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Heeding Obama’s Call to Rebuild and Improve our Nation’s Schools

During President Obama’s recent speech to Congress outlining his American Jobs Act, he acknowledged the state of America’s schools: “There are schools throughout this country that desperately need renovating. How…

On Anniversary of 9-11, New Buildings at Ground Zero Site Promise a More Sustainable Urban Future

On September 11, 2011, Americans turned their eyes to New York City, and the vacant space in the skyline where the towers that fell 10 years ago would still be….

Weekly Roundup: World Water Week, For-Profit Hybrids and Protesting Big Oil

Didn’t have time to read the news this week? Every week, we report on the conversations surrounding the big issues in the world of social entrepreneurship and change. (this week by Rachel Signer and Blair Hickman)

Slideshow: Pencils of Promise Leadership Institute

This summer, Pencils of Promise also hosted a series of free Leadership Institutes for high school students, held in New York City. By bringing in speakers like Warby Parker’s Niel Blumenthal, each day-long event aimed to teach participants the essentials of changemaking leadership: public speaking, entrepreneurship, advocacy. The list goes on.

Solutions for New York City’s Sewer Problem

Last week, Harlem residents held their noses as millions of gallons of untreated sewage water flowed straight into the Harlem and Hudson rivers because of a sewage plant fire. On…

Live-Blog: Pencils of Promise Leadership Institute

Pencils Of Promise Leadership Institute aims to education, inspire and motivate young, community leaders with a series of seminars ranging from social media to female empowerment to public speaking. Dowser is there with the live-blog.

Using the law to do good: Kyle Westaway on Benefit Corporations and capitalism with a purpose

Business law assumes profit as a company’s singular motivation, making it hard, and sometimes illegal, for social enterprises to keep a social mission at the core of their operations. Kyle…

PresenTense: A sectarian model of social entrepreneurship

PresenTense, started in 2007 and inspired by the famous Y Combinator model, has flourished into a full-fledged ecosystem for social enterprise in a sectarian community. The organization matches teams of…

Start Small And Build. Sustainably.

“Can I have seconds on salad, please?” is not something middle-schoolers ask everyday. Most kids prefer the high-fat, low-nutrient tastes of foods like French fries or pizza to anything leafy,…

More than just a green space: Deep in Brooklyn, two farmers are redefining the notion of a “community garden”

On a recent Sunday afternoon, people gathered on the sidewalk outside Bushwick City Farms to rummage through bins of vegetables, rescued from grocery store dumpsters, and clothing, donated by local…

Looking Beyond Investigative Journalism (a Case for Solution Journalism)

Earlier this week, the New York Times published a powerful work of investigative reporting by Danny Hakim, which exposed terrible abuse and negligence in New York State’s institutions for the developmentally disabled. The story, which focused on the death of a 13-year-old autistic boy at the hands of a caretaker of the Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center (O.D. Heck) would fill any reader with outrage.

Hakim’s reporting is superb and detailed. Go read it. I hope he and his colleagues win awards for this and other stories on the issue.

But while the piece did a great job of exposing the problem, it said little about how we could fix it. This is an area where journalism often fails. And we want to know — how could we improve it?

Citizen scientists set out to quantify the value of urban farms

In cities all over the U.S., urban agriculture has joined the farmer’s market as an accessible, even trendy, way for city dwellers to assert their commitment to living sustainably. But…

A new way to measure human rights may revolutionize global advocacy

In 1948, the United Nations passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the hopes of creating a world in which individuals lived without oppression. In the decades that have…

Jonathan Morduch: Five takeaways from the Microfinance USA 2011 Conference

Microfinance expert and author (most recently) of Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day, Jonathan Morduch reflects on some of the things he learned at…

Nuvana brings social technology and arts education together to inspire youth

Artists have long enjoyed the creative space at the intersection of social networking and technology, using the Internet to generate new forms of art and more engaging platforms to experience…