Tag Archives: Information Technology

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

The Blue Sweater a book by Acumen Fund founder Jacqueline Novogratz

I had gotten a copy of Acumen Fund founder, Jacqueline Novogratz’s, book “The Blue Sweater” a couple of months ago and had kept promising myself that I would read it. Finally as I was leaving on a short trip to India, I threw it in my bag hoping to get to it during my visit. As the long 15 plus hour trip from Newark to Bombay stretched before me, I settled myself in as best as I could and opened the book expecting to read a few pages and then sleep as much as possible for the rest of the flight.

Once I started reading I was hooked. Before I knew it I had plowed through the entire volume. This is an extraordinary and powerful book. My personal interest in social entrepreneurship, particularly in solving issues in the developing world, had led me to peruse many books in the field – from the seminal one by David Bornstein to Jeff Sachs and Prof. Yunus. Each provided a perspective on development with solutions and suggestions. Yet somehow this book was different. Continue reading

The 140-Character Mission: Social Media & Social Entrepreneurship

The TiE Boston Social Entrepreneurs Group put on a great interactive panel discussion on using Social Media for non profits. The panelists represented a spectrum of cutting edge users in the social media space. They included (with their Twitter ids)

  • Ken George, New Media Production Manager, WBUR Boston (@kengeorge)
  • Brian Halligan, CEO and Co-founder, HubSpot (@bhalligan)
  • Gradon Tripp, Founder, Social Media for Social Change (SM4SC) (@gradontripp)
  • Joe Waters, Director of Cause Marketing, Boston Medical Center (@joewaters)
  • Kate Brodock, Other Side Group (Moderator) (@just_kate)

After the introductory discussion two non-profits presented their current online challenges and asked the panel for direction/advice

  • Sam Vaghar, Managing Director, Millennium Campus Network (@samvaghar)
  • Julie Soforenko, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, ACCION USA

It was a terrific session with some great insights and ideas.  I have tried to capture some of the nuggets from the evening in no particular chronological or preconceived order. Continue reading

Mobile Solutions for the Masses

After the plenary session, ForSE 2008: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs will break into multiple tracks to maximize interaction between attendees. Within each track we will have:

  • An in-depth discussion with a panel of practitioners and experts in that field.
  • A case study discussion with an emerging social entrepreneur to review and provide feedback on their business challenges.
  • Additional “How to” workshops and panels.

The six tracks themes are:

  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • Mobile Solutions for the Masses
  • Beyond Microfinance: Opportunities for change
  • Sustainable Ventures for non-profits
  • Building a Sustainable Food Supply
  • Cultivating a Generation -Engaging Young Entrepreneurs

Here is a description of one of the tracks.

Mobile Solutions for the Masses

The internet and personal computers have had a significant impact on the developing world. The advent of cell phones provided a cheap technology platform that has penetrated the farthest reaches of the world. No place better exemplifies this than India, with over 8.5 million additional subscribers in 2007, making it the country with the second largest wireless subscriber base. The cheap and pervasive technology platform has spawned a number of innovative solutions to address the social challenges at bottom of the pyramid, such as access to finance, illiteracy, and health care. This track will highlight some of these innovative solutions that have a significant potential for impact in the developing world.

Click here to register as only the first 180 registrants will get the discounted fees.

Scaling up healthcare solutions

Last Week’s Time magazine had an article written by Jeffery Sachs titled “Safety in Numbers” that highlights programs that are recruiting community workers to provide basic health services in rural communities. By investing in basic health care training of community workers, these programs provide a safety net for thousands of poor people who would otherwise be unattended.

The article highlights a couple of innovative efforts in India. Continue reading