Interview: Debra Natenshon explains why you need to know what’s working if you want to change the world

The difficulty of measuring impact is one of the most persistent and nagging challenges in the social arena. Organizations evaluate their results in different ways, using different tools and benchmarks….

Health Care and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Welcome to Fixes. This is a series about solutions, or potential solutions, to real world problems.  It focuses on the line between failure and success, drawing on the stories of…

Mini Case Study: Why VolunteerMatch rejected venture financing and the prospect of fast growth

PROBLEM: VolunteerMatch, an online service that matches volunteers and organizations, had operated for about a year when it faced a wrenching choice: either become a for-profit business, which would allow…

Twitter roundup – October 15: Phonebooks, wind farms and California’s victory

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: This week the…

How to pursue an ‘encore career’ — a meaningful alternative to retirement

Every day thousands of Americans turn 55 years old with no plans of retiring anytime soon. (If retirement is still decades away for you, then consider reading on for a…

Interview: Dan MacCombie of Runa on how a high-caffeine tea can protect the Amazon and a traditional way of life

A few years ago, three students took an entrepreneurship class at Brown University in which they explored ways to use international markets to foster social change. The result is Runa,…

Interview: James Cleveland of Jumpstart on preschoolers, connections and literacy

Five-year-olds from low-income communities have one-quarter the vocabulary of their more affluent peers, and half of them enter first grade as much as two years behind in preschool skills. That’s…

Apps 4 Africa, an example of government crowd-sourcing, announces winners

Three winners have been announced for Apps 4 Africa, a contest initiated by the U.S. State Department that is aimed at harnessing Africa’s tech talent for social change. The competition,…

Big Ideas: Nick Temple on the ‘long tail’ of social entrepreneurship

In our Big Ideas series, we check in regularly with creative thinkers in the field of social innovation. We want to know what they’re working on, what questions they’re wrestling with,…

Twitter roundup – October 8: Life-ring bazookas, eyeglasses, and being unreasonable

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: Quite a bit…

SOCAP wrap-up: Human capital, mobile madness and green jobs

SOCAP, the social capital markets conference, wound down in San Francisco earlier this week. What follows are some insights and reflections from the event. Venture (human) capital: Jacqueline Novogratz of…

Interview: Rachel Botsman on sharing cars, gardens and money—and the evolution of “collaborative consumption”

Rachel Botsman is fascinated with our increasing desire to share, barter, and swap and our decreasing need for consumption of material goods. She began noticing these trends while working on…

Bob McKinnon on how to get 32 renowned people to contribute to a book on social change (Hint: ask 230)

Bob McKinnon, the founder of YELLOWBRICKROAD, a company that focuses on communication that advances social change, had a vision five years ago to create a book that would gather creative…

Interview: Deron Triff on building a business that draws out stories of change from 30 countries

After spending six years at PBS as the vice president of digital ventures, Deron Triff saw a need for more first-person stories generated by changemakers themselves. So, he launched Changents.com,…

SOCAP report day 1: Get investable!

For social entrepreneurs attending SOCAP10, the social capital markets conference underway this week in San Francisco, the call to action is: get investable! The conference feels different from social change…