Monday, August 31, 2009

A thought on philanthropy...

"Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropists to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice that make philanthropy necessary."
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Social Media Marketing

92% of companies polled said that social media marketing is effective in building their brand reputation.

Source: "Chart of the Week," MarketingSherpa 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Millenial / Gen-Y Entrepreneurs Challenge the Status Quo... with Social Media.

I have been reading an article called "How Gen-Y Startups Use Social Media to Shatter the Status Quo", and thought our readers may be interested. LINK HERE

Below, I have included an excerpt on one of the status-quos being challenged: PROFIT.
My favorite status quo that Gen-Y is challenging is in the fatter pocket department. While bottom lines, quarterly reports and profits are important to Gen-Y startups and entrepreneurs, there is something brewing that is gaining more popularity in Gen-Y companies: changing the world. From proceeds based on profits to community involvement and helping each other grow, Gen-Y is fundamentally under the impression that the world will be a better place if we grow together. Helping our friends, neighbors and those in less fortunate situations create jobs and stimulate their economies can impact the world and help everyone grow their bottom line.
Companies like Kiva (on the cusp on Gen-Y) are using crowdsourcing technology to connect investors with business entrepreneurs (yes, young and old) in developing countries to get off and running. Kiva now finances loans in 48 countries and in June 2009 supplied over $4.6 million in loans

Others, like GiveForward are focused on helping existing non-profits and organizations find funding and make donating a better experience. Co-founder Desiree Vargas says“Generation Y has the opportunity to live their entire career spans expecting to work for companies that treat their employees well, give back to their communities, and create a product or service that brings value to the world.”

New Gen-Y business values are helping to make the entire world a better place to live and do business.

Ladies, this is what you are doing!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Women and Philathropy... "The Power of the Purse"

Another fantastic New York Times article from the New York Times Magazine Special Edition on women's issues around the world:

The article briefly chronicles the history of women's philanthropy and recent trends in the way women give.

Read it HERE

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Half the Sky" - Pulling Women Out of Poverty.

"There’s a growing recognition among everyone from the World Bank to the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to aid organizations like CARE that focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. That’s why foreign aid is increasingly directed to women. The world is awakening to a powerful truth: Women and girls aren’t the problem; they’re the solution."

The above quote is from a New York Times Magazine special, featuring an essay adapted from the book "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide".

Most of the examples of success that are given in the essay, include a dimension of business or small microloans being used to change the life of a woman and her family... and, eventually, her community.

Read more HERE.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Our World 2.0 is brought to you by the United Nations University and asks the question: What can we do when faced with complex, inter-connected and pressing problems like climate change, oil depletion, food security and biodiversity? ... In responding to these challenges, innovation will be the key."
- OurWorld 2.0

Keep track of some of the innovations related to climate, oil, food and biodiversity.

Are any of these innovative approaches applicable to environmental issues in Saudi Arabia and/or the broader Gulf region?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, on the Future of Management

"I've always believed those who are most successful owe an obligation to give back. But also- what I can now articulate- it's just plain, good business sense as well."


An excerpt from the interview (McKinsey Quarterly):

Business in society: Public–private partnerships

The Quarterly: Can you talk a little bit about what you see as the role of technology and businesses like yours working with city and national governments?

John Chambers: Okay. I’m going to break it into two pieces. The first is what we see working with governments, in terms of traditional business and how do you really prepare for the future. And the second is more in corporate social responsibility and public–private partnerships, if you will, being, I think, a model for the future around collaboration.
So, to the first part, when you talk about the future, you can talk about smart, connected communities. Intelligent urbanization: 500 million people moving into cities of the future.
Traditional cities: how do they evolve? What I call towns or small communities, and then all the way down to the rural environment.

Let’s just deal with the first one. When you talk to President Lee [Myung-Bak], of South Korea, or Mayor Ahn [Sang-soo], who’s the mayor of Inchon, which is really the economic city built outside of Seoul, they’ll talk about how do you combine a structure with the direction of government; with a developer, really enlightened developer who knows where they’re headed, how they’re doing it; with a Cisco, to be able to say, how do you create perhaps as much as 200,000 sustainable, incremental jobs? How do you contribute as much as somewhere between a half a point to the whole point of GDP growth for all of South Korea? How do you combine an architecture—which addresses everything from green initiatives, smart electricity, productivity, government services such as education and health care—to tie them back to other government services, to intelligent transportation, smart buildings. How do you do this architecturally? And the answer is, intelligent plumbing, combined with a visionary government leader, combined with a developer who would build it in. And that’s able to go all the way down through what’s going on in China and the Middle East, et cetera, and it gives you speed of an ability to move into that area.

You could then transition and say, “Well, John, I didn’t even know you knew what smart grids were.” Well, maybe six months ago I wasn’t even focused on it, but it’s one of our top priorities. And yet here, in a series of positioning, using councils and boards and working groups, we’ve moved from a player often people didn’t associate with smart grids to the top announcement that’s been done—in my opinion, world to date—which was with GE’s leadership and with Florida Power & Light’s leadership, with local government, in terms of the city of Miami, [when they] announced Energy Smart Miami, where they’re going to go in terms of, “How do you really use grid technology to make the cost of electricity over time cheaper for the employees?” To do it in a more environmentally friendly [way], to generate what they said is a 1,500-person job increase just in the one city, that could expand throughout the state and throughout the region? These organization structures allow for speed of change, which did not occur before, but they’re often with groups that have not worked together.

Then, over the corporate social responsibility: your ability to make a difference.

I started in the Middle East with King Abdullah of Jordan, an outgrowth of the World Economic Forum, where King Abdullah said, “John, I need partners to help me transition the country.” When Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi: how do we transform the education system? We put $90 million into the area—purely corporate social responsibility—21st-century schools, wiring the areas. Terrible earthquake in Sichuan province: it wasn’t just about giving back. It was, “How do you partner in a way that can change education and government?” We put $45 million into it. I’ve been back there twice physically, including just about three weeks ago, and once virtually.

It is those types of programs that, first, are the right thing. I’ve always believed those who are most successful owe an obligation to give back. But also—what I can now articulate—it’s just plain, good business as well. Wherever we’ve been good on corporate social responsibility, we’re almost always in the top ten places to work, which we are in every major country in the world. But also, the better we are in corporate social responsibility, it’s amazing how it transfers over to business success.

For the entire transcript, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Love what you do. Thank you, Pixar.

Cloud - Funny bloopers R us

Don't forget... whatever you do... do it with pride.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Women and Leadership: Learning from the Social Sector

From the McKinsey Quarterly website:

As a venture philanthropist, Acumen Fund’s Jacqueline Novogratz leads entrepreneurial projects across the globe—many of which put women at the helm of emerging local businesses. In this video interview, she discusses her experience developing other women leaders, the way they have shaped her own approach to leadership, and the different leadership cultures she sees at play in the public and private sectors.

This interview was conducted by Bill Javetski, an editor with the McKinsey Quarterly, in February 2009. It was recorded in the New York office of Acumen Fund.

One of my favorite quotes from the interview:

"... the more stressed I got, the less anything worked... but the more we laughed, the more we got done."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Culture of Peace

"As defined by the United Nations, the Culture of Peace is a set of values, attitudes, modes of behaviour and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations..."

So far, the "Culture of Peace" has obtained 225 signatures from 14 organizations in Saudi Arabia.

There is some potentially useful information on the UNESCO site- including contact information of 3 active private individuals, as well as the Saudi National Commission for UNESCO (in Riyadh), and the UNESCO office in Doha.

Thoughts on how we could do a "Culture of Peace" event in Jeddah?

Monday, August 3, 2009

ImagineThis! TV with a Purpose.

ImagineThis! is a TV series about challenges... and SOLUTIONS. The organization partners with local NGOs in countries around the world to bring stories of those underprivileged to the attention of our society.

Challenge #1? The film crew has ONE week to create an episode.

SocialEarth interviewed Eion, the founder of ImagineThis! TV- he said:

“We both know that there are many, many NGO’s all over the world doing a great job trying to help others, the reason we decided to do ImagineThis is one, to highlight those organizations and the work they do and two, to highlight a new form of consciousnesses towards love and understanding as oppose to fear, separation, hatred, bigotry; the things that divide us. And TV in my estimation is the best and most effective transmitter of information and has the broadest reach to send out a message and it saddens me to see the message most often sent out by TV is destruction. Our message is one of dignity, love, cooperation, humor and joy.”