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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: April 2014

Kaplan: Why Treating Nonprofits Like Tech Startups Works

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Robert S. Kaplan, co-chair of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, the largest venture philanthropy firm in the U.S. will join me for a live discussion of the strategies and impact of their approach: treating nonprofits like tech startups.

Draper Richards Kaplan (DRK) is the product of venture capitalists William H. Draper and Robin Richards Donohoe, along with Kaplan, a Harvard Business School professor and former Vice Chair of Goldman Sachs.

DRK begins by selecting a dozen high-impact startup nonprofits each year, typically giving them $200,000 to develop a model and prove their potential. Upon “graduation” the nonprofits typically begin to scale rapidly, jumping up to an annual budget of $2.5 million thereafter. In addition to startup funding, DRK provides training to help each nonprofit learn best practices in governance, strategy and management.


Robert S. Kaplan

Kaplan will join me on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 6:00 PM Eastern time. This will be our second visit; he and I visited nearly a year ago about his book, What You’re Really Meant To Do.

Come back to this post then and watch the interview live.

Kaplan’s bio:

Robert S. Kaplan is the Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for External Relations. He is also co-chairman of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a global venture philanthropy firm, as well as chairman and a founding partner of Indaba Capital Management LLC. He is the author of several case studies, articles and two recently published books: What You’re Really Meant To Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential, (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013) and What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential (Harvard Business Review Press, 2011)

Prior to joining Harvard Business School in September 2005, Rob served as vice chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. with oversight responsibility for the Investment Banking and Investment Management Divisions. He was also a member of the firm’s Management Committee and served as co-chairman of the firm’s Partnership Committee and chairman of the Goldman Sachs Pine Street Leadership Program. During his career at the firm, he also served in various other capacities including Global Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division (1999 to 2002), Head of the Corporate Finance Department (1994 to 1999) and Head of Asia-Pacific Investment Banking (1990 to 1994). He became a partner in 1990. Rob is a Senior Director of the firm.

He is co-chairman of the Board of Project A.L.S., co-chair of the Executive Committee for Harvard University Office of Sustainability, and is a member of the Boards of the Harvard Medical School, Harvard Management Company (previously serving as Acting President and Chief Executive Officer) and the Ford Foundation. Previously, Rob was appointed by the Governor of Kansas as a member of the Kansas Healthcare Policy Authority Board (2006-2010) and also served as a member of the Investors Advisory Committee on Financial Markets of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Rob is a member of the Board of the State Street Corporation. He is chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee of Google, Inc. Previously he was a member of the Board of Bed, Bath & Beyond, Inc. (1994-2009). He also serves in an advisory capacity for a number of companies.

Rob received an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1983 and a B.S. from the University of Kansas in 1979.

Prior to attending business school, Rob was a certified public accountant at Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co in Kansas City.


Nuix’s Proof Finder Raises $150,000 for Global Non Profit, Room to Read

This is a guest post from Eddie Sheehy, the CEO of Nuix since 2006, who has overseen commercializing and growing Nuix on a global scale across more than 45 countries.


When Nuix’s Head of Development David Sitsky and Room to Read Founder John Wood met at a pub three years ago, a simple chat over a pint morphed into the creation of a philanthropic phenomenon.

The result was the creation of Proof Finder, a sophisticated eDiscovery and investigation software. The catch? One hundred percent of the proceeds from all sales would goto Room to Read, a global non-profit organization transforming the lives of children across Asia and Africa by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.

Proof Finder customers are charged $100 for a fully featured but size-limited version of the core product offered by Nuix, a technology company that frees the intelligence trapped inside unstructured big data. In April, Nuix reached an impressive milestone, raising $150,000 for Room to Read.

Since 2000, Proof Finder sales have helped nearly nine million children in Asia and Africa. Room to Read and local communities established two school libraries in India, built schools in Nepal and Sri Lanka, published 9,000 local-language children’s books and provided support for 30 girls to complete a year of secondary education in India. Room to Read will also soon allocate funds towards constructing a new primary school building in Laos. By 2015, Room to Read aims to reach 10 million children.With more than 250 million illiterate children around the world and 61 million primary school-aged children not in school, there is clearly more work to be done.

“Looking ahead, we now have our sights set on raising even more money through the generosity of Proof Finder customers worldwide,” said Eddie Sheehy, CEO of Nuix.

In addition to Room to Read, Nuix also supports a range of non-profit organizations and initiatives worldwide. It has donated software licenses to Matla A Bana to assist in its work with the child protection unit of South African Police Services, and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to aid its investigation of elaborate offshore tax evasion systems. Nuix also provides free software and training to university staff teaching eDiscovery and electronic investigation courses.

“We are so proud that Nuix has sustained support of Room to Read projects through the popularity of Proof Finder and itsinnovative fundraising model,” said Wood. “If we could get every software company in the world to do something similar to what Nuix is doing, the multiplier effect would be unprecedented and we could turn the tide on illiteracy.”

For more information about Proof Finder, visit

For more information on Room to Read, visit


Crowdsourcing for Tigers: Geo-activism with MapHook and World Wildlife Fund

This is a guest post from Matt Link, Vice President of MapHook, a location-based social networking app dedicated to helping users explore their surroundings

For the past few years, MapHook has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on several social-good initiatives through the use of “geo-activism.” The opportunity to use our mapping app to bring about legitimate change –in this case helping to reduce the amount of harsh and often dangerous activities that can hurt animals or destroy their natural habitats –is something that MapHook is passionate about; we know our efforts have great potential to have a valuable impact. Together, MapHook and WWF created two crowd sourced maps to help bring attention to the thousands of people around the world advocating for two very specific causes – the destruction of the Sumatran tiger’s habitat and the threat that certain fishing methods posed to the survival of the vaquita porpoise. Both campaigns are great examples of the power of “geo-activism” and something we will continue to do in the near future.

Our first joint-cause was the “Tigers or Toilet Paper” project. The Sumatran tiger’s habitat was at risk of being destroyed because two paper supply companies were selling products that were made from the pulp of timber extracted from that area. Together, WWF and MapHook sought to spread awareness of the deforestation and ruin of the Sumatran tiger’s habitat through a visual representation of where these products ended up, and then urging the public not to purchase them. Our passionate advocates and user base took photos of the stores and businesses that were selling or purchasing these products, along with their location, and then turned them into pins on a custom map to help raise public awareness (in MapHook language – they created “hooks”). More than 100 “hooks” of grocery stores, hotels and other commercial establishments were created as a result of the campaign. Within a very short period of time after the hooks began to appear on our map, one of the two suppliers agreed to stop selling the products; the second agreed to phase out these products. You can read even more about the project here:

In our second joint effort with WWF, we teamed up with them to help save the vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise, in Mexico. Just last year, MapHook assisted WWF in their efforts to petition the Mexican government to pass regulations that would help reduce the threat of “bycatch” to the vaquita (bycatch is the unwanted fish caught during a commercial fishing operation). We developed a custom map that geographically depicted the many people, not just in Mexico but all around the world as well, who signed petitions advocating for the change. Using our mapping engine, we created and displayed over 60,000 “petition” pins showing the widespread support across the globe. In June, the Mexican government officially announced that it would begin phasing out the fishing gear currently used in the Gulf of California and replace it with more vaquita-friendly options. You can see a screen shot of the map below and experience the interactive one here:


The potential for further geo-activism, similar to that undertaken on behalf of the Sumatran tigers and the vaquita, is something that MapHook looks forward to participating in. We’ve learned that our users all around the world are passionate about preserving the environment and the various creatures that inhabit it. If we can act as method of making their voices heard and influencing change, we certainly won’t shy away from it. 


Live With Lifetime Achievement Heroes

The Mountain Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross in Provo, Utah recognizes local heroes in the community each year. 

On April 10, 2014 at 4:00 Mountain Time, Rachel Solomon of Provo’s American Red Cross office along with local Board Chair Dr. Jessica Egbert will join me for a live discussion with Lifetime Achievement Heroes David Dominguez and Lakshmi Johal-Dominguez.


Tune in here then and watch:

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas:

  • Disaster Relief
  • Supporting America’s Military Families
  • Lifesaving Blood
  • Health and Safety Services
  • International Services

About Rachael Solomon:

Rachael Solomon is the Development and Community Relations Director for the Mountain Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross in Provo Utah. Rachael grew up in Salem Oregon, the oldest of eight. Early on she craved adventure. As she set out in life she was drawn to the sea, working her way through many levels in the world of commercial fishing. After nine amazing years she concluded her career, the pinnacle being her contract as a consulting Chief Steward aboard a Russian vessel.
As one door shut another opened and she started her trek through the many layers of higher education, first studying hospitality and event management. Her interest in business continually grew and her focus became clearer. She continued in school and graduated with her bachelor of science in business administration from Eastern Oregon University focusing in leadership, organization and management. As she graduated her interests solidified in nonprofit work and she continued her education at Marylhurst University in Oregon, near Lake Oswego. She graduated with an MBA in 2012 with an emphasis in nonprofit management. She joined the Red Cross in June of 2013.

About Dr. Jessica Egbert:

Dr. Jessica Egbert is the Associate Vice President of Institutional Planning and Strategic Initiatives at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, where her expertise is in assessment, informatics, and project management. She holds a BS in Psychology, a MEd in Educational Technology, and a PhD in Educational Leadership. Her research interests are non-cognitive factors of the hybrid doctoral student experience and she has presented nationally on data-driven assessment and institutional effectiveness. She is a community advocate and serves on the Board of Directors of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce and as Board of Directors Chair for the American Red Cross – Mountain Valley Chapter. Dr. Egbert was recently featured as one of Utah Valley Magazine’s “Fab 40” and she enjoys SCUBA diving, her amazing husband, laughter, and excessive amounts of ice cream.

About David Dominguez and Lakshmi Johal-Dominguez:

David and Lakshmi have been volunteering for community projects and service for the past 23 years. David has been recognized for his service and innovative approach to teaching his BYU Law students how important it is to serve in their community. They helped start and served as originating board members for the Utah County branch of Habitat for Humanity. Lakshmi serves on school boards, supports the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, the Hale Theater Board of Directors, and supports community service in her neighborhood. They have both made serving others a priority in their lives and even more importantly have taught their children the importance of service to others.

Keepod Seeks To Bring Computing To Developing World Poor

Recently, a startup called Keepod launched a new product, a simple flashdrive with a bootable Linux operating system incorporated, allowing everyone to have proprietary access to computing resources.

Keepod recently raised over $40,000 against a goal of just $38,000 on Indiegogo.

According to the company, “Globally there are 5 billion people who still do not have access to personal computing. There are many great initiatives that try to bridge the digital divide, but with little success thus far. By separating the Software from the Hardware, Keepod manages to overcome most of the traditional constraints that were preventing personal computing from many.”

On Thursday, April 10 at 11:00 Eastern, Keepod co-founder and CEO Nissan Bahar will join me for a live chat about his innovative new product.

Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

About Keepod:

Our secure and lightweight operating system, Keepod OS, is designed for users to have their own portable OS, using any PC as nothing more than an empty shell.

Keepod OS runs from any USB drive, eliminating the dependency on one computer, and was developed emphasizing privacy protection, user choice and digital freedom.

We believe that computing should be accessible to everyone as well as being more secure and fun.

Keepod Ltd is registered in the UK and employs staff around the world. Our team is located in: London, Tel Aviv, Milan, Paris, Frankfurt and St. Petersburg.

Backed By 22 Foundations, Living Cities Makes Impact

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Living Cities, a financing vehicle for social impact backed by 22 Foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, is investing in projects that serve communities in the U.S.

By investing in infrastructure and services that serve or benefit the poor and under-served communities, Living Cities aims to make a difference. Living Cities reports having made $15 million in below-market rate loans to “finance innovative efforts in the areas of neighborhood stabilization, energy efficiency retrofits, public education and access to fresh foods and health care.” They also report having made $600 million of investments over 18 years, catalyzing $16 billion of tangible community assets from homes to schools.


Ben Hecht, Living Cities, with India Lee, Cleveland Foundation

On April 10, 2014 at noon Eastern, Ben Hecht, the President and CEO of Living Cities will join me for a live discussion about the Living Cities impact investing programs.

Tune in here then and listen while you work.

Hecht’s bio:

Mr. Hecht was appointed President & CEO of Living Cities in July, 2007. Since that time, the organization has adopted a broad, integrative agenda that harnesses the collective knowledge of its 22 member foundations and financial institutions to benefit low income people and the cities where they live. Living Cities deploys a unique blend of more than $140 million in grants, loans and influence to re-engineer obsolete public systems and connect low-income people and underinvested places to opportunity.

Prior to joining Living Cities, Mr. Hecht co-founded One Economy Corporation, a non-profit organization focused on connecting low-income people to the economic mainstream through innovative, online content and increased broadband access. As President, from 2000-2007, Mr. Hecht led the growth of the organization from 4 employees to a $12 million organization with 50+ staff, online media properties serving more than 150,000 low-income people a month, and programs in 40 states, the Middle East and Africa.

Immediately before One Economy, Mr. Hecht was Senior Vice President at the Enterprise Foundation. There, he led the organization’s efforts beyond housing – into childcare, workforce development and economic development and oversaw the expansion of the organization’s revolving loan fund from $30 million to $200 million.

Mr. Hecht received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and his CPA from the State of Maryland. For 10 years, he taught at Georgetown University Law Center and built the premier housing and community development clinical program in the country. In 1997, he was awarded Georgetown’s Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award.

Mr. Hecht has written three books, Managing (2001) with Rey Ramsey, Developing Affordable Housing: A Practical Guide for Nonprofit Organizations (3rd Edition, 2006) and Managing Affordable Housing: A Practical Guide for Building Stable Communities (1996) with James Stockard, all published by John Wiley & Sons.

Over the years, Mr. Hecht has served on numerous boards of nonprofit organizations. He is currently Chairman of EveryoneOn, an national initiative founded by the Federal Communications Commission to connect low-income Americans to digital opportunity. Most recently, he served as Finance Committee chair and Treasurer for the Georgetown Day School (GDS) board of trustees.


IFRC Diplomat Siddharth Chatterjee Joins Us Live

Siddharth Chatterjee, currently the Chief Diplomat and Head of Strategic Partnerships at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and who will take on a new position with the UNFPA (UN Population Fund) Representative for Kenya on April 10, 2014.

Sid is passionate about ending violence and women and children and is a big supporter of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (which connected us).


On April 9, 2014 at noon Eastern, Sid will join me live from Switzerland for discussion about ending violence against women and children.

Tune in here then and listen while you work.

Sid’s bio:

Siddharth Chatterjee (Sid) is the Chief Diplomat and Head of Strategic Partnerships at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) based in Geneva since June 2011.

Prior to the IFRC he served in the United Nations since 1997 in a range of different capacities and has worked extensively in complex emergencies and fragile states.

From 2009 to 2010, he was Regional Director for the Middle East, Europe and Central Asian Republics at the United Nations Office for Project Services. From 2007 to 2009, he was Chief of Staff to the Special Representative of the Secretary General for the UN Mission in Iraq based in Baghdad, Iraq.

He has also served in leadership positions in UNICEF Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan(Darfur), Indonesia and with the UN Peace Keeping Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iraqi Kurdistan.

Before joining the UN he was a career officer in the Special Forces of the Indian Army.

He has written extensively on a range of humanitarian and social issues in a variety of journals such as CNN, Al Jazeera, Forbes, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, Reuters, the Global Observatory, the Inter Press Service as well as some mainstream Indian journals.

He was a key note speaker on child soldiers at a TED x event in Spain, on Humanitarian Diplomacy at the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy as well as on ‘soft power’ at the Wilton Park in the UK. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) considers him as one of the global influencers on the eradication of polio.

He has a Master in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, USA.

Sid is married and they have a son.

On 10 April 2014, he will be taking over a new role as the UNFPA(UN Population Fund) Representative for Kenya.

Our Mark On The World

Graeme Kilshaw + Devin Thorpe

Many people want to make the world a better place… and are searching for the answer the question, “How do I make my mark?” Our Friendship Cube Group answers this question through our code of light. The friendship cube is a social innovation for a world increasingly embracing the emergent semantic web phenomena. Instead of having 26 confusing alphabet characters, we have, through thinking hard, boiled down all that is necessary into a single cube with rotating diamond symbols and a 22 bit binary phonetic alphabet. Our cube code is beautiful. It consists of a “relativistic geometry” … a sacred geometry that fits together sound symbols with light symbols… in a relativistic visual binary code that is recognizable by both human eye and by webcam. The friendship cube is the essential, core tool for the emergent “web 3.0” phenomena. The friendship cube is our revolutionary gaming and teaching tool. With it… we play, share, and learn together in new and productive ways.

We all love making new lifelong friends. And some of us like to “reach-out” and to make new friends by giving symbolic gifts. The gift of our friendship cube is a symbol in and of its self. This gift… the gift of a friendship cube… symbolizes trust and the beginning of a new, positive, lifelong relationship. In our group, friendship cubes reward good deeds. Small friendship cubes reward small good deeds, and big friendship cubes reward big good deeds. With the gift of a friendship cube comes an “agreement between friends”. Our agreement is sometimes called the “Friendship Cube System”. Our system has a few constants in its structure, as well as some variables. The constant is our cube and code. The variables are the host language, the way our system is presented, the action requested, and the specific encoded message. Generally speaking, we only give a friendship cube to a person that has shown high moral standards… the standards that make the world a better place. Sometimes the action requested is just telling a few friends about our cube and our system. Other times, the action is getting involved in a social cause that will help the local community. Hubs for learning and teaching… for gathering and disseminating information… are a great way for diverse global communities to benefit from our presence. Our friendship cube system is evolving through experimentation with the variables. Our system evolves to suit its environment. Our friendship cube system is currently being presented as a chain letter … a letter from a friend… that invites trusted new cube-recipients to assert their solidarity with our global movement through a planned act of kindness. We invite trusted cube recipients to sign on to our system and to stand up for what we collectively believe in. Based upon our own unique personal goals and beliefs, we are empowered to make our own encoded messages and to share the medium of our cube… and the message of our solidarity… with our closest friends. We use our friendship cube code as our tool to make our mark on the world. The perfection of the social web is gradually leading to the emergence of the semantic web, via an emergent digital language leading towards a resultant global culture. Through our friendship cube code language, we are embracing the integral code of the emergent semantic web… web 3.0. …Our work is central to this evolutionary emergence. With our visual binary cube code, today we are beginning to catalyze a global change in thought tending towards unity, light, and order. We are setting a good global standard and forming a powerful and compassionate alliance via our work with the friendship cube system.

We can ourselves, become friendship cube activists and thereby make our mark of positive change on the world. Our friends are standing up and setting an example as leaders in this digital world. We are paying forward a symbolic and systematic gift to safeguard social solidarity and global understanding… security and peace. In every nation, we are creating hubs that respond to the visual binary code of the emergent global village. We invite our cube recipients to capture interest, involve, and inspire new friends with our friendship cube and our unique light-code. The friendship cube is our emergent digital meme. It is a symbolic and logical gift… a gift that keeps on giving… a gift that comes with it a moral obligation and a moral standard. Our friendship cube system is a phenomenon that invites a ripple effect… a chain reaction of planned acts of kindness that capture interest and inspire the people of the world with your unique message and with our unique medium. Our friendship cube activism… in sum… is making a positive mark on the world. Students and cube-holders… as activists… are empowered to spread their own unique message through the evolving worldwide social and semantic web. Together we promote our chosen causes internationally via our shared friendship cube code… available as a simple and free font for download at:

“In 2001, I started reaching out and creating new connections… and new life long friendships started to form around me. I am sure that if you chose to do the same thing as I have, you can achieve the same things… and yes even greater things through your participation with our Friendship Cube System. Our Friendship Cube Group is systematically making friends around the world, and through our network, we are catalyzing a change and making our mark. A single act of kindness can make a mark across the entire world. Through our system, our medium becomes your message. Your single act of kindness and your unique message will spread and make global change. We invite you to do a good deed in the name of our Friendship Cube Group. Kindness today captures interest… and it inspires millions of ordinary people to embrace our emergent global language of light… the code of our cube. It keeps growing and growing… all through this great system that calls upon us as participants… to “pay it forward”.”

~Graeme Kilshaw, Team Leader with the Friendship Cube Group
+1 250 220-0947

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