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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

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.

Award-Winning Social Entrepreneur Deploys Her Invention In Nepal Relief Effort

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Tricia Compas-Markman, an award-winning social entrepreneur, was among those who responded personally to the devastating April earthquake in Nepal.

She reports, “The first day arriving in Kathmandu was a real eye-opener. There was complete devastation everywhere we went with buildings, temples and squares reduced to nothing but rubble.”

She notes that she experienced hope, too, in those early days, “As we walked through Durbar Square, I was impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of the people there. Among the rubble and temporary tent-homes, women and men had setup shops to sell their goods and wares. The locals were taking ownership and adapting to their current circumstances, and we worked within their communities, not only to train them on DayOne’s Waterbag technology, but also to learn of their needs and priorities. We deployed over 2,500 Waterbags to Nepal – enough for 10,000 people.”

Compas-Markman is the inventor of the Waterbag and creator of DayOne Response, the organization that delivers it when and where needed.

She explains, “I was committed to finding a solution to bring clean water to those affected by disaster in a way that was efficient and portable – an all-in-one device. With the help of P&G’s Purifier of Water powder, we’re able to provide, clean, easily transportable and dispensable water in 10-liter units. It’s amazing to witness how just 20,000 units can affect 100,000 people, and through the grant we received from Toyota, we’re improving emergency response efforts to provide water for hundreds of millions of people around the world.”

On Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Compas-Markman will join me for a live discussion about her work. 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 DayOne Response:

Twitter: @DayOneResponse

DayOne Response Inc. develops innovative solutions for disaster relief, including patented & award-winning DayOne Purification Waterbag™ — providing complete household water purification by combining the four elements of municipal water purification (collection, treatment, transport and storage) in a 10L backpack. DayOne increases the effectiveness of relief organizations ultimately improving and maintaining quality of life. They value prompt recovery, embrace new technologies, and take pride in saving lives.

tricia-compas-markman-courtesy-of-DayOne-Response-1455x1940

Tricia Compas-Markman, courtesy of DayOne Response

Compas-Markman’s bio:

Tricia Compas-Markman is founder and chief executive officer of DayOne Response, Inc. Tricia has a civil engineering background with six years’ experience working on water treatment technologies for developing countries, such as Thailand, Nicaragua, and Haiti. As co-inventor of the DayOne Waterbag, her work has been recognized by President Clinton, Tina Brown and Toyota, to name a few. She is a Toyota “Mother of Invention,” Unreasonable Institute fellow, Creativity Foundation legacy prize winner, 2013 Engineers Without Borders Outstanding member, and a Pipeline Fellow investee. Tricia received her BS in Civil Engineering and MS in Civil/Environmental Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

To Cure A Problem, ‘Harness Market Forces,’ Impact Investor Says

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

“For the vast majority of my career I have been both a capitalist and a philanthropist, and I’ve struggled at both. I struggled to make my change meaningful, and struggled at making meaningful change,” Bobby Turner told me in preparation for this piece. His response: create one of the largest firms in the impact investing space.

He founded Turner Impact Capital just 18 months ago to acquire and operate affordable residential housing projects and fund construction of charter schools in high-need communities.

“Our investment strategy is based on recognizing that making money making and making positive societal change need not be mutually exclusive,” He adds. “In fact, it’s the interdependency between profits and purpose that enable us to drive significant risk-adjusted returns with very little correlation to the broader market indices.”

“We have one mission: to create sustainable solutions for many of today’s societal problems by developing and investing in community-enriching real estate in densely-populated, underserved communities. We are trying to tackle some of society’s most daunting challenges— not through government or philanthropy, but by using market forces to create sustainable solutions,” he continues.

Turner has a genuine passion for using capitalism for good. He explains it this way, “If one wants to treat a problem in society, then government and philanthropy are fine. If one wants to cure, really cure a problem then one needs to harness market forces to create a sustainable solution. And that means making money for investors.”

On Thursday, July 30, 2015 at noon Eastern, Turner will join me here for a live discussion about the work he’s doing. 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 Turner Impact Capital:

Twitter: @turnerimpact

One of the nation’s largest social impact investment firms, Turner Impact Capital is on course to surpass $1.5 billion in investment potential to create sustainable solutions for many of today’s societal problems. Based in Los Angeles, the firm helps to address some of the country’s most pervasive social issues by developing and investing in community-enriching real estate in densely-populated, underserved communities, and seeks to generate superior risk-adjusted financial returns by investing in markets with large existing supply/demand mismatches of relevant community infrastructure (i.e. workforce housing, public schools and preventative care facilities) and a lack of institutional capital. The firm seeks “profits with a purpose,” recognizing the interdependence between the two and the central role that improving property and the lives of people can play in achieving strong returns. The Turner Impact Capital leadership team has over 100 years of relevant experience in facilitating more than $6 billion of socially impactful and environmentally responsible real estate investments over the past two decades.

Turner’s bio:

Bobby Turner is the CEO of Turner Impact Capital, a real estate investment management firm based in Los Angeles and focused on creating sustainable solutions for many of today’s societal problems through the development of impactful infrastructure. The firm is on course to surpass $1.5 billion in investment potential, making it one of the national’s largest social impact firms.

Over the past two decades, Mr. Turner has established himself as a pioneer in the area of social impact investing. As former Chairman, CEO and Co-Founding Partner of Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC, he oversaw a commercial real estate and mortgage asset portfolio totaling over $12 billion, and was responsible for launching several groundbreaking funds facilitating more than $6 billion in real estate investments that have helped define the “triple bottom line” investment movement.

Mr. Turner is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (B.S., Finance) where he serves on the University’s Undergraduate Executive Board of Advisors and where he has endowed a number of initiatives focused on social impact and triple bottom line investing. Today, these programs have grown to include student, faculty and institutional programs in such areas as social impact management and business ethics, financial scholarships for minority students and the creation of the Turner Social Impact Society and the Lauren and Bobby Turner Executive Speaker Series for Social Impact.

Mr. Turner is involved in many civic ventures, having served on the advisory boards of the Virginia Avenue Project, the Pacific Charter School Development Corporation, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (“ICIC”) and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. He has also been an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

In Zambia, Men Say AIDS Can Be Cured By Having Sex With A Virgin, Girls Cry ‘Value My Virginity’

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

My holiday weekend (Utah celebrates Pioneer Day today) was interrupted by a tragic yet hopeful message. One of the past guests for my show, Nissan Bahar, sent me a video his team recorded haphazardly of a group of young girls in Zambia poetically begging for society to value their virginity.

In Zambia, Bahar says, men commonly believe—or at least claim to believe—that having sex with a virgin will cure their AIDS.

Nine-year-old Sylvia Mulenga wrote a lengthy poem about attitudes her society holds for young girls. She and six of her friends recited the poem from memory for a performance before 700 schoolmates and teachers. Without the benefit of an auditorium, forget having a PA system or stage in Kalulushi, the quality of the video can be forgiven. Focus on the message. Click the “cc” button for subtitles if you don’t see them.

Mulenga wrote the poem during a poetry workshop that her school, along with nine others in Zambia participated in with ten schools in the U.K. using Keepod technology. A final piece of the workshop was a performance of a Shakespearean play via skype for the UK partner school, according to Bahar.

The poem and the strength with which it is delivered can only be described as Malalaesque.

Bahar describes the event where the poem was performed, “At the last day of the Keepod project, the kids did for us a very exciting goodbye ceremony/party. The situation is practically 3-4 people from the project team on one side (behind the camera) and the entire school in front. They started a 30 min ceremony of songs and speeches. Then these girls came to the centre and blew our mind.”

The power of the message is evident. As the recording begins, laughing, joking and giggling can be heard in the background, almost overwhelming the recording. Nearly halfway into the video, the girls powerfully insist, “Please society, my virginity has nothing to do with either your work or your health! Defile a virgin like me is a man’s misconception and a shame to society.” The audience is virtually silent for the balance of the five minute performance until it erupts in applause of approval.

According to Bahar, the girls attend the Mitobo Girls’ School in a semi-rural, low income neighborhood. “woman empowerment is a getting strong attention,” he says.

The school is working to raise money to buy 700 Keepods from Bahar’s social venture, one for each student. The Keepods are small thumb drives with an operating system that allows them to run a small computer connected to the internet. By removing the drives from old netbooks, Bahar affordably gives each child in the school her own computer. You can learn more about the campaign here.

For less than $14,000, Keepod will connect the school to the Internet, provide every student with a keepod and every classroom with a computer, including doing the implementation. The potential of these girls to change the world with their technology is readily apparent in the video.

Live Huddle: Hall Of Fame Quarterback Steve Young Talks Charity

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Private equity investor and Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young’s charity the Forever Young Foundation launched Sophie’s Place, an organization that provides music therapy.

In a promotional video, Young explains that in contrast to many of the charities supported by his foundation that are run by great partners, “This one’s kind of organic from our foundation. It’s really my wife’s vision for music therapy.”

Young’s foundation is using a new tool for crowdsourcing engagement, one little act at a time. The new tool, an iPhone app called Time Machine, encourages people to do and record acts of service. Users of the app earn points to qualify them for unique experiences, like a meet and greet with band at the Imagine Dragons concert in Salt Lake City on July 28.

Time Machine cofounder Lindsay Hadley explains, “Time is our most precious resource, but most of us just follow people instead of having our own meaningful experiences. We want people to do inspiring things and support causes, online and beyond the screen.”

“We built Time Machine to be a place where brands, organizations and people can come together to rally other around causes or movements they’re passionate about,” she adds.

The app supports a variety of charities in addition to Sophie’s Place, including The Tyler Robinson Foundation and The Progeria Research Foundation,

“We have $75,000 of prizes to give. There are hundreds of tickets for the sold out Imagine Dragons concert and thousands of other chances to win, including meals from Costa Vida. Users’ chances of winning are very good,” she concludes.

On Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Young and Hadley will join me for a live discussion about Sophie’s Place and Time Machine. 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 Sophie’s Place:

Twitter: @4sophiesplace

Sophie’s Place is a dedicated Music Therapy space built in children’s hospitals for the youth being treated. These special rooms provide therapists a wonderful place to offer children non-invasive, evidence based medical treatment to their young hospital patients suffering from pain, chronic illness, and serious injuries.

Sophie Barton was a dear friend of Barb and Steve Young’s who unexpectedly passed away at a very young age. Sophie often sang in hospitals because she understood music’s power to heal. The Young family branded these rooms they are building in her name in her honor. While most people know music has an extraordinary power to bring comfort and peace to the soul, clinical studies continue to prove that music therapy.

SAN FRANCISCO – AUGUST 10: Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young speaks during a public memorial for former 49ers coach Bill Walsh August 10, 2007 at Monster Park in San Francisco, California. NFL Hall of Famer Bill Walsh. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO – AUGUST 10: Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young speaks during a public memorial for former 49ers coach Bill Walsh August 10, 2007 at Monster Park in San Francisco, California. NFL Hall of Famer Bill Walsh. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Young’s bio:

Mr. Young is a Managing Partner and Co-founder of HGGC. He is also a member of HGGC’s Policy and Investment Committee and Executive Committees.

Prior to his inception of HGGC, Mr. Young was a co-founder and Managing Director of Sorenson Capital, a private equity fund which focused on middle market leveraged buyouts in the Western United States. Previously, Mr. Young was a member in Northgate Capital, LLC, the general partner of Northgate Capital Partners, L.P., a fund of funds.

Mr. Young’s professional football career spanned more than fifteen years in the NFL, primarily with the San Francisco 49ers, where he received numerous accolades, including Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXIX, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News’ Player of the Year from 1992 – 1994, and the NFL’s Most Valuable Player for 1992 and 1994. In 2005, Mr. Young was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the first left-handed quarterback to be so honored. Mr. Young is also the highest-rated quarterback in NFL history and has the distinction of being the only signal caller in league annals to win four consecutive NFL passing titles.

He founded and chairs the Forever Young Foundation which is actively involved in children’s charities worldwide and is currently the broadcast host as well as the former International Spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network which has raised over one billion dollars world-wide to benefit children’s hospitals.

Mr. Young has also served as the corporate spokesperson for companies such as Nike, Visa, Sun Microsystems, Sprint, PowerBar and ICON Health & Fitness, and has recently been profiled in a variety of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Worth Magazine, Sports Illustrated, People, Inside Sports and GQ.

Mr. Young is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he earned a J.D. from the College of Law as well as a B.S. in Finance and Political Science.

More about Time Machine:

Twitter: @dotimemachine

Time Machine is an app that helps people discover what their favorite brands, causes and people are up to, learn how they can get involved and share their experiences on social media. By completing actions, users support causes and qualify to earn rewards, VIP experiences and products. Businesses and charities can use Time Machine to engage their audiences in projects and movements online and beyond the screen. Time Machine is available on iOS and coming soon to Android. For more information, visit timemachine.do.

Lindsay Hadley, Time Machine

Lindsay Hadley, Time Machine

Hadley’s bio:

Lindsay Hadley is a social entrepreneur and professional do-gooder. Early in her career, she facilitated dozens of international humanitarian projects in Kenya, Peru, Mexico, and Thailand. Since then, she has raised more than $24M for social causes. 

Lindsay executive produced The End of Polio Concert in Perth, Australia, and the Global Citizen Festival in 2012 and 2013 in Central Park, which – with a live audience of 60,000 and a worldwide media reach of more than 3 billion — is the largest charity event syndication to date. The mother of two small boys and the wife of a loving and supportive husband, Lindsay knows that relationships are most important in this life.

Business Sees International Development As Both Duty And Opportunity

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Many who work in the field of international development think of governments and large multilateral development institutions like the IMF and World Bank along with other large NGOs as the real players in that space. Increasingly, however, business is playing a role as more people in the commercial world recognize both the responsibility and the opportunities in that arena.

One person who is an international development expert with a dual perspective is the general secretary of Rotary International, John Hewko.

Hewko explains, “Rotary members, by and large, are business and professional leaders who understand the intersection between commerce and cause, and I think Rotary can play a significant role in helping to bridge the gap that exists between the development community and the private sector. Both sides need to work hand-in-glove to achieve maximum development in these developing markets.”

“We tap into a global network of Rotarians who invest their time, money, and expertise into our priorities, such as eradicating polio and promoting peace,” Hewko adds.

By way of example, Hewko reminds us, “Rotary has contributed more than US$1.3 billion dollars and committed countless volunteer hours to fight polio.”

On Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Hewko will join me for a live discussion about the role that business plays in international development. 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 Rotary International:

Twitter: @rotary

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.

John Hewko, General Secretary, Rotary International

John Hewko, General Secretary, Rotary International

Hewko’s bio:

Twitter: @johnhewko

John Hewko is the general secretary of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.

From 2004 to 2009, Hewko was vice president for operations and compact development for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government agency established in 2004 to deliver foreign assistance to the world’s poorest countries. At MCC, he was the principal United States negotiator for foreign assistance agreements to 26 countries in Africa, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union. During his tenure, he completed the negotiation of assistance agreements totaling $6.3 billion to 18 countries for infrastructure, agriculture, water and sanitation, health, and education projects.

Prior to joining MCC, Hewko was an international partner with the law firm Baker & McKenzie, specializing in international corporate transactions in emerging markets. He helped establish the firm’s Moscow office and was the managing partner of its offices in Kyiv and Prague.

While working in Ukraine in the early 1990s, Hewko assisted the working group that prepared the initial draft of the new Ukrainian post-Soviet constitution and was a charter member of the first Rotary club in Kyiv.

Hewko has been a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University, and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He has published papers and articles in leading U.S. and international publications, and he has spoken extensively on political and business issues dealing with the former Soviet Union, Central Europe, Africa, and Latin America. He is also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.

Hewko holds a law degree from Harvard University, a master’s in modern history from Oxford University (where he studied as a Marshall Scholar), and a bachelor’s in government and Soviet studies from Hamilton College in New York.

As general secretary, Hewko leads a diverse staff of 800 at Rotary International’s World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, and seven international offices. Hewko is a Paul Harris Fellow. He and his wife, Margarita, live in Evanston.

LGBTQ Clothing That Looks & Does Good

This is a guest post from Jillian Brooks who is a copywriter, comedian, and social entrepreneur.

It’s not every day you have the opportunity to impact the same community, in vastly different ways – simultaneously. However, Project Comfort aims to do just that, creating a business model based around community empowerment.

Pushing passed the Masculine-Male & Feminine-Female conventions of modern day clothing providers; Project Comfort offers apparel for a more diverse set of body types, individuals, and identities. That means that sizing is more standard, and styles androgynous. But the really cool part of the organization is that $10 from every item sold goes back to an established LGBTQ nonprofit, and the customer picks what goes where.

Jillian Brooks

Jillian Brooks

Project Comfort works directly with nonprofits operating in the LGBTQ community to provide regular micro financing and donation income. When an item is added to a customer’s cart, they are prompted to select a nonprofit from a provided list.

From there, selections are tallied and donations are made to the nonprofits at the end of each quarter. On June 30th, 2015, nearly $2,000 was donated to 5 different LGBTQ nonprofits as a result of Project Comfort customers.

Project Comfort operates using the model of a breakeven-business, meaning that the majority of revenue generated from sales goes directly toward the nonprofits selected by customers. With less than 1% profit netting back to Project Comfort for company development, the organization operates solely to make a difference.

As a woman-owned social enterprise, that is a sustainably operated organization, with the majority of our items made in the USA, Project Comfort is conscious about the community at large.

Connect:

www.ProjectComfortUSA.com
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook
#EqualPeriod #ClothingForEquality

Bio:

Jillian Brooks is a copywriter, comedian, and social entrepreneur living in New York City.

When Experts Volunteer, Good Happens

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

“I feel like we’ve stumbled on this incredibly obvious epiphany, when you give what you’re good at, you get better at it. You help others while helping yourself,” says Mark Horoszowski.

His epiphany led him to create Moving Worlds, an match-making site for expert volunteers–experteers.”

Summarizing the value proposition, Horoszowksi says, “Major development organizations have shared that behind access to capital, access to skills is the leading barrier to progress – this is called the ‘talent gap.’ Contributing the right skills at the right time can bridge holes to create short-term impact, and also help local staff develop their own skills to foster long-term sustainability and impact.”

“We’re proving that the right skills can catalyze the impact of social enterprises working in the field – helping them create a positive impact and create jobs in the process,” he adds.

By way of a clear example, Horoszowski offers, “Before applying for growth capital or a grant, and organization needs an accounting system. That’s a skills challenge, not a capital challenge, and an Experteer can help with just that.”

“The most important thing that people have is their brain, time, and passion. By giving all three, not only do people contribute their energy towards solving some of the world’s greatest challenges, but research shows they also return having learned new skills, feeling like they have more time, and feeling even more loved and passionate,” he concludes.

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Horoszowski will join me for a live discussion about Moving Worlds. 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 Moving Worlds:

Twitter : @Experteering

A matching site and global support team TISI NaN% that helps people volunteer their skills–Go Experteering–anytime and for any length of time, on their own or through corporate-sponsored programs.

Our mission is to address the global talent gap by connecting Experteers directly to social change organizations in the world that provide free accommodation and other local benefits in exchange for expertise.

Mark Horoszowski

Mark Horoszowski

Horoszowski’s bio:

Mark is co-founder and CEO of MovingWorlds.org, a global platform that connects people who want to travel and volunteer their expertise with social impact organizations around the globe. Since its launch in 2011, MovingWorlds.org has already helped unleash over 1.2 million dollars worth of professional skills to social enterprises around the world.

In his free time, Mark serves on the American Cancer Society ’s Nationwide Training Team and Co-chairs its Nationwide Volunteer Leadership Advisory Team.

Nurse Seeks End To Infant And Maternal Mortality

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

When Arlene Samen was invited to meet with the Dalai Lama, she couldn’t imagine how it would change her life. Ultimately, she left her position as a nurse as the University of Utah School of Medicine to found One Heart World Wide, an organization that works to end infant and maternal mortality.

One Heart World Wide is making remarkable progress. After a temporary effort with great success in Tibet, Samen moved the organization to Mexico and now Nepal.

Samen says she’s learned a few lessons over the years and summarizes them as follows:

  1. I believe it is “relationships that save lives”, that by working together with others we can serve so many more.
  2. No matter what you face in life, never give up.
  3. The ripple effect knows no boundaries.

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 2:00 Eastern, Samen will join me for a live discussion about her remarkable work to end maternal deaths. 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 One Heart World Wide:

Twitter : @oneheartww

One Heart World Wide is a non profit organization empowering communities to save the lives of mothers and newborns during childbirth in the most remote areas of the world. We work within existing health infrastructures to prevent maternal and newborn deaths by promoting safe clean deliveries, training community health workers, and upgrading existing health posts to meet national standards of care for birthing centers.Through an elegantly simple approach of training and equipping the right people in the right way, One Heart saves lives efficiently, sustainably, and cost effectively. As the “Network of Safety” is culturally adapted for the people by the people, these systemic changes have a ripple affect, that saves lives now and into future. We deliver scalable solutions, safe pregnancies, and we deliver results.

Arlene Samen

Arlene Samen

Samen’s bio:

Twitter: @arlenesamen

Arlene Samen, has been a Nurse Practitioner in Maternal Fetal Medicine for over 33 years. In 2004, she left behind her clinical practice at the University of Utah School of Medicine to dedicate her life to serving pregnant women living int he most vulnerable conditions int he most remote places of the world. In her travels she learned about the plight of pregnant women and newborns in Tibet, where one out of ten newborn babies died due to preventable causes. She organized a fact-finding mission to understand the local traditions, religious and cultural beliefs of women giving birth. Arlene spent over ten years in Tibet working and living side by side with the local government to bring a safe motherhood project to women who were poor, uneducated, and living in the most remote areas on the roof of the world. She brought the “Network of Safety” model to women who face death in order to give life. In 2009, One Heart World-Wide brought its life saving model to remote villages in Nepal, the Copper Canyon in Mexico, and deep into the amazon jungle in Ecuador where few dared to go. To date over 60,000 women have been touched by the “Network of Safety”. She has endured political uprisings, being held at gunpoint, the SARS epidemic,and earthquakes to make sure women had a safe clean delivery. No matter what the challenges she faced, she followed the Dalai Lama’s advise to never give up. Arlene has received many awards, including Unsung Heroes for Acts of Compassion in 2001, the Soroptpmist Women Making a Difference Award, CNN Hero, and the Stevie Awards “Women helping Women.” She has been a presenter at TEDxSF, BIF10, and Catalyst Creativ amongst being a guest lecturer at Standford and UCSF.

Artist, Activist Lives Among The World’s Poor To Understand Them First Hand

Artist and activist Phil America focuses his work on social issues like class, gender and race.

“Art is a language everyone can speak,” Phil says about his work.

As an activist, he is philosophical, “The biggest criminal is the one who puts the laws of the land above their own morals.”

Having lived all around the world and having seen all sorts of poverty, Phil says, “Living in poverty does not make you poor. What makes you poor is being complacent and having poor character.”

On Friday, July 10, 2015 at 5:00 Eastern, Phil will join me for a live discussion about his remarkable 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.

Phil America

Phil America

Phil’s‘ bio:

Phil America (b. 1983) is a California-raised artist, writer and activist. He has worked and lived throughout the US, Europe, Asia and Africa, and concentrates on issues with class, gender and race. In his work he uses performance, photography, writing, video and sound installation and sculptures, searching for a better understanding and connection to his subjects. He also helps with the development of DEAR Burma, a free school for migrants with an attendance of over 1200 students per semester and recently gave his second TED Talk as well as having spoke at numerous universities and events. In 2014 he collaborated with United Nations, International Labor Organization, World Vision, United States Department of Labor, and other agencies and organizations to create art projects around the globe and is currently working on his 4th book.

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

Devin D. Thorpe

Deloitte’s RightStep Innovation Prize Goes To Social Venture Reasoning Mind

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Deloitte recently announced the winner of its RightStep Innovation Prize, Reasoning Mind, a nonprofit social enterprise that implements an interactive online math curriculum in public school districts.

Reasoning Mind CEO Alex Khachatryan explained, “Our mission is to provide a first-rate math education for every child. Over the last five years, we’ve seen not only tremendous growth but also tremendous impact on student mathematical achievement. With Deloitte’s support, we know that we’ll be able to provide the benefits of our program to more students than ever.”

Co-founder and Senior Vice President George Khachatryan said, “Reasoning Mind studies and reverse-engineers the teaching practices of some of the world’s best mathematics teachers. We design online lessons that reproduce some internationally-successful instructional methods—but you can’t deliver a full educational experience online. That’s why we train and support classroom teachers in these practices, too; so they will be empowered to use the program in the most beneficial way possible.”

On Thursday, July 25, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Alex and George will join me for live discussion about the RightStep award from Deloitte and the work they are doing in schools. 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 Reasoning Mind:

Twitter: @reasoningmind

Reasoning Mind is an educational nonprofit with a mission of providing a first-rate math education for every child. The organization studies and reverse-engineers the instructional practices of some of the world’s most effective math teachers, and then reproduces these practices in online lessons. Reasoning Mind also trains and supports teachers in using these instructional materials in their classrooms. The result is a blended learning program that has increased classroom engagement, teacher effectiveness, and student achievement in mathematics.

Alex Khachatryan’s bio:

Alex began his career as a researcher in artificial intelligence and expert systems, before serving as President of Russian Petroleum Consultants Corporation, a consultancy he founded and managed together with his wife, Julia. Alex, Julia, and their son, George, started the work that would eventually lead to the founding of Reasoning Mind in 1999, and in 2003 they launched the organization’s first pilot project. Twelve years later, Alex runs an organization of over 200 employees that has dramatically improved math achievement—and enjoyment—for teachers and students alike. Alex holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in applied mathematics from the Moscow Oil and Gas Institute, along with a doctorate in physics and mathematics from Moscow State University, Russia’s leading research university. Alex enjoys reading, theater, and long walks in the mountains.

George Khachatryan’s bio:

George began working for Reasoning Mind as a high school student, assisting in content development, recruiting volunteer editors, and writing informational materials. He continued working for the non-profit throughout college and graduate school, before completing his studies and officially joining the company full-time in 2011. All of George’s degrees are in pure mathematics—a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, a master’s from the University of Cambridge, and a doctorate from Cornell University. George enjoys literature and traveling with his wife, Marcela.

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