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Women Partner To Help Women Give Birth In Liberia

Statistically speaking, Liberia is the fifth most dangerous place in the world to be born or give birth. Dee Gordon of Salt Lake City and Marcia Stevens in Liberia have created the Hawa Project to change that morbid statistic.

On June 19, 2014 at noon Eastern, Dee and Marcia will join me for a live discussion to talk about their efforts to save lives in Liberia. Tune in then to watch the interview live.

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

More about the Hawa Project:

The primary goal of The Hawa Project is, through a partnership with SLEMP Medical Clinic, we aim to grow a Women’s Health Initiative whose focus is ongoing education and a clinical site, where women of child bearing age can come for HIV/AIDS education and counseling in prenatal care, family planning and parenting classes.


Marcia’s bio:

Marcia is a registered Nurse in Liberia, she currently runs 2 health clinics in the greater Monrovia area.
Marcia was born and raised in Liberia and coming to the USA April 19th was her first trip out of her home country. Marcia is passionate about serving the needy and often gives of her services without charge. Marcia is the mother to 3 beautiful daughters and is married to Paul Stevens, the head of the Bible Association in Liberia. They are deeply rooted in their beliefs of following what God has called them to do, and she works tirelessly to provide not only for her family, but also for her neighbors and fellow Liberians. Marcia and Dee Gordon have partnered together for the benefit of the women and children of Liberia to receive better prenatal care and safer delivery practices.

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'No Kill' Activist Explains How We Can 'Save Them All'

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Francis Battista grew up in metropolitan New York and now lives in a rural part of Utah that most Utahns couldn’t find on a map and have never visited. This self-described misfit helped found the Best Friends Animal Society, operating the largest no-kill animal sanctuary for companion animals in the United States and has become a key thought leader in the no-kill movement.

When Best Friends Animal Society was launched, 17 million animals were euthanized in the United States every year. Battista is leading a crusade to “save them all.”

On June 19, 2014 at 6:00 PM Eastern, Battista will join me for a live discussion about his work, how he’s done so much and what is required to save them all. Tune in then to watch the interview live.

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

Battista will also be sharing his insights at the Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference, which I am organizing, on September 26, 2014.

More about the Best Friends Animal Society:

Every day, more than 9,000 dogs and cats are killed in America’s shelters simply because they don’t have a safe place to call home.

Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. An authority and leader in the no-kill movement since its founding in 1984, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as life-saving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from 17 million per year to about 4 million. Best Friends has the knowledge, technical expertise and on-the-ground network to end the killing and Save Them All.


Francis Battista

Battista’s bio:

Francis Battista:

Francis Battista is co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society, and today, considered to be one of the foremost thought leaders in animal welfare. Born in 1945 and raised in the New York City metropolitan area, Francis has always been in the company of pets. He studied engineering and physics at NYU and SUNY Albany and started his career working in the family real estate business. In the late 1960’s the calling to discover a more purposeful life led Francis on a journey with a group of friends, some of whom would become the other co-founders of Best Friends Animal Society. Understanding that kindness towards all – animals and humans –is fundamental to a spiritual life, Francis and his friends devoted their energies to healing our collective relationship with animals, beginning with the challenge to end killing companion animals as a method of population control.

Francis used his experience in real estate to help locate and acquire the perfect piece of property in Southern Utah that would become the organization’s headquarters. At the time, they had no idea that perfect piece of property would become the nation’s largest sanctuary for abandoned and abused animals and the flagship of the No-Kill movement.

Over the years, Francis has worn many hats at Best Friends including co-director of animal care at the Sanctuary. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Francis managed the Best Friends rescue shelters in Tylertown, Mississippi and Metairie, LA. Francis was also involved in the negotiations with federal agencies and courts that brought 22 of Michael Vick’s dogs to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. In 2012, Francis was instrumental in launching No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), a Best Friends initiative that has reduced shelter deaths from 23,000 to 14,000 in its first two years and is on track to achieve No-Kill status for the city of Los Angeles by 2017.

Today Francis takes his crusade to the blogosphere and live speaking appearances. He is a prolific blogger for Best Friends and on the Huffington Post, as well as in animal welfare publications. He gave a TED Talk at TEDx Reno in 2014 and was a presenter at the 2014 Innovation Excellence Cities Tour in New York City and Boston. Francis will also be speaking at the Social Entrepreneurship and Crowdfunding Conference on September 26.

“Most immediately, our work is helping the animals and ending shelter killing. But on another level, this is about saving people. It’s about saving our relationship to the animals and the planet.” Francis Battista

“Our relationship to the animals begins with an understanding that they are sentient beings. They have their own lives, their own narrative, and their own personal story and being. We should be open and willing to communicate with them, listen to them and respect them.” Francis Battista

Co-founder, Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, Utah |

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IRC In Salt Lake City Helps Refugees Become Entrepreneurs

The International Rescue Committee, a global organization with a chapter in Salt Lake City, is working with local refugees to help them become entrepreneurs.

On June 19, 2014 at 11:00 Eastern, David D’Angelo, the Microenterprise Development Coordinator for the IRC in Salt Lake City, will join me for a live discussion about the remarkable work the IRC is doing to help refugees. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes

More about the IRC:

The International Rescue Committee is a global, nongovernmental, humanitarian organization that responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and in 22 U.S. cities, the IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home. The IRC has put innovation to practice by starting programs that help refugees start businesses in the United States. In Salt Lake City, the International Rescue Committee provides business training and loans through Spice Kitchen, New Roots, and the Microenterprise Development Program.


David’s bio:

David D’Angelo is a social entrepreneur with international experience in microenterprise development and public affairs. As a professional, he has advanced the public diplomacy and development efforts of the United Nations, U.S. Department of State and Homeland Security through research and community engagement. He has lived in Ireland and Thailand, spending time abroad to curiously transcend boundaries of difference. Most recently, David has dedicated his efforts to the International Rescue Committee, where he generates economic impact for refugees from around the globe. His passion is using entrepreneurship to engender widespread economic change among refugee communities. David loves to learn and remains eager to innovate. He spends most of his free time reading, hiking, playing volleyball, and golfing.

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RBC Wealth Management U.S. CEO Reports On ‘Blue Water Day’

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

RBC has committed $50 million to improving global access to clean water. Each year, RBC holds a “Blue Water Day” on which employees engage in local water projects in their communities.

RBC reports that past projects have included:

  • Planting trees to manage runoff 
  • Shoreline cleanups to keep solid waste out of rivers
  • Street cleanups, recognizing that 20% of “street litter” ultimately ends up in rivers, lakes and streams

On June 12, 2014, RBC will be conducting its annual Blue Water Day . John Taft, RBC Wealth Management U.S. CEO, will join me at 6:00 PM Easter to report on the day’s activities. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about RBC Wealth Management:

World Economic Forum named RBC among the most sustainable large organizations in the world. RBC has also been named one of “Canada’s Greenest Employers,” one of “Canada’s Best Diversity Employers,” one of “Canada’s Most Socially Responsible Corporations,” and one of the “Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada.” RBC has been also recognized among the world’s financial, social and environmental corporate leaders for the 13th consecutive year on the 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.

More about the RBC Blue Water Project:

The RBC Blue Water Project is a wide-ranging program dedicated to protecting the world’s most precious natural resource: fresh water. In 2013-2014, we will support initiatives that help protect water in our growing towns and cities.

We also promote responsible water use with our employees and clients, are committed to reducing the intensity of our own water footprint and encourage the growth of water businesses.


John Taft, RBC

Taft’s bio:

RBC Wealth Management ¬ U.S. John is CEO of RBC Wealth Management, the seventh largest full-service retail brokerage firm in the U.S. He has worked in the financial services industry since 1981. He has been active in the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) where he served as chairman-elect in 2010 and chairman in 2011. He has published articles in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, and Forbes, and authored ³Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street² (John Wiley & Sons 2012). As a LinkedInLNKD -0.02% influencer, John is among the prestigious invitation-only group of industry leaders who provide ongoing thought leadership blogs. He graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University and earned an M.A. in public and private management from the Yale School of Organization and Management.

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Unearth The World Gives Volunteers Better Experiences

Kathryn Pisco recently took a year off from her career to travel the world, often doing volunteer work along her journey with her husband. When she returned, she decided to launch a social venture to help others like her have even better experiences when volunteering abroad. She calls her venture Unearth the World.

On June 12, 2014 at 2:00 Eastern, Kathryn will join me here for a live discussion about her new venture, here experiences abroad and how she’s helping other volunteers to have better experiences with more impact. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about Unearth the World:

Unearth the World is an international volunteer placement company that focuses on volunteer education (pre and post-trip), community impact and financial transparency. We partner with nonprofits that address social problems and connect them with volunteers to help them complete their mission. We also provide coaching to the volunteer upon their return to help them adjust to normal life and continue to be involved in philanthropy.


Kathryn’s bio:

Kathryn grew up in Columbus, Ohio and attended Cornell University where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communications and Business. Prior to launching her own social venture, Kathryn spent nine years working in Chicago doing sales, sales training and sales management for E&J Gallo Winery and Boston Scientific. Last year, she took a year-long career break with her husband, Mike, and traveled the world doing a mix of personal travel and volunteer work. The experience inspired her to create Unearth the World, a social enterprise that helps pair individuals with international nonprofits in a responsible way so that others can experience the transformative power of travel and continue to give back in their local communities.

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D-Prize Focuses Social Entrepreneurs On Distributing Solutions To Poverty

Nick Fusso is the program director for the D-Prize, a $20,000 contest among social entrepreneurs to find effective distribution strategies for actually getting poverty interventions into the hands of those that can best use them.

On June 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM Eastern, Nick will join me for a live discussion about the program. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes

More about D-Prize:

Our world has already invented many effective poverty solutions. Sadly, most are not *distributed* to actual people in need. Millions of peoples’ lives would improve if they had access to proven energy, education, health, and other interventions.

D-Prize challenges entrepreneurs to solve this problem. Design a new social enterprise and share your idea in our competition. The most promising will receive up to $20,000 in seed capital to launch a pilot.

Nick’s bio:

Nicholas directs D-Prize in San Francisco. He attended the University of Washington, and earned an MBA from Claremont. His background is in strategy and systems thinking, and he has been involved in several startups. He sees entrepreneurship as the surest path to sustainable development.

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GoodCrowd14 Is Going To Be Big - Don’t Miss It

The Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference, GoodCrowd14, on September 26, 2014 at Snowbird is going to be the single most important event of the year at the intersection of social entrepreneurship and crowdfunding. 

Professional impact investors and philanthropists will be there to hear pitches from nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. This event isn’t just talking heads, though we’ll have some of the world’s experts on stage, we’ll be doing deals in the hallways.

Our roster of 30 amazing speakers will include:

  • Doug Ellenoff of Ellenoff Grossman and Schole, the leading law firm in investment crowdfunding
  • Francis Battista, co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society, the leading organization helping communities reach “no kill” status
  • Ken Marienau, CEO of Mission Markets, a crowdfunding site for impact investments
  • Rodney Sampson, author of Kingonomics, articulating the economic vision of Martin Luther King
  • Eric Weinberg, CEO of Impact Capital Strategies, advisor to the world’s leading impact investors
  • Fraser Nelson, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Utah, which is driving social entrepreneurship 
  • Cheryl Snapp Conner, Forbes Contributor and founder of Snapp Conner PR, a leading PR firm

The Wayne Brown Institute will conduct a Social Deal Forum, giving two companies the opportunity to pitch professional investors during the conference and to receive constructive feedback about the pitch from those investors. Any social entrepreneur may apply to present after registering for the conference.

The Community Foundation of Utah will hear five finalists pitch for micro grants of $1,000. While the Foundation won’t guarantee that anyone will receive a grant, they promise that if all five make great pitches, they will all receive grants. Any nonprofit may apply for the micro grant program after registering for the conference.

Registration for the conference before September 1, 2014 is just $60 for the full day, including a continental breakfast and a delicious lunch. A VIP ticket that includes an exclusive reception and dinner with the speakers and sponsors costs just $113.

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Merger Creates Leader In Strategic Philanthropy Education

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Two nonprofit leaders in philanthropic education, networking and thought leadership have merged to create single, leading entity to guide philanthropists. The Institute for Philanthropy, based in London and New York, joined forces with the Philanthropy Workshop West, based in San Francisco, to create The Philanthropy Workshop.

Glen Galaich, previously with the Philanthropy Workshop West, will serve as the CEO of the combined entity; Tracy Mack Parker, previously with the Institute for Philanthropy, will serve as The Philanthropy Workshop’s executive vice president.

On Monday, June 2, 2014 at noon Eastern, Galaich and Parker will join me for a live discussion about the merger and key tips for philanthropy. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

More about the Philanthropy Workshop:

The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW) is global network of more than 300 philanthropists—all trained in strategic philanthropy—the largest of its kind and unique to the field of philanthropy.

Working from offices in London, New York, and San Francisco, TPW is the world’s leading organization in the field of strategic philanthropy education, networking, and thought leadership—providing philanthropists with the skills and the confidence needed to make the best possible difference with their giving.

TPW serves as a confidential forum for fellow philanthropists to acquire a roadmap for strategic and effective philanthropy—including the knowledge, skills, and networks necessary to achieve impact in financial giving and social investing, and to realize their full potential as philanthropists, doing more with less.

The network hails largely from the United States and the United Kingdom with significant numbers from Canada and countries throughout Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.

TPW was created and evolved from the work of several forward-thinking philanthropists, foundations, and advisors, including the Rockefeller Foundation, leadership from HRH the Prince of Wales’s charities, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the TOSA Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


Glen Galaich

Galaich’s bio:

Dr. Galaich is chief executive officer of The Philanthropy Workshop with a dynamic staff and gifted group of board members. His career in strategic philanthropy started over a decade ago with the founding team of the Global Philanthropy Forum. He was responsible for launching the first and second Conferences on Borderless Giving, which were attended by hundreds of leaders in philanthropy, nongovernmental organizations, and international institutions.

In 2004, he joined The Philanthropy Workshop West (one of two organizations that merged into The Philanthropy Workshop in March 2014) to develop and launch an alumni program for over forty graduates of the nationally recognized program. He was named to lead the organization in 2009.

Dr. Galaich also served at Human Rights Watch as the Deputy Director of Development for North America where he had strategic oversight of the Human Rights Watch Council, a network of supporters and opinion leaders committed to raising money for, and awareness of, human rights in five major cities. Dr. Galaich also had a brief career in AM talk radio as the founding Political Director of Working Assets Broadcasting, a national internet radio network, based in Boulder, Colorado, committed to social change media.

He holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Political Science, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego. He has written and published on the role of ethnicity in the formation of political parties, human rights, and in the use of political violence and repression in sub-Saharan Africa.

Parker’s bio:

Tracy is executive vice president of The Philanthropy Workshop. Prior to her position with TPW, she lead the Institute for Philanthropy U.S.’s efforts to serve individuals and families of significant means wishing to leverage their philanthropy for lasting, positive change. (The Institute for Philanthropy is one of two organizations that merged into The Philanthropy Workshop in March 2014.)

Previously, Tracy served for seven years as Senior Officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts, a $5 billion charitable institution, and helped launch its new offerings and services for philanthropists, foundations and corporations. She provided advice and counsel on how to form large-scale collaborative charitable initiatives, ranging from health and human services to children and youth, wilderness conservation and the arts. For example, she led the Northeast Land Trust Consortium, a large-scale partnership between Pew, multiple land preservation organizations and more than 350 conservation-minded families. Together they raised $40 million and forever protected 500,000 acres of wilderness, shorelines and working farmlands across the northeastern United States.

Over her tenure, Tracy and her team mobilized more than $100 million for charitable causes.

An attorney by training, Tracy brings 15 years of experience advising individuals and corporations and championing their causes. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Miami University in Ohio, where she graduated with honors, and a Masters in Journalism and Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University.

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Power Connecting Lessons For Social Entrepreneurs From Judy Robinett

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Judy Robinett, known for years for her titanium rolodex, has recently shared her secrets for power connecting in her new book, How to Be a Power Connector: The 5-50-150 Rule.


Judy Robinett

Social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders need networks as much as or more than other entrepreneurs who often recognize their need for networks to raise capital, build a team, assemble a board of directors and generate sales.

On June 2, 2014 at 6:00 PM, Robinett will join me for a live discussion about her 5-50-150 rule. Tune in then to watch the interview live.

Robinett’s bio:

Judy Robinett is the author of How to Be a Power Connector: The 5-50-150 Rule, released by McGraw-Hill in May, 2014. Robinett is a business thought leader who is known as “the woman with the titanium digital Rolodex.” She has been profiled in Forbes, Venture Beat, Huffington Post, and Bloomberg Businessweek as a sterling example of the new breed of “super connectors” who use their experience and networks to accelerate growth and enhance profitability.

In her more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and corporate leader, Robinett has served as the CEO of both public and private companies and in management positions at Fortune 500 companies. She has been on the advisory boards of Illuminate Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California; Pereg Ventures, a venture capital firm based in New York; Springboard Enterprises based in Washington, DC; and Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) accelerators based in New York City.

She was the managing director of Golden Seeds Angel Network (the third most active angel investment group and one of the largest in the U.S.); the CEO of publicly traded Medical Discoveries; and she served on the faculty of Goldman Sachs’s 10,000 Small Businesses program.

She was a member of the Department of Commerce team that defined performance criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence in Healthcare, for which she received an award from President Bill Clinton.

Robinett has given over 300 speeches worldwide for audiences at MIT, BIO-Europe, CalPoly, AT&T, Westinghouse, and the Department of Energy.

She is the coauthor of a chapter in Crowdfunding for Dummies by Sherwood Neiss, Jason W. Best, and Zak Cassady-Dorion (Wiley, 2013).

Robinett lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Christian Social Venture Fund Backs Mission-Driven Entrepreneurs

Dave Blanchard and Josh Kwan are unabashed about their faith providing the motivation for their desire to change the world for good. They founded Praxis, a nonprofit entity that works as venture accelerator to groom social entrepreneurs and back them financially, specifically as way to express their faith and help like-minded entrepreneurs succeed.

The Praxis Academy provides entrepreneurial training with a Christ-centered approach to select undergraduates.

On Monday, June 2, 2014 at 2:00 Eastern, Dave and Josh will join me for a live discussion about how their faith shapes their work. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about Praxis:

Praxis is a venture group, structured as a non-profit, that focuses on equipping and resourcing a growing portfolio of faith-motivated entrepreneurs who have committed their lives to cultural and social impact, renewing the spirit of our age one organization at a time. Praxis was conceived in 2010 by Dave Blanchard, then a Principal Designer at IDEO, and Josh Kwan, the Director of International Giving for the David Weekley Family Foundation, and developed in collaboration with Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society.

Each year, Praxis welcomes 12 businesses and 12 nonprofits into our two Accelerator programs, where we provide the top-decision makers in these organizations with the knowledge, network, and personal discipleship necessary to build sustainable, high-impact organizations. In the summer of 2014, we’ll also launch Praxis Academy, a summer program focused on training Christ-following undergraduates at the intersection of faith, startups, and culture. Academy graduates will have a chance to apply for our Future Founders program, where they’ll have an unique opportunity to do a summer apprenticeship with our Accelerator alumni.

Dave’s bio:

Dave is an entrepreneur passionate about bringing new ideas to life to have a positive impact on society. Prior to Praxis, he was a Principal Business Designer at IDEO, an innovation consultancy, where he focused on venture design, startups, and social innovation. Earlier in his career, he co-founded DiscLive, a company working at the intersection of music and technology. He graduated from Babson College with a concentration on entrepreneurship, and also completed graduate work at Northwestern University, earning an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and an MEM in Design from the McCormick School. Dave’s social enterprise experience also includes four years on the Board of Governors of Opportunity International as well as a stint on the One Acre Fund Governing Board. He lives in Manhattan and is part of the Trinity Grace Church community.

Josh’s bio:

Josh is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build companies and nonprofits that shape culture and create virtue in the world. Before starting Praxis, he served as the Director of International Giving for the David Weekley Family Foundation, where he continues to act as an adviser helping provide growth capital to a portfolio of young nonprofits tackling global poverty. His contributions to these organizations include strategic planning, financial assessment, and serving on the Board of Directors. Josh co-founded Carpenters Code, a startup that creates mobile apps that encourage and enliven the practice of spiritual disciplines. Additionally, he is on the executive committee of the Big Bang Philanthropy Group and the board of directors at Village Schools International. He graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Government, and has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He and his family reside in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Centre Serves Thousands Of Asylum Seekers In Australia

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Australia is working to support a growing number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia.

The ASRC proclaims its vision to be:

That all those seeking asylum in Australia have their human rights upheld and that those seeking asylum in our community receive the support and opportunities they need to live independently.

On Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 6:00 Eastern, Patrick Lawrence, the ASRC’s Director of Aid, will join me for a live discussion about their work.

Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes

More about the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre:

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is Australia’s leading asylum seeker organisation. We are a multi-award winning, independent and non-federal government funded human rights organisation. We work at the coalface assisting some of the most disadvantaged people in our community.


Patrick’s bio:

Patrick was born into a musical family and began his professional life as a classical pianist. After returning from several years in the the US and Europe, and whilst continuing his musical endeavours, Patrick began his involvement in the not-for-profit sector in Australia. Patrick began work in 2002 at the First Step Program, a not-for-profit addiction medicine clinic in the area of volunteer coordination, moving into project management and communications.  For the last 8 years Patrick has worked at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne, Australia, first in the role of Foodbank Coordinator and more recently as Director of Aid, including stints as acting CEO.

Patrick is still a performing musician and will welcome his fifth child into the world in a few weeks.  He is committed to social justice and has great faith in the community, when informed, empowered and motivated, to care for the most vulnerable and to celebrate our shared humanity.
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Opportunity Collaboration Convenes Social Entrepreneurs

Topher Wilkins is working to change the world by fostering collaboration among social entrepreneurs. He calls his enterprise Opportunity Collaboration


On May 29, 2014 at 7:00 Eastern, Topher will join me for a live discussion about his work.

Tune in then to watch the live interview.

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

More about Opportunity Collaboration:

Opportunity Collaboration is a global network of nonprofit leaders, for-profit social entrepreneurs, grant-makers and impact investors engaged in economic justice enterprises, anchored by an annual four-day problem-solving, strategic retreat. We break down the silos of unproductive competition and go beyond the boundaries of conventional poverty alleviation. The network leverages resources, shares innovations, enlists allies, builds coalitions and creates force multipliers.

Wilkins’ bio:

Topher Wilkins has been hosting people in collaborative environments for the purposes of social change for nearly a decade. Starting with the City Club, which he co-founded, in Boulder, Colorado, to managing Dunton Hot Springs near Telluride, Colorado, and finally with the Opportunity Collaboration and Convening the Conveners, Topher is passionate about creating high-end, high-impact gatherings.

He and his wife, Jorian, live in Santa Cruz, California, where they are raising their family of three young boys ~ Booker, Dunton and Justus.

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Social Entrepreneurs Use Indiegogo For Impact

Design that Matters, or DtM, provides product design, development and low-volume manufacturing for products that serve low income people especially in the developing world. DtM recently used crowdfunding on the giant platform Indiegogo to fund the development of its Pelican pulse oximeter for diagnosing newborns with pneumonia.

On May 29, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Elizabeth Johansen, Director of Product Development for DtM and Breanna DiGiammarino, Cause Director for Indiegogo, will join me for a live discussion about their collaboration for social impact.

Tune in then to watch the interview here live.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes

More about Design that Matters:

Design that Matters (DtM) collaborates with leading social entrepreneurs and hundreds of volunteers to solve problems in global health for the poor in developing countries. DtM is an international leader in human-centered design, rapid prototyping and cost-effective low-volume manufacturing. DtM’s track record demonstrates our ability to deliver social change in the face of market failure. As of 2013, products DtM helped to design and launch have reached 100,000 people. Most recently, DtM’s Firefly newborn phototherapy device has been installed in hospitals in Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, East Timor, and Ghana and has already treated over 1,000 newborns. In 2012, DtM was named the winner of the National Design Award in Corporate and Institutional Achievement at a White House luncheon. Other winners in this category include Apple, Google, and Patagonia.


Johansen’s bio:

Elizabeth Johansen, Director of Product Development

Elizabeth leads DtM’s product design process. Using her engineering experience and design thinking background, she leads designers, professional volunteers, students, and contractors to create world-class designs with positive impact for low resource communities in the developing world. Prior to DtM, Elizabeth worked at IDEO for 8 years. Her experience spans strategy to design for manufacture for clients including Eli Lilly, BriteSmile, Reynolds, Target, Becton Dickinson, and 3Com. Elizabeth also speaks and facilitates workshops about design for social impact to audiences ranging from budding social enterprises to the largest bank in the world. She holds a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College.

More about Indiegogo:

Indiegogo is the world’s largest crowdfunding platform, empowering people around the world to fund what matters to them.

  • Indiegogo was founded by Slava Rubin, Danae Ringelmann and Eric Schell in 2008. Indiegogo is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York.
  • The company has raised $56.5M in funding from prominent investors including Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Insight Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Metamorphic Ventures, MHS Capital, ffVenture Capital and Steve Schoettler.
  • Indiegogo recently announced that tech luminaries including Sir Richard Branson, Max Levchin, Megan Smith and Maynard Webb.
  • Indiegogo has hosted over 200,000 campaigns and distributes millions of dollars every week in 224 countries. About 7,000 campaigns are active on Indiegogo at any given time.
  • Indiegogo is an international platform with campaign owners and contributors in nearly 190 countries.
  • Indiegogo welcomes a diversity of campaigns spanning creative, cause-related and entrepreneurial projects. This gives campaign owners and contributors the chance to fund what they care about most, without restrictions.
  • Indiegogo’s unique payment options of Fixed Funding and Flexible Funding empower campaign owners to decide what works best for them and in turn, increases the number of people who opt to raise funds on the platform.
  • In the past two years, Indiegogo has grown more than 1000%
  • It was announced in January of this year that Indiegogo had raised $40 million in Series B funding – the largest funding round of any crowdfunding platform. The funding is enabling Indiegogo to focus on building out innovations in mobile, new personalization  tools, and its Trust and Security systems – which will allow the company to drastically improve the customer experience at an accelerated pace.


DiGiammarino’s bio:

Bre is the Cause Director at Indiegogo, where she leads a team to bring the value of crowdfunding to the social sector. She has established partnerships with organizations such as the Clinton Global Initiative, Ashoka and Impact Hub, speaks frequently at social sector events and has been published on Forbes and SSIR. Prior to Indiegogo, Bre was the senior associate at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation and a consultant at Bridgespan. She holds an MPA from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service and a BA from the University of Virginia.

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Smile Train Marks 1 Millionth Smile Repair

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Smile Train recently celebrated its 1 millionth cleft palate surgery. The remarkable milestone was reached after the organization created a global organization by teaching local doctors to perform the surgery.

Unrepaired cleft palates are not just a cosmetic problem, but often leave children with difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. In the developing world, failure to have the birth defect corrected can have life altering consequences.

On Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 12:00 Eastern, Satish Kalra, Smile Train’s Chief Programs Officer, will join me for a live discussion about the organizations remarkable work. Tune in then to watch live.

More about Smile Train:

Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Smile Train’s sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their communities to 340 patients each day and 127,000 each year.


Satish Kalra with patient

Kalra’s bio:

Satish Kalra joined Smile Train in 2000 and is currently the Chief Programs Officer, overseeing all aspects of program development and implementation. Prior to taking on this position in 2011, Satish spent 11 years as Smile Train’s Regional Director for South Asia. Under his leadership, Smile Train’s programs grew to more than 160 partner hospitals in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, performing over 300,000 free cleft reconstructive surgeries on children in South Asia who would otherwise never have been able to afford them. Satish was educated as an engineer, completing undergraduate and postgraduate studies in India.


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