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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

Monthly Archives: December 2013

Philips Selects Revolutionary Intravenous Solution as Winner in Innovation Fellows Competition for its Potential To Save Millions of Lives

Andover, MA, USAPhilips North America today announced Fosmo Med, developer of the Maji Intravenous (IV) saline bag, as the grand prize winner of the first-ever Philips Innovation Fellows competition, revealing the technology as the next big, meaningful innovation in health and well-being. The new IV solution technology has the potential to save millions of lives worldwide from dehydration-related diseases, such as cholera.

Maji is a revolutionary field hydration system for IV use that is shipped without water. Once on site, forward osmosis technology converts local water – even if it’s not clean – to a sterile solution without requiring any electrical power. An estimated 16 Maji bags can be shipped for the same cost as one traditional IV saline bag, saving up to $500 for every 14 units shipped.*

“We’re very excited to be named the winner of the Philips Innovation Fellows Competition,” said Ben Park, chief executive officer and founder of Fosmo Med. “Maji will enable many more IV bags to be shipped for the same cost, stored safely and transported to remote sites. The potential life savings could be in the millions annually.”


“We are thrilled to name Fosmo Med as the grand prize winner and to support them as they work to take Maji to the market,” said Greg Sebasky, chairman of Philips North America. “As a company committed to meaningful innovation, it is gratifying to find a social enterprise that has the potential to revolutionize the medical device industry with a simple, forward-thinking solution.”

“Maji shows Fosmo Med’s commitment to providing affordable healthcare and well-being above all else,” added Sebasky.

Fosmo Med was selected from among hundreds of entries to the Innovation Fellows Competition. The company secured funding from the public through the crowd funding portion of the competition on Indiegogo, global web-based crowd funding site, and, once named a finalist, the Maji IV saline bag was named the “most meaningful” innovation by Philips employees. In addition to $60,000 in prize money, Fosmo Med will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Philips’ USA headquarters to meet with Philips leadership for mentor and whiteboard sessions to support development of the Maji IV.

Other finalists in the competition included Breath Acoustics, Filterwatch, Game Face Gear and ZG-1: LED. Each of the finalists received a $10,000 cash prize, in addition to the funding raised through Indiegogo.

About Royal Philips:

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2012 sales of EUR 24.8 billion and employs approximately 114,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at

Giving to Create a Better World

This is a guest post from Shamantha Yan Shiya of UniversalGiving

Many of us have been blessed with the gift of the present, friendship, love and giving. There is much richness in the latter as plenty is received in giving. 

At the age of 12, Pamela Hawley witnessed extreme poverty in Mexico while on a family trip. That experience set the foundation for the beginning of a lifelong commitment to service through social entrepreneurship. Through international service trips and volunteering opportunities with various NGOs, she developed a deeper understanding of the sector, paving the way for the birth of UniversalGiving™,now an award-winning nonprofit with more than 10 years of global operations in 100 countries.


As CEO of UniversalGiving, Pamela has been working hard to have the organization deliver the most impact to those in need. Thousands of donors have given to more than 200 countries and territories, reaching some of the most isolated areas of the world. With UniversalGiving, Pamela wants to “Create a World Where Giving and Volunteering Are a Natural Part of Everyday Life."TMUniversalGiving™ is a website that helps people give and volunteer with the top-performing, vetted organizations all over the world. All projects are vetted through UniversalGiving’s trademarked, proprietary Quality Model™. 100% of each donation goes directly to the cause.


UniversalGiving provides several ways to give:

Organizations: Give to the NGOs of your choice, supporting their work.

Projects: Choose a specific initiative an NGO has listed on the site, and contribute toward its funding goal. Pool funds with other like-minded givers, helping the NGO accomplish their project.

Gifts: Give a smaller amount to achieve a specific purpose such as providing scholarships for people to attend school, learn how to read, have safe childbirth, or plant a tree.
Gifts can also be given on behalf of a loved one and are perfect for holidays and special occasions! For the sports-lover, send a soccer ball to an impoverished child; for the techie, provide computers to schools. There are also Gift Certificates which enables the recipient to choose from any of UniversalGiving’s opportunities.


Raise for a Cause: Assemble a list of your favorite giving opportunities. Share it with your friends, encouraging them to donate for the holidays, or for other special events.


UniversalGiving has been featured on the homepage of BusinessWeek, CBS, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and It has won the Jefferson Award (the Nobel Prize in Community Service), been invited to three events at the White House through President Obama’s Social Innovation Group and has been rated a Top Nonprofit by Great Nonprofits. UniversalGiving Corporate helps to manage global CSR for companies, including the strategy, operations and NGO Vetting. Clients include Cisco, Symantec, Fluor, Sabre, Inovia and RSF Social Finance.

Today, UniversalGiving invites you to come on board in the quest to make the world a better place!

Guest Post: The Miracle Foundation

This is a guest post from Caroline Boudreaux of The Miracle Foundation.


Caroline Boudreaux with Kids

It was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime, the around-the-world trip that I set out on with a friend in 2000. I was an account executive at a TV station in Austin, Texas, making more money than I’d dreamed of and having everything I thought a person my age could want. But inside, I felt empty. I knew in my heart I had a purpose and that I wasn’t fulfilling it. I was sure there had to be more to life – but I didn’t have a clue what that might be.

So I took a sabbatical and planned to “chase summer” for a year around the world. But that trip ended up changing the entire course of my life. A few months into the trip we were in India, where quite by accident I found myself at an orphanage, surrounded by a hundred hungry, smiling, parentless children. I had never seen an orphaned child face to face before, and there were simply so many of them, desperate for attention.

At the end of the evening, one little girl named Sheebani came and put her head on my knee. When I picked her up, she pushed herself into me, desperately seeking a mother’s comfort. I wondered how all of these children could be living like this. I was angry, hurt and embarrassed. Here I was, traveling around the world without a care, and these children were going to bed hungry and lonely every night.



After I left India, Sheebani and the other kids continued to haunt me. I knew my life could not continue on the same. Somewhere along the way, they had given me my purpose in life.

That was more than a decade ago, and I thank God every day for that moment. Today the nonprofit that I founded shortly after that trip, The Miracle Foundation, supports hundreds of children in eight orphanages across India. Our unique model is put in place with partner orphanages to nurture and empower the children and their caregivers, strengthen their operations and transform institutional orphanages into nurturing homes where the children thrive.

Recently we have really been able to increase our impact through our partnership with Whole Planet Foundation of Whole Foods Market. More than 60 Whole Foods team members have visited orphanages in India with The Miracle Foundation. From there, an idea was born: feature the drawings that the children made on something tangible to sell in Whole Foods Market stores – a way to boost awareness for the orphans in India and benefit them at the same time.

What we came up with was one-of-a-kind holiday wrapping paper featuring hand-drawn art designed by the children. Whole Foods and The Miracle Foundation teamed up for the “Wrap Once, Give Twice” campaign, which donates $2 from each roll of paper back to The Miracle Foundation. With every purchase of the wrapping paper, lives are changed. Supporters can also have an even bigger impact through our Give a Miracle campaign, where people can purchase things like school books, food, and water purification systems and sports equipment for the orphanages as gifts for the holiday season.

With initiatives such as these and the amazing support we receive from our volunteers and donors, we know that we can stop the poverty cycle in India and revolutionize the way orphanages are run.

Ways to connect with The Miracle Foundation:
Website –
Facebook –
Twitter –

‘Best Mutual Fund Manager Ever’ Shares Insights On Philanthropy Live

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Peter Lynch has been described by Forbes as “the best mutual fund manager ever.” He managed the Fidelity Magellan Fund from 1977 through 1990, yielding a 29.2 percent yield over that period.


Carolyn and Peter Lynch. Photo credit: Cheryl Richards

While Lynch continues to serve as the Vice Chairman of Fidelity Investments , he now focuses much of his time with his wife Carolyn Lynch on philanthropy. Approaching giving “as an investment,” The Lynch Foundation focuses on four primary areas of philanthropy: education, healthcare, culture and religion.

On December 13, 2013, at 2:00 Eastern, the Lynches will join me for a live discussion about the lessons they’ve learned since refocusing their time and energy on philanthropy 25 years ago.

Tune in and listen while you work.

The Lynches have explained that they have found four keys to effective philanthropy:

  • Be strategic in your risk taking
  • Start early, as with anything, it takes time to become good at it
  • Have patience in establishing your philanthropy
  • Conduct careful due diligence on the financials of potential grantees.

Please help me continue this conversation below, on Twitter or on my personal website.

Entrepreneur Makes Time To Give Back And Still Be Successful

Sarah Hall launched Harley and Co. with her sister Ali Hall when the sisters put their careers briefly on hold so Ali could donate a kidney to their father.

In the first year of operation, the agency reports booking over $1 million in business and landing an impressive roster of clients, including TED, Red Bull and Revlon.

On Monday, December 16, 2013 at noon Eastern, Sarah will join me live to talk about the ways in which giving back has helped her to be successful.

Tune in and listen while you work!

Sarah’s publicist explained, “Sarah has a deep commitment to giving back and building NYC communities whether that’s in the context of Harley&Co’s projects or through other involvements such as being NYCEDC’s Take the Helm evaluators, incubator mentors and judges in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship GenTech competition. This year Harley&Co is going to be pushing things even further by co-launching a health focused-VC fund as well as building and launching their first product.”

Live With Jimmy Lin Of Rare Genomics Institute

Jimmy Lin, a human genomics pioneer, is President of the Rare Genomics Institute, where they “help patients with orphan diseases initiate and fund personalized research projects through a dedicated microfunding platform and highly-selective network of leading academic scientists and commercial institutions.”

On Monday, December 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM, I will be visiting live with Dr. Lin, to learn more about the Rare Genomics Institute.

Tune in and listen while you work.

Dr. Lin’s Bio:

Jimmy Lin, MD, PhD, MHS, is a 2012 TED Fellow and Founder & President of Rare Genomics Institute, the world’s first platform to enable any community to leverage cutting-edge biotechnology to advance understanding of any rare disease. Partnering with 18 of the top medical institutions, such as Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford, RGI helps custom design personalized research projects for diseases so rare that no organization exists to help.

Dr. Lin is also a medical school faculty member at the Washington University in St. Louis and led the computational analysis of the first ever exome sequenching studies for any human disease at Johns Hopkins. He has numerous publications in Science, Nature, Cell, Nature Genetics, and Nature Biotechnology, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and the Huffington Post.

Dean Kamen: We Can Solve Big Problems With Technology

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Dean Kamen doesn’t waste his time on problems that don’t need to be solved. Early in his career he invented the first infusion pump for delivering medicine. The company he built around it has made him wealthy and he’s spent the rest of his career working–rather successfully–to repeat the success. Though he may be most well known for the invention of the Segway, his more recent work on the Stirling Engine power generator and the Slingshot water purification system hold promise for the developing world.


Description: Photograph of Dean Kamen on Segway Scooter speaking at the 4th Annual Assistive Technology Forum, Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA. Source: Photograph taken by Jared C. Benedict on 03 May 2002. Copyright: © Jared C. Benedict. Released under the GFDL by photographer Jared C. Benedict (myself). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kamen was recently honored by The Tech Museum of Innovation and Applied Materials as the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award recipient at The Tech Awards for his work in creating medical devices to address some of the world’s biggest problems and for his philanthropic work with FIRST®, a nonprofit he launched and leads that inspires young people to enter the sciences.

On December 13, 2013, at noon Eastern, Kamen will join me for a live discussion about the role of technology in solving big world problems and the pioneering work he now leads at DEKA Research.

Tune in below and listen while you work.

In a statement, The Tech Museum described Kamen’s work:

As part of The Tech Awards, inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen will be honored with the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award sponsored by Applied Materials. This award honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership help to alleviate humanity’s greatest challenges. Kamen holds nearly 500 U.S. and foreign patents for medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of healthcare worldwide. He is also founder of FIRST®, a nonprofit organization dedicated to motivating youth to understand science and technology.

Kamen’s DEKA Research & Development Corporation is responsible for breakthrough inventions in medicine and clean energy in addition to providing research for major corporate clients. While an undergraduate, Kamen developed the first portable infusion device to deliver drug treatments that previously required round-the-clock hospital care. Through DEKA, Kamen developed a portable dialysis machine, a vascular stent, and the iBOT — a motorized wheelchair that climbs stairs. Kamen also led teams in the development of devices such as the Segway® Human Transporter, an insulin pump for diabetics, portable energy and water purification devices for the developing world, and a prosthetic arm for maimed soldiers.

This interview is part of a series that will examine what can be accomplished in the fight to solve the world’s biggest challenges within the next thirty years. The solution to every big problem also presents opportunities entrepreneurs will exploit to change the world. From this series of interviews, a book, working title: Thirty Years to Peace, will emerge.

Please help me continue this conversation below, on Twitter or on my personal website.

Authors: Social Entrepreneurship At Scale The Solution To Global Poverty

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Paul Polak and Mal Warwick, authors of the Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers (Berrett-Koehler Publishers 2013) argue that only business motivated by a desire to help the poor and executed at massive scale has the potential to end global poverty.


According to the authors, approximately 2.8 billion people live on less than $2 per day. Not only is the group of people extremely poor, they also represent a multi-trillion dollar market. By building a business to address the needs of at least 100 million of them, social entrepreneurs stand a can attract the capital required to grow the business.

On Monday, December 9, 2013 at 5:00 Eastern, Polak and Warwick will join me for a live discussion about the solution to global poverty.

Tune in and listen while you work.

Polak founded IDE 30 years ago to sell low-cost treadle pumps for irrigation to poor farmers in Bangladesh,ultimately increasing their collective income by $150 million per year. He has launched four social enterprises himself, all of which he intends to scale to 100 million customers. Two of these are already providing millions of poor people with access to clean, affordable drinking water. He is also the author of Out of Poverty, which is widely used as a text on practical solutions to poverty. In 2008, Polak founded the nonprofit D-Revn to bring some of the world’s top designers together to work on products to serve the 2.8 billion people living on less than $2 per day. Nearing 80, Polak remains actively engaged in his businesses.

Warwick is a serial entrepreneur and impact investor who coauthored Values Driven Business with Ben & Jerry’s cofounder Ben Cohen and has written or edited 18 other businesses. Warwick is also the Chairman of Social Ventures Network. He founded Mal Warwick | Donordigital, a fundraising firm that helps nonprofits raise money in 1979. In 2010 he launched One World Futbol Project a for-profit, mission-driven business that sells nearly indestructible soccer balls in the developing world–half a million of them so far. Warwick lives in Berkeley where he has been recognized for his contributions to the local community.

This interview is part of a series that will examine what can be accomplished in the fight to solve the world’s biggest challenges within the next thirty years. The solution to every big problem also presents opportunity; entrepreneurs will use these opportunities to change the world. From this series of interviews, a book will emerge, working title: Thirty Years to Peace.

Please help me continue this conversation below, on Twitter or on my personal website.

Blind Philanthropist Says Cure For Blindness Is In Sight

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Gordon Gund has devoted much of his life to fighting blindness, helping to raise $550 million for the cause. Gund believes that a cure for blindness is within sight.

Gund himself, the former owner of the San Jose Sharks and the Cleveland Cavaliers, lost his vision to retinitis pigmentosa at age 30. Gund co-founded the Foundation Fighting Blindness in 1971.

On Monday, December 9, 2013, at 1:00 PM Eastern, Gund will join me for a live video interview to discuss the fight to end blindness. Together we will explore just what it will take to beat blindness and what opportunities the battle creates for impact investors and social entrepreneurs.

Tune in here and listen while you work.

Gund’s Wikipedia bio:

Gordon Gund attended Harvard University, where he majored in physical sciences and sociology and played ice hockey.[2] He served in the United States Navy, becoming department head on two destroyers.[2] He then started a banking career, specializing in corporate finance.[2] He gradually began going blind in the 1960s due to retinitis pigmentosa. By 1970, Gund was totally blind.[2] In 1971, Gund co-founded the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation (now known as The Foundation Fighting Blindness) which supports research to find cures and treatments for retinal degenerative diseases.[1] The blindness did not prevent him from being active in business and philanthropy. Gund is the former President of the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts. He has honorary doctorates from Gothenburg University in Sweden, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Whittier College and the University of Vermont. He serves as director of the Kellogg Company of Battle Creek, Michigan, and of Corning Incorporated in Corning, New York. Gund remains active as chairman of the board of directors of The Foundation Fighting Blindness.

This interview is part of a series that will examine what can be accomplished in the fight to solve the world’s biggest challenges within the next thirty years. The solution to every big problem also presents opportunity; entrepreneurs will use these opportunities to change the world. From this series of interviews, a book will emerge, working title: Thirty Years to Peace.

Please help me continue this conversation below, on Twitter or on my personal website.


imageThree years ago I put on my entrepreneurial hat and went to work. I’m the parent of a young adult son with autism, and Chris’ path to employment was not a smooth one. In fact, it was circuitous, bumpy, and strewn with obstacles. Finding work can be a challenge for most of us, but for people with autism there’s the equivalent of an immovable boulder that prevents them from accessing jobs. A staggering 90% of young adults with autism confront employment because of the social challenges they face in the workplace. We’ve seen that it’s very hard for employers to look past those challenges and realize the amazing skills people with autism could contribute if given a chance.

We confronted this problem firsthand three years ago. For Chris, each stage of his education was something to celebrate. With the help of dedicated professionals in our community and much effort of his own, he grew to learn more of the social skills that ordinary life requires of us. There were still many challenges, yet he continued to learn and grow at his own pace. That’s what any parent would hope for!imageAfter high school, Chris attended Hope College, an excellent, nurturing liberal arts college not far from home. He received great support there and got degrees in French and chemistry. When he graduated from college and caught on with an environmental non-profit, it seemed a path toward the world of work had opened for him. But in just three months, he lost his job. Too many employers view people with autism as “square pegs in round holes.” Even the social conventions of a small office were too much for him. Traditional employment seemed a very rocky road.

After a lot of heartache, we realized that a better path for Chris and others with autism might be entrepreneurial. Why not build a business around the amazing skills and assets people with autism have? We wanted to make it a priority to embrace their talents and contribute to the community. Why not a social enterprise?

Chris had loved science as long as we could remember, and when he applied that science it wasn’t in a lab – it was in the soil, growing plants and vegetables. During college he developed an interest in organic growing and began volunteering at local farms. As the daughter of a farming family, I knew farming but had gone on to do other things. What made sense given our interests and backgrounds was to build a community farming venture that had a core workforce of people with autism. We toured urban farming models elsewhere to get inspiration and see them in action. We explored the markets that existed and our potential customer base. There’s a lot of demand for local food in our hometown, and not so many producers. It seemed there was real market opportunity to build the kind of business we envisioned. Along the way, we discovered aquaponics as a method for growing fish and vegetables in tandem, and realized it would both benefit our business and be a great skill-match for people with autism.


Chris and I got to work over the past two years to train and build our social venture, Green Bridge Growers. Because we’re based in South Bend, we’ve had great mentoring and help from the universities here, Notre Dame and the local campus of Indiana University. Our team now includes students and post-grads, engineers and autism specialists. As a client of FISH, a social venture incubator, we did primary marketing, developed our business plan, and were successful in lining up customers among the high-end restaurants and grocers in our community. All that groundwork served us well. This spring, Green Bridge Growers we were thrilled to be awarded the Klau Family Greatest Social Impact Award at Notre Dame’s McCloskey Business Plan Competition.

As our proof of concept, this summer we built a 350- square foot prototype aquaponics greenhouse in collaboration with Hannah and Friends, one of our partner agencies. That greenhouse is now up and running, and participants from Hannah and Friends with a variety of abilities manage the operations. The beautiful vegetables we’re growing are a great testament to aquaponics as a method of year-round production!

Our next stage is to scale to build commercial aquaponic greenhouses. Each 2000 square foot greenhouse we build grows 45,000 pounds of vegetables annually, and creates 5 jobs for people with autism. We’re crowdfunding now on Indiego to build the first two of these greenhouses. Check out our cool video! Give to our campaign and partner with us to share our story. Together we can make a mark on the world for people with autism! To help and to share, we’re up at

Follow Jan and Green Bridge Growers on Twitter: @jan_pilarski and @GreenBridgeGrow

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