Social Good Summit 2011 (presented by Mashable, 92nd Street Y & the UN Foundation)

A few months ago whilst catching up on the latest social media news I came across the “Social Good Summit” – an annual conference hosted by Mashable, 92nd Street Y, and the United Nations Foundation aimed at bringing together technologists, thought leaders and passionate activists to unlock the potential of new media and technology to make the world a better place.

Why not?

Since I was heading back to North America for a few months, and seeing that Ted Turner, Lance Armstrong and Doug Ulman were going to be amongst some of the notable speakers, I thought to myself, “Why not grab a couple of tickets and use this as a reason to visit New York?”.

Afterall, it’s an opportunity to connect with some amazing people and organizations involved in social good.

At first I thought it was just going to be a small event, however as the weeks rolled by more and more Read more…

Nike: Working Towards a Better World

Sports have always been an important part of my life.

Whether it’s basketball, baseball, tennis, football, swimming, running or soccer, I’ve always been involved in sports in some aspect or the other.

Playing sports has kept me fit and out of trouble. It’s taught me individual (strength, perseverance) & team (interpersonal, collaboration) skills.

Most importantly, sports have taught me responsibility.

My actions (big or small), always have an impact on myself, teammates and the game. By being accountable, it’s forced me to always strive to become better.

Better World

Nike is a brand that’s synonymous with sports.

Seek high performance in any sport, and you’ll find a Nike product that is specifically designed to help you do better.

In recent years however, Nike has opened up its “better” focus towards positively impacting society, and the environment.

Earlier this year, Nike launched its corporate responsibility micro-site “Nike: Better World” with one mission: Make the world better through sport.

Start of by Read more…

Paint It (RED)

What’s found in stores, socially responsible, and (RED) all over?

In our society, shopping has become somewhat of a sport. Black Friday deal-hunting crowds make headlines and entire television shows are dedicated to the premise of coupon collecting. Surely we are all motivated by getting the most ‘bang for our buck’. So, what about the possibility of changing a life while you pick up a new t-shirt? Funding the donation of antiretroviral drugs to AIDS inflicted communities at the same time you buy a new iPod? To me that seems like the ultimate bargain.

This is the very premise of (RED). (RED) is all about letting our purchasing power speak for those who do not have it. It’s about recognizing our ability to choose what we buy and picking the product that can bring about positive change.

In the beginning

(RED) was created by musical artist Bono in conjunction with Bob Shriver, activist and politician. It came Read more…

Acumen Fund: Investments not Grants, Building Business Models to Solve the World’s Problems

This story begins with Jacqueline Novogratz’s favourite blue sweater…

Jacqueline Novogratz: Founder of Acumen Fund

And so this amazing tale inspired Jacqueline’s ambitious venture into social good with her creation of Acumen Fund: an organization dedicated to investing in social entrepreneurs and enterprises focused on providing critical goods to the world’s poor.

Investing Patient Capital in Social Entrepreneurs

By using the idea of patient capital (where investors are willing to make a financial investment in a business with no expectation of turning a quick profit) and investing this into people trying to solve vital problems for the poor in their region, this essentially creates a system that combines both businesses (whose bottom line is profit) and philanthropy (a focus on creating a positive impact on society), ultimately breaking the cycle of poverty.

Since a social entrepreneur’s model is based on not one but three bottom lines – People (society), Planet (the environment) & Profit Read more…

Homeless Nation: An Online Home For Those Who Have None

Their stories rushed into Daniel Cross’s camera, filling Montreal’s streets with the echo of their passions, struggles, and dreams. They had a voice far beyond his films, and Cross was determined not to lose it. He knew they needed a home, an outlet for self-expression, the freedom to voice their opinions, a place to connect and learn, and a space to share the thousands of stories packed inside his cameras.

They needed Homeless Nation

A Website By and For the Homeless

Founded by documentary filmmaker Daniel Cross, Homeless Nation is the first and only non-profit website in the world by and for the street community. As such, the website serves as a virtual home where all are welcome, and is dedicated to sharing the stories of Canada’s homeless community, a virtual home that creates equal access to online media, a space to learn and share truths with the help of audio and Read more…

Drishtee: Impacting Rural Societies Economically

According to several socioeconomic observations made by C.K. Prahalad and Stuart L. Hart, the real fortune for governments and companies to develop their services and products and to expand their prevalent businesses is at the bottom of the pyramid. But think about it – any big MNC would ponder twice before releasing a product for these ‘aspiring poor’, for the very reason that there is market uncertainty (because of the fluctuating wages of the poor).

Where’s the Growth?

Post-Cold War, what really happened is that the MNCs concluded through GDP, import and export trends that the emerging markets were China, India, Latin America, Soviet Union and their allies. They went ahead with the loaded idea that the middle-class consumers in these developing countries are the primary sources of business-return gold and market expansion. Of course, it was only obvious to think so, as the rich in the developed countries were only a Read more…

TakingITGlobal: Educational Social Networking for Social Good

“I wonder – If young people were actively engaged in all aspects of society, and thought of themselves as community leaders, problem-solvers, role models, mentors and key ‘stakeholders’…how would the world change?” – TakingITGlobal Co-Founder Jennifer Corriero

You’re a young person just beginning to carve your path in life. You have big dreams, you’re enthusiastic, and you know you can make the world a better place. Like many young people today, you’re also connected to a large circle of friends through social networking and social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.

The only problem is you aren’t quite sure how to access a combination of these resources to further understand and impact the world in a positive way.

Not to worry! TakingITGlobal (TIG) is here to help!

An Online Youth Community Dedicated to Positive Social Change

Created in 1999 by Co-founders Michael Furdyk and Jennifer Corriero, www.tigweb.org is an international online community dedicated to empowering Read more…

Ubuntu: A light at the end of a tunnel

It’s not every day that you get the chance to meet someone who just wants to make the world a better place.  These types of people come few and far between, but when they do – they can truly inspire everyone around them.

Nicole and Rodrigue are two of these individuals and together, they create an undeniable force.

After learning about the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Nicole – a Canadian – couldn’t just sit at home.  She packed her bags and left for the land of a thousand hills.  Without any knowledge of Kinyarwanda, Rwanda’s native language, Nicole knew she would need some help.  In 2005, she found Rodrigue, then a young boy, who helped her to translate and show her around Kigali.  Nicole and Rodrigue have been family ever since.

A Guide for being Self Sustaining

Nicole Pageau

Ubuntu (meaning humanity and I), under the guidance of Nicole and Rodrigue, is an organization that Read more…