Tag Archives: Service

Some reflections on Martin Luther King and non-profit leadership

Yesterday I had the opportunity to volunteer with a group at the Greater Boston Food Bank. After spending some time on the production line, and given the past weekend celebrating Martin Luther King, the group was asked to reflect on what Martin Luther King might have done in light of what we had seen and experienced, at the Greater Boston Food Bank as well as the larger set of social issues that we are exposed to in our daily lives. Continue reading

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Sustainable Business Models for Social Ventures

Panel Description for ForSE 2009

In decades past, many non-profits have achieved only temporary success and limited scale due to dependence on grants and donations. A new breed of ventures has begun innovating revenue models to build greater capacity and sustain operations. These approaches leverage the power of markets to meet social needs. Whether they’re building a socially responsible brand of clothing, providing renewable energy solutions, or bringing banking to the poor, these organizations have discovered the sustainable power of partnering with their customers.

Hear from a panel of innovative organizations that are thinking outside the box in terms of building sustainable models. Click here to register.

Panelists

Moderator

  • Prof Nitin Joglekar, School of Management, Boston University

Equal Exchange – Special In-depth Case Study and solutions brainstorming

Case Presenter: Rodney North, The Answer Man, Equal Exchange

Moderator: Gaurav Rohtagi, Principal, Continuum

Equal Exchange, the Massachusetts-based employee-owned worker co-operative best known for introducing Fair Trade coffee to American grocery stores in that late ‘80s.

Equal Exchange has over 100 employees in 6 states and $35 million in annual revenue. They’ve recently won six different awards for their environmentally and socially responsible business practices including the Social Innovation Award from the Financial Times newspaper and the World’s Most Democratic Workplace award from WorldBlu.

Interview on Social Entrepreneurship

I was recently interviewed by New England’s largest e-magazine for South Asians, lokvani.com about my views on social entrepreneurship. You can find the full interview at their site here.

“The passage of the Edward Kennedy Serve America Act this week marks the coming of age of Social Entrepreneurship (SE)” says Raj Melville, who is one of the co-founders of the TIE-SE SIG. He talked to Lokvani about this concept which combines for-profit and non-profit work by entrepreneurs to address a social issue in a sustainable and scalable manner. It has now become the new buzz word. (from Lokvani.com)

A new era of service by Barack Obama

I am reproducing the entire text of an editorial by President Barack Obama that appeared on TIME Magazine’s website today.

It was a precursor to the news later in the day that one of the two pieces of Service based legislation – the GIVE Act – was passed with a strong bi-partisan majority of 321 to 105 in the House. The senate version of the bill – the Kennedy/Hatch Serve America Act – is awaiting final approval. If the two bills are finally reconciled and passed, they will, according to the New York Times, “be [the] largest expansion of government-sponsored service programs since President John F. Kennedy first called for the creation of a national community service corps in 1963.”

This is indeed a new era of Service

Continue reading

A new beginning

As the world watches the inauguration of the new president Barack Obama, it is an opportune time to renew a commitment to service and social upliftment. Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day in the USA and the incoming president took the opportunity to exhort the nation to dedicate itself to a day of service. The President-elect launched a service initiative, Renew America Together.

“Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday [is] a day to be remembered and celebrated not as a day off, but as a day on,” said Obama.

More importantly, it is not just on this day but every day that one rededicates oneself to serve. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”