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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

Nonprofit

This category includes articles about nonprofit organizations and NGOs that are actively working to accomplish a social mission. The work of foundations that primarily work as grantors to other nonprofits is covered in Philanthropy.

This Mission-Driven Business Helps Millions Of Students Learn STEM Skills

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

Vince Bertram, 50, CEO of Project Lead the Way, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides STEM education, curriculum and training to schools, districts and teachers for millions of students across the country, says operating as a mission-driven business is key to having impact.

With $73.2 million in 2017 revenue and programs in 10,500 schools in all 50 states, Project Lead the Way—PLTW—serves millions of kindergarten through 12th-grade students.

Bertram says, “We are a business and if we don’t have a sustainable business model, we can’t provide the service to schools.”

Most of the organization’s revenue comes from fees for service and product sales. PLTW’s online store sells equipment and supplies that teachers and schools can use for teaching science, technology, engineering and math—STEM skills.

Vince Bertram, Project Lead the Way

In addition, PLTW works with corporations—many of whom are working to grow the qualified workforce—who make grants to the organization, which in turn makes grants to schools of 100% of the corporate donations.

Bertram describes the grantmaking function as a “service for corporations” that want to invest in education. Over the past five years, corporations have provided $91 million in funding through PLTW.

“Other organizations in particular in the nonprofit world will become highly vulnerable because of ebbs and flows in philanthropy and we can avoid that by having a sustainable business model,” Bertram says.

For his part, Bertram says education wasn’t always important to him. He says, both his parents dropped out of high school and he himself was on the verge of doing so after his father left home. “I just didn’t see the relevancy of school. I didn’t understand its long-term implications and the power of education.”

He credits teachers and a principal who influenced him with gaining an understanding of the value of education. It became his overarching passion.

He worries that we don’t give students particularly good advice. “We tell them things like Just follow your dreams and everything will work out. It’s just not reality. It’s irrational. You know the world doesn’t care about their dreams. They care about what they can do and the value they can add.”

“The ideal situation is when we see this convergence of passion and interest and skills so you can actually go out and do the things you want to do and people will actually pay you for it,” he explains.

PLTW provides curriculum along three pathways: engineering, biomedical science and computer science. The organization also teaches educators how to teach this content using problem-based courses.

The process of learning requires students to apply math and science, Bertram says. The challenge is to get students to the point that they can apply knowledge outside the context in which they learned it.

In a recorded interview which you can watch in the player at the top of this article, Bertram and I talked about the importance of building robots and blowing stuff up.

“We can give them things that they really enjoy doing at the same time bring real-world context to it. [We] show them how we implode buildings, how we really create this structure through a mountain, how we build roads and how we take robotics and put that into a manufacturing facility that’s going to be very disruptive to the workforce,” he says.

Kelly Garcia, a PLTW Gateway Teacher at Benton Middle School in La Mirada, California, says she was among the first teachers in the area to be certified and so she’s seen the program’s impact over many years.

“It has been transformative for our district and community as a whole. Many of our students are from low-income families, and they have very little access to information about STEM careers. As a result of the PLTW curriculum, our students not only learn about their career possibilities, but they also are given opportunities to develop the skills necessary to achieve their goals.”

She highlights the success of a first-generation, Latina college student, Celeste, who is now studying environmental engineering at Stanford. “I once asked her how she decided on environmental engineering as a major, and she told me that she remembered the exact moment she made the decision: She said she was in an 8th-grade PLTW class, energy and the environment, building a windmill when she thought ‘I can do this!’”

Martha McCabe, the executive director for Kansas City STEM Alliance, says, “PLTW is a game-changer for so many students.”

Each year, the Kansas City Stem Alliance gathers students from around the city to present their capstone engineering and biomedical sciences projects. “Over 375 students participated in last week’s PLTW Senior Showcase representing 41 high schools and 21 school districts,” she says.

The success can be measured in revenue as well as impact. Over the last seven years, since Bertram took the top job at PLTW, revenue has grown from under $10 million to over $70 million.

Bertram credits a business focus driven by mission for the success. “We absolutely look at this from a business perspective. We take a lot of pride in that but there is a difference in being driven by profit and being driven by mission. And for us, our mission is to ensure that every child has access to this kind of experience.”

If you share my passion for doing good with your money, learn how you can become an impact investor with my online course, 25% off with this link.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

This Award-Winning Activist Has Been Serving NYC Youth For Almost 4 Decades


Joyce Mattera started helping out in her Brooklyn neighbor when she moved there almost four decades ago. Her organization, Children of the City, now serves 1,000 kids every year. She measures success in the accomplishments of the tens of thousands of kids she’s helped along the way.

Interview with Joyce Mattera, the Executive Director of Children of the City.

The following is the pre-interview with Joyce Mattera. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Breaking cycles of poverty through education and outreach.

Donate:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1378275

More about Children of the City:

Twitter: @COCNYC

Facebook: facebook.com/childrenofthecity

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/children-of-the-city/

Website: www.childrenofthecity.org

Children of the City (COC) is a community-based organization that has been serving disadvantaged children and families since 1981. Our mission is to reach at-risk inner city children with hope, guidance and resources to impact their lives and break the cycle of poverty, which is the number one cause of educational failure. In the under-resourced communities we serve, some classrooms can reach more than 50 children per room with very few guidance counselors to meet the students’ needs. To add to the challenge, many households are afflicted with neglect, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, teenage pregnancies, language and cultural barriers that result in lack of educational support and development. Children of the City provides provides programs that respond to the needs of disadvantaged children and youth through healthy, safe activities and social interventions, including  the only academic driven summer program, a college preparation program, home visits, parent workshops, and monthly community events that provide resources, intervention, education, and support to children and their families.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: Donations, fundraisers and sponsorship with a small percentage of participant donation

Scale: For 2017, our cash revenue was $248,500. Our in-kind services and gifts were calculated at 215,000.  We served 1,000 children and youth along with their families and we had 3 full time staff and 8 part time tutors along with approximately 25 steady volunteers

Joyce Mattera
Photo Credit: Seraphin Photography

Joyce Mattera’s bio:

Born and raised in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, Joyce Mattera attended Saint Ephraim’s Elementary school and Fort Hamilton High School.  She continued studies at Baruch College, School of Public Affairs and The Brooklyn Conservatory of music. Soon after getting married, Joyce Mattera moved into Sunset Park, Brooklyn in 1981 and immediately began outreach to at risk children in the community founding an organization called “Children of the City”.

Becoming aware of some of the serious issues that plagued the children in the community, Joyce galvanized volunteers to help her gather children to weekly events which provided them a safe place to learn and play. These weekly gatherings continued and programs were established where the children were able to participate in fun activities and value based lessons to deter them from the negative lifestyles surrounding them.

Regular Saturday home visits were soon included as part of the outreach and have continued throughout the years, allowing hundreds of families and children to obtain services and support, as well as crisis intervention.In early 2002, Joyce Mattera established a relief program, Heal New York, that provided counseling and additional services to families and victims of the 9/11 attacks.  These services were provided to families that were living under the poverty level and fell through the cracks when it came to accessing help and support.

Several foundations, including World Vision and the Robin Hood Foundation provided grant money to build and sustain the counseling program. During routine visits, many pre-existing traumas were uncovered as counselors met with families, and they were able to be directed to receive much needed resources and services.  In 2003, as a result of in-depth assessments made through home visits, it was determined that there was an educational crisis in this community that housed over 30,000 children.

Joyce Mattera, with the help of educational specialists, established the only academic driven summer program in the community and named it “Create Success”.  The program runs throughout the school year as well as the summer months and brings the same powerful outcomes year after year which can be viewed on the Children of the City website. In 2009 she expanded the “Create Success” program to include SAT prep and college application support to High School students.  Students that never dreamed of going on to institutions of higher learning are now matriculating through college and breaking the cycles of poverty that pervade their families and community.

Joyce Mattera is married and the proud mother of five biological children.  She has also taken in many children and youth over the years to support them through their education.  She has taken legal guardianship of some of these children in order to rescue them from being raised on the streets by local drug addicts.  Many of their stories are also on the Children of the City website. Furthering her education, she received certification in the field of nutrition and health, in order to better serve poor communities and conducts ongoing nutrition workshops to both parents and children.  

She spearheaded several overseas mission endeavors, including multiple trips to Rwanda and Uganda from 2012 through 2015, during which time she trained local staff and raised funds to build a home for orphans.   Mrs. Mattera continues to bring innovative solutions to address academic and social challenges that accompany communities with high rates of poverty and expand programs and services of Children of the City to meet the needs of disadvantaged children living in impoverished communities.  

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed by civic and community leaders. She has received multiple awards and citations, including from former Senator Eric Adam’s office, the Brooklyn DA’s office where Joyce Mattera was inducted as one of the “Extraordinary Women”, former Councilwoman Sarah Gonzalez and Senator Mary Golden’s office for her work with at-risk children.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

Learn How to Build a Better Board For Your Nonprofit


Kate Hayes joined Echoing Green with a clean mission in mind: help nonprofits build better boards. Too many boards are untrained, lack diversity and aren’t fully engaged. She’s developed programs to help nonprofits and board candidates alike to be more effective.

Interview with Kate Hayes, the of Echoing Green.

The following is the pre-interview with Kate Hayes. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Nonprofit boards are ineffective – members do not reflect the communities they serve, they are not active enough in fundraising, and they are not focused on strategy. Only 16% of board members are under the age of 40; 80% of board members have received no training; and 65% of board members don’t think their fellow board members are engaged. At the same time, very few training programs exist, so we are stuck in the cycle of bad boards.

My goal was-and is- to re-imagine what board service looks like. Direct Impact is an experiential board leadership program which prepares exceptional young business leaders for high-impact nonprofit board service. We help individuals identify and unleash the skills, competencies, and qualities they need as leaders to be able to influence and impact people throughout their lives, both through board service and beyond. Through an intensive leadership development process, we are preparing them to change the game.

At the same time, I work with social entrepreneurs as they develop their own boards, and seek to bring ‘next practices’ to life in the boardroom.

A recent article by Kate Hayes:  https://ssir.org/articles/entry/a_roadmap_to_better_boards

More about Echoing Green:

Twitter: @echoinggreen

Facebook: facebook.com/echoinggreen

Website: www.echoinggreen.org

For over 30 years, Echoing Green has unleashed next-generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. These leaders, who spend their lives working with purpose, define their generations; they make society better.

Echoing Green continues to build a global community of emerging leaders – almost 800 and growing – who launched Teach For America, City Year, One Acre Fund, SKS Microfinance, and more. Whether it’s through our Fellowships or our other innovative leadership initiatives, like Direct Impact, we unleash unexpected potential by tracking down the best and the brightest leaders, bringing them together, and launching them on a path to success.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: Echoing Green is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and is funded philanthropically. The specific program I lead, Direct Impact, is a fee-for-service program, where individuals and/or corporations pay tuition for the programmatic experience.

Scale: Direct Impact is Echoing Green’s newest program, and was started three years ago. To date, we have graduated six cohorts of business leaders, for a total of over 50 graduates. The program is continuing to grow, with increasing demand from both individuals and corporations.

Kate Hayes
Photo Credit: Echoing Green

Kate Hayes’s bio:

Twitter: @kdahayes

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/kathryndianehayes

Kate Hayes is the director of Direct Impact at Echoing Green. She oversees programming for business leaders who are dedicated to realizing their full potential as agents of social change. She leads retreats, workshops, and immersive site visits focused on leadership development, purpose, strategic governance, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Echoing Green, she worked as Director of Evaluation and Program Impact in the national office of Minds Matter. While at Minds Matter, she led several new initiatives for engaging alumni, scaling the organization, and training 1,700 skills-based volunteers across the United States. Kate currently sits on the Executive Committee at the Northfield Mount Hermon School, where she serves as Vice President of the Alumni Council. Kate writes about leadership development and governance across the web, including in Forbes and SSIR. She holds a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from Northeastern University.

I consider myself a hybrid between a social entrepreneur and intrapreneur. I joined Echoing Green to re-think the way we were working with business leaders, so in a sense, I am an intrapreneur. At the same time, I am working to solve a major challenge in the space, which is that nonprofit boards are extremely ineffective.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

How This Sandwich Shop Feeds 80 Nonprofits For Free

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

Customers at Even Stevens, which promises to give a sandwich for each one it sells, may envision a kitchen in the back where employees make sandwiches for homeless people, but co-founder Sara Day, 28, explains it doesn’t work that way.

Day, the cause director for the 20-store chain operating in six states, says they scrapped the idea of making sandwiches before the company opened its first store in June of 2014.

The team decided against making sandwiches for two reasons.

First, they quickly recognized that making sandwiches at exactly the moment that nonprofit partners would want them would be impossibly difficult. The result of not doing so would be lots of wasted food.

The second problem is that making and delivering finished sandwiches would be too expensive. The normal margins on sandwiches aren’t big enough to allow the company to make two for the price of one. Customers wouldn’t be willing to pay the full retail price of two sandwiches to get just one—at least not often enough to make the business work.

Sara Day, Even Stevens

So, Day and the team came up with another plan. Each store selects four nonprofit partner organizations that it sponsors. The nonprofits are set up with accounts with the wholesale food supplier Sysco. Every time a customer makes an entrée purchase, Even Stevens donates $0.54 to the Sysco account of one of the nonprofit partners–enough to buy the ingredients for a sandwich.

While that may sound modest, Day says the downtown Salt Lake City store sells 15,000 sandwiches every month. Across the chain, the company is now producing 110,000 sandwiches every month. At that rate, the sandwich making firm is donating over $700,000 per year.

Kathy Cady, the co-coordinator for the Tucson Neighborhood Food Pantry, effuses over the support the pantry receives from Even Stevens. “Unfortunately, the population numbers for those in need seem to grow faster than our donations from other sources can keep up. Even Stevens donations have allowed us to provide quality foods to clients who may have had to go without. We are overjoyed to be able to supply fresh meats, non-perishable goods, fresh produce, and dairy all thanks to Even Stevens and their generosity.”

The model is also working well for the business, which Day reports is profitable. She notes that “mature stores,” those open for more than 24 months, generate operating margins of 15%.

Day was drawn to social entrepreneurship, she says, because she started college in 2008 as the Great Recession was beginning. She was appalled by what she calls the “incessant greed, fraud and quite frankly bullsh–” of the time.

“As a business major, I knew wanted to do something more and work for a company who cared more about people than just profits,” Day says.

“When I heard about the initial concept of Even Stevens, I knew it would be the perfect mix for my food experience, emerging degree in Business Administration and a passion for wanting to do something more than status quo at the time,” she adds.

More than a million donated sandwiches later, Day says, “I couldn’t even have dreamed—we’ve grown to over 80 nonprofit partnerships; we’re partnered with boys and girls clubs, senior centers, addiction recovery, domestic violence shelters–like really all over the place we are helping people.”

If you share my passion for doing good with your money, learn how you can become an impact investor with my online course, 25% off with this link.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

Women in Nonprofits Seek Their Due Following #MeToo


With the support of their respective organizations, three women in the nonprofit sector are seeking to shake things up a bit to call attention to inadequate respect, compensation and opportunity.

Heba Mahmoud at the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Emily Rose Patz at Donor Perfect (a division of Softerware) and Tycely Williams of the YWCA have joined forces to bring attention to #metoo issues in a sector where at least some of us didn’t expect to find them.

Many philanthropists are powerful, wealthy men who are accustomed to getting their way. Many fundraising professionals in the nonprofit sector are women whose careers depend upon their ability to get philanthropists to open their wallets. This is a situation ripe with potential for abuse.

Futhermore, the three note that while 73 percent of all nonprofit employees are women, only 45 percent of CEOs are women and only 21 percent of CEOs of nonprofits with $25 million plus budgets are women. Women of color make up only 14 percent of board members.

Be sure to watch this powerful discussion with these three women who educate me on women’s issues in the nonprofit sector.

Interview with Heba Mahmoud, the Director, Chapter Engagement  of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The following is the pre-interview with Heba Mahmoud. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

The Women’s Impact Initiative is AFP’s response to a whole series of issues around the role of women in fundraising, including gender inequity, sexual harassment, and implicit bias, to name just a few. The initiative’s goal is to provide resources and tools for the profession to collectively overcome these issues and create a profession that is not only diverse, but inclusive, equitable and more effective.

More about Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP):

Twitter: @afpihq

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AFPFan/

Website: http://afpidea.org/wii

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents more than 30,000 members in over 230 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs.  The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501 (c)6 association with a 501 (c)(3) foundation.

Revenue model: AFP is a membership organization that provides products and services that advance the fundraising profession.

Heba Mahmoud
Photo Credit: Meadow and Vine Photography

Heba Mahmoud’s bio:

Twitter: @heba1167

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heba-mahmoud-79233847/

Heba Mahmoud has spent the last thirteen years working with nonprofit membership organizations.   A mission-driven professional, Heba is committed to creating an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible nonprofit sector that welcomes and engages diverse communities.

Since 2010, she has worked at the Association of Fundraising Professionals engaging leaders from more than 240 chapters around the world.  In 2018, she took the lead in launching the Women’s Impact Initiative, a program committed to creating an impact on the daily lives of fundraisers by breaking down workplace barriers.

Heba holds a Bachelors of International Business and Marketing from Howard University and her Masters of Business Management from Strayer University.    She lives in Northern Virginia and she enjoys writing poetry, teaching belly dance classes, and going on road trips with her son.

Interview with Emily Rose Patz, the Senior Copywriter of DonorPerfect (a subsidiary of SofterWare).

The following is the pre-interview with Emily Rose Patz. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Through easy-to-use, affordable technology, DonorPerfect equips nonprofits with tools they need to grow their donor base and revenue. Our donor database helps nonprofits save time, get organized, and excel at employee engagement. Our users are able to raise more money through our software by launching and managing online fundraising campaigns, events, outreach initiatives, and more.

Get the Workbook:  donorperfect.com/nonprofitleadership

More about DonorPerfect (a subsidiary of SofterWare):

Twitter: @donorperfect

Facebook: facebook.com/donorperfect

Website: donorperfect.com

DonorPerfect, a subsidiary of SofterWare Inc., is a technology company dedicated to helping nonprofits grow by developing and supporting innovative, easy-to-use software designed for fundraising and donor engagement.

For-profit/Nonprofit: For-profit

Revenue model: Our business is a SaaS model. We charge a monthly subscription fee to our users.

Scale: SofterWare has 185 employees and generates approximately $65 million dollars per year in revenue. We have over 16,000 clients across our products.  

Emily Rose Patz
Photo Credit: Meadow and Vine Photography

Emily Rose Patz’s bio:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/22344908/

Emily Rose Patz is the lead author of The Nonprofit Leadership Workbook for Women. As brand storyteller for DonorPerfect, she often writes about fundraising and donor engagement best practices, inspiring growth stories, and trending topics in the nonprofit community. When she’s not writing, Emily enjoys volunteering at local nonprofits, collecting mid-century furniture and fashion, and listening to records with her life partner and adorable pup.

Interview with Tycely Williams , the Vice-President of Development  of YWCA USA .

The following is the pre-interview with Tycely Williams . Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

We seek to eliminate racism and empower women through direct service delivery, advocacy and education.

More about YWCA USA :

Twitter: @ywca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ywca.org/

Website: www.ywca.org

YWCA programs serve over 2.2 million women, girls and family members of all ages and backgrounds each year, including the elderly, survivors of domestic and sexual violence, military veterans and low-income and homeless women and their families. Since our inception 160 years ago YWCA USA holds true to supporting the advancement of women and girls by eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We have been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than a century — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform, education and STEM readiness. We have a strong history of helping women focus on health, wealth and self.  Today, our 210 YWCA associations in more than 1,200 locations in 46 states and the District of Columbia combine programming and advocacy to generate institutional change in the areas of racial justice and civil rights, education, empowerment and economic advancement as well as health and safety of women and girls.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: YWCA USA generates revenue through membership fees and contributed income.

Scale: YWCA USA advances its mission with the active engagement of 61,812 committed staff and volunteers.  

Tycely Williams

Tycely Williams ’s bio:

Twitter: @tycely

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/tycelywilliams

Tycely Williams, a self-proclaimed matchmaker, has inspired individuals and institutions to invest more than $84 million dollars in charitable causes.  Currently, she serves as vice president of development for YWCA USA and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. A cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University, Williams holds a bachelor of arts degree in communication with distinguished departmental honors and a minor in Journalism. Tycely possesses an Executive Masters in Leadership from The McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.  

In her spare time, she chairs the Board of Trustees for Monument Academy Public Charter School and volunteers as President-Elect for the Junior League of Washington. She is a past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Washington Metro Chapter, the largest chapter of charitable fundraisers in the United States. A joyful divorcée, Tycely enjoys traveling, crashing charitable fundraising galas, taste-testing fried green tomatoes and conversing with values-driven leaders in preparation for her first book.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

This Photographer Discovered Human Beings In A Place We Didn’t Dare Look


Eric Hatch thought photographing volunteers from the community of people addicted to alcohol, meth and heroin would make for an interesting artistic challenge. Once he started meeting them and seeing them as human beings, his artistic project became a crusade.

The impact of being seen as a real, three-dimensional person with value to society changes the subjects in a subtle way as well. Having photographed just 50, he’s already found one that quickly decided to get clean and sober, checking herself into rehab.

Be sure to watch the entire interview in the player above to see a sample of the photos as well as to hear about the human beings Eric photographs.

Interview with Eric K. Hatch, the Founder and president of Faces of Addiction, Inc.

The following is the pre-interview with Eric K. Hatch. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Everybody knows addiction is a huge problem. However, addicted persons are dehumanized by treating them as statistics, or by labels such as “addicts,” “junkies,” “street trash” and “meth head.”

We seek to change the way we look at addicted persons, so that they are seen as individual human beings.  We do this by creating and displaying a collection of art-quality portraits of 50 addicted persons, along with brief stories of their lives.

More about Faces of Addiction, Inc.:

Twitter: @FOA_info

Facebook: facebook.com/FacesofAddiction

Website: http://facesofaddiction.net

FOA is a non-profit corporation in the State of Ohio. The purpose is to change the conversation around addiction by presenting a living vision of the consequences of being addicted to opioids, alcohol, and methamphetamines. We do this by assembling a collection of gallery-quality portraits and accompanying life stories, and by distributing these as broadly as possible:  gallery / museum shows, a web gallery, a movie showing portraits and sound clips from interviews, an e-book, a physical book, even high school assembly programs.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: We rely on grants and donations during the collection and production phases.  During the dissemination phase, we anticipate sales of images, e-book, and assembly programs to offset costs.  

Scale: We’re a start-up.  The project started about February 1.  Since that time we have created 28 portrait / biographies, with 5 more in the next two weeks.  We have incorporated, and as of this date (4/3) have submitted for 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status.  We have a functioning website, a 3 1/2 minute movie, and support from a number of drug-related organizations in the Cincinnati area.

Photo Credit: Eric Hatch

Eric K. Hatch’s bio:

Twitter: @erichatch

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/facesofaddiction/

Eric K. Hatch, Ph.D., has lived in the Cincinnati area since 1974.  He has had five careers: teaching, writing, communications management, organizational development consulting, and photography. As a fine art and travel photographer, Eric has won numerous awards and competitions.  He has served on the board of the SW Ohio chapter of Professional Photographers of America, and he is currently Editor at Exhibitions Without Walls. His one-person show, “Hard Times for These Times,” has concluded its run at the Middletown Arts Center and is expected to tour several galleries in the coming year.

As a writer, Eric lists over 100 publications, primarily essays, articles, and features.  He has won national awards for essays and for communicating technical information to non-technical people. His books include Business Writing for Professionals, Explorations in Photography, and one play, a stage adaptation of “My Man Godfrey.”  Eric is a trained bass-baritone and is very active in choral music throughout the Cincinnati area.


Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

The Cure For CTE

This is a guest post from Cameron Siskowic.

My name is Cameron Siskowic. I am a proud Las Vegas citizen and I played in the NFL and CFL. In 2017 I organized 14 different charity events in 10 countries. I have raised over $550,000 building five fully functional government schools and the Dan Siskowic Medical Center in Cambodia. Friends and I have also paid for dozens of kids to receive full cancer treatments in the Philippines and we most recently built The Cambodian Field of Dreams Futbol Stadium.

I come from 5 generations of College football players. In fact, my Great Great Grandfather, Sam Willaman, was the head coach at Ohio State and Iowa State where he made the bold decision to play the second African American Football player. That player was tragically and controversially killed in just his second game. His name was Jack Trice. The Jack Trice Stadium at Iowa State is the only stadium named after an African American player. The decision didn’t work out very well at the time but was the perfect lesson that showed how doing the right thing is always worth it in the end. That specific lesson gave me the courage to stand up at the Las Vegas Stadium Authority meeting in hopes of saving thousands if not millions of lives.

My Great Great Grandfather also played with the first ever Native American Jim Thorpe. He was Jim’s back up running back on the Canton Bulldogs that won the 1917 Ohio League Champion. The NFL non-profit organization was the direct predecessor of the Ohio League. I have a birthright to be enraged about what those in power have chosen to do with the game that my family helped create. However I am not spiteful, nor am I asking for any money. I simply realize there is a massive opportunity to help millions of people in our country with CTE and I am truly inspired to help the Veterans who have fought for my freedom and gave me this chance to speak out about these issues.

We are losing lives in football. Enough misdirection, lies and deceit from the NFL. We need to save the sport and work on finding a cure before we rush into building the greatest public subsidized stadium of all time. I cannot sit back and let our children’s children continue to glorify a league that has no interest in helping find a cure for the men who helped build it.

Too many of my friends are suffering from the ailments caused by repetitive football concussions that lead to the newfound disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). If we can find a cure, or at the very least work towards one, we can get back to focusing on all of the positive disciplines football can bring to our country.

The Raiders and the NFL have a unique chance to focus on positive steps to help millions of people find a cure and enhance both the brand of the NFL and the Raiders. I would ask for funds to come from all professional sport leagues, not only the MLS, the CFL, and Boxing but those leagues have not been proven to have covered-up vital information from the American public and profited billions of dollars because of it. I am going to start by appealing to the more noblemotives of Roger Goodell and Mark Davis and ask that they make the decision out of their own free will to fund studies before the start of the 2018 season and help find a cure for CTE.

The NFL profits 10 Billion a year so a mere 10% of that should be a the minimum the American people can accept. Everyone can agree there needs to be more studies, more information, and a cure found quickly. So here is some of the whole story Las Vegas citizens, citizens of our country, and international visitors should be aware of…

750 Million Dollars is the largest public subsidiary for a stadium in the history of the United States of America. I have seen the city grow into America’s tourism capitol and I would like to continue to see our city prosper. That is why I will not allow this city to be named, and branded as the city of the Raiders without them taking the time to truly consider what is important for the identity of our nation right now.

In a time where Roger Goodell organized one of the most profitable cover ups in human history and somehow still has complete power at a time where the great culture of the sport of football is tarnished by those who continue to hide critical safety information from the public. We need to come together against one common enemy (CTE).

Massive lawsuits are inevitably coming against the NFL while more shocking studies are released. It goes without saying that the NFL is in for countless lawsuits and claims no matter what. The public needs to consider the football mother who reluctantly agreed to let her son play with the risk of breaking a leg, not a degenerative brain disease. The public should consider: Is this this is really the league we should be paying a record amount of money to bring to town.

This is not about an absolute mess of a settlement and claims process. This is about finding a cure for CTE. That is it. The brain is the most malleable and regenerative part of our body. Let’s focus on one goal everyone can agree on. Plain and simple. Finding a cure for CTE.

HELLO! PARDON THE INTERUPTION! Herman Edwards, Tony Kornheiser, and Michael Wilbon, One hero is needed to start standing up for football players suffering from CTE. One hero in the media can change the whole world for the better 10X in a flash if they would take risk.

The public must realize this is the chance for the United States of America to Unite against one common enemy? The buck stops here. Here meaning Las Vegas. The city that said we are OK with walking away from $25 million as long as we are teaching our children to look up to brands and businesses that inspire fans for all the right reasons. The Raiders have invested 179 Million. We just rushed into investing the first 25 of 750 Million.

The citizens of Las Vegas need to have an open discussion about paying a record amount to bring a league to town that does not set forth a good example for our children. We also need to open our eyes and at the deal of the century the Raiders currently have to come here.

The Raiders are currently worth 2.1 Billion Dollars. The 20th most valuable team in the NFL. That number can go up or down in a big way over the next two years based on how they handle this complicated opportunity to change the world.

What can we do right now to have the biggest positive impact? Let’s move away from pointing fingers about what is going wrong with this complete sham of a settlement and mess of a deal and focus on one common enemy. No, not Roger Goodell. Let’s focus on fighting CTE.

The principals of football can teach lessons of discipline, strategy, sacrifice, perseverance, and extreme courage. These disciplines have flat out helped our country win wars when we needed it most. Where some see a problem, I see an opportunity.

We can spark millions of people back into living productive and meaningful lives. Or we can continue to pretend, pretend CTE is not happening and that everything is fine. Maybe it is easier for us to be sedated. I believe we should all now realize that staying quiet and saying nothing and doing nothing does not work. The worst kind of action is inaction. Since the movie Concussion came out, we should all be fighting for a cure. Two of the most common symptoms of CTE is impulse control and fatigue. It is easy to choose to just watch Netflix and drink a nice glass of whiskey in your spare time. I am asking the former NFL players and NCAA players to realize that it is probable that they have or will have these minor issues and to come together while they still have the bandwidth to stand up and speak about this glaring issue that our society should not and cannot accept.

The Father’s and Mother’s of America need to look out for their sons. Parents who were tricked, in a cover-up, into allowing their sons to play must demand a cure to save their children’s lives and the sport they loved. This article explains that the NFL Settlement is just the Cover-Up on a much deeper level. We can all continue to argue and point fingers at fraud, or we can focus on the disease itself and work quickly to find a cure. We need the funds from the NFL and the billionaire owners, who profited from the cover-up, to be bold and take the chance to become hero’s and save the day. Then again, maybe a full Boycott from the fans and strike from the players is the only thing the owners and the NFL are going to respond to before things get out of control.

It’s all about the year 2020

10% of profits going toward finding a cure for CTE before the start of the 2018 season and preventing the fire storm before it gets lit is a much better option than what will happen in 2020 when the stadium actually opens. The players in 2020 will inevitably strike if nothing is done to genuinely search for a cure by then. Imagine a future with a world class stadium and no players to play in it. We need to be proactive and push the NFL to donate a very small percentage or profits to save the sport of football and to save our city from building a stadium for a team with players who are obviously going to revolt against the NFL if nothing changes.

This is an opportunity for the Mother’s and Father’s of America to give the NFL the push they need. It is a simple numbers game. If we have 10X the players who sign up for brain mapping before they pass on, then we get 10X the brains to study 10X faster. Then, we can have a definitive diagnosis and start testing nationally for a definitive cure. My friends and most probably myself, are in a race against time. Yes, I know it may seem incredibly risky for me to speak so blatantly and publicly about this issue, but let me ask you a few questions about what you would do if you were in my shoes…

  • What would you do if you had a chance to save a million lives?
  • What would you do if you had to sit there and watch the guy blow his brains out in the movie Concussion and then be told that around 99% of former NFL players had some level of CTE?
  • What would you do to save your Best Friends life?
  • What would you do to save your own life?

I will not live in fear. I will have no fear whatsoever because I know my intentions are pure of heart. I have now been contacted by someone who works with the NFL and have been passively aggressively threatened in a very obvious manner. I will not cower. I will not stop trying to help millions of people suffering due to fear or doubt. Since posting the videos, I have been contacted by people in hopes of more information from all walks of life who potentially suffer from CTE. The response from friends who seemed to be fine and ready to improve was really shocking. Working with those who need more information about reducing the effects of CTE and finding a cure for the suffering is my only goal. Coincidentally, I am also very passionate about raising my family in a wonderful city that we can all be proud of. After doing charity work all over the world it is time for me to take care of my own backyard. I love the city of Las Vegas and I am sacrificing my time and taking a lot of risks to make sure we grow into a city we can be proud to raise our children in. All I ask is that if someone wants to take me out, that my message be carried on to change the world.

I hope we will not allow our children’s children to grow up idolizing our greatest cultural sport without the people who profited from the cover-up, at the very least, properly fund studies for all affected. America is a pretty forgiving country. We are not prosecuting or pressing charges against anyone. All we are doing is asking for a simple solution to help find a cure by funding studies for all levels of former players and current players moving forward. We can find a cure 10X faster than the rate we are going at now if we had the proper funding.

Technological advances are happening INSANELY quickly, and we have a unique opportunity to have a better understanding of the human brain and help all people who have CTE for the betterment of our country and our world. We as a society should be grasping this opportunity and advancing our countries knowledge of the most important thing on earth which our world is not possible without:Our minds.

We should be jumping at the opportunity to unlock the mysteries of the brain and help people suffering from all kinds of mental ailments: Parkinson’s, to ALS, to PTSD, to Alzheimer’s Disease, to CTE and beyond. The NFL and the owners profited and grew their company tenfold because of the cover-up. So, let’s unite our country and ask that they help us find a cure for the millions of people who are suffering from all different causes of concussions.

We cannot allow Las Vegas to be the greatest public subsidy in the country for a stadium without taking the time to honestly consider what is essential for our city and our nation right now. There should be a specific plan that lays out the community benefits plan and covers specifically where the funds will be allocated before Las Vegas spends one more red cent. Please, don’t claim the tourists pay for it when their extra tax could instead be paying for
our failing school system.

The Raiders have a unique opportunity to get out ahead of this and spearhead a movement and capture the hearts of the millions of fans by saving the minds of millions of former players and potentially military veterans. The fans they could acquire are from 4 Major Great American Cities that have Millions of fans who are on the fence…

  • Las Vegas
  • Oakland
  • LA
  • San Diego

Fans like myself who hang in the balance between…

  1. Becoming a Raider fan for the first time.
  2. Sticking with Dean Spanos and the Chargers.
  3. Cheering for Todd Gurley and the Rams.
  4. Not watching the NFL at all.

The Raiders ownership has a chance to do something different and against the wishes of Big Brother. To be BOLD and Raid the NFL. California and Nevada turned fans will unite and put the raiders in the top 5 NFL franchises. This is a billion dollar chance for ONE TEAM to make the first move and exponentially grow their ongoing financial evaluation.

In a world of corruption, misdirection, and greed I am transparently calling for an arms race between NFL teams to see who can do the most good for our world and for the sport of football. I will be a lifelong dedicated fan of whichever team that wins the race, and so will millions of others. Who will be first to offer to fund studies for their former players? Who will have a stadium named after them one day because they decided to fund studies for all levels of players? Who wants to define their legacy and adding to their total net worth in the long run?

I am sure some of the owners who were not involved in the cover up or were handed the reigns of a beast that was out of control just need someone to tell them…

The collective bargaining agreement should be revisited immediately based on new critical public safety information about the game that has come to light since 2011. The studies are real. The settlement is a complete disaster. And, while the lawyers and Goodell try to focus the attention there, we are losing lives and the current players and the former players need to come together and stand for what is right! We could have had a cure by now for millions of former players and VETERANS suffering if we would have demanded studies for all.

We are losing lives in football, and it is time to take positive action. I have a group of committed former players willing to carry on my message no matter what happens to me, but we need the American people to take their shot at standing together and showing one of the world’s biggest conglomerates what it means to be an American. The Las Vegas Raiders could be the most valuable team in the NFL once they make it to Las Vegas but they are not going to stroll in and hit the jackpot without a little bit of hard work, determination and effort.The current players and former players are hurting and we need help. We have an opportunity to ask now, and get ready to demand later that the owners and the NFL to fund studies for ALL players at every level and find a cure quickly so that we can save a sport that has helped define our nation.

The only question is what kind of a nation do we want to be defined as?


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Your Mark on the World Changemaker of the Month for April 2018: Stephanie Bowers of Jake’s Diapers

Congratulations to Stephanie Bowers of Jake’s Diapers for becoming the reader’s pick for Your Mark on the World Changemaker of the Month for April 2018!

Stephanie joined me for a discussion about her 25 successful crowdfunding campaign on CaringCrowd (a Your Mark on the World sponsor). We originally shared her story on GoodCrowd.info.

Stephanie shared some of the secrets for her crowdfunding success. First, she noted that one key is the need to ask for what you need. No one is likely to give you what you want if you don’t ask. Her second key: persistence.

Her organization, Jake’s Diapers, provides diapers to mothers of babies and to seniors who need them, in the developing world. She notes that buying disposable diapers can require an impossible portion of a family’s income, sometimes forcing mothers to reuse disposable diapers. This practice jeopardizes the health of the babies who wear them. Jake’s Diapers provides diapers to people who are currently forced to choose between diapers and food.

A woman with several babies

Stephanie Bowers, Jake’s Diapers

Stephanie shared her story:

Stephanie Bowers believes no caregiver, near or far, should ever have to choose between food and diapers. In January of 2011, her life was changed forever when she found herself on a mission trip to Pachacutec, Peru. While there, she visited a childcare facility where she saw caregivers who loved the children very much, and were re-using disposable diapers because they had to choose between food & diapers. Inspired to help just those 15 babies, Jake’s Diapers has now impacted more than 7,000 lives in 20 countries.

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

The episode on which we shared her story was sponsored by CaringCrowd, which is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

Expert Says Social Entrepreneurs Have Social Media Secret Weapon

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

Jay Baer, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Convince and Convert, says that social enterprises and nonprofits have a secret weapon they can use on social media: authentic stories.

“Just tell the story,” Baer says to social entrepreneurs. “Ideally with video because video disproportionately performs in every social network. Just take a video of you working on the water project. Don’t try to sell anybody. Let the story sell for you.”

Expanding on this point, Baer says, optimally, social entrepreneurs will get their fans, supporters and customers to post the video of themselves working on the project rather than post a polished, edited video from the business or organization.

Baer points to Charity: Water as an example of an organization that uses video effectively. The organization funds water projects in the developing world. The projects are typically conducted in partnership with local communities. Donors receive detailed reports indicating the exact location of the project they funded, often accompanies with video.

Jay Baer

People are sometimes intimidated by the idea of producing video content. Baer says there is no need to worry. “What’s interesting in the video space right now is the difference between a video crew and what you can do with a $50 light and an iPhone is getting closer together.”

In fact, he says, “under polished” video actually performs better “because it is believed to be more authentic. It doesn’t need to be Hollywood grade.”

He cautions that it can’t be terrible, either. “There is still something to be said for a video that you can actually see and audio that you can hear.”

To help anyone learn to produce effective video, Baer recommends the book Vlog Like a Boss by Amy Schmidt.

Baer is just finishing his next book, Talk Triggers, that emphasizes the impact of the things our friends say in person as opposed to social media. “If I send you a tweet that recommends something, that has weight. But if you and I have an actual conversation and I recommend something, that has even greater weight.”

This is an important lesson for social entrepreneurs who need to do something that gets people to actually talk about your work. To make his point, Baer shared the story of Skip’s Kitchen, a burger restaurant in Sacramento that was started on a shoestring.

To create an experience that would get people talking, a talk trigger as Baer calls it now, founder Skip Wahl decided to give every customer a chance to pull the Joker from a deck of cards to win their meal for free. Every day, he gives away about three meals.

Every winner is ecstatic, sharing their experience on social media and with their friends. Baer says, their marketing budget has been exactly “zero dollars and zero cents.”

Chris Moody, head of content marketing for Cheetah Digital, got to know Baer via social media. They met in person when both were speaking at a conference. Moody says, Baer is “an amazing person first and an impressive businessman second.”

Moody offers some advice of his own, based on his observations about Baer. “Don’t cut corners. Jay is where he is because of hard work and treating people how they want to be treated. You’ll never see him spamming networks to get followers or engaging in shady practices to appear more influential. Don’t be that guy. Help others.”

If you share my passion for doing good with your money, learn how you can become an impact investor with my online course, 25% off with this link.


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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

Tune In For This Report From The Front Lines Of Elephant Conservation

Sebastien Duffillot says he was drawn first to Laos by its people but quickly became an activist for conserving the few remaining elephants in a place known as “the land of a million elephants.”

The Elephant Conservation Center houses 30 Asian elephants. They are not required to perform or give rides. They live in a protected forest and are allowed to just enjoy being elephants.

Interview with Sebastien Duffillot, the founder of Elephant Conservation Center.

The following is the pre-show interview with Sebastien Duffillot. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

In Laos there are only 600 to 800 elephants left. About half of them in the wild, half of them in captivity. The center has set up projects to improve the situation of both. The wild population has been living in diminishing and fragmentating habitats. With food scarcity, human elephant conflicts rising, and wildlife corridors disappearing, numbers have been dwindling. The Elephant Conservation Center has taken up the responsibility, with the approval of the local government, to protect the national park in Sayaboury Province. This region still houses several groups of wild elephants. By contacting owners who no longer earn their living in the logging industry, we recover captive elephants. These elephants are rehabilitated in to coherent social groups as a preparation to being reintroduced in to the wild.

More about Elephant Conservation Center:

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/elephantconservationlaos/

Website: https://www.elephantconservationcenter.com/

The Elephant Conservation Center, located in Sayaboury in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, acts to preserve and protect the Asian elephant, a species that is on its way to extinction. Created in 2011 by a team of experts, its program is set up around the well-being of the animal, the reproduction, vet care, and the schooling of mahouts.

For-profit/Nonprofit: for profit (tourism) and non-profit via our affiliation with France based NGO “Des Elephant et Des Hommes” (Elephants and People) for all non for profit programmes undertaken by the Center

Revenue model: The daily costs are funded by the income generated by visitors only. This ensures sustainability for the staff and the elephants under our care. For larger projects the center raises funds through partner organisations such as “Des Elephants et des Hommes”, a France based NGO.

Scale: 55 staff. 30 elephants. 530 hectares of elephant pastures/forest. 650.000$ annual Turn Over. Over 3000 visitors a year.

Sebastien Duffillot’s bio:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/s%C3%A9bastien-duffillot-68459751/

Sebastien Duffillot graduated from Toulouse Business School MBA programme in 1994. After spending a year and a half at the French Embassy in Bangkok as assistant to the regional advisor for scientific and technical cooperation, he settled in Laos in 1996 where he created Kinnary Advertising, a graphic design studio in the capital, Vientiane.

In 2001, he co-founded ElefantAsia, a France-based non-profit to protect the endangered Asian elephants, primarily in Laos. In 2002, he organises the Elephant Caravan, a 1300km long march with 4 elephants across Laos, from Champassak in the South up to Luang Prabang in the North. The objective of the caravan was to raise local and international awareness about the plight of the elephants in a country once known as Lan Xang, the Land of a Million Elephants.

With ElefantAsia and the National health Center of the Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry, he implemented the first nation-wide census of captive elephants. Mobile clinics travelled the country to microchip and provide vet care to all working elephants while building up a statistical database providing vital information about the condition of the country’s remaining 450 elephants. Mahouts (elephant handlers) were taught first aid Technics while provided with an ElefantAsia-FAO published Elephant Care Manual.

ElefantAsia also raised awareness through a national environmental education campaign consisting of books, posters, movies and elephant mobile libraries aimed at schoolchildren living in and around elephant populated areas.

In 2010 He teams up with Inthy Deuansawan (Inthira Group, Green Discovery) and Jean-François Reumaux (The Gibbon Experience) to create the Elephant Conservation Center in Sayaboury. Starting with 1 elephant and 6 staff, the Center now shelters 30 elephants and employs 55 staff. It is set on the banks of the Nam Tien Lake on a 345 hectares protected forest.

In 2015, Sebastien organised a second elephant caravan from Sayaboury to Luang Prabang with 20 elephants to mark the importance of elephants as a defining component of Lao natural and cultural heritages. The caravan ended its journey in Luang Prabang as the city was celebrating its 20th anniversary as a world Heritage city.

Sebastien is now expanding the Conservation Center’s activities to include the conservation of wild elephants in the Nam Phouy National Park. The new reserve project is strongly focusing on community based tourism as a method to improve livelihoods and include local people in the conservation process.

Meanwhile the Center has development projects in Myanmar, a country where a significant number of elephants and their mahouts are now unemployed and in need of creative solutions to secure their future.


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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

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