Tag Archives: sustainable

YWSM 150

Young Women Social Entrepreneurs Meet in SanFrancisco

Young Women Social Entrepreneurs (YWSE) Annual Retreat –

Exploring Balance: Yourself and the World

September 19-21st- San Franciso
NatureBridge at Golden Gate (formerly Headlands Institute)

Inner and outer work is what makes social impact sustainable. Balance is the key to internal happiness. Young Women Social Entrepreneurs is proud to announce this year’s retreat theme: “Exploring Balance: Yourself and the World.” As women, we’re often trying to hold it all; family, career, relationships and personal health without making sacrifices. In our fast paced society which pulls us in many directions it is increasingly tricky to stay in balance.

At this 2.5 day retreat in the beautiful Marin Headlands right next to the beach we will unplug from the busy world around us and connect in community to explore what creating a life in balance can look like. With interactive workshops taught by experienced speakers, entrepreneurs, coaches, teachers and artists we will explore ‘Inner and outer work’ cultivating how to balance values and dreams while making tangible goals come to fruition.

Programming includes interactive workshops and sessions focusing on:

  • Brene Brown work on ‘Whole Heartedness and Emotional Resilience’
  • Organizing your work, yourself & your life
  • Health and Wellness
  • Unconference style – interactive sessions created by pannelists
  • Hot Seat – cultivating authenticity
  • Collaborative and connective time spent with other YWSEs
  • Art, nature walks and yoga and more

Specific speakers and workshops will be released in coming weeks.  We will also have down time to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings, take walks on the beach, and just enjoy time with each other.  The retreat price includes lodging and 6 meals (Friday dinner through Sunday lunch).

This is YWSE-SF’s signature event and this year we’ve added an additional night to the program, creating more opportunities for learning, experiencing, and engaging with a group of inspirational women.  Register today as space is very limited, and this is an event you don’t want to miss!

—–About YWSE-San Francisco

YWSE-San Francisco is a community that produces educational and networking events in the Bay Area that empower women to grow as leaders and apply the entrepreneurial skills of creativity and innovation to projects with a social mission.

For us, “young” means young in our business ventures or careers (not age) and we welcome all women involved in or seeking work with a social mission. In the past, our San Francisco chapter’s community members have organized events such as hikes, potluck picnics, play outings, and holiday parties; they have helped each other find jobs and housing, become friends and business partners, acted as sounding boards and resources, and had countless adventures. Our community encompasses a diversity of occupations, experiences and inquiries. Let YWSE be a part of your journey!

Any questions or suggestions? Contact us at sanfrancisco@ywse.org.
Hope to see you August 5th and September 19th!

 — Register here for early bird rates!
With support and appreciation,
Sara Morency and the YWSE-SF Board


hacking 150

Hacking the Future of Food!

Re-engineering the future of food.

Over the course of this weekend (June 27-29), chefs, engineers, entrepreneurs, executives, designers and data scientists will prototype open-source software and hardware solutions to industry-wide challenges.
Food+Tech Connect is bringing restaurant and foodservice rabble-rousers together with tech and design nerds to hack a better future for dining this weekend in NYC.

Blending the best of design thinking and hacking, Food+Tech Connect’s annual hackathons bring food, health, technology and design innovators together to tackle some of the food industry’s greatest challenges. Our mission is to ignite a revolution in the way we solve food problems, because we know that together we can create a more sustainable, profitable and healthy future for food.

How Food+Tech Connect Hackathons Work

We love hackathons because they bring people with diverse skill sets together to collaboratively tackle problems and build solutions in a short period of time. But food is really complex, and it’s difficult to develop solutions that actually solve problems over the course of one weekend.



Read the challenge briefs to understand the problems and inspire potential solutions.

Day 1:

Studio Industries will kick off the event with a Design Hacking overview. Hackers will then have a chance to do a deep dive into the challenges over dinner. By the end of the night, hackers should begin forming teams and coming up with preliminary project ideas.

Day 2:

Studio Industries will lead hackers through a deep dive into the challenges. Hackers will then pitch project ideas, self organize into teams and get to work. The challenge presenters, subject matter experts and Studio Industries will be on hand to answer questions and provide feedback as needed.

Day 3:

Hackers will continue working on their projects. Starting at 2 PM, teams will begin pitch their projects to the partners and subject matter experts. Twelve projects will be selected to pitch to our panel of judges. Then winners will be announced.

Post Hackathon:

While we hope that everyone continues working on their projects, we recognize that most hackers have day jobs and will have limited time to keep up with their hacks. For this reason, we are requiring that all hacks be open sourced, so that anyone can build upon or learn from what’s developed at Hack//Dining.

CT Girls 150

Eat Your Own Cocktail Glass!

Our friends at the Centre for Social Innovation in New York: Chelsea Briganti and Lee Ann Tucker are heading off to greener pastures- hopefully the green of cash investment!

The glam-preneurs have invented an edible cup made from Jell-O molds! You can mix your marguerita in them and eat them too! If you aren’t too hungry, however, they are also biodegradable!

Keep an eye out for these two sustainability innovators…Their goal is to remake the world in green through making a living by making a difference!

Read More:

Drink Out of Your Glass and Eat It, Too

Entrepreneurs: Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann Tucker, who met while attending Parsons The New School for Design in New York, created Loliware, a line of edible, biodegradable drinking cups that look like colorful vintage glassware. “Loliware was born because, as designers, we wanted to have fun getting super-creative with a material, but we have a bigger vision that Loliware will replace a percentage of the plastic cups destined for the landfill,” Tucker says.

“Aha” moment: After their 2010 graduation, Briganti and Tucker (along with two other Parsons alums) entered a few design competitions. For the Jell-O Mold Competition, they designed an edible drinking glass, experimenting with several materials, including gelatin, before settling on agar, a seaweed-based gel that is odorless and tasteless and can be flavored in infinite ways. The product, originally called Jelloware, earned a prize for structural integrity and generated a lot of buzz. When vodka-maker Absolut inquired about ordering 60,000 agar cups for use at an outdoor concert, the designers realized that a project that was intended merely to boost their portfolios could become a viable business. Briganti and Tucker formed a partnership to move forward. (The other two decided not to pursue the project.)

Tastemakers: The prototype was a hit in the design competition but a long way from being ready for market, so Briganti and Tucker entered a development phase in the kitchen of their Brooklyn apartment, continuing to experiment with agar. While gelatin “has beautiful translucency, like glass,” Briganti explains, “it smells bad and tastes terrible.” Agar, meanwhile, holds its shape and has the benefit of being vegan. Perfecting the taste became a priority. “We were designers turned candy-makers,” she says. “We had to learn how to translate our design skills to the kitchen.”

Sweet support: Briganti and Tucker raised more than $10,000 through a 2011 Kickstarter campaign and renamed their product Loliware. The designers hosted parties to field-test their product and hired food scientists to improve shelf stability. They tested various flavors, including rosemary, lemon-ginger and mint, before choosing citrus for their launch. “It is incredibly versatile and goes with so many beverages, from champagne and whiskey sours to sangria,” Briganti says.

An additional $60,000 in angel investments and a spot in the Hot Bread Kitchen incubator in Harlem helped the pair ramp up production and allowed them to fill an order from AOL for 600 cups for the Adweek Brand Genius Awards in 2012.

LoliwareLiquid funds: The drinkware duo is in the process of partnering with a manufacturer that can produce Loliware in bulk. With companies like Google and Disney “waiting in the wings for us to launch,” Briganti says, the pair kicked off a second round of funding this year with the goal of raising $1 million for a nationwide rollout. The edible cups are sold through Loliware.com at $14.95 for a pack of six.

“We’ve been bootstrapping for so long, and now is the time for us to get funding to go big and experience the kind of growth we know is possible,” Briganti says.

What’s next: Briganti and Tucker plan to experiment with cups in new shapes, sizes and designs. Eventually, they hope to manufacture a Loliware water bottle.

Farmland 150

Farmland Commons Network is Launched

Farmland 150

The issues of land transfer and land security are urgent – claims the Schumaker Center for New Economics! To that end, the group has created a new network of regionally based “farmland commons” — allocating land use in a way that protects the interests of regional communities and their unique eco-systems.

Schumacher Center is presenting two upcoming symposiums to address this urgent subject:

Berkeley, California presents a national call to action, detailing  the consequences of historic and current patterns of farmland ownership and arguing for a revolutionary response.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts presents a regional response: gathering place-based organizations working to create a capacity to hold and lease farmland by and for their regional community, providing security and equity in building improvements for the leasing farmers.

Berkeley, California: April 26 & 27

OUR LAND: A Symposium on Land Access in the 21st Century in Berkeley, California. 
Evening Plenary, April 26th at 6pm

Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley – Berkeley, California
Wes Jackson (The Land Institute), Anuradha Mittal (Oakland Institute), Gayle McLaughlin (Mayor of Richmond, CA), Doria Robinson (Urban Tilth), Severine von Tscharner Fleming (Agrarian Trust)

Symposium, April 27th 9:30am – 5pm
The David Brower Center – Berkeley, California

Joel Salatin (Polyface Farm), Eric Holt-Gimenez (Food First), Raj Patel (Stuffed and Starved), Sjoerd Wartena (Terre de Liens), Kathy Ruhf (Land for Good), Reggie Knox (California Farmlink), Elizabeth Henderson (Peaceworks Farm and Agricultural Justice Project), Gary Nabhan (author and Professor), Dave Henson (Occidental Arts and Ecology Center), Severine von Tscharner Fleming (Agrarian Trust)

Evening Reception and Screening of The Last Crop, April 27th at 5:30pm
Sponsored by Vital Systems California


Pittsfield, Massachusetts – April 12, 2014 

Symposium on Farmland Access in the Berkshires

The Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires is a sister project of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics.  On April 12th the Land Trust, led by Billie Best, is teaming with a number of other Berkshire County organizations to hold a Symposium on Farmland Access in the Berkshires.  The program will be held at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and will provide practical information for residents wishing to lease land and for farmers hoping to secure access.

Saturday April 12th, 10am-2pm
Berkshire Athenaeum — Pittsfield, Massachusets

Speakers and Panelists:
Kathy Ruhf (Land for Good), Jen Salinetti (Woven Roots Farm) Bruce Howden (Howden Farm and Berkshire County Farm Bureau), Bridget Spann (Caretaker Farm), Leslie Reed-Evans (Land Owner Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation), Rich Chandler (Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources), Sarah Gardner (Williams College Center for Environmental Studies), Melissa Adams (Mass. Representative for Glynwood), Amy Kacala (Berkshire Regional Planning Commission), Barbara Zheutlin (Berkshire Grown), Bill Martin (Farm Credit East), Benneth Phelps (The Carrot Project), Kathy Orlando (Sheffield Land Trust), Rich Chandler (Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources)

A collaboration of: Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires, Berkshire Grown, Berkshire Co-op Market, Land for Good, The Carrot Project, Great Barrington Agricultural Commission, Berkshire Natural Resources Council, Bard College at Simon’s Rock Center for Food Studies, and The Schumacher Center for a New Economics

Advance registration is required.  Full program information and register here.



Get Paid to Blog About Your Favorite Things


Editor’s Note: GoodB is happy to introduce you to a new weekly blog contribution from DoubleVision coauthored by the beautiful bicoastal entrepreneurial twins: Yanti Amos and Wati Grossman. The blogs will focus on women & the economy with a particular view of female entrepreneurs!


From DoubleVision

CityMama Builds Clever Girls Collective:Entrepreneur Stefania Pomponi

Unless you have been banished from civilization, or live off the grid not having a clue about the women’s blogging scene, you’ve little excuse for not knowing about Stefania Pomponi.

“Her recent honors include being named one of Folio Mags “100 Most Influential and Impactful Media Professionals for 2013” (alongside Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer). Stefania is Babble.com’s #1 “Most in the Know” Twitter Mom and one of their Top 50 Mommy Bloggers. Parents’ Magazine named her a “Power Mom” and she was nominated “One of 10 Social Media Women That Deserve a Vanity Fair Article. ”

Her award-winning personal blog “CityMama” won SheKnows.com’s 2010 Parents’ Choice Award for Best Website for Parents. The accolades go on.

StefaniaNewDuo1 600

The story about how Stefania first started her company Clever Girls Collective, is now famous. Back in July 2009, with her fellow professional blogger BFF Cat Lincoln, she took a road trip – destination Chicago – where the BlogHer conference was being held. Picking up a car provided gratis by the Ford Motor Co, the pals published amusing posts mentioning the car from time to time, while their followers spread the story across the web. Needless to say, Ford was thrilled with its canny and subtle investment.

After the proverbial roller-coaster ride of life as an entrepreneur mom, all these years later, Stefania’s company is estimated to be hitting the multi-millions in revenue and has an enviable client list including American Express, Toyota and The Gap. She and her partners have established a network of over 6,000 female social influencers: bloggers, Tweeters, Pinners and Facebookers who post about their experiences with consumer services and products. Clever Girls Collective pays these female bloggers upwards of $100 a post. Stefania loves that she is helping both women bloggers and corporates, creating a win-win for both sides. It’s also an acknowledgement all round that a woman’s influence in making big financial decisions in the household cannot be underestimated. Stefania and her partner Cat recognized this very early on.

 StefaniaNewDuo2 600

Stefania & Cat Lincoln.

Message From Yanti:

Wati had always mentioned Stefania as a bit of a business icon-role-model, while loyally reading the CityMama blog and often quoting Stefania’s humorous stories to me. For me however, Stefania is a true social innovator. She may not label herself as such, but Stefania became an agent for positive change. She saw her chance with the blogging boom, and went on to empower women bloggers to become acknowledged as important consumer influencers. Stefania and her co-founders set up the company in the middle of the worst economic climate you could imagine. In those early days as a social entrepreneur, she made real sacrifices. While seeing the bad practices of banks reel out of control on Wall Street, Stefania moved her family from their house in Palo Alto into a two-bedroom apartment. At the time, she was worried that her husband (from whom she is now separated) would lose his job. Before long, her new venture showed it was values-based and she was on her way to becoming a real social media achiever. Like the natural social innovator that she is, Stefania saw that if the current system doesn’t meet the needs of a rapidly morphing society, then you have to change people’s mindset. A great re-imagining of commerce was taking place in 2009. And Stefania moved once again into the comfort of a cosy and stylish new home once things stabilized.


An Exclusive DoubleVision Interview: Stefania’s work space at home

DoubleVision recently nabbed the super-busy mom of 3 and in the paragraphs below, she chats with Wati about her family life, some business tips and what makes her tick:

WATI:  I know you’re somewhat private. Thank you so much for talking a bit about your personal life because I know our readers will find it inspiring and reassuring to know that successful businesswomen can be vulnerable and very human too. Can you talk a little about being tall? (Stefania is 5 foot 9″) I think it’s great that you’re unapologetic about it and that you enjoy wearing heels!

STEFANIA:    I’ve always been a tall, Amazonian woman and have had plenty of weight struggles through the years. I’ve finally now (at age 43) gotten a handle on a fitness routine that is working for me (and I’ve lost 50+ lbs and counting since the beginning of last summer). I avoid complex carbs as much as possible and aim for 10,000 steps a day (running, walking, or a combo). I use my Nike Fuelband to help motivate me. I ride my bike all over town, and also take a hip-hop dance class every Friday night. It’s so much fun – way better than being on a treadmill – and connects me to my 80’s “wanna be B-girl” roots. I also recently broke a 10 minute mile!



WATI:  Can you tell us a little more about your fitness regime? I know it’s been a journey. What gave you the motivation to make the change in your life?

STEFANIA:    I’ve been on my own personal happiness project for the past two years. It started when Steve Jobs (one of my idols) died and people started sharing his Stanford commencement address via social media. One of the things he said was, “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

That kicked my ass into gear, and I started addressing all the aspects of my life that were making me unhappy – personally, work-wise, everything. I tackled everything and my fitness and health goals were the last piece of the puzzle. I’ve always been pretty active, but having three kids and limited time for work outs can take a toll (not to mention being burdened by unhappiness). Once I started creating more room for happiness in my life, I was able to focus on health and wellness and here I am today so much lighter. I have a few more pounds to go before I’ll be personally satisfied, but I’ve never felt better. Or happier. I’m not wasting any more time: this is exactly the life I want to be living.

WATI:  What is your best tip or piece of advice to a woman entrepreneur starting up her own business?

STEFANIA:    Do your research and have a solid plan. Business plans can change, but you should know the problem you are trying to solve, how you are going to get there, what your market share is, how you are going to market your product or service, and have a path to creating revenue. Tie everything you do to business goals. Hire only the best people. Be prepared to work your ass off. Go for it!

WATI:  What is a business mistake you made and how did you get over it and learn from it?

STEFANIA:    Not being true to who we were as a business. Clever Girls Collective is a kick-ass social media agency. For about 10 minutes, two years ago, we tried to position ourselves as a tech company because we do have really cool, proprietary technology that we developed in-house (mainly our platform which manages our network and all our client campaigns). It turned out that that was a huge distraction for us. When we embraced our true “corporate nature” – that we were/are an agency (and really excellent one at that) – it allowed us to regroup and double down on our business goals and go after them. We’re clear who we are now, and we feel unstoppable!

 StefaniaFavThingsGridv2 600

WATI:  Who do you admire in the blogosphere today and why?

STEFANIA:    The 6300+ social media savvy women in the Clever Girls “Clever Network.” They are some of the most influential content creators (whether written or visual) in the social mediasphere today and I’m proud to work with them every day.

WATI:  Any business people you follow regularly?

STEFANIA:    I don’t follow business people regularly, but I do read business “magazines” (both online and print) regularly, from Ad Week to Fast Company to Social Media Today.

WATI:  Do you have another favorite quote that helps to continually inspire you in business?

STEFANIA:     “Innovate, elevate, and be fierce” They are our corporate values and they touch every part of our business from how we treat each other as coworkers, how we define products and programs, and how we service our clients.

WATI:  I know a lot of our readers want to know the real Stefania behind Clever Girls Collective. What was your childhood like being raised in Hawaii? Was your Mom strict with you or pretty laid back when you were growing up?

STEFANIA:    My childhood growing up in Hawaii was pretty idyllic. My mom didn’t really work then so she spent a lot of time at home. She was one of the original slow foodies – we had a garden, everything was made from scratch, always. No processed food was allowed in the house. Art classes and crafts were important as well. She was a Fine Arts major and met my dad in Rome. She worked for Valentino while she was there so fashion was also very important. My mom is Korean but from Hawaii. I had the benefit of being raised by a mom who was raised by a “Tiger Mom” (my grandmother) who was very strict. My mom was pretty mellow in general compared to what you hear about the Asian mother stereotype, but she still has her moments. As a kid I wouldn’t dare cross her. Consequences were scary! And still are! Ha!

WATI:  How important is it to you to teach your children pride in being part Asian?

STEFANIA:    The most important thing my Mom taught my siblings and me was to be proud of our mixed heritage. As a result I feel that I have one foot firmly planted in my Korean-ness and one foot firmly planted in my Italian-ness. I could never choose which culture I identify most with because I feel exactly Korean-Italian. And I am just as comfortable in Honolulu as I am in Rome (where my Dad lives).

“I think being taught to be proud of one’s background is important. As a result I have a pretty low-tolerance for anyone who would judge another person based on their race, ethnicity, or culture (or sexual orientation or any difference really). ”

I think about how my own parents bucked the trend in the 60’s: an Italian man met and married a Korean woman from Hawaii…if it weren’t for mixed marriage, I wouldn’t be here. I teach my crazy mixed-up kids to be just as proud of their heritage and, hopefully, to be just as accepting of others. I want to raise decent, kind, happy humans. That is my goal for them. Nothing more.



Read Stefania’s outstanding piece The Heroes in Our Midst which she told us “pretty much sums up everything I have to say about being a working Mom”.

About the Authors: Yanti Amos is a former international lawyer for global investment banks in Asia and now the proprietor of highly successful EarthYoga on the Upper East Side.  Wati  Grossman lives on the “other coast” a.k.a Silicon Valley HQ in Palo Alto, CA and is the founder of a popular national girls’ clothing design company (WatiDesign). Originally from Australia, former lawyers and globetrotters, Wati and Yanti bring you memorable posts about women of all ages and persuasions who inspire, question, interpret, and lead through entrepreneurship.


*** Photos of Stefania & Cat Lincoln (blue background) by Carla Duharte – babyjidesign.com

Originally posted on: www.doublevisiontwinsblog.com

Reprinted here with permission.


Investors Back At-Risk Youth with $Millions


Social Impact Bonds are Wall Street’s way of supporting social change with profit incentives. Profits margins are substantially less than traditional bond investments at an average 12% return over five years. But so is the risk. Nine million dollars of capital behind an initiative to support reduced recidivism rates in the Greater Boston area isn’t a lot for an investment bank the size of Goldman Sachs or for a handsomely endowed school like Harvard Kennedy. Yet, the introduction over the last 3 years of SIBs show a steady increase in investment and in Social Impact programs.

The bonds are not ordinary “bonds” as they carry no guaranteed value unless they prove to be successful.  Hence, the alternate name: Pay for Success (PFS). Basically, these bonds operate like goodwill loans to underwrite programs with the entrepreneurial goal over time of substantive positive social impact.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg supported the very first Wall Street SIB initiative, also structured by Goldman Sachs, in 2012 with a personal guarantee of $9million to at-risk youth programs in New York City. At Good-B, we view this as the start of a growing and impactful new securities sector that has as its mission: measurable social change.

Read More- From Mass.gov: 


$27 million Initiative is Largest Financial Investment in a Pay for Success Contract in the Country!

Governor Deval Patrick announced the launch of the nation’s largest financial investment in a Pay for Success (PFS) initiative, which is designed to improve outcomes for hundreds of at-risk young men in the probation system or leaving the juvenile justice system. The Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Pay for Success Initiative will not only improve the lives of young people, but also reduce crime, promote safer and stronger communities and save taxpayer dollars.

This initiative, in partnership with Roca, Inc., Third Sector Capital Partners and commercial and philanthropic funders, is the largest PFS financial investment in the country and is designed to encourage innovative solutions to chronic social problems and improve outcomes for individuals in Massachusetts. PFS contracts allow governments with limited resources to expand innovative social programs and only pay for those that actually make a difference.

“By working with our partners at Roca, the Pay for Success initiative will allow us to marry smart financial solutions with programs proven successful in helping high-risk youth become employed, stay employed, and break the cycle of violence,” said Governor Deval Patrick.

The program will allow Roca, a nonprofit service provider, to serve 929 young men in the “greater Boston, Cambridge, Chicopee areas” by providing intensive outreach, life skills and employment training that will reduce recidivism and help these young men become assets and resources in their community.

“Pay for Success” contracts, also called Social Impact Bonds, combine nonprofit expertise, private sector funding and rigorous evaluation to transform the way government and society respond to chronic social problems. In a PFS initiative, funders assume up-front financial risk, and taxpayers pay for a program only if a third party evaluator and validator determine that the initiative has achieved specific outcomes that both create benefits to society and generate savings for government.

“The Massachusetts Pay for Success Initiative is about changing the odds,” said Molly Baldwin, founder and executive director of Roca, In. “It’s about confronting the stubborn trends of incarceration and poverty among justice-system-involved young men, and standing in solidarity to say to these young men, ‘We will not leave you behind, you deserve more than jail or prison, and we will give you our time and support to help you make a better future for yourself and your community.”

The program’s success will be determined based on reductions in the number of days young men served by Roca spend in jail, and improvements in their employment and job readiness. The Commonwealth will repay funders if Roca’s services are proven to produce positive societal outcomes and savings for the Commonwealth.  To reduce incarceration rates among high-risk young men, Roca’s intervention model combines relentless outreach; intensive case management; life skills, educational, pre-vocational and employment training; and work opportunities with community partners.

Success payments will come from the Commonwealth, which has committed up to $27 million for this seven-year project, and from the U.S. Department of Labor, which awarded the Commonwealth a first-of-its-kind PFS grant of $11.7 million in September 2013. The additional funding for success payments from the Department of Labor will enable the Commonwealth to extend the project, should it prove successful, to an additional 391 young men, thereby serving a total of up to 1,320 young men over nine years.

Third Sector Capital Partners, a nonprofit advisory firm serving as project intermediary for this initiative, secured the $18 million in private financing for the project: $9 million in loan financing from the Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund; $1.5 million in loan financing from The Kresge Foundation; $1.5 million in loan financing from Living Cities; and $6 million total in grants from Laura and John Arnold Foundation, New Profit, and The Boston Foundation. Remaining grant funds will be re-cycled into future projects at the conclusion of this initiative.

The social and financial costs related to recidivism for the Commonwealth are enormous. Currently in Massachusetts, 64 percent of young male ex-offenders reoffend within five years, and only 35 percent of these young men gain employment within a year of release. Roca’s groundbreaking approach to positive youth development aims to interrupt the cycle of recidivism by filling a gap in services for high-risk populations.  Through this project, Roca will aim to reduce the number of days that young men in the program are incarcerated by 40 percent. If this goal is met, the project would generate millions of dollars in savings to the Commonwealth that fully offset the cost of delivering services. 

“Pay for Success has the potential to transform how government procures some of its most important social services, and to redirect vast resources towards the social interventions that are best able to deliver the results our communities need,” said George Overholser, Third Sector Capital Partner’s CEO and Co-Founder.

“This partnership is a creative way to test new approaches to solving deeply rooted social problems,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor. “We are focused on government paying for demonstrated results, rather than simply the hope for success.”

“We are pleased to work with Governor Patrick, Roca and all of our partners to help high-risk youth in Massachusetts secure access to life skills training and employment opportunities,” said E. Gerald Corrigan, Managing Director and Chairman of Goldman Sachs Bank USA.  “We are proud to be an investor in projects such as this that rely on public sector-private sector cooperation to better achieve social and economic public policy goals.”

“This is a promising program with the potential to improve public safety, save taxpayers money, and directly impact the lives of hundreds of young people who are at high-risk of incarceration,” Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) Vice President of Public Accountability Josh McGee explained. “Yet, the people of Massachusetts don’t have to invest millions of dollars into the program and just hope that it will work. The unique Pay for Success funding model means the Commonwealth will only pay for the program if it is proven to be successful. LJAF supports social innovation financing as part of our overall effort to promote evidence-based decision making. By rigorously evaluating programs, we are better able to determine what works and then scale those programs that actually make a difference.”

Tripp Jones, Managing Director of New Profit: “The Pay for Success approach is a promising way to mobilize critical private sector resources and ingenuity to drive greater impact in local programs, while also saving taxpayer money. It’s rare to be able to achieve both, and we are looking forward to working on this and other similar initiatives in the future.”

“While much of the attention for this project will be based on its game-changing model for addressing major social issues in a cost-effective and socially responsive way, that is but one part of the reason the Boston Foundation is supporting it. This effort also takes on a major challenge for the Commonwealth by attacking the problem of juvenile re-incarceration, using a proven model, on a scale that would have been unimaginable in traditional scenarios.”- Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO, The Boston Foundation.

“We’ve expanded our social investing footprint, we’re able to support Roca’s outstanding work in a new way and to partner with these other funders.” -Kimberlee Cornett, director of Kresge’s Social Investment Practice.

“The payoff for this transaction goes above and beyond the almost 1,000 lives we hope to positively impact. The ultimate success will be inspiring a new way for government, philanthropy and the private sector to collaborate that funds outcomes, not outputs. That’s how we’ll expand opportunities and make a dent in inequality.” Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities.

Key partners: Impact Investing 

Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund: In 2013, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (UIG) launched the Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund, a first of its kind direct impact-investing vehicle, and manages the strategy on behalf of Goldman Sachs clients.  Established in 2001, the Urban Investment Group deploys capital to help transform distressed communities into sustainable and vibrant neighborhoods of choice and opportunity. UIG seeks double bottom line returns by providing flexible financing for community projects that respond to the needs of low- and moderate-income communities and support public sector priorities.

Harvard Kennedy School Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab (SIB Lab): The SIB Lab provides pro bono technical assistance to state and local governments implementing PFS contracts using Social Impact Bonds. The SIB Lab assisted Massachusetts in developing the procurement and designing the data analysis strategy for this project.  Harvard Pro Bono social impact bond structuring Lab.


New Profit Inc.: Founded in 1998, New Profit is a nonprofit social innovation organization and venture philanthropy fund seeking to increase social mobility by strengthening, connecting and amplifying the best ideas across the nation.  With its signature partners and a network of philanthropists, New Profit invests in a portfolio of social entrepreneurs, grows their impact, and drives systemic change in education, workforce development, public health, community development/poverty alleviation, and other levers of opportunity.

Read Full Article Here

Martha’s Vineyard Builds Community!



Building an EcoCommunity on Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard, off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, is a mecca of progressive thought leadership in environmental and social sustainability.

Two of the local leaders of the sustainability movement are island entrepreneurs Steve Bernier, owner of island favorite Cronig’s Market: “your neighborhood grocer” and program director of the Island Grown Initiative, and John Abrams author of the bestselling, “Companies We Keep: Employee Ownership and the Business of Community and Place” (Chelsea Green 2008) and founder/CEO of  green building company South Mountain Company.

EcoEntrepreneurs John & Steve join ThatMatters Live on the Web with hosts: Shane Snipes and Vineyard’s own, Monika Mitchell, for an inspiring thought-provoking discussion on how to build a collaborative and sustainable communities through entrepreneurial innovations.

ThatMatters Live with Shane & Monika – is a weekly web chat show featuring lively interactive discussions with: Leading Entrepreneurs for Social Good.


Martha’s Vineyard: Sustainable Island Wisdom


ThatMatters! Live on the Web Today at 3pm-4pmET!

Building an EcoCommunity through Social Innovation!
Martha’s Vineyard: Socially Innovative, Sustainable Community


With Special Guests:

John Abrams -Founder of South Mountain Company & Author of 
COMPANIES WE KEEP: Employee Ownership and
the Business of Community and Place

Steve Bernier -Owner: Cronig’s Island Market
and coordinator of Island Grown Initiatives’ Local Farm Program


TODAY, Tuesday November 26, 2013 3pm – 4pm ET
also streamed live on: Livestream  Storify   Facebook
with Your Hosts
Monika Mitchell                    Shane Snipes  
                                          Founder of EcoTrip 

NYC Affordable Housing Goes Green


Affordable Housing Goes Sustainable!

 by Lauren Hennessy

No longer is “green living” a term reserved for zealots munching on gorp or those outfitting their mountain homes in an environmentally conscious manner. Across New York City, developers have caught on to the sustainable building movement that has already begun to permeate through corporate office buildings and government spaces, and it is catching on in a big way.

The affordable housing market is blossoming into epicenters of sustainability, setting the standard for the future of urban development. The trend has grown since Mayor Bloomberg began on an ambitious path forward with his New York City Housing Marketplace Plan, which set out to develop and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing (expanded from 65,000 initially), including through repurposing existing land that designers could revamp.

When you combine this with the mayor’s later initiative, PlaNYC, which launched in 2007 with the purpose of approaching the city’s growth in a sustainable fashion, it creates a prime season for green in new developments.

In the Bronx, the Arbor House is a shining new example of just how far these efforts can go. Opened in February, the facility houses 124 units and features a green wall and hydroponic rooftop that will help provide food for residents, as well as a multitude of additional energy efficient features that have earned the building LEED Platinum status.

Certainly a standout as far as whole-building sustainability, the facility does not stand alone. One of the first green low-income housing units to open in the Bronx, Via Verde, helped to change the dialogue about what affordable housing could achieve in helping to realize a more sustainable and healthy city. The building boasts green features from top to bottom with an emphasis on healthy living.

When the building opened in 2011, it became one of 24 affordable housing projects with a healthy building approach, with that number expected to double or triple annually as the program grows.

However, when you compare those numbers to the total numbers of units in the city, the staggering differences become apparent. To date, there are nearly 175,000 low-income apartments in 334 units across the city.

As we look ahead to a new mayor and a focus on a quickly deteriorating infrastructure, the need to fully embrace sustainable development in the home will only grow. Although environmental issues did not hold a significant place in campaign debates, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio offers a promising foundation on which the city can build. He has promoted the use of certification programs like LEED and supported the mandate that city buildings meet a certain level of environmental standards.

For the low-income housing set, this will be key in determining their ability to function in a healthy way in 21st century New York. As luxury buildings have begun to price out even a middle class housing market, ensuring that this expanding population has access to living spaces that do not harm, but rather enhance, the city will be a key in ensuring the health of our city overall.  If these recent developments are any indication, the future looks green.




Should Your Social Enterprise Be For-Profit or Non-Profit?


In 2004, Saul Garlick, started an organization, “Student Movement for Real Change,” while still an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University. The purpose of his changemaking organization was: “to encourage entrepreneurship in third world communities.” Through Real Change, students lived with local families in South Africa or Kenya “building social businesses along with the local residents.”

No longer a student, he renamed his organization, ThinkImpact, and incorporated it as a nonprofit. The new org grows from one employee (Saul) to two and ultimately to a few dozen volunteer students. Over two years the organization raises $400,000 through donations. It creates 50 micro businesses in Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana.

Despite ThinkImpact’s significant public support, the company has difficulty staying afloat. While Saul collects a modest salary, he and his team work 24/7, are paid “below market” wages and start missing payrolls. Saul says that nonprofits, “become beggars… seeking a way out of a tortuous financial reality where they are building the plane while flying it.”

According to Saul,” “Nothing about that scenario was sustainable…scale depended solely on fund-raising ability.”

In 2010, after discussing the issue with successful investors and entrepreneurs, Saul re-evaluated the efficiency of his business model. Should ThinkImpact become a for-profit company? Or should he continue as a nonprofit in a different way?

As a social entrepreneur, how would you answer these questions about your organization:

Like all social enterprises, ThinkImpact had to reassess its impact and figure out how to survive in today’s socially good world. Saul and his team asked:

  • “What is our specialty?”
  • “What value do we produce in people’s lives?”
  • “How big can we get?”
  • “How do we arrange for sufficient financing to let us focus on our real work?”

If you are a social entrepreneur, how would you answer these questions about your organization?

As reported in the NYT earlier this summer, Saul and ThinkImpact’s had 3 Options (below):

1) Remain a nonprofit 2) Become a for-profit 3) Combine the two-either through the L3C hybrid model or operating both an NP and FP.  (Hint: These options for sustainable revenue building apply to every social enterprise.)

 Should Your Social Enterprise Be ForProfit or NonProfit?

“Option 1: Remain a nonprofit. With contracts from two universities for about $50,000 and funds from donations, grants and foundations expected to bring in $25,000 to $100,000, Mr. Garlick felt constricted. To really grow, he estimated that he would need $200,000 to $250,000 more. But raising that money would be exceedingly difficult using traditional methods and would keep the company almost endlessly locked into fund-raising mode.

Option 2: Close the nonprofit and start a for-profit company. The new company would buy the assets of the nonprofit and pay off its debts, which would give Mr. Garlick and his team a fresh start. He would take on debt and raise equity from friends and family who were open to supporting a for-profit enterprise if there was a possibility of return. This was appealing not just to Mr. Garlick but also to members of his board who wanted to create a new identity for the organization.

In the new business model, universities would pay a fee to ThinkImpact to lead student trips to Africa, immerse the students in the field and give them hands-on training in social enterprise. The university payments would be the primary source of revenue, covering the organization’s operating expenses. Mr. Garlick estimated that it would take three years for the company to make a profit.

But along with the optimism, there were also reasons for concern: Would universities be as comfortable working with the company if it became a for-profit organization? Would the new branding create confusion and deter some clients? Mr. Garlick and the team worried about these issues, fearing they would not learn the answers unless they tried.

Option 3: Keep the nonprofit but start a for-profit subsidiary. Under this hybrid model, the team could use the advantages of both approaches. The nonprofit side would still be able to pursue grants to pay for certain activities. The for-profit side could take on debt and make use of traditional sources of financing, making the company less dependent on grant cycles and donations and giving it a greater pool of capital.

Benefits aside, Mr. Garlick was concerned with potential conflicts of interest if he held equity in the for-profit subsidiary while he was also executive director of the parent nonprofit. He wanted to be certain that this would not cause problems in the long term.”

GoodB Editor’s Note: Ultimately, Saul and his team chose to become a for-profit entity and try to sustain themselves by charging universities for the social impact student experience – a rather good model on paper. But does it work? Are his customers (universities and colleges) willing to pay for his service?

Find out more on NYT’s blog.

Is Your Business Model sustainable? Which entity did you choose? NP, FP, or hybrid?

Share Your Thoughts Below!


Tell Me Something Good!

Reported by Monika Mitchell
 The 2013 Mashable Social Good Summit held at the 92St Y, jointly sponsored by the Melinda & Bill Gates and United Nations Foundations, introduced new business concepts across three generations. Over three days, Gen Y, Gen X, and Boomers met and discussed how 21st century entrepreneurs can make a living while making a difference.

The charismatic Mashable CEO, Peter Cashmore, founded the online go-to-source for all things social and digital in media in 2005 when he was 20 years old. Far ahead of the curve, Mashable has become an outspoken advocate for social justice in all areas of society and forged strategic partnerships with renowned change makers Melinda Gates and Al Gore, both of whom presented impassioned keynotes at the event.

 Melinda G. asked: “Are we connecting (through technology) on behalf of changing the world for everyone?” She spoke about the virtues of technology and how the medium can motivate people to action to solve the global health crisis. “That’s my hope,” Gates added. Al Gore urged the social good audience to join the fight to resolve the climate crisis. The passionate activist said: “Don’t let denial go unchallenged. Put a price on carbon, put a price on denial. Let’s solve the climate crisis. We can do it.”

The conference was a nonstop shared-idea fest for social good and introduced a number of innovative platforms. Two news media platforms promised to remake corporate controlled news and return it to the hands of the public. Rappler, a two-year-old  “social news network” reports stories that “inspire community engagement and digitally fuelled actions for social change,” from its headquarters in the Philippines. Former CNN journalist, Maria Ressa founded Rappler’s with the goal to move people from inspiration to action through social media.

 LA’s Ryot.org has built a pretty fabulous “action-oriented” news platform. Star-studded backers and Hollywood somebodies have helped the one-year-old company reach center stage at the Summit. In an interview with Cashmore, co-founders and award winning filmmakers Bryn Mooser and David Darg noted that traditional news is a one-way flow of information. RYOT creates a dynamic new “participatory news” model that gives readers options to “take action” via tweets, or shares, petitions or donations in response to news reports.

Located on Broadway just below Houston St. in New York’s Soho,  the crowdfunding site for girls and women, Catapult caught my attention. Perhaps you, like me, are just plain frustrated and horrified at the treatment of the female gender across the globe! Rape, domestic violence, child prostitution, and lack of educational and economic opportunities are just a few of the issues that fuel feminine furor over inequality. Maz Kessler, a former musician and Microsoft software innovator, founded the platform along with a small group of equally passionate gender justice advocates. Catapult merges a Kiva-Kickstarter like crowdfunding model that enables users to support gender equality initiatives in eighty-one countries.

 Catchafire, a midtown Manhattan for-profit social good platform connects professionals who volunteer their skills to curated nonprofit organizations and social enterprises. Founder Rachel Chong  left investment banking for microfinance fueling her passion to alleviate poverty. Desiring to offer her skills to nonprofit organizations that might need them, she found that no platform existed to support that. Thus, the proactive social entrepreneur launched her own. Four years later, Catapult is a popular matchmaker for nonprofit and low profit companies in need of free professional services.

Three days is not enough to to discover all there is to know about social change. The conversations continue on Twitter and at Mashable.com. 

#2030NOW  #socialgood @socialgood



How to Get Your Columbia MBA in 1 Day!

  1. Socchange150
    Social Entrepreneurs: Ready for your fast-track Columbia M.B.A.?

On  October 4, at Columbia U B-School, entrepreneurs get Motivated By Action!

by Monika Mitchell

One of the best social entrepreneurship conferences I have attended is on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at the Columbia Business School campus. What’s so good about it?

The Columbia Business School Social Enterprise Conference aggregates the most compelling topics in social enterprise and the leaders in the social innovation entrepreneurial movement.  You can tell its organized by graduate business school students and faculty by the sheer efficiency of the conference format.  It all takes place over one Friday in early October.To an entrepreneur like myself, this makes sense – especially in New York where time ticks faster than elsewhere. Organized, insightful, and information packed with plenty of time for networking during lunch session and reception – in my view it’s worth your time (and mullah) to attend.

Keynote speakers include social entrepreneur Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit organization that allows public school teachers to create classroom project requests for donors to support.  Rachel Sklar co-founded Change The Ratio,” to increase visibility and opportunity for women in tech & new media. Jeremy Heimans is co-founder and CEO of Purpose, a platform for “building 21st century movements and ventures that use the power of participation to change the world.”

As the Founder of Good-B, New York’s leading news source and media platform for social entrepreneurship, I am keenly interested in the community of social entrepreneurs – both local and international – assembled here. These are cutting edge thinkers and doers applying business models to tackle the most challenging social and environmental problems. This year, perhaps because of my enthusiasm and support for the program, Columbia B School #SocEnt organizers invited me to moderate a panel discussion on “Storytelling Through Film.” The panel features three remarkable filmmakers who have created ground-breaking documentaries that inspired movements for social change: Mona Eldaief, Rafea: Solar Mama; Madeleine Sackler, The Lottery; Ricki Stern, The Devil Came on Horseback.

My colleague and friend @Shane Snipes, digital media wizard, and creator of the highly popular video series: Eco-Road Trip, will be moderating the session on: ”Educating Young Minds Through Media.”  Executives from DoSomething.org, NuSkool, and Sesame Workshop. Shane, who advises Good-B on Digital Media Strategy , is a social entrepreneur with a long history of tech innovation and consulting for Microsoft and HP. Given his remarkable digital media talents, he is orchestrating a fun “Vyclone Video-Thon for Social Good” from the conference. Video the event with your smartphone and the best editing job wins! Prizes include: digital media consultation, startup coaching, admission to one event at the Centre for Social Innovation in NY, and video interview for publication on YouTube and @GoodB.

Discounted Registration Available through Oct 1 from $40-$125.

 Read More From Columbia Business School 2013 Social Enterprise Conference: 

@ColumbiaSEconf  #ColumbiaSEconf

Engaging Customers and Clients in Social Change Society will never change unless we collectively want it to. Social entrepreneurs may have great visions for transforming the world, but little can be accomplished without energizing and motivating those on the receiving end of change efforts: the clients and customers of social enterprises. While lessons can be learned from marketers and social media practitioners, there are unique challenges in adapting these ideas to solving social and environmental problems. Organizations ranging from multinational corporation to social venture startups need to grapple with questions such as:

  • How best to compel customers to consider the social footprints of their purchases, and leverage the power of the consumer for social good
  • How to engage at the grassroots level to translate individual ideas and feedback into action and movements
  • How best to create demand for – and deliver – socially useful products and services that benefit underserved communities and the environment

By uniting industry experts, thought leaders and practitioners, the 2013 Social Enterprise Conference will delve deeper into the ways leaders and managers can use strategy as a tool to maximize social change.