Tag Archive for 'Social Good'

My #SocialGood Favorite of Day 1

Day One of the Social Good Summit was pretty awesome. From an awesome talk by Ted Turner which left the crowd laughing and nodding their heads, to thoughtful talks by people from USAID and the State Department.

But, I’d have to say my favorite was seeing Scott Harrison on stage. If you’ve been following my work for a while this probably comes as no surprise. I’ve been a fan of Charity: Water for a while now.

Charity: Water works on a very different model than most NGOs. They track where every dollar goes so you know exactly what you funded and, unless you specifically ask to do so, they will never use your donation to pay for their salaries or marketing overhead.

I had a chance to sit down with Scott 1-on-1 and ask him about his model, how they have quantitative data that shows their work has made an impact, and how raising overhead separately still means that good aid and development costs money to be done right.

Diversity Through Networking

Anytime I get a Skype Video Call, I kind of marvel at how the world has changed. Think about it: if you’re like me you grew up with Star Trek (for me, it was TNG), the idea of being able to have a video call with someone was really sci-fi. Now so many of us do it everyday.

Spock Video Call

The very first pilot of Star Trek (which didn

A few days back, I got a Skype Video Call from Sweden. It was from the head office of Ericsson – a global telecommunications company with over $30 billion dollars in revenue last year. By the time that call ended, I was left wondering at how the world has changed – but for different reasons.

Ericsson has given me a scholarship to come the United Nations Foundation’s Social Good Summit here in NYC. I’m here to attend the events as a VIP, listen to the speakers, and share my experiences as much as I can with you guys. Some of what I share will be posted on Ericsson’s official website.

Something like this would never have happened when my dad was my age. Back then, corporations (especially multi-billion dollar ones) would carefully craft, control, and curate their corporate message. Giving such control to a non-employee was corporate heresy back then. And, as you can see below, this kind of control didn’t always bring diversity into a corporation’s message:

But here I am. I wasn’t asked to tell you how great the company is – after all, they can’t fire me if they don’t like what I say. And they don’t care that I use an iPhone and that none of my friends own a Sony Ericsson phone – in fact, as I have learned, most of their business has nothing to do with making products for consumers like you and I to buy.

I’ve talked about how this is happening – albeit much more cautiously – in the non-profit world. Experts like Beth Kanter like to call this the “Networked Nonprofit”. But it turns out, for-profit corporations have been already doing this for a while. After all, with technology and social media, an individual’s voice can sometimes be louder than an institution’s.

I believe when it comes to solving some of the world’s most difficult problems – we need to imagine these problems complexly. And to imagine something complexly we need to have a diversity in conversation. That diversity means individuals, institutions (including NGOs), and international corporations have to work together, network together, and – hopefully – solve things together.