Archive for November, 2011
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New Collective Artist Titus Burger
Orphan Sunday Project by Titus Burger from Amber Burger on Vimeo. Titus is one of the coolest kids I have had the privilege of meeting.  To see someone this young having the passion to help others is both humbling and inspiring.  I would pay the 4 dollars for his artwork (and already have) just to make this kid’s project successful. Seeing that the money is going to help clothe orphans makes this opportunity even more beautiful. So often we are hindered by our thoughts, and we allow ourselves to believe that our “small” contributions won’t make a difference.  A penny here…a penny there…does it really matter? Am I just waisting my time? What’s the point? Then, the powerful innocence of a child brings clarity, and quickly puts things into perspective. Doing SOMETHING is better than doing NOTHING.  Helping in the smallest way is better than not participating at all. There are... Continue Reading
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The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Good — And How to Avoid Them
We’ve all been there — you discover an unbelievable non-profit supporting a great cause, only to find that there’s just something not right. Perhaps it’s unclear how much money is being donated, its Facebook page looks outdated or it’s murky about what the organization wants from its fans. It’s not easy running a non-profit, but it’s crushing to find good people committing one of the seven deadly sins of social good. Any one of these sins can turn someone away from supporting a non-profit and even jeopardize the organization’s ability to do good. So what are the sins and how... Continue Reading
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Bill Gates is asking for more Western aid to fight poverty
Cannes – Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is calling on Western nations assembling for the latest G20 summit to promise greater efforts to fight global poverty. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is calling on Western nations assembling for the latest G20 summit in Cannes, France, to promise a stronger financial commitment to fight global poverty. Gates is set to release a report to the G20 nations that spells out creative ways in which Western nations can do more to fight poverty. The report also stresses the economic imperatives of fighting poverty as a means of keeping the global economy stable. “The world... Continue Reading
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Civilisedmoney: A Crowd-Funded, Ethical Alternative to Mainstream Banks?
Whether it’s local investing in everybody eats restaurants, the microfinancing of entrepreneurs through Kiva, or citizen-funded clean energy through eco-bonds, we’ve featured plenty of ways to get passed the big banks and put your money to work. Peer2Peer Finance Goes Mainstream In the UK there are already a number of peer2peer lending sites, like ZOPA, that are offering rates of return far better than your traditional bank. A new venture called civilisedmoney is aiming to take this model even further, offering a fully transparent, crowd-funded alternative to every service offered by mainstream banks: Eventually civilisedmoney will offer all the services... Continue Reading
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Back to the Start: Willie Assists Chipotle’s Quest To End Factory Farms
In this charming music video from Chipotle, Willie sings about going “back to the start” of American farming, before animals were pumped with antibiotics and kept in factories. A farmer, not content with his small family farm, starts to modernize. He turns his farm into a factory, pumping drugs into his pigs and pollutants into the water. But one night, he has a revelation: This is not what his life needs to be. He lets his animals roam free and raises them naturally (though still eats them). That’s the premise of the new music video commissioned by Chipotle, featuring Willie... Continue Reading
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Anatomy of a smart city
The dramatic shift of the world’s population into urban areas is encouraging citizens, city planners, businesses and governments to start looking at visions of ‘smart’ cities. Below we look into what is driving the need to establish these networked environments, how smart city concepts and projects are different in the developing world, and what technologies and systems are needed to make them a reality. Quick Facts and Stats: Up until 1975 there were just 3 Megacities (New York, Tokyo and Mexico City). Today there are 21. The top 600 urban centers generate 60% of global GDP By 2025, the number... Continue Reading
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Why Good Causes Need Great Design
In March of 2010, Nikhil Arora was finishing his degree in Political Science and Business at UC Berkeley, getting ready to start a career in corporate America. Passionate about making a difference, but without a clear path to make a career out of his interests, he decided to pursue a more traditional path—that was until an unusual school project sent his ambitions in a very different direction. When we sat down with Nikhil, he told us: “We came about this idea of growing mushrooms from coffee grounds just a few months before graduating. [My partner] Alex Velez and I were... Continue Reading
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Dissenting, or Seeking Shelter? Homeless Stake a Claim at Protests
LOS ANGELES — Robert Gaffney, who came here from Oklahoma 10 years ago, settled on a scrap of burlap the other day on a grassy hill outside City Hall, surveying the tents and crowd that make up Occupy Los Angeles. For many of his neighbors at City Hall Park, this is a center of protest and political grievance. For Mr. Gaffney, it is the latest piece of land that he calls home. It is, he said, more comfortable than the sidewalk in Hollywood that he has been living on for the last few months. It is safer and less sketchy... Continue Reading
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