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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

Interview

Principal, Rotary Club and Students Develop and Share Tools for Blind Students


Dr. John Patterson was the first president of his Liverpool-based Rotary Club. He is also the principal at St. Vincent’s, a school for visually impaired and blind children. Working with the children, they developed SightBox, a collection of games and educational tools for kids like themselves in the developing world.

Working with his Rotary Club, they share the SightBox kits with students who would otherwise have no access to such things.

Interview with Dr. John Adam Patterson, the Dr John Patterson Principal and Charter President Rotary St.Vincents of St. Vincent’s School for the Blind.

The following is the pre-interview with Dr. John Adam Patterson. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

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

In the UK, Visually Impaired unemployment is at 85% with 5-6 less friends than sighted peers; this is much higher in developing countries. We design access to sports equipment and send this equipment with a surround curriculum to VI schools weaving in technology teaching and learning innovation generating VI friend groups and access to learning /support for new venture creation.

Reaching out to some 6 million visually impaired young people to help generate friendship groups through sports to tackle isolation and via engagement in STEM to challenge high unemployment rates via showcasing strengths towards  employability in synergy with new venture creation.

St. Vincent’s:  www.stvin.com

More about St. Vincent’s School for the Blind:

Twitter: @sightboxuk

Website: www.sightbox.org.uk

St.Vincent’s is a residential specialist school for the blind in Liverpool, UK. Part of the school curriculum engages a ‘common good’ focus in sharing access to sports and education through the sending of a physical  SIGHTBOX to schools for the blind internationally supported by Rotary. St.Vincent pupils work with a surrounding Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) curriculum with SIGHTBOX recipients to design new content and signpost routes to employment and  generate friendship groups in synergy with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For-profit/Nonprofit: Rotary club in collaboration with a non maintained school charity and sightbox charity ( ie SDG 17 in action)

Revenue model: Donations from Rotary and match funding for content of SIGHTBOX innovation

Scale: St. Vincents takes pupils from across the UK and has a staff of 56. Our Rotary club has over 20 members. We have sent sightboxes so far to 9 different VI communities in the world and wish to roll out our impact

Dr. John Adam Patterson

Dr. John Adam Patterson’s bio:

Originally an engineer, John retrained as a primary teacher serving in Liverpool inner city schools and across public private and voluntary sectors within EU Objective One programmes as community and education consultant leading to a Senior Lecturer role as Head of Physical Education on teacher education programmes at Liverpool Hope University. His MSC and PhD surround social capital, social enterprise, volunteerism and curriculum design. He is currently Principal at St. Vincent’s, a residential non-maintained School for VI in West Derby Liverpool rated as OUTSTANDING by The Office for Standards in Education. His research and focus remains with securing outcomes for VI young people.


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!

Her Peace Corps Experience Shaped Her Life, Impacted Countless Others

Jaclyn “Jacque” Zoccoli started her career in the Peace Corps. That experience has shaped her life and career ever since, giving her a desire to always have an impact for good in the world. She works today to connect people to all those who can help them.

Interview with Jaclyn “Jacque” Zoccoli, the Global Collaborator of Network Builders Arizona.

The following is the pre-interview with Jaclyn “Jacque” Zoccoli. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

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

The problem solved is the lack of resources, (thus impact of groups), because they do not partner with others going the same direction. Through the building of alliances, and teams of them, there is an increase in commerce and growth. This eventually builds more love, prosperity and peace worldwide, the total solution.

Operation Heart to Heart:  PrincessJenniferLeeMinistries.org/OHH

More about Network Builders Arizona:

Website: NetworkBuildersArizona.com

Network Builders Arizona is partnering with Manifesting Global Solutions Group. The focus is to provide a template of resources for Eco Cities globally. There are 8 areas of development offered – from health to environment. The purpose is to provide grassroots seeds that teach communities how to become self-sufficient.

For-profit/Nonprofit: For-profit

Revenue model: The revenue model stems around several sources. Network Builders Arizona is a coaching business, thus individual, and group coaching are a source. The book and speaking engagements and workshops also bring in revenues. As an Influence Broker, revenue comes from client project phases, through alliances vetted and provided for the project’s increased success.

The partnership with the Manifesting Global Solutions Group will allow commissions from member interactions.

Scale: The Network Builders Arizona aspect is a one-person entity. As involvement with Manifesting Global Solutions Group increases, this will be expanded. It is estimated 16 – 32 groups/employees will be involved per project. There will be a Project Team as well to coordinate everything.

Jaclyn “Jacque” Zoccoli

Jaclyn “Jacque” Zoccoli’s bio:

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/jacquezoccoli

After 2 years in the Peace Corps, in Liberia, Jaclyn began her focus on connecting people – locally, then globally. After the corporate trenches, she began her own businesses. Desktop Publishing (and teaching it – 4 colleges), morphed into creating networking groups (20) in CA.

Moving to Arizona, she turned the title “Networking Coach” into “Word of Mouth Strategist” then “Influence Broker”. While coaching, speaking, and authoring her book “Spontaneous Combustion – Developing Profitable Relationships”, she joined the Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative. Her focus changed to Global Collaborator, and she now connects people in 196 countries to resources to increase love, prosperity and peace.

The new Manifesting Global Solutions Group, offers a template for Eco Cities worldwide. Here Jaclyn will provide alliances for project phases, and coordinate the template strategies.

Mantra – “My age justifies my wisdom, my developed clarity teaches the Excitement of Awareness” that Excitement is what she is all about.


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!

Now You Can Start Investing With Mission and Purpose for Just $5


Newday Investing has created a new investment firm where you can begin investing with just $5. Not only can you start today with such a tiny balance, you can investing in up to six different mission-driven portfolios that align with the view of the future you’d like to help build.

Interview with Doug Heske, the CEO, and Alex Meek, the president of Newday Investing.

The following is the pre-interview with Doug Heske. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

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

Interest in socially responsible or “impact investing” continues to grow: between 2014 and 2016, US assets under professional management using sustainable, socially responsible, and impact strategies grew 33% to reach $8.7 trillion.

This type of investing is especially popular among millennials who are focused on making values-based and socially responsible financial decisions. More than $60 trillion of wealth will be transferred to more than 75 million US-based millennials by 2040 (the global opportunity is even greater as millennials worldwide exceed 2 billion people).

At Newday, we believe that by investing in socially good companies, we can not only generate competitive returns but also drive meaningful change in the way people make their investment decisions. We also believe that socially responsible investing shouldn’t be limited to the very wealthy. We provide affordable, transparent, and easy-to-understand sustainable and responsible investment solutions.

For Newday, investing is as much about education as it is about funding socially responsible organizations. Users can change the world from their pocket by investing in proprietary portfolios with as little as $5. Those who are just beginning to enter the world of impact investing can still use the app without being prompted to invest, using it as a platform to educate themselves, discover new causes to care about, and connect with others who share their values.

More about Newday Investing:

Twitter: @NewdayInvesting

Website: newdayimpact.com

Based in San Francisco, Newday is a technology-enabled asset manager that provides affordable, transparent and easy-to-understand impact investment solutions to the mass market with a minimum investment of just $5. By investing in socially responsible and sustainable companies, Newday aims to generate competitive return and, most importantly, drive meaningful change in the way companies in our portfolios adopt environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices and policies. In order to be effective in driving positive impact on corporate behavior, Newday adopts an active ownership model, engaging with companies’ decisions as they affect their stakeholders including communities, employees and shareholders.

For-profit/Nonprofit: For-profit

Revenue model: Newday charges charges 1% on assets under management. However, the company gives back 5% of topline revenues to key nonprofit partners. Each Newday portfolio will benefit a particular, selected NGO. For example, Conservation International is linked to the Global Impact Equity Strategy and Lonely Whale to Oceans. The team is building additional functionality to facilitate donations and eventually users will be able to donate dividends and interest earned.

Scale: Newday’s platform and iOS app officially launched to the public on June 19.

Doug Heske

 

Doug Heske ’s bio:

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/douglasheske

Doug brings more than 25 years of investment management and leadership experience to Newday, with a record of transforming new businesses for rapid expansion. Prior, he ran the Private Client business for Stone & Youngberg, LLC, was President and CEO of Nollenberger Capital and was CA Regional Director of Piper Jaffray Companies, Inc. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s (SIFMA) Western District since 1996 and was acting chairman from 2002—2004. He was also formally a member of SIFMA’s Regional Wealth Management Round Table and has served on FINRA’s District 1 Committee. Doug also sits on the board of several San Francisco based organizations such as the Oakland Museum of California.

Alexander Meek

Alexander Meek ’s bio:

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

Alex has spent his career as a founding member across startup ventures in consumer tech, consumer goods, media and finance. Alex began his career managing wealth for high networth families and covering hedge funds and institutions inequity sales at Deutsche Bank Alex Brown. Alex has served various positions in human rights as Treasurer and Board Member of the Red Ribbon Foundation, Mentor at UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlement Program), and a Volunteer at Community Health Africa a Poverty Solution. Alex earned a Major in Economics from St. Lawrence University and a MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from Babson College -Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business.


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!

If You Haven’t Fixed Your Nonprofit Website To Comply With GDPR, Here’s How

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

On May 25, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation went into effect. These rules effectively apply to almost every website operated in the world—including your nonprofit or social venture. If you haven’t figured out compliance yet, take a few minutes to read this article to learn how.

Let’s start by pointing out that for a small nonprofit or social venture, failing to comply with the GDPR rules could cost up to 10 million euro, almost $12 million. Just hiring a lawyer to defend a case brought by someone in Europe could wipe out all the funds you plan to spend on your mission for years to come. Have I got your attention now? If you haven’t fixed your site to comply, it’s not too late.

Amber Hinds, the CEO of Road Warrior Creative, works primarily with social entrepreneurs and nonprofits to build websites. Much of her work over the past two years has been preparing for the implementation of GDPR rules. She joined me for a live interview, which you can watch in the player at the top of this article, and provided additional information to help me understand the rules.

Hinds knows her stuff.

Amber Hinds, Road Warrior Creative

Angie Coleman, director of community for Lesbians Who Tech, uses Road Warrior for GDPR compliance work. She says, “Road Warrior Creative was instrumental in our compliance with the new GDPR rules. They were able to walk us through what was needed, help implement new changes, and oversee that everything was cohesive across our three brands. It was a huge help, especially as we waited till crunch time to make the changes.”

CJ Legare, chief of staff and faculty coordinator for Lean Startup Co, uses Road Warrior, too, and she agrees. “RWC gave us wonderful guidance and made sure we understood our options, so we could make informed choices”

If you are based in the EU, you are, of course subject to the new rules. Even if you are based in the US, or elsewhere outside the EU, chances are good the rules apply to you.

If you have a website that is intended for use anywhere in the EU, which still includes Great Britain and will include English-speaking Ireland even after Brexit, you are subject to the new rules. If you have people from the EU in your newsletter list, if you have accepted donations from the EU or sold products to people in the EU, you are almost certainly subject to the new rules.

Hinds offers this caveat:

Now, what I will say about this is that if you are a very small non-profit or individual or organization that is collecting, let’s say, just emails for a newsletter and you’re not expressly targeting people from the European Union–that is to say they might just find you via Google but you don’t have any information that is marketing related that is targeting that demographic–it is possible that it may not apply to you because those are incidental users.

While you’re reviewing your compliance with GDPR, consider your compliance with older EU regulations around cookies. Many sites have not been compliant and people have been using GDPR as an opportunity to get compliant with these rules as well.

Again, you are subject to the rules about cookies if you are physically based in the EU or if you target consumers in the EU. You might think that your site doesn’t use cookies, so the rules don’t apply to you but almost all sites do, whether you know it or not. All WordPress sites use cookies. Google Analytics uses cookies and most sites now incorporate Google Analytics. Again, chances are good you’ll need to comply with these rules, too.

To comply with GDPR there are three primary things you need to do.

  1. Get consent to collect any personally identifiable information
  2. Disclose to your customers the data you’re keeping about them
  3. Forget everything about a person upon request

Getting consent prospectively is not terribly difficult. One key is to resist the temptation to require people to opt out of your lists or to automatically add them after doing business with you. To send marketing messages you must have permission. The best practice is a “double opt in” feature where you send each person who signs up a confirmation email that they must click to finally be added to your list.

What about all those email addresses you already have on your list? They have been gathered over years. You may not know or remember how those email addresses were gathered. Some people have chosen to send everyone who might possibly be in the EU—in some cases, everyone on their list, an invitation to proactively confirm they’d like to continue receiving their messages. Others have simply purged old names and email addresses for which they don’t have a clear record of how they were acquired.

Additionally, when a customer asks to know what information you store about them, you’ll need to be able to tell them exactly what you’ve recorded. When a customer asks to be forgotten, you’ll need to either purge all their data or anonymize it. You are allowed to keep information that is required for compliance with other record-keeping regulations in your jurisdiction, as may apply to financial and other transactions.

To comply with the old EU cookies regulations that so many of us have been ignoring, you are required to give people notice that your site uses cookies and provide a link to your policy about using cookies. To do this, most websites have chosen to create a popup bar at the top or bottom of the screen that summarizes the cookies policy and provides a link to the full policy

If you’re like me and you’re not a coder or web-designer like Hinds, this all sounds very intimidating. She pointed us to two affordable tools that will help you comply.

The first is the GDPR Framework WordPress Plugin. This plugin will integrate with most WordPress sites and will help you implement your GDPR compliance. One great feature of this tool is the price: free.

Another tool that is somewhat more robust but is still affordable is iubenda.com. This site is a legal compliance site that for an annual fee of $27 will help you get a legally compliant policy. Using a TurboTax-style process, it will help you build a policy that describes what you are currently doing. When you’re finished, they provide a snippet of code that you can install on your site to get compliant.

Even with these tools, the process may sound intimidating. For those with resources, firms like Road Warrior Creative can help you. For those with limited budgets, investing the time to figure this out is worth the effort it requires.

As Hinds says of these rules, “I just think this is good customer service. When you provide people with information about the data you’re using, you’re collecting on them and why you’re collecting it or say that you have cookies on your website and you’re transparent about that, I think people generally are going to appreciate that.”

Click here to get my free webinar showing the three myths that hamper and the two keys for nonprofit crowdfunding success.


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!

US Senate Candidate Jenny Wilson Says She’s Better on Climate, Health Care and Poverty


The mission of the Your Mark on the World Center is to end extreme poverty, improve health and mitigate climate change. I asked U.S. Senate candidate Jenny Wilson–who faces a daunting challenge in popular Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney–for her take on each of these issues.

Poverty: Wilson acknowledged that even here in Utah, many children live in poverty, aren’t sure where their next meal will come from and that chronic homelessness continues in Utah. She asserts that she is in touch with these issues by virtue of her work on the Salt Lake County Council where she dealt directly with issues facing the homeless and other low-income Utahns.

Health: After leaving the County Council, Wilson took a job with the University of Utah Health Care system. She has been a vocal advocate for medicaid expansion in Utah, helping to organize a campaign to get a ballot initiative approved for this November.

Climate: Wilson acknowledges that there are many climate skeptics in Utah but says such views are out of touch with reality. She promises to advocate for returning the United States to international efforts to reduce carbon emissions and to otherwise protect the environment. She highlights her concern that the current administration will deregulate air quality leaving those living along Utah’s Wasatch Front with dangerously polluted air.  

Governor Romney will be invited to join me on my show soon.

Interview with Jenny Wilson, the Salt Lake County Council Member of Jenny Wilson for U.S. Senate.

The following is the pre-interview with Jenny Wilson. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

More about Jenny Wilson for U.S. Senate:

Twitter: @JennyWilsonUT

Facebook: facebook.com/wilsonforsenate

Website: wilsonforsenate.com

Jenny Wilson

Jenny Wilson’s bio:

Twitter: @JennyWilsonUT

Jenny Wilson is a fifth-generation Utahn with a record demonstrating commitment to the state where she raises her family.

In 2006, Jenny became the first woman elected to the Salt Lake County Council, where she is currently serving one-third of Utahns in her second, six-year term and has led numerous policy initiatives, including ethics reform, government efficiency, criminal justice reform and open space preservation.

Jenny has experience at all levels of government, having served as press secretary to U.S. Rep. Les AuCoin (D-OR) and as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Orton (D-UT).

On the County Council, Jenny is a bold policy-maker who forges bipartisan consensus to get things done. Her service in the United States Senate would be no exception.


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 Entrepreneurial Solution to Lice Will Surprise You


More than a decade in development, Lice Clinics of America has opened 200 clinics in just five years. The company uses a patented technology that uses no chemicals to treat the itchy and highly contagious condition. The secret: hot air. Tune in to the full interview with CEO Claire Roberts to learn more.

Interview with Claire Roberts, the CEO of Lice Clinics of America.

The following is the pre-interview with Claire Roberts. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

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

While it may seem like a benign issue, head lice is the second-most transmittable condition among school aged children (behind the common cold), meaning that most families will have to spend money they might not have on head lice treatment. As OTC treatment becomes less and less effective, Lice Clinics of America offers affordable, one and done treatment so families can get on with their lives. During our Annual Egg Hunt, treatments are free.

Lice Clinics of America®, the world’s largest network of urgent care clinics for head lice treatment and providers of leading head lice-removal services and products provides annual “Egg Hunts”. This year, the Egg Hunt was held over 2 days, and provided $35,700 worth of free head lice treatment to consumers throughout the country.

In addition, a startling 6-11 million people suffer from head lice infestations each year, and has families frustrated and wasting big money on endless ineffective, incredibly expensive treatments (some of which can reach over $1,000 total).

Lice Clinics of America has created a cost effective way to eradicate head lice and help you save your present-buying money. With treatments costing only up to $195, the network utilizes the chemical-free device, AirAllé, which uses dry, warm air to dehydrate and eliminate both lice and eggs. Being the most advanced technology to eliminate Super Lice, the AirAllé is an FDA approved device that is 99% effective in stopping Super Lice once and for all.

More about Lice Clinics of America:

Twitter: @LiceNoMore

Facebook: Facebook.com/LCACorp

Website: www.liceclinicsofamerica.com

Lice Clinics of America offers eco-friendly, non-toxic and pesticide-free prevention and treatment products that are reliable and safe alternatives to typical over-the-counter and prescription drugs, including its exclusive AirAllé treatment throughout their 300 global clinics. The AirAllé, a FDA-cleared, patented medical device, uses precision controlled, heated air to dehydrate lice and 99.2 percent of lice eggs. The brand has also taken the technology used in its clinics to create two over-the-counter solutions, the Lice Remover Kit and Lice Preventer Kit, which utilize a pesticide-free liquid gel that can stop lice infestations before they start, immobilize lice, detangle hair and facilitate the removal of lice and eggs.

For-profit/Nonprofit: For-profit

Scale: Lice Clinics of America is the world’s largest network of urgent care clinics for head lice treatment and providers of leading head lice-removal services and products throughout their 300 global clinics

Claire Roberts
Photo Credit: Lice Clinics of America

Claire Roberts’s bio:

Linkedin: linkedin.com/company/larada-sciences-inc

Claire Roberts is the CEO of Lice Clinics of America. Claire specializes in launching early stage ventures, leading them through high growth and positioning them to reach their high performance potential.  She has a diverse industry background as a CEO covering manufacturing and distribution, technology, new media and medical informatics. In addition to her private sector CEO experience, Claire was a key player in the launch of BioCrossroads, the Indiana life sciences economic development organization. She most recently served as CEO of ArbiterSports, an NCAA backed SaaS venture headquartered in Sandy, Utah.  Claire heralds from Seattle, Washington, is a proud University of Washington Husky (Pac 8 generation) and is very happy to be calling Salt Lake City her home now.


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!

These 2 Kids Have Helped 30,000 People Find a Place to Volunteer

Max and Jake Klein, now 14, remember being told they were too young to volunteer when they were just seven or eight years old. That frustration ultimately inspired them to launch a matching service to help kids–and adults–find service opportunities.

Recently, Verizon recognized their work with its Service Through STEM Award, which encourages young people to use science, technology, engineering and math to do service. So far, 30,000 people have used the site to find a service opportunity.

Interview with Max and Jake Klein, the of Kids that do good.

The following is the pre-interview with Max and Jake Klein. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

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

We are a non-profit website that helps connect kids and adults to volunteering opportunities in over 80 markets across the country. We also offer ideas for charitable events you can do on your own. This way kids can make a difference in their communities no matter what their age is. It’s never too early to think about helping others.

Max and Jake Klein

More about Kids that do good:

Twitter: @kidsthatdogood

Instagram: @kidsthatdogood

Facebook: Facebook.com/kidsthatdogood

Website: kidsthatdogood.com

Linkedin: LinkedIn.com/in/kids-that-do-good

We are a non-profit website that helps connect kids and adults to volunteering opportunities in over 80 markets across the country. We also offer ideas for charitable events you can do on your own. This way kids can make a difference in their communities no matter what their age is. It’s never too early to think about helping others.

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


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!

Philippe Cousteau Continues Famous Grandfather Jacques’ Environmental Legacy

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

The assumption that Philippe Cousteau, 38, had no choice but to follow in the footsteps—er, wake—of his famous, sea-exploring grandfather Jacques Cousteau is wrong. While the younger Cousteau revere’s his grandfather, it was his own experience exploring that connected him to his grandfather’s work.

The senior explorer died in 1997 at the age of 87. By the time the grandson was ready to explore the world, the grandfather was resigned to the role of “elder statesman” rather than intrepid explorer.

An expedition to New Guinea at age 16, with Eugenie Clark, known as the Shark Lady, convinced Philippe Cousteau that there was simply no other way to live.

As with his grandfather, his love for the sea and the natural world includes a passion for protecting it. One of the ways that Cousteau manifests his environmentalism is through the nonprofit organization he founded called EarthEcho, focused on engaging young people in the environmental movement.

Jill Belasco, an entrepreneur who served on the board of the organization for six years, including a term as the Vice Chair, says, EarthEcho is about education; they not only develop programs for the next generation of environmentalists but work closely with teachers and schools to get kids involved with hands-on projects.”

“I have worked with other environmental non-profits and have yet to find any organization that connects directly to our youth in the way EarthEcho does,” she adds.

The full-time staff at EarthEcho is small—just six people—and the budget of “over $1 million” is modest but leveraging the Cousteau brand and passion to build partnerships, the small organization is able to play above its weight class.

Philippe Cousteau, continues the legacy of his famous grandfather, Jacques Cousteau.

Cousteau says, “We don’t like to reinvent the wheel. There’s far too much of that already in the environmental movement—in most movements actually.” He believes the partnerships provide leverage to allow the small organization to maximize its impact.

In addition, EarthEcho has a Youth Leadership Council with 15 people from age 16 to 22 from around the world that also support the organization’s programs.

Watch my full interview with Cousteau in the video player at the top of the article.

Cousteau hopes that his nonprofit will help to galvanize a generation of activists. He notes with obvious frustration, “We saw in the last election, climate change wasn’t even a topic that came up in the debates.” He observes that environmental issues have become politically divisive.

“I always like to remind people that Richard Nixon passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. He founded the EPA,” Cousteau says. “We can argue about foreign policy, we can argue about economic policy when it comes right down to it clean air and clean water are non-negotiable.”

In recent years, EarthEcho recognized an opportunity in the movement to improve STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—education in schools. The science-focused curriculum EarthEcho provides aligns well with the movement so the organization has adapted its materials to emphasize this connection.

“What better way to study biology chemistry and engineering than nature because that’s where it all comes from,” Cousteau says.

The young Cousteau is also continuing some of his grandfather’s work in front of the camera and has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards. He is the star of Caribbean Pirate Treasure on the Travel Channel.

Alex Morrison, a current board member at EarthEcho and SVP of Business Development at Strada Education Network, says he met Cousteau while working at the Discovery Channel.

Morrison says EarthEcho is empowering a generation of young people through education to identify threats to oceans and bodies of water in their own communities and to address them. “That type of approach has tremendous magnification.”

The late Cousteau said, “The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.” Now his grandson is trying to get a new generation aboard.

Click here to get my free webinar showing the three myths that hamper and the two keys for nonprofit crowdfunding success.


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!

JP Morgan Chase Foundation to Increase Giving to $1.75B


JP Morgan Chase Foundation recently announced that it would be increasing it annual grantmaking to $1.7 billion. Much of their philanthropic giving is paired with supportive lending as well, potentially increasing the impact. (Disclosure: I have a small investment in JPM stock.)

Foundation president Janis Bowdler said in our interview (watch the full interview in the player at the top of the article) that the increase in funding is part of a broad corporate strategy to increase equality.

Interview with Janis Bowdler, the President of JPMorgan Chase Foundation of JPMorgan Chase.

The following is the pre-interview with Janis Bowdler. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

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

Our mission is to enable more people to contribute to and share in the rewards of a growing economy. We believe that reducing inequality and creating widely-shared prosperity requires collaboration of business, government, nonprofit and other civic organizations, particularly in the cities and metropolitan regions that power economic growth.

We take a comprehensive approach to increasing economic opportunity, using our firm’s global scale, talent and resources to make investments and create partnerships in four priority areas: Jobs & Skills, Small Business Expansion, Financial Health, and Neighborhood Revitalization. The firm’s $150 million investment in Detroit’s economic recovery continues to make an impact and establish a model for how to help more people share in the rewards of a growing economy. Going forward, the firm will continue to apply this investment model in other cities. For example, the firm recently announced a $40 million investment in Chicago’s South and West sides and a $10 million investment in Washington, D.C.’s underserved neighborhoods.

The firm also nearly tripled the size of the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund in Detroit from $6.5 million to over $18 million and is expanding the Fund to San Francisco and the South Bronx next month. Other examples of some new and successful philanthropic investments in the U.S. include:  Transforming America’s education and job training systems through increased investment in skill building for adults and young people in cities across the U.S. such as Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and dozens of others. JPMorgan Chase is supporting proven and new training strategies and policies and partnering with community colleges, career technical education programs, and business to build career pathways to well-paying jobs in growing fields such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing and transportation, distribution and logistics. Expanding The Fellowship Initiative, an intensive academic, leadership and professional development program that contributes to increased education and career opportunities for young men of color, in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York. This effort helps them build their skills, networks and ability to access resources. The JPMorgan Chase Service Corps is a three-week, skills-based volunteer program that engages top-performing employees from around the world who share their expertise to help nonprofit partners expand their impact in the community. The Service Corps will be expanded to support more nonprofits in 2018 including in Chicago, Detroit and the South Bronx.

JP Morgan Chase CSR: jpmorganchase.com/corporateresponsibility

More about JPMorgan Chase:

Twitter: @jpmorgan

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

Website: jpmorganchase.com/corporate/Corporate-Responsibility

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. At the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, we believe that reducing inequality and creating widely-shared prosperity requires collaboration of business, government, nonprofit and other civic organizations, particularly in the cities and metropolitan regions that power economic growth. We take a comprehensive approach to increasing economic opportunity, using our firm’s global scale, talent and resources to make investments and create partnerships in four priority areas: Jobs & Skills, Small Business Expansion, Financial Health, and Neighborhood Revitalization.

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

Revenue model: The JPMorgan Chase Foundation is funded by JPMorgan Chase.

Scale: In 2017, the firm and its Foundation gave nearly $250 million to nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and in 40 countries around the world, and has committed to invest $1.75 billion by 2023. In addition, last year, 56,000 JPMorgan Chase employees provided 383,000 hours of volunteer service in the communities where they live and work.

Janis Bowdler
Photo Credit: Janis Bowdler

Janis Bowdler’s bio:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janis-bowdler-1445022/

Before joining JPMorgan Chase in 2013, Janis spent two decades advancing economic opportunity for families at risk of being left out of growing global prosperity. She began her career in her native Northeast Ohio, working to rejuvenate Cleveland’s east side neighborhoods. Following that, she spent ten years in Washington, D.C. advocating on behalf of Latino families at UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza). Under her leadership at JPMC, the firm has launched several high profile initiatives, including Financial Solutions Lab, PRO Neighborhoods, Entrepreneurs of Color Funds in Detroit, South Bronx and San Francisco, and blight mitigation initiatives in Detroit. Janis has been a leader on much of our community development work in Detroit, where JPMorgan has committed $150 million to revitalize the city, including our neighborhood mapping work.


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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!

Nonprofit Employment Agency Works To Disrupt Slave Trade In Hong Kong

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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Scott Stiles, 29, began learning about modern slavery while attending school at Brigham Young University – Hawaii. He decided to simply put slave traders out of business by competing with them in Hong Kong.

His thesis: both the workers caught in debt bondage and their domestic employers there are unsatisfied by the typical arrangements so why not provide competing services that both parties value? The new Fair Employment Agency was born.

The International Labour Organization estimates that 40 million people globally are subjected to some form of modern slavery, about 25 million of whom are subjected to forced labor. The other 15 million are in forced marriages.

The traditional employment model in Hong Kong starts in the Philippines and Indonesia where women, often living on less than $2 per day, are recruited with promises of almost unbelievable wages—about USD$500 per month. The women agree to pay $3,000 to $4,000 of their future wages to the employment agency, locking them into debt that they can barely hope to repay if all goes well.

It often doesn’t go well. Stiles says about 30 to 40% of domestic workers are fired by their employers before their initial contract expires. Out of work and deeply in debt, the domestic worker calls her employment agency for help only to learn that they can place her again—for another fee of about $1,500—even though the balance of the original fee remains unpaid.

The new fee must be paid in cash so the agency will direct the worker to a lender who will provide the money at an interest rate of 59.9%, “the most common number for these loans,” Stiles says.

Now the worker is trapped with no reasonable way out.

Caroline Kracht, a mentor and advisor to Fair Employment Agency, explained by email:

FAIR to date has placed >2,000 domestic workers without charging them placement fees and indebting them to their employment agencies and forcing them to work to pay off this debt. At the same time FAIR does two more things:

  • FAIR gives the domestic workers they place a better start to their employment by preparing them for their new job and the new environment they’ll be joining (new country, new living environment and standards, employer expectations), as well as educating them on their rights and where to turn to in conflict situations.
  • FAIR has recognized that many employment situations deteriorate because employers don’t have sufficient management skills or haven’t had much precious experience managing staff. FAIR helps employers become better managers by teaching them about some of the common pitfalls, many of which are grounded in misunderstandings and/or a lack of trust and open communication channels between employer and employee. FAIR provides both employers and employees a better start to the working relationship, and by doing so achieves industry leading employment statistics in terms of the low percentage of failed or terminated employment contracts.

Now, when a woman placed by Fair Employment Agency finds herself in an untenable position, she can quit and get a help from them to find a better one. She’s not trapped by her circumstances.

The training helps, too. Stiles explains a typical trouble spot. The new domestic helper, unable to read care instruction tags on clothes might launder a shirt wrong. Which one? The employer’s favorite or most expensive shirt–the one that needs special care.

Scott Stiles, Fair Employment Agency

Seeing the damage, the employee might throw the shirt out, fearing a conflict with the employer, who notices the expensive shirt is missing and having had no explanation, concludes that the helper stole the shirt, leading to an end to the employment arrangement and a catastrophe for the family of the helper.

By helping the domestic workers and their employers both to improve communication, they avoid many of the challenges that bring an end to the contracts.

Ending a contract early can be perilous for the helper as Jane McBride, a long-term Hong Kong resident and employer of domestic helpers, learned. Having hired several but always workers who had successfully completed contracts, McBride wanted to hire a woman who was working for someone else.

McBride, a lawyer, reviewed the employment contract and noted a 30-day notice requirement for termination and suggested the woman give her notice. She was deported for breaking her contract.

“When the rest of us give the requisite notice under our employment contracts to our employers, we are simply exercising our contractual right to resign and there are no negative connotations. We simply find a new job (and transfer our working visas to our new employers if we are not permanent residents). A helper who resigns mid-contract is ‘breaking’ her contract, i.e., doing something bad, and the fact is her visa cannot be transferred. She must go back to her country and start the whole process again.”

McBride learned that the agencies play a pivotal role in determining residency. The more she researched, however, the more she appreciated that their business practices were typically unethical. Some of their practices are illegal but the domestic workers aren’t in a position to know let alone enforce the law.

She began looking for a reputable one that she could use for her next placement. A Google search turned up Fair Employment Agency. “I think they do a great job. They treated my helper with respect and as an employee and not as a slave. Hopefully, their business will thrive and other agents will follow and employers will stop using the bad agents,” McBride said.

Stiles, for his part, is optimistic. “This is a completely solvable crisis. Some world problems are far more complex. This one is not.” Almost 25 million people hope he’s right.

Click here to get my free webinar showing the three myths that hamper and the two keys for nonprofit crowdfunding success.


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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!

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