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The mission of the Your Mark on the World Center is to solve the world's biggest problems before 2045 by identifying and championing the work of experts who have created credible plans and programs to end them once and for all.

Crowdfunding for Social Good
Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Advisor Predicts Rapid Growth In Renewable Energy

Clean Energy Advisors is helping investors to put their money to work to create a cleaner environment and a more sustainable world.

CEO Chris Warren explains:

CEA is committed to the fundamentals of impact investing. Simply stated, impact investing is deploying investment capital in places where beneficial social and environmental change can be achieved. Every dollar invested with CEA goes to work to build renewable energy projects that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for electricity production. These projects create a more stable electric supply and help protect the environment for the benefit of future generations.

CEA creates innovative investment structures that are opening the door for a much larger group of investors to take part in direct ownership of renewable energy assets.

The renewable energy industry is undergoing a fundamental shift in project financing which will result in exponential growth during the coming decade.

On Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 6:00 PM Eastern, Chris will join me for a live discussion about impact investing and clean energy. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about Clean Energy Advisors:

Clean Energy Advisors provides asset management and financial advisory services to impact investors in the sustainable energy sector. We conduct due-diligence on hundreds of renewable energy projects each year. Those that meet our requirements are matched with investors and funded. In addition to individual project financing we are creating innovative ways, such as our managed renewable energy portfolios, for a larger number of investors to participate in the exceptional returns and tax advantaged income streams provided by sustainable energy investments. By creating sound investment opportunities that meet the demand of today’s investors we are on a mission to “Make Clean, Green Energy a Reality”.

We are committed to the fundamentals of IMPACT INVESTING. Simply stated, IMPACT INVESTING is deploying investment capital in places where beneficial social and environmental change can be achieved. Every dollar invested with CEA goes to work to build renewable energy projects that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for electricity production. These projects create a more stable electric supply and help protect the environment for the benefit of future generations.

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Chris’s bio:

Mr. Warren has over twenty-five years of experience in the financial industry and along the way he has acquired a unique set of skills and experiences through roles that include managing assets for high net worth investors, leading a major division of a Fortune 500 company, building three successful businesses from inception, and overseeing complex financial arrangements for over US $800 million in renewable energy assets. In addition to understanding the needs of the investor, Mr. Warren has achieved technical proficiency with all aspects of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. Mr. Warren completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Duke University. He holds a B.A., MBA, and M.E.M. His technical training includes a Certification in Renewable Energy Management from North Carolina State University and training in Basic and Advanced Solar PV Design from Solar Energy International.

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Award Winning Nonprofit Reports On Results

In early 2013, the Your Mark on the World Center, with support from an anonymous benefactor, awarded two prizes to small nonprofit organizations. The Senase Project was one of the winning nonprofits.

Founder Chris Toone reports on how the school project in Ghana has been completed:

Originally our organization began after studying abroad for four months and seeing the world. During our trip to Ghana, we found our way to the small rural village of Senase, where the people welcomed us with open arms. While here, we traveled to the village of Akatim for the school day where we found not only a lack of a school building, but also a lack of hope. This trip is what ultimately created The Senase Project.

I recently returned from a trip to Ghana in April after the school was commissioned and handed over to the village of Akatim on April 14th, 2014. During this trip we met with community leaders, teachers, and members of Government including the representative for Ghanaian Parliament and the Municipal Chief Executive Officer to discuss about ways to keep the school sustainable.

During this trip we also met with Ghana Health Services to start collaborations on a medical clinic in the village of Senase. Parliament recently released funds to rennovate a building in the village, so a four treatment room clinic is well underway. We are figuring out ways to provide the clinic with equipment needed in order to operate efficiently. The clinic will allow accessibile basic care such as outpaitent care, prenatal and midwife care, as well as outpatient care and other general medical needs.

On Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Chris will join me for a live update on the project, to share stories of the process and otherwise report on their success. Tune in here then.

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

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More about the Senase Project:

The Senase Project is a 100% volunteer non-profit organization that strives to eradicate poverty through community development. Through strategic partnerships with all levels of Government, from the community leaders to members of Parliament, we support projects that otherwise would not be financially possible. Our goal is to empower the people to help themselves and develop their communities. Building a school in a rural village will not necessarily, eradicate power, but it will provide the community with the gift of education in order to help their own people. We pride ourselves on the concept of Ubuntu, which translates to I am, because we are. We truly believe that in order to benefit the people as a whole, we must work directly with those in need. We have just recently finished a seven classroom primary school in the village of Akatim, Ghana, and are working closely with Ghana Health Services to find ways to contribute to a medical clinic in the village of Senase, Ghana.

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Christopher’s bio:

I’m originally from Buffalo, NY, however I graduated from Ithaca College in 2013 with a degree in Athletic Training, and I am now pursuing my Masters in sports medicine at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. I’ve grown up volunteering and I’ve known for a while that I’ve wanted to be a part of something special. For me, being a co-founder and current CEO of The Senase Project was just what I was looking for. After having the opportunity to travel the world for four months I realized just how interconnected everyone is, how there is so much wrong with the world, but also what is right with it and how easy it is to make an impact. All of that and more inspired me to team up with my peers to form what is now known as The Senase Project. Although we are a 100% volunteer organization, I’m incredibly fortunate to be working alongside of such dedicated individuals day in and day out.

Leader Leads from the Heart

My network was recently blessed by the addition of Hugh Ballou, who first hit my radar when my Forbes colleague and friend Cheryl Snapp Conner wrote about him, the musical conductor turned leadership guru.

Hugh’s real passion in life is helping faith-based organizations and other nonprofits to improve their performance. I share his passion and am grateful for his skills and leadership.

On Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 11:00 Eastern, Hugh, who is the president and founder of SynerVision Leadership Foundation, will join me for a live discussion about his work and his insights into leading nonprofits. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

More about the SynerVision Leadership Foundation:

SynerVision Leadership Foundation provides a pathway of enlightened engagement for organizations seeking transformation. SVLF helps congregations, nonprofits, and communities seeking ways to serve well and respond to the tide of global change who feel lost and uncertain, battered and dispirited. These seekers look with dismay at the unproductive previous attempts they have made at organizational change and improvement. Consultants, seminars and books have promised much to these searching communities and delivered little more than reworked methods from times now long past. Indeed, we are in a time when methods and manuals, quick fixes and weekend seminars do not provide lasting transformation.

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Hugh’s bio:

Hugh Ballou is The Transformational Leadership Strategist and Corporate Culture Architect working with visionary CEOs, pastors, and nonprofit leaders and their teams to develop a purpose-driven high performance collaboration culture that significantly increases productivity, profits, and job satisfaction, through dramatically decreasing confusion, conflicts, and under-functioning. With 40 years as musical conductor, Ballou uses the leadership skills utilized daily by the conductor in teaching relevant leadership skills and showing leaders in business, church, or nonprofit organizations the power of creating a high performance culture that responds to the nuances of the leader as a skilled orchestra responds to the musical director.

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Nonprofits Partner To Foster Culture Of Health

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

A new partnership between the American Heart Association (AHA, for brevity’s sake) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (similarly, RWJF) aims to build a “Culture of Health” in America.

The initiative assumes a broader need for change than simply tweaking the healthcare system, massive as that task would be, in order to create an environment where Americans not only have access to healthcare, but also to healthy food and where people support one another in making healthy choices.

Together, the AHA and RWJF are working to accomplish several objectives:

  • Abundant access to healthy food
  • Safe access to opportunities for physical activity
  • Environments for eating, shopping and working that are smoke-free
  • Support from peers for making healthy choices
  • Greater access to quality healthcare

The AHA has a specific and related goal to improve cardiovascular healthy by 20% and reduce mortality from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20% by 2020.

A spokesperson for the RWJF explained, “At RWJF we know that health is influenced by education, housing, income, and numerous other factors outside of health care. This acknowledgement drives much of our work to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all Americans to live longer and healthier lives, now and for generations to come. Among our broad areas of focus are: healthy weight for all children; high quality, cost effective health care coverage for all; improving the lives and opportunities of the nation’s most vulnerable populations; pioneering ideas, technologies and trends that can transform health and health care; and educating health care practitioners for the 21st Century.”

On Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 12 Eastern, Nancy Brown, AHA CEO, and Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF CEO, will join me for a live discussion about the joint initiative.

[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 the American Heart Association:

The American Heart Association (AHA) is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization. Its purpose is to help prevent America’s number 1 and number 4 killers, heart disease and stroke. The AHA is an advocate of good health, promoting positive behaviors, nutritious eating habits and healthy lifestyles. It also funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies and provides tools and information to save and improve lives. Headquartered in Dallas, the nationwide organization includes 144 local offices and nearly 2,700 employees. The American Stroke Association (ASA) was created as a division in 1997 to bring together the organization’s stroke-related activities.

More about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

For more than 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted solely to the public’s health, we have a unique capacity and responsibility to address the most pressing health and health care issues facing our society. We are working to foster environments that promote health and improve how health care in America is delivered and paid for, and how well it performs for patients and their families. We promote change through partnerships and collaboration, with the goal of building a Culture of Health for all Americans.

Nancy Brown, AHA CEO

Brown’s bio:

Nancy Brown has been Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association since 2009. During her tenure as CEO, the association has become a global leader in the discovery and dissemination of heart disease and stroke science. Under her leadership, the association announced its bold 2020 Health Impact Goal: To improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.

Brown has led the organization to significant advances, including a laser focus on prevention and improving cardiovascular health; instilling a culture of innovation spearheaded by the association’s Innovation Think Tank comprising staff executives and volunteer thought leaders; creating the Vision for Volunteerism initiative to generate even more significant opportunities for volunteers to impact our mission; developing the organization’s first-ever integrated global strategy; and launching new programs to expand individual giving/major gifts and increase AHA revenue and mission impact in small communities.

Brown has held multiple leadership positions at the association since her start in 1986, including eight years as Chief Operating Officer before being named CEO.

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF CEO

Lavizzo-Mourey’s bio:

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, is president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), a position she has held since 2003. Under her leadership, RWJF has researched, evaluated, and implemented transformative programs tackling the nation’s most pressing health issues, with the goal of building a national Culture of Health.

A specialist in geriatrics, Lavizzo-Mourey came to the Foundation from the University of Pennsylvania, where she served as the Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and Health Care Systems. She also directed Penn’s Institute on Aging and was chief of geriatric medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine. Lavizzo-Mourey also served as deputy administrator of what is now the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, and worked on the White House Health Care Reform Task Force, co-chairing the working group on quality of care. She has served on numerous federal advisory committees, including the Task Force on Aging Research, the National Committee for Vital and Health Statistics, and the President’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry.

Lavizzo-Mourey did her undergraduate work at the University of Washington and the State University of New York at Stony Brook and earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Lavizzo-Mourey completed her residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. She trained in geriatrics at Penn, and then earned an MBA from the Wharton School.

Lavizzo-Mourey is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the President’s Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. She serves on the Smithsonian Board of Regents and several other boards of directors. She is the author of several books and dozens of articles. She is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and other awards, including commendations for her work from the Harvard School of Public Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American College of Physicians, the National Library of Medicine, the American Medical Women’s Association, the National Medical Association, and the University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband of nearly 40 years have two adult children and one grandchild.

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