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

21.08.2014 MakerHut

In Zambia:
Makerhut is a creative community of makers in Zambia that explores projects and technology in the fields of Electronics, Arts and Industrial Design. Not familiar with what a maker is? A maker is anyone that loves to tinker and create things: mechanical, electrical or even with textiles.

Artists are makers. Inventors are makers. Our ancestors were makers. You’re probably a maker too!

Besides independent projects, build events and How-to sessions, MakerHut is home to Afrimakers Zambia – an international initative which kickstarted workshops focused on local challenges in various hubs around Africa that are interested in working with young people.

Wanna be a part of MakerHut? Join us at one of our next events, join our group on instructables, or scroll down to the contact form and get in touch.

21.08.2014 Cases for Discussion - data, ethics, and civil society

Last year when I wrote the Blueprint 2014 I included a few scenarios regarding nonprofits, foundations and the uses of digital data (see pages 22-23).

Now we're on the brink of hosting an entire conference on the Ethics of Data in Civil Society.

We're pulling together resources from the field and from scholars. I was thrilled when Jeff Raderstrong, now of Living Cities, sent me these Case Studies he and a colleague developed for classes at George Washington University.

We'll share these on the conference website ( where you can also find a provocation piece written by Andrew Woods -  Keep checking there for more resources as they become available.

You can follow the conference planning and pre-conference discussions on Twitter at #EoD14.

Thanks for sharing, Jeff and Katlyn.

21.08.2014 How to Source Royalty Free Images for Websites

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

Bloggers and webmasters are typically aware of the fact that images make their content perform better. Most savvy bloggers will tell you that they spend a great deal of time tracking down photos, graphs, and other images for this very purpose. The safest way to incorporate images into your content is to use either 1) your own images or 2)… read more →

The post How to Source Royalty Free Images for Websites appeared first on Return On Now.

20.08.2014 Chairless Chair from Noonee

A CNN profile of a breakthrough product Noonee co-founded by Keith Gunura:
image courtesy of CNN
It's like a chair that isn't there, but magically appears whenever you need it. It's called the Chairless Chair and you wear it on your legs like an exoskeleton: when it's not activated, you can walk normally or even run. And then, at the touch of a button, it locks into place and you can sit down on it. Like a chair that is now there.

"The idea came from wanting to sit anywhere and everywhere, and from working in a UK packaging factory when I was 17", says Keith Gunura, the 29-year old CEO and co-founder of noonee, the Zurich-based startup behind the device, "standing for hours on end causes a lot of distress to lower limbs, but most workers get very few breaks and chairs are rarely provided, because they take up too much space. So I thought that the best idea was to strap an unobtrusive chair directly to myself". The idea came from wanting to sit anywhere and everywhere, and from working in a UK packaging factory when I was 17.

Keith Gunura, co-inventor of the Chairless Chair The device never touches the ground, which makes it easier to wear: a belt secures it to the hips and it has straps that wrap around the thighs. A variable damper engages and supports the bodyweight, which is directed towards the heels of the shoes. These are specially designed and part of the mechanism, but an alternate version works with any footwear and touches the ground only when in a stationary position. The user just moves into the desired pose and then powers the device, which currently runs for about 24 hours on a single 6V battery.

"In addition to resting your leg muscles, it also provides optimal posture", adds noonee CTO and co-founder Bryan Anastisiades "it keeps your back straight and can reduce the occurrence of bad postures for both healthy workers and those recovering from muscle related injuries".
More here

20.08.2014 “Making is central to leading Africa where it needs to be"

From Eric King, Stephanie Santoso, and Kate Gage White House Blog:
 (Photo by Mike Star)
The maker movement paves a clear path toward local problem solving and entrepreneurship, both hallmarks of the Mandela Fellowship, as we learned firsthand. Fellow Abibatou Banda Fall helps women develop products to improve their livelihoods, like a low cost thermal basket to keep goods warm as they’re taken to markets, in Senegal. Lukonga Lindunda operates a co-working space to support innovative tech entrepreneurs in Zambia. Selma Neves helps struggling single mothers lift themselves out of poverty through self-employment training and support in Cabo Verde. Ruth Lukwaro pairs inventors with business students to build sustainable social enterprises in Tanzania. Mutoba Ngoma turns agricultural waste into consumer goods like biodiesel fuel for local markets in Zambia. Tatiana Pereira runs a business incubator for early-stage startups in Mozambique. “I can have greater impact on people’s lives by sharing knowledge and strengthening the ones around me,” she said. “Success is the entrepreneurs that start and succeed.”

The Fellows also had an opportunity to speak with Emeka Okafor, founder of Maker Faire Africa, who encouraged them to cultivate a culture of making. “Making is central to leading Africa where it needs to be: a developing, problem solving region,” he said. “It’s imperative that communities from Cairo to the Cape unfetter their populations with tools from within. Making is pivotal if this is to occur.” Maker Faire Africa showcases makers’ ingenuity and strengthen their pan-African network. Started in 2009, the organization has hosted events in four different African countries. The next Maker Faire Africa will be held later this year.

Looking forward, makers in Africa are faced with a spectrum of challenges, ranging from amplified versions of those familiar to American entrepreneurs like gaining access to venture capital and low-cost manufacturing, to more frustrating hurdles like inadequate electricity and supply chain infrastructure. Daunting though these challenges may be, the gritty determination of young African leaders like Abdojinou is unwavering. Africa’s makers and entrepreneurs will help shape the future of the continent. “Growth,” said Pereira, “comes from people who act and make things happen - entrepreneurs. Africa is full of opportunities and young people with great potential.”
More here

20.08.2014 Social Impact Jobs August 2014

Photo courtesy of Tugende

If you regularly follow us on this blog or on social media, you likely have noticed that Echoing Green has been doing quite a bit of hiring over the last year. What’s up with that, you ask? Echoing Green is entering into the second year of our ambitious three-year strategic growth plan, which is positioning us to deepen our support for next generation social change talent across all of our programs. It’s an exciting time to be an organization at the center of innovative social change thinking. And it’s a priority for us to influence this social innovation movement by connecting talent to the resources they need to blossom. As an organization, we need the right people on our team to help make that happen.

We couldn’t be more excited about the unique new roles we have created to support our ambitious growth plan. We’re thrilled to announce our search to fill two brand new roles, specifically supporting our Executive Office: Chief of Staff, and Associate to the Executive Office. As we create these positions, we know we're looking for entrepreneurial creative thinkers to join us—people who can initiate a role and breathe life into it beyond what reads on paper. I don’t take this quality lightly: candidates will be joining and supporting a staff that is integral to the evolution of the organization. We’re not alone in this growing phase, so in addition to reviewing the roles available at Echoing Green, investigate the opportunities cropping up at our Fellows’ organizations and at our likeminded peers across sectors below.

Echoing Green

Associate to the Executive Office Chief of Staff Senior Associate, Black Male Achievement Fellowship Communications Assistant

Fellows' organizations

Software Developer
Multiple roles
(Various locations)
Multiple roles
(Various locations)
Housing Project Manager
Multiple positions (San Francisco) Director of External Affairs (New York) Multiple roles
(New York)

Senior Manager (Various locations)

Latin America Regional Manager; Senior Associate 
(Various locations)
Multiple roles
(Various locations)
Community Manager
(San Francisco)
Multiple roles (Various locations)
Director of Development; Managing Director (Cambridge, MA)  Multiple roles
Director of Development; Director of Corporate Relations
Director of Finance (Kampala)
Multiple roles
(Various locations)
Program Manager
Multiples roles
Account Executive (San Francisco)      

Global opportunities

Multiple roles
(Various locations)
Multiple roles
(Redwood City, CA)
Senior Campaigner
(San Francisco, New York, or D.C.)
Vice President of Development
(San Francisco or New York)
Vice President of Finance and Operations
(Portland, OR)
Director of Development
Campus Microfinance Champion — Americorps VISTA
(San Francisco)
Multiple roles
(Various locations)
Executive Director, Internships and Fellowships
(New York)

Related Posts

Who Do You Want to Be?


Social Impact Jobs June 2014
Social Impact Jobs: June 2014


20.08.2014 In Focus: Janet Voûte, Global Head of Public Affairs, Nestlé

This interview was originally published in the summer issue of Radar Magazine – Issue 04: Better, Connected.

After 15 years in strategy consultancy with leading firms Bain and Company and The Boston Consulting Group, Janet Voûte moved into public health as CEO of the World Heart Federation. She then spent two years as Partnerships Adviser at the WHO and became Global Head of Public Affairs at Nestlé in December 2010.

SustainAbility has been working with Nestlé since 2006 on Creating Shared Value reporting, stakeholder engagement and strategy, and most recently arranged the company’s fourth stakeholder convening in London. Rob Cameron spoke with Janet about the increasing importance of speaking the language of both business and NGOs and Nestlé’s stakeholder engagement journey.

Rob Cameron: How would you characterise stakeholder engagement when you arrived at Nestlé?
Janet Voûte: I arrived a few years after the terminology and thinking around Creating Shared Value (CSV) at Nestlé had been launched, and the focus on being the leading nutrition, health and wellness company had been clearly defined. Additionally, the Chairman and the Public Affairs team had also agreed upon nutrition, water and rural development as priority areas for action.

I got to join Nestlé at a time when we were stepping up our leadership on these priority areas and talking about CSV as the way we do business. Nestlé had already developed some strong platforms for engagement and the focus on CSV enabled my public affairs team to really 
extend our engagement work, specifically in nutrition, water and rural development but also in important areas such as environmental sustainability and human rights.

What also became clear was that the more we explored CSV, the more we realised 
that Nestlé has a clear role to play, but
 the resolution of societal issues is largely dependent on collective action. To stimulate the type of collective action that is required needs better dialogue between business and its stakeholders.

In your experience, what would be the basis of that better dialogue?
To make progress in nutrition, water or rural development takes collective action. For collective action you need good relationships, you need deep dialogue and you need partnerships. Even if the company is making progress in certain areas on its own it needs the advice of the very best thinkers. Hence we saw the need and the opportunity to intensify that dialogue through stakeholder convenings. When we talk about stakeholder convenings in the business, the words I use foremost are: listen, listen, listen. The point of a stakeholder convening is for Nestlé to listen first and react second. That is how we build our own capability and better address critical societal issues.

How would you describe the progress in stakeholder relationships since you have been at Nestlé?
Nestlé has been on a two-part journey; 
the first part is transparency, the second
 is engagement. We have worked really 
hard at increasing transparency in our reporting – aiming to be as transparent 
in our commitments and on reporting of societal issues as we are on financial issues. Transparency underpins the engagement and the stakeholder convening process. When you are transparent you have the basis for deeper dialogue, which, in turn, builds understanding. Our stakeholder convenings are about building that fundamental understanding of issues and enabling collective action and they have a by-product, which is a clear improvement in levels of trust, respect and reputation.

You use the term ‘collective action’. Can you talk about why you use this term rather than the more familiar ‘pre-competitive collaboration’?
I think when you talk about pre-competitive collaboration you are simply talking about different companies in the same sector working together. Collective action goes well beyond that. It could involve several corporations but also government, NGOs and academics working together 
to address a common issue, or to respond together and address the many issues faced by one community.

How has transparency and stakeholder engagement had an impact internally? What changes has it brought about within Nestlé?
First of all, engaging with stakeholders and the community is one of the CEO’s top priorities. An ability to engage with stakeholders is required of senior leaders at Nestlé going forward.

We are also seeing improved understanding with the business leaders who are making public commitments to deliver, for example, reductions of salt, fat and sugar in our recipes, or reductions of greenhouse gas emissions or water use per unit of production. There is a much better dialogue between the people who manage these efforts internally and the external stakeholders who have expertise on these issues.

This has created confidence within internal management that transparency is a good thing. Whereas before we might keep our commitments and our operational plans to ourselves, now we share them. Being transparent has led to recognition not only through opinion surveys but also through indices such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, inclusion in FTSE4Good, being at the top of Oxfam Behind the Brands, and so on. So external bodies have also recognised Nestlé’s progress, which in turn is highly motivating for internal management to get behind our societal commitments.

You are enjoying a rich and varied career moving across sectors. From your experience, what advice would you give a corporate sustainability manager who is in the early stages of his or her career?
First, you need to get ownership and
 commitment at the highest levels of your
corporate leadership. Secondly, you need to 
engage based only on what you are doing.
 Do not try to have a stakeholder engagement
process based only on what you are saying.
 You also have to be very honest internally 
and externally about what is working and where you have challenges. Transparency is an expectation of today’s corporation and in order to be transparent you need good measurement and metrics in place.

And having worked in the NGO world, do you have any advice for the NGO, civil society, not-for- profit community who engage with business?
I think there are many new challenges, but also many new opportunities for the not-for-profit sector. The challenge is to maintain the role of critic while also stepping up to the role of expert and implementation partner. It will require new behaviours for some in the not-for-
profit sector. Societal issues are so difficult today that just being critics and pointing your finger at a company and saying “go sort it” – we all realise that is not enough. What the not-for-profit has to do is seize the opportunity to help fix it, even if it is only through dialogue, advice or policy guidance.

How do you think the relationship between business and NGOs will evolve over the next decade? What can we expect to see beyond 2020?
I think these are very exciting times for unleashing incredible creativity behind collective action to address societal issues.

I do think we are going to see some really creative experiments around collective action. We are moving beyond the simple public-private partnership to collective action where you will have multiple players working on a common issue with a common set of goals.

Tomorrow’s business leaders must absolutely have a better understanding of environmental and social challenges and how they are intertwined with the business. NGO leaders must have a better understanding of the business world. This may call for a new dictionary that translates a few of the terms on one side of the fence or the other, so that people can better understand each other.

20.08.2014 Transition500 Alliance: A Radical Approach to Sustainability Consulting

image c/o Genesis Global Network(3BL Media and Just Means) - I get the sense that when it comes down to it, they are a group of no bull, get it done, hardliners, albeit their charming accents might suggest otherwise. Don’t be fooled.  Sustainability isn’t fluffy, and neither is a newly formed alliance of the world’s leading sustainability consultancies, Transition500. They call it radicalism.

Transition500 represents the collaboration of UK-based firm, Robertsbridge; US-based Future 500; Germany-based, Thema 1; Belgium-based, Conscience Consulting; and France, Spain and Italy-based, Transitions. They service 15 markets in Europe, North America and Asia and help multinational corporations in a variety of systemic, sustainability challenges. I was curious as to why these competitors would intentionally work together, and if and how they might create synergy. What I found was “coopetition.” The firms share intellectual property. They share team members as needed. They share vision, strategy and approach. Transition500 walks the talk, modeling sustainability in their cooperative approach.

“Essentially, there are different types of players. Some offer standardized support to companies. And, on the other end, are the individual consultants with different types of backgrounds. Transition500 has a very common, very different element. We are very connected with society and with NGOs, which brings a very specific approach. It’s radicalism. We go to the root of the problem, not just the surface. Due to the spread of our reach, we can offer services to clients that no other big players can offer.  The very nature of our identity, our common ground, is our very strong background connected with big NGOs like Greenpeace International and Friends of the Earth. This gives us official credibility when we talk to companies about stakeholder dialogue and connectivity,” explains Bruno Rebelle, General Manager of Transitions. 

Christopher Broadbent, the Deputy Chairman at Robertsbridge adds, “We have an understanding of how NGOs operate. We know how to create a bridge between them and business. This is attractive to some businesses, but not all.”

“We call ourselves a ‘critical friend.’ We look at long-term, strategic planning. You need to look at the bio-economy and transform the company from being just a commodity company. We are challenging people to think about new business models,” Erik Wohlgemuth, Chief Operating Officer of Future 500, said.

But what makes Transition500 radical is more than their multi-stakeholder approach. It’s their willingness to say no. To turn down work when they don’t agree with the client’s ethics or practices, like nuclear expansion and deforestation. And, they only work with clients who will take a systemic approach to sustainability. Transition500 isn’t looking to help any corporation put a Band-Aid on negative externalities.

“We [the UK wing of Transition500] won’t work with anyone who is involved in arctic, oil drilling or who harvests krill. There are quite a lot of oil companies we wouldn't work for and some we might. But above and beyond, the company has to demonstrate that they are serious because they know it will be painful.  A lot of the companies who hire us hold the same values. There are incredibly smart people who lead sustainability efforts within corporations,” Broadbent told me.

“When we start working with a client,” Rebelle explains, “we invite them on a journey of true sustainability. We find out if they are genuinely engaged to change or not.”

“So, what does sustainability mean to Transition500?” I asked. “How do three firms bring their own definitions and activities of this word together? And how do you know when to stop pushing? Isn’t the fact that these companies are completely oil dependent negate true sustainability?”

Rebelle was ready: “Is it better to praise a small company with a small percentage of the market who will do it all perfectly? Or is it more interesting for a company who can have a bigger reach, a lever for change?  No, it’s not perfect. For example, L’Oreal. I was invited by their marketing departments to challenge them about sustainability. I said, “I have a big problem with you because you want to reach another billion consumers. Why do you need to grow again and again? This is a big challenge for them. But, for another billion consumers, I would prefer these consumers choose better products.”

He added, “If you change the market leader, you will change the sector.”

If you change the market leader, you will change the sector. I repeated that a few times to myself after the interview ended. I think for a group of sustainability consultants working with some of the world’s largest multinationals, like L’Oreal, Nestle and others- that’s probably the most radical goal you can have. Go get ‘em, Transition500.

Read more about Transition500 here.




Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 7:30am

19.08.2014 Three big reasons why business is the best route to ending poverty


By Mal Warwick. This article was republished with permission from The Business Solution to Poverty's blog.

There’s nothing mysterious here. Poor people tell us they’re poor because they don’t have enough money—and who knows more about making money than businesspeople?

Capital, Jobs, Scale

Private business possesses three overarching and undeniable advantages in addressing the challenge of poverty:

  • Profitable businesses attract substantial capital.
  • Successful businesses hire lots of people.
  • Successful businesses are capable of reaching scale.

These factors are the foundational truths of The Business Solution to Poverty, the book I coauthored with Paul Polak. However, there are additional factors we believe bolster the economic power of business.

More Expertise, Less Pressure

Businesses, especially well-established companies, often can marshal all the necessary specialized expertise in design, financial management, marketing and other fields that are usually lacking or inadequate in either the public sector or the citizen sector.

Private businesses tend to be less susceptible to political pressure than governments, multilateral institutions and most citizen-sector organizations—especially in countries with weak governments.

Prosperous enterprises stimulate economic growth in the communities where they do business.

Doing the Math

Let’s take a look at a few numbers to get a sense of perspective on the issue of development.

Seventy trillion dollars. That’s $70,000,000,000,000, or $70 × 10 to the 12th power. This number is the estimated world gross domestic product (GDP) for 2012—clearly a very large number by anyone’s standards. And the World Bank’s estimate for 2013 was $75 trillion.

Most of the economic activity represented by those numbers takes place in the Global North – about $41 trillion, in fact, or nearly two-thirds of the 2012 total, as compared with the $12 trillion generated by the emerging economies of the South. And every year, according to the Financial Times, approximately $1 trillion more is invested in emerging economies.

Investors Find Opportunity in Global South

So, what can we conclude from all this number-mongering? There’s already a lot of money invested in the countries we consider poor. Seeking capital for the ventures we propose isn’t like asking for money to set up businesses on Mars. Because another $1 trillion is invested every year in the Global South, rich-country investors are obviously eager to find opportunities for lucrative new investments there. Just ask your broker or financial advisor.

Poor people themselves almost always put first priority on making more money because cash is fungible: it can be used to feed hungry members of the family, to invest in planting a more lucrative crop, to educate children, to gain access to legitimate health care, to replace a leaky thatched roof with corrugated tin—or to meet any other pressing need.

And, in the absence of a working social safety net, increased cash comes only from wages or salaries, or greater agricultural productivity enabled by technology, as well as money saved by access to better sanitation and health care.

Ending rural poverty is never a simple or easy thing to do, and not every poor family can attain the middle class in today’s harsh reality. Subsistence farming is the rule; joblessness is rife. More to the point, factors such as loss of hope, caste or class barriers, alcoholism, drug addiction, adherence to self-defeating religious beliefs, the subjugation of women, the lasting effects of childhood malnutrition and severe physical or mental limitations – not to mention usurious moneylenders and landlords or corrupt and oppressive governments – may make it all but impossible for a family to thrive in any one of the developing countries in particular.

However, by creating new markets that enhance opportunities for livelihood and open access for poor people to products and services such as clean water, nutritious food, electricity, improved shelter, accessible health care and education at prices they consider affordable – and by providing them with jobs in the enterprises that furnish these goods and services – the poverty that holds back such a large segment of the world’s population can become a thing of the past.

While improved education, health, political power, infrastructure and nutrition all play important roles, we have no doubt that improved livelihood provides the most direct path to the end of poverty.

It’s undeniable, then, that the private sector possesses all the financial and human resources needed to begin ending the scourge of poverty on Earth. But why would entrepreneurs, investors and existing businesses want to become engaged in what must seem a high-risk enterprise? I’ll discuss that topic in a post next week.

This article was adapted from The Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers, by Paul Polak and Mal Warwick. Originally written for and published on CSRwire’s Commentary Channel Talkback.

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19.08.2014 Global Ideas News Brief: Energy + Innovation


Economic opportunity

Fleeing War And Finding Work
In most parts of the world, refugees are not allowed to work. But in Uganda, refugee life is different.

Banks Vie for a Piece of Africa's Mobile Banking Market
In Kenya, where telecom companies dominate the mobile-payments market, one of the country's largest banks is fighting to retake some of its traditional turf.

Food security

Fed on food aid: does emergency nutrition cripple local economies?
After recent controversies in Haiti, do humanitarian organisations have a duty to address food security and livelihoods?


How to Make Fuel Subsidy Reform Succeed
CFR (Blog)
A few weeks ago, Yemen’s government took the bold – some might say foolhardy – step of winding down a fuel subsidy program that was costing it billions of dollars. Overnight, fuel prices in the country nearly doubled, sparking violent riots.


In Developing World, Most Dangerous Day of Life Is Birth
Last year, 289,000 women worldwide died giving life and about 1 million newborns didn't survive their first day amid a dearth of high-quality, skilled maternity care.

New Yorker
The lack of an Ebola treatment is disturbing. But, given the way drug development is funded, it's also predictable.

Emerging markets

Myanmar in Talks to Get First Credit Rating
Myanmar is in early-stage talks to get its first credit rating, people familiar with the matter said, paving the way for an eventual debut global-bond sale by a nation still recovering from decades of crippling military rule.

Telling the story of development

Engaging in Global Issues in the Classroom and Beyond
Of the more than 8,000 class periods that I have taught, one stands out as my favorite — not only for what happened in the class but also for how it transformed my teaching.

Funding development

Foundation-Owned Social Enterprises: A New Way Forward?
A novel impact investment model can help social enterprises and foundations generate a high social return on investment.

How Many Tons of Cement Will It Take to Rebuild Gaza?
The reconstruction effort will begin with a donor conference, which will likely be held in the Egyptian resort town of Sharem el-Sheikh in September, Frode Mauring, the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) special representative for Gaza and the West Bank.


The New Prize: Long-Term Training and Engagement
Prize and challenge designers are focusing on training future social innovators and creating communities of engaged problem solvers.


Would You Rather Be Rich In A Poor Country, Or Poor In A Rich Country?
Which is the better lot in life: To be poor in a rich country, or rich in a poor country? Take a guess now, before you read further. You may find the answer surprising.

A Start-Up Provides a Picture of our Shape-Shifting Planet
“Humans are having such an impact now,” Mr. Marshall said, “one in four of our Earth images shows agriculture. You see evidence of some human activity in almost all of them.” Even in a desert image, it’s hard to find something that isn’t human.

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19.08.2014 The MasterCard Foundation Wants to Change the Financial Game for World’s Poor


Wiry, with a youthful face beneath graying hair, Kumar works long hours driving an auto-rickshaw on the traffic-jammed streets of Bangalore. 

The video is meant to raise awareness about financial products that are meaningful and valuable to people like Kumar, whose needs are so different from those of typical Western customers.

Seated beside his wife, Kumar says he doesn’t apply for loans. Instead, he relies on his savings “to earn money and stand on [my] own.” He points to the ceiling and walls and says, “For me, my house is everything.”

For many of India’s poorest residents, children are everything.

“People see investing in their children as investing in the future,” says Tanaya Kilara, of the World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, which produced the video.

Listening to customers’ everyday needs can solve short-term problems, but listening to their dreams—like funding a child’s education—might help companies, banking institutions and NGOs create financial products that actually change the economic trajectory of that family.

Learn about real ideas to address solutions to problems the world’s poor face: check out the "virtual drafting table" WorkSpace which launched at the second annual MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion.

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19.08.2014 Working for a Generation of Girls Who Won’t be Cut

In 2008 I was volunteering in Ethiopia. I had stepped out of my 20-year corporate life and wanted a different rhythm. In Addis Ababa and the green hills behind it, I felt at home. The air was fresh, people were welcoming and the work was rewarding. I was at home in my tiny kitchen in […]

19.08.2014 RespAct! Children stand up for their communities.

project picture
$10 — will buy a jump rope.
$20 — will buy 1 pair of boxing gloves.One pair of gloves is used by at least three people! New boxing gloves are urgently needed to allow each person the ultimate boxing experience.
$30 — will buy a head protector.

give now

RespAct is a project of CamP Group gGmbH that encourages school children with different cultural and educational backgrounds to become active members and leaders in their communities. RespAct utilizes boxing exercises alongside participative videography and role plays to foster community engagement among children.

Project Needs and Beneficiaries
RespAct utilizes boxing exercises alongside participative videography and role plays to foster community engagement among primary school children. Since 2010 we have been conducting our project weeks in Berlin schools and youth clubs.

At RespAct we don't only provide the children with self-defense skills but initiate a comprehensive thought process about the roots of violence and what can be done on a community level to counter these. The mayor game allows the children to take on the role of the local mayor and to convince the rest of the group of their ideas for improvement. At the end of each project week the children present their ideas to teacher, parents and others.

Potential Long Term Impact
At RespAct we don't only provide the children with self-defense skills but initiate a comprehensive thought process about the roots of violence and what can be done on a community level to counter these. The mayor game allows the children to take on the role of the local mayor and to convince the rest of the group of their ideas for improvement. At the end of each project week the children present their ideas to teacher, parents and others.

Project Sponsor: Boxgirls International
Theme: Children | Location: Germany
Funding to Date: $0 | Need:$1,000
Project #17971 on

18.08.2014 GSK Encourages Employees to Take a Break from Work to Volunteer

(3BL Media and Just Means) - For Steve Pessagno, the decision to leave his job to volunteer in his local community of Philadelphia for six months was easy. Pessagno participated in GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) PULSE program, a skill-based, volunteer initiative which matches GSK employees’ skills with the needs of local nonprofits. GSK encourages their employees to build a local or global PULSE assignment into their personal development plan. And the most incredible part: GSK continues to pay PULSE volunteers their normal salaries and benefits packages during their assignment. GSK willingly provides their stakeholder communities with highly-skilled, business expertise. For free.

I recently spoke with Pessagno about his PULSE experience in 2012. He was paired with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that raises funding for pediatric, cancer research. After having worked with GSK for 16 years, with his role in 2012 as the Project Management Lead of the US Pharmaceuticals Transformation Office and Strategy Planning & Operations, I wondered how he could manage to get away from his job for six months and why he wanted to do it.

“Building community was always important to me,” Pessagno explained. “When I came to the company, I was impressed with and interested in the different types of philanthropy the company was involved with. I did some volunteering in Philly, six months here or there, but nothing stuck. When PULSE was announced, I knew it would provide me with an opportunity to get to know a nonprofit in my community. I also wanted to help further our GSK mission to partner with our local communities.”

Pessagno was a perfect fit for the needs of ALSF. The focus of his work was to re-establish a collaboration among childhood cancer research groups. He sought to assess their current work, diagnose barriers to action and design strategies for implementation. Pessagno relied heavily on his experience to GSK in order to rebuild the collaboration and create buy-in. He used a GSK framework as a strategy for this multi-stakeholder collaboration: diagnose, design, implementation, embed a change.

“I spent two months on diagnostic work. I was very fortunate that everyone wanted to talk with me. The pediatric cancer community had tried to collaborate together before. They knew there were things they needed to do together, as opposed to 200 organizations doing the same thing. There was pent up demand to figure out how to do this.

“I spent a lot of time really listening to people about what needed to happen. I spent time getting to know folks. And then I tapped into my network.  I was sitting at my desk thinking, ‘how am I going to do this all on my own?’ And then I thought, ‘when have you ever done something on your own?’ You don’t. You have a network. I began asking myself, ‘who works in nonprofits? Who understands collaboration models? Who at GSK knows people who work in this area?’”

After six months, Pessagno left the ALSF team and the larger network of pediatric, cancer research groups with a multi-stakeholder advisory board and a strategic plan of implementation. He returned to GSK with a renewed commitment to efficiency and compassion. He also found himself challenging GSK’s status quo and norms, a desired outcome for GSK through the PULSE program. By providing employees with the opportunity to work in the nonprofit sector, GSK knows they are creating an open channel for accountability and feedback.  

Pessagno explains, “I experienced a complete flip in my work at ALSF. I spent 80% of my time doing work and 15% in meetings. At GSK, we spend a lot of time in meetings. You can forget what you have with so many resources at your disposal.  Sometimes I catch myself instant messaging someone down the hall, but now I remember to get up and go talk to them. GSK and companies like it have the luxury of re-work, but with a nonprofit, we want to get it right the first time. And, I liked the way ALSF worked as a team. If there was a truck to unload, we dropped everything and we contributed.

“Overall, I have more focus on what matters. The types of things that used to distract me or get me worked up don’t matter anymore. After working with a group of people dedicated to ending cancer, you see just how much passion, optimism, and entrepreneurialism they bring.”

It’s not often I speak with a multinational corporation that encourages and empowers their employees to take time away from their jobs to support local organizations. I believe they are modeling sustainability: empowering employees, resourcing nonprofits, freely offering valuable and expensive expertise, providing channels of feedback and building a culture of accountability- in a unique way through PULSE. Keep up the great work, GSK.

Read Steve Pessagno’s story via this blog on ALSF.  Here’s more about PULSE at GSK.

Monday, August 18, 2014 - 6:00pm

18.08.2014 Theories of Change and Common Metrics Drive Search for Big Impact in Global Health

Innovation is a long game. What starts as a bold idea with the promise of tremendous social gains can take years to transform the status quo and achieve a big impact. To date, Grand Challenges Canada has supported over 500 innovations in our four short years of operation. We have come to appreciate the power […]

18.08.2014 Activating Empathy to Create Change News Roundup

Finalists will be revealed on 9/3! Until then, we’ve rounded up top stories about empathy making waves as a powerful driver of change in communities. (Photo: NERDS (Native Education Raising Dedicated Students) is a Semi-Finalist of the Building Vibrant Communities challenge and is featured on the Ashoka Changemakers Instagram this week!)

But first, a few announcements:

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18.08.2014 A new calculus for civil society

In the analog era, when you took action for social good the math was relatively straightforward;
                                 1 action = some result.

It might have been a 1:1 relationship: 1 donation = 1 meal.

It might have been more than that: 1 volunteer act = multiple additional donations = multiple benefits

It might have included a multiplier effect: Action sustained over time = new policies = multiple benefits

It might have backfired: 1 action = negative result

What it didn't have, and part of what makes digital action different, is a "digital differential."

Here's what I mean. In the digital environment, every action creates a digital trail - data, metadata or both. So if you click to like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge (for example, to be au courant) your click supports ALS research.  It also tells your friends you care about ALS (or that you are very much in the know), it also adds to the dataset of information about you that is being built by several enterprises and held in several places, and it also adds to the dataset of the ALS campaign.

Your single click becomes a digital data point with lots of potential other uses (marketing, donation solicitation, friendship building). One action = lots of derivative uses and interpretations, some by you, most by others.

This digital differential is true for all digital data. Our actions in digital space create an additional "resource" (data) that can be used in lots of ways. These digital differentials may be used for positive or negative actions. What happens with them is not inherent in the data, it will depend on what we do with the data and how we do it.

CrisisTextLine is a great example of this. It helps crisis counseling centers reach teens via text. In the analog age (last year) when this was done by phone, the math was straightforward:

ANALOG: 1 call = 1 teen helped.

Today, the math is different:

DIGITAL: 1 text message = 1 teen helped + a dataset of digital text messages (with more than 3 million records to-date).

This is one way (there are others) that digital changes the calculus of civil society.

What do you do with that dataset? How do you protect it and the rights of the people represented within it? CrisisTextLine hopes to make it useful to scholars and policymakers. You can see their work - and their ethical decisionmaking, struggles, and open questions about this here.* The upcoming Ethics of Data conference will look at these questions and many others in a broader civil society context. Some of the thinking on data philanthropy also addresses these issues.

*At the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford, we held a charrette around CTL's work - because their opportunities and challenges are all of ours, they're willing to share them publicly and ask for help, and we all stand to learn a great deal from what they are trying to do and how they are trying to do it.

18.08.2014 Rehabilitating Young Offenders: Youth Employment in Kenya

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Fair Observer on July 30, 2014. This interview was conducted by AshokaVickie Wambura Wamonje is the founder of Nafisika Trust, a prison rehabilitation program that seeks to reduce recidivism rates among prison inmates in Kenya.

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18.08.2014 6 Remittance Startups

In Venture Burn Jacques Coetzee writes:
Remittance is a massive cash cow in Africa and the rest of the developing world. The service fees for transacting money from across the continent or abroad amounts to an estimated US$60-billion. A ridiculous amount that’s even said to outweigh Western aid in the continent. But the cost isn’t limited to taxing financial fees. The value of time and security also affects a massive portion of the developing world.

Africans sending money home from abroad are charged an average of 12% according to the World Bank.
Apart from traditional system’s high costs, transferring money from point A to point B also takes time and is too often insecure. US services like PayPal, MoneyGram and Western Union meanwhile simply charge too much. As Ghanda’s bitcoin startup Kitiwa argues, companies based in the US have the ability to blacklist specific countries because of political reasons. This then disrupts businesses and consumers alike.

It’s little surprise then that there are many startups using tech trying to solve this hindrance (and possibly milk the cash cow). By leveraging technologies such as mobile phones, the internet and the popular digital currency bitcoin, startups are finding innovative solutions for unique problems...[continue reading]
Highlighted are the following trailblazers:Mergims,Kipochi,Bitx,Kitiwa,Remit,Bitpesa.

17.08.2014 The Power of Randomized Evaluation: Understanding Issues, Adapting Solutions

In international development there is a tension between the drive to “scale what works” and the fundamental reality that the world is complex, and solutions discovered in one place often can’t be easily transported to different contexts. At Innovations for Poverty Action, we use randomized controlled trials to measure which solutions to poverty work and […]

17.08.2014 Rethinking Accountability for Adaptive Initiatives

Unless we reframe what it means for social innovations to be accountable, we risk squelching the very creativity and ingenuity that are crucial to their success. Recognizing that difficult problems often require long-term transformative solutions, many funders and non-profits are adopting innovative strategies that are complex and dynamic, with goals and activities that emerge along […]

17.08.2014 Mike Brown Video, Ferguson Killed For No Reason

***********Warning, Graphic Video*********************

This video also has strong language in the comments section as well as during the video, I did not shoot this video, it was shot by a member of the apartment complex where Mike Brown of Ferguson Lived.

I didn't shoot this cellphone video, someone who lives in the apartment complex where Mike Brown of Fergsuon, Missouri lived shot it. It shows a body later identified as Mike Brown lying in the streets. For 10 minutes you can hear the commentary by the person shooting the video of what the police are alleged to have done on Saturday, August 9, 2014. You can hear what sounds like a relative of Mike Brown, possibly his mother screaming for someone to call the ambulance and to "help her baby." I'm not sure why Mike Brown's body was allowed to lay in the street uncovered. Mike Brown was an 18 year old African American gunned down allegedly by a Fergusn police office named Darren Wilson, a 6 year veteran of the force. Ad a result of the community being in an uprage over the treatment of young African American males by the Ferguson police department resulted in rioting and looting on Sunday, August 10th. Many local stores were looted by people who were later arrested and identified as not being residents of Fergsuon. The day after the looting, police use military style weapons to disperse the crowd of protesters who were chanting, "Hands up, Don't shoot." The last part of that chant, "Don't shoot" was allegedly what Mike Brown cried out to the police officer who killed him. According to the family of Mike Brown, Brown was on his knees with his hands raised in the air saying "Don't shoot."

This is a sad day not just in Ferguson, Missouri but in America as a whole.

***********Warning, Graphic Video*********************