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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.

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Career Spent Inspiring CSR Spreads Good Globally

Eclat Impact is a sponsor of the Your Mark on the World Center.



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

Georg Kell might not have anticipated the global reach of his work when he started his career more than 30 years ago. After joining the United Nations in 1987, the opportunity for global influence presented itself. Georg took full advantage.

Georg started his career as a research fellow in engineering at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Innovation in Berlin. He then spent a few years working as a financial analyst in various countries in Africa and Asia, helping him to gain a global perspective.

After joining the UN in 1987, he became “obsessed with modernizing the UN from within and working with the private sector,” he says.

A key point in his career came 12 years after joining the UN. “In 1999, I helped craft a speech for Kofi Annan, then UN secretary-general, calling on business to look beyond profit and to contribute to society, the environmental and global governance,” he says. “The reaction overwhelmed us. It made the front pages in major papers. That’s where the real story of building the Global Compact started.”

Georg Kell, courtesy of Arabesque

Georg Kell, courtesy of Arabesque

Vince Molinari, the CEO of Oisa Capital and former CEO of Gate Global Impact, which partnered with the UN Global Compact, explains the impact the Global Compact has. “UNGC has done an amazing job of creating awareness and convening the private sector around global issues and the imperative of public and private collaboration to drive sustainability and civil society. This was born from the passion and vision of Georg and now is being carried on by Lisa Kingo, UNGCs new Executive Director.”

Georg is philosophical about the challenges he’s faced in his career. He points at his experience starting the UN Global Compact as an example.

“Launching the Global Compact, for example, was chaotic. With a budget of just $10,000, the first office in the basement of the UN had no windows and one of the team slept there. It was a real start-up within the UN. The working conditions were tough but the spirit was high, and it was a challenge which I learned a lot from,” Georg says.

He identifies two keys to success based on his experience.

First, he says, “My advice to anyone would be to discover your inner skills. If you identify an opportunity, try to be the best at it.”

Second, he sees value in being able to see beyond the walls of your own silo. “I also always advise people to be horizontally oriented. It’s great to dig into something very specific but connecting the dots and seeing the opportunities in connecting them, there’s a premium on that.”

Today, Georg serves as the Vice Chairman of Arabesque, a fund manager focused on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria. With offices in London and Frankfurt, the firm focuses on trading and investing in 1,000 global stocks. This opportunity gives him the opportunity to continue his work of getting the private sector to focus more energy on doing good.

Molinari also admires the work Arabesque is doing. “Arabesque is innovating and bringing together the converging of transparency, shareholder and consumer alignment, corporate governance and sustainable values into investable products that are open to all level of investors.”

“This is truly game changing to have capital markets, technology and sustainability pioneers and experts all converging in one company,” he adds. “This is the epitome of multiple paradigms shifts intersecting at one company under its visionary CEO Omar Selim and his team, resulting in the future of investing occurring in the present.”

On Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 3:00 Eastern, Georg will join me for a live discussion about his career, the UN Global Compact and Arabesque. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Arabesque:

Twitter: @ArabesqueAM

Arabesque is a specialist ESG Quant fund manager that uses self-learning quantitative models and big data to assess the performance and sustainability of globally listed companies. The firm’s investment technology processes over 100 billion data points to select an investment universe of equities, integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) information with quantitative strategies.

Georg’s bio:

Georg Kell is the founding Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative with over 8,000 corporate signatories in more than 160 countries. As its founding Executive Director, Kell helped to establish the United Nations Global Compact as the foremost platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible and sustainable corporate policies and practices. In a career of more than 25 years at the United Nations, Kell also oversaw the conception and launch of the Global Compact’s sister initiatives on investment, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and on education, the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), together with the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative.

Mr. Kell now serves as Vice Chairman of Arabesque.

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!

 

‘Amazing’ Opportunity: Electrifying the Developing World With Solar

Clean Energy Advisors is a sponsor of the Your Mark on the World Show.


You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.
Back in the 1930s, the United States remained largely a rural country, with almost half of the population still living in rural communities–without electricity. Electrifying rural America was a key part of the New Deal. The key then was distribution of electricity generated in utility-scale plants.

Today, the world is in a race to electrify rural communities in the developing world. This presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors around the world, say Chris Warren, CEO of Clean Energy Advisors, and Erik Melang, co-founder of Distributive Solar.

Unlike the New Deal-era effort to electrify rural America, today’s electrification efforts run the full gamut from solar lamps charged by day and used at night to utility-scale projects that connect to the grid.

Entrepreneurs around the world are getting in on the act. India has organized incentives and entrepreneurial support programs to for solar projects.

d.light, among others, offers a range of solar products in Africa, including solar lamps at the bottom and “modern, grid-like solar power systems for homes and businesses” at the top. Akon has installed 1,200 micro-grids across Africa. Utilities across Africa have built or bought power from solar developers who have built utility-scale projects.

Erik points out that the “market opportunity is huge.” He says, this is an “amazing opportunity for the world to invest in Africa.” He explains that in the developing world, homes can initially meet all of their needs with systems that produce fewer than 100 watts of power, while in the U.S. the average household uses 3 to 5 kilowatts, or 30 to 50 times as much.

The implications are important. A little bit of solar power can go a long way in changing and improving lives in Africa–which they can readily afford as they shift from kerosene to solar lighting. Many of the systems deployed at the household level use a pay-as-you-go model. The consumers pay for the power the solar panel generates rather than needing to buy the panel up front.

The other key implication is that as African affluence grows, the average household demand for electricity will grow until it eventually approaches the U.S. level. In other words, the business of providing solar power in the developing world will continue to grow faster than the U.S. economy for the next several decades.

Chris Warren, courtesy of Clean Energy Advisors

Chris Warren, courtesy of Clean Energy Advisors

Chris notes, too, that because much of the need in Africa is off-grid, systems don’t need to work with the grid, simplifying installation and reducing costs, compared with typical U.S. installations that need to work with the grid.

On Thursday, January 19, 2017 at noon Eastern, Chris and Erik will join me here for a live discussion about opportunities in solar in the developing world. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Clean Energy Advisors:

Twitter: @ceacleanenergy

Clean Energy Advisors is a private equity firm focused on creating socially and environmentally positive ownership opportunities for investors in utility scale solar energy projects that generate tax advantaged predictable income and preserve capital.

Chris’s bio:

Twitter: @ceocleanenergy

Chris Warren has over twenty-five years of experience in the financial industry and along the way he has acquired a unique set of skills and experiences through roles that include managing assets for high net worth investors, leading a major division of a Fortune 500 company, building three successful businesses from inception, and overseeing complex financial arrangements for over US $860 million in renewable energy assets. Mr. Warren is a graduate of Duke University. His technical training includes a Certification in Renewable Energy Management from North Carolina State University and training in Basic and Advanced Solar PV Design from Solar Energy International.

Erik Melang, courtesy of Distributive Solar

Erik Melang, courtesy of Distributive Solar

More about Distributive Solar:

Twitter: @distrsolar

Commercial Solar Origination. Recruiting, training and supporting commercial solar consultants to present the economic, branding and environmental benefits of going solar to commercial business owners.

Erik’s bio:

Twitter: @espmel

Erik Melang is a Co-Founder of Distributive Solar and oversees the firms Recruiting, training and support of Independent Sales Representatives. Erik previously served as Managing Director of Impact Partners, where he led impact strategies initiatives and renewable energy private equity investments. It is in this role that Erik was drawn to the amazing business opportunity around Commercial Solar Origination. The industry is in the early stages of mass adoption and Commercial Business Owners are realizing the tremendous economic benefits of deploying solar panels on their rooftops. Erik is an Appalachian State MBA with strong desire to learn and teach and is an avid follower of everything solar and all things “Impact.” Erik’s interest include Clean Energy, Fishing, Snow Skiing, Travel , Guitar Pickin’ and is a child adoption advocate.

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!

 

Confessions of a Mean Girl

Jessie Funk was a mean girl. Think Lindsey Lohan in the movie. Really.

Jessie wasn’t born a bully, she was first bullied. She developed bulimia as a result.

Today, Jessie cringes when she thinks about the times she was bullied but hurts even worse when she thinks about when she was a bully.

Jessie, who resembles Lindsey Lohan, describes her reaction to being bullied, “My natural reaction was to turn around and become the worst bully you can imagine.” She says she wasn’t just a bully to her peers, but also to her parents, teachers and school administrators.

Over the years since, she has worked to repair relationships with her family and others whom she hurt when she acted out.

As penance or repentance for the harm she did, she has launched Ivy Girl Academy, a nonprofit that works with young women to help them cope with the challenges they face. She travels the country helping girls learn to cope with bullying.

Jessie related the story of a young girl in North Carolina who approached her after a presentation and gave her a hug. Jessie thanked her for the hug and the girl pulled up her sleeves to reveal the cuts on her arms. She told Jessie that she was gay and hadn’t been able to come out to her parents, who had made it clear that they’d disown her if she did.

Jessie has coached the girl, to help her both deal with bullies in her school and to prepare for a healthy dialog with her parents.

Recently, Jessie joined me for a live discussion about her work.

Jessie is a professional speaker and singer with five albums under her belt. Her life’s mission is helping girls overcome the challenges that she herself faced. Ivy Girl Academy is the primary vehicle that she uses for that.

More about Ivy Girl Academy:

Twitter: @ivygirlacademy

We ignite personal & positional leadership skills in teen ladies through world-class workshops, summer camps, and certification programs.

The Ivy Girl Academy was created by Jessie Funk. Jessie has been a passionate advocate for teen girls since she was one herself. She has worked with, served and studied young ladies in many different capacities for the last eight years.

Jessie holds a leadership certification from the University of Notre Dame, she is a certified life coach and she has been a professional motivational youth speaker for a decade. Jessie has released five solo albums and has published five books including, “It’s Your Life…Own It. A Teen’s Guide to Greatness.”

Jessie Funk, courtesy of Ivy Girl Academy

Jessie Funk, courtesy of Ivy Girl Academy

Jessie’s Bio:

Twitter: @jessiefunksing

Jessie Funk holds a leadership certification from the University of Notre Dame along with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. She has also been a professional youth speaker for twelve years, speaking for high schools and leadership conferences internationally. She is a “7-habits” facilitator for Franklin Covey, the most prestigious leadership training company in the world. She is a published author of two books for teens and she is also the Director of Education for the Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition. Her passion for empowering teenagers led her to start an international non-profit organization called “The Ivy Girl Academy,” a confidence and leadership- training program for teen ladies.

As a professional vocalist she has released five solo albums, has toured 36 states with the Broadway musical “Footloose,” has also been hired for hundreds of recording sessions as a studio vocalist including songs heard on TV’s “America’s Got Talent,” ESPN and “The Biggest Loser.” Jessie has walked away from three record deals unwilling to sell her soul for fame. She chooses to use her voice to lift and inspire in positive ways.

Jessie’s favorite role in life is that of adored wife and mother to two.

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!

My New Year’s Resolution: Read The Paper

It will come as no surprise to anyone else who lives on social media, I’ve delegated the responsibility for choosing the news that I read to my friends. In 2016, I rarely sat at my desk, in an easy chair, a cafe bar stool or on any other perch simply to read a newspaper. That wasn’t always the case. I was a religious reader of the Wall Street Journal for many years.

Over the past 25 years, digital streams of information have chipped away at my perceived need to sit down with the paper and really read it. More recently, social media has become a primary source of news. Often, social media leads me to articles in the New York Times and reports from CNN and other television news media, but in those cases, I’m typically consuming a single story, not perusing the full days’ news and putting it all in context.

Reading via social media presents another hazard. I often view only the headline.

Think about that for a moment. The headline is almost certainly abbreviated in such a way as to omit key points of balance. It is also unclear from just a headline, even if I can see who published the article, whether it is an editorial or reported story–a vital distinction for understanding what I’m not reading.

Even scarier, I think, is that internet memes circulating with no provenance or authority are hitting my brain in almost exactly the same way a headline does. An oversimplified statement is dropped into my brain and left there to ripen or putrefy before ultimately being forgotten. Give me ten mindless memes and ten New York Times or Wall Street Journal headlines in ten minutes. Wait ten more minutes. Just ten. Then quiz me. Will I be able to distinguish facts reported from the New York Times or Wall Street Journal from the memes making rounds without a source? I’m quite confident that I’d do poorly on such a test.

This past week, I spent some time trying to find actual copies of newspapers. If you’re like me, you probably haven’t done that in a while. Our local drug store no longer sells papers. The convenience store on Main Street no longer sells them either. The nearest grocery store does, but they were sold out of both our daily local papers. Starbucks was, too. It seems pretty clear that the business of selling newspapers isn’t what it used to be.

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That contradicts some key realities. Newspapers are simply amazing. The New York Times published yesterday, on Saturday, included 67 articles. Taken together with the photographs accompanying the stories–many in full color–and you have a book-length collection of professionally written stories, reported from around the world. The price: $2.50.

The Wall Street Journal, with similar girth and breadth of coverage, costs a whopping $4.00. The slightly thinner USA Today was $2.00 and the Saturday edition of the Deseret News, one of our local papers, was free.

So much of the news that we no longer read because it is not on the front page of the paper and may not make the list of most popular articles of the past 24 hours on the publication’s homepage, is important and well-written. You’d be surprised.

The USA Today features a story by Nathan Bomey about the coming resurgence of oil companies. He explores recent bankruptcies and argues that oil companies that have survived recent years are poised for a rebound. That wasn’t front page news but whether you are interested in how to invest your money, how to fuel your car or about climate change, that article might have been interesting to you.

The Deseret News ran a lengthy piece by Eric Schulzke buried in the middle of the paper about America’s aging infrastructure. Inspired by a recent water main break that cost the City of Sandy, Utah $200,000 to repair, noting that the City spends only $1.5 million all year on replacing aging pipes, the piece suggests that the country is ready to fall apart. In 1980, 10 percent of pipes were in “poor shape.” By 2010, that number had reached 45 percent. If you live in the United States, that would be good information to have.

The Wall Street Journal virtually buried a piece by Eliot Brown about Ford’s acquisition of Chariot, a shuttle company, last year, putting it into a broader context of mergers and acquisitions by Ford to cope with a radically changing future that will include driverless vehicles. From this example, Brown explores other examples of old-line firms making acquisitions of startups backed by venture capitalists. The volume of such deals in 2016 doubled compared to 2015. I bet you didn’t see that posted in your Facebook feed.

The New York Times ran a piece by Katie Thomas about a new drug for treating spinal muscular atrophy, a disease that sometimes kills children before their second birthdays. The drug will save lives, giving some children a chance at life that they simply would not have had otherwise. But the treatment isn’t cheap. The first year cost of the drug is between $625,000 and $750,000 with subsequent years needing lower dosages that are expected to cost only $375,000. After reading the piece, I could hardly believe it wasn’t on the front page. Why aren’t we all talking about this over dinner tonight?

The beauty of the physical newspaper is that we can easily see what the editors think is important for us to know. Those stories sit on the front page above the fold so that we can see those stories without even picking up the paper. The stories are organized by topic as well, with sections full of business news, sports news, arts news, and so forth. Newspapers are veritable treasure troves of information that I’ve been too often ignoring.

Now, I will confess, I don’t plan on subscribing to a print newspaper. I have found that the Washington Post app is great at giving me a virtual experience that parallels the print without mimicking it in any way. The app allows me to easily work my way through the paper, skimming some articles, reading others thoughtfully, in depth. It costs much less than a print subscription and I have it with me all the time.

As you may have guessed, I want to invite you to join me this year in reading the newspaper. Pick one that you like and read it. Regularly.

 

How Will President Trump Impact Solar Energy Development? The Answer Will Surprise You!

Clean Energy Advisors sponsors the work of the Your Mark on the World Center, including this publication.

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

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. solar industry is expecting to shatter records for new solar power, with 4,143 megawatts of photovoltaic solar capacity added in the third quarter alone.

The Solar Energy Industries Association and market analysis firm GTM Research, just published its “U.S. Solar Market Insight” report. The executive summary is available for free here.

The summary notes, “Between Q1 and Q3 2016, solar accounted for 39% of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line in the U.S, ranking second only to natural gas as the largest source of new capacity additions.”

Most of the growth, according to the report, is in utility scale projects rather than retail rooftop solar.

Clean Energy Advisors, or CEA, invests in small utility-scale solar projects in North Carolina.

Despite the rosy report, people reasonably wonder about the prospect for renewable energy under President-Elect Trump, who has appointed climate change skeptics to head both the EPA and the Department of Energy.

CEA CEO Chris Warren agrees. “The results of the U.S. Presidential election have undoubtedly raised some questions around the future of the renewable energy industry in America. Given President-elect Trump’s campaign rhetoric around support for coal, fracking, the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and his apparent belief that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese, one might assume that the solar industry is in for a rough ride. If this was 2008 I would tend to agree with that assumption.”

He points out that the growth of the industry has been exponential over the past ten years and that portends continued growth.

He says, “This growth which was driven by institutional investor interest in both the stable cash flows and tax attributes available to real assets in the space has changed the landscape in which we operate. In 2008, the price per watt for a solar panel was around $4, today that number is around sixty cents. All of the other major costs associated with solar projects have experienced similar contraction. The net result is an industry that can support itself based on underlying financial returns and not government intervention or incentives.”

“Solar is now at grid parity with fossil fuels in many states across the country and the list continues to grow. While legislative changes at the Federal, state, and local level have in the past created challenges for renewable energy (and in some instances opportunities) the financial returns are driving growth today,” he continued.

Ultimately, Chris has faith that President Trump will make decisions based on facts, not fiction.

“Nobody can accurately predict how a Donald Trump Administration will initially approach alternative energy. What we do know is that once he looks under the hood he will find substance that he probably has no idea exists,” Chris says. “He will find an economic engine that is driving job creation and contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to local economies. He will find an asset class that is widely accepted by the largest financial institutions providing above market rates of return. He will find public support among 90 percent of the American population for advancement in the amount of power we produce from renewable energy.”

“I believe that President Trump will appreciate the reality that renewable energy is here to stay and is indeed the future,” he concluded.

The report predicts that 2016’s expected total increase in solar capacity of 14 gigawatts will grow in future years, topping 20 gigawatts per year by 2020.

Chris Warren, courtesy of Clean Energy Advisors

Chris Warren, courtesy of Clean Energy Advisors

On Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 11:00 Eastern, Chris will join me here for a live discussion about the solar industry in the context of the coming Trump administration. 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 Clean Energy Advisors:

Twitter: @ceacleanenergy

Clean Energy Advisors is a private equity firm focused on creating socially and environmentally positive ownership opportunities for investors in utility scale solar energy projects that generate tax advantaged predictable income and preserve capital.

Chris’s bio:

Twitter: @ceocleanenergy

Chris Warren has over twenty-five years of experience in the financial industry and along the way he has acquired a unique set of skills and experiences through roles that include managing assets for high net worth investors, leading a major division of a Fortune 500 company, building three successful businesses from inception, and overseeing complex financial arrangements for over US $860 million in renewable energy assets. Mr. Warren is a graduate of Duke University. His technical training includes a Certification in Renewable Energy Management from North Carolina State University and training in Basic and Advanced Solar PV Design from Solar Energy International.

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!

 

Singer, Speaker Helps Girls Develop Leadership Skills


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

Jessie Funk is one of those people that lights up a room by walking into it. She brings a palpable, positive energy to the stage when she speaks or sings. In recent months, I’ve heard her speak and sing to two different audiences, one of youth and another of adults, with equal brilliance.

Jessie’s message is as powerful as her personality. She helps people to see bullying through a clear lens and provides simple, easy to execute tools for coping with it.

She doesn’t stop there. Jessie is channeling her passion for helping girls into a nonprofit called Ivy Girl Academy.

Jessie Funk, courtesy of Ivy Girl Academy

Jessie Funk, courtesy of Ivy Girl Academy

She recognizes the full range of challenges that girls face today. She says, “The problem is that too many girls are anorexic, addicted to drugs or alcohol, are cutting themselves, or struggling with depression and anxiety.”

Jessie is working to help girls cope in healthy, constructive ways that will empower them as leaders. “Ivy Girl Academy offers workshops, summer camps, and a membership program that teach girls empathy, conflict resolutions skills, self-defense, self-respect, basic psychology, and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help them problem-solve more effectively,” she says.

Jessie acknowledges challenges in her work, noting that girls face head winds in overcoming their problems. “The challenge we are all facing is that girls still deal with fear, insecurity, negative stereotypes, and a lack of leadership skills,” she says. “Too many girls don’t raise their hand, start the business, share their opinions, or take the leap of faith.”

Not one to be bound by limitations, Jessie is frustrated by the scale of her nonprofit today. She wants to help more girls so she’s developed a plan to make that happen. “Our limitations are that we can only serve girls within a small geographic region. This is why we are getting ready to launch a membership program that can allow us to serve millions of girls worldwide,” she says.

Jessie has a big vision for Ivy Girl Academy. “Our mission is to empower girls with the leadership skills they need to be confident, happy, and have healthier relationships,” she says. “Through the power of knowledge and information, we can help girls overcome challenges and rock their universe.”

On Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 4:00 Eastern, Jessie will join me here for a live discussion about her work at Ivy Girl Academy and her mission to empower girls. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Jessie Funk, courtesy of Ivy Girl Academy

Jessie Funk, courtesy of Ivy Girl Academy

More about Ivy Girl Academy:

Twitter: @ivygirlacademy

We ignite personal & positional leadership skills in teen ladies through world-class workshops, summer camps, and certification programs.

The Ivy Girl Academy was created by Jessie Funk. Jessie has been a passionate advocate for teen girls since she was one herself. She has worked with, served and studied young ladies in many different capacities for the last eight years.

Jessie holds a leadership certification from the University of Notre Dame, she is a certified life coach and she has been a professional motivational youth speaker for a decade. Jessie has released five solo albums and has published five books including, “It’s Your Life…Own It. A Teen’s Guide to Greatness.”

Jessie’s Bio:

Twitter: @jessiefunksing

Jessie Funk holds a leadership certification from the University of Notre Dame along with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. She has also been a professional youth speaker for twelve years, speaking for high schools and leadership conferences internationally. She is a “7-habits” facilitator for Franklin Covey, the most prestigious leadership training company in the world. She is a published author of two books for teens and she is also the Director of Education for the Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition. Her passion for empowering teenagers led her to start an international non-profit organization called “The Ivy Girl Academy,” a confidence and leadership- training program for teen ladies.

As a professional vocalist she has released five solo albums, has toured 36 states with the Broadway musical “Footloose,” has also been hired for hundreds of recording sessions as a studio vocalist including songs heard on TV’s “America’s Got Talent,” ESPN and “The Biggest Loser.” Jessie has walked away from three record deals unwilling to sell her soul for fame. She chooses to use her voice to lift and inspire in positive ways.

Jessie’s favorite role in life is that of adored wife and mother to two.

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!

 

Mother of 8, Grandmother of 24, Tackles Global Peace Initiative


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

Dr. Paula Fellingham is remarkable for many reasons. Not only has she earned a Doctorate of Education Degree, she did it while she raised eight children and 24 grandchildren. She has also been a talk show host. She is the founder of the Women’s Information Network and of the nonprofit Equity Serve Foundation. She is the author of six books. She seems unstoppable!

Never daunted by a challenge, she’s tackled what could be described as the world’s biggest: peace and prosperity.

Paula says, “Although hundreds of millions in nations worldwide lack love, prosperity, and peace in their lives, there has never been a better time in history to implement a Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative whose mission is ‘to increase the love, prosperity and peace on Earth.'”

So Paula is making it happen. “We have created a Master Action Plan (a MAP) to fulfill our mission. We have developed systems and processes. We have valuable content that can strengthen hearts, homes, and all of humanity. Additionally, we have Regional Directors, Peace Ambassadors, National Peace Ambassadors and hundreds of volunteers who are ready to implement our Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative in 196 nations, beginning in January, 2017.”

Paula Fellingham, courtesy of Women's Information Network.

Paula Fellingham, courtesy of Women’s Information Network.

No different than so many entrepreneurs, Paula needs funding to launch her initiative. “Our biggest challenge is funding. We have funded the Global Initiative to this point, and now we are ready for financial help. We are seeking one million dollars (I have a breakdown of exactly how it will be spent). Our Global Initiative will be self-sustaining and so the initial capital will be repaid and our partners will enjoy a WIN WIN with us.”

The lack of funding limits how quickly she can have impact, she says. “We have content; we have volunteers worldwide (a plethora of people!); we have some media contacts. However, with funding we can deliver our content via apps, radio, television, etc. in every nation. The technology is there. We simply need to tap into the resources that will help us achieve exponential success.”

Paula starts her work with a desire to measure progress and impact. She says, “We believe we can lift the level of love, prosperity, and peace in the world. We have measurements in place and every year on Peace Day (September 21st) in 196 nations our National Peace Ambassadors will host a Peace Summit. Also, at that time the progress in each nation will be measured, analyzed, and the data will be publicized and recorded. The increased (or decreased) levels of prosperity and peace (which can and will be measured) in each nation will determine the level of support they receive the following year.”

On Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 3:00 Eastern, Paula will join me here for a live discussion about her remarkable work to increase peace and prosperity in the world. 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 Women’s Information Network:

The Women’s Information Network (WIN) is a community of women in many nations and an online educational and social network. We present events worldwide where we teach “Total Life Excellence” and we offer online courses and educational products.

More about Equity Serve Foundation:

Our non-profit entity is Equity Serve Foundation. Under this company we are implementing a Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative in 196 nations. We launched this Initiative at the World Parliament on Spirituality November 17 – 20 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Paula’s bio:

Dr. Paula Fellingham is a leader in the global women’s movement today as the Founder and CEO of The Women’s Information Network (WIN).

Paula holds a Doctorate of Education Degree in Human Relations and she is the author of 6 books and many magazine articles.

Paula has spoken for delegates at the United Nations and at conferences around the world for over three decades. For years she hosted her own daily radio show called “Solutions For Families.”

Dr. Fellingham received an “Outstanding Leadership and Service Award” from U.S. President Barack Obama, and the prestigious “Points of Light” Award from U.S. President George W. Bush.

Currently, Paula is chairing a Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative. She is working with Peace Ambassadors in 196 nations. Their goal is “to increase the level of love, prosperity, and peace on Earth.”

Years ago, Paula’s family was a musical performing group. For 12 summers her family performed across the United States and in Europe. Paula has been married for 45 years to Dr. Gilbert Fellingham, a Professor of Statistics at BYU. They have 8 children and 24 grandchildren.

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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!

 

Announcing My New Social Media Course for Nonprofits

Recently, I completed and posted a new course on social media for nonprofits on Udemy that you can complete in under an hour and costs just $25.

As I sit on the board of one nonprofit, the public relations advisory board for another, I have seen up close how daunting social media can be to a nonprofit where every dollar is precious and time is a luxury that other people have.

Social media is an important tool for nonprofits, not just in fundraising, but for developing a community and for issue advocacy and awareness. Well-crafted social media campaigns can reach more people than a good write-up in your local paper.

Blue bird cartoon and social media icon set in speech bubble shape. Vector file layered for easy manipulation and custom coloring.

The course, “Basic Social Media for Nonprofits,” will help organizations with up to $10 million annual budgets develop a strategy and actionable tactics that don’t take an inordinate amount of time nor much of a budget in order to thoughtfully develop an audience, a community and a donor base via social media.

Udemy is a leading platform for online courses. I have posted four courses on the platform, including this one. Earlier this month, I announced my new course “Intro to Impact Investing.”

Over the past several years, like many journalists, I’ve had to learn much of the art and science of social media. Having attracted over 40,000 followers on Twitter, over 6,000 fans on Facebook and over 5,000 connections on LinkedIn, I realized that my audience is much bigger than most nonprofits. Many nonprofits have a clear advantage, however, with a natural and committed fan base among those they serve and the their friends and families.

My new course is regularly just $25, but you can register using the code “DOGOODER” and get 20 percent off and pay just $20. Let me share a secret I haven’t posted elsewhere. If you join the Doers Circle here on Patreon, you can get even bigger discounts plus other benefits!

3 Tips For Overcoming From Someone Who Overcame



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

Todd Sylvester overcame addiction to create a successful life. Now as a speaker and mentor he helps others trapped by addiction or other behavioral challenges to overcome them. The lessons could be relevant for anyone seeking to overcome any self-limiting challenge.

Todd offers three keys to overcoming the challenges in our lives.

Todd Sylvester, courtesy of Todd Sylvester Inspires

Todd Sylvester, courtesy of Todd Sylvester Inspires

First, he says, “You’re OK.”

“Understanding that you are OK is one of the most empowering truths we can and should embrace,” he says.

People are trapped by their self image, he says. “I have found with my clients that the three most common limiting beliefs they hold onto is that they are powerless, broken or damaged, and they are a victim of their circumstances. This keeps them in a self-made prison.”

“These belief systems create a story they tell themselves about themselves and this story is a fairy tale,” he continues. “The fairy tale keeps them wallowing in their own misery but when they become aware that they are OK and have always been OK, the self-made prison is shattered. When they understand this simple yet powerful truth, they laugh themselves silly!”

“All we have is now.”

“All we have is now and our natural state is joy,” Todd says. “When we live in the past and beat ourselves up for past mistakes, we create emotions of guilt, shame, and sadness/depression.”

He says that living in the future has risks, too. “When we think about the future and blow it up, catastrophes, or think something bad is going to happen we create emotions of fear, worry and anxiety. All anxiety is, is a misuse of our imaginations.”

“Joy,” he notes, “is another word for enlightenment and when we are enlightened we are no longer suffering.”

Power, Creativity and Dignity

Todd’s third message begins with this mantra, “You are powerful beyond measure; you are a masterful creator, and you have the dignity to choose.”

“Choice is the ultimate power because when we choose, we create, and in that process we are powerful,” he exults.

He explains the power of these principles, saying, “Believing these principles and living them is life altering, a game changer. Because our beliefs dictate our behaviors and our behaviors are sponsored by our beliefs. Change the belief and our behaviors change automatically. Our thoughts become our beliefs and our beliefs fuel the way we act and live. We must change our beliefs on a sub-conscious mid-brain level because when that happens, it’s lasting change.”

On Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at 2:00 Eastern, Todd will join me here for a live discussion about his three keys for overcoming the biggest challenges in our lives. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Todd Sylvester, courtesy of Todd Sylvester Inspires

Todd Sylvester, courtesy of Todd Sylvester Inspires

More about Todd Sylvester Inspires:

Twitter: @tsinspires

To ignite people’s imaginations and motivate them to change their limiting beliefs. To spark an awareness in my clients that they are OK and to experience Joy again in their lives. This is accomplished through speaking events, one on one mentoring, workshops and online platforms.

Todd’s bio:

Todd is a Belief System Master.

Todd currently serves as a Speaker, Mentor & Personal-Development Coach for those looking to get more out of life.

Todd spent his youth fiercely addicted to drugs and alcohol. Through his own recovery and newfound faith, Todd learned that more powerful than any addiction was the power of the human soul. Over the past 25 years Todd has discovered and taught universal principles that have empowered thousands to conquer addiction, crush compulsive behaviors and change their limiting belief systems.

Todd’s story was recently told through a popular YouTube clip titled “The Hope of God’s Light,” that received over 3 million views and has been translated into 3 languages. Todd has conducted over 500 speaking engagements and over 5,000 individual coaching sessions.

Todd has worked with thousands of people struggling with with drug and alcohol addiction, anxiety and depression, where he provides one-on-one mentoring to both local and international clients. Described as having “a unique gift to develop trusting relationships quickly,” Todd has guided thousands to sobriety and other behavioral successes through the individualized support he offers to each client. His ability to “speak to a person’s soul and help them find their true motive to change” has been the key for inspiring others to make permanent lifestyle changes.

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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!

 

Latest Nick Kristof Protege Shares Insights

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

Nicholas Kristof is a big deal. He is the winner of two Pulitzer prizes, author of two bestselling books, and is a New York Times columnist. He has almost two million followers on Twitter, putting him on a level of Twitter fame with Hollywood actors.

Nick covers politics, with a focus on social issues.

Each year, Nick holds a contest to choose a journalism student to travel with him to write stories for the New York Times. This year’s winner is Cassidy McDonald. Winning is a big deal. Now she is a big deal.

Last year’s winner, Austin Meyer, was a student at Stanford. Like past winners, Austin and Nick traveled to the developing world.

Nick Kristof, Larica Compton and Cassidy McDonald

Nick Kristof, Larica Compton and Cassidy McDonald

Cassidy is a student at Notre Dame. Her Twitter following, with 295 followers, doesn’t match Nick’s, yet. She may need a couple of Pulitzer’s to catch him, but there may be nothing like being the “Win-a-trip” winner to put her on the right path.

Cassidy says, “I’ve always been interested in the subject matter of Nick’s columns and books, but I decided to apply only after encouragement from my fantastic mentor, Tom Bettag (former Executive Producer of CBS Evening News, ABC Nightline, Discovery channel and CNN — and one of the nicest people in the world).”

The seeds were likely planted long before Tom encouraged her. She worked and attended school with the 2014 winner, Nicole Sganga.

Cassidy McDonald

Cassidy McDonald

Cassidy makes the application process seem easy–but I’m doubtful. She says, “I spent a few weeks working on a video and essay application, and shipped it off! After very brief phone interviews with Nick and his assistant, Nick told me I was the winner. I did not expect to be chosen, and I’m incredibly grateful — and still stunned — that I was.”

Cassidy’s trip turned out to be different. Rather than visit the developing world, Nick took her to Arkansas and Oklahoma to explore poverty in America.

Spending time working with a superstar journalist can teach a student a lot in a short time. “The most salient thing I learned on my trip with Nick was that I’ve been incredibly lucky in life.”

“While I was on my trip with Nick, I met a girl who was born exactly one day after me — less than 24 hours later — and just a few states away, in Oklahoma. And although our lives began at the same time, our paths had taken completely dissonant turns.”

Though their paths diverged, they maintained an odd parallel that helps to explain the importance parents.

Cassidy continues, “She was born to a drug-addicted mother, her father was in jail her entire life for a drug-related offense. And while she was in high school, she found herself trapped in a terrifying, brutally abusive relationship. She became addicted to meth and opiates — just like her mom — and had three sons.”

“She’s now in recovery, dealing with severe post-traumatic stress disorder from her relationship,” Cassidy says. “It rocked me to my core when I met her, and I could tell it was painful for her to tell her story.”

Cassidy recognizes the privilege that characterizes her life. “I am so privileged to be able to freely come and go in the lives of people who are suffering. The greatest challenge in my life is simply to tell stories in a way that honors the voices of the people I’ve met.”

She credits her early success to her parents, much as she attributes the Oklahoma girl’s woes to hers. She says, “My dad is a surgeon who taught me about service, and my mom is a retired attorney who is the best writer I know.”

Her teen years were full of opportunity. “Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, I was constantly surrounded by politics. At 17, the Madison Police Department allowed me to work as an intern in the public information office, where I produced videos for the department and regularly ‘rode along’ with police.”

These experiences Madison had a real impact on Cassidy. “I had a completely unique look at my city, and became certain that I wanted to work in journalism.”

In college she met Tom Bettag, whose Twitter account features exactly two tweets, the more recent being a post from April 7, 2011 that reads, “Candy Crowley heading to NY to interview The Donald in the morning. His ratings on the rise, especially with the Tea Party.” In hindsight, the tweet seems to be a prescient journalistic breadcrumb that helps to explain November 8 to liberals who couldn’t fathom a Trump victory.

Of Tom, she says, “I can’t overstate how instrumental he has been in my career. He guided me on which internships I should take to maximize my time in college and was constantly on call to talk about journalistic ethics and workplace etiquette — and to give me the occasional pep talk.”

On November 23, 2016 at noon Eastern, Cassidy will join me here for a live discussion about her experiences with Nick and the lessons she learned. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Cassidy McDonald

Cassidy McDonald

Cassidy’s bio:

Twitter: @CMcD123

I’m a marketing major with a journalism minor at the University of Notre Dame. I first became interested in journalism at age 17, when I got a job producing videos for the police department in Madison, Wisconsin. National media descended after three officer-involved shootings and I had an insider’s view of issues like poverty, governmental influence, stigma and courage. I aim to tell the stories of the most voiceless as they interact with the greatest political systems, and I’ve spent the last four years building skills necessary to do just that. I’ve interned at NBC15 in Madison, the Wisconsin State Journal, 60 Minutes in Washington D.C. and at the shooter-producer unit within CBS News in New York City. On campus, I’ve worked as a video assistant for Fighting Irish Media sports broadcasts and I’ve co-hosted a sports highlight show. I am currently Editor-in-Chief of the school magazine, Scholastic. And most recently, I began reporting on poverty for the New York Times with columnist Nicholas Kristof, as his annual “Win-a-Trip with Nick” winner.

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!

 

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