Kay Sprinkle Grace, as many articles describe her, is one of the greatest philanthropists and fundraisers of our time. Yes, she does sprinkle grace, along with an extraordinary love for humanity. Kay has given my research a philanthropic point of view on what is changing the world and has seen the issue from a unique perspective. Continue Reading →
When I asked Kevin Jones what was the one thing he could change in the whole world he quoted one of his mentors, Elinor Ostrom, the first women to receive the Nobel price for economics in 2009: “Don’t get stuck in trying to change the world but rather think about what around you can you change, that is part of the world you want to create.”
Jones deals with “the intersection of money and meaning” and challenges what he calls “the myth” where capital is about money and giving is about good. In our interview he explains that non-profits live to deal with the problems created by the for-profit world; they exist to leave the market alone and help distribute the excess. Continue Reading →
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Duncan Logan is the founder and Ceo of RocketSpace; an accelerator for high-growth, seed-funded tech startups. The foundation of RocketSpace is a high-quality technology community that offers ultimate flexibility for a rapidly-growing tech startup.Their goal is to create the most amazing environment for companies either to become hugely successful or to fail fast.
According to Duncan, we’ve come into the information age and it doesn’t matter what industry you are in, technology is playing an ever increasing part of that world and so the people working in technology are making a big impact.
He believes that the easier way to have a successful business is to provide something that is really valuable to some part of the community, society or business. In other words, it is essential, when building something, to understand the importance of solving a problem. In this way, whether you will be changing the world or not you will still be making a difference for someone.
Duncan states that the new generation who is coming through now is more socially responsible than the two previous generations, I have in fact been seeing a high and growing percentage of startups with “social” goals (social as in social good) pitching at various Demo Days. An impactful idea of this “Tech Age”, which Duncan believes has a big potential for social good is the crowd-funding concept and the platforms that it has generated. Crowdfunding empowers everyone to give and to receive, any amount of funds in a quick and easy way.
However what changes the world is not always a social enterprise or non-profit ; there are tech-companies that are changing the world even though they are not so obvious when talking of social good. An example which Duncan points out, is Twitter. Twitter is giving a voice to everyone. It is taking away the entitlement of a few and giving it to everyone. As Twitter shows, it is important, like Duncan believes, that companies try to be profitable because they have a potential for social impact.
Whatever you build, create value. This will give you a chance to have an impact. Which could lead you, to change the world.
Josh Mendelsohn is a founder and fund principal at Hattery. A veteran of a number of Silicon Valley companies, Josh’s career has been largely focused on helping startups and nonprofits scale to support growing customer and user bases. Josh enjoys building things that work, whether they be companies or organizations, or stuff that requires superglue.Josh has previously been Director of Business Operations at tunein, a best selling mobile music application. He also led Colligy, an innovative project in which machine learning and linguistic algorithms were used to derive relationships among seemingly disparate news content. Josh started his career with the Federal Government at the Department of the Treasury and Department of Defense. Has been Program Manager at Google for six years and has an A.B. in Government from Harvard University.
Josh’s defintion of Social has to do with “pushing humanity forward”. He believes that technology and invention can do so and change the world. Technology first of all because it helps people interact in a whole new different way; it makes the world a more universal place and when he thinks of what changes the world, it’s how you bring people together. Invention is another key factor for him, because when you invent something new you are helping everybody and you can have political change come from creation. He does not distinguish between companies, charities and social enterprises and believes they all have a potential for social impact. Ultimately Josh says that “Every company should really have a thought of what social means for them and how they are part of this global network of people.”
I do agree that when technology is used to bring people together, change becomes possible. If I think of the great leaders we have had (such as Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela) their leadership and achievements have been all about creating change by uniting people. I often think how difficult it was for them to do so without the opportunities that technology gives us now-a-days as well as the empowerment the internet has given us and the potential that anyone, anywhere in the world, has today, to change the world.
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I called myself a “social entrpreneur” untill I heard a very well known venture capitalist from silicon valley say “I don’t like the definition social entrpreneur, because all entrprenuers are social.” So this really caught my curiosity and raised some questions:
Who is really having a social impact and where do you draw the line between social and non social? Continue Reading →