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September 27, 2007

Vote for the Winner of Project Enterprise

Our expert judges helped us whittle down our amazing array of Project Enterprise Contest nominations to just four worthy finalists. We asked Lucy Bernholz, the president of the philanthropy consulting firm Blueprint Research & Design, who also writes Philanthropy2173; Paul Ellis, a financial advisor who specializes in socially responsible investing; and Beverly Schwartz of Ashoka to score the nominees on innovation and sustainability, among other criteria. Now, we need your help choosing the winner. Follow this link to learn more about the finalists and choose your favorite: Vote today!

A winner will be announced in early November.

June 4, 2007

American Idol Meets Silicon Valley

If you're reading this blog, you probably won't smirk at the claim that the Internet has the potential to make the world a better place. But you also know how much time can be wasted trying to make the Internet work for you. The mission of NetSquared is to help social change organizations use the Internet smartly and productively. This past weekend in San Jose, California, NetSquared held a conference that brought together 21 promising social change projects that use Internet tools to fulfill their goals. And had them compete against each other for a grand prize of $25,000, voted on by conference participants.

Continue reading "American Idol Meets Silicon Valley" »

May 29, 2007

Inventions to End Poverty: Solar Kitchens, Wi-fi Mopeds and More

Today's New York Times carries a brief article worth reading called Design That Solves Problems for the World's Poor. While many social entrepreneurs take traditional businesses and use them for social benefit, some, like the man profiled in this article, actually invent new ways of doing things. Dr. Paul Polak, who runs an organization that helps rural farmers around the world, explains his focus on design for the world's poorest citizens: "All of the people who design things in the world spend all their time designing things for the richest 10 percent of people in the world." There's also a nifty video called "Tools for Better Living" where you can see some of the inventions. And you can see them in person if you visit the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in Manhattan.

May 23, 2007

More than Linkin Park and Lindsay Lohan

Did you know MySpace has a contest for its members who are making a positive difference in their world? Neither did we. Thanks to the with-it people over at SEblog, we just learned that one of this month's Impact Award nominees is a group for young social entrepreneurs, called Youth Venture. Winning the contest is nothing to sneeze at, either. The MySpace prize includes a $10,000 gift! Click here to see the MySpace voting ballot.

Youth Venture was started by Ashoka, the organization that fosters social entrepreneurship around the globe. Ashoka founder Bill Drayton says that Youth Venture gives young people the opportunity to see "their idea, their team, their impact" and ideally empowers them become "changemakers" in the future. Some of the projects started by Youth Venture include a program to help nursing home residents use the Internet and e-mail to stay connected and an abandoned-lot rehab in Flatbush. In addition to the $10k, the winner of the Impact Award gets free promotion by MySpace, which is worth a lot in itself.