amazon facebook_32 gplus_32 linkedin_32 pinterest_32 tumblr_32 twitter_32 website_32 youtube_32 email_32 rss_32

 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

Social Entrepreneurship

This category includes articles about social entrepreneurs, typically about businesses with a for-profit model with a social mission embedded into the fabric of the business.

Acumen Investee Brings Solar Power To Masses In India

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Damian Miller wants to transform emerging market economies from fossil-fuel dependent to self-reliant on clean solar energy.

Miller isn’t just a dreamer; he’s making it happen. As the founder and CEO of Orb Energy he’s quickly scaling up his business in India and recently launched in Kenya. He is also a recent recipient of the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship in collaboration with Acumen.

He explains Orb’s mission as follows:

Our company’s mission is to make solar energy affordable, accessible, and hassle-free to millions of customers looking for a better energy alternative. To do this, we first design and manufacture our own products for superior quality and cost. Then to deliver and install them to our customers in the right way, we have set up our own branch network – which is totally unique in the the solar market in India. This network is key to gaining customer trust, and effectively providing after-sales service. Finally we team up with banks for financing, but we are now looking at ways of bring this critical activity in-house to make it more streamlined.

Miller is also looking for help, he notes, “We are looking for investors, who believe in and share our mission for emerging market economies. Emerging markets are where the bulk of future greenhouse gas emissions will come from, and where there is an enormous opportunity – based on the prevailing solar resource and still emerging infrastructure – for solar to gain an early foothold. We hope that others will join us, so that we can strengthen and accelerate our activities.”

On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at noon Eastern, Miller will join me live from India for a live discussion here about his work. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

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

More about Orb Energy:

Orb Energy is a leading provider of solar energy solutions in India. We sell, install, and service solar systems for electricity and hot water, and we are vertically integrated with our own R&D and manufacturing plant in India. We have 140 branches in 8 states of India, of which about 50% are franchised. We have also recently entered Kenya with a new subsidiary there.

More about the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship in collaboration with Acumen:

Twitter: @acumen

Acumen and SAP, global business software leader, have collaborated to create the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship to accelerate the growth of social enterprises serving the poor in East Africa and India. Leveraging Acumen’s 14 years of investing in early-stage social enterprises and SAP’s global business and innovation expertise, this unique collaboration will bring together emerging and established CEOs committed to building sustainable, socially driven businesses, creating a more inclusive global economy, and expanding opportunities for the poor to lead lives of dignity and possibility.

Miller’s bio:

Damian Miller is the CEO of Orb Energy, and a leading expert on solar energy in emerging markets. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College), where he was based at the Judge Business School. His dissertation addressed the role of entrepreneurs in the diffusion of solar photovoltaic technology when solar markets were still in their infancy. After finishing his Ph.D. in 1998, he put his research findings into practice, joining Shell Solar and becoming its Director of Rural Operations. Here he established solar subsidiaries in India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Indonesia. He also implemented a large-scale solar project in China, and managed joint ventures in Morocco and South Africa. During this time he worked closely with multilateral and bilateral development agencies and emerging market governments to help grow local solar markets, overseeing the connection of more than 125,000 solar homes. At the end of 2006, he set-up Orb Energy in India with his co-founder NP Ramesh. In 8 years, Orb has become one of India’s leading providers of solar energy solutions, selling, installing, and servicing solar systems across multiple states in India, with ambitious plans for further expansion. He has lived, worked and traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, and currently resides in Bangalore, India.

Ex-Convicts To Run The Other Side Academy To Help Convicts

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Tim Stay, one of Utah’s leading tech entrepreneurs and executives, recently launched a new venture with successful entrepreneur Joseph Grenny. They’ve chosen several ex-convicts to run the new business, The Other Side Academy.

This may not be such an odd choice. You see, the new venture, modeled closely on Delancey Street Foundation, is a nonprofit that will work to really rehabilitate convicts.

Stay explained to me recently that our prisons “provide criminals with a masters degree in criminology” rather than rehabilitating them.”

He elaborates, “The problem is that there is a portion of the criminal population that doesn’t get better by doing time. Many of them are repeat offenders, spending their lives in and out of jail and prison. They usually have substance abuse problems and many times find themselves unable to secure or keep a job and eventually wind up on the streets, being involved in criminal activity, and going back to jail. And this cycle continues at great expense to taxpayers. These people are living lives of increasingly destructive behaviors to themselves, to their families, and to society.”

He says that TOSA, as everyone involved in The Other Side Academy quickly abbreviates, will “provide a two-year live-in educational program for ex-convicts, drug abusers, homeless and others that have hit rock bottom that teaches our participants how to live successful, productive lives free from crime and substance abuse.”

Dave Durocher, TOSA’s managing director, explains further, “Our mission is to address the issues of drug addiction and criminality and improve the dismal record of the rehabilitative community when it comes to addressing the issues of relapse and recitivism. We belive that a long term “theraputic community” approach is what works best. While there are mixed and often conflicting statistics in this regard we know from first hand experience that it can work.”

Durocher and his colleagues Alan Fahringer and Lola Zagey, know first hand, “We know this because [we] have over 25 combined years residing in arguably the most succesful theraputic community in the world, Delancey Street, which is the model we are replicating with a few twists that we believe can make The Other Side Academy even more succesful.”

Having already raised $750,000, Stay has a wish list for the next several months. “In the next 3 months, we are moving into our new facility in Salt Lake City and we will be launching several of our businesses so we can become self-reliant.”

“We need financial contributions to cover the start-up costs of the facility and of the new businesses. We need in-kind contributions of cars, trucks, construction tools, warehouse space, and housing supplies such as beds and dressers. We need volunteer help with things such as business plans, web design, marketing, graphics. We need champions to help spread the message through social media and with their friends,” he concludes.

On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Durocher, Fahringer and Zagey will join me here for a live discussion about TOSA and their plans to create a program that will truly change lives. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about The Other Side Academy:

Twitter: @GoToOtherSide

We provide on-the-job vocational training, education, and basic life skills along with long-term residential housing to former drug/alcohol abusers, homeless and others who have hit rock bottom. Our organization is run by graduates of the program and we are a mutual self-help organization. That means that healing occurs when we can have “Each One Teach One” and that when A helps B, A gets better. We run our own businesses so we can be self-reliant and not dependent on Government money and so we can offer the program at no cost to those that join us. Participants obtain a minimum of high school equivalency and gain the job and life skills needed to return to various communities as decent, law abiding individuals.

The Other Side Academy Directors, David Durocher, Alan Fahringer, Lola Zagey and Martin Anderson.

Durocher’s bio:

Managing Director Dave Durocher was arrested for the first time at the age of 13 years old. By the time he was 38, he had been to prison four times for a total of 15 years. When he was given the option to go to Delancey, he was facing 29 years in prison. Dave pleaded guilty of his crimes and went to Delancey in Los Angeles. Dave was at Delancey Street for 8 years and became the Managing Director of their 250 person Los Angeles facility for 5 of those years. Dave is articulate, humble, tenacious, interpersonally skilled, a good manager and a good public speaker. He was able to double revenues in their Training School businesses while he was there and when he left, he had tripled their earnings from when he had took over the facility. Dave has helped countless others regain their dignity, their families and their lives before he moved on to enjoy his own success as the person he had become. Now Dave is embarking on the next chapter of his new life; to help create a place, much like the one he credits with saving his life, only better. A place people can come to learn about integrity, honesty, hard work and self-respect. All the things that protect those inclined from falling prey to their addictions so as not to become the kind of person Dave was, but rather the kind of person he is today.

Fahringer’s bio:

Alan began using marijuana and other drugs in his early teens. He spent his adult life as a “functioning addict” until he was introduced to methamphetamine. That began a thirteen year downward spiral of multiple arrests, lost marriages, lost careers and eventually homelessness. Alan’s troubles culminated in his being arrested three times in a span of eleven months for manufacturing meth. Facing many years in prison, Alan says he was rescued from himself by an empathetic Judge who allowed him to go to Delancey Street instead of prison. That most fortunate occurrence, as he calls it, saved his life, he says. He stayed two years as required by his plea bargain and another four years voluntarily to help others experience the redemption and renewal he had found. While at Delancey Street Alan worked in Corporate Development, Finance. Retail Sales and eventually found his niche in Community Relations. Alan was responsible for advocating Delancey Street as a sentencing alternative to the Judicial and Legal communities. He was a natural. He is articulate, persuasive and living proof that the process can work. Alan has done speaking engagements throughout New Mexico and southern California enthusiastically advocating for just the type of therapeutic community that he will now help foster in Salt Lake City at The Other Side Academy. “I’m so blessed. I get to help build a place just like the one that saved my life. What could possibly be more gratifying than that?”

Zagey’s bio:

Lola has always dreamed of making a difference in the world. Her progress was stopped dead in its tracks twenty years ago when she developed an all-consuming addiction to heroin. This new path took Lola down to a place where all drug dependent people go… to rehabs, jails, and prisons. She was stuck in hopeless desperation and after being arrested one more time, she knew she had to try something different. Lola had heard about Delancy Street Foundation and wondered if the judge would give her a chance to try this program. The judges quickly agreed to two years in Delancy Street or do five years in prison. He gave Lola a stern warning. He said he would offer this deal to her but he recommended she do the prison time. He has seen addicts like Lola before and at this point, he believed she would fail the program and end up in prison anyway. Lola had a different idea. With gratitude for this opportunity, Lola excelled at Delancy Street. She worked her way up to the finance department where she learned skills in accounting, auditing, and bookkeeping with an emphasis in rehabilitation management. Lola’s two year sentence in Delancy Street turned into a five year life changing stay. Once graduated, Lola quickly found work in the medical field as well as property management and the sky was the limit. The only thing missing was her desire to help other addicts still suffering. Enter The Other Side Academy. Now Lola can live her dream of making a difference in the world.

This Show Is Absolutely Safe For Work

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

It used to be that everyone who saw Jason Hewlett perform asked, “Why isn’t this guy famous?” As his reputation grows, folks simply observe that he may be the funniest person ever to take a stage.

It turns out, however, that the answer to the initial question provides an important insight into who Hewlett really is. Years ago, he was performing in Las Vegas and was offered his own show. The deal was huge for young Hewlett as he’d be headlining in Vegas while his peers were still in college.

When it came time to sign contracts, he says, he found the terms unacceptable. In order to appeal to an adult audience he was to be required to use language and perform material that he personal found objectionable and had never wanted to perform.

Hewlett walked.

Fame and fortune seemed to evaporate before his eyes.

Since then, he’s become one of the most sought after corporate entertainers in the business because his fall-off-your-chair funny material is absolutely safe for work. Check out his YouTube page.

In recent years, Hewlett has sought to incorporate more of a message into his material, working to become as sought after for keynote speaking as entertaining. His message is perfect for mission driven entrepreneurs.

“When we are willing to commit to something, to see it through, there is no greater joy,” he says. “What are you committed to?”

Always humble, Hewlett often reminds his audience, “You have talents I don’t have, and I have talents you don’t want!”

On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Hewlett will join me for a live discussion about his career and his insights for social entrepreneurs. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Jason Hewlett The Entertainer:

Twitter: @jasonhewlett

Jason Hewlett Entertainment’s mission is to provide world-class, family-friendly, G-larious entertainment, inspiration, and joy for major corporate events, youth education and religious forums, and public shows. In partnering with clients on their most important events, JHE provides recommendations of the best of the best in speakers, entertainers, masters of ceremonies, and many more.

David Archuleta, a serviceman, Dan Clark and Jason Hewlett, taken during a USO tour of Iraq and Afghanistan in 2014.

Hewlett’s bio:

Jason Hewlett The Entertainer has appeared at over 2,000 events and venues in the last decade as one of the country’s premiere corporate event Headliners. In 2014 he was awarded the Certified Speaking Professional by the National Speakers Association, as well as acting as Master of Ceremonies for the largest corporate events in the world. Jason has performed in every major casino in Las Vegas, appeared on the nationally televised Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, and received the “Best of State Entertainment Award” in his home state of Utah multiple times. He began his career with the Las Vegas “Legends in Concert”. His shows, speeches, and presentations are a combination of comedy, music, parody, and over-the-top hilarious impressions, stories, and lessons on commitment, embracing what makes us unique, and spreading JOY, received with standing ovations from audiences worldwide.

Dutch Social Entrepreneur Works To Save Lives In Africa With High Tech Stove

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

“ It is a little known fact that cooking is the fourth biggest killer in the world ,” explains Judith Joan Walker, Director and COO of African Clean Energy.

“It’s this huge invisible elephant in the room because, in the western world, we are so used to being able to waltz into the kitchen and whip up a healthy meal. In fact, cooking indoors kills more people than Aids, Malaria and TB combined; over 4.3 million people,” she continues.

Last month, I had the opportunity to meet Walker, along with a dozen other social entrepreneurs, at Santa Clara University, as I reported here.

Walker seems to take this personally, “This fact is sickening enough without considering that the majority of these people are women and children, and that their health is not the only cost. A third of the world cooks in a way that it is slowly killing them and the fact that its very expensive to do so is mind-boggling. For me that’s the real problem, and I haven’t even gotten into the environmental cost.”

So, Walker got after it, creating a radical new cookstove, “We have started manufacturing and distributing a multifunctional cookstove, that doubles as an energy source.”

Anyone in the international development world has been hearing about cookstoves for years now, but many stoves have failed to deliver on their intended results once deployed in the field. For instance, in Sheryl WuDunnand Nicholas Kristoff’s book, A Path Appears, they note that some studies have shown that reducing indoor smoke by 80 percent doesn’t yield an 80% improvement in health. Apparently, even a little smoke is enough to create the health problems stoves are intended to prevent.

Walker’s African Clean Energy stove burns a variety of fuels, including wood and charcoal, but with no emissions. The stove also features a small solar panel that can be placed out a nearby window or on the roof, powering a small fan in the stove as well as a USB device charger and an LED light.

“The price isn’t even a problem when you include micro-financing as an option, especially as the vast majority of our customers are able to save so significantly on their fuel costs due to the significant reduction in fuel consumption of such an efficient stove,” she notes.

“Our main mission now is to scale up our sales teams in a replicable way in order to ensure the success of our future markets,” she adds. “Sharing our story and helping us access a network of new potential partners is really the best way to help, and of course we appreciate advice and stories from those that have experience in these markets.”

While ACE , as Walker calls her African Clean Energy in conversation, is operating as a for-profit business, the company has a genuine social purpose in mind. “We have also started a small project within our home market, in Lesotho, where we try to donate as many stoves as we can to orphaned children and their elderly carers. This is such a huge problem there that we could not turn a blind eye to their need and so far we have been able to donate to almost 200 families! I am very proud that we are able to help those most in need and if anyone wants to help they are able to donate through our website.”

On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Walker will join me for a live discussion about her efforts. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about African Clean Energy:

Twitter: @acelesotho

African Clean Energy manufactures and distributes the ACE 1 Solar Biomass Cookstove, a cookstove that has the power to save millions of lives, halt deforestation and help people break the cycle of poverty. All of this can be achieved with one multifunctional and aspirational tool, paid for through microfinancing; allowing all those who need it most to easily afford it. ACE is a family company manufacturing in Lesotho, a LDC, and is an equal opportunities hirer with a 50% gender split.

Walker’s bio:

Twitter: @JudithJoanACE

Judith Joan is no stranger to travel and had lived in an extensive list of major cities before joining ACE full time in Amsterdam in 2014. Her background in film and television gives her a unique perspective on working in teams, and her multi-cultural childhood gives her the distinct advantage of understanding cultural differences and how to best achieve success in a foreign environment. Recently, she has taken the lead on strategy and operations, aiming to prove the ACE distribution and impact models in Lesotho and South Africa in order to secure funding for an East African roll out.

Proof That Good Deeds Can Lead: “Good News Network” Turns 18

This is a guest post from Geri Weis-Corbley, Founder and Editor in Chief of Good News Network.

Who says no news is good news?

There’s plenty of good news in the world—and yes, it “sells.”

I knew that long before other news media outlets had a clue, and created a positive news website, before even the first blog was invented in 1997.

It all started with a single nagging thought I kept hearing in my head while working in TV news in Washington, DC in 1982, two months out of college.

“Where is all the good news?”

Journalism colleagues at companies like CNN kept telling me, “Good news doesn’t sell,” but I refused to believe it. I often cited successful media personalities or properties that made a name for themselves with an optimistic slant: Oprah’s Angel Network, Charles Kuralt, Readers Digest and Parade magazine.

Maybe because of their goading, I eventually made it my #1 goal to PROVE that good news sells.

Geri Weis-Corbley

Geri Weis-Corbley

You see, the idea gnawed at me for years, like sand in an oyster, after I left the media business to raise a family. I remember the moment when our 5-year-old son was sitting in the kitchen while a gruesome Bosnia War expose started running on NPR radio. It was like a light switch flipped on for me.

It was early 1997 and the Internet was blossoming. I thought, ‘I can make a good news program on the Web,’ so I taught myself to code with html and launched a simple yellow website on August 31. Good News Network was born.

During the sad days of 9/11, the scary Wall Street Crash of ’08, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our traffic skyrocketed. People were looking for hope, for good in the world, and I was at home in Virginia delivering it to them.

This week, Good News Network celebrates its 18th anniversary– and the pioneering site for “good news” media aggregation has definitely come of age. In 2015, with hundreds of original stories being filed each month and the means to hire a staff for the first time, we have hit our stride.

Traffic has grown organically, with friends telling friends, and we are now serving more than 2.4 million pages of good news every month.

Although our website is completely free, our loyal and appreciative fans have been contributing financially as Members – some even giving voluntary pledges up to $500, when they get nothing more than a few small gifts in return. This is the Public Broadcasting model at work, which shows, above all else, the brand loyalty of an engaged readership that values our Daily Dose of News to Enthuse.

It is the proof that good news sells.

I feel so much satisfaction when I read the emails describing how my newsfeed has changed people’s lives, eased depression, and provided hope to the near-hopeless.

With more than 16,000 good news stories cataloged so far, we are branching out to podcasting and radio soon, with video on the horizon.

We are always looking for success stories and sweet tales of humanity—so go on, tell us something good!

About Geri Weis-Corbley:

Geri is the founder and Editor in Chief of Good News Network, the # 1 ranked site on Google for Good News. 

Impact Investor Credits ‘Faith In God’ For Success

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Joe Sanberg is an investor in a few of the social I’ve profiled recently (Aspiration and Bright Funds) and so I wanted to learn more about him.

Sanberg told me about the start to his career, “I grew up in a middle class family and by the time I was leaving for college at Harvard, the house I had grown up in was being foreclosed. I’m sobered by the staggering amount of luck and chance that came together in my life. I never could have imagined it.”

This experience guided his philosophy on life and business. “I don’t think we should leave to luck and chance the kinds of opportunities in life that people get to enjoy. I’m determined to build companies and champion public policies that systematically create more opportunity for people because I can’t bear thinking that I didn’t do everything I could to ensure that the kid today who is like I was does not have to rely on luck and chance to have a full life.”

The challenges of his early life helped frame Sanberg’s thinking as well. “Like so many others in my generation, I was raised by my mother. The absence of an active father when I was a kid affected me like it has affected many others. You have to become more self-reliant at a younger age as you figure out how to be a responsible adult. Fortunately, my maternal grandfather was a very active presence in my life and was a great male role model.”

When I asked Sanberg the secret of his success, he responded, “I think success comes from being authentic so my answer involves revealing what constitutes my core as a person. My faith in God is the biggest factor in how I live my life and who I am. Tikkun Olam is a Hebrew phrase that means to heal the world. I think we all have a responsibility to find our part in healing the world. Like all of us, I’ve often fallen short of my responsibility but my aspiration is to do my best to live up to Tikkun Olam.”

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 2:00 Eastern, Sanberg will join me for a live discussion about his work investing in social ventures. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

JoeSanberg-1940x1940

Sandberg’s bio:

Twitter: @josephnsanberg

Joe Sanberg is a public and private-sector entrepreneur. He is Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of Advisors of Aspiration — a digital financial services company for everyday Americans. He is also an active venture investor in a variety of fast growing companies that combine profit and purpose, such as Bright Funds and Blue Apron. Joe is a leader with several public sector initiatives, including the Jefferson Awards Foundation (Chair of its Board of Governors), the UC Riverside School of Public Policy (member of its Board of Advisors) and Co-Founder, Economic Innovation Group. Joe s also leading a public affairs campaign around the new California Earned Income Tax Credit to expand economic opportunity among working Californians.

Carnival’s Fathom Sailing Toward Cuba ‘To Make A Social Impact’

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Carnival newest cruise line is sailing in a new direction; Fathom’s destination is social impact. Initially sailing with one vessel, the Adonia, Fathom passengers will visit the Dominican Republic and Cuba to work alongside locals as volunteers on water and other projects.

The brains behind Fathom, its President, Tara Russell, explained, “We didn’t want Fathom to be a ‘voluntourism’ company. We wanted Fathom to be so much more than that. So we found a way to leverage the resources of the world’s largest travel and leisure company (Carnival Corporation) to create a new kind of cruise that combines the love of travel with the desire to make a difference. Truly nothing like this exists today.”

“We created Fathom to give people an easy, safe and convenient way to make a social impact that is both meaningful to society and personally rewarding, ” she adds.

Russell describes the projects passengers will undertake, “In the Dominican Republic, for example, more than two million Dominicans do not have access to piped water. Fathom travelers will work with a local organization there to build water filters using clay and other natural resources to make healthy drinking water available to Dominican families.”

“Fathom will send thousands of travelers a year – more than 700 travelers on every trip – to Caribbean communities in need to work with our local partners and directly alongside local citizens on ongoing social impact programs in each community. This sustained and large-scale impact is what makes Fathom truly unique. Travelers will have the opportunity to make transformative societal contributions that will extend far beyond their individual involvement. It will be incredibly rewarding,” she concluded.

Fathom’s seven-day cruises to the Dominican Republic will start at $974 and those to Cuba will start at $1,800.

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Russell will join me for a live discussion about Fathom’s impact. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Fathom:

Twitter: @fathomtravel

Fathom is a new kind of cruise that combines your love of travel with your desire to make a difference. Part of the Carnival Corporation (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) family, Fathom is the pioneer of impact travel, a new category of travel that will offer consumers authentic, meaningful travel experiences to enrich the life of the traveler and work alongside locals as they tackle community needs. Fathom is unique in that it leverages Carnival Corporation’s expertise and scale for a one-of-a-kind business model to create long-term collaboration with its partner countries, allowing for sustained social impact and lasting development. Fathom will serve the sizable and growing market of potential social impact travel consumers – approximately one million North Americans – in addition to global travelers already pursuing service-oriented travel experiences worldwide.

Russell’s bio:

Twitter: @taravrussell

Tara Russell is the president of fathom, a social impact company that offers a new category of travel, and global impact lead of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest travel and leisure company. Russell generated the idea for fathom in 2013, and led research, design and development of the brand, business model and experience from January 2014 to launch in June 2015. She now leads the fathom team as it offers a unique experience to purpose-driven travelers who desire authentic, meaningful social impact opportunities. fathom provides the opportunity to immerse in another culture and community, and systematically work alongside that community to make relevant contributions that endure. fathom is the newest addition to Carnival Corporation, which is also the world’s largest cruise company with nine global cruise lines providing extraordinary vacations at exceptional value for nearly 11 million people around the world every year. Russell has responsibility for fathom and the corporation’s global impact programs and reports to Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation.

Prior to Carnival Corporation, Russell was Founder and CEO of Create Common Good (CCG, www.createcommongood.org), a non-profit social enterprise that provides training and employment to refugees and a wide variety of other populations with barriers to employment. Russell created CCG in 2008 in order to use food to change lives by empowering for self-sufficiency through a creative food-production social enterprise production model. CCG has delivered more than 100,000 job training hours, with an average employment success outcome of more than 90 percent, and returned more than $18 million back into the community via graduate earned wages. The organization’s noteworthy work to promote healthy eating habits through snack and grab & go production recently earned grants from Newman’s Own Foundation and the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. Russell is currently Chairman of the Board for CCG.

In 2007, Russell was part of the founding team of Jitasa, a for-profit social venture that provides affordable financial services to the non-profit industry and has become a profitable, global enterprise serving hundreds of global social sector enterprises, including Boy Scouts of America and many other large, scalable impact entities. Jitasa is a certified B-Corporation with offices in the US, Thailand and Bosnia.

Prior to this, Russell spent four years in Thailand, where she offered pro bono small business development training to nongovernmental organizations. Russell also co-founded NightLight, an international organization that addresses the complex issues surrounding trafficking and prostitution by offering alternative employment, vocational opportunities, life-skills training and physical, emotional and spiritual development to women seeking freedom from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Russell started her career with a number of Fortune 500 companies, including roles in product development with Nike; technical sales and marketing at Intel; and engineering and manufacturing with General Motors. While at Intel, she was selected for the Emerging Leaders program and had the opportunity to work with the executive team. During her four years with GM, she was chosen to represent Saturn Corporation in the Shanghai GM New Vehicle Build & Launch Project in 1999 in China. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with Highest Honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

JDRF Is All About The Cure

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

This one is personal. I apologize now, but understand that I simply can’t be entirely objective about type 1 diabetes or T1D. My wife has had diabetes for over fifty years and my son has had it for nearly two decades.

Improved treatments have largely spared my son the sorts of debilitating consequences my wife has experienced, but hasn’t spared him from multiple daily injections, finger pricks, and the cumbersome tethers of insulin pumps and glucose monitors.

Derek Rapp, the CEO of JDRF, says that the organization dedicated to finding a cure for T1D is making progress.

Like me, he says, “JDRF was created—and is still led—by people with a personal connection to type 1 diabetes.”

Rapp adds, “It’s an exciting time for type 1 diabetes research, JDRF is on the verge of life changing breakthroughs that will fundamentally improve the way people live with type 1 diabetes. This progress isn’t by accident and, in fact, it directly reflects the vision, focus and investments of JDRF over the last decade.”

“Our work has led to new treatments for diabetic eye disease, the creation of first-generation artificial pancreas systems, and the first human clinical trial of encapsulated cell-replacement therapies that have the potential to replace insulin treatment,” he continues.

“Every dollar we direct toward our mission comes from our supporters and donors, who enable us to make real progress and propel us toward our goal of a world without type 1 diabetes,” he concludes.

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 11:00 Eastern, Rapp will join me for a live discussion about the JDRF’s progress toward finding a cure for T1D. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about JDRF:

Twitter: @JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested nearly $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers in more than 100 locations throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D.

Rapp’s bio:

Twitter: @JDRFceo

Derek Rapp is President and Chief Executive Officer of JDRF. Prior to his appointment in 2014, Derek served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for JDRF International and was formally JDRF Research Chair. He has been involved in the research funding and oversight activities of JDRF since 2005.

From early 2001 until February 2011, Derek was Chief Executive Officer of Divergence, Inc., a science-based company finding solutions in the prevention and control of pest infections. He led the successful sale of the company in February 2011. As CEO of Divergence, Derek’s main responsibilities included developing and implementing the company’s strategy, ensuring suitable financing of the company, implementing relationships with licensees and collaborators, and overseeing operations.

Derek has also been an active volunteer with numerous leadership roles in different organizations, including JDRF International.

Derek holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University with concentrations in Economics and German and a Master in Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Derek is married to Emily Rapp, and they have three children (Helen – 23, Turner – 21, who was diagnosed with T1D in 2004, and William – 18).

Impacting 1 Billion By 2020 Is No Pipe Dream For These Social Entrepreneurs

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Santa Clara University is a relatively small Jesuit college located in Silicon Valley. A few years ago, when they set out to touch 1 billion lives through their social entrepreneurship programs by 2020 that might have seemed, shall we say, “optimistic” for a school with just 8,000 students. The 75 million people they’ve helped so far certainly aren’t laughing.

On Friday, August 22, 2015, I was invited to campus to see the Global Social Benefit Institute more commonly called the GSBI at the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship first hand. I first met Thane Kreiner virtually last year when he was a guest on my show. Pat Haines is the Senior Director of Marketing for the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Pamela Roussos is the Senior Director of the GSBI. They work with Kreiner, who leads the entire Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Their passion for social entrepreneurship is genuinely inspiring.

The GSBI program strikes me as one of the best examples of a mission-driven program I’ve encountered. The program generates no revenue for the University. The entrepreneurs it supports get tremendous value from the program but have no connection to the school; they aren’t students, alumni or even Catholic. The school has put mission ahead of any self-interest.

The entrepreneurs in the program are impressive. While all meet the Silicon Valley definition of a startup, these are not startups in the sense of two guys and a business plan. All are already achieving scale, typically measured in tens of thousands of customers. The program is intended to help them scale even more rapidly, allowing them to touch more lives in more meaningful ways.

There are 15 companies in the current cohort. I met ten of them during my visit. Let me tell you just a bit about each of them in the order they presented their companies to me:

The Columbia Leadership Trust:

This nonprofit social venture operates in South Africa, working to help students get into and graduate from college. Focusing on leadership skills rather than academic skills, the students not only help themselves they help their friends and have a meaningful impact on the school. Led by Rob Taylor, the enterprise has already run the program over 191 times, yielding 2,675 graduates in seven different provinces.

Empower Generation:

Anya Chernoff is working to empower women with small business opportunities selling solar power products in Nepal. Like Solar Sister, a GSBI graduate selling solar power products in Africa, Empower Generation sells solar lanterns through its growing network of entrepreneur retailers and sales agents around the country. Every time

a family replaces a kerosene lantern with a solar one, the family’s air quality and health improves and the risk of a potentially lethal burn is eliminated and a deadly weapon is disarmed.

Essmart Global:

Prashanth Venkataramana has developed a network of 1,100 retail shops with hopes to quickly grow to more than 8,000 on its way to 400,000 around India. Essmart doesn’t own or operate the shops, instead, each pre-existing shop is provided with a catalog of 65 eco-friendly and socially responsible products that can quickly be delivered to the shop or customer by an Essmart delivery person. The shops increase their revenues and profits with no capital outlay and their customers begin acquiring goods like solar lanterns.

African Clean Energy:

Judith Joan Walker is impressive in a room full of amazing people; born in the Netherlands, has lived all around the world and speaks English with a perfect American accent. She helps lead her family business making clean burning cooks stoves for Africa. The stoves are equipped with solar power generators that can power LED lights and a cell phone. More remarkably, the high-tech stoves will burn a variety of fuels with absolutely no smoke—the fuel is completely vaporized. After I bashed holes in walls in Nepal in March to install stoves there, I was fascinated by this almost magical improvement.

Banka Bioloo:

Sanjay Banka first connected with me two years ago. He is working to solve one of the world’s greatest problems: the practice of open defecation. In India alone, he explained, there are about 600 million people who lack access to a toilet. Banka Bioloo has created an affordable, hi-tech toilet that provides on-site human waste treatment. While the hardiest of our readers can imagine living without a toilet, I suspect few can comprehend living in a community where no one has one. Banka is working to ensure that no one has to live in that world.

Practice Makes Perfect:

While none of the entrepreneurs in the group appear to have been born before I was, they are mostly in their 30s and 40s. Not Karim Adouelnaga. He launched his business as a sophomore at Cornell and still isn’t old enough to rent a car. His program, the only one of the cohort focused on the U.S. market, works with at-risk kids in New York City schools. He remembers being one of those students and the good fortune he had to have had some special help along the way. He’s created a summer enrichment program that helps kids gain academic ground over the summer rather than lose most of what they learned during the school year.

AquaSafi Purification System:

Pavin Pankajan has developed a low-cost, fully automated water purification and dispensing system for India. One unit can purify 1,000 liters of water per hour. Up to now, Pankajan has been selling the systems to NGOs in India, but has used the GSBI experience to develop a new model where he’ll partner with local communities to operate the water treatment systems. To date, AquaSafi is operating 130 “water stores” and plans to grow to 1,100 by 2018.

ICT for Development Kenya:

Jonathan Mativo has created an information and communications technology training program in Kenya. By leveraging a single CPU across 20 computer terminals, he can equip a computer lab for $3,000 and use it to train over 100 students on basic computer skills. By helping high school students and recent graduates in Kenya who may never have touched a computer to learn basic skills like how to use orinary office software, he helps them to become employable. So far, Mativo has trained over 20,000 students.

Naandi Community Water Services:

Naandi founder and CEO Anoop Ratnaker Rao has developed a strong network of backers in the India government and among NGOs working there as well as among its 500,000 customers for clean water. Naandi sells clean water for about 1 U.S. penny per gallon. At this rate, however, the business isn’t fully self-sustaining. Rao is working to further enhance the Naandi brand to enable it to charge 20 to 30 percent more, allowing the company to be fully self-sufficient and to grow infinitely to meet the need for clean water in India.

Carbon Roots International:

Eric Sorenson co-founded Carbon Roots International to manufacture charcoal from agricultural waste in Haiti, which is already 97 percent deforested. The company’s green charcoal is now the largest manufacturer and most popular brand of charcoal in Haiti. Sorenson explains that they still have only a small market share in a highly fragmented market. His goal is to supply 25 percent of Haiti’s charcoal by 2020.

The enterprises who weren’t able to share their stories with me include Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (Mama), Naya Jeevan, PACE MD, Rangsutra Crafts India and The Youth Banner.

After my visit, it was clear to me that while I can’t guess whether they will reach their goal to impact a billion lives by 2020, it isn’t a pipe dream. These folks are for real.

Your Mark on the World Center Launches Fund to Solve Global Problems

The Your Mark on the World Center is partnering with Bright Funds to create the Your Mark on the World Fund. The fund supports the work of 16 nonprofits that are working to solve some of the Earth’s biggest problems.

Bright Funds CEO Ty Walrod said, “Bright Funds was built to address the needs of a new generation of donors who want to harness the power of strategic giving. The Your Mark on the World Fund is an extraordinary example of empowering donors to create impact in a variety of causes areas, ranging from environmental issues, human rights, disease research and prevention.”

“New technology and a more enriched global perspective are responsible for changing the way we view donating to causes. A generation ago, giving was somewhat reactive. Society did not have the tools or the access to causes or charities we have today, and it made giving feel very transactional,” Ty added.

“At Bright Funds, we enable donors to go beyond transactional giving by empowering them create funds and then track the impact of their donations,” Ty concluded.

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, Ty will join me for a live discussion about the new Your Mark on the World Fund hosted by Bright Funds and the work of the nonprofits it supports. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

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

More about Bright Funds:

Twitter: @BrightFunds

San Francisco-based Bright Funds helps leading companies and their employees change the world through impactful social good programs, and in doing so, make their businesses more successful. Bright Funds enables employee donors to choose their cause and give to individual non-profits or exclusively available “Funds” comprised of multiple nonprofits. In one platform, Bright Funds brings together the power of research, the reliability of a trusted financial service, and the convenience of centralized contributions and company reporting. Employees, recruits, customers, and investors and worthy causes appreciate companies that use Bright Funds for employee-empowered giving.

More about the Your Mark on the World Fund:

This fund is inspired by the Your Mark on the World Center, which is championing the work of people and organizations who are actually leading the charge to solve the world’s biggest problems. Ranging from environmental issues to human rights, poverty and disease prevention, this group of nonprofits has been identified by the Center for their work in scaling global solutions to match global problems. The Center is working to see many of these problems solved before 2045.

Ty Walrod

Ty Walrod

Ty’s bio:

Twitter: @tywalrod

Ty is the co-founder and CEO of Bright Funds, the company that enables employee-empowered workplace giving. Prior to Bright Funds, Ty co-founded and built OutServe into a national organization supporting LGBT equality in the US military. He previously worked for Deloitte, with the partnership’s venture capital, private equity and technology clients, followed by his work as the lead business analyst for Coverity.

Ty is also the co-founder and a board member of Startup and Tech Mixer, a bay area professional networking organization, and a board member of Sustainable Silicon Valley, an organization dedicated to a healthy environment, a vibrant economy, and a socially equitable Silicon Valley community. He is an avid runner and mountaineer.

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

Devin D. Thorpe

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!
Subscribe to news from YourMarkOnTheWorld.com
* = required field
Content I want: