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Frames (poetry): Tony Hoagland on empathy and alienation in America

In the second installment of our occasional Frames series — which turns to the world of poetry and art to explore the human elements at the heart of change —…

Smartphone apps turn citizens into scientists

Around 100 million Americans use web-connected, camera-equipped phones on a daily — probably hourly — basis. Which is why many developers are exploring how this extraordinary resource can be harnessed…

On Food: Gary Maxworthy’s Farm to Family has redefined the way food banks work

Food issues in the U.S. are often shaped by frustrating paradoxes: We produce an excess of food — yet there are still 50 million people living in food-insecure households; we…

On Food: FEAST! invites a community to dinner and reinvents the financing of art

In the back of a candle-lit church basement in Brooklyn, eight groups of artists recently presented their work to 200 people. This quarterly dinner party — hosted by FEAST (Funding…

On Food: Shrink this plate! Portion-size solutions

I grew up in Sweden and whenever I travel to the U.S. from Europe, ordering food is a somewhat shocking experience. The size of the portion is particularly mind-blowing. This…

A Safe Haven in Cartoon Confidants

For months, psychologists struggled to reach the eight year old boy in the burn unit of the Pediatric Hospital of Tacubaya, in Mexico City. He had been discovered in the…

On Food: The Brooklyn Food Coalition’s Nancy Romer talks about building a food movement one neighborhood at a time

In 2009, Nancy Romer, a psychology professor at Brooklyn College, got the idea to organize a one-day conference on food sustainability in New York City — and, surprise, 3,000 people…

Twitter Roundup – November 19: Plastic bags, farmers markets and food banks

Search for the hashtag #socent and you’ll find wide-ranging interest in social entrepreneurship on Twitter. Here’s a roundup of a few thought-provoking tweets on food from the last week: Just…

On Food: Bill Shore of Share Our Strength is now aiming at childhood hunger in the U.S.

In our Risk-taking series, Tulane University and Ashoka U students Katie Smalley and Laura White interview social innovators, inquiring about the bold steps they’ve taken to advance their work. Today,…

On Food: Interview with the directors of GROW!, a film about young organic farmers in Georgia

As part of our pre-Thanksgiving “On Food” series, today we feature a story about Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson and a film they created called GROW!, which highlights the challenges…

On Food: Dickson Despommier, author of The Vertical Farm, on skyscrapers filled with vegetables

With Thanksgiving approaching, we’re turning an eye to the question of food – specifically how it moves from the soil to the grocery bag, in New York and Africa alike….

Clean Water at No Cost? Just Add Carbon Credits

In America, I turn on the faucet and out pours water. In much of the world, no such luck. Nearly a billion people don’t have drinkable water. Lack of water…

On Food: How One Acre Fund’s Andrew Youn helps subsistence farmers in Africa to double their yields

With Thanksgiving approaching, we’re turning an eye to the question of food — specifically how it moves from the soil to the grocery bag, in New York and Africa alike….

Twitter Roundup – November 12: Home efficiency scores, cigarette warnings and Yale scholarships

Search for the hashtag #socent and you’ll find wide-ranging interest in social entrepreneurship on Twitter. Here’s a roundup of a few thought-provoking tweets from the last week: Vice President Biden…

Frames (Poetry): Robert Creeley’s “I Know a Man” and the darkness that surrounds us…

At Dowser, we’re interested in the human ingredients behind social change. Why do some people give themselves the permission to challenge the status quo – to speak up boldly when…