dad features habanero & lime.


Henry’s bio:

When I was 11 years-old living on a farm in Western Washington, I learned about Colony Collapse Disorder from a beekeeper. I asked for a beehive for my birthday because I wanted to make a difference. So I started selling honey by the side of the road to raise money. Then I started adding spices to make my honey different from other raw honeys. My main goal was to help save the bees - and our family farm - so a portion of the proceeds are donated to The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees.

Recently, I was on ABC’s Shark Tank which has completely changed my business. Now people are excited to try my products and my business is really taking off.

Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to Devin’s content here.

Architect Spends Life Building Community

Utah architect Soren Simonsen has spent his career using his unique skills to build his community in a multitude of ways. 

Recently retired from the Salt Lake City Council, Soren now serves as the President of the Impact Hub Salt Lake and as the Executive Director of Community Studio.

Soren will also be speaking at the Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference (SECFC14) on September 26, 2014 at Snowbird.

On Friday, July 18 at 6:00 Eastern, Soren will join me for a live discussion about what inspires him and why he’s devoted so much of his career to building his community.

Soren’s bio:

Søren Simonsen is an urban designer, architect, educator and community-builder. Over the past 25 years, including over a decade of public service as an appointed and elected official, he has focusedon creating sustainable buildings, livable cities and prosperous communities in Utah and throughout the western United States.

Søren earned a Master of Arts in Community Leadership at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, with a focus on public policy and community organizing. His research focused on urban development and sustainable resource for cities in the 21st century. He previously received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, with an emphasis in urban development, community and regional planning, public interest design. 

Søren is the Executive Director of Community Studio, and President of Impact HUB Salt Lake. He is an accomplished professional and has received broad recognition for his design, policy and advocacy work. Honors include the national AIA Young Architect Award, four Best of State Gold Medals in Community Development, and 28 projects, plans and initiatives that have received an Envision Utah Governor’s Quality Growth Award. He has received numerous citations from chapters of the American Institute of Architects, American Society of Landscape Architects, American Planning Association, and U.S. Green Building Council. Over the past decade, Søren has also launched 6 non-profit organizations engaged in social entrepreneurship, art and cultural development, environmental stewardship advocacy, civic engagement, and sustainable urbanism. 

Søren served on the Salt Lake City Council in from 2006 to 2014. He chaired the city council in 2012—a year that was called “dynamic” by the Salt Lake Tribune. He also previously chaired the Salt Lake Historic Landmark Commission and the Mayor’s Environmental Advisory Committee. He has served on numerous local and national boards and committees for professional and community organizations, where he has been a champion for urban design, ecology and environmental stewardship, water and energy conservation, sustainable development, arts and culture, alternative transportation, public health, and human rights.

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