Ever since meeting Scott Heiferman (wikipedia, personal summary), CEO of Meetup.com, I’ve known his was a progressive business. Why? First, Scott has been an agent of change for a long time, and Meetup.com was a backbone for the transformative political organization power of the Dean For America campaign.
Also, the company has a social mission. When I was tuning up our Sustainable Ventures Meetup site, I saw they were hiring, and since so many people would love a paying gig with a like-minded company, I took a peek, looking for matches in my network. Here are three jobs available at Meetup.com right now:
In this TEDx Boulder talk, w1sd0m partner, and MATTER studio owner Rick Griffith talks about his beautiful vision for education reform, waste paper reclamation and — surprise — sustainability. If you find yourself wondering how to integrate community service, sustainability and social responsibility, just click play.
Gaming, specifically the participation in graphically rich virtual worlds, is the metaphor for media in the 21st century. Having already overtaken the Hollywood box office in terms of gross annual revenues, the sociology of gaming suggest that it’s a media metaphor which will gain in influence over the coming era. Look no farther than the success of Farmville (100 million players) to realize that it’s not just 17 year olds (and their post-adolescent uncles) who fall into the gaming stereotype.
Jesse Schell’s talk at the Long Now Foundation, tilted “Visions Of The Gamepocalypse” is the most intelligent and comprehensive treatise on this phenomenon. He is an extraordinary speaker, and will connect especially well with those who appreciate the dry humor implied by the paradoxes revealed by a systems perspective.
The video highlight embedded here (chosen by the editors at FORA.tv, a cool new-to-me site with smart talks and panels from conferences), is a clip about how advertising fits into the gaming world, provides a peek into the style and pace Schell brings to the topic.
If, like so many of us these days, find yourself in uber-overwhelmsion (tip to Sally), and the idea of watching a 2-hour video is absurd, you owe yourself this treat.
This summer, we have been hyper-focused on building the W1SDØM exchange. As soon as I got back from my abbreviated spring conference swing, it was clear the time to talk had ended, and the time to build was nigh.
This fall, we will be engaging a targeted pilot of the platform, and our team will get back out into the world, demonstrating the concept we have been talking about to you for more than a year now.
As the writing and research for the business plan slows down, I hope to have more time to get back to blogging. If you’re not following me on Twitter, it’s a good place to see some of the pieces of things that are moving by in my field of attention.
Thanks for reading — I look forward to more engagement soon.
The social innovators who founded the UnReasonable Institute have unveiled the next step of the their model, the funding marketplace. The UnReasonable Institute is a novel incubator for social benefit organizations. Potential fellows were just screened down to 35 finalists, who have been posted in a market place. In order to attend the 10-week fellowship program in Boulder this summer, finalists must raise their tuition — $6,500 — in the marketplace. Continue reading
This video, produced by our friends at In The Telling, tells the story of Bernard Amadei, one of the co-founders of Engineers Without Borders, and the new Center for Engineering for Developing Communities.
“We tap into local talent, and strengthen that talent,” Amadei says about his philosophy, a more sustainable approach than typical imperialism still practiced by a majority of aid agencies. Amadei’s latest project is recycling trash into fuel in developing countries, like Afghanistan.
Enjoy the video, a great investment of four minutes.
Together with colleagues John Cleveland and Pete Plastrik, the founders of two amazing change networks in urban sustainability (John) and social innovation (Pete), I’ve been working on a concept called the Social Innovation Commons.
The project is an answer to an obvious problem: a maze of data and a warren of information stores permeates the field social innovation, rarely crossing myriad organizational boundaries and doubtfully overcoming technology hurdles. This leaves the change agents, social entrepreneurs, non-profit execs and foundation program managers at a loss for answers to questions as simple as “What has been tried in this sector before? What has worked? What problems have stopped progress in previous attempts? Who are the experienced implementers?”
If you have read this far, and are still wondering “what’s an L3C?”, it’s a new legal and tax designation that appears to most obviously benefit for-profit partnerships that are seeking program-related investment (PRI) or mission-related investment (MRI) from foundations. Wikipedia has a more robust description.
Although there is some debate on the relative merits of L3C designation vis a vis some other business forms that may come down the pike in coming months and years, we see it as a signal that sustainable and triple-bottom-line ventures are being taken seriously by state legislatures.
If you care to dig in on the debate further, we’ll engage just such a discussion at an upcoming gathering of the Sustainable Venture meetup, which Rick and Caryn co-founded with us.
In our busy lives, let’s all take a moment to consider the lessons Dr. Martin Luther King taught us. His focus on non-violent change in pursuit of social justice is an inspiration to change agents and social entrepreneurs around the world.