Our contributors come from leading social enterprise organizations and institutions including:
Nairy is an enthusiastic social activist with a passion for community service and serving refugee communities. She is currently exploring the world of social entrepreneurship through her work at Ashoka Arab World, and trying to help bring to life young agents of change through the MOSAIC committee at CISV Egypt.
Jared is a philanthropy consultant and social entrepreneur, living in East Africa since March of 2006. He believes that in order to empower developing nations to prosper, we must first treat them as equal and capable business partners and not a charity case.
Azita Ardakani is the founder of Lovesocial: a social media agency that works with causes and corporations to utilize the power of social media to affect change, while being effective and authentic in online communication.
With an international career spanning from UNICEF to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the World Bank, Dr. Iman Bibars is a globally revered social development expert on the Arab World. Currently, Dr. Bibars serves as the Regional Director of Ashoka Arab World, and a Vice President at Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. She is also a co-founder and chairwoman of the Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women (ADEW), an organization that provides credit and legal aid for impoverished female heads of household. She has attended Georgetown and Princeton Universities, the American University in Cairo, and earned her Ph.D. from the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University, UK. Dr. Bibars, along with Ashoka Arab World, is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and recently has published the first book written in Arabic on US President Barack Obama.
Andre Blackman is an agent of change and innovation within the public health community. He is very passionate about the role of new media, mobile technology and other useful innovations as it relates to health communications and public health in general – resulting in Public Health 2.0. Andre feels that public health and new media is focused on the people, so there should be parallels to how they both interact. Andre’s background has involved work with science and technology organizations, health nonprofits and traditional public relations. He aims to educate and provide strategy for public health focused organizations and projects who want to make use of the new social interactive landscape and innovative opportunities. You can find his thoughts on public health and innovation through his blog, Pulse + Signal and via Twitter
Justine is passionate about curing social injustice and global environmental issues. She has traveled extensively in Central America and the Caribbean, and is especially interested in the emergence of the Ecotourism industry. She is inspired by the people out there making big changes in the world. Realizing the need for mediums like SocialEarth, she is compelled to communicate to the world the important work these people are doing. Justine is currently working on her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Journalism at the University of St Thomas and is creator of the St. Paul chapter of Better Place. One of her favorite quotes is by Moshe Dayan: “If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends, you talk to your enemies.”
Chloe Chick and Laura Hartstone co-founders of the Peaks Foundation. Peaks Foundation organizes global mountain challenges for women who want to create positive change in the world, challenge themselves and explore new terrain. Chloe and Laura met in East Africa and have trekked together on four continents.
Chloe Chick began her career in television and advertising before moving to Tanzania in 2003 where she worked with the School of St Jude. During her time in East Africa, she founded 3 Peaks 3 Weeks Africa and together with Laura Hartstone brought the idea to fruition. Chloe spent over five years with the GSMA Development Fund in London, focused on accelerating economic, social & environmental development through the use of mobile technology. Chloe was awarded Young Australian of the Year in the UK, is a Cordes Fellow and holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Canberra, Australia.
Laura Hartstone is based in East Africa and together with Chloe, helped to launch the 3 Peaks 3 Weeks Challenge and was part of the original 2007 team. Prior to moving to East Africa, Laura worked with the Grameen Foundation Technology Center based in Seattle, WA. Laura holds a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Arizona and received the Honor’s College award for an Outstanding Commitment to Social Responsibility. She is undertaking a Masters of Science in Wildlife, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health with the University of Edinburgh.
An is a hardworking professional committed to making a positive change in our world. She has a passion for creating innovative designs and promoting organizations that are working to make a difference. An is a graduate from the University of Minnesota, College of Design with a degree in Merchandising and Design. Previously, An worked at Target Corporation as a Business Analyst, promoting the company’s merchandise and brand. Through SocialEarth, she hopes to channel her professional design and brand management abilities to help increase awareness of key issues social issues such as poverty and inequality.
Mike Del Ponte is the founder of Sparkseed, a nonprofit organization that identifies, incubates, and invests in the top student innovators in the United Sates. He ran his first national organization at the age of 18, and has since served as a humanitarian on four continents. Mike has been a Christian Peacemaker Team member in the West Bank, an orphanage volunteer in Jamaica, a microfinance consultant in Nepal, and a part of a team that created a child health care program in Kutch, India. Mike received his B.A. from Boston College and an M.A.R. from the Yale University Divinity School. He is a member of the Sandbox Network, a Frank H. Buck Scholar, and an Advisory Board member for the Global Center of Social Entrepreneurship at the University of the Pacific.
Danielle is the event coordinator for the Ashoka-Lemelson Tech4Society international event series as well as a writer for both the Ashoka Tech and Ashoka News and Knowledge blogs. Before joining Ashoka, Danielle most recently worked in Chennai, India where she developed programs for a small women’s organization and saw first-hand the cross-cutting impact that technology can have on a society. AshokaTech is a blog about technology and invention within the realm of social entrepreneurship. It is part of an initiative between Ashoka and the Lemelson Foundation aimed at finding, supporting and celebrating inventor entrepreneurs with solutions for alleviating poverty and bringing social change around the world.
Born in 1962 and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, my involvement with Adopt a Village in Laos, this small humanitarian organization based in Port Hope, Ontario, happened quite unexpectedly in the summer of 2010. Having never done any kind of volunteer work before, I believe that my fascination with other cultures, history and geography are some of the major reasons why I gravitated to this cause so strongly. Since that day, the passion for this cause has only increased.
Ashley is a friend of anyone who is fighting the good fight for social change. She currently resides in Bilbao, Spain where she is teaching English and researching the history of the Basque conflict. Ashley holds a degree in Global Studies and Sustainability from the University of Minnesota. She has worked for poverty alleviation in Guatemala, progressive peace in Northern Ireland, and for the cultivation of environmental ethics in the United States. She loves conversations with strangers and abides by the Chuck Palahniuk quote: “We all die. The goal is not to live forever. The goal is to create something that will.”
Keith Hammonds is director of Ashoka’s News & Knowledge initiative, a new program funded by the Knight Foundation to identify, seed, and connect social entrepreneurs whose innovations promise to better inform and engage change-making citizens.He previously was executive editor at Fast Company magazine. ”Tomorrow’s News,” the blog of Ashoka’s News & Knowledge program, provides a window onto the intersection of news, knowledge, and social innovation. We focus on social entrepreneurs whose emerging models and strategies create systemic social change by changing the way news and knowledge work. We write about these innovators, about their work, about the defining ideas that derive from their work — and, more broadly, about the challenges and opportunities that their work addresses.
Sidney is the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of South Jersey. He blogs at Innovate 2 Uplift and believes: “Social Innovation is about taking new or evolved approaches to solving the most pressing problems of our time and for that reason it has the potential to ignite passionate participation of many who are sitting on the fence into the work of social change.”
Sarah Jefferson works with Ashoka’s Global Venture and Communications teams and is now helping to grow Ashoka’s recently launched Peace and Social Entrepreneurship Initiative. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh in the areas of international human rights law and international criminal law. To pursue her interest in peacebuilding she has volunteered with Amnesty International’s International Justice Program and has worked as an editor for two international law journals, Eyes on the International Criminal Court and the Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law. One of her major areas of research is how to more fully incorporate peacebuilding and conflict resolution into the bottom line of corporations. She is also interested in exploring the role that social entrepreneurship plays in societies that have recently experienced mass atrocities and grave human right abuses.
Ashok Kamal is the Co-Founder of Bennu, which is a socially responsible product development and marketing company that completes the recycling loop. For more information about Bennu, please visit their website.
Auren Kaplan is founder of InSocialize, a social media agency for social enterprises. He serves as Director of Social Media for The Hub LA, a social entrepreneurs’ co-working space, and he blogs for Causecast’s Cause Integration blog about the blend of business with cause.
As CEO of Cause Alliance Marketing, Jeff Klein designs and facilitates collaborative cause-related marketing programs. He currently serves as President of the Conscious Capitalism Alliance and Conscious Capitalism, Inc.—a nonprofit dedicated to “liberating the entrepreneurial spirit for good” co-founded by John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market. Jeff wrote his new book, Working for Good: Making a Difference While Making a Living, to support conscious entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, leaders, and change agents at work.
Laura Kozien is a microfinance enthusiast and firmly believes that access to fairly priced financial services is critical to community building worldwide, but especially in the United States. After learning about microfinance for the first time as an undergrad at Bentley College, Laura became committed to helping students, journalists, and the socially-conscious learn how microfinance changes lives. She currently does so at ACCION USA, a leading domestic microfinance organization, where she serves as communications director.
In addition to contributing to Social Earth, Laura also co-edits and writes for Main Street Microfinance, a blog focused on microfinance, green business practices, and small business issues in the United States. Follow her onTwitter.
Olivia is the founder of Cause Capitalism, a resource to help entrepreneurs create purpose driven businesses. She works with companies to grow their businesses by implementing a social mission. Her approach is guided by her experiences helping launch three online startups, advising nonprofits on program and fund development and working in international development in Micronesia for a year through the Kennedy School of Government. She’s lived in France, the Marshall Islands and Argentina and recently moved to Washington, D.C., to work with Ashoka’s Changemakers. Sign up to receive weekly tactics for creating a purpose-driven business and connect with Olivia on Twitter at @OKL.
Jocelyn is constantly on the hunt for new innovative platforms as an intersection point for business models and markets at the base of the pyramid to contribute to social or economic progress. An impatient optimist, Jocelyn believes that through compassion, innovation and education, we can be the change in the world.
Piyush is the founder of a socially responsible online education company, EduCare. EduCare provides online one-on-one tutoring to K-12 and college students and with every session completed by a student, they help educate an underprivileged child in need through their Global Education Movement. EduCare was founded in order to promote education globally. Before founding EduCare, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University with a magna cum laude honor in May 2010.
Avien McCrimmon is an emerging social entrepreneur dedicated to finding and creating alternative food options for anyone who is in need. She is focused on addressing food sustainability issues by empowering people through education, networking and giving/philanthropy.
Avien has substantial experience working in the nonprofit food industry, as well as culinary training instruction. All things regarding food, from the growing process, preparation and presentation are all a part of her passion and life mission. Her primary goal is to ensure all levels of food insecurity are addressed in practical and effective ways.
Nikita serves as the Social Media Manager for ProInspire, a nonprofit organization that is expanding the movement of people working for social impact by recruiting and training business professionals to work for nonprofits. She also works at the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the national membership organization and voice of microenterprise in the United States, as an Inspire Fellow through ProInspire’s flagship program. Prior to joining AEO she worked as a management consultant and earned her BBA in International Business from Howard University.
Although he travels the Middle East frequently, Ahmed currently resides in Cairo, Egypt, where he co-founded with his then newly-found revolution-friends ‘El Raseef’. ‘El Raseef’ (Arabic for ‘The Sidewalk’) is a Social Enterprise that works to foster, support & connect innovative grassroots approaches to everyday problems (under registration). We make it our mission to remove the obstacles that stand before creativity, grassroots efforts, and civic solutions to civil problems. El Raseef advocates for mass localism and believes we are experiencing a fundamental paradigm shift in the way we approach our lives- a shift where government role has to be much more minimal and citizens have a much more active role in their daily lives. Essentially, El Raseef is an invitation to all those who enter Egypt- an invitation to live today, the Egypt we all dream of tomorrow.
Neetal is a lawyer by education, an online content strategist by training, and a social innovator at heart. She founded Innov8Social.com in 2011 to explore the field from different perspectives and look into emerging policy and legal structure supporting the field.
Willow Russell is the Communications Manager for Social Venture Partners Seattle, a position which provides her with the enviable task of sharing stories of amazing individuals and organizations that are changing our world for the better. Prior to joining SVP, Willow managed and facilitated communications campaigns among regional coalitions working to restore and protect the Mississippi River and Great Lakes ecosystems.
Willow has an MS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BA in Environmental Studies from Hampshire College. She’s a huge fan of farmers’ markets, movie marathons, anything that gets her out on the water, and roller derby (though her extreme klutziness relegates her to fan status only).
Dhyia is Principal and founder of Virgo Project Consulting, a firm that provides innovative earned-income solutions to organizations, projects and people with missions seeking to make a social impact. Follow her on twitter @virgoproject.
Kyle Westaway, Founder of socentlaw.com, is an attorney and social entrepreneur in New York City. He is Managing Partner at Westaway Law – a boutique Manhattan law firm that counsels clients in the social enterprise sector. Kyle is also the Director of Operations for Biographe – a sustainable style brand that employs and empowers survivors of sex trafficking in Southeast Asia. Kyle lectures on social enterprise at Harvard Law School and has writes for Triple Pundit, Social Edge and Law For Change. Check out his Goodness500 profile here.
Amy comes from a background of strategic cause marketing, fundraising, event planning, public relations, service provision and program development. With an MPA in Non-Profit Management from Indiana University, she has worked for a variety of humanitarian development organizations and companies including Opportunity International, TOMS, Disaster Psychiatry Outreach, among others. She has successfully led fundraising and marketing initiatives that deploy integrated media, engage and grow special interest group involvement, and support major and planned giving programs. Currently, she works at as an Account Supervisor for a non-profit marketing and fundraising agency.
Mr. Zhu is a land tenure specialist working for Landesa as an attorney for their China team. Keliang is a contributor forLandesa’s Field Focus blog and The World Justice Project. Born and raised in the countryside of China, Keliang has intimate knowledge of the country’s rural society and rural land issues. As an attorney in private practice, he gained extensive experience in real estate law, land use, and land development matters. After joining Landesa in mid 2004, Keliang has conducted rural fieldwork, prepared research and policy memos, drafted laws and regulations, and designed programs and solutions for the land reforms in China and other Eastern Asian countries. He has substantial legal and policy expertise relating to land and forest tenure, tenure security, and land-related institutions concerning China.