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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: May 2018

Kindness and Compassion Guide Her Every Move

Karen Palmer uses kindness and compassion to guide every decision she makes and every action she takes.

Interview with Karen Palmer, the President and Founder of Globalkindness GoingViral.

The following is the pre-interview with Karen Palmer. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

We bring the power of compassion and kindness to all areas of life. Helping people see the benefits of being compassionate, kind, grateful, and peaceful.

Her Show:  www.globalkindnesstv.org/color

More about Globalkindness GoingViral:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/mindfulmediamom

Facebook: www.facebook.com/spiritualitygonewild

Website: http://www.globalkindnesstv.org

Globalkindness Going Viral is  a non-profit organization dedicated to educating schools, after school programs, and families about environmental issues, animal advocacy, kindness (non-bullying strategies) mindfulness, compassion, and yoga. This is accomplished through books, games, toys, music, online and offline programs. We empower individuals and schools through assemblies using social media, technology, and ancient traditions to help raise the levels of joy, kindness, love, and peace globally.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: We generate revenue through donations, sponsorship, and through books, games, toys, music, online and offline programs. We empower individuals and schools through assemblies using social media, technology, and ancient traditions to help raise the levels of joy, kindness, love, and peace globally.

Scale: We are a small family of three employees my husband, daughter, and I have been running my organization. We have not had a significant budget to grow this mission and have sustained this vision through sales of my books, yoga programs, donations, and corporate sponsors.

Karen Palmer
Photo Credit: Eco Angel Enterprises

Karen Palmer’s bio:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/mindfulmediamom

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-palmer-60b2224a/

Karen  Palmer is the mom who made a wish and started a kindness revolution. She is the founder of The #Globalkindness Revolution networking with many to co-create a kinder and more loving world. She has been nick-named The Queen Of Global kindness, who uses music, meditation, mindful practices and mantras for empowerment of all ages. She is an award-winning singer and songwriter and designs musical coloring books. She is a successful non-profit business leader, bestselling author, game designer, social media expert, mindful marketing strategist, Kundalini yoga and meditation instructor. She combines ancient wisdom, technology, music, and modern science to help make our world a more loving and kinder place. She also helps dreamers, visionaries, change-agents and peacemakers find their voice and share their message and gifts globally. She is passionate about helping people remember their magnificence and love their dreams into reality.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

This Mission-Driven Business Helps Millions Of Students Learn STEM Skills

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

Vince Bertram, 50, CEO of Project Lead the Way, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides STEM education, curriculum and training to schools, districts and teachers for millions of students across the country, says operating as a mission-driven business is key to having impact.

With $73.2 million in 2017 revenue and programs in 10,500 schools in all 50 states, Project Lead the Way—PLTW—serves millions of kindergarten through 12th-grade students.

Bertram says, “We are a business and if we don’t have a sustainable business model, we can’t provide the service to schools.”

Most of the organization’s revenue comes from fees for service and product sales. PLTW’s online store sells equipment and supplies that teachers and schools can use for teaching science, technology, engineering and math—STEM skills.

Vince Bertram, Project Lead the Way

In addition, PLTW works with corporations—many of whom are working to grow the qualified workforce—who make grants to the organization, which in turn makes grants to schools of 100% of the corporate donations.

Bertram describes the grantmaking function as a “service for corporations” that want to invest in education. Over the past five years, corporations have provided $91 million in funding through PLTW.

“Other organizations in particular in the nonprofit world will become highly vulnerable because of ebbs and flows in philanthropy and we can avoid that by having a sustainable business model,” Bertram says.

For his part, Bertram says education wasn’t always important to him. He says, both his parents dropped out of high school and he himself was on the verge of doing so after his father left home. “I just didn’t see the relevancy of school. I didn’t understand its long-term implications and the power of education.”

He credits teachers and a principal who influenced him with gaining an understanding of the value of education. It became his overarching passion.

He worries that we don’t give students particularly good advice. “We tell them things like Just follow your dreams and everything will work out. It’s just not reality. It’s irrational. You know the world doesn’t care about their dreams. They care about what they can do and the value they can add.”

“The ideal situation is when we see this convergence of passion and interest and skills so you can actually go out and do the things you want to do and people will actually pay you for it,” he explains.

PLTW provides curriculum along three pathways: engineering, biomedical science and computer science. The organization also teaches educators how to teach this content using problem-based courses.

The process of learning requires students to apply math and science, Bertram says. The challenge is to get students to the point that they can apply knowledge outside the context in which they learned it.

In a recorded interview which you can watch in the player at the top of this article, Bertram and I talked about the importance of building robots and blowing stuff up.

“We can give them things that they really enjoy doing at the same time bring real-world context to it. [We] show them how we implode buildings, how we really create this structure through a mountain, how we build roads and how we take robotics and put that into a manufacturing facility that’s going to be very disruptive to the workforce,” he says.

Kelly Garcia, a PLTW Gateway Teacher at Benton Middle School in La Mirada, California, says she was among the first teachers in the area to be certified and so she’s seen the program’s impact over many years.

“It has been transformative for our district and community as a whole. Many of our students are from low-income families, and they have very little access to information about STEM careers. As a result of the PLTW curriculum, our students not only learn about their career possibilities, but they also are given opportunities to develop the skills necessary to achieve their goals.”

She highlights the success of a first-generation, Latina college student, Celeste, who is now studying environmental engineering at Stanford. “I once asked her how she decided on environmental engineering as a major, and she told me that she remembered the exact moment she made the decision: She said she was in an 8th-grade PLTW class, energy and the environment, building a windmill when she thought ‘I can do this!’”

Martha McCabe, the executive director for Kansas City STEM Alliance, says, “PLTW is a game-changer for so many students.”

Each year, the Kansas City Stem Alliance gathers students from around the city to present their capstone engineering and biomedical sciences projects. “Over 375 students participated in last week’s PLTW Senior Showcase representing 41 high schools and 21 school districts,” she says.

The success can be measured in revenue as well as impact. Over the last seven years, since Bertram took the top job at PLTW, revenue has grown from under $10 million to over $70 million.

Bertram credits a business focus driven by mission for the success. “We absolutely look at this from a business perspective. We take a lot of pride in that but there is a difference in being driven by profit and being driven by mission. And for us, our mission is to ensure that every child has access to this kind of experience.”

If you share my passion for doing good with your money, learn how you can become an impact investor with my online course, 25% off with this link.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

This Award-Winning Activist Has Been Serving NYC Youth For Almost 4 Decades


Joyce Mattera started helping out in her Brooklyn neighbor when she moved there almost four decades ago. Her organization, Children of the City, now serves 1,000 kids every year. She measures success in the accomplishments of the tens of thousands of kids she’s helped along the way.

Interview with Joyce Mattera, the Executive Director of Children of the City.

The following is the pre-interview with Joyce Mattera. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Breaking cycles of poverty through education and outreach.

Donate:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1378275

More about Children of the City:

Twitter: @COCNYC

Facebook: facebook.com/childrenofthecity

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/children-of-the-city/

Website: www.childrenofthecity.org

Children of the City (COC) is a community-based organization that has been serving disadvantaged children and families since 1981. Our mission is to reach at-risk inner city children with hope, guidance and resources to impact their lives and break the cycle of poverty, which is the number one cause of educational failure. In the under-resourced communities we serve, some classrooms can reach more than 50 children per room with very few guidance counselors to meet the students’ needs. To add to the challenge, many households are afflicted with neglect, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, teenage pregnancies, language and cultural barriers that result in lack of educational support and development. Children of the City provides provides programs that respond to the needs of disadvantaged children and youth through healthy, safe activities and social interventions, including  the only academic driven summer program, a college preparation program, home visits, parent workshops, and monthly community events that provide resources, intervention, education, and support to children and their families.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: Donations, fundraisers and sponsorship with a small percentage of participant donation

Scale: For 2017, our cash revenue was $248,500. Our in-kind services and gifts were calculated at 215,000.  We served 1,000 children and youth along with their families and we had 3 full time staff and 8 part time tutors along with approximately 25 steady volunteers

Joyce Mattera
Photo Credit: Seraphin Photography

Joyce Mattera’s bio:

Born and raised in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, Joyce Mattera attended Saint Ephraim’s Elementary school and Fort Hamilton High School.  She continued studies at Baruch College, School of Public Affairs and The Brooklyn Conservatory of music. Soon after getting married, Joyce Mattera moved into Sunset Park, Brooklyn in 1981 and immediately began outreach to at risk children in the community founding an organization called “Children of the City”.

Becoming aware of some of the serious issues that plagued the children in the community, Joyce galvanized volunteers to help her gather children to weekly events which provided them a safe place to learn and play. These weekly gatherings continued and programs were established where the children were able to participate in fun activities and value based lessons to deter them from the negative lifestyles surrounding them.

Regular Saturday home visits were soon included as part of the outreach and have continued throughout the years, allowing hundreds of families and children to obtain services and support, as well as crisis intervention.In early 2002, Joyce Mattera established a relief program, Heal New York, that provided counseling and additional services to families and victims of the 9/11 attacks.  These services were provided to families that were living under the poverty level and fell through the cracks when it came to accessing help and support.

Several foundations, including World Vision and the Robin Hood Foundation provided grant money to build and sustain the counseling program. During routine visits, many pre-existing traumas were uncovered as counselors met with families, and they were able to be directed to receive much needed resources and services.  In 2003, as a result of in-depth assessments made through home visits, it was determined that there was an educational crisis in this community that housed over 30,000 children.

Joyce Mattera, with the help of educational specialists, established the only academic driven summer program in the community and named it “Create Success”.  The program runs throughout the school year as well as the summer months and brings the same powerful outcomes year after year which can be viewed on the Children of the City website. In 2009 she expanded the “Create Success” program to include SAT prep and college application support to High School students.  Students that never dreamed of going on to institutions of higher learning are now matriculating through college and breaking the cycles of poverty that pervade their families and community.

Joyce Mattera is married and the proud mother of five biological children.  She has also taken in many children and youth over the years to support them through their education.  She has taken legal guardianship of some of these children in order to rescue them from being raised on the streets by local drug addicts.  Many of their stories are also on the Children of the City website. Furthering her education, she received certification in the field of nutrition and health, in order to better serve poor communities and conducts ongoing nutrition workshops to both parents and children.  

She spearheaded several overseas mission endeavors, including multiple trips to Rwanda and Uganda from 2012 through 2015, during which time she trained local staff and raised funds to build a home for orphans.   Mrs. Mattera continues to bring innovative solutions to address academic and social challenges that accompany communities with high rates of poverty and expand programs and services of Children of the City to meet the needs of disadvantaged children living in impoverished communities.  

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed by civic and community leaders. She has received multiple awards and citations, including from former Senator Eric Adam’s office, the Brooklyn DA’s office where Joyce Mattera was inducted as one of the “Extraordinary Women”, former Councilwoman Sarah Gonzalez and Senator Mary Golden’s office for her work with at-risk children.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

Global Impact Comes From Female Cofounder’s Success With $1B Enterprise

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

“The reason I get up in the morning is to be able to truly give back to humanity. I think we’ve been given a responsibility to do that, ” says Emily Wright, co-founder of dōTERRA, the private manufacturer and distributor of essential oils.

The scale of the business gives her an unusual ability to have an impact. She notes that the company generates a profit on more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Her current title is founding executive, sales and marketing.

Working with a founding team of six men, she says of women, “I think we think a bit differently.” Of working with an all-male team, she adds, “I love the way they think and everything they contribute; I think they appreciate what I contribute.”

It wasn’t always like that. In a prior company, she says she sat on a board of four, working her way up from executive assistant to a become an executive herself. “I had to work a lot harder in order to achieve that position,” she says, adding, “I was paid about half the amount of the men.”

Because of challenges she faced early in her career, Wright says, “What I love most is empowering other women.”

Emily Wright, dōTERRA

“I know what it feels like to be in their shoes,” she says of other women. “I know what it feels like to have $26 in my checking account, wondering how in the world I’m going to put food on the table for my children. I know what it feels like to go hungry. I know what it feels like to lose my identity. I know what it feels like to get beaten up and tossed aside by the world.”

DōTERRA reports having 2,000 employees and 3 million “Wellness Advocates” who buy the products and sell them to their friends in a network marketing program. Most of the Wellness Advocates are women, giving Wright influence with millions of women.

Since the founding of the company, Wright has had responsibility for sourcing raw materials and for the company’s social responsibility initiatives. She has helped to infuse sourcing with a sense of mission and purpose. Even before the company became profitable, she says the founders agreed to “create a culture of giving back.” The founders personally funded the creation of the Healing Hands Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

She recalled a sourcing visit to Haiti in 2013. During the visit with local suppliers, she was taken aback by a gentleman who got up and said through a translator, “I have a dream to someday have clean water.” She learned that the community had to travel three hours each day to retrieve water that then had to be boiled to be safe to drink.

Since then, Wright reports that dōTERRA has not only provided clean water by drilling wells in the community, but has constructed schools, clinics and community centers as well as providing them with “sustainable income” via the purchase of essential oils.

One of the most challenging environments for sourcing its raw materials is Somalia, its primary source of frankincense.

Wright recalled her first visit to the country. Upon her arrival with CEO David Sterling, she saw in the faces of the people a complete lack of hope. “We have to change this,” she says they immediately agreed.

It has taken time, but the company has invested in the community that grows frankincense, providing warehouses with running water and sanitation for processing as well as schools for both their boys and girls. They have also built a clinic and have begun work on a hospital there as well.

Wright boasts that the income of the frankincense growers has increased fivefold as dōTERRA worked to eliminate middlemen who leveraged the desperate situation of the growers to buy from them at abusive prices.

Similarly, dōTERRA established sourcing operations in Bulgaria in 2015. Stoyana Stoeva, co-founder and partner in the local social enterprise called the Social teahouse, said that dōTERRA has been a partner since they were founded in 2016.

The Utah-based company paid to reconstruct a three-story building that hosts a “tea saloon,” seminar space and coworking space. With help from dōTERRA, the Social Tea House has created a line of locally sourced merchandise that helps fund its social mission.

Stoeva credits dōTERRA with helping to accomplish its goals, to mentor young people with limited opportunities, providing them with skills, from non-violent communication to responsibility and financial management.

Wright remains optimistic. She describes the Somalia project as “probably” the hardest project they’ve completed. “What’s next?” she asks.

Still, she says, “What I want to be known most as is the world’s greatest mom.”

If you share my passion for doing good with your money, learn how you can become an impact investor with my online course, 25% off with this link.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

Learn How to Build a Better Board For Your Nonprofit


Kate Hayes joined Echoing Green with a clean mission in mind: help nonprofits build better boards. Too many boards are untrained, lack diversity and aren’t fully engaged. She’s developed programs to help nonprofits and board candidates alike to be more effective.

Interview with Kate Hayes, the of Echoing Green.

The following is the pre-interview with Kate Hayes. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Nonprofit boards are ineffective – members do not reflect the communities they serve, they are not active enough in fundraising, and they are not focused on strategy. Only 16% of board members are under the age of 40; 80% of board members have received no training; and 65% of board members don’t think their fellow board members are engaged. At the same time, very few training programs exist, so we are stuck in the cycle of bad boards.

My goal was-and is- to re-imagine what board service looks like. Direct Impact is an experiential board leadership program which prepares exceptional young business leaders for high-impact nonprofit board service. We help individuals identify and unleash the skills, competencies, and qualities they need as leaders to be able to influence and impact people throughout their lives, both through board service and beyond. Through an intensive leadership development process, we are preparing them to change the game.

At the same time, I work with social entrepreneurs as they develop their own boards, and seek to bring ‘next practices’ to life in the boardroom.

A recent article by Kate Hayes:  https://ssir.org/articles/entry/a_roadmap_to_better_boards

More about Echoing Green:

Twitter: @echoinggreen

Facebook: facebook.com/echoinggreen

Website: www.echoinggreen.org

For over 30 years, Echoing Green has unleashed next-generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. These leaders, who spend their lives working with purpose, define their generations; they make society better.

Echoing Green continues to build a global community of emerging leaders – almost 800 and growing – who launched Teach For America, City Year, One Acre Fund, SKS Microfinance, and more. Whether it’s through our Fellowships or our other innovative leadership initiatives, like Direct Impact, we unleash unexpected potential by tracking down the best and the brightest leaders, bringing them together, and launching them on a path to success.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: Echoing Green is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and is funded philanthropically. The specific program I lead, Direct Impact, is a fee-for-service program, where individuals and/or corporations pay tuition for the programmatic experience.

Scale: Direct Impact is Echoing Green’s newest program, and was started three years ago. To date, we have graduated six cohorts of business leaders, for a total of over 50 graduates. The program is continuing to grow, with increasing demand from both individuals and corporations.

Kate Hayes
Photo Credit: Echoing Green

Kate Hayes’s bio:

Twitter: @kdahayes

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/kathryndianehayes

Kate Hayes is the director of Direct Impact at Echoing Green. She oversees programming for business leaders who are dedicated to realizing their full potential as agents of social change. She leads retreats, workshops, and immersive site visits focused on leadership development, purpose, strategic governance, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Echoing Green, she worked as Director of Evaluation and Program Impact in the national office of Minds Matter. While at Minds Matter, she led several new initiatives for engaging alumni, scaling the organization, and training 1,700 skills-based volunteers across the United States. Kate currently sits on the Executive Committee at the Northfield Mount Hermon School, where she serves as Vice President of the Alumni Council. Kate writes about leadership development and governance across the web, including in Forbes and SSIR. She holds a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from Northeastern University.

I consider myself a hybrid between a social entrepreneur and intrapreneur. I joined Echoing Green to re-think the way we were working with business leaders, so in a sense, I am an intrapreneur. At the same time, I am working to solve a major challenge in the space, which is that nonprofit boards are extremely ineffective.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

How This Sandwich Shop Feeds 80 Nonprofits For Free

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

Customers at Even Stevens, which promises to give a sandwich for each one it sells, may envision a kitchen in the back where employees make sandwiches for homeless people, but co-founder Sara Day, 28, explains it doesn’t work that way.

Day, the cause director for the 20-store chain operating in six states, says they scrapped the idea of making sandwiches before the company opened its first store in June of 2014.

The team decided against making sandwiches for two reasons.

First, they quickly recognized that making sandwiches at exactly the moment that nonprofit partners would want them would be impossibly difficult. The result of not doing so would be lots of wasted food.

The second problem is that making and delivering finished sandwiches would be too expensive. The normal margins on sandwiches aren’t big enough to allow the company to make two for the price of one. Customers wouldn’t be willing to pay the full retail price of two sandwiches to get just one—at least not often enough to make the business work.

Sara Day, Even Stevens

So, Day and the team came up with another plan. Each store selects four nonprofit partner organizations that it sponsors. The nonprofits are set up with accounts with the wholesale food supplier Sysco. Every time a customer makes an entrée purchase, Even Stevens donates $0.54 to the Sysco account of one of the nonprofit partners–enough to buy the ingredients for a sandwich.

While that may sound modest, Day says the downtown Salt Lake City store sells 15,000 sandwiches every month. Across the chain, the company is now producing 110,000 sandwiches every month. At that rate, the sandwich making firm is donating over $700,000 per year.

Kathy Cady, the co-coordinator for the Tucson Neighborhood Food Pantry, effuses over the support the pantry receives from Even Stevens. “Unfortunately, the population numbers for those in need seem to grow faster than our donations from other sources can keep up. Even Stevens donations have allowed us to provide quality foods to clients who may have had to go without. We are overjoyed to be able to supply fresh meats, non-perishable goods, fresh produce, and dairy all thanks to Even Stevens and their generosity.”

The model is also working well for the business, which Day reports is profitable. She notes that “mature stores,” those open for more than 24 months, generate operating margins of 15%.

Day was drawn to social entrepreneurship, she says, because she started college in 2008 as the Great Recession was beginning. She was appalled by what she calls the “incessant greed, fraud and quite frankly bullsh–” of the time.

“As a business major, I knew wanted to do something more and work for a company who cared more about people than just profits,” Day says.

“When I heard about the initial concept of Even Stevens, I knew it would be the perfect mix for my food experience, emerging degree in Business Administration and a passion for wanting to do something more than status quo at the time,” she adds.

More than a million donated sandwiches later, Day says, “I couldn’t even have dreamed—we’ve grown to over 80 nonprofit partnerships; we’re partnered with boys and girls clubs, senior centers, addiction recovery, domestic violence shelters–like really all over the place we are helping people.”

If you share my passion for doing good with your money, learn how you can become an impact investor with my online course, 25% off with this link.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

Your Mark on the World Changemakers of the Month for May 2018: NanaEfua Baidoo Afoh-Manin and Briana DeCuir

Congratulations to NanaEfua Baidoo Afoh-Manin and Briana DeCuir for being selected by Your Mark on the World readers as the Changemakers of the Month for May 2018. Both medical doctors, they are co-founders of the Shared Harvest Fund, which has developed a new model for helping graduates pay off their student loans.

We first told their story on Forbes. NanaEfua and Briana were joined in the founding group by a third African American medical doctor, Joanne Moreau.


The Shared Harvest Fund works like this: “debtfreelancers” who are people with student loans willing to volunteer for nonprofits find those opportunities on the Shared Harvest Fund Social Impact Job Board. Both the nonprofit and the debtfreelancers pay modest subscription fees to the Shared Harvest Fund. Additionally, sponsors and donors contribute to the fund. The funds pay down the student loans of the debtfreelancers.

The Shared Harvest Fund is raising money on Indiegogo to expand the number of people they can help from the first day. The Fund will be launched on June 19, 2018, Juneteenth, marking the celebration of the end of slavery in America.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

Conserva Irrigation Brings Technology To Your Yard To Reduce Wasted Water


Fresh, clean water is one of the scarcest resources on the planet and much what we use to water our yards is wasted. Conserva Irrigation is employing technology to shut your system down when the soil contains enough moisture–and much more.

Founder and vice president, Russ Jundt, explains how the technology can reduce water usage by 40 to 60 percent. The systems work well for commercial and residential real estate in the U.S. and around the world.

The company, part of the Outdoor Living Brands, family of franchise companies is working to find new franchisees who want to be a part of saving this scarce resource.

Interview with Russ Jundt, the founder, vice president and brand leader of Conserva Irrigation.

The following is the pre-interview with Russ Jundt. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Russ Jundt found a simple solution to one of the world’s most overlooked environmental issues — the tremendous amount of water wasted by traditional sprinkler systems. Due to an outdated industry with a lack of technology, 1.5 billion gallons of water are wasted daily (just in the U.S.), making it the world’s most limited yet wasted resource. With the use of Conserva’s proprietary irrigation assessment process and water-efficient technology, the average homeowner conserves 33,000 gallons of water per MONTH, while saving up to 60% on their monthly water bill. And on the commercial side, the company has helped hundreds of Target stores conserve 36 million gallons of water over the past year. Conserva is now in 44+ markets across the U.S., with plans on expanding to countries and markets with water crises and shortages.

More about Conserva Irrigation :

Website: https://www.conservairrigation.com/conservation/

Conserva Irrigation is the very first national irrigation company that’s committed to conserving water — specifically, the 1.5 billion gallons of water that’s wasted daily through inefficient sprinkler systems. With less than 1% of the earth’s surface covered in usable fresh water and climate change limiting our access to clean drinking water, Conserva was created as a way to combat the tremendous amount of water wasted by traditional sprinkler systems, and conserve one of the earth’s most limited yet wasted resources, while drastically reducing water bills.

With Conserva’s proprietary irrigation assessment process and water-efficient technology, the average homeowner conserves 33,000 gallons of water per month, while saving 40-60% on their monthly water bill. And the company overall has conserved 100 million+ gallons of fresh water since its inception. With a presence in 44+ markets across the U.S., Conserva plans to expand its global footprint and bring its impact to countries and markets suffering from water shortages and crises.

For-profit/Nonprofit: For-profit

Revenue model: Conserva Irrigation is the first ever national landscape irrigation model.  It was founded solely on the principles of water conservation with the main goal of reducing the ridiculous amount of fresh water waste from sprinkler systems.  Revenue at the franchisor level is derived from standard franchising royalty fees while providing marketing, accounting, operational and business coaching services.

At the franchisee level revenue is generated by providing services to our residential and commercial customers for maintenance, repair and system upgrades.  The premise of Conserva Irrigation is to provide services that promote green lush, healthy turf and landscapes, while using substantially less fresh water. After Conserva upgrades an existing irrigation system it uses 40% – 60% less water than it did previously.  What a great business model – we get paid to help promote healthy plant material which cools the earth, replenishes oxygen, and reduces run-off, all the while saving hundreds of millions of gallons of water each year.

Scale: Conserva was founded in December of 2010 and opened its first beta site in the fall of 2011.  In 2013 it expanded its testing ground to other regions of the U.S. by opening additional pilot locations to explore regional idiosyncrasies in field practices and marketing.  In June of 2017 Conserva officially started franchising its model across the U.S. and in its first eleven months has opened up in 44 territories and continues to gain momentum. System sales in 2017 exceeded $4 million and are slated to double in 2018.

Russ Jundt
Photo Credit: Conserva Irrigation

Russ Jundt’s bio:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/russjundt/

Russ Jundt came up with the idea of Conserva after spending 10 years in the irrigation industry and witnessing the tremendous amount of water wasted by traditional sprinkler systems. After developing a proprietary irrigation assessment process and coupling it with water-efficient technology, he founded Conserva Irrigation in 2011. As a former franchisee of Mosquito Squad, Outdoor Living Brands’ mosquito elimination company, Russ was fascinated with the franchise business model and wanted to apply it to his irrigation company. Conserva is now the fifth outdoor home service franchise under the Outdoor Living Brands umbrella of concepts and the very first national irrigation company committed to water conservation. It’s Russ’ goal, through the creation and development of Conserva Irrigation, to educate and create behavioral change in the use of fresh water in landscape irrigation systems across the world.


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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

Stop Thinking Small! 5 Billion Low-Income People Represent A Huge Opportunity

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Having covered social entrepreneurship for Forbes for nearly six years, one of the biggest issues I see in the community of change-makers is limited vision. The world’s most pressing problems—poverty, disease and climate change—are massive are require solutions that scale. It is time for social entrepreneurs to stop thinking small.

Most of the world’s population can’t afford to own a car. Current estimates are that there are just over a billion cars on the road. Even if we assume that most are owned by one car families and that many people who can afford a car don’t own one, we can quickly conclude that five billion people lack the economic resources even to own a Tata Nano.

While it is true that most of these five billion people have adequate food, water and shelter, they are not enjoying a lifestyle that most people in the developed world take for granted. And nearly a billion people in the world are living on less than $2 per day, aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from and/or lack access to safe, clean drinking water. More than two billion people lack a sanitary place to defecate.

Ann Cotton

The world’s problems are huge. Stop thinking small.

Your project or enterprise can scale or be replicated.

Today, there are at least 65 million girls who are not in school. Ann Cotton was a graduate student in Cambridge doing research into the problem in 1991.

She is one of the most inspiring change-makers I’ve interviewed over the past six years (among more than 900 people). She founded CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education. She got her start visiting Zimbabwe where she had learned boys outnumbered girls in school by a ration of 7:1. She was repeatedly told that parents simply didn’t want their girls educated.

When she started talking to parents she found that they did want to educate their girls but couldn’t afford to have all their kids in school and so sent their boys and typically kept their girls at home.

Starting with a bake sale to send 32 girls to school. It worked. Ann could have congratulated herself for helping 32 girls get an education and proving that they could and should be educated but she didn’t stop. She saw that effort as a pilot program, a case study, a proof of concept to be replicated.

To date, CAMFED reports having provided 249,378 girls with scholarships and having supported schools in five countries that have been attended by millions of boys and girls.

Big problems represent huge opportunities.

Narayana Health is a cardiac health care provider in India. With almost 16,000 employees, 50 facilities and 6,888 beds, the system generated about $318 million in revenue last year—its first year as a public company.

Founder Dr. Devi Shetty says, “If a solution is not affordable, it is not a solution.” (See my interview with him here.)

By focusing relentlessly on cost, Narayana Health has made quality cardiac care accessible to hundreds of millions of people for whom it was not available when Dr. Shetty launched the enterprise 30 years ago.

Dr. Deviprasad Shetty

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals target the elimination of extreme poverty by 2030. This represents both a challenge and an opportunity for social entrepreneurs who see opportunities in selling clean water, distributed clean energy, financial services, improved nutrition and improved farming techniques at affordable prices to the billions of people who want them.

As economic growth in the global north slows to low single digits the potential for rapid economic growth and the financial and business opportunities that underlie it may be greatest in countries with high proportions of low-income people.

Let’s start seeing and investing in opportunities to scale good.

If you share my passion for doing good with your money, learn how you can become an impact investor with my online course, 25% off with this link.


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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

Five Miracles and 9 Tips for Working with Traumatized Love or Sex Addicted Women

This is a guest post from Lacy Alajna Bentley, a first-time best-selling author who has been working with women in self-destructive behaviors since 2000. 

Miracle One

Women are amazing. That’s not to say men aren’t, because they certainly are. The women I work with though, have been through so much. They have been traumatized, abused, neglected, assaulted, even bought and sold. And every day, though some days are harder than others, these women get up. They get out of bed, and they work at improving themselves, their homes, their lives. Their stories are not for the faint of heart. In fact, many of these women’s stories are so intense, they’ve learned most people can’t handle hearing them. So they play small, speak small, or don’t speak at all. All the while, they just want what we all want: deep, healthy, nurturing, forever love. It doesn’t have to be romantic, though even they don’t know that yet. Their losses are stacked so high that their hearts scarcely believe anything more is possible for them. That’s when my first miracle entered.

Miracle Two

Writing a book was always something I wanted to do. It was something I always knew I was meant to do. What I didn’t know was how that book would be used, and by whom. I did hope a few women would pick it up and improve their lives. It was enough for me to touch a few lives and teach a few women to love deeper, more fully. Since that idea years ago, so much has changed, and I’m already planning the second book. But what about the women now? What about these Earthly sisters of mine, suffering in pain, in bondage of their own making or someone else’s. What about them? That is the second miracle.

Miracle Three

I joined a movement to end sexual exploitation in all its forms. We fight the heights and depths of child porn, sex slavery (yep, it’s a thing, even in the “nicest” cities of the U.S.), and we fight the roots of these abominations: pornography. We fight with facts, with stories of men, women and children trapped in pornography use, creation, or worse, sex slavery. And we fight with our whole souls. A few years ago, I was invited to a meeting that would change the course of my life, the culmination of which is yet to be seen. That was the third miracle.

Application

It doesn’t surprise anyone that women and girls are victims, then survivors, of sex abuse, sexual assault, and often, human trafficking. It doesn’t surprise anyone that men use pornography, and many do so compulsively. Those are not the conversations I have though. I have the conversations that seem to always raise more questions than can be answered in a brief conversation, and that keep people thinking for days. I talk about women, girls, and their pornography addictions. That’s right, girls use porn, too. And they are doing so more and more frequently. In fact, most young women have seen some form of pornography well before they graduate High School. They have dated young men who use it, and have asked them for “nudes.” Some are even full blown compulsive pornography users themselves, feeling freakish and horrible for their draw to see more. Porn is a guy’s thing, isn’t it? This is where I have chosen to employ those previous miracles.

First, as a woman who knows abandonment, neglect, and abuse, my heart knows these women’s hearts. Second, I love writing, and I love changing minds, opening hearts with my words. Hearing “You really made me think” is the best compliment anyone can give my writings. Third, I’m smart enough to know no major change ever happened alone, and that slaying a giant is much more enjoyable (and sustainable) with friends. It doesn’t hurt that I used pornography myself in Junior High and High School. That was the early to mid-90s. Shocking, I know, but girls and porn have been friends for a very long time. My own history has greatly informed my research, conversations, and now book. But it isn’t just about me. I weave the stories of many women who deal with myriad forms of compulsive love, sex and relationship patterns. Many even consider themselves “love addicts” with or without a co-existing pornography addiction. After all, they are looking for love, and modern media tells us that is best found through sex, so why not believe it?

Women need more than what modern media has to offer, though, especially if they have sexual trauma. This trauma leaves her feeling unworthy, used, empty, even full of rage and self-loathing. When treating a woman with compulsive relationship patterns (sex based, love based, or both), it is important to help her find her voice and power again. It gets stripped away by events, then the hole gets deeper as she fights to feel loved. She often only knows how to use her sexuality to try and get that love. We must teach her a better way. But first, we must empower her through teaching her to decide for herself again, and to trust the wisdom within her. When she was little, she dreamt of mansions, and horses, and fairies. Somewhere she lost her taste for magic, and her connection to love went with it. She stopped believing in fairies shortly before she stopped believing in other magical creatures, like the safety of untainted Love.

Miracle Four

By giving her the gift of hearing her, seeing her, and holding space for her pain, we can help her regain that magical joy that only real love brings. In the process I’ve noticed our own feelings of wonderment and laughter can return. It’s like watching our child learn a new skill, or laugh at her own accomplishment. The feeling of delight these women gain at learning to love themselves is contagious. They learn to love themselves again by letting our love be a mirror, reflecting back at them all that they can become, all that they are. Through watching us trust them with their own emotions, their own inspiration, their own wisdom, they come to trust themselves. Then, through our acknowledgment of their grief, they allow themselves to feel again, but this time without fear. They start to see how the past cannot hut them anymore, and that the future is theirs for the taking. They learn to live, perhaps for the first time, free of fear or excuses. This new level of living gives them power to create a new life, the one that was always waiting for them. That is the greatest miracle of them all.

That is also why I spend so much of my time with women, guiding them to their own inner guide, cheering them on, and holding space for their mistakes. It is such a gift to watch them grow and unfold, right before my eyes. So I keep speaking, I keep writing, and I keep looking for the next woman who is ready to let her life inspire others, even if only because she gets up in the morning to try again. Yes, I do it through helping her overcome sex, love, pornography, and relationship addiction. That’s what it looks like from the outside. In truth, I teach her to live without excuses, empowered by honesty, hope, and courage. That, I’ve learned, is really all anyone needs. With these skills, she knows she can face the truth courageously, she can hope for the love she so desperately needs, and stop giving herself counterfeits and empty dreams.

A Few Tips I have Learned Along the Way:

  1. Take care of yourself. As helpers, we need good boundaries
  2. Love yourself. She will only know to love herself as deeply as she can see you loving yourself.
  3. Be genuine. A woman who has been hurt can see through “fake” like she can see you standing in front of her.
  4. Don’t pretend. It confuses her. She needs to learn what is real, and what can be trusted if she is to rekindle her own spark of intuition. If she can’t read you, she can’t learn to read herself.
  5. Keep good boundaries. She won’t know how, and will be depending on you to keep her safe. A woman who learned to equate sex with love cannot filter out someone else’s ambiguous or flimsy boundaries. And she will push on them. It won’t be intentional, but it will seem like it is.
  6. Love her fiercely. It’s the only way she knows how to feel. Let yourself feel deeply of her pain, let her see your tears now and then. Let her hear you say, “I don’t know what you need, teach me.” If you are afraid to let yourself love her, she will feel it as she is unlovable. Boundary it, keep it appropriate, but love her. If you can’t, help her get to someone who can.
  7. Trust is critical. If you learn nothing else, learn this: only through you will she learn that she is okay. If she cannot trust you, she will never learn to trust her. This means you must be trustworthy. Be on time, keep your commitments to her, and love her enough to hold her accountable without berating her. Not every error must be addressed. If no errors in thought, deed, or pattern are addressed, she will never be able to become the woman she is meant to be.
  8. Forgive yourself. You will not always have the answers, and parts of her story may stun you. she can take it, but not if you feel shame over it. You can, and need to be honest with her when you know you have made a mistake. She won’t know that making mistakes and not having the answers are okay, unless you model that for her. Apologizing to her sincerely and without excuse will teach her that humility is not weakness, it is part of a healthy relationship.
  9. See the miracles. She will illuminate them, and shower them on you. It may take hindsight to witness them, but I promise you, they are there. Is that the fifth miracle? I absolutely believe so.

Book link: https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Love-Addiction-Recovery-Roadmap-ebook/dp/B07B9X3BL6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1524082315&sr=8-3&keywords=overcoming+love+addiction

Lacy Alajna Bentley

About Lacy Alajna Bentley:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lacyalajnabentley

Website: www.HerRecoveryRoadmap.com

Lacy is a first-time best-selling author who has been working with women in self-destructive behaviors since 2000. She lives in the benches of the beautiful Utah mountains with her family and a 5-foot python named Titus. She also loves to give away her book, so email her for a copy!


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