Category Archives: sustainability

12 wonderful wishes you can share for 2012

As we tick down another year and look back at all the milestones of the past year and plan for the next, it is time to also consider some of the wonderful organizations that are making an impact around the world.

Here is my list of a dozen that are making a difference in no particular order. Most of them are young organizations that are just getting started and an opportunity for you to get involved and help them on their way.

  • Greentown Labs http://greentownlabs.org/ An incubator for clean technology ventures that allows entrepreneurs to get down and dirty constructing their next generation green machines. Setup as a nonprofit and collaborative, Greentown provides a unique location for startups that need to build stuff.
  • Sol Solution http://www.sol-solution.org/ A nonprofit that helps underprivileged schools to save on expenses by installing solar solutions to offset their electricity expenses.
  • Social Capital http://www.socialcapitalinc.org/  Social Capital inc has worked over the past 10 years to strengthen communities by connecting diverse individuals, neighbors and organizations and bringing them together through civic initiatives
  • ABAN http://www.aban.org/ Is a young organization that I came across during a visit to University of North Carolina that was started by a team of passionate students that works with the street girls of Accra to help them learn a trade, make a living, and secure a future as well as helping them transform their city into a healthier environment.
  • Space with a soul http://www.spacewithasoul.org/ is another innovative nonprofit that provides shared office space and services to nonprofits. A great landing place for emerging nonprofits as they get started.
  • Peace First http://www.peacefirst.org/site/ Peacefirst works to build a safe and productive environment at schools by teaching students the skills of conflict resolution and civic engagement.
  • Samarthanam http://www.samarthanam.org/ Samarthanam is a nonprofit registered in India and the US that provides quality education, accommodation, nutritious food, vocational training to help empower the visually impaired, disabled and underprivileged in India. It runs a free middle school for underprivileged youth including the visually handicapped.
  • Merrimack Valley Sandbox http://www.uml.edu/mvsandbox/default.html Launched in 2010 November by the Deshpande Foundation, the Merrimack Valley Sandbox works with students in the Lowell/Lawrence area through partnerships with colleges and community organizations to build leadership and entrepreneurship within the Merrimack Valley.
  • LifeCity http://mylifecity.com/  LifeCity helps encourage green businesses in Louisiana through its membership organization where customers get discounts to green businesses and products and green businesses certified by LifeCity get greater visibility and support from LifeCity members.
  • Peacetones  http://peacetones.org  Peacetones supports talented, unknown artists from developing nations build their careers while giving back to their communities.
  • Vision Aid http://visionaid.org/ VisionAid works to help people with visually related disabilities in underserved areas to lead a life of independence and dignity.
  • Ummeed http://ummeed.org/ is a nonprofit that works with children with developmental disabilities in Mumbai and is one of the few that helps bring professional support to this segment of society in India.
Advertisements

ForSE 2010: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs, Oct 30 Northeastern University

This picture shows a panorama of Boston (USA).

Image via Wikipedia

For the fourth year, TIE Social Entrepreneurs Group together with Northeastern University’s Social Enterprise Institute and the Netimpact Undergrad organization will be hosting ForSE 2010: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs.  ForSE 2010 brings together social innovators, leading business professionals, investors, donors, government officials, academics, and students to share new technology and business ideas with the potential for significant social impact.

We have a terrific line up of keynote speakers and panelists this year including

  • Prof. Kasturi Rangan, who is co-chair of Harvard’s Social Enterprise Initiative and Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing
  • Gianfranco Zaccai, co-founder, Chairman, President and Chief Design Officer of Continuum, a design consultancy that has delivered significant designs for social impact globally.

We are excited to note that two of our invited panelists – Dr. Una Ryan and Sam White – were subsequently listed as one of Boston’s top 15 Innovators by the Boston Globe. Also participating are Pradip Sarmah, Ashoka Fellow and founder of the Rickshaw Bank; Josh Biber, Executive Driector, Teach for America; Brian Milder, Managing Director, Root Capital; and many others. Four tracks on Health, Sustainability, Technology and Education promise engaging conversations with committed leaders delivering significant social impact. An Unconference session after the panels, allow you to continue the conversation with the panelists in a more informal setting.

And if you know of promising social entrepreneurs, this year we have our second Pitch contest where they can refine their pitch, test their ideas and wow a panel of seasoned judges. Click here for info on the Pitch Contest.

Sign up soon as we have limited attendance to 250 registrants and we have consistently sold out in past years. More details of ForSE 2010 at the website at: http://www.forumse.org You can register at the TIE Boston site.

TIECON Social Enterprise Track Provides New Perspective

For the first time TIECON EAST – TiE Boston’s annual conference on entrepreneurship and innovation – had a dedicated track on Social Enterprise. The three panels in the track – ‘Healthcare Innovation in a Global Village’, ‘IT & Communications for the Developing World’ and ‘Feeding 9 Billion people’ – were all well attended and engaged the attentive audience with the incisive discussions. Here are some excerpts from an article I wrote for Lokvani about the sessions. Continue reading

Bill Drayton – Social Entrepreneurship’s Rock Star

I was lucky to attend the HBS SE Conf 10th Anniversary Keynote Panel.  The panel consisted of Bill Drayton, founder of Ashoka and granddaddy of social entrepreneurship, David Gergen, presidential advisor emeritus and ubiquitous political commentator, Jon Greenblatt, founder of Ethos water, and Clara Miller, CEO of Nonprofit fund. More on the panel in a later post.

The hall was packed. Over a thousand people filled the room, lined the wall and crowded the passageways. It was great to see the energy behind this. Continue reading

HBS SE Conference Keynote by Linda Rottenberg of Endeavor

The opening keynote to the 10th annual HBS Social Enterprise Conference was a truly inspirational presentation by Linda Rottenberg from Endeavor, Inc.  Endeavor helps mentor and grow entrepreneurs in developing countries. It has screened over 18000 candidates and selected 400 entrepreneurs, who have generated over 86,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in revenue.

Linda traced the arc of social entrepreneurship as it accelerated over the past decade from an idea to formally becoming a key movement. Here are some of my notes from the session.

She pointed out that the long path was facilitated with three key developments.

  • When Bono became the symbol for AIDS in Africa with his RED Campaign, he made social activism cool
  • When Prof Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace prize, he instantly became the visible leader from within the field.
  • When Bill Gates went beyond establishing his foundation and stepped down from Microsoft to focus exclusively on his philanthropic work and presented his vision of Creative Capitalism, he made social entrepreneurship mainstream.

It is clear that government cannot solve all social problems. Businesses on the other hand are not always there to fill in the gaps. This is where social entrepreneurs come in. Continue reading