Reprinted with permission from Jaclyn Schiff
I’m a podcast nut! I love discovering new shows, and listening to podcasts is definitely one of my favorite ways to learn.
Podcasts are a great research tool as well. When I was looking for speaker inspiration for the online forum I’m producing, The Huddle for Global Change, I relied heavily on my podcast library to help me think of people who expressed themselves really well and had fascinating things to share.
Friends often ask me for podcast recommendations. So I consulted my trusty iPhone and put together some of my favorite episodes for all you global citizens. Here they are in no particular order:
(1) CBC News excerpts 50 hours of conversation with the late Nelson Mandela. The interviews were mostly recorded in the early 90s just after Mandela’s release from prison. → Why listen? Very candid thoughts and insights from the iconic leader.
(2) On Global Dispatches, Georgetown University’s C. Christine Fair discusses her career path. After starting out in the sciences, life events led her to study South Asia. → Why listen? Lots of take aways from the twists and turns on her professional path. Also, brutal honest about sexual harassment in academia.
(3) On The School of Greatness, Adam Braun explains the why, how and what of the Pencils of Promise, the “for-purpose” organization he founded in his early 20s. → Why listen? Get inspired and learn from a remarkable global changemaker.
(4) Author Nina Munk chats with Tiny Spark about the six years she spent reporting on economist Jeffrey Sachs’ Millennium Villages Project. → Why listen? Just because one has a good plan to end extreme poverty and $100 million+ to execute it doesn’t mean it will work.
(5) Water for People CEO Ned Breslin interviews Cameron Conaway, a former mixed martial arts fighter who published a book of poetry about malaria. → Why listen? Amazing lessons on social entrepreneurship and advocacy from a seemingly unlikely source.
(6) The Freakonomics podcast interviews Bjørn Lomborg of the Copenhagen Consensus Center in “Fixing the World, Bang-for-the-Buck Edition.” → Why listen? A clear, informative overview of international development economics and contemporary perspectives.
(7) Back in 2012, This American Life looked at what it is like to be an American living in China. → Why listen? Apparently as a foreigner in China, you have a pretty good shot of getting on Chinese television.
(8) If you’ve noticed an over-abundance of white males in the news media, you’re not alone. On The Weekly Wonk, journalist Lauren Bohn tells Anne-Marie Slaughter how she plans to interrupt that pattern. → Why listen? Learn why it’s a problem that there aren’t more voices in the foreign policy discussion and how that can be changed.
(9) Just before he stepped down as head of USAID earlier this year, Raj Shah looked back on his tenure with the Center for Global Development. → Why listen? Some interesting thoughts from Shah on what’s needed in development and what works.
(10) Canadian astronaut and YouTube personality Chris Hadfield shares lessons from his time in space on Fresh Air. → Why listen? Space and science are cool, and so is Hadfield.
(11) Tiny Spark examines ethical questions in international aid and development through an interview with journalist Emily Troutman. → Why listen? The work might sound noble, but it certainly doesn’t make international development immune from scandal and corruption.
(12) Tom Paulson speaks with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi who won the Nobel prize for her role in the discovery of HIV. → Why listen? Hear first-hand from a scientist-activist who has been at the forefront of the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Also Barré-Sinoussi discusses why she believes an HIV cure is possible.
(13) Bill Gates and some other higher-ups from the Gates Foundation were interviewed on the Nerdist Podcast. → Why listen? Kinda interesting to hear Gates and the other Foundation folks on a less formal media channel.
(14) Canadaland devotes an episode to the story behind the rise of news organization VICE. Through several interviews with early VICE employees, journalist Jesse Brown explores how a Canadian magazine became a cutting-edge global news source. → Why listen? This is essential listening if you love VICE or are a global news junkie.
(15) In an episode of On Being, titled, “Journalism and Compassion,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof reflects on his career so far. → Why listen? Kristof is frank about his insights from life as a foreign correspondent and the role of journalism in raising awareness.
(16) Ever thought about working for the United Nations? Slate’s Working podcast got the ins and outs of working for the multinational body from Tony Banbury, the assistant secretary-general for field support. → Why listen? Interviewer Adam Davidson asks great nuts-and-bolts questions.
(17) Jessica Tuchman Mathews, the longtime head of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is interviewed on Global Dispatches. → Why listen? It’s interesting to hear how coming from a famous family shaped Mathews’ worldview.
(18) Humanosphere speaks with global poverty pundit Charles Kenny who argues that the world is “getting better” according to several development measures. → Why listen? Kenny is one of those rare wonks who is easy to understand and fun to listen to.
(19) Devin Thorpe, a Forbes contributor who covers social entrepreneurship and impact investing, interviews Nancy Hughes, the founder of StoveTeam International. → Why listen? Hear how a trip to Guatemala changed Hughes’ life and learn about the critical need for clean cookstoves.
(20) For a recent weekly show, This Week in Global Health (TWiGH) held a Google+ Hangout with Hans Rosling, the Swedish medical doctor and statistician who is familiar to many thanks to his hit TED talk. → Why listen? Rosling has a knack for making development stats riveting. Greg Martin and the rest of the TWiGH team are a lot of fun too.
(21) Owen Barder hosts a fascinating discussion about what data means for international development on his podcast Development Drums. → Why listen? Thorough and well-informed thoughts from two women on the cutting edge — Claire Melamed, director of the Growth, Poverty and Inequality Programme at ODI, and Amanda Glassman, director of global at the Center for Global Development.
Jaclyn Schiff is the producer of The Huddle for Global Change, a multi-day online forum for changemakers seeking a fulfilling and impactful career in the international arena. Several podcast hosts and guests from this list are participating in The Huddle.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
My friend and mentor, Ty Bennett is nearly two decades younger than I, but infinitely wiser. He, along with Hall of Fame speaker Chad Hymas and New York Times bestselling author Don Yeager, recently announced the publication of their book, The Two Most Important Days, a parable about finding and living your purpose in life.
While the book targets a broad audience, it will resonate with social entrepreneurs as especially relevant.
“The main idea,” Bennett says, “is to discover what your purpose truly is. When you are driven by passion and living your purpose, your work becomes contagious.”
He adds, “I think for entrepreneurs and changemakers it is important to understand that people don’t buy what you do, they buy what you stand for. Purpose creates movements and builds tribes.”
On Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Bennett will join me for a live discussion about finding and living your purpose. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Ty Bennett:
When Ty was 21 years old, he and his brother Scott started a business in direct sales, which they built to over $20 million in annual revenue while still in their twenties. Since that time, he has developed over 500 sales managers globally with sales and leadership in 37 countries. As a young entrepreneur, Ty continues to engage his team’s focus to grow sales. He uses the power of influence and storytelling to get buy-in to the vision of growing their multimillion-dollar sales organization.
With a natural ability to engage and empower others, Ty draws on his experience in the trenches to share real and tangible techniques about the principles of leadership that continue to create his success. The founder of Leadership Inc., who has been featured as one of the Top 40 Under 40, Ty is a young fresh voice providing interactive presentations that are engaging, dynamic and inspiring.
His clients include some of the most recognizable brands in the world such as: Coca-Cola, Subway, Wounded Warrior Project, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Remax. Ty has shared the stage with celebrities, Olympians and world-renowned thought leaders such as President Bush and President Clinton.
Ty’s best-selling books – The Power of Influence and The Power of Storytelling: The Art of Influential Communication – are used in graduate courses at multiple universities including MIT, as today’s version of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
June 2014, Ty Bennett received the CSP Designation. At just 32 years of age he is one of the youngest ever to receive the award in the shortest amount of time. Less than 5% of speakers earn the CSP honor.
Ty lives in Utah with his wife Sarah, daughters Andie and Lizzy and sons Tanner and Drew.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
[Note: I own an embarrassingly small number of Microsoft shares.]
Today, Microsoft is kicking off its launch of Windows 10 with a $10 million give-back campaign. Nine nonprofits have already been chosen to receive a portion of the $10 million and a tenth will be chosen by people using the hashtag #UpgradeYourWorld on social media.
“Giving back and supporting non-profits is a cornerstone of our company culture. Microsoft and its employees collectively give thousands of hours, and donate more than $1 billion each year to nonprofit organizations around the world,” Elisa Willman, Senior Manager Marketing Communications, Corporate Citizenship & Public Affairs for Microsoft, said.
“Microsoft is proud to work with more than 86,000 nonprofits around the world every year to provide them with affordable access to the technology they need to support their work in local communities, and to leverage technology to help them be more efficient, effective and innovative in doing their important work. Whether it is through our software donations, technology solutions for nonprofit problems, or Office 365 Nonprofit, we strive to help nonprofits do more good,” she added.
Dave Forstrom, Director of Communications, Windows, said, “Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
On Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Willman and Forstrom will join me for a live discussion about the $10 million #UpgradeYourWorld give back program. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Microsoft:
Microsoft is a services and devices company with the goal to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We build best-in-class platforms and productivity services for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. We aim to reinvent productivity and business processes, build the intelligent cloud platform and create more personal computing.
Elisa Willman has spent her career at the intersection of philanthropy, marketing and business. Currently Senior Marketing Communications Manager for Microsoft’s Corporate Citizenship & Public Affairs team, she leads global campaigns for the company. Prior to Microsoft, Elisa worked as Executive Director of a high profile children’s charity in New Zealand and as a cause marketing consultant. She has extensive experience in sponsorship and partnerships and enjoys applying her background to cause strategy at Microsoft. When not at work, Elisa is passionate about travel, family adventures and her role as a mentor through the Global Give Back Circle.
Dave currently holds the position, Director, Windows and has been with Microsoft for more than seven years where he focuses on “reimagining Windows” in our constantly changing technological world.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Tricia Compas-Markman, an award-winning social entrepreneur, was among those who responded personally to the devastating April earthquake in Nepal.
She reports, “The first day arriving in Kathmandu was a real eye-opener. There was complete devastation everywhere we went with buildings, temples and squares reduced to nothing but rubble.”
She notes that she experienced hope, too, in those early days, “As we walked through Durbar Square, I was impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of the people there. Among the rubble and temporary tent-homes, women and men had setup shops to sell their goods and wares. The locals were taking ownership and adapting to their current circumstances, and we worked within their communities, not only to train them on DayOne’s Waterbag technology, but also to learn of their needs and priorities. We deployed over 2,500 Waterbags to Nepal – enough for 10,000 people.”
Compas-Markman is the inventor of the Waterbag and creator of DayOne Response, the organization that delivers it when and where needed.
She explains, “I was committed to finding a solution to bring clean water to those affected by disaster in a way that was efficient and portable – an all-in-one device. With the help of P&G’s Purifier of Water powder, we’re able to provide, clean, easily transportable and dispensable water in 10-liter units. It’s amazing to witness how just 20,000 units can affect 100,000 people, and through the grant we received from Toyota, we’re improving emergency response efforts to provide water for hundreds of millions of people around the world.”
On Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Compas-Markman will join me for a live discussion about her work. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about DayOne Response:
DayOne Response Inc. develops innovative solutions for disaster relief, including patented & award-winning DayOne Purification Waterbag™ — providing complete household water purification by combining the four elements of municipal water purification (collection, treatment, transport and storage) in a 10L backpack. DayOne increases the effectiveness of relief organizations ultimately improving and maintaining quality of life. They value prompt recovery, embrace new technologies, and take pride in saving lives.
Tricia Compas-Markman is founder and chief executive officer of DayOne Response, Inc. Tricia has a civil engineering background with six years’ experience working on water treatment technologies for developing countries, such as Thailand, Nicaragua, and Haiti. As co-inventor of the DayOne Waterbag, her work has been recognized by President Clinton, Tina Brown and Toyota, to name a few. She is a Toyota “Mother of Invention,” Unreasonable Institute fellow, Creativity Foundation legacy prize winner, 2013 Engineers Without Borders Outstanding member, and a Pipeline Fellow investee. Tricia received her BS in Civil Engineering and MS in Civil/Environmental Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
“For the vast majority of my career I have been both a capitalist and a philanthropist, and I’ve struggled at both. I struggled to make my change meaningful, and struggled at making meaningful change,” Bobby Turner told me in preparation for this piece. His response: create one of the largest firms in the impact investing space.
He founded Turner Impact Capital just 18 months ago to acquire and operate affordable residential housing projects and fund construction of charter schools in high-need communities.
“Our investment strategy is based on recognizing that making money making and making positive societal change need not be mutually exclusive,” He adds. “In fact, it’s the interdependency between profits and purpose that enable us to drive significant risk-adjusted returns with very little correlation to the broader market indices.”
“We have one mission: to create sustainable solutions for many of today’s societal problems by developing and investing in community-enriching real estate in densely-populated, underserved communities. We are trying to tackle some of society’s most daunting challenges— not through government or philanthropy, but by using market forces to create sustainable solutions,” he continues.
Turner has a genuine passion for using capitalism for good. He explains it this way, “If one wants to treat a problem in society, then government and philanthropy are fine. If one wants to cure, really cure a problem then one needs to harness market forces to create a sustainable solution. And that means making money for investors.”
On Thursday, July 30, 2015 at noon Eastern, Turner will join me here for a live discussion about the work he’s doing. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Turner Impact Capital:
One of the nation’s largest social impact investment firms, Turner Impact Capital is on course to surpass $1.5 billion in investment potential to create sustainable solutions for many of today’s societal problems. Based in Los Angeles, the firm helps to address some of the country’s most pervasive social issues by developing and investing in community-enriching real estate in densely-populated, underserved communities, and seeks to generate superior risk-adjusted financial returns by investing in markets with large existing supply/demand mismatches of relevant community infrastructure (i.e. workforce housing, public schools and preventative care facilities) and a lack of institutional capital. The firm seeks “profits with a purpose,” recognizing the interdependence between the two and the central role that improving property and the lives of people can play in achieving strong returns. The Turner Impact Capital leadership team has over 100 years of relevant experience in facilitating more than $6 billion of socially impactful and environmentally responsible real estate investments over the past two decades.
Bobby Turner is the CEO of Turner Impact Capital, a real estate investment management firm based in Los Angeles and focused on creating sustainable solutions for many of today’s societal problems through the development of impactful infrastructure. The firm is on course to surpass $1.5 billion in investment potential, making it one of the national’s largest social impact firms.
Over the past two decades, Mr. Turner has established himself as a pioneer in the area of social impact investing. As former Chairman, CEO and Co-Founding Partner of Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC, he oversaw a commercial real estate and mortgage asset portfolio totaling over $12 billion, and was responsible for launching several groundbreaking funds facilitating more than $6 billion in real estate investments that have helped define the “triple bottom line” investment movement.
Mr. Turner is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (B.S., Finance) where he serves on the University’s Undergraduate Executive Board of Advisors and where he has endowed a number of initiatives focused on social impact and triple bottom line investing. Today, these programs have grown to include student, faculty and institutional programs in such areas as social impact management and business ethics, financial scholarships for minority students and the creation of the Turner Social Impact Society and the Lauren and Bobby Turner Executive Speaker Series for Social Impact.
Mr. Turner is involved in many civic ventures, having served on the advisory boards of the Virginia Avenue Project, the Pacific Charter School Development Corporation, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (“ICIC”) and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. He has also been an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
My holiday weekend (Utah celebrates Pioneer Day today) was interrupted by a tragic yet hopeful message. One of the past guests for my show, Nissan Bahar, sent me a video his team recorded haphazardly of a group of young girls in Zambia poetically begging for society to value their virginity.
In Zambia, Bahar says, men commonly believe—or at least claim to believe—that having sex with a virgin will cure their AIDS.
Nine-year-old Sylvia Mulenga wrote a lengthy poem about attitudes her society holds for young girls. She and six of her friends recited the poem from memory for a performance before 700 schoolmates and teachers. Without the benefit of an auditorium, forget having a PA system or stage in Kalulushi, the quality of the video can be forgiven. Focus on the message. Click the “cc” button for subtitles if you don’t see them.
Mulenga wrote the poem during a poetry workshop that her school, along with nine others in Zambia participated in with ten schools in the U.K. using Keepod technology. A final piece of the workshop was a performance of a Shakespearean play via skype for the UK partner school, according to Bahar.
The poem and the strength with which it is delivered can only be described as Malalaesque.
Bahar describes the event where the poem was performed, “At the last day of the Keepod project, the kids did for us a very exciting goodbye ceremony/party. The situation is practically 3-4 people from the project team on one side (behind the camera) and the entire school in front. They started a 30 min ceremony of songs and speeches. Then these girls came to the centre and blew our mind.”
The power of the message is evident. As the recording begins, laughing, joking and giggling can be heard in the background, almost overwhelming the recording. Nearly halfway into the video, the girls powerfully insist, “Please society, my virginity has nothing to do with either your work or your health! Defile a virgin like me is a man’s misconception and a shame to society.” The audience is virtually silent for the balance of the five minute performance until it erupts in applause of approval.
According to Bahar, the girls attend the Mitobo Girls’ School in a semi-rural, low income neighborhood. “woman empowerment is a getting strong attention,” he says.
The school is working to raise money to buy 700 Keepods from Bahar’s social venture, one for each student. The Keepods are small thumb drives with an operating system that allows them to run a small computer connected to the internet. By removing the drives from old netbooks, Bahar affordably gives each child in the school her own computer. You can learn more about the campaign here.
For less than $14,000, Keepod will connect the school to the Internet, provide every student with a keepod and every classroom with a computer, including doing the implementation. The potential of these girls to change the world with their technology is readily apparent in the video.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Private equity investor and Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young’s charity the Forever Young Foundation launched Sophie’s Place, an organization that provides music therapy.
In a promotional video, Young explains that in contrast to many of the charities supported by his foundation that are run by great partners, “This one’s kind of organic from our foundation. It’s really my wife’s vision for music therapy.”
Young’s foundation is using a new tool for crowdsourcing engagement, one little act at a time. The new tool, an iPhone app called Time Machine, encourages people to do and record acts of service. Users of the app earn points to qualify them for unique experiences, like a meet and greet with band at the Imagine Dragons concert in Salt Lake City on July 28.
Time Machine cofounder Lindsay Hadley explains, “Time is our most precious resource, but most of us just follow people instead of having our own meaningful experiences. We want people to do inspiring things and support causes, online and beyond the screen.”
“We built Time Machine to be a place where brands, organizations and people can come together to rally other around causes or movements they’re passionate about,” she adds.
The app supports a variety of charities in addition to Sophie’s Place, including The Tyler Robinson Foundation and The Progeria Research Foundation,
“We have $75,000 of prizes to give. There are hundreds of tickets for the sold out Imagine Dragons concert and thousands of other chances to win, including meals from Costa Vida. Users’ chances of winning are very good,” she concludes.
On Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Young and Hadley will join me for a live discussion about Sophie’s Place and Time Machine. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Sophie’s Place:
Sophie’s Place is a dedicated Music Therapy space built in children’s hospitals for the youth being treated. These special rooms provide therapists a wonderful place to offer children non-invasive, evidence based medical treatment to their young hospital patients suffering from pain, chronic illness, and serious injuries.
Sophie Barton was a dear friend of Barb and Steve Young’s who unexpectedly passed away at a very young age. Sophie often sang in hospitals because she understood music’s power to heal. The Young family branded these rooms they are building in her name in her honor. While most people know music has an extraordinary power to bring comfort and peace to the soul, clinical studies continue to prove that music therapy.
Mr. Young is a Managing Partner and Co-founder of HGGC. He is also a member of HGGC’s Policy and Investment Committee and Executive Committees.
Prior to his inception of HGGC, Mr. Young was a co-founder and Managing Director of Sorenson Capital, a private equity fund which focused on middle market leveraged buyouts in the Western United States. Previously, Mr. Young was a member in Northgate Capital, LLC, the general partner of Northgate Capital Partners, L.P., a fund of funds.
Mr. Young’s professional football career spanned more than fifteen years in the NFL, primarily with the San Francisco 49ers, where he received numerous accolades, including Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXIX, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News’ Player of the Year from 1992 – 1994, and the NFL’s Most Valuable Player for 1992 and 1994. In 2005, Mr. Young was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the first left-handed quarterback to be so honored. Mr. Young is also the highest-rated quarterback in NFL history and has the distinction of being the only signal caller in league annals to win four consecutive NFL passing titles.
He founded and chairs the Forever Young Foundation which is actively involved in children’s charities worldwide and is currently the broadcast host as well as the former International Spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network which has raised over one billion dollars world-wide to benefit children’s hospitals.
Mr. Young has also served as the corporate spokesperson for companies such as Nike, Visa, Sun Microsystems, Sprint, PowerBar and ICON Health & Fitness, and has recently been profiled in a variety of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Worth Magazine, Sports Illustrated, People, Inside Sports and GQ.
Mr. Young is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he earned a J.D. from the College of Law as well as a B.S. in Finance and Political Science.
More about Time Machine:
Time Machine is an app that helps people discover what their favorite brands, causes and people are up to, learn how they can get involved and share their experiences on social media. By completing actions, users support causes and qualify to earn rewards, VIP experiences and products. Businesses and charities can use Time Machine to engage their audiences in projects and movements online and beyond the screen. Time Machine is available on iOS and coming soon to Android. For more information, visit timemachine.do.
Lindsay Hadley is a social entrepreneur and professional do-gooder. Early in her career, she facilitated dozens of international humanitarian projects in Kenya, Peru, Mexico, and Thailand. Since then, she has raised more than $24M for social causes. Lindsay executive produced The End of Polio Concert in Perth, Australia, and the Global Citizen Festival in 2012 and 2013 in Central Park, which – with a live audience of 60,000 and a worldwide media reach of more than 3 billion — is the largest charity event syndication to date. The mother of two small boys and the wife of a loving and supportive husband, Lindsay knows that relationships are most important in this life.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Many who work in the field of international development think of governments and large multilateral development institutions like the IMF and World Bank along with other large NGOs as the real players in that space. Increasingly, however, business is playing a role as more people in the commercial world recognize both the responsibility and the opportunities in that arena.
One person who is an international development expert with a dual perspective is the general secretary of Rotary International, John Hewko.
Hewko explains, “Rotary members, by and large, are business and professional leaders who understand the intersection between commerce and cause, and I think Rotary can play a significant role in helping to bridge the gap that exists between the development community and the private sector. Both sides need to work hand-in-glove to achieve maximum development in these developing markets.”
“We tap into a global network of Rotarians who invest their time, money, and expertise into our priorities, such as eradicating polio and promoting peace,” Hewko adds.
By way of example, Hewko reminds us, “Rotary has contributed more than US$1.3 billion dollars and committed countless volunteer hours to fight polio.”
On Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Hewko will join me for a live discussion about the role that business plays in international development. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Rotary International:
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.
John Hewko is the general secretary of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.
From 2004 to 2009, Hewko was vice president for operations and compact development for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government agency established in 2004 to deliver foreign assistance to the world’s poorest countries. At MCC, he was the principal United States negotiator for foreign assistance agreements to 26 countries in Africa, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union. During his tenure, he completed the negotiation of assistance agreements totaling $6.3 billion to 18 countries for infrastructure, agriculture, water and sanitation, health, and education projects.
Prior to joining MCC, Hewko was an international partner with the law firm Baker & McKenzie, specializing in international corporate transactions in emerging markets. He helped establish the firm’s Moscow office and was the managing partner of its offices in Kyiv and Prague.
While working in Ukraine in the early 1990s, Hewko assisted the working group that prepared the initial draft of the new Ukrainian post-Soviet constitution and was a charter member of the first Rotary club in Kyiv.
Hewko has been a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University, and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He has published papers and articles in leading U.S. and international publications, and he has spoken extensively on political and business issues dealing with the former Soviet Union, Central Europe, Africa, and Latin America. He is also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.
Hewko holds a law degree from Harvard University, a master’s in modern history from Oxford University (where he studied as a Marshall Scholar), and a bachelor’s in government and Soviet studies from Hamilton College in New York.
As general secretary, Hewko leads a diverse staff of 800 at Rotary International’s World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, and seven international offices. Hewko is a Paul Harris Fellow. He and his wife, Margarita, live in Evanston.
This is a guest post from Jillian Brooks who is a copywriter, comedian, and social entrepreneur.
It’s not every day you have the opportunity to impact the same community, in vastly different ways – simultaneously. However, Project Comfort aims to do just that, creating a business model based around community empowerment.
Pushing passed the Masculine-Male & Feminine-Female conventions of modern day clothing providers; Project Comfort offers apparel for a more diverse set of body types, individuals, and identities. That means that sizing is more standard, and styles androgynous. But the really cool part of the organization is that $10 from every item sold goes back to an established LGBTQ nonprofit, and the customer picks what goes where.
Project Comfort works directly with nonprofits operating in the LGBTQ community to provide regular micro financing and donation income. When an item is added to a customer’s cart, they are prompted to select a nonprofit from a provided list.
From there, selections are tallied and donations are made to the nonprofits at the end of each quarter. On June 30th, 2015, nearly $2,000 was donated to 5 different LGBTQ nonprofits as a result of Project Comfort customers.
Project Comfort operates using the model of a breakeven-business, meaning that the majority of revenue generated from sales goes directly toward the nonprofits selected by customers. With less than 1% profit netting back to Project Comfort for company development, the organization operates solely to make a difference.
As a woman-owned social enterprise, that is a sustainably operated organization, with the majority of our items made in the USA, Project Comfort is conscious about the community at large.
Jillian Brooks is a copywriter, comedian, and social entrepreneur living in New York City.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
“I feel like we’ve stumbled on this incredibly obvious epiphany, when you give what you’re good at, you get better at it. You help others while helping yourself,” says Mark Horoszowski.
His epiphany led him to create Moving Worlds, an match-making site for expert volunteers–“experteers.”
Summarizing the value proposition, Horoszowksi says, “Major development organizations have shared that behind access to capital, access to skills is the leading barrier to progress – this is called the ‘talent gap.’ Contributing the right skills at the right time can bridge holes to create short-term impact, and also help local staff develop their own skills to foster long-term sustainability and impact.”
“We’re proving that the right skills can catalyze the impact of social enterprises working in the field – helping them create a positive impact and create jobs in the process,” he adds.
By way of a clear example, Horoszowski offers, “Before applying for growth capital or a grant, and organization needs an accounting system. That’s a skills challenge, not a capital challenge, and an Experteer can help with just that.”
“The most important thing that people have is their brain, time, and passion. By giving all three, not only do people contribute their energy towards solving some of the world’s greatest challenges, but research shows they also return having learned new skills, feeling like they have more time, and feeling even more loved and passionate,” he concludes.
On Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Horoszowski will join me for a live discussion about Moving Worlds. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Moving Worlds:
Twitter : @Experteering
A matching site and global support team TISI NaN% that helps people volunteer their skills–Go Experteering–anytime and for any length of time, on their own or through corporate-sponsored programs.
Our mission is to address the global talent gap by connecting Experteers directly to social change organizations in the world that provide free accommodation and other local benefits in exchange for expertise.
Mark is co-founder and CEO of MovingWorlds.org, a global platform that connects people who want to travel and volunteer their expertise with social impact organizations around the globe. Since its launch in 2011, MovingWorlds.org has already helped unleash over 1.2 million dollars worth of professional skills to social enterprises around the world.
In his free time, Mark serves on the American Cancer Society ’s Nationwide Training Team and Co-chairs its Nationwide Volunteer Leadership Advisory Team.