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Pulitzer Prize Winners’ New Book Is Required Reading For Social Entrepreneurs - #1201
December 20, 2019 06:00 AM PST
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Pulitzer Prize Winners Nicholas Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn have written a new book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, to be released next month. The book will follow the model of the couple’s previous collaborations, Half the Sky and A Path Appears, painful analyses of big social problems that also celebrate the hope found in existing solutions.
Without the benefit of a review copy, I recorded a discussion of the book and some of his other writing with Kristof several months ago. I invite you to watch the interview in the player above. Kristof’s thoughtful manner of speaking reflects a mind practiced in editing his prose as he goes, sometimes causing him to pause mid-sentence only to finish the thought by starting or finishing a new sentence, leaving the last incomplete.
It’s a style that has garnered the New York Times columnist millions of social media followers to whom he has often appeared in self-produced videos like mine (the key difference being the size of our respective audiences). His millions of fans and followers feel an authentic connection to the self-described “farm boy” from Oregon, despite more than because of his Harvard and Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar) education and 30+ years at the Times.
Kristof partners with WuDunn, his wife of three decades with whom he has three children, to write books. They won a Pulitzer for their coverage of the Tiananmen massacre in 1989 while they both worked at the Times. WuDunn now works in banking.
For Tightrope, which he describes as “deeply personal,” Kristof begins with his own beginning, returning to his rural hometown of Yamhill, Oregon. He focuses on the kids who were on his old school bus. “And about a quarter of those kids have passed away largely from what economists call a death of despair, drugs, alcohol, suicide and also reckless accidents.”
“Most of America has looked the other way as working families have collapsed into a miasma of lost jobs, drugs and shortening life expectancy,” he told me.
“One of the stories we tell is of some neighbors who lived not far from us,” he says beginning his narrative. “There's a family of five kids. The oldest was in my grade. Really, I mean, everybody was very smart. And they had risen very, very quickly. I mean, the 20th century had been enormously good to them. The dad had a good labor union job. And then then everything kind of collapsed and the jobs went away. The kids all ended up dropping out of school and they self-medicated with that with alcohol, with other drugs.”
“And then then they became less employable, less marriageable. The family structure, which had been really strong in my community, just collapsed very, very quickly. The social fabric, it became undone,” he said, speaking of his hometown. “And so now of those five kids, four of the five are now dead. And the only one who survived survived because he spent 13 years in the Oregon State Penitentiary on drug offenses.”

Read the full Forbes article and watch the interview here: http://bit.ly/35MqCeM

How Johnson & Johnson Is Changing The World Through Crowdfunding - #1200
December 18, 2019 06:00 AM PST
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We at the Your Mark on the World Center have been sharing podcasts and YouTube episodes of the Your Mark on the World Show - The Social Impact Podcast about crowdfunding for good and other topics for the past eight years. In that time, we’ve had many sponsors but none so generous as Johnson & Johnson’s CaringCrowd.

CaringCrowd is J&J’s crowdfunding platform for global public health nonprofits. J&J collects no fees from users and matches most individual donations on the site up to $250. The mission alignment between CaringCrowd and the Your Mark on the World Center has been perfect, making the two organization synergistic partners.

CaringCrowd has provided funding not only to continue the show but also to do on-site training for nonprofit organizations across the country. This training, conducted from Montana to Mississippi and New York, has empowered nonprofits of all sorts to become more effective fundraisers, accelerating their various missions from serving the homeless to educating children around the world.

It is important to note that CaringCrowd co-founder, John Brennick, has become a great friend and is a true champion of global good. Guided by a commitment to true north, his decisions have always been based around maximizing the impact of the organization for the benefit of the most people. Humans around the world owe their lives to a quiet, unassuming guy passionately working to help nonprofits raise more money.

As we bring the show and the work of the Your Mark on the World Center to a close, we want to express our deepest appreciation to the support of Johnson & Johnson and CaringCrowd and John for their trust and support. However much or little we’ve done, we couldn’t have done it without you.

CEO Who Led Red Cross From Brink Of Disaster Reflects On Leadership Lessons Learned - #1199
December 17, 2019 06:00 AM PST
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Gail McGovern, 67, became the eighth CEO in five years at the American Red Cross in 2008, as the country entered its most severe economic downturn in seven decades. Today, she remains at the head of what is once again a fiscally healthy nonprofit. Looking back, she reflects on what she learned.

The $3 billion annual revenue organization responds to 60,000 disasters every year, ranging from single house fires affecting one family to natural disasters that impact hundreds of thousands. At the time she took the helm, the large nonprofit had drawn down its available credit lines and was nearing the brink of its own disaster.

McGovern successfully steered the organization through the crisis and credits the leaders of the organization for their resilience during the challenging period.

She had been through challenges before; in fact, she often sought them out early in her career. Along with 1900 men, she was one of just 50 women admitted to Johns Hopkins University the first year that women were allowed.

She joined AT&T doing technology “back when dinosaurs roamed the earth,” she quips. She nearly had to beg for an opportunity in sales, defending her candidacy by noting she’d sold Girl Scout cookies. A series of other lateral moves prepared her for a trajectory that landed her in the executive suite. Later, she would join Fidelity Investments as president of Fidelity Personal Investments, overseeing an operation with 10,000 people and $500 billion under management.

After leaving, she spent four years at Harvard when the challenges at the Red Cross created an opportunity there. It appealed to her “give-back gene” so she took the job.

“After 28 years in the for-profit world, you would think I had learned what I need to learn,” McGovern says. Referring to her experience leading the Red Cross, she adds, “But it taught me to be a different and better leader as a result of that experience.”

McGovern shared what she learned about being a leader, lessons she says would have applied perfectly in her for-profit experience to make her a better leader.

“Back when I was in the for-profit sector, you know, I would tell people, ‘Calm down. It's just telecommunications. We're not saving lives here,’ or at Fidelity, I'd say, ‘Calm down. You know, it's just managing money. We're not saving lives here,” she explains. “That schtick doesn't work at the American Red Cross.”

“What I've learned at the Red Cross is it's possible to not only lead with your head, but also lead with your heart.”

She says, in the for-profit world, it was her style to seek input and build consensus, but she and the team knew that at the end of the day, she had the authority to make decisions and she did. “I would say, ‘OK, we’re going to do this. Everybody jump!’ And people would say, ‘How high?’”

She says, working with 300,000 volunteers and a relatively small staff of just 19,000 mission-driven people, that approach doesn’t work. She says, directing volunteers is different. When you say, “’OK, everybody jump!’ And they say, ‘No, I'm not ready to. You can convince me. I don't understand how that's going to help our mission.’”

Her success suggests she learned to adapt quickly. “What I've learned is, first of all, you can lead to the power of your ideas, not the power of your office.”

Read the full Forbes article and watch the interview here: http://bit.ly/2PPFjHa.

This Mom Has Raised $175 Million To Fight Cancer In Honor Of Her Daughter - #1198
December 16, 2019 06:00 AM PST
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Alex Scott never remembered a time she didn’t have cancer, having been diagnosed before her first birthday. She died at age eight. During her lifetime, Alex led efforts to raise over $1 million to fight childhood cancer.

Her mother, Liz Scott, has continued the effort inspired by her daughter. The organization she inspired has now raised $175 million to fight cancer, about $25 million this year.

As we approach the end of the run of the Your Mark on the World Show, I invited Liz to return to the show to provide an update as her inspiring story remains one of my favorites.

Interview with Liz Scott, the Co-Executive Director of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

The following is the pre-interview with Liz Scott. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

Revenue model:

ALSF generates revenue through supporter donations, partnerships with local and national businesses and by hosting special events.


ALSF now has more than 50 employees and generates about $25 million annually

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

ALSF's goal is to find a cure for cancer. In the meantime, ALSF is funding research to help provide better, less toxic treatments to children with cancer.

This Founder’s Story Will Inspire You - #1197
December 13, 2019 06:00 AM PST
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In 2008, Aussie Daniel Flynn came across two facts: children were dying (some still are) due to waterborne illnesses and the world market for bottled water was about $50 billion (now it is about $140 billion). In that juxtaposition, he saw a solution. The idea for Thankyou Water was born.

Working with his buddy Jared Burns and his then girlfriend now wife Justine Flynn, as first-year university students, they launched a consumer brand that features 55 different products and is sold in 5,500 locations across Australia and more recently New Zealand, dropping “water” from the brand to become “Thankyou.” The plan was to give 100% of profits to nonprofits working to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2015, the company set up a charitable trust which now owns the business. All dividends flow to the trust to be distributed ultimate to charities.

But I’ve skipped the good parts.

At the outset, the team found a bottler that agreed to produce their product without charging anything upfront.

“I remember we pitched to the largest distributor of beverages in the country. They work for brands like Lipton Iced Tea and Red Bull. And we're in the meeting sharing the vision we had, change the world, you know, one bottle at a time,” Flynn says. “And on the spot in our first sales pitch, the director says, ‘I love it. I'm going to order 50,000 units from you guys.’ And then he said, ‘How quick can you get it to me?’”

After a pause, unprepared for the question, Flynn says, “Well, give us about three weeks.”

“I mean, we were first-year university students. We had no concept of manufacturing lead times,” he adds.

“It sort of sums up Thankyou,” Flynn says. “We really haven't known what we were doing. And yet people have come around this idea.”

The social media marketing and the authentic connection with consumers has been key to success.

Rotary CEO Says Rotary Will End Polio And Do So Much More - #1196
December 11, 2019 06:00 AM PST
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Rotary General Secretary John Hewko was recently given the additional title of Chief Executive Officer, which didn’t change his job description so much as it gives clarity to his role, especially for those outside the organization.

John is passionate about ending polio—and not just because that’s his job. For the past eight years, he has traveled to Tuscon, Arizona to participate in a 106-mile bike ride known as El Tour De Tuscon. Over the years, he and other Rotarians have raised over $50 million for the fight.

From his desk, John has a view of Rotary International that is uniquely broad and all-encompassing. No one knows more about the wide-ranging work Rotary does from local park projects around the world to international projects undertaken collaboratively among clubs from different parts of the world to address critical problems like clean water and maternal and child health.

Rotary is also working, he says, to create a new membership model that will allow people to join Rotary International without joining a local club. Tune in to the full interview to get more from John’s perspective.

Experts Share Insights On Tech For Good - #1195
December 10, 2019 06:00 AM PST
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In a series of discussions at the University of California Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, hosted by Originate and BCG Digital Ventures, experts comment on "Tomorrow's Technologies." For one on social good, I was invited to moderate. The panelists were:

Margret Trilli: President & Chief Investment Officer of Impact Assets
Rebecca Masisak: CEO of TechSoup
Gunnar Lovelace: Founder, Thrive Market & Founder & CEO, GoodMoney
Peter Felix: Director of Inventory Control, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

About Margret Trilli:

Margret's 25-year career includes executive leadership, investment and operating roles for large and small companies including Barclays Global Investors/Blackrock and Charles Schwab. Currently, Margret is the President and Chief Investment Officer of ImpactAssets where she recently led the firm through the $1B AUM milestone. ImpactAssets advises philanthropists on their impact investing across the spectrum of asset classes and impact themes. The firm specializes in helping families and foundations set impact and investment strategies and realize them through their donor-advised fund, which is the only donor-advised fund dedicated to the catalyzation of impact investing.

Margret graduated from Stanford Graduate School of Business and holds a degree in Economics from University of California Santa Barbara.

About Rebecca Masisak:

Rebecca sets the strategic direction for TechSoup and provides executive oversight of all aspects of the organization and its global operations.

She joined TechSoup in 2001 to launch its e-commerce donation platform, moving the organization from a local Bay Area focus to a national reach. In 2006, she founded the TechSoup Global Network to scale the program’s impact globally. Ms. Masisak became CEO of the organization in 2012, after having served the prior six years as co-CEO.

She previously worked as a strategy consultant with Coopers & Lybrand and in leadership roles at several Internet businesses. She holds an M.B.A. from the Columbia University Business School. Ms. Masisak was named one of the Most Influential Women of the Bay Area 2017 by San Francisco Business Times and co-leads the Bay Area Social Enterprise Leadership Forum.

About Gunnar Lovelace:

Lovelace is an active impact investor and operator focused on creating scalable examples of business as a force for good. His last company Thrive Market has competed successfully in the massive trillion-dollar US grocery market against the likes of Amazon and many others, has millions of users, 700+ employees, raised over 200m and is the first e-commerce company to go zero waste from distribution center to landfill. His new company Good Money is conscious mobile banking where every customer becomes an owner over time.

About Peter Felix:

Peter Felix is the Director of Inventory Control for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, a leading Southern California Non-Profit. He has championed the use of technology in supply chain management, finance and constituent relationship management (CRM) to effectively manage the over 85 millions pounds of food received and distributed annually to the food insecure in Los Angeles County.

About Originate:

Originate designs and builds custom software products that solve complex problems for organizations of all sizes and verticals. Originate is the behind-the-scenes innovation partner behind some of the world’s most recognized blue-chip brands and transformative startups. The company works across diverse sectors including real estate, financial services, retail, consumer goods and more to turn disruptive ideas into business opportunities for clients. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Originate has global presence with offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Newport Beach and Berlin. Visit us at www.originate.com, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.

About BCG Digital Ventures:

BCG Digital Ventures is a corporate innovation, incubation, and investment firm. They invent, launch, scale, and invest in industry-changing new businesses with the world’s most influential companies. Their diverse, multidisciplinary team of entrepreneurs, operators, and investors work cross-functionally, rapidly moving from paper to product to business in less than 12 months. Founded in 2014 as a subsidiary of Boston Consulting Group, they have Innovation Centers and satellite locations in four continents and continue to expand their footprint across the globe.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Climate Change But Were Afraid to Ask - #1194
December 09, 2019 06:00 AM PST
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Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist who leads the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University and is the host and producer of the PBS series Global Weirding. I asked her everything you want to know about climate change but were afraid to ask.

Hayhoe has a positive, upbeat manner that leaves listeners feeling as if she’s talking about planning the best birthday party ever rather than warning about climate change. Perhaps that is her appeal. She has earned a reputation—she’s been named to Time’s 100 most influential people list and Fortune added her to their World’s Greatest Leaders list—for being able to communicate climate science better than most.

She explained why a difference as small as two degrees actually matters, why she calls it global weirding, how she explains climate science to skeptics who are religious, and the respective roles of big business, entrepreneurs and individuals in fighting climate science.

Customarily, I think it is my role as a Forbes contributor to distill a source’s insights into digestible bites for my readers. Hayhoe is such an effective communicator that I’ve instead chosen to provide you with a lightly edited transcription of most of our conversation (I still hope you’ll watch or listen to the full interview.)

Read the full Forbes article and watch the interview here: http://bit.ly/2YzW7FV.

How This UC Berkeley Professor Teaches People To Become Changemakers - #1193
December 03, 2019 04:03 PM PST
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Alex Budak co-founded a crowdfunding site called StartSomeGood.com, a platform for social entrepreneurs and other changemakers. As he became acquainted with people around the world who were starting to do some good, his passion increased.

He continues to advise StartSomeGood and now works as a full-time faculty member at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He’s teaching people how to become changemakers. He shares some of his insights below and in the video above.

The following is the pre-interview with Alex Budak. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

Expert Tips:

Tip 1: Companies, communities and, indeed, our world are calling out for a new type of leader. A leader who is resilient, creative, collaborative and optimistic. A leader who can work across sectors and hierarchies and defies stereotypes, and the status quo. A leader ready and able to create the future.

I call this new type of leader a changemaker.

Tip 2: The mindset and leadership skills a changemaker needs are all learnable and practicable by each of us. The mindset includes traits like resilience, humility, trust, collaboration and smart risk-taking. Leadership skills include influencing without formal authority and inspiring others towards a shared vision.

Tip 3: To teach changemakers, we must change the way we teach. The best way to become a changemaker is to practice becoming one. My course includes frameworks and theories grounded in research but then encourages and inspires students to take what they are learning and put it all into action. University education must get students out of their seats and into a mode of doing!

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here: http://bit.ly/joindevin.

A Top Female Rotary Leader Says Recruiting Women Is A Growth Opportunity - #1192
December 04, 2019 06:00 AM PST
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On World Polio Day, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jennifer Jones who now serves on The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees and who previously served on the Rotary International Board of Directors and as its Vice President. In that capacity, she reached the highest rank achieved by a female in Rotary.

Rotary excluded women until a United States Supreme Court ruling on May 5, 1987 that opened the door for women to join the organization.

Jennifer was a reporter who covered Rotary before women were allowed to join and remembers attending at least one club meeting with all men. She was treated well and later, when the opportunity presented itself, she joined.

She has risen through the ranks in an unprecedented way. Speculation abounds that she could one day be Rotary’s first female president.

In our discussion, we talked about her experiences and thoughts about women in Rotary. She points out that because women slightly outnumber men in the world and are also underrepresented in Rotary, an emphasis on recruiting women represents an opportunity to grow Rotary’s membership.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here: http://bit.ly/joindevin.

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