Alltop

Alltop répertorie de nombreux articles sur l'entrepreneuriat social à travers le monde.

26.11.2014 Making Science Education More Practical

The Gamelian World reports on an initiative to foster "low-cost science practicals, designed and run using very cheap readily available resources.":
image courtesy of the Gamelian
A recent workshop jointly organised by the Greater Accra branch of the Ghana Association of Science Teachers (GAST) and Practical Education Network (PEN) introduced district science coordinators and some selected basic school science teachers to some of these activities.

The workshop was facilitated by Heather Beem of PEN and MIT D-Lab, while Saddik Mohammed and colleagues from GAST coordinated the logistics. Thomas Tagoe, Habib Sumaila, and myself played various supporting roles over the three days. The workshop covered basic science activities for selected topics in the Junior High School (JHS) curriculum. Apart from performing pre-set experiments, Heather introduced a framework useful for designing new science activities, and solving problems in general. This was well-received and tested by the educators. Feedback from the participants, the facilitator, and the organisers was positive. The science coordinators promised to transfer their experiences to the teachers in their districts through follow-up workshops. The workshop blog and GH Scientific covered details of what transpired.
More here

26.11.2014 Accessible eBooks for Equal Opportunity

Kevin Leong was in kindergarten when he experienced an organic brain injury that forced him to relearn everything from walking to using the bathroom. For several years, he struggled in school because his vision was blurry and reading normal size print was grueling. He could no longer keep up with his peers in the classroom.

In the United States, there are all too many students like Kevin, who are denied equal opportunity to engage in the same curriculum as their peers without disabilities. One of their main challenges is that they do not have adequate access to educational materials that are necessary to learn and succeed in school.

In 2004, the United States passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, requiring schools to provide special education services to eligible students. However, despite such efforts to implement programmes that level the educational playing field, a profound achievement gap persists between expected and actual performance of students with disabilities. For instance, about 40 per cent more eighth-grade students with disabilities are reading below the basic achievement level compared with peers without disabilities.

A significant factor in this gap has traditionally been a lack of complete and timely access to educational materials in alternate formats (like Braille, audio or magnified text) that suit readers with disabilities who cannot use standard print – such as those who are blind, cannot physically turn the pages of a book, or have learning disabilities like dyslexia. Although legal and regulatory requirements stipulate that schools must provide accessible ‘equivalent’ resources for students with disabilities, in practice the majority of these students do not have equal access to textbooks and other instructional materials that make up the primary resources of the general curriculum.

Bookshare student member Kevin Leong sitting outdoors, reading on an iPad.
Accessible ebooks and Bookshare have helped sixth grader
Kevin Leong overcome his reading challenges.
The good news is that major changes in technology are reforming education. In particular, electronic books (or e-books) offer the possibility of dramatically improving access for students with disabilities – and for disadvantaged children everywhere. This is because e-books (unlike traditional print) can easily be rendered in many different ways and presented in the format that best suits one’s needs. E-books, therefore, make access to information an affordable reality, as more and more people, including students, have a device in their pocket capable of operating as an accessible e-reader: from inexpensive mobile phones and MP3 players to Braille note-takers that can store thousands of e-books in digital Braille. It is our collective responsibility to continue unlocking the potential of the e-book to bring equal access to knowledge and learning for all.

Consider how the accessible online library Bookshare – an initiative of Benetech, a Silicon Valley non-profit that builds technology solutions addressing social problems – is transforming the lives of American students with print disabilities.

Thanks to e-book technology, Bookshare today serves over 300,000 students with a collection of more than 300,000 accessible books – the world’s largest library of its kind. When students with disabilities need books for school or simply want to read the same books as their peers without disabilities, they are likely to find that e-book in Bookshare and able to download it in the format of their choice to use at school, at home or elsewhere. Moreover, these accessible books are available for free, since the United States Government funds the Bookshare library to meet requirements in national disability rights and education laws.

For American students with disabilities – including Kevin, who is an active and enthusiastic Bookshare member – the availability of accessible books means staying on top of their schoolwork, and that leads to increased self-esteem.

The Bookshare library is made possible by a copyright exception: Section 121 of the United States Copyright Act, also known as the Chafee Amendment. This exception allows authorized non-profit entities like Benetech to create accessible versions of copyrighted books without the need to request permission from publishers (or pay a royalty), and then to distribute these versions exclusively to people with qualifying disabilities who cannot use regular books. Roughly 1–2 per cent of students in the United States meet these requirements. Students outside the United States are not covered by this national copyright exception, because every country has its own copyright law.

Yet, accessible e-books could be helping millions more students in the United States and worldwide. What can be done today to build this accessible tomorrow?

First, it is critical to keep engaging in legal advocacy for ratification of two landmark United Nations disability treaties. The first is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)—a vital framework for creating legislation and policies embracing the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities. The other is the recently adopted Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled – an international copyright treaty that would make a copyright exception for people with disabilities a global norm and allow sharing of accessible books across national borders.

In addition, it is essential to ensure that all newly created digital content is made accessible from the outset. All e-books should have an audio capacity, using whatever smartphone or music playing device a person has in their pocket. Good design can and should be accessible design. Instead of one-size-fits-all, forcing all students and educators to work within the limitations of a single approach, it will then be possible to adapt content and technology to meet the learning needs of each student. With this universal design approach, e-books that meet the needs of students with disabilities simply work better for everyone.

This is a critical and hopeful moment, as major shifts in the publishing and technology industries will make it possible to realize a vision of equal opportunity and quality education for all the world’s children.

###
This essay originally appeared in UNICEF's The State of the World's Children 2015.

26.11.2014 8 Key Characteristics of a Quality Website for Business

The following post is copyrighted by Return On Now - Austin Internet Marketing Consulting Services

We like to cover more in depth topics here, such as SEO, SEM, Content Marketing, and the like. But at the core of all of these efforts is the website itself. If you are using the web to promote your business, you absolutely MUST have a quality website in place to maximize your reach out into the Internet. This week,… read more →

The post 8 Key Characteristics of a Quality Website for Business appeared first on Return On Now.

25.11.2014 Global Ideas News Brief: Education = jobs

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Education

Brazil focuses on nurseries, schools and jobs to fight poverty
The Guardian
Tereza Campello, Brazil’s social development minister, says higher wages and bolsa familia have reduced inequality; now education will do even more

Solar-powered kiosks bring free education to communities that can't afford teachers
Fast.Co.Exist
A machine could—theoretically—replace teachers in places where schools are scarce.

Financial inclusion: A powerful agent for strong, inclusive growth in development
Huffington Post
Education creates a strong foundation for women entrepreneurs because it aids in the development of critical thinking and is one of the most effective ways to expand opportunities for women and their daughters.

Ebola

High-tech effort calls up smartphones for Ebola battle
LA Times
Volunteers program about 10,000 smartphones to aid in collecting Ebola data.

Energy

Without energy could Africa’s growth run out of steam?
The Guardian
Despite vast natural reserves, the average African accesses less electricity than is needed to power a 50-watt light bulb.

Why isn't Brazil exploiting its amazing wind capacity?
The Guardian
Renewables star Brazil is now backtracking towards fossil fuels. Why, when wind could provide vital jobs?

Gender

Gender equality is the next great fight in a post-apartheid South Africa
PRI
No longer is the main issue race. Now, women and girls across the country are in a fierce struggle against gender inequality.

Non-profits

The dawn of system leadership
Stanford Social Innovation Review
The deep changes necessary to accelerate progress against society's most intractable problems require a unique type of leader—the system leader, a person who catalyzes collective leadership.

Youth

Global youth population swells to record 1.8 billion
Time
The challenges are most acute for less developed countries, where 89% of the world's young people reside.

Climate Change

Delhi dilemma: India is now the biggest barrier to a global climate treaty
Foreign Affairs
India, as the world’s third-largest producer of greenhouse gases, has always been a crucial actor in international efforts to combat climate change. But now, New Delhi has become the single-biggest roadblock standing in the way.

Global warming could undercut efforts to eradicate poverty
Al Jazeera
World Bank report finds climate change would cut into crop yields, possibly set back anti-poverty efforts in many areas.

 

Articles You Might Like: 
Global Ideas News Brief: Poverty Disconnect
Why understanding globalization’s roots lets us use it for good
5 questions for Charles Kenny: Why the world is getting better

24.11.2014 OUT TODAY: "I Lived (RED) Remix" by OneRepublic for (RED)

Download now on iTunes & all proceeds fight AIDS with (RED). 


There’s no better way to kick off a Monday than with new music for (RED)!

One Republic’s “I Lived (RED) Remix” is now available on iTunes. All proceeds go to fight AIDS.

We love this track and we think you will too. Have a listen:

24.11.2014 The values that guide us

Questions about civil society in the digital age are all I think about these days. Let me practice some of that thinking for you, if you have a minute...if not, let me wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving (USA and beyond).

Recently, there's been a lot of good writing about why we have philanthropic foundations. When I say "we" here, I mean us, the citizens of liberal democracies. My colleague Rob Reich's work, What are foundations for? and the articles written in response are must-reads. Gara LaMarche has an important perspective on Democracy and the Donor Class, especially given his experience running one of the nation's largest foundations for several years. Tom Watson adds some of his thinking at Forbes, including an interview with the founder of Inside Philanthropy. All of these articles point to pieces of the puzzle I'm trying to solve, but I still need us to step back a bit further.

Why do we have civil society? This weird space that's not fully about economic exchange or political governance? Michael Edwards, Bruce Sievers, and other scholars of civil society present many arguments for this space - sometimes called the independent sector, the nonprofit sector, the voluntary sector, social sector, or the third sector.

This space stands alongside, interdependent with the private and public sectors. An easy shorthand for thinking about the activities in each of these three is:
  • Private sector (markets): private resources for private benefit (an exchange between two people must benefit both)
  • Public sector (government): public resources for public benefit (tax revenue for schools, roads, armies)
  • Civil society: private resources for public benefit (we use our money, time, or other resources to benefit others)
But still, what is this space for? Why do we preserve (and provide incentives for) this space? I think it serves one overarching purpose in societies governed by majority democracies - it is the space to protect the rights of the rest of us. It's where we express ourselves (whether through art, ideological clusters, advocacy movements, or identity groups), it's where we protest (by taking to the streets or building a nearby playground when the city won't), and it's where we distribute services and goods that we value for non-economic or shared public reasons (such as a co-operative day care center, a shelter for abused spouses, food and shelter for those who can't afford them).

Let me break that down: expression, protest, and distribution.

Another feature of this space that is so familiar that we tend to no longer see it is that it is voluntary. Our actions in this space must be by choice, not compelled or obligated. Voluntary is even one of the aforementioned names for civil society. In internet parlance, voluntary means opt in. Without coercion. So a characteristic that shapes the space, in addition to its purposes above, is that we participate by choice and with decision making control over the resources used.

OK. So now I know what the space is for and the values that lie beneath all of the institutional, regulatory, and practices we've built up into civil society:
  • Free speech and expression
  • The right to assemble with others
  • Freedom from coercion (which includes being watched)
  • Choice
  • Clear rules on ownership*
One more thing. Democracies also rely on being able to see the rules and scrutinize the practices of those with power. Market exchanges also rely on information visibility. Civil society writ large provides some of that scrutiny on the other two sectors, and it needs to abide by standards of visibility and accountability.

Which leads me to the key areas for developing best practices for civil society in the digital age:
  • Free speech and expression
  • Assembly
  • Privacy
  • Consent 
  • Ownership
  • Transparency that enables scrutiny
We know what these words mean. But we don't have a full grasp on the practices that will enable these values in the digital age.

If you made it this far, thank you. And Happy Thanksgiving again.

*Read Sandy Pentland's New Deal on Data for insights on the importance of this question from a market perspective. Or you can watch the video.

24.11.2014 Salinas Youth Tee Up, Build Changemaking Skills

The First Tee of Monterey County taps the power to golf to help kids learn the skills to be resilient and succeed in life. Executive Director Barry W. Phillips sat down with Changemakers to discuss why golf and its teachable moments have a unique power to bring out the best in kids.

 

Why is golf a particularly powerful tool for supporting kids in Salinas? 

read more

24.11.2014 Lifting Lives: Entrepreneurs Innovate Wheelchairs that Rise

(3BL Media and Just Means) - I’ve lived most of my life seeing the view from six feet, one inch. My mother swears I was born this tall. Balding heads, cracked ceilings and cobwebs are my normal view. I’ve had unwelcome nicknames like “Amazon,” “Flagpole” (the meaning of my German surname, Fahnestock), and daily I’m asked if I play for the WNBA. So, I’ve never thought about what it might be like to lack the ability to reach the tallest grocery shelf or be unable to sit at a bar with my friends or share direct eye contact with my husband. But this is the reality of the millions of people who use wheelchairs. Of course, they and their loved ones adapt to make life easier and objects more reachable.  But, what if there was a way for wheelchair users to go to their favorite concert and not worry that they won’t be able to see the band?

Levaté Lift is working to do just that. What began as a project by a group of engineering students for the Agile Product Design competition through the University of Oklahoma's Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth has developed into a viable product. Levaté Lift created a lightweight, portable, and easily detachable pneumatic lift for manual wheelchair users that increases their reach by 12-18 inches. Made from welded aluminum, plastic and carbon fiber, the entire wheelchair raises up, not only the seat—a feature that makes it completely different from their competitors. Through several rounds of prototyping and beta testing, Levaté Lift designed the lift to meet the exact needs of wheelchair users.

“Before we spent time to build a fully functioning lift, we asked wheelchair users many questions. What’s it like to be lifted up? How do they want to be lifted up? How can we design it in a way that is tailored to their needs?” explained Co-Founder of Levaté Lift, Dillon Carroll.

The team of engineers brought in wheelchair users to test each prototype, strapping weights to the bottom of the chair to test the impact of weight on the chair and the user.

“We attached five, ten and fifteen pounds and ask each person if they could feel it. Then we stacked copy paper under cushions to simulate being lifted from the seat,” said Carroll.

Founders Dillon Carroll and Ethan van Meter wanted the lift to meet the needs of the user from day one. They spoke with dozens of wheelchair users, every one of them saying that what they wanted most from a lift was independence.  

“We heard many stories from people about how when they go to the grocery store, they always need to bring their wife and kids. Everyone wants to feel independent. We all want the ability to take care of ourselves and be independent,” said Carroll.

Recently, Levaté Lift partnered with Soulcake Creative, a boutique product design company in California, who Carroll believes will make the lift scalable for manufacturing.

“They will take what we’ve done and do all the detailed engineering work. They’ll build a fully functioning device which is also aesthetically pleasing. We will continue to work with them to produce eight to ten beta units and then later, prepare to scale for manufacturing,” says Carroll.

In order to fund their work with Soulcake Creative, Levaté Lift is raising $30,000 on Kickstarter. They have the support of Mary Beth Davis, Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma 2014, and are looking to partner with angel investors in the next few months. Take a look at this video to learn more and then in the spirit of Thanksgiving, send a few or several dollars their way.

Support Levaté Lift’s Kickstarter Campaign. Read more about Levaté Lift. Read about their partner Soulcake Creative. 

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 11:30am

24.11.2014 Quotable: Jeffrey Sachs on sustainable growth

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“Aid should be investment that leads communities and countries out of poverty, not leaves them in poverty but with hand-outs.”

- Economist Jeffrey Sachs, promoting his Millennium Villages Project.

Sach's Millennium Villages Project aims to empower farmers to diversify production and gain market access. Sachs believes that massive foreign aid investments are necessary to free the poorest of the poor from a “poverty trap.”

Learn more about the Millenium Villages Project here.

Articles You Might Like: 
Quotable: Barack Obama on the effects of climate change in poor countries
Why agricultural research should not end with the harvest
Can mobile phones end extreme poverty? Jeffrey Sachs thinks so.

23.11.2014 On Our Radar: Investments in Renewables Surge as Demand in the Global South Grows

Flickr image by Walmart Corporate

This piece was originally published in the autumn issue of Radar Magazine – Issue 05: Unusual Activists.

Investments in renewable energy surge worldwide, driven by improving cost-effectiveness and growing demand in developing nations. However, as uncertainty around policy remains, the continued rapid pace is called into question.

—-

According to the most recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable power capacity expanded at its fastest pace to date in 2013. Power generated from sources such as wind, solar and hydro now accounts for more than 22% of global generation and continues to climb.

While increasing efficiency and falling costs of technologies have been among the key drivers for rising investments, record growth has also been spurred by strong demand from emerging economies.

According to the Renewables 2014 Global Status Report, the number of developing countries with renewable energy policies increased six-fold in the last two years. In 2013, China’s total renewable power capacity surpassed new fossil fuel and nuclear capacity for the first time, and its investments in hydropower, solar power and wind power were higher than those in the US or Germany. In early June, Mexico’s energy department announced a 33% renewable energy target for 2018 and African countries are expected to add more renewables to the energy mix in 2014 than in the past 14 years.

While interest in renewable energy in both industrialised and developing nations remains high, policy and regulatory uncertainty presents a major barrier to further rapid growth. Industry observers also point out the overall unpredictability of the future of energy. The IEA argues that solar power will become the dominant energy source by 2015, but many other observers are less optimistic about the speed at which fossil fuels will be replaced by clean energy.

What to look for: Investments in renewables will continue to grow but many industry analysts predict that the pace of expansion will slow. Southern leadership on renewables is nascent and will require bold policy and financial solutions to cut continued dependence on fossil fuels and truly shift the energy paradigm.

23.11.2014 APPLE IS (RED) FOR WORLD AIDS DAY

Apps Now Save Lives With Apps for (RED) 
Apple Donating A Portion of Holiday Sales from Retail & Online Stores


Starting today until December 7th, 25 fan-favorite apps are offering exclusive new and creative content where all proceeds will go directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. 

Yep, that’s right. 100% of proceeds every time a customer purchases a participating (PRODUCT)RED app or an exclusive In-App Purchase, will go to fight AIDS.

And it doesn’t stop there. Apple will also donate a portion of sales at Apple retail and online stores around the world on two of the biggest shopping days of the year: Friday, November 28 and Monday, December 1.



From games to cooking to music to design there’s something for everyone. Monument Valley’s last ever level is a (RED) one, Angry Birds fans can get an extra boost with (RED)’s Mighty Feathers, create your own art with Paper, join Kim Kardashian at the (RED) party, the list goes on and on. And let’s not forget our (RED) Minion! 

Apps for (RED) marks the first-ever global App Store initiative in support of (RED). Participating developers have created (RED)-inspired content and experiences for their fans to enjoy, including:

 Angry Birds 
Angry Birds players can perfect their bird-flinging with (RED)’s Mighty Feathers and challenge themselves to a bonus golden egg level.

 Bubble Witch 2 Saga 
Bubble Witch 2 Saga offers new (PRODUCT)RED levels across all 17 episodes of the game. Gold bar currency purchases will be donated to (RED).

CSR Racing 
CSR Racing delivers new in-game thrills with the highly anticipated Mercedes Benz-AMG GT.

Clash of Clans 
Clash of Clans warriors can prepare for battle with special edition (PRODUCT)RED gems and display a (RED) badge of honor on the village’s town hall.

Clear

Clear’s users can perfect their organizational skills with a new (PRODUCT)RED theme which appears automatically with all new downloads.

Cut the Rope 2
Cut the Rope 2 unveils a wide selection of (PRODUCT)RED items including a new red hat, red touch print, red balloons and a red ginger cookie.

Despicable Me: Minion Rush 
Despicable Me: Minion Rush reveals a new Lifeguard minion that helps players boost their banana collection skills by 200 percent.

DJay 2

DJay 2’s spin tables turn (RED) and offer DJs a special sound pack.

FarmVille 2: Country Escape 

FarmVille 2: Country Escape players can “Roll out the RED Carpet” and purchase limited-time items such as the Cozy Cow, St. Bernard and more.

FIFA 15 Ultimate Team

FIFA 15 Ultimate Team players can compete in a (RED) Tournament and Team of the Week event. All winners will be awarded football superstar and (RED) Ambassador Rafa Marquez.

Frozen Free Fall 

Frozen Free Fall unveils a magical new (RED) Challenge in the Kingdom of Arendelle, and offers an exclusive combined offer of 1 power-up, 1 snowball and 3 lives.

GarageBand® 

GarageBand® users can now purchase an exclusive collection of 300 guitar, bass, synth and drum loops to create even more amazing music.

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’s aspiring celebrity players can treat themselves to (PRODUCT)RED items including (BEATS)RED Solo2 headphones. Kris Jenner, the first family member to join Kim’s in-app world, will make her in-game debut on December 1.

Head’s Up! 

Head’s Up! competition heats up with an exclusive new deck featuring red words.

 The Human Body

The Human Body debuts the Immune System feature, educating users on how the body fights pathogens. The accompanying handbook features a new section on HIV/AIDS.

Kitchen Stories Cookbook 

Kitchen Stories Cookbook will offer a special-edition holiday recipe pack, featuring dishes from renowned chefs Mario Batali, Martha Stewart, Luke Holden and Michael Lomonaco.


Monument Valley 
Monument Valley offers a whole new chapter of Ida’s Journey, marking the final new feature of the game.


Over
Over customers have access to a wide selection of (PRODUCT)RED fonts and inspiring artwork, specially created by six artists. Users can share photos with the (RED) brackets overlay to help spread awareness.


Paper by FiftyThree 
Paper by FiftyThree enthusiasts can enjoy a new (PRODUCT)RED Essentials Pack including Sketch, Outline, Write, Color and Mixer tools.




Puzzle & Dragons
Puzzle & Dragons players have exclusive access to the new (PRODUCT)RED magic stone.


Rayman Fiesta Run
Rayman Fiesta Run introduces a new (RED) edition to their wacky Fiesta world, and players can purchase a pack of three new costumes for Rayman, Globox and Teensy characters.



Star Walk 2
Star Walk 2 users can learn more about Mars with the comprehensive new RED Planet feature.


Sims FreePlay
Sims FreePlay features a special community challenge that unlocks various rewards, and players can purchase limited-edition (PRODUCT)RED items such as a swimming pool, party plane and piñata.



Threes! 
Threes! turns (RED) with a limited-edition (PRODUCT)RED theme.

Toca Boca
Toca Boca paints Toca Town (RED)! Kids can discover new (RED) diamonds, sample (RED) ice cream in the app and look for other surprises throughout the game.



In addition to Apps for (RED), Apple is donating a portion of holiday sales from retail and online sales on November 28th and December 1st. In the last 8 years (RED) has raised $275 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Of that $75 million is from Apple. 100% goes to fight AIDS.

On Friday, November 28, Apple customers in the US will receive a special edition (RED) gift card with the purchase of select Apple products. For each gift card distributed, Apple will also donate a percentage to the Global Fund. 

On Monday, December 1— World AIDS Day—Apple will donate a portion of every sale at Apple’s retail and online stores to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Our co-founder says it best: “Apple isn't just in the fight to end AIDS. They are setting a new bar for business, giving $75 million and counting to the Global Fund as part of their partnership with (RED),” said Bono “I couldn't be prouder to work with them.” 

23.11.2014 Obama and Xi: Allies, if only for a moment

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At a press conference held the other day in Beijing, President Xi and President Obama announced critical pollution reform. That wasn’t all that went down, though.

The political "frenemies" presented a united front for most of the press conference as they announced joint plans to drastically reduce their respective countries' carbon emissions in coming decades. And not a second too soon--some might say years late--as China and the U.S. are handily the world’s worst polluters, and the effects of global warming are felt more strongly with each changing season.

This news is huge for everyone, but for developing nations in particular. Because, in a sad and backwards twist of fate, when it comes to climate change and destruction of global commons, the poor suffer the most severe consequences. Of course.

The importance of this pledge cannot be overstated.

And yet a brief, unrelated moment during the press conference generated international buzz. Watch as in a single moment, unspoken tension and vast cultural and political differences between the world’s two greatest powers come to a head. Equal parts hilariously awkward and poignantly telling. View the clip here.

And an extended version of the press conference here.

Articles You Might Like: 
Quotable: Barack Obama on the effects of climate change in poor countries
Why China must build a supportive ecosystem for its new crop of NGOs
Obama taps development expert to lead World Bank

23.11.2014 Blueprint 2015 - coming soon!

Are you ready?

Blueprint 2015, my sixth (!) annual industry forecast, will be available from the
GrantCraft website on December 10, 2014. With six of these under my belt I'm proud to say we've cycled through the primary colors (blue, red, yellow) and the secondary colors (green, orange, and now, purple).

What does the future hold? (Besides a shift to the tertiary level of the color wheel, that is). Find out on December 10th - buzzwords, predictions, my annual scorecard, and more.

23.11.2014 #ShareTheSound: Songs from Queen, Aloe Blacc, Wyclef ft Avicii now available on iTunes All proceeds go to fight AIDS

#ShareTheSound: Songs from Queen, Aloe Blacc, Wyclef ft. Avicii now available on iTunes.  All proceeds go to fight AIDS.


World AIDS Day is 8 days away & together with Coca-Cola we’re inviting you to #ShareTheSound of an AIDS FREE GENERATION. 

Three original songs by incredible artists have been released on iTunes with proceeds going to (RED)’s fight for an AIDS FREE GENERATION: 
Every day 650 babies are born with HIV. #ShareTheSound and let’s get that number close to 0. 

22.11.2014 Building Mini-Kilns in Agbogbloshie

From Qamp:
Plastics constitute a significant portion of the Agbogbloshie waste stream, moving through stages of collection, sorting (by type and colour), cleaning, shredding and even in some cases molding into pellets. (See Plastics blog post). With at least 7 micro-factories by our count, Agbogbloshie is a key part of the plastic recycling industry in Ghana, and integrally interconnected with both local and global production cycles. To date, the failure of Agbogbloshie’s industrial ecosystem to add value to plastic material recycled on-site is a lost opportunity for local manufacturing.

Building on our experiments with plastic during AMPQAMP and drawing on the knowledge and expertise of oven fabricators based on the ground in Agbogbloshie, we are now co-designing and prototyping a mini-kiln. This week, William Mensah completed fabrication of the first prototype in Accra Timber Market,adjacent to Agbogbloshie. The mini-kiln fits the standard module of the AMP spacecraft and is one of the first tools from the AMP tool-set developed to plug into the community workshop.
More here

images courtesy of Qamp

22.11.2014 Building Robots – and Confidence

From UNICEF:
Among the children of Mountain View, near Kingston, Jamaica, Marvin Hall is something of a hero. Hall, a former math teacher, holds a workshop called ‘Lego Yuh Mind’, in which young people playfully explore ideas in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. Working and communicating with each other, the children build robots from LEGO – and along the way, they develop other valuable skills.

21.11.2014 Recycling 2.0 – Changing Consumer Behavior Amid Changing Waste Streams

Consumer recycling, once seen as the most basic of environmental practices, has become decidedly more complex. Some communities have mandated aggressive, long-term, zero-waste goals to divert sometimes up to 90 percent of their waste from the local landfill. That can lead to a  wide array of what’s collected — and what’s not —  engendering confusion among residents (citizens).

The result: After decades of growth, recycling rates have plateaued, or even dropped.

How can cities regain the momentum? There are some tried and true methods, but it takes a village, literally — producers, recyclers, municipalities and consumers, working together to find solutions.

In this hour-long webcast, you’ll hear how waste streams are changing;  the latest data about what consumers think about recycling and what messages resonate with them; how one of the nation’s largest recycling companies is working with cities to increase recovery rates; and the secrets behind one of the most successful municipal recycling programs in the United States.

Among the things you’ll learn:

  • Current recycling trends and the true bottom-line impacts of non-recyclable materials such as “flexible packaging”
  • How recycling programs influence how consumers think and recycle
  • The differences between what consumers say about recycling and how they actually recycle (what they are actually doing)
  • Specific examples from Hennepin County, MN demonstrating how their innovative recycling education initiatives work    

Click here to register to attend the webcast and receive the recording when it concludes.


Speakers:

Susan Robinson, Director of Public Affairs, Waste Management
 

Susan Robinson is the Director of Public Affairs for Waste Management.  She has worked in the environmental industry for 30 years in roles that span the public sector, non-profit, consultancy, and over twenty years in the private sector.  Since joining Waste Management in1999, Susan has been instrumental in the company’s implementation of new recycling programs in the Western U.S.  She currently supports the company’s public policy efforts associated with materials management technologies.  Susan is on the Board of Directors of Ameripen, served on the Washington State Governor’s Beyond Waste Working Group and is past president of the Washington State Recycling Association. She attended Stanford University and the University of Washington, and holds degrees in Applied Earth Sciences and English.  Her Masters work in Environmental Studies is from the Evergreen State College. 

 

Julie Colehour, Principal, Colehour & Cohen
 

Julie Colehour is a Partner at Colehour+Cohen, a 36 person social marketing and public relations firm with offices in Seattle and Portland, Oregon. She has 24 years of experience creating and implementing social marketing campaigns that encourage consumers to adopt environmentally-friendly behaviors. Her experience includes 17 years working with EPA on ENERGY STAR including creating the plan that launched the brand in 1997. She works on behavior change campaigns that span a number of important social issues including recycling, waste reduction, water efficiency and healthcare. She is frequently called upon to speak on social marketing at venues across the country. Julie has been recognized for her work through many awards including eight Silver Anvils from the Public Relations Society of America. In 2001, she was named one of The Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 under 40 young outstanding executives. She is also co-author of The Environmental Marketing Imperative (Probus Publishing).

 

Angie Timmons, Environmental Education Coordinator, Hennepin County, MN
 

Angie is the Communications Coordinator for Hennepin County Environmental Services. She has fifteen years of environmental education experience. Recent projects include launching a multimedia campaign called “Recycle Everywhere” to encourage away from home recycling and promoting an environmental recognition program for businesses.

Angie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of St. Thomas

Moderator:

Joel Makower

Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group 

For 25 years, Joel has been a well-respected voice on business, the environment, and the bottom line. Joel is co-founded GreenBiz Group Inc., including its website, research reports and events on the corporate sustainability strategy and trends. He hosts the annual GreenBiz Forums and VERGE conferences around the world, and is author of the annual, award-winning State of Green Business report.

In 2012, he was awarded the Hutchens Medal by the American Society for Quality, which cited “his ability to tell compelling stories that both inform and inspire business leaders toward profitable action.” In 2014 he wasinducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 1:00pm
Sponsored by: 
Waste Management
Webcast URL: 

21.11.2014 The Transformative Power of Networks

The Transformative Power of Networks

Lisa Jones | November 21, 2014
“We’re learning things that can’t be learned anywhere else.” “I’m asking the hard questions…redefining who I am.” “The world feels like a less...

20.11.2014 On Our Radar: Women in Tech - Transparency Grows and Solutions Emerge

Flickr image by d2s

This piece was originally published in the autumn issue of Radar Magazine – Issue 05: Unusual Activists.

California’s Silicon Valley, a global epicenter of the high tech industry, is becoming the central focus of a national debate around the representation of women and minorities in technology companies.

—-

For years, most Silicon Valley tech giants remained secretive about the composition of their workforce and resisted stakeholder and media requests to disclose diversity data. A number of leading tech companies – such as Yahoo, Google, Facebook and Twitter – have now changed course and disclosed workforce diversity numbers. The data confirmed the underrepresentation of women and minorities that many had already observed. Several companies also announced new initiatives to address the issue. Google, for instance, has devised an experimental strategy to identify critical turning points and processes that stifle female promotion.

Shifting stakeholder expectations continue to build urgency around the issue. The Open Diversity Data project publicly calls out companies that do not release diversity data. Other NGOs – including Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code – are coming forward with innovative solutions to address systemic causes and increase the numbers of female computer engineers.

While tech companies have long struggled with the lack of female graduates, this is not just a pipeline issue – it is a matter of corporate responsibility. The well-documented machismo in the tech industry contributes to pushing out over half the qualified female talent between ages 25 and 30. Media pundits and feminist rights activists have become more outspoken about ‘brogramming culture’ and the misuse of cultural fit as an excuse for discrimination.

Shifting the balance of gender representation will require tackling deep systemic causes. Though there is a long road ahead, the tech community has broken the vows of secrecy and is looking to work on solutions.

What to look for: Critique of tech companies will become more pronounced. At the same time stakeholder collaboration with the firms can be expected to grow and evolve. For instance, a documentary Big Dream, in part underwritten by Microsoft, will chronicle the personal challenges faced by girls entering STEM fields.

20.11.2014 How understanding consumer psychology helps you get more donors and volunteers



As a Queen's School of Business alum, I readily admit I'm heavily biased toward the school, but you really should sign up for QSB Insight because there's actually good content. For example, marketing Professor Monica LaBarge, just gave a webinar on "The Science Of Giving: Translating Consumer Psychology into Stakeholder Insight." Here are some of my key takeaways from the talk:

I highly agree with Monica that charities should be using research tactics from the private sector to better understand their donors & other stakeholders. Why? It helps your organization create better messaging for the right people through the right channels.

1. Targeting the Right People

In business, we tend to segment our markets by demographics or psychographics (e.g. attitudes, interests) because it makes our target audience more predictable (in theory) and increases our likelihood of some desirable action such as a purchase. The same approach is advisable when targeting donors and other stakeholders. In fact, one of the most cost-effective ways to get new donors is to target those who have the same characteristics as your existing donors! If you don't know who your donors are, this brings us back to the point that you should be using research tactics to gather, store, and analyze data on your stakeholders.

Age is an important demographic to consider. Although donor experience and persuasion knowledge are not necessarily correlated to age, they often are. Those with more experience in giving tend to give larger sums of money and usually have more intrinsic reasons for giving. Persuasion knowledge means that a person's decision making is influenced by his or her exposure to being persuaded and/or persuading others. Therefore, as a person's persuasion knowledge increases, they're more likely to detect (and possibly deflect) your cause's methods of persuasion.

Some psychographics to keep in mind are your target audience's personality (e.g. someone has an interest in research and therefore tends to support causes who are trying to find a cure for a disease), sense of identity (e.g. someone with a strong moral identity is more likely to donate time than money), and way of processing info (i.e. affective vs. cognitive or feeling vs. thinking),

2. Creating Better Messaging

Some campaign appeals include numbers to reflect the scope of what the cause is trying to address. For example, "5,000 people die from _______ annually in North America alone." The issue with this, however, is that people often have difficulty associating emotional meaning to large numbers. Therefore, it may be better to tell a more intimate story of how one person or one family was affected by (insert cause) and how the target audience can help. With that said, you should also avoid "heavy handedness" in your messaging. Monica explains that guilt can influence giving, but not if your organization is the one pushing that guilt.

Lastly, one part of messaging to consider is the number of choices you offer your donors and other stakeholders. For example, a charity may say "there are so many ways you can make an impact! You can help by 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F'..." Why is this an issue? Monica cites the famous "jam study" where researchers set-up two sample tables in a supermarket. In one scenario, the table had a large assortment of jams. In the second scenario, the table had a small assortment of jams. While the large assortment attracted more people to sample the jams, the small assortment led to significantly more sales. Therefore, the possible implication is that if you want to get more people to donate or volunteer, simplify their choices of getting involved.

3. Using the Right Channels

Is your charity using or considering using point-of-sale (e.g. asking customers to "round up" their purchases with the difference going to charity) as a way to draw more donations? Be cautious, says Monica. The issue is that these types of donations tend to decrease additional contributions to the same organization and giving overall because people feel they've already done their part. The same patterns of behaviour are often seen after purchases of cause-related products. Lastly, social influence (influence of friends, family, and colleagues on one's decisions) is another important consideration for charities. Social media has greatly facilitated this type of influence as seen with this summer's "Ice Bucket Challenge".

To tie everything together, we should revisit and re-emphasize the point about using research tactics to understand your stakeholders. In doing so, we can better tailor messaging and channel usage toward the target audience, resulting in more funding and awareness.



Social Focus Consulting
when it comes to your cause, we mean business


20.11.2014 Data trusts and data trust

Trust and integrity are key to nonprofits. They trade on these virtues. It's no accident that "Trusts" are the name for one type of nonprofit enterprise.  The defining aspect of the nonprofit corporate structure - the non-distribution clause relating to the use of financial assets - codifies the use of financial assets for mission, allowing the public to trust that the organization will be true to its social purpose.

In the 21st Century, nonprofits are going to need to engender that same kind of trust regarding their use of digital assets (otherwise known as digital data).

This is a tremendous opportunity for the sector. Earning and keeping the trust of all (data) donors  could become a defining quality for civil society organizations and help distinguish them from commercial enterprises and public agencies. Currently, many commercial operations and the government are treading lightly on the trust of their customers and constituents. Headlines from just this week:
Uber: "Whose Privacy will Uber Violate Next?"

Class Dojo: "Privacy Concerns for Class Dojo and Other Tracking Apps for Schoolchildren"
Government: Survey: US Adults feel they are losing control of their data
Nonprofits and philanthropy - all of civil society - should be using data in line with their missions and designing their organizational practices and policies with an eye toward earning, keeping, and sustaining the trust of the public. Good digital data governance policies will be key. There are early signs that "data trusts" will emerge as a new type of enterprise - but all civil society organizations should be working to maintain trust regarding data.







20.11.2014 LinkedIn Photo Tips: Show Your Best Face

The following post is copyrighted by Return On Now - Austin Internet Marketing Consulting Services

No matter whether you are looking for a job, seeking funding for your company, pursuing prospects, or simply growing a network, LinkedIn is a great platform for extending your reach in the business world. Most professionals realize that your LinkedIn Photo says a lot about you. It astounds me to see a significant number of profiles still out there with… read more →

The post LinkedIn Photo Tips: Show Your Best Face appeared first on Return On Now.

20.11.2014 Stop Treating Victims of Sex Trafficking Like Criminals

On October 10, the eve of the UN’s International Day of the Girl Child, FAIR Girls held its second annual Night of the Girl in Washington, DC. The exhibit featured quotes from victims, survivors, and pimps involved in the local sex trade. Since 2003, FAIR Girls has worked in DC – and around the world […]

19.11.2014 Flushing away sanitation problems on World Toilet Day

Image: 

“Today is an opportunity to make visible one of our most important, but least known tools in the fight against preventable deaths: the toilet.”
 

Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General

When considering the costs of poor sanitation, there is little to laugh about: $260 billion in economic losses and over 1,300 child deaths every single day. World Toilet Day opens dialogue on a sometimes taboo subject, and open conversations are key to “flushing away” this very real problem.

“There can be no gender equality where women face daily harassment, abuse and violence when looking for somewhere to urinate or to defecate,” said Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General. “We cannot eliminate malnutrition where people still suffer from persistent diarrhea or intestinal worms. We cannot educate children when they are too sick to go to school, and when girls drop out once they begin menstruation.”

Want to be a part of World Toilet Day? Here are 10 things you can do for UN World Toilet Day.

Articles You Might Like: 
Expensive poo: The World Bank tells us how much poor sanitation costs
The Sanitation Value Chain in Nairobi’s Slums
Disruptive sanitation: Can 3-wheeled carts and better septic tanks clean up Jakarta?

19.11.2014 Philosophy Talk: Digital Activism

My laugh is not nearly as engaging as Tom Magliozzi's of Car Talk but I'll do my best on December 14 when I'll be talking about Digital Civil Society on Philosophy Talk. Here's the write up about the show:
“Cyber-Activism” with Lucy Bernholz
Whether it’s making donations and signing petitions online, or using
social media to highlight political causes, cyber-activism has never
been easier. With a few clicks, we can make our voices heard around
the globe. But who’s listening, and is anything actually changing?
Does cyber-activism mobilize real-world action on the ground? Or does
it reduce political engagement to simple mouse-clicking, and
ultimately threaten the subversive nature of change? John and Ken get
active with Lucy Bernolz, co-author of “Disrupting Philanthropy:Technology and the Future of the Social Sector.”
Tickets are available for the live show here.  If you're not in the Bay Area Philosophy Talk is hosted on public radio stations around the country and available on the web.

19.11.2014 It's Time to End Ebola

Today our sister organization ONE is launching a new video — without saying a world, celebrities ask you to take action to help end the Ebola crisis. WATCH:


Ebola threatens to roll back the gains we have made on AIDS. The world waited too long to respond to Ebola. And every day we continue to wait – for funding to reach the ground, for nurses and doctors to be deployed, for the shattered medical services to be rebuilt – more people die.



Here’s how you can take action:

1// Watch and share ONE’s new video

2// Sign ONE’s petition & tell world leaders it’s time to stop the disease now & build health systems that could stop crises like this from happening ever again.

3// Find out how donors are keeping their commitments with ONE’s interactive Ebola Response Tracker.

It's time to #EndEbola. 

19.11.2014 Four Lessons Learned on the Journey from Microfinance to Impact-Led Investing

Global Partnerships (GP) is an impact-led investor dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty. We began our work as a grant maker in the pioneering days of microfinance. Ten years ago, before the term “impact investing” was coined, we launched our first Social Investment Fund with the goal of advancing market-based solutions to […]

19.11.2014 Water Cannot Wait: A New Road Map to Mideast Peace

Between October 27 and December 5, support EcoPeace Middle East in the Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge on CrowdRise. Water is at the center of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that was further fueled by the violent events of the summer, and has left an estimated 1.2 million Palestinians with intermittent water supplies. With an insufficient electricity […]

19.11.2014 Unlikely Champions Unite to Protect Antibiotics and Public Health

Between October 27 and December 5, support Health Care Without Harm in the Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge on CrowdRise. Most of us cannot remember a time in our lives when basic infections like strep throat and conjunctivitis were considered untreatable, dangerous and potentially deadly. Thanks to antibiotics, such infections are usually little more than nuisances […]