Khan Academy: The Future of Education

Education for most people around the world is not free.

It actually costs money – and a lot of it.

I’m not going to delve into the numbers too much (as they vary according to country and grade level), however picture this for a moment…

The cost of raising a child alone (form birth to age 17) is approximately $182,857.

17% of that is child education = $31,085.69. If education costs money, it becomes an expense – and essentially schools become a business, and a business’ responsibility is to cater to the bottom line – profit.

Education = Expense
Schools = Business
Education = Profit

In today’s consolidating economy, people are getting paid less to do more, yet the cost of education continues to rise at an average rate of 6% annually.

If a parent’s income suffers in any way, they’re forced to make a very tough decision – one that may force them to pull their child out Read more…

The Brand that Keeps on Giving: Why Starbucks is #1 on the Net

I feel a sense of irony sitting here at my local Starbucks drinking my skinny vanilla latte, writing about why Starbucks is at the top. But honestly, it’s where I go to write all my articles.

So…Why Starbucks?

Being in a Starbucks makes me feel good.

Be it the fresh “fair trade” coffee served in a recycled cup telling me that I’m a “pioneer” for using it. My cup holder letting me know that it’s also made of recycled materials. The napkin informing me that Starbucks doesn’t use trans fats, artificial flavours or high-fructose corn syrups in my brown bagel.

I feel very socially responsible buying coffee from Starbucks.

However, I’m at the end of the line…Starbucks’ goodness actually begins with their mission statement.

“We’ve always believed that businesses can – and should – have a positive impact on the communities they serve. So ever since we opened our first store in 1971, we dedicated ourselves Read more…

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…

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…

UNICEF: Getting Children Climate Ready

What does climate change mean to you? In the UK it often feels like a series of scientific debates and middle class people wondering if we’ll have a thriving wine industry in 30 years.

For many children in the developing world, though, it means destruction, death, poverty and no chance to go to school. Climate change is happening now and it is the most vulnerable children in countries not responsible for messing with our climate that are paying the price.

UNICEF – Climate kid shows you how children will have to adapt if we do nothing.

The World’s governments know all about the challenge of climate change. At the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009 developed countries promised to raise an extra $100 billion a year by 2020 for developing countries for climate change. This money is to be evenly split between trying to prevent further rises in global temperatures and helping to adapt Read more…

Amex Launches Facebook “Friends of Japan,” Supporting Earthquake Victims

The earthquake in Japan occurred months ago, but there are still many areas of the country that need support. Last month, American Express set out to reignite attention and support for the relief efforts by launching “Friends of Japan,” its first-ever global social media program on Facebook.

Friends of Japan is a social, word-of-mouth campaign that builds upon previous contributions and fundraising activities by Amex since the disaster struck.

The campaign encourages people from around the world to share messages of hope through the Amex Facebook page (facebook.com/americanexpressjapan). Visitors from around the world will receive a customized experience based on their location, as the “Friends of Japan” area on the page will be translated into Chinese, English, French, German, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.

Visitors can select one of four messages or create their own messages of hope for Japan, in the form of a virtual postcard. American Express will donate $1 for every Read more…

Start Some Good!

Social entrepreneurs – What if you could capture the power of a crowd to fund your next big project?

Donors – What if you could connect with the organization that you help in a more personal way?

StartSomeGood provides a community platform where social entrepreneurs and enthusiastic supporters can connect.  It uses a hybrid crowdfunding model (think Kickstarter but with a tipping point and a social entrepreneurship twist) to help organizations fundraise various projects.

How does it work?

Each venture has a profile on StartSomeGood where it can write about its story, a social problem, and its proposed solution to the problem.  The venture also has a campaign page where it can lobby for support for a current project that it is working on.  It defines a tipping point goal and an overall fundraising goal.  The tipping point is the minimum amount the venture needs to truly start its project—without that amount of money 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…