By working with corporations to engage employees in causes they actually care about, Authentity aims to change corporate social responsibility programs for good.
On Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 4:00 Eastern, Authentity founder Scott Tanksley will join me for a live discussion about the startup’s drive for social impact.
Tune in and listen while you work.
Scott has 5 years experience in corporate real estate, 10 years in management and leadership coaching.
He loves a good game in almost any sport, and rarely meets an ice cream he can’t become best friends with. Scott and his family reside in Atlanta, Georgia.
Weirdest Food You’ve Eaten? Chocolate-covered ants and something in Romania I’m still not sure about.
First Music Concert? I think I was 10. Went to see Kenny Rogers with my mom and sister. Gambler!
Biggest Daring Thrill? Flying a fighter jet with a former Navy carrier pilot. Ready to go again!
Things That Make You Go, “Hmm?” Why is there only the word discombobulated? “I’m in a groove. I’m completely “bobulated!”
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Salt Lake-based HireVue is an Inc. 500 company that provides digital interview services at enterprise scale to nearly 20 percent of the Fortune 500. The company is launching a new service package called WorldVue that will be absolutely free of charge for qualified nonprofits, allowing them to use the platform for hiring and other strategic interactions across time zones and around the globe.
On Friday, January 24, 2014 at 7:00 PM, HireVue CEO Mark Newman will join me for a live discussion about the new offering.
Tune in and listen while you work.
At the scheduled time, the video will be embedded here for live viewing. A replay will be permanently available.
“Technology should help facilitate social good. Non-profits have suffered just as much as enterprise companies when it comes to archaic ways of identifying, interviewing and interacting with the best talent,” Newman said. “WorldVue can help build the world’s best non-profits by allowing volunteers to better identify how they can contribute, and by creating a better volunteer experience along the way.”
According to the company, WorldVue is already being implemented by VSO, a leading international development NGO that fights poverty through volunteers, which recruited nearly 700 volunteers last year for placements in more than 30 countries worldwide.
“Volunteers are at the heart of our organisation. We bring volunteers together with local partners to develop health and education services, opportunities to earn a living and to give poor people a voice. They share skills and experience to create lasting positive change worldwide,” said Ian Moffett, Selection and Induction Manager, VSO. “It’s important that volunteers have an excellent VSO experience from the moment they apply and that their skills are matched according to need with our local partners globally. WorldVue helps us achieve both missions.”
Thrive Coffee is working to change the world by helping peasant farmers growing coffee to participate in the ownership of the distribution channel, allowing them to share in the wealth they create.
Founder and CEO Michael Jones will join me on Friday, January 24 at 5:00 Eastern for a live discussion about their revolutionary work.
Tune in and listen while you work.
After exiting a healthcare services company in January of 2011 that he had started ten years prior, Michael had planned to spend some long-needed time with his family while deciding what his next course in business would be. It was during this time that he was revisiting a conversation with his father-in-law, a long-time Blue Mountain coffee farmer in Jamaica, about the severe disadvantages in the value chain of coffee, that ultimately led to the creation of THRIVE Farmers – an innovative platform to change the world of coffee and align the interests of producers and consumers for the first time.
Michael is the quintessential entrepreneur, having founded and operated several privately held companies. He has managed high growth companies and has been successful in building significant market value for shareholders. Most recently, Michael founded Implantable Provider Group (IPG), a provider of market-based medical implant solutions that is delivered to payors, manufacturers, providers and patients. In his role as President/COO, Michael was named one of Atlanta’s top 25 entrepreneurs by Catalyst Magazine in 2008 (#4). Jones was selected because of his role in founding IPG and turning it into one of the country’s fastest-growing businesses. In 2008, Inc. Magazine ranked IPG as the sixth-fastest growing healthcare company in the country (1,500% three year growth rate) and the 138th fastest-growing overall. FORBES Magazine recently ranked IPG at #5 in its list of 100 Most Promising Companies in America.
Michael has been instrumental in raising capital from high profile private equity firms including Sequoia Capital, arguably the most revered venture capital firm in recent history due to its investments in Apple, Atari, Oracle, Cisco, Yahoo, Paypal, Google and others, who invested in IPG in early 2010. Michael’s background prior to IPG includes an early career in the financial services industry in corporate finance. He then segued into healthcare in the mid 90’s pursuing two other ventures.
Michael is married to Sharon, and they have three boys. They enjoy travel, cooking, and snow skiing.
UCLA professor Bhagwan Chowdhry thinks he’s got an idea that deserves some attention. He thinks he’s figured out a way for issuers of securities to impact investors to provide a guarantee of the social impact that would yield higher financial returns if social impacts aren’t met.
On Friday, January 24 at 1:00 PM Eastern, Professor Chowdhry will join me for a live discussion about his idea.
Tune in and listen while you work.
Professor Chowdhry’s bio:
Bhagwan Chowdhry is a Professor of Finance at UCLA Anderson where he has held an appointment since 1988.
Professor Chowdhry has also taught at the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Indian School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in 1989 from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago. He also has an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Iowa and a B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology.
His research interests, on which he has published several papers in finance and economics journals, are in International Finance and Corporate Finance and Strategy. He has been on the editorial board of a number of finance journals. He teaches International Finance, Corporate Finance and Financial Institutions at Anderson. He has also organized and taught Executive Education programs on Financial Derivatives, Corporate Risk Management and Valuation in Los Angeles, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and Hyderabad.
Microfinance has been his recent teaching, research and applied interest. He has supervised several MBA student projects in Microfinance in the last several years and has taught an undergraduate seminar class and an MBA elective on the subject. He has developed a new model for “Franchising Microfinance” on which he has written a research paper and is studying the feasibility of implementing the model with a Microfinance Institution.
Professor Chowdhry has recently proposed Financial Access at Birth (FAB) initiative in which every child born in the world is given an initial deposit of $100 in an online bank account to guarantee that everyone in the world will have access to financial services in a few decades.You can read about the initiative by clicking here..
EducationPh.D. Graduate School of Business 1989, University of Chicago
MBA Economics, Graduate School of Business 1989, University of Chicago
MBA Finance, 1983, University of Iowa
B.Tech. Mechanical Engineering, 1981, Indian Institute of Technology, India
InterestsMicrofinance, Corporate Finance, International Finance, Strategy
This is a guest post from Samantha English, Jump Start Africa Communications Ambassador.
A lofty goal, but it’s one to which Ahmed Zrikem has dedicated his life’s work.
Over the last 60 years, developed countries around the world have donated more than $1 trillion to aid the development of society in Africa. Without a doubt, the majority of that aid has been pocketed by corruption, and as a result over half of Africa’s population lives in unimaginable poverty.
“Real per-capita income is lower in Africa today than it was in the 1970s, and more than 50% of the population — over 350 million people — live on less than $1 per day; a figure that has nearly doubled in two decades,” explains Zrikem. “Unmonitored assistance has encouraged corruption in Africa for decades.”
Zrikem’s crowdfunding platform, JumpStartAfrica.com, will jump start Africa’s start-up scene, delivering funding and resources directly to Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs, so they can build their own better world. Jump Start Africa is currently in development, and Zrikem and his team are raising funding through Indiegogo.
Unlike other crowdfunding platforms, JumpStart Africa will not stop at simply helping entrepreneurs access funding necessary to bring their visions to life, Zrikem and his team will also provide tools to help entrepreneurs succeed after their projects receive funding.
“Entrepreneurs that promote their projects via Jump Start Africa will have access to how-to guides, counseling and mentorship for the entrepreneurs,” Zrikem explained. “We want our visionaries to have all the information they will need to help ensure their business enjoys sustainable growth. Our passion is empowering Africa’s brightest minds, and that goes beyond simply funding projects. We want to give entrepreneurs the confidence and support they will need to operate and grow their businesses.”
Jump Start Africa has partnered with incubators and innovation centers to identify promising candidates. Zrikem and his team have identified four innovators that will debut with the launch of the site:
Rose Twines, dreams of providing every home in Uganda with an Eco-Stove. This stove – powered by smoke-free, reusable rocks – allows families to cook, light their homes and charge a mobile phone without electricity. Jump Start Africa will allow Twines to bring her dream to fruition, and help thousands of African families in the process.
One out of every five deaths in children under the age of five, is attributed to water-related disease. Professor Cloete and his team at Stellenbosch University have developed a water filter that is designed to fit in the neck of most standard-size water bottles. So far, Professor Cloete hasn’t found a bacteria his filter doesn’t kill. The team has created a working prototype, but they need funding to commercialize it so billions of African adults and children access to clean, safe drinking water.
Jump Start Africa will also help Adam Camenzuli realize his dream of commercializing an affordable solar light to replace kerosene lights so many African families use to light their homes. Kerosene is a highly flammable and toxic gas, responsible for over one million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization. Camenzuli’s solar light replaces kerosene, offering African families a safe and affordable alternative source of light and energy.
Moses Gichanga has invented a drone that flies for up to two hours at a time. This drone has been proven to effectively deter poaching, and preserve Africa’s wildlife population. In fact, the United States uses Gichanga’s drone to monitor its borders. He now needs funding to launch his business operations, targeted at monitoring Africa’s wildlife reserves.
From clean drinking water and safer lighting options, to affordable energy and wildlife preservation, Jump Start Africa is destined to revolutionize Africa’s economy. But Ahmed Zrikem is interested in much more than the platform’s economic impact.
“We truly want to empower African entrepreneurs,” Zrikem said. “We want to give these promising individuals the tools they need to deliver themselves from the strongholds of poverty, and create a bright, promising future. We firmly believe this is the most effective way to Jump Start Africa.”
Join forces with supporters around the world to empower Africa’s brightest minds by helping Jump Start Africa reach its funding goal at: indiegogo.com/projects/jumpstart-africa/x/3869675.
This is a guest post from Jay Boolkin, Founder of Promise or Pay.
Like millions of other people around the world, on New Years Eve of 2013, I made some resolutions to change my life. And like millions of people around the world, by June 2013, I had followed through on exactly… none of them.
We all know sticking to self-improvement goals is really difficult. In fact, while 45% of people make resolutions, only 8% of people stick to them. It is no wonder that the self-help industry generated over $11 billion globally in 2013.The idea struck me that if I told others about my goals I would be more likely to achieve them. I did some research and found that the chances of me following through would be further enhanced if I put money on the line. Research in fact shows that the chance of achieving a goal increases 33% if it is shared with others and by 72% if money is put on the line. I realized that combining both approaches could be a very effective way to help people achieve their goals. But where should your money go if you failed to follow through on your commitment? What if your money contributed to positive social change?
In July 2013 I founded Promise or Pay, a newly launched social enterprise that facilitates charitable donations by enabling people to make a public promise to do something, and if they fail to follow through, pay a nominated amount of money to a charity. Others have been quick to pick up on the potential of this simple idea to help reinvigorate charitable giving and engage people not previously inclined to donating: Promise or Pay was a finalist for the Sydney Genesis Entrepreneurship Challenge Best Social or Not-for-profit Start-up and received a honourable mention in the category of “Social Change” at The Guardian’s Activate Tech Talent Day, the Guardian’s platform for innovators working with the Internet to change the world.
Promise or Pay is the only platform that integrates both a commitment to goals and charitable giving, ensuring a win-win outcome is always achieved and people are left feeling satisfied. In doing so, Promise or Pay helps overcome the disappointing and discouraging feelings that are often the aftermath of failing to accomplish something important. Either you keep your promise thereby benefiting yourself, or you contribute towards solving a pressing social problem via your donation and thereby benefiting others.
I strongly believe that Promise or Pay’ has massive potential as appeals to the natural human instinct to set goals, to have dreams and to make resolutions. It leverages off the social trend to share experiences with others electronically and it speaks to a generation that have grown up in a world where social issues are impossible to ignore and are looking for a way to make a difference.Promise or Pay is also able to target a larger audience than just those people who wish to make a donation to charity. This is because the primary motivation of using the website is not to donate to charity but to achieve a personal goal. As a result, Promise or Pay will introduce to a new and young audience social awareness and the idea of donating to charities.
In late August 2013, Promise or Pay won the Social Start-ups MVP Program and received funding to develop a first proof of concept, which successfully went live with a soft launch just a few weeks ago.My vision is to create a platform that will inspire millions of people around the world to be the best that they can be, and, at the same time, to encourage and facilitate millions of dollars in donations to charities.
If you believe the power of social entrepreneurship can fulfill dreams, or, if you simply want to deliver on that commitment you keep making and breaking – then log onto www.promiseorpay.com to make a promise and make a better world.
This is a guest post from The Lovemark team.
People throughout history – desiring to express their love – have left their love messages and love marks everywhere – carved in trees, written on benches, sprayed on walls or locked to a bridge. Different cultures around the world have developed their own ways of expressing love underlying one common need; the need to express this unique instinctive human feeling!
At the same time, the world has plenty of monuments dedicated to religions, war victories, human tragedies, historic personalities or simply human vanity. But when it comes to love the only thing we come across are collective expressions of love as mentioned above.
So, we said let’s change this a bit – and build a different monument! And we deliberately use the word monument in order to try and give the word a different, a more positive meaning! The idea is to take the universal human need to express one’s love and use it in a creative way.
That little love note you want to pass to your loved one will now have a little magic power, it will make a difference in the world this time: it will build a monument, a Love monument! Your little note will become your love mark in history! The message will be inscribed on a cube – a love cube as we call it – and the love cube will be the building block of the Love monument: The Lovemark!
This is the Lovemark: a unique canvas to express your feelings and a unique collective piece of architectural art at the same time! A landmark with a heart, a positive point of reference to inspire us, our kids and hopefully their kids – across geographies.
We needed an excuse to launch this idea. And Valentine’s Day could not have been a better one! We decided to add an option next to flowers and candy. A grand love gesture next to the typical love gifts!
We needed a platform to launch this idea. Non corporate! Thus crowdfunding was a natural and obvious choice. Contributors do not buy a love cube. They contribute it instead! Contributors are Founders, not clients in our case!
Finally we want to use this opportunity and raise awareness on a sensitive subject: Ending violence against women. While most of us celebrate our love on Valentine’s Day, there are so many people whose lives have been affected by the lack of it – in basic terms, not in fairytale terms. The Lovemark will aim to shed some light on this very sensitive issue! Our way to share love with those less fortunate…
The team behind The Lovemark is truly diverse, supporting the international character of the project. Different countries, cultures, professional backgrounds, and 12 different languages are represented in our team. We have all come together, volunteered our time and effort and joined forces under this idea. To give everyone the opportunity to leave their lovemark in history!
Join us in making it happen: www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-lovemark
The Lovemark Team
This is a guest post from Zach Bogoshian, Founder of Teddy Rose.
My name is Zach and I am an idealist, for better and for worse. When it comes to sustainability, I see many challenges, some seemingly without solutions, which can be discouraging. That being said, I believe that people want to do right by the earth, but they have an access problem.
I’m the same way. I love the idea of being a sustainable citizen, but I’m humble enough to realize my intuition, research capacity, and understanding have their limits. This led me to start a company that offers a sustainable product packaged with Eco-entrepreneurial benefits.
My company, Teddy Rose, just launched a line of simple, stylish, bamboo tees (Indiegogo campaign here: igg.me/at/teddy-rose). Bamboo, as a raw material, offers many unique benefits: minimal water usage, zero pesticides, fast growth, no mono-culture growth, among others.
In addition to offering a responsibly-made product, Teddy Rose also employs a unique business model, one that creates what we are terming the Green Snowball Effect. We build on business models like Toms’s that give a cut of their profits to charities, but we have an entrepreneurial spin. Instead, that cut goes to Eco-entrepreneurs who use crowdfunding to jumpstart their sustainable projects. We want lead by example and do what we can to simultaneously empower other do-ers.
We don’t claim to know everything, but we have learned a lot in the past year about manufacturing, greenwashing, design, and branding. And, in bringing a sustainable product to market, we can also act as a proxy for those looking to purchase cool products that feature an additional societal benefit.
Our three initial featured campaigns all have unique and aggressive products that contribute to sustainability:
Rocks & Gravel Coffee: Organic Eco-Roasts To Your Door
Small batch, organic, fair trade coffee, shipped direct from roast in recyclable & collectible tins.
Wild Beauty Products: Biodegradable Shampoo Bottles
Natural, cruelty-free shampoo and biodegradable bottles for hotels and natural health stores.
HEATWORKS Model 1: Your Next Water Heater!
The most energy & water efficient, reliable & versatile water heater available.
To preserve our natural resources and live responsibly with the earth, we will have to approach problems from all angles. Teddy Rose is happy to join other leaders and jump into the fight.
Indiegogo Campaign: igg.me/at/teddy-rose
Facebook: Teddy Rose
About the Author: Zach Bogoshian is the Founder of Teddy Rose. He studied political science at UCLA and has since worked on various projects around politics, transparency, green building, and sustainable development. He currently lives in San Francisco, California, a global hub of innovation, style, and world-class American football.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Go out to your garage—after you finish reading this, of course—to take a picture of your car. Someday your grandchildren are going to ask you about it—the last car you drove that you couldn’t plug in. (Disclosure: my wife owns Tesla stock.)
Before you poo-poo this notion, I want you to consider the fate of the extinct beast known as the Hummer. You remember them; just a few years ago they dotted the highways, oozing testosterone as if they ran on the stuff.
Hummer lineup, Wikipedia
But they didn’t. They ran on gasoline. A lot of gasoline. And there came a day in 2008, when suddenly it was no longer socially acceptable to drive a car that boasted about its fuel inefficiency. According to the New York Times, sales dropped 67% from 2008 to 2009 and the GM unit was shuttered in 2010 after a deal with a Chinese buyer failed. The vehicles were never cheap, so their extinction had little do with economics. The folks who owned them could afford to fuel them.
It just happened that all of a sudden you couldn’t be seen dropping off the kids at school in a Hummer. It was like spanking them in public, simply verboten. (This is not intended as an endorsement of privately spanking your children.)
There were a number of factors that combined to kill the Hummer—and they’re lining up to kill cars with traditional gasoline engines.
When all of these factors align, triggered perhaps by a shock to the supply of oil or perhaps by a natural disaster attributed to climate change, the shift will be unmistakable and sudden. Without a formal agreement, without a memo, without another blog post we will all decide that our next car will plug in to power up.
Cars with diesel engines may not die out as quickly as their gasoline-based cousins as they are substantially more efficient, but I suspect the death of the diesel engine-only cars will follow shortly behind their gasoline cousins. Old fashioned hybrids that you can’t plug in will also have lives that extend past the switch, but not by much. It just won’t be cool enough to say, “my car has batteries” when your neighbor says, “I plug mine in at night.”
The sudden shift I predict away from gasoline-only cars won’t happen as quickly as the extinction of the Hummer, but it will be remarkable. And it is coming soon. I will be shocked if we can’t recognize that it has happened before the end of this decade. While a few gasoline-only models will likely survive, they will include only low end, high-mileage small cars and some specialty cars and trucks.
Consider the ramifications of being a manufacturer that is behind the curve. If you don’t offer a plug-in vehicle when the shift happens, something very much like that may end up scrawled on your shuttered doors.
Similarly, there are opportunities for companies like Tesla and other entrepreneurs preparing to service a market for electric cars.
So, if you are among the vast majority of Americans who drive a car like mine with a gasoline engine only, be sure to take some photos, make some journal entries and prepare to tell your grandchildren about the olden days when you didn’t plug your car in at night.
What do you think?
This is a guest post from Geri Mitchell-Brown, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Rally Software
When Rally Software, a Boulder, Colorado based company that provides cloud-based solutions for managing Agile software development, received venture funding and issued stock in 2006 and 2011, the company gave 1% of shares from each round to the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. In the event the company ever went public, the shares would be sold to benefit social impact organizations. That day came in October 2013 – to the tune of $1.38M.
For me, being new to Rally and dedicated to making us best-in-class for corporate social responsibility, it was a thrilling beginning. For employees and friends of Rally who have been connected to the company over the last ten years, it was a satisfying realization of a plan set in motion years ago. The plan to was to connect the company’s financial success to giving back the community – a plan that worked out brilliantly.
About half the total amount was donated to two Community Foundation programs: the Community Trust Fund, which donates annually to nonprofit organizations that improve the quality of life in Boulder County through a competitive citizen-led review process; and the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado (EFCO), of which Rally is a founding member.
The other half of the total created the Rally For Impact Foundation, our corporate social responsibility initiative with a vision to mobilize citizen engineers to solve some the world’s toughest problems. By leveraging Agile software and the expertise of Rally Software users and Agile coaches, we believe we can accelerate the growth and adoption of citizen engineering projects to benefit people around the world. The Rally For Impact Foundation now has startup funds to begin investing in nonprofit organizations aligned with our purpose.
An additional – and essential – part of our BIG 1% Give Back involved Rally employees, who number over 400. We included Rallyers in two ways: by involving them in the selection of donation beneficiaries, and by asking them to volunteer their “1% time off” throughout the quarter.
An important part of our social mission is to inspire other businesses to commit their support to their communities and make a positive impact on our world. That the company set aside a portion of its founding equity to donate to local nonprofits and to fund our strategic social impact program has created an invaluable culture of giving at Rally.