Children are the Future: Let’s Listen

Everyone knows that children are our future, and the city of Boston put their money where their mouth is. Boston recently held the “Youth Lead the Change” project, with help from the Participatory Budgeting Project. This was the first youth-led participatory budgeting process in a U.S. city which empowered young people, ages 12 to 25, to decide where 1 million dollars of public capital should go to best improve their communities. [1]

Participating youth were able to vote in four categories for projects that would better their communityvia text and voting stations. Projects had to be for brick and mortar …read more

Shopping with a Heart Part II

As the holidays are approaching, I am once again looking at how to find gifts that go above and beyond the standard tchotchke. I have started receiving the standard barrage of email advertisements from various retail companies. There are two companies that have stood out among the rest, however, as they have added a charitable component to their standard models.

Gifts (Photo credit: Guudmorning!)

First up is Toms. I’ve been a long-time fan of Toms, which is a company that started out making shoes. Their model always included that for every pair of shoes sold, a pair would be …read more

Turning the Tables on Domestic Violence Abusers

In many cases of domestic violence – in order to escape violence – the victims are often forced to limit their own freedoms in an effort to protect their lives and the lives of their children.

In Massachusetts, a program has flipped this dynamic by making the abusers make a choice to either stop being abusive, or increasingly have their own freedoms limited.

The Domestic Violence High Risk Team was started in 2005 and since then, of the 106 high risk cases they have dealt with, none have escalated to death. Only 8 of the victims were forced …read more

Doing Good Goes to the Movies

{Cross-posted from Resources Now!}

How much would it cost to eliminate poverty? According to Lant Pritchett of the Harvard Kennedy School,“the world could eliminate extreme poverty for about $45 billion a year,or roughly the amount spent on movie tickets annually worldwide.” At first this quote seems depressing,how can we live in the world where more people are willing to shell out money to go see Transformers 3 then give to help change a fellow human’s life?

However as an entrepreneur I ask a different question:how do you make solving poverty as appealing as buying a movie ticket? This quote smells …read more

Peace Corps to Begin Accepting Same-Sex Domestic Partner Applications

Logo of the United States Peace Corps. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like most returned Peace Corps volunteers, I love talking about Peace Corps. I love talking about my host country, I love talking about my fellow volunteers, and I love talking about the night a jumping spider the size of my hand got inside my bed net with me. Yesterday, the Peace Corps offered me the perfect opportunity to talk about just one more reason I’m proud to be a part of the Peace Corps community.

Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet announced yesterday that Peace Corps will now be accepting applications …read more

Fitch the Homeless

You have probably heard the remarks made by Abercrombie and Fitch (A&F) CEO Mike Jeffries that he doesn’t make women’s clothes in sizes extra-large because he doesn’t want uncool kids and larger women wearing his clothes. To quote this grand wordsmith “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

Additionally in an effort to keep the brand exclusive, A&F goes to the lengths of burning their damaged …read more

A FORCE to End Rape Culture

If you haven’t heard of the group FORCE, you are about to hear a lot more about them. In December 2012 they gained notice for their ingeniously timed mock Victoria’s Secret ‘Pink Loves Consent’ campaign during the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, which raised awareness about the importance of consensual sex. As a result, the campaign went viral.

Now FORCE has started a new multi-year campaign called FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. As part of this campaign the group is raising money for various projects including The Monument Project on Kickstarter. Their goal is to raise $25,000 to create a highly visible …read more

G’Day Gun Reform

Recently on the Daily Show, John Oliver did a 3 part series examining gun reforms in Australia and their subsequent effects. The segments are not only hilarious; but also inspired me to learn more about Australia’s successful gun reforms, and our own country’s recent failure in this realm. So, I did some investigating and found that the statistics in Australia are quite astounding.

Australia had 13 gun massacres in the 18 years before the 1996 gun reforms, but has had no mass shootings since. Around 650,000 automatic and semiautomatic guns were destroyed as a part of the Australian government’s …read more

A New Kind of Red Revolution

Cross-posted from All Things E Is Facebook looking a little red this week? No, the world’s largest social media site isn’t experiencing a communist revolution, it’s coming alive in support of equal marriage.

It all started with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) who gave their normal blue and yellow logo a red makeover on Monday in support of equal marriage as the Supreme Court began hearings Tuesday on California’s Proposition 8. They asked their supporters to do the same:

“Who’s wearing red tomorrow? Show your support for marriage equality — make your profile image red for tomorrow and check out …read more

Rippling Innovation and Action

(Photo credit: laRuth)

This week I had the opportunity to attend a discussion with Beverly Schwartz, the author of the new book ‘Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World‘. In her book, and during the discussion, Schwartz encourages everyday individuals to become social entrepreneurs, or at the very least work alongside social entrepreneurs, to make real, sustainable, systemic changes in society.

During the discussion numerous examples of social entrepreneurs were discussed, all of whom are or were fellows of Ashoka, the social change organization that Schwartz works for. I found the stories of these innovators inspiring on …read more