This time of year offers the opportunity to express our care for friends and family through shared traditions and the exchange of gifts. Shopping can spin into a frenzy of purchases, but with a bit of thought it’s a great opportunity to put our money where it can make a difference. Last year’s “Shop and Give for a Better World” column was well-received, so I’m making it an annual tradition.
Digital textbooks, online lectures, innovative software, learning games, laptops, tablets, and smartphones have all made it possible to customize content, enhance instruction, and improve assessment in the educational arena. This convergence of possibilities could really revolutionize the way students learn. But the landscape is decentralized and complicated, and leveraging what’s possible to really move the field of education forward will not be easy.
Can we break the vicious cycle of youth incarceration that many communities in the US face? A resounding "ABSOLUTELY!" is the answer from Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY). During the summer, I learned an incredible amount about running a successful and impactful non-profit. I would like to share two insights that I took away.
A few weeks ago, as part of Acumen's work with a coffee social enterprise, I attended the Rwanda Cup of Excellence awards ceremony, the culmination of a two-week contest to identify Rwanda's best specialty coffee. With an auction for the winning coffees where prices will climb to more than 10 times the average export price, this was a huge day for Rwanda's smallholder coffee farmers. During the ceremony, one particularly inspiring story unfolded.
When Ami first tried launching her flower business, her father refused to loan her 50,000 rupees ($1,000), saying he would rather get her married. Priyanka was studying to be an entrepreneur, when she was forced to drop out as 4th year engineer student so that she could get married. And when Nayna* was launching her chocolate factory, her husband reminded her daily that it was a bad idea.
As discussed in my first blog post, this summer I have had the immense privilege of working at Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The hospital was forced to function massively over capacity, which is particularly impressive considering it sees over 130,000 patient in a normal year. While I was there the overflow of Dengue Fever cases forced us to set up beds in our hallways and turn classrooms into temporary wards.
With slightly less than two weeks left until the end of my internship with the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, I am using this blog post as an opportunity to reflect on the past two months.
Cambodia unfortunately experienced two major disease outbreaks over the last 3 months: Dengue Fever and the "Mysterious Illness" which turns out to be Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease. I have had the immense privilege of working at Angkor Hospital for Children here in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
This post is part two in a two part series about my internship at the United States Treasury. In my first post (dated August 13, 2012), I discussed the role of my group-the Office of Financial Institutions Policy (OFIP)-within the U.S Treasury. In this submission I will describe in further detail the work that defined my summer experience.
A number of reports have crossed my desk recently about how to accelerate and advance social innovation. In many of these reports I notice a big imbalance in representation between those I’ll call the “doers” and those who consult, advise and fund the action. For example, on a back of the envelop analysis of four reports by leading social impact experts and consulting firms, just 24% of those surveyed/convened were “doers” who directly provide programs, services and interventions. The remaining 76% were assorted funders, consultants, intermediaries, advisors, and donors. In one report the doers accounted for a mere 3%. These percentages resonate with my observations at a variety of gatherings over recent years, and they raise concern.