Alltop

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

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 […]

19.11.2014 I Will Return to Gaza

Between October 27 and December 5, support OneVoice in the Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge on CrowdRise. My father was scared for my life. I was a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Youth during the First Intifada and I protested against the Israeli army. But in 1990, three years after the Intifada began, he sent […]

18.11.2014 New Power (or lessons for business from the social economy)

(photo: https://hbr.org/2014/12/understanding-new-power)

Henry Timms (founder of #givingtuesday and my colleague via Stanford PACS) and Jeremy Heimans have a new article in the December issue of Harvard Business Review called "Understanding New Power." In it they discuss characteristics such as co-ownership and participatory governance. They highlight some of the values of the new power that they call "opt in decision making" and "open source collaboration."

In the requisite 2 x 2 matrix (this is HBR after all) the precious terrain of the upper right hand quadrant includes a mix of movements (Occupy), nonprofits (Wikipedia), benefit corporations (Etsy), and commercial enterprises.

In other words, several of the institutional forms that constitute what we've been calling the social economy embody the characteristics and values that Timms and Heimanns pinpoint as a new type of power. Go read it - see what you think.

18.11.2014 Typhoon Haiyan: One Year Later

Image: 

A year ago on Saturday November 8, Typhoon Haiyan tore through the central Philippines, leaving a trail of devastation. The tropical cyclone was the strongest to make landfall in recorded history, with a sustained wind speed of 195 mph, and coastal swells as high as 13 feet.

Numbers alone paint a vivid picture of the brute force of the storm, and the tragic aftermath:

  • 6,300 people were killed and 29,000 people were injured;
  • 1 million homes were severely damaged or destroyed;
  • 4.1 million people were left homeless;
  • 6 million workers lost their livelihoods;
  • In all, 16 million people were affected.

Recovery from a disaster of Haiyan’s magnitude is a long, slow process, even in the best of circumstances. In rural Philippines, where 40 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day, the road system and other services are poor to non-existent and the government has a long history of corruption and pilfering aid before it can reach those who need it, the recovery process will likely take even longer.

In the storm’s wake, emergency response teams from all over the world mobilized. Thousands of volunteers cleared debris, provided medical assistance, counseling and emotional support, built temporary housing and hospitals, and set up mobile banking programs. Governments and aid teams sent help in the form of cash, food, water, tents, trucks and hygiene kits. In total, an estimated $600 million was donated to support the uprooted survivors.

Six months after the typhoon, the United Nations, Red Cross and aid organizations shifted their focus from meeting vital survival needs to the long process of rebuilding destroyed communities.

Most of the people in affected areas relied on farming and fishing for income, and the storm destroyed half of the region’s sugar cane-growing area, a third of its rice-producing land, more than 30,000 fishing vessels, and washed away countless other agricultural pursuits, stores and businesses.

Even so, progress is palpable.

The Red Cross initiated a three-year, $360 million recovery plan that will focus primarily on providing safe housing and kickstarting the economy by developing job opportunities.

More than 6,500 fishermen have received cash to rebuild boats and damaged equipment, and thousands of others have received vocational training in sustainable farming techniques, hog rearing, bookkeeping and arithmetic, and advice on how to grow and diversify businesses. The Red Cross alone has rebuilt more than 200 classrooms and 6,000 houses, a number that will grow in the coming months to provide safe housing for an estimated 40,000 families.

Mercy Corps has shifted from lifesaving aid to economic support, helping 125,000 people rebuild their lives. Cash assistance given through mobile phones helped people buy the food and goods they needed immediately, and start to rebuild their shops and businesses. Saving money in a formal institution will help people create a better buffer for the next storm that hits.

WATCH A VIDEO: REBUILDING A CANDY BUSINESS AFTER THE TYPHOON

The World Health Organization rebuilt close to half of the 600 health facilities that were destroyed in the storm. And the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees continues to provide shelter, clean water and sanitation to those who face the greatest need.

A report on CNN paints an optimistic picture of the scene in Tacloban a year later:

“The rubble and fallen trees have been cleared and the vegetation is lush and green. Shops have reopened and the streets are crowded with cars, bicycles and taxis, while the community is out in full force, selling fruit and sweets. Children can play freely on the beach and they are finally allowed to go swimming in the sea once again.”

However, it would be a gross exaggeration to say that life has returned to a state of “normal.” The Philippines government has been widely criticized for its slow response following the typhoon, and President Benigno Aquino only in the last few weeks approved a $3.47 billion plan to assist survivors. As of the one year anniversary, the government had built fewer than 100 of the promised 14,500 houses, six of the 43 damaged ports, 213 of the 19,600 classrooms, 21 of the 161 civic centres, and three of the 34 bridges.

While the international response to Haiyan has been nothing short of incredible, there remains a lot of work to be done. An estimated 15,000 people are still living in tents and makeshift shelters. And even after the cities are rebuilt and the refugees have jobs and homes again, reminders of Haiyan and those who were lost will remain. 

Articles You Might Like: 
In wake of Philippines typhoon, climate change talks produce only squabbles, finger-pointing
Philippines post Super Typhoon Haiyan: How small business boosts economies after natural disasters
Mercy Corps mobilizes emergency response team to Philippines

18.11.2014 Filming the Catadores: What I learned from Brazil’s Waste Pickers

Filming the Catadores: What I learned from Brazil’s Waste Pickers

Anna Sowa | November 18, 2014
It was last October as a 2013 Laureate Global Fellow that I first set foot in Brazil. During the fellowship retreat, Dr. James Toole helped Fellows navigate our entrepreneurial journeys and plan...

18.11.2014 Learning in the Blurry Space Between Mission and Profit

(3BL Media and Just Means)--The time to engage across sectors is now. In fact, cross-sector collaboration is in the zeitgeist. Progressive thought leaders agree that to gain traction on complex problems, we need to convene broad-based coalitions of nontraditional partners. However, communicating across sectors can be really hard, as we run up against sector-specific argots, worldviews and unexamined biases. To work together well, we need to learn how to speak one another’s languages, analyze different financials, and understand cross-sector, value propositions. And it begins in academia. 

According to Sean Conley, Associate Dean for Graduate & Professional Studies at Marlboro College in Brattleboro Vermont, there’s a call for more transparency and cross-sector collaboration in education, but it’s a challenge for many institutions.

“It’s not easy to be a history major and a biologist, for example. That’s the level of cross-disciplinary we need. And, in the world of sustainability in business exists within a larger system of which non- profits are part.  Twenty-percent of the economy in Vermont is driven by the nonprofit system. These are two sectors which are merging in society,” says Conley.

Calls for cross-sector collaboration are everywhere. Based on an extensive review of the scholarly literature on collaboration, John Bryson, Barbara Crosby and Melissa Middleton Stone at the University of Minnesota conclude: “People who want to tackle tough social problems and achieve beneficial community outcomes are beginning to understand that multiple sectors of a democratic society— business, nonprofits and philanthropies, the media, the community, and government—must collaborate to deal effectively and humanely with the challenges.”  

What if we could teach cross-sector translation in business school? Marlboro College Graduate School decided to find out, by bringing its MBA in Managing for Sustainability and MS in Managing Mission-Driven Organizations students and faculty together through shared coursework and collaborative learning environment. 

“It was an experiment that worked beyond our expectations. After a short period of curiosity and mild distrust students and faculty fell into an easy colleagueship and appreciation for what can be learned from one another,” says Pat Daniel, MBA Degree Chair.

The interest in collaboration across academic programs reflects a more general fascination with hybrid business forms. In addition to Marlboro College Graduate School, other business schools like George Mason University recognize this trend with new coursework in social enterprise. And some graduate programs in nonprofit management also include a class in public-private partnerships or collective impact.

“These courses typically unfold within an overall educational model that maintains a firewall between MBA students and their nonprofit colleagues,” says Kate Jellema, chair of the MS in Managing Mission-Driven Organizations program at Marlboro College Graduate School. “What we are doing at Marlboro is knocking down the wall and encouraging direct connections among all of our management students.”

Cheryl Eaton, Professor of Marketing at Marlboro College Graduate School and Founder of Wild Genius says it comes down to working towards common, end goals and that there are fewer differences than we assume.

“I appreciate the synergy between the MBA and MDO programs. It’s the alchemy of a mix of people who care deeply about their impact, but who come from two, seemingly different orientations. We are not-for-profit and for-profit working in tandem on the mission of making the world a better place,” she adds.

Cross-sector learning is a priority in the classroom because it’s the future of our economy. And, it’s already the way of operation for many, large multi-national companies. According to Conley, Google, for example, understands the importance of creating a culture of learning across sectors and within its own walls. However, one of Google’s industry counterparts does not. 

“Google is great at taking a learning and collaborative approach in business development, but Microsoft is very competitive. One company knows the value of intentionally bringing employees together to learn from one another and the other is struggling to keep up,” say Conley.

Conley says that academia needs to foster the types of competition which spurs beneficial outcomes across systems and to frame competition through the lens of collaboration.  Students at Marlboro College Graduate School appreciate the diversity that the cross-sector learning community model encourages. Jay Kullman, a second-year MSM-MDO student, sees the cross-program synergy as good preparation for the new and emerging economy.

“Business is changing. Many for-profits are taking into consideration things other than profit. Likewise, I see the evolution of nonprofits being run with a greater focus on best business practices. At Marlboro the perspectives of for-profit and non-profit students come together and it is really valuable for all of us.”

MBA student Noah Fishman concurs: “The future of business will be in a space between nonprofit and for-profit sectors, and we need the best of both sectors.”

Read John Bryson, Barbara Crosby and Melissa Middleton Stone at the University of Minnesota’s call to cross-sector collaboration. Learn about Marlboro College Graduate Degrees MBA in Managing for Sustainability and MS in Managing Mission-Drive Organizations.

Credit: Thanks to Kate Jellema and Pat Daniel for their contribution in the writing of this piece. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 10:30am

17.11.2014 Why Low-Impact Diets Are the Next Big Opportunity

Flickr image by thebittenword.com

This article was co-written by Matt Loose and Aimee Watson.

What if everyone could have access to food that meets their dietary needs without preventing future generations from meeting theirs? That’s the idea at the heart of sustainable nutrition. Increased attention to the environmental impacts of food types drives interest in sustainable nutrition, helping spur innovation and interest in those foods that can deliver nutritional value with a reduced environmental footprint.

The agricultural footprint — the land required to grow the food sold — of the world’s largest global food companies, producers and traders is huge. As food demand increases in line with an increasing population, demand for land will grow.

Furthermore, the food industry has been affected by some of the most acute sustainability challenges we face today. Our changing climate will force shifts in where, how and what is grown. Globally, issues of droughts and floods as well as salinization and desertification will scramble the agricultural map as we know it and may reduce crop production. Falling temperatures will decrease crop yields at lower latitudes whilst other yields increase in higher regions.

To take just one example, researchers predict a two-thirds reduction in production in the world’s premier, typically lower lying wine regions such as France, Italy and California, and an increase in previously unsuitable (higher) regions such as the hills of Central China and the UK.

Growing populations are expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, forcing intensification of farming practices. Population increase, combined with changes to our diets, may mean farmers produce 70 percent more food by 2050 (90 percent of which is expected to come from intensification and higher-yield techniques). At the same time, we face rapid growth in acute diet-related disease, from obesity (an increase of 8 percent since 1980), to diabetes (186 million increase expected by 2030), heart conditions (set to remain the No. 1 killer globally with an expected death toll of 23.3 million by 2030) and cancers (an additional 8 million cases expected by 2030).

It is little wonder, then, that there is rapid innovation in the area of sustainable food, and that sustainable nutrition is emerging as an important new measure of food sustainability.

Progress on sustainable nutrition requires examining the full value chain of food products — from agricultural production to processing, preparation and disposal. Work is converging towards a common set of life-cycle-analysis type indicators including CO2, water and land use. Multi-national and multi-stakeholder projects are underway to develop appropriate measures. One such example is the work of the Sustainability Consortium, working to establish data sets for the life-cycle environmental and social impacts of food.

The environmental impact of your diet

With sustainable nutrition information in hand, food companies have begun comparing the environmental impacts of diets, menu options and food ingredients. The results of this research will be of huge importance to food scientists hoping to design low-impact foods. For example, there is significant interest in the potential to use flours from dried beans and legumes known as pulse flours, which are high in protein, as ingredients to reduce environmental impact and improve nutritional quality of commonly eaten affordable foods such as pasta.

How to communicate this information to non-expert consumer audiences is key, with clever infographics, ratios and labelling all playing their parts. For example, the carbon footprint comparing types of meats to types of crops might be expressed as car miles driven per 4 ounces consumed. Ultimately, though, environmentally better products also have to taste better, be better quality and be priced better for consumers’ preferences in order for change to happen at scale. As a result, innovation in vegetarian food offerings is picking up pace.

As scientists and consumers better understand the life-cycle of food, and as the sustainable-nutrition discussion gains momentum, designing menus and diets will become increasingly sophisticated. It will be possible to take into account a comprehensive environmental impact that’s far more advanced than the separate “issue labels” such as carbon footprint, sustainable sourcing or organic labels that are found on food today.

The implications of this important step forward are game-changing. Big food buyers could have the tools to design “environmentally friendly” menus. Retailers can be benchmarked on the sustainability of the food they sell. And investment in food companies can be made to target those with sustainable and nutritious portfolios.

Ultimately, the food companies with portfolios that combine superior environmental performance and more nutritious products will be the future stars of the food industry. The innovation and technology that surround sustainable nutrition suggests that this could be just around the corner — an exciting time for the food industry indeed.

This article originally appeared in What’s Next, SustainAbility’s column for GreenBiz.

17.11.2014 Global Ideas News Brief: Poverty Disconnect

Image: 

 

Poverty

A Disconnect: What If Everything We Know About Fixing Global Poverty is Wrong?
California Magazine
As long as there has been poverty, there have also been decent souls trying to eliminate it. So how are they doing?  Not very well.

Women

Fighting Female Genital Mutilation
NYT
I am a 47-year-old Egyptian woman. And I am among the fortunate few of my countrywomen whose genitals have not been cut in the name of “purity” and the control of our sexuality.

Left alone to tend farm and family: reaching female farmers in rural India
The Guardian
Men are setting off to find work in cities, and women are being left holding the sickle – how can we help them?

At the UN, women play increasingly powerful roles
BBC Magazine
Long an all-male enclave, the UN Security Council now has a record number of women. Does that influence how diplomacy gets done at the highest levels?

Trade

The Pacific Age
The Economist
Under American leadership the Pacific has become the engine room of world trade. But the balance of power is shifting.

Ebola

Ebola and the Lost Children of Sierra Leone
NYT
In the face of Ebola, the 500,000 inhabitants of Port Loko have been sealed off from the world, stigmatized like a cellblock of criminals, and left largely to fend for themselves.

The $338 Million Ebola Giving Gap
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Why corporate and individual giving to fight Ebola lags far behind that of other crises, and how to unlock more dollars.

Financial Inclusion

Bangladesh Bank makes financial inclusion for street kids child's play
The Guardian
Bangladesh central bank’s new service aims to help 7m working children save money and stop being a target for thieves.

A phoneful of dollars
The Economist
The world’s poor need the stability and security that banks have traditionally offered, but increasingly they do not need banks to provide it.

Entrepreneurship

The global entrepreneurship boom is about jobs
CNBC
As the world looks for innovative ways to jump-start economic growth through job creation, more is being focused on how entrepreneurship can ignite the process.

 

Articles You Might Like: 
Is farming rice differently the key to ending hunger? India tries it
Global Ideas News Brief: Money Talks
Monopoly No More: New Players Threaten M-Pesa's Mobile Money Dominance

17.11.2014 Helping Teens Explore Tech: A ZFellow Story

Helping Teens Explore Tech: A ZFellow Story

By Caitlin Kerton Monday, 17 November 2014 - 3:02pm

ZeroDivide began as a Community Technology Foundation back in 1998. During this time, we funded over 400 nonprofit organizations that work with underserved communities and invested over $50 million. In addition to financial investment, we also invested our knowledge and experience in the field of technology, capacity-building and leadership to help nonprofit organizations increase their impact on underserved communities. While we are no longer a funder, we gained valuable knowledge that has helped us transform into a thought-partner and technology consultant. 

As a foundation, we began the ZeroDivide Fellowship where we selected promising leaders that were dedicated to working on behalf of underserved communities. Fellows participated in a two-year program which included leadership development, policy advocacy and technology training, strategy and mission development exercises and mentoring activities. The Fellowship was intended to help these individuals lead the technology movement within their own diverse communities.

One of our ZFellows, Oscar Menjivar, has since lead a successful nonprofit organization in the Los Angeles area called Teens Exploring Technology. Earlier this month, Oscar shared his story, from Fellow to CEO, in this inspiring interview.



 

Q: When were you a ZeroDivide Fellow and for how long?

A: Back in 2009. I was part of Class III, which was the last class so I was very lucky to be a part of it. I was part of the program for two years. 

Q: How did you hear about the ZeroDivide Fellowship and what made you apply?

A: I met Tessie through the YMCA Long Beach and was encouraged to apply. First and foremost, I applied because I would be given the opportunity to make a difference and learn more about how communities of color were falling behind in technology. It was also an opportunity for me to meet other like-minded people. 

Q: What were some of the highlights from being in the program?

A: There were a lot of highlights from being in the program. I was able to learn a lot about advocacy. I went to the state Capitol and was able to talk to different leaders like Senator Alex Padilla. Everyone brought an incredible knowledge base to the group. I was given the opportunity to meet the leaders in California that are trying to bridge the digital divide and brainstorm long term strategies and ideas on changing low income communities through technology. Many of them are still a part of my network and I’m able to collaborate with them on bridging the digital divide. 

Q: What were the key benefits of being in the program?

A: Networking with people was a huge benefit. I was able to learn from the individuals that have been working to provide technology access to disadvantaged communities; some of them have spent 20 years working in either urban or rural areas. I was learning from individuals that were helping communities of color gain access to technology and broadband. Also, learning how to start establishing a mission and vision of helping young men of color was a huge benefit of being in the program; learning how to help my community and what steps I needed to take to make a long lasting impact was an amazing take away.

Q: Tell me about your current program, Teens Exploring Technology, or TXT.

A: TXT has a mission to empower young black and latino boys from low income communities to become tech entrepreneurs in order for them to be catalysts of change in their own communities. We’ve been operating for 5 years and have received a few awards. The City of Los Angeles and its council members awarded us with the City Resolution to help us continue working with young men of color. The other was the Google Rise award, given to organizations that are teaching minorities how to code and is only given to 42 organizations from around the globe. We also received an award for being one of the top 25 organizations in Los Angeles making a difference through digital media.

Q: How has the program impacted the community?

A: We’ve impacted over 350 students, some of which are now attending Standford, UCLA, USC and UC San Diego. 70% have entered into major STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs. Families we’ve served have changed their attitudes towards STEM programs and are now advocating to bring those programs to their schools. They are encouraging their kids to get involved in STEM. We’ve also opened up our first innovation space called The Cube where we are teaching kids how to get their businesses online and code by themselves. Also, 55% of young men of color in South LA dropout of high school. 100% of those we’ve served have successfully graduated high school.

Q: How has the program evolved?

A: Wow, a lot. We started as an after school program and served only 15 students in the pilot program. Now we are serving over 50 students a year. We are now partnered with universities like USC and we collaborate to help students launch their own apps and online products.

Q: What goals do you have for Teens Exploring Technology?

A: We want to become a national model where young men of color develop resilience, confidence, and grit through coding and become catalysts of change in their own communities. We want them to seek higher education and then come back to their communities to help. We also hope to touch lives on a national level, as we already see ourselves expanding to other cities and colleges.

Q: How did being a Fellow impact you?

A: As a man of color coming from a low income community, being around mentors impacted my career and education goals dramatically. My attitude on pursuing my ambitions changed. It encouraged me to always include my community in what we do. The program has helped keep us innovative and helped me see the bigger picture; how we can impact more lives, how to be ahead of the curve, how to impact others through technology. Having those discussions with people from ZeroDivide and hearing their experiences helped us become who we are, a thriving organization.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

A: We need more organizations like ZeroDivide; more organizations that give people like me a chance to dream big about changing low income communities. ZD was at the forefront of bridging the digital divide and at forefront of investing in innovative tech ideas. They believed in us and now we’re impacting more lives that we ever imagined.

Photos courtesy of Teens Exploring Technology 

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17.11.2014 #shaRED (RED) + Birchbox Giveaway




Here's your chance to win the (RED) Birchbox and help fight AIDS too.

Birchbox is a monthly service that sends 5 personalized beauty samples right to your door for just $10 per month. And this November, their women’s box is turning (RED). It's full of great beauty goodies & it fights AIDS too. Now here's how you can win it:

Retweet one of (RED)'s tweets (Twitter.com/RED) with #shaRED in it this week and you'll be entered to win the (RED) Birchbox. We're picking two winners every day until Friday!

There's more. Every time you retweet a tweet with #shaRED, Birchbox will donate $1 to fight AIDS with (RED).

You enter to win & fight AIDS too. Win-Win.

Already have your (RED) Birchbox? Share a photo of it with #shaRED and Birchbox will donate $1 to fight AIDS with (RED).

New to Birchbox? Subscribe here and use code 'BBRED100' at checkout at you'll get $10 off your first full-sized order.

Happy tweeting!

Official Rules of the #shaRED Retweet to Win Contest
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. This promotion is subject to all applicable international federal, state and local laws and/or regulations and is null and void when prohibited or restricted by law.
I. THE PROMOTION
Name and Address of Sponsor:
(RED)
49 W 27th Street
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001
("(RED)") is sponsoring the “#shaRED Retweet to Win Contest" (the "Promotion").
II. PROMOTION PERIOD
The Promotions are valid from:
9:00 am (EST) Sunday, November 16th 2014 until 9:00 pm (EST) Sunday, November 16th 2014
III. ELIGIBILITY
The Promotion is open to individuals who are eighteen (18) years of age or older as of April 30th, 2014 with access to the Internet (at all times) during the Promotion Period (as defined above) and subsequent prize-award period (as described below). All employees of the Sponsor, and its associated agencies and their respective affiliates, sales representatives, distributors, licensees or agents (all of the foregoing, together with the Sponsor, is collectively referred to as “Ineligible Entities”), in addition to their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses) and those living in the same household of each (whether legally related or not) of employees or agents of the Ineligible Entities are ineligible to enter or win the prizes. All applicable international, federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law. Entry in the Promotion constitutes your full and unconditional acceptance of these Official Rules; if you do not accept them, you are not permitted to participate.
IV. HOW TO PARTICIPATE/ENTER
Internet access is required to participate. The only way to participate in this Promotion is online by following @RED's Twitter page and retweeting the Promotion message posted on the @RED Twitter Page located at http://www.twitter.com/RED. Anyone found to use multiple Twitter accounts to enter will be ineligible. On November 16th, November 17th, November 18th, November 19th, November 20th, November 21st, and November 22nd, (RED) will select at random the Prize winner from the list of followers that retweeted the Promotion.
V. PRIZES
There is only one (1) prize per participant in the Promotion, so you are eligible to win only one of the products. Prizes must be accepted as awarded. The Prizes may not be sold, transferred and are not convertible to cash. The Sponsor reserves the right to substitute any Prize in whole or in part in the event that all or any component of a Prize or Prizes is unavailable. Sponsor shall be responsible for all shipping costs to deliver each prize.
VI. RANDOM DRAWING & PRIZE REDEMPTION
Odds of winning are based on eligible number of entries. Winners will be selected at random.
The random drawings will take place on November 16th, November 17th, November 18th, November 19th, November 20th, November 21st, and November 22nd, 2014 at the (RED) offices, located in 49 W 27th Street, New York, NY 10001. (RED)’s decisions with regards to this Promotion are final. Drawing is not open to the public.
Prize winners will be notified via the @RED page on Twitter.com and asked to direct message their contact information, including e-mail address to confirm their eligibility to redeem the prize, etc. To redeem the Prize, the winner must contact (RED) as provided in the e-mail informing the winner of the Prize. If any winner does not qualify as a Prize winner, or if Sponsor’s notification remains unanswered for more than five (5) days, the prize will be forfeited in its entirety and an alternate winner will be selected on a random basis pursuant to the rules set forth herein. The Prize will be shipped to the physical address supplied by the winner within seven (7) to ten (10) business days after eligibility confirmation. Any change in the Twitter account or e-mail address of the winner is the sole responsibility of the participant. (RED) is not responsible for any changes in e-mail or physical address.
VII. Reservation of Rights
(RED) reserves the right not to publish any inappropriate content submitted by users. (RED) reserves the right to disqualify any participant who is ineligible or if (RED) reasonably suspects fraud in the entry process.
VIII. Release and Limitations of Liability
(RED) will not be held responsible for technical, mechanical, computer, telephone, telecommunications, distribution or production errors. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, (RED) will not be held responsible for technical errors or difficulties resulting from server, hardware or software malfunctions, transmission problems or loss, alteration or modification of data sent by participants.
Also, (RED) will not be held responsible for damages caused to users’ systems as a result of their participation in the Promotion or downloading of information required to enter the Promotion.
IX. Privacy Policy
Information collected from entrants is subject to the  (RED)’s Privacy Policy (http://www.red.org/privacy/). (RED) secures your personal information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. (RED) secures the personally identifiable information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. When personal information (such as a credit card number) is transmitted to other Web sites, it is protected through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.

17.11.2014 Launch Event - See Change: How Transparency Drives Performance

SustainAbility is pleased to announce that we will be publishing our latest research on transparency on 5 December. To mark the launch we are hosting a breakfast roundtable in London with ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) exploring the key findings of our the work.

The breakfast roundtable will be held at:

Location: ACCA UK Office, 29 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3EE
Time: 08.00 – 10.00am (A light breakfast will be served from 08.00am)

Space is limited so please RSVP here.

Co-authors of the report Margo Mosher and Lorraine Smith will share key findings before hearing responses to the research from leading reporting and business sustainability experts.

The key thematic questions we will explore include:

  • What is ‘effective’ corporate transparency?
  • How can transparency drive better decision-making, impact performance and drive positive change?
  • How has, and how will, corporate transparency change?

14.11.2014 Community, Collaboration and Lots of Buzz in the B Corp Movement

(3BL Media and Just Means) - Business leaders often ask: “what’s the biggest benefit of joining the B Corp movement? If our company is already walking the talk, do we really need to pay for a certification?” I understand this skepticism. What can a certification offer if you already hold your company to rigorous environmental and social standards? The answer is simple: community. As I work through the B Lab Assessment for B Storytelling (coming your way soon: a blog series about my journey as a small company working to become a Certified B Corp!  I’m putting Ryan Honeyman’s B Corp Handbook to the test!), I’ve been connected to a global network of change agents. I’ve heard “community” as the most significant benefit of joining the B Corp movement from both small and larger companies.

But it doesn’t stop at joining a community of values-aligned, social entrepreneurs. It’s about participating, collaborating and sharing resources, too. Ryan Honeyman of Honeyman Consulting experienced this firsthand when he attended the B Corp Champions Retreat a few years ago and found himself seated next to executives from Ben and Jerry’s. He overheard their need to work with suppliers on sourcing. In a recent interview I posted previously, Honeyman said:

“I suggested they have their five biggest suppliers fill out the B Impact Assessment. This way they could see across their supply chain and see how they were doing in environmental and employee issues. Soon after the retreat, they hired me to work with these suppliers, including one of the largest chocolate companies in the world. And now, one of the largest chocolate companies in the world has taken the B Impact Assessment,” said Honeyman.

The B Corp community recently came together again for the annual B Corp Champions Retreat. Every year, the retreat reinvigorates companies in their pursuit of sustainability and commitment to “Be the Change.” And they get a chance to hear and learn from one another.

I spoke with Vale Jokisch, B Lab’s Director of Services and B Corp Champions Retreat Director, about this year’s retreat and the exciting collaboration that’s happening among the B Corp community. Several leaders gave calls to action to take efforts one step further.

“Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle committed to making all of their suppliers Certified B Corps by 2020, and called on fellow B Corps to do the same. Chad Dickerson, CEO of Etsy, issued a 5:5 challenge to his peers - do business with five B Corps and make five introductions with other B Corps. Brand Cool took on Etsy’s challenge and is close to achieving the goal of doing business with at least five B Corps, including a new 401K provider they were introduced to via Etsy,” says Jokisch.

The B Corp brand is exploding-- and not just from the initiative of B Lab. The San Francisco B Corp Community has started a training called the “B Corp Leadership Development.”

“It’s a day for employees of B Corps to learn how they can leverage the certification for their own work and professional development,” says Jokisch.

“And, what’s super exciting is that several B Corps across Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois started a conversation on The B Hive about putting on B Corp Leadership events in New England and Chicago. There are now planning committees forming in each of those regions to begin planning local, leadership events,” she adds.

That’s another big piece of news for the B Corp Community: the advent of The B Hive. Within the B Lab Assessment online platform, B Lab modulated a social media tool as a way to bring the community together. Similar to LinkedIn, The B Hive enables companies to join groups, follow one another and search for a contact list based on search criterion. The B Hive will also have a news feed where companies can use hashtags to follow conversations and posts. Though currently in beta form—being tested by the 2014, B Corp Champions Retreat attendees—the B Hive is already gaining momentum.

“The B Hive launch has been great so far. There are about 300 beta users currently on the platform connecting, sharing ideas, and asking for best practices ideas. There's a group for B Corps that is hosting "Build a Better Business" Workshops over the next three months using the B Corp Handbook. Workshop facilitators have been on the Hive sharing feedback on their events with future hosts, who are asking great questions about how to make theirs a great event,” says Jokisch.

The B Corp certification is much more than a stamp to hang on your website or a set of standards. Yes, it’s a tool that holds companies accountable to their intent to use their business as a force for good. But even more, it’s a learning community—professionals across sectors who provide one another insight into every area of business practice, from supply chains to human resources and leadership development. There’s no limit to the amount of potential collaboration and cross-pollination. The B Corp Community is the best model of B2B the world has ever seen.

Friday, November 14, 2014 - 12:00pm

14.11.2014 Victronix | A Custom Hardware Startup in Tanzania

In the spirit of First Atlantic Semiconductors. Victor Augustine's company, among other things  Victronix has developed Tanzania‬'s version of Arduino, the Bonguino:
A Tanzanian startup hardware house. Its target markets include small processing machine manufactures, students, and hobbyists.
Its services include:
Custom Electronics Development

From idea to prototype
Hardware & Embedded Systems Development

Circuit design, PCB design, and assembly, Specific function modules, GSM/GPRS/GPS shields, MCU & µP Shields.
‪In the words of the founder:
My company is called Victronix I design process control systems. It is a company that does typical engineering because I design things from scratch. My idea came from my hobby, I love electronics, engineering and technical work...Mpakasi

13.11.2014 On Our Radar: Human Rights Accountability Remains Elusive

Flickr image by andres musta

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

Global human rights violations have risen in the last decade and unless governments act to introduce stronger binding mechanisms and companies start viewing human rights compliance as an essential part of corporate accountability, progress on human rights will remain slow.

In a recent report, Human Rights Watch and Maplecroft estimated that in the last six years global human rights violations have risen by 70 percent. A large share of this increase can be attributed to workers’ rights infringements, land grabs and supply chain violations in emerging markets. A survey of UK supply chain professionals showed that 1 in 10 businesses believe that slavery exists in their supply chain. Recent revelations of child labour in Samsung’s Asian supplier factories once again underscored that full visibility of the supply chain remains out of reach for many corporations.

While many companies have made progress in recent years, most human rights compliance mechanisms remain voluntary. The UN Guiding Principles have achieved significant buy-in from corporations, but they have no binding power. Several laws have also come under fire. In September, seventy academics, politicians and activists signed a petition arguing that the US Dodd-Frank Act, requiring firms to trace the minerals sourced in the Congo, has fuelled the conflict in the country.

New legislative initiatives are currently in the works. The UK Parliament is set to pass the Modern Slavery Bill, one of the first laws of its kind in the world. The EU is also debating new rules to regulate the sourcing of conflict minerals. While these measures may lead to some improvements, the real change will come when governments show stronger resolve to enact enforcement mechanisms and companies start viewing human rights compliance as an obligation – not a choice.

What to look for: The pressure on corporations to address human rights issues will grow while NGOs and the media will continue to closely monitor and expose violations. Companies should remain sensitive to compliance issues and take a proactive stance by implementing innovative measures and spearheading new partnerships or joining existing collaboration initiatives.

13.11.2014 What Marketing Schools Should REALLY Be Teaching Students

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

When I went to business school (more years ago than I will voluntarily admit), our marketing coursework focused heavily on the basics. For example, we spent a great deal of time digging into the Four P’s (Product, Price, Placement, Promotion). While the basics of marketing are absolutely still valid concepts to understand, the underlying techniques have evolved completely. Back in… read more →

The post What Marketing Schools Should REALLY Be Teaching Students appeared first on Return On Now.

13.11.2014 Incubation at Wɔɛlab - Collaborative Autonomous Base

A broadening trend, the evolution of Maker/Hackerspaces into incubators of enterprise.This is being achieved while they still retain the distinct qualities of open inquiry and cross pollination. Startup Brics in conversation with founder Sename Koffi reports on their unfolding story:
image courtesy of StartupBrics

via Google Translate
Two years later, what were your major accomplishments, and where are you now? What are your next projects?

Loose hardware side first, there is of course our draft 3D printer made ​​of electronic waste around which we are launching a series of research programs or pilot social programs whose goal is to democratize 3D print technology Africa and create opportunities for our machine. We have also invested heavily in WoeLab in importing non-native technologies that seemed strategic. This is the case OpenStreetMap we created the local community. Finally, less known, but we are dealing with the most at the moment, an original program of innoventes prototyping companies through the development of a " Collaborative Autonomous Base ". This is the "Made in WoeLab" Incubation #SiliconVilla that gave birth to this day to 5 startups "sister" which, like everything else which we are backing in WoeLab are resolutely turned towards the neighborhood.
More here