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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: December 2014

Ebola Impacts Almost 1 Million In West Africa Who Are Not Directly Exposed To The Virus

It doesn’t take a PhD in economics to appreciate that the countries of West Africa impacted most by Ebola are not able to prosper with that added weight. The effect of Ebola on the impoverished nations in the region will prove devastating to hundreds of thousands not directly impacted by Ebola if more help isn’t provided, according to Action Against Hunger CEO Andrea Tamburini.

He says, “Partly due to fear of contracting Ebola or being associated with the disease, residents of Sierra Leone have ceased seeking help for malnutrition. Action Against Hunger has identified a 66% decline in new admissions to Peripheral Health Units and a 90% decline to Stabilization Centers in Western Area from July through Sept. of 2014.”

To put a sense of scale to the discussion, he notes, “At least 700,000 people will join the more than 5 million people already at risk of food insecurity in Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. It’s likely that the number of people exposed to undernutrition will reach levels not seen for five or six years.

According to Andrea, the problems that lead to the crisis are varied, but include, “A shortage of manpower due to movement restrictions related to the Ebola outbreak. Farmers have abandoned their crops as they seek refuge in locations considered less exposed to the virus.
Road blocks manned by police and military are preventing the movement of farmers and laborers as well as the supply of goods. Single mothers have been particularly hit hard, as they have to provide meals to their families by themselves.

Another issue, he notes, “A spike in food costs occurred due to closure of many border posts. Formal trade has been severely hampered, reducing availability and driving up prices in most sectors, particularly food. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are grain-importing countries. Liberia, the country with the most people suffering from Ebola, is also the most dependent on external supplies.

Action Against Hunger is working to address the problems, Andrea says:

While the priority is to stop the epidemic, food plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the people in the Ebola impacted countries.

  • Track food security of those producers and importers of grain.
  • Provide food, farming and economic aid. 
  • We and other aid organizations have assessed areas of Sierra Leone. Critical steps call to provide: Seeds and planting materials; a broad feeding program for children under five and pregnant mothers, and longer term, cash for work program to shore up the economy and marketplace.

On Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Andrea will join me for a live discussion about his frantic effort to save lives in the Ebola-devastated regions of West Africa. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. 

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

More about Action Against Hunger:

Action Against Hunger is the world’s leading humanitarian organization saving the lives of malnourished children and advancing sustainable nutritional health in some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. Applying expertise honed in 35 years of fighting malnutrition, Action Against Hunger engages government and community stakeholders in developing replicable, affordable systems that save lives today and pave the way for their families’ healthier future. It advocates for worldwide focus on the defined goal of ending childhood death by malnutrition in our lifetime. Each year, more than 3 million children die from hunger-related causes – a staggering 45 percent of all child deaths globally. Action Against Hunger believes that the technical knowledge and resources are available to eradicate this tragic outcome, and towards that end is marshaling its own expertise with that of its network of influential forces in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

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Andrea’s bio:

Andrea Tamburini
CEO, Action Against Hunger-USA

Andrea Tamburini, CEO of Action Against Hunger-USA, is a passionate humanitarian leading a mandate to make a measurable impact in reducing childhood malnutrition and creating lasting solutions to hunger.

In the seven countries where Action Against Hunger-USA operates, its teams assess and treat pediatric malnutrition; enable ongoing access of food, water and hygiene for vulnerable communities, and provide emergency response to countries in crisis. The global organization, ACF International, spans work in 46 countries. Tamburini serves on the ACF International Executive Committee.

To accomplish Action Against Hunger’s goals, Tamburini is taking a strategic approach to forging solutions with thought leaders from the private, public and nonprofit sectors. At the same time, he is driving continued on-the-ground excellence for which the organization is known.

On a global scale, Tamburini is utilizing the organization’s technical experts to advise the global nutrition cluster of the United Nations, research innovations in the labs of leading universities and visionary corporations, and partner with governments and communities to reverse unhealthy conditions and deliver life-saving services.

A dedicated professional who has served on the front lines of global humanitarian initiatives since 2000, Tamburini has consulted with the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and its Policy Development and Studies Branch. He has been a Visiting Professor and is a current lecturer with Fordham University’s International Institute of Humanitarian Affairs, a program which he helped to design.

He began his career in the humanitarian sector in Kosovo at the close of the conflict in the Balkans, with subsequent field post including India, the West Bank and Gaza, Iraq, Jordan, Darfur and Lebanon. Tamburini joined Action Against Hunger in 2010 as the Head of Programme for Pakistan and Nigeria, and was appointed Director of Operations in June 2011. He was appointed CEO in 2014.

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Devin D. Thorpe

GozAround Matches Volunteers And Projects, Adds Gamification

GozAround is a new social network that matches volunteers with opportunities to be of service to nonprofits or to other individuals directly.

Ben Block, founder and CEO, describes his thinking about the new platform, “I can distinctly remember experiences that have shown me the power of helping someone, even in a small way, but also the regret that can come from failing to act.”

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He explains his goal for GozAround: “In the world of the 70-hour-workweek, we need to make volunteering and giving back easier for people. My goal is to make it quicker and easier to incorporate kindness and compassion into daily life.”

“Research has shown humans are hardwired for compassion, so we hope the mission of our site will have universal appeal,” he concludes.

The site uses points to reward and recognize volunteers, gamifying volunteerism.

On Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 4:00 Eastern, Ben will join me for a live discussion about how you can use GozAround to find volunteers or volunteer opportunities. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about GozAround:

GozAround is a social network designed to connect individuals and organizations in need of help with those willing to lend a hand. This includes both formal volunteer opportunities and “peer to peer” assistance directly between individuals. By completing requests users receive confirmation of their contributions and earn GozAround points in the process. GozAround points serve multiple purposes. First, they act as a sort of “virtual karma”. As you do more good, you earn more points which can be “paid forward” when you receive help yourself or redeemed for a variety of rewards. At the same time, the GozAround point system serves as a low-cost reward program for non-profits replacing costly alternatives.

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Ben’s bio:

GozAround Inc. was founded in Edmonton, Alberta by a lawyer. Yes, you heard us…a lawyer. Defying the reputation of his profession, Ben Block set out in 2013 to build a central hub for community service. Believing it needed to be easier to find ways to give back to your community, or to find someone to lend a hand if you are in need, the GozAround concept was born.

Ben has over 10 years of entrepreneurial experience gained in a number of industries including web design and marketing. Following the sale of his multimedia design business in 2009 Ben practiced as a lawyer in Edmonton, Alberta, while still fostering his passion for business and community. Ben was once praised as an award winning “behind the scenes” contributor to community service, and has since participated as volunteer with local and international organizations. His day-to-day passion for helping others served him well in his legal practice, and is something Ben hopes to encourage the same on a bigger scale through the GozAround community.

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Devin D. Thorpe

Giants’ Coach Leaves Legacy Off Field

Tom Coughlin, the Super Bowl-winning coach of the New York Giants, and previously of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was inspired by tragedy to launch a foundation to help kids with cancer and their families.

Coach Coughlin was the head coach at Boston College where he had a player, Jay McGillis, who succumbed to leukemia while on the team. The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation was named in part for this brave player.

Growing from helping 20 families in 2005, to helping 663 families in 2014, the Jay Fund is accelerating its impact. In October, the Foundation raised $1.4 million for families in the New York/New Jersey area families.

On Thursday, December 18, 2014 at noon Eastern, Keli Coughlin, the coach’s daughter and Executive Director of the Foundation will join me for a live discussion about the work of the Jay Fund and its impact. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation:

The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation was created in 1996 in honor of Jay McGillis. Jay was a special young man who developed leukemia while a member of Coach Coughlin’s team at Boston College. In the eight months between Jay’s diagnosis and the day he lost his battle with cancer, the Coughlin family saw first-hand the physical, emotional and financial strains the illness caused the McGillis family. After going through the tragic events with Jay’s family, Coach Coughlin vowed that if he ever had the chance, he would create a way to help families with children battling cancer. Coach Coughlin kept his vow and started a foundation to BE THERE in Jay’s honor. Since then the TC Jay Fund has evolved in size and scope, helping thousands of families in Northeast Florida and the New York/ New Jersey Metropolitan Area who are fighting childhood cancer.

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Keli’s bio:

Keli began in a volunteer capacity with the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund in 1998 primarily focusing on the planning of the Celebrity Golf Classic under the tutelage of Fran Foley. Keli became passionate about the cause when she had the opportunity to meet some of the families helped by the Jay Fund. She gradually expanded her role in the Foundation and increased the services provided to families in need. Keli was named Executive Director for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation August 1, 2004. Keli has made a significant impact on the growth of the Jay Fund and was instrumental in expanding the Jay Fund’s services to the NY/NJ area.

Keli earned an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from Auburn University and received her Masters of Science in Athletic Training from Michigan State University. Keli resides in Atlantic Beach, Florida with her husband and two daughters. Keli served as the Head Athletic Trainer at the University of North Florida prior to joining the Jay Fund full time.

Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to our content here.

Devin D. Thorpe

Malala On Massacre: ‘Stand Up Together’

Malala has issued the following video statement in response to the Taliban’s massacre of 132 children and nine staff at a school in Peshawar.

CNN is reporting that in addition to the dead, at least 100 more children are injured.

Malala said, “I call upon the international community, leaders in Pakistan, all political parties and everyone, that we should stand up together and fight against terrorism…”

Benefit Mobile Makes its Mark on Schools, Nonprofits, and Other Causes

This is a guest post from Derik Lolli who is the founder of Benefit Mobile Inc. Lolli lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with his wife and two children. Before starting Benefit Lolli worked as Director of user Experience at Universal Mind, a leading Enterprise Application Development firm.

When my son Carson arrived home from school one day asking me to buy physical gift cards so that his school would receive a rebate on for their fundraising program, I immediately pulled out my wallet.

In the midst of pulling out the bills, though, I had a thought: This is a great idea, but the execution is a little dated.

Having spent the last 15 years in web design and app development, I immediately had another thought: How can we do this using our phones instead of pre-buying gift cards?

Nonprofits and schools are always in need of ways to raise money to support their work, and parents and supporters want to do more to help their community organizations, but don’t always have the means to do so. These institutions are continually trying to raise more funds, but tighter budgets and higher demands for their services mean they have fewer resources to achieve fundraising success. With little evolution in fundraising over the last 20 years, we wanted to develop an easy and daily approach to fundraising for the next generation.

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Derik Lolli

That’s where we came in, gathering a small team to build this technology. You see, the traditional SCRIP (fundraising gift cards) physical gift card model does over $1.5 billion in transactions every year contributing over $100 million to causes. If we can help grow that market, the possibilities for impact are limitless.

The best part of Benefit Mobile is that nobody has to spend an extra cent to give to those in need, because our retailers actually donate on your behalf, from your purchase. You spend the full amount you paid for and shop where you’d normally shop. That’s it. All it takes is an extra minute or two of your time and a cell phone to give to local causes everywhere.

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So far, we’ve seen this money fund computers in classrooms and tuition for low-income children, provide food for hungry children and support community health center services for those without insurance. Whatever your cause, we have over 400 schools and nonprofits registered, and hope to continue to be able contribute millions of dollars to some great causes, for the holidays and beyond.

We’re all spending money this holiday season, and whether or not we have the means to give monetarily to causes no longer matters: this app eliminates the need to deliberate. Just pick a cause, purchase your gift card, and get ready to get into the giving spirit all year long by changing the way you buy for a cause.

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Collaboration Seeks To Increase Impact

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Deloitte’s Monitor Institute has been collaborating with New Profit, a venture philanthropy fund, for 15 years “to help social entrepreneurs grow their impact,” according to Monitor’s Chief Operating Officer Dana O’Donovan.

O’Donovan says, “Our work with New Profit reflects a strong belief that we have – which is that impactful cross-sector collaborations are going to drive solutions to some of the world’s biggest issues.”

According to Vanessa Kirsch, Founder and CEO of New Profit, “One part of the recipe for scaling social innovations is getting nonprofits and social entrepreneurs access to the same powerful resources and expertise that Fortune 500 companies have.”

On Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 6:00 Eastern, Kirsch and O’Donovan will join me for a live discussion about their collaboration, its impact and to provide insights to help more social entrepreneurs increase their impact. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

More about the Monitor Institute:

Monitor Institute is a social enterprise that works with mission-driven organizations and their leaders, helping them make the difficult choices and take the necessary actions to reach a new level of social impact. As of the global strategy firm Deloitte Consulting, Monitor Institute is able to draw on the strategy, innovation, marketing and change management expertise as well as the knowledge and experience of our colleagues around the globe. Since 2005, Monitor Institute has worked with more than 100 social sector and global development organizations, including seven of the ten largest U.S. foundations and many groundbreaking social innovators. Our team of practitioners is based in New York, Cambridge, Washington D.C., and San Francisco.

Dana O’Donovan

O’Donovan’s bio:

Dana re-joined Monitor Institute (a part of the Social Impact Service Line within Deloitte Consulting LLP) as its Chief Operating Officer in early 2010 after spending three years at Teach For America, where she led the organization’s human assets strategy.

Dana is fascinated by the border between strategy and execution, where seemingly-mundane changes in day-to-day behavior can enable individuals, organizations and collectives to achieve breakthrough social progress. Her practice focuses on identifying opportunities, developing strategy, designing organizational and activity systems, helping organizations learn, and facilitating groups through challenging moments. Drawing on fifteen years of experience in consulting to leaders and working in nonprofit management, she now makes executive coaching a core element of her approach, and maintains multi-year relationships with the CEOs and management teams of several large national non-profit organizations to improve their individual and team performance.

A North Carolina native, Dana was a Morehead Scholar at The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Honors and Highest Distinction with a B.A. in English and Anthropology. When she’s not out driving her latest obsession – her all-electric car – she is likely to be found digging in her garden, on her yoga mat, or in the kitchen trying out a new recipe.

More about New Profit:

New Profit is a venture philanthropy fund whose mission is to break down barriers to opportunity in America. The organization is working to transform the education, early childhood development, college and career success, and public health systems with three key activities: 1) Investing in visionary social entrepreneurs and leaders to help them scale innovative, high-impact solutions; 2)
Advocating for public policy that leads to stronger outcomes and more efficient use of resources; 3) Convening leading problem solvers from across sectors for R&D and collaboration on new approaches. Our three-pronged approach to social impact has helped changed the way problems are being addressed in America, including by providing unrestricted funding and Fortune 500-caliber strategic support to help build dozens of leading-edge organizations like Health Leads, Teach for America, KIPP, and Year Up.

Vanessa Kirsch

Kirsch’s bio:

Vanessa Kirsch is the Founder and CEO of New Profit Inc., a nonprofit venture philanthropy fund and social innovation organization that provides financial and strategic support to a portfolio of innovative social entrepreneurs and their organizations, and pursues a range of strategies to help create an environment in which all social innovators may realize their full potential for impact. Vanessa has more than 25 years of experience in developing innovative solutions to social problems and is widely recognized as a leading social entrepreneur. Prior to launching New Profit, Vanessa founded and led two nonprofit organizations, Public Allies and the Women’s Information Network. Vanessa has received recognition and numerous awards for her work. She has been named by The NonProfit Times to its ”Power and Influence Top 50″ list and by Boston Magazine to its list of the “Most Powerful Boston Philanthropists.” Vanessa received the Leadership in Social Entrepreneurship Award from Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship. Ernst & Young named her “Entrepreneur of the Year” in the category of social entrepreneurship and she has been recognized by Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report as a leader of her generation. Forbes identified Vanessa as one of 15 innovators who will reinvent the future. In 2014, Vanessa and her husband, Alan Khazei, were named by FORTUNE Magazine and CNNMoney to their list of “World’s Greatest Leaders: 9 Dynamic Duos” alongside some of the most powerful figures in politics, media, philanthropy, and business.

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

Increasing Concern Over Climate Change May Be Driving Increase In Sustainable Investing

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Sustainable investing is growing at an accelerating rate, according to a recent report on trends from the US SIF or The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.

CEO Lisa Woll explains, “US assets invested in SRI [socially responsible investments] have grown 76 percent in the past two years.” She noted that it was the “largest increase that we have seen since we began publishing these reports in 1995.”

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She further noted that climate change is getting more attention in investment circles. Environmental, social and governance criteria among investors are also gaining traction. “Investment firms are beginning to believe their duty is to look at both a company’s financial performance and its commitment to ESG issues.”

On Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Woll will join me for a live discussion about the report and the insights she’s drawn from it. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

More about the US SIF:

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in sustainable and responsible investing. US SIF and its members advance investment practices that consider environmental, social and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. US SIF’s members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, banks, credit unions, community development organizations, non-profit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners.

Lisa Woll

Woll’s bio:

As CEO, Lisa leads US SIF and the US SIF Foundation’s overall direction and sits, ex-officio, on all board committees. If you would like to suggest a possible partnership or alliance for US SIF, request a staff member to speak at your event, or become more involved in the organization’s activities contact Lisa.

Lisa has been the CEO of US SIF and the US SIF Foundation since 2006, and has been responsible for strategic planning, developing a robust policy presence, expansion and diversification of funding, launching our national conference and creating the Center for Sustainable Investment Education.

Prior to US SIF, Lisa was executive director of the International Women’s Media Foundation, an organization focused on press freedom and expansion of women’s role in the media. During her tenure, the IWMF played a significant role in re-orienting the way journalism training was carried out on the issues of HIV-AIDS, malaria and TB in several African media organizations. Lisa also spent a decade working on children’s human rights. She was the director of the first international study to look at the impact of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and directed the Washington, DC office of Save the Children. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.

Lisa’s early career focused on domestic social policy and began in the New York City Human Resources Administration as an Urban Fellow and the US Congress as a legislative assistant. Lisa is the founder of Suited for Change, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that provides professional clothing and ongoing career education to low-income women who have completed job training programs and are seeking employment. She was a founding board member and former president of the board of The Women’s Alliance, a national membership organization of community organizations that increase the employability of low-income women. She was also Board President of Women’s Voices for the Earth, a national environmental health organization based in Montana. She has written and spoken widely on human rights and development, as well as leadership. She is a board member of the Children’s Environmental Health Network and the founder, with her teenage son, of Advantage Ethiopia: Kids’ Tennis and Education Initiative.

In 2001, Lisa was named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine in recognition of her pioneering role with Suited for Change. She has received numerous other awards and has volunteered on other nonprofit boards and commissions. Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in public policy and women’s studies from George Washington University. She spent 1990 – 1991 in Melbourne, Australia, as a Fulbright Fellow.

Lisa is energized daily by the opportunity to be part of the leadership team advancing the vital work of sustainable and responsible investors.

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Report Holds Promise For Investors And Poor Families

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

“Wealth has never been so concentrated as it is today, while families find it increasingly difficult to climb the ladder of prosperity,” says Anne Mosle, the lead author on a new impact investing report from Ascend, a family-focused effort at the Aspen Institute, The Bottom Line: Impacting Investing for Economic Mobility in the US.” She adds, “32 million children live in low-income families and one in four lives in poverty. This disparity points to the urgent need to enlist all sectors in breaking the cycle of poverty.”

Mosle describes the cause of this cycle, saying, “The reality is that our systems have not kept pace with the dramatic shifts in family structure and demographics.”

Striking a more hopeful note, Mosle notes, ”When we think about what it takes to meet the needs of today’s families, we believe there is an opportunity to harness the creative energy, experience, and results-oriented approach of the private sector, and tap into a substantial amount of investment capital, as a way to tackle society’s most nettlesome problems.”

“The Aspen Institute survey found several promising trends in the kinds of projects impact investments are financing. For example, the survey found a significant amount of investment capital — nearly $3 billion worth — is advancing economic mobility for families,” she concluded, noting a specific finding of her report.

On Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 3:00 PM, Mosle will join me for live discussion about her report and its implications for families and investors. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

More about Ascend:

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is the hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. Ascend was founded in 2010 with the vision of an America in which a legacy of economic security and educational success passes from one generation to the next. Ascend has been a national leader in catalyzing a two-generation approach to breaking the cycle of poverty. Ascend is a policy program of the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. The Institute’s mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.

Anne Mosle

Mosle’s bio:

Anne Mosle is a vice president at the Aspen Institute and executive director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute. She is a leading thinker, advocate, and voice in building pathways to opportunity for low-income families and women. With more than 20 years’ experience in policy and philanthropy, Anne has been recognized as Washingtonian of the Year, Ms. Magazine Woman to Watch, and as Visionary Philanthropist. She is also an author of The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink.

In her current role at the Aspen Institute, she directs Ascend, the national hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move vulnerable children and their parents towards educational success and economic security. Ascend has been a national leader in catalyzing a two-generation approach to breaking the cycle of poverty. Under Anne’s leadership, Ascend has launched a national values-based fellowship program and a national two-generation network, and is investing $1.5 million in promising programs and policy solutions. In all its work, Ascend engages the voices of families and diverse leaders.

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

New Collaborative Report To Guide, Grow Impact Investing Globally

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

A new report on impact investing from the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative (usually abbreviated IIPC) provides a varied look at the policies and practices that are guiding the rapidly developing industry.

Tonusree Basu, Associate Director, InSight Pacific Community Ventures, who is one of the report authors, explained that “the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative (IIPC) is a global network focused on impact investing policy, founded 5 years ago, as a partnership between a Bay Area based non-profit and impact investor – Pacific Community Ventures – and the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University.”

Rosemary Addis, Founder and Executive Chair of Impact Investing Australia, another of the report’s authors commented on the growth of impact investing, “Realizing the potential for a global market for impact investment is still a long term game, but it has taken a significant step forward.”

Katie Grace, Program Manager of the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard, another author, commented on the potential for governments to influence the growth of impact investing, “All investment markets are shaped by public policy and have social implications; impact investing markets, and policy, are often the most obviously intentional in identifying and promoting social outcomes.”

On Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 4:00 PM Eastern, Basu, Addis, Grace and five other co-authors of the report will join me for a live discussion about the report. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

More about Impact Investing Australia:

Impact Investing Australia has been established specifically to develop the market for investments that intentionally create positive social impact as well as a financial return.

We believe Australia has a unique window of opportunity to galvanise and accelerate the development of impact investing and to link with growing activity regionally and beyond. This reflects local momentum in Australia and unique positioning globally.

Impact Investing Australia supports the work of the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing and our co-founder Rosemary Addis is Chair of the Board.

We are spearheading the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investment’s strategy to catalyse the market for impact investing in Australia, and are driving its implementation. The strategy is focused on three key areas:

  • Leadership to drive the impact investing market, including developing prototypes and a common language for the sector
  • Action to demonstrate what can be achieved through dedicated working groups on capital growth, outcomes and innovation, and market making
  • Policy to support the development of an enabling environment for impact investing

Impact Investing Australia is also active in helping to build a global market for impact investing. We support Australia’s contribution to the Social Impact Investment Taskforce established by the G8, with our co-founder Rosemary Addis representing Australia on the Taskforce.

Impact Strategist is a bespoke global strategy firm operating as a trusted adviser at the most senior levels across sectors specialising in social innovation, impact investment and multi-sector partnerships that deliver social and economic value.

More about Citi Microfinance:

Citi Microfinance works globally with Citi businesses to develop solutions and platforms that enable Citi corporate and government clients to expand access to financial products and services.

More about Pacific Community Ventures:

Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) is an impact investor with a mission to create jobs and economic opportunities in low income communities. Founded in 1998, PCV is a nonprofit focused on driving lasting, positive economic and social change by way of an ecosystem of four core programs: business advising, loans, impact evaluation and policy and best practices. PCV has collaborated with the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard to establish the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative (IIPC). The IIPC is a community of researchers, policymakers and practitioners, who use research, convening and partnership to create and share knowledge in order to grow impact investing markets locally and globally.

The IIPC has just released its latest report “Impact Investing Policy in 2014: A Snapshot of Global Activity.” This is a first-of-its-kind publication focusing on country- or issue-areas relevant to impact investing, ranging from: conceptual pieces on the development and mapping of the policy system; to examples of specific policies that have supported market development; and insights from private firms into how impact investing intersects with other key market areas such as international development and infrastructure investment. This IIPC report broadens the conversation from what public policy could enable, to what public policy is enabling in different countries and markets.

More about the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at the Harvard Kennedy School:

The Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at the Harvard Kennedy School is an applied research center that focuses on fundamental issues and theories around the social utility of finance. Through research and ongoing dialogue, the IRI looks at opportunities across asset classes, issue areas, and investor types to engage private sector investment around environmental and social goals.

More about the Inter-American Development Bank:

Partnering with clients, the IDB seeks to eliminate poverty and inequality, and promotes sustainable economic growth. The Bank supports clients in the design of projects, and provides financing, technical assistance and knowledge services to support development interventions. The IDB focuses on empirical evidence for making decisions and measuring the impact of this projects to increase its development effectiveness.

Opportunities for the Majority

The Opportunities for the Majority (OMJ) initiative promotes and finances market-based, commercially viable business models that engage private sector companies, local governments, and communities in the development and delivery of quality goods and services for the base of the pyramid (BOP) in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Created in 2007 as part of the Private Sector Group of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), OMJ provides financing to small, medium-size, and large companies, financial institutions, and funds that support the development or expansion of business models that serve BOP markets. OMJ has supported BOP business models in 18 countries of the region in different sectors such as health, education, housing, and financial services, among others.

More about Crédit Coopératif:

Crédit Coopératif is a french cooperative bank with a history of activity in France of more than 120 years. It’s 100% owned by its members (80 000 members out of 320 000 clients) which are legal entities (52%) and private individuals (48%). Only legal entities have a voting right. The bank is financing the actors of the social and solidarity economy in France, ie associations, cooperatives, mutuals and foundations. The bank is involved through partnerships in certain european and west african countries countries : it fully owns a capital investment company in Poland dedicated to the financing of the polish SMEs and associations. Crédit Coopératif belongs to two networks of sustainable and ethical banks : Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) and European Federation of Ethical banks (FEBEA).

Crédit Coopératif is a member of the secong banking group in France, BPCE.

More about the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business:

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Bertha Centre) at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) was established in 2011 as a centre of excellence in Africa dedicated to research, teaching, dialogue and support of social innovations that positively change and challenge rules, policies, technologies, structures, beliefs and institutions.

The Bertha Centre invests in the next generation of social innovators through scholarships; practical, rigorous teaching, exposure and debate; and a focus on applying leading social innovation research. Bertha Centre streams of focus include Education Innovation, Inclusive Health Innovation and Innovative Financing.

More about ICAP Partners:

ICAP Partners is a consultant and collaborator on the business of impact investing, providing strategic advice, skills and capacity building, performance evaluation, and thought leadership. ICAP has a clear long-term vision: every individual and institution investing with impact. ICAP is about building on the lessons in market sectors where competitive financial returns and measurable social value have been sought and created in tandem. ICAP clients include prominent non-profits, for-profit asset owners and intermediaries, and networks in impact investing.

Addis’s bio:

Rosemary Addis is a globally recognized strategist and thought leader in social innovation and investment, with deep expertise in creating social and economic value.

She led the creation of the Australian Government’s first dedicated social innovation unit, designing initiatives to build the field of impact investing including the Social Enterprise Development and Investment Funds, and a “networked incubation” model of developing initiatives for transformational social change. Rosemary is the Australian representative on the Social Impact Investment Taskforce established by the G8, Chairs the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investment, is member of the NSW Government Social Investment Expert Advisory Group, and is a Senior Fellow of the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative. She has held senior roles across all sectors including leading National Reform for the Victorian Department of Premier & Cabinet, part of the Executive team at The Smith Family and as an equity partner at what is now Allens-Linklaters, recognised as one of the World’s Leading Lawyers by Chambers Global. Rosemary is an experienced director, has a first-class honours degree in Law, The New York Bar, and is internationally accredited as a broker of cross-sector partnerships.

Her published works include Delivering on Impact: the Australian Advisory Board’s Breakthrough Strategy to Catalyse Impact Investment (2014); IMPACT-Australia: investment for social and economic benefit (2013); Inviting Investment in Social Enterprise (2007) and contributions to Laws of Australia (1998). Her work also led to publication of Networked Incubation in Government: a Case Study of Children’s Ground (Liana Downey & Associates, 2013) and Place Based Impact Investment in Australia (I Burkett, 2012).

Annibale’s bio:

Bob Annibale leads Citi’s initiatives and partnerships supporting community development and inclusive finance through financial inclusion, education, asset building, neighborhood revitalization, and small-business and micro-enterprise development. He also leads Citi’s global commercial relationships with microfinance and community institutions. Working with Citi businesses and community partners, Inclusive Finance and Community Development strive to develop appropriate, innovative and sustainable products and services that contribute to expanding access to financial services.

Basu’s bio:

Tonusree Basu is the Associate Director for Policy at Pacific Community Ventures (PCV). In this role she manages organizational partnerships with PCV’s global network and the development of research strategies to promote better policy design for investments that catalyze social and environmental benefits. She is responsible for the deliverables for PCV’s global policy initiatives and for anchoring the strategic growth of the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative (IIPC), co-convened by PCV and the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University. Tonu holds a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (where she was a Public Service Fellow), an MSc in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi.

Grace’s bio:

Katie Grace is Program Manager at the Initiative for Responsible Investment, where she conducts research on public policy and impact investment, sustainable cities investment, and place-based frameworks for community development. Prior to the IRI, she worked as a research analyst at the Tellus Institute on corporate sustainability performance indicators and analysis of the effects of university endowments on employment and the community. Katie has a BA from Williams College in Political Science with a Concentration in Leadership Studies.

Darville’s bio:

Sandy Darville is Principal Specialist in the Office of the Vice Presidency of the IDB, overseeing development effectiveness and impact assessment for a portfolio of over $5 bn. She was named to this position in 2013 after serving as Chief, Development Effectiveness, for the Multilateral Investment Fund, since 2010, where she introduced a new system to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and knowledge assessment of MIF programs. This system covers a portfolio of over 600 grant and investment operations supporting private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ms. Darville brings a strong microfinance and sme operational background to this function, having previously built and led MIF’s financial inclusion activities for 12 years. Under her leadership, the MIF became the region’s most important donor and investor in microfinance and early stage equity investing in Latin America and the Caribbean. She grew the MIF portfolio from 7 to over 100 transactions, including investments and loans some of the region’s first and most important impact investments in transforming microfinance organizations, microfinance start-ups, investment funds and other vehicles. In addition to the development effects of these operations, MIF’s portfolio has demonstrated financial success.

Prior to working at the MIF, Sandy was a senior investment officer at the IIC originating, analyzing and managing direct projects, financial sector transactions and equity investments throughout the LAC region.

She has served on the Boards of microfinance banks, investment funds and on the investment committee of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (C-GAP). She has a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird, Phoenix, AZ, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia.

Langendorff’s bio:

Cyrille Langendorff is managing at the International Affairs Department of the french cooperative bank Credit Coopératif (CC), member of BPCE banking group and has over 20 years of experience in the banking sector. After achieving a masters in finance from Paris Dauphine University, Cyrille began his investment banking career working for Banque Paribas and ABN AMRO Bank in Abidjan, London and Paris for 15 years. Prior to his current role as project manager at CC, Cyrille worked for four years in analysing and monitoring for CC the solidarity investments portfolio of investment funds managed by Ecofi Investissements (an asset management company of CC Group) in France, and the european investments done with CC’s partners of the European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks (FEBEA) and the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). He’s been member of the advisory board of Nexus for Impact Investing (NEXII) and rapporteur of the French national advisory board’s report on social impact investment (2014).

Sarkas’s bio:

Micah is currently an Impact Investment Project Manager, at the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at the Graduate School of Business. Prior to this he has worked in multinational investment corporations in London and Cape Town, where he held positions in both JP Morgan and BlackRock, Inc. Micah holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business and has completed all 3 levels of the CFA programme.

Thornley’s bio:

Ben Thornley is the founder of ICAP Partners, a consultant and collaborator on the business of impact investing. Ben was a managing director at PCV prior to creating ICAP Partners, where he led PCV InSight, the global research and consulting practice. Ben developed a number of prominent initiatives in that position, focused on impact investing best practices in partnership with CASE at Duke University and ImpactAssets, and on the role of policy in impact investing, with the Initiative for Responsible Investment (IRI) at Harvard University and the World Economic Forum. In 2013, Ben was invited by the White House to be the first expert presenter to the Social Impact Investment Taskforce, convened under the UK’s Presidency of the G8. His clients and funders at PCV InSight included many prominent financial and philanthropic institutions, including CalPERS, Citi, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Omidyar Network, MacArthur Foundation, and Annie E Casey Foundation. With support from Rockefeller, and together with the IRI, Ben drove PCV’s creation of the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative.

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Why I Got Arrested For Eric Garner and Michael Brown

The following is a guest post from my son, Dayton Thorpe, a PhD candidate studying at UC Berkeley.

On Tuesday December 9th, I was released from the Alameda County Jail charged with being a public nuisance for the previous night’s protest in Berkeley, California. Spurred by the recent police killings of unarmed black men and the choice of grand juries not to hold trials, Americans of all colors have realized that full equality won’t come just with the passage of time. Activists in Ferguson, New York, Los Angeles, Berkeley, and elsewhere have taken to the streets in protest. In Berkeley, after two days of protests that were mostly peaceful but marred by roughly ten mask-wearing looters, I worried the energy would be lost. On the third night, I was elated and proud to find the largest crowd yet – 2,000 peaceful protesters. The Berkeley Police Department later confirmed there were no instances of looting or property damage. Starting at the police headquarters downtown, we marched all over Berkeley, eventually flooding onto I-80 to block ten lanes of traffic.

For their part, the Berkeley Police Department and the California Highway Patrol did an excellent job. They maintained public safety while letting the protesters exercise their rights to free speech and association. In tense moments, they avoided escalation. However, this was no party. Many people were hit with batons and several were hit with rubber bullets. 223 people were put in jail, roughly eight of whom ended up in solitary confinement. We were held outside for five hours, handcuffed for about four hours, and transported on buses with boarded up windows without being told where we were going. Several people wet themselves since we were not allowed to go to the bathroom. We were also not allowed to contact anyone once on the bus and not told when we would be let out until the moment it happened. I participated in these protests with confidence that I would be safe from excessive police force and that the justice system would levy a fair punishment for non-violent civil disobedience. My experience matched my expectations, but I believe that was in large part a privilege I enjoy as a white male. I found jail to be somewhat frightening and demeaning. Others found it to be far worse than I. If I weren’t white and if I hadn’t been arrested with 222 other non-violent people, I’m sure I would have been terrified.

While nearly all cops are good cops, some are not. The unethical behavior of those bad cops falls disproportionately on young black men. A study by ProPublica found young black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than are young white men. This is obscene. It can’t possibly be explained by anything but deeply engrained institutional racism. The confluence of the subconscious racism we all share, immigration and drug laws that arguably are overtly racist, and a collection of seemingly innocuous policies that collectively disfavor minorities maintains an unequal society that has not yet fully achieved the dream of the Civil Rights Movement. The killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are not isolated incidents; they’re examples of an ongoing national tragedy.

Besides attitudinal change, there are policy changes we can demand. We can ask that police wear body cameras, that the Department of Justice do more to root out systematic civil rights violations by police departments, and that investigations into police killings be led by special prosecutors and not by District Attorneys. The fight for civil rights is far from over.

Note that Dayton took these photos with his iPhone after being handcuffed.

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