Not so long ago, a great social entrepreneur told us to start something that matters, today we tell you to Watch something that matters! In a near future, maybe you’ll be the one who starts something that matters.
Invest in yourself by watching and listening to some of the greatest social entrepreneurship minds of today. Enjoy!
Micheal Porter - Why do we turn to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society's biggest problems? Michael Porter admits he's biased, as a business school professor, but he wants you to hear his case for letting businesses try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water. Why? Because when businesses solve a problem, it makes a profit - which lets that solution grow.
Audrey Choi - Can global capital markets become catalysts for social change? According to investment expert Audrey Choi, individuals own almost half of all global capital, giving them (us!) the power to make a difference by investing in companies that champion social values and sustainability. "We have more opportunity today than ever before to make choices," she says. "So change your perspective. Invest in the change you want to see in the world."
Harish Manwani - You might not expect the chief operating officer of a major global corporation to look much further beyond either the balance sheet or the bottom line. But Harish Manwani, COO of Unilever, makes a passionate argument that doing so to include value, purpose and sustainability in top-level decision-making is not just savvy, it's the only way to run a 21st century business responsibly.
Melinda Gates - Melinda Gates makes a provocative case: What can nonprofits learn from mega-corporations like Coca-Cola, whose global network of marketers and distributors ensures that every remote village wants -- and can get -- an ice-cold Coke? Maybe this model could work for distributing health care, vaccinations, sanitation, even condoms.
Dan Pallotta - Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend -- not for what they get done. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for their big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). In this bold talk, he says: Let's change the way we think about changing the world.
Steve Howard - The big blue buildings of Ikea have sprouted solar panels and wind turbines; inside, shelves are stocked with LED lighting and recycled cotton. Why? Because as Steve Howard puts it: “Sustainability has gone from a nice-to-do to a must-do.” Howard, the chief sustainability officer at the furniture megastore, talks about his quest to sell eco-friendly materials and practices -- both internally and to worldwide customers -- and lays a challenge for other global giants.
Ray Anderson - At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional "take / make / waste" industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.
Jacqueline Novogratz - Jacqueline Novogratz works to enable human flourishing. Her organization, Acumen, invests in people, companies and ideas that see capital and networks as means, not ends, to solving the toughest issues of poverty.
Jessica Jackley - What do you think of people in poverty? Maybe what Jessica Jackley once thought: "they" need "our" help, in the form of a few coins in a jar. The co-founder of Kiva.org talks about how her attitude changed -- and how her work with microloans has brought new power to people who live on a few dollars a day.
Toby Eccles - Here's a stat worth knowing: In the UK, 63% of men who finish short-term prison sentences are back inside within a year for another crime. Helping them stay outside involves job training, classes, therapy. And it would pay off handsomely -- but the government can't find the funds. Toby Eccles shares an imaginative idea for how to change that: the Social Impact Bond. It's an unusual bond that helps fund initiatives with a social goal through private money -- with the government paying back the investors (with interest) if the initiatives work.
Jeff Skoll - Film producer Jeff Skoll (An Inconvenient Truth) talks about his film company, Participant Productions, and the people who've inspired him to do good. Jeff Skoll was the first president of eBay; he used his dot-com fortune to found the film house Participant Productions, making movies to inspire social change, including Syriana; Good Night, and Good Luck; Murderball; An Inconvenient Truth.
Niki Okuk - Another economic reality is possible -- one that values community, sustainability and resiliency instead of profit by any means necessary. Niki Okuk shares her case for cooperative economics and a vision for how working-class people can organize and own the businesses they work for, making decisions for themselves and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
On the start of this new year, inspire yourself with top social entrepreneurs and just do it, create what you want to create and impact the world positively in 2018 and for all your life - have fun too!
by James Forbes
Photo By: Ezra Jeffrey
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