The Elephant has left the room

In late 2012, at the Booth Theater in New York, I watched Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”. During intermission, seeking distraction from the pain of the play, I…

Raise Your City: Millennial Tactics for Fundraising

It’s becoming an age-old question: How do you engage today’s 20-somethings in charitable giving and community engagement? Organizations and nonprofits have racked their brains and literally devised development strategies to…

NextDrop: The ‘Big Data’ Influence

The proliferation of mobile-supported business models in India is substantial. Given its ubiquity amongst lower-income groups, mobile technology is recognized as a maximum impact tool, particularly for grassroots data collection….

SolePower Aspires to Put a Charge in Your Step

Cell phones are transforming lives in places like Sub-Saharan Africa, where they are crucial for advancing everything from education to medicine to commerce. The problem? Many developing countries lack access…

The Crucial Role of Empathy: Molly Melching

A conversation with Molly Melching, founder and executive director of Tostan and the protagonist of Aimee Molloy’s However Long the Night.Molly Melching was 24-years-old when she first arrived to Senegal as a University…

24 Millennials Rode the Rails and This is What They Learned

A classroom on wheels, vintage wheels. The Millennial Trains Project is a modern-day experiment in learning.  It’s indicative of a generation that’s seeking education beyond the classroom.   And piling into a…

Keeping Hope Alive in Somalia: Dr. Hawa Abdi

Her nicknames range from “Mama Hawa” to “Mother Theresa meets Rambo.” When the Somalian government collapsed in 1991, Dr. Hawa Abdi was a young doctor operating a small clinic on…

Fixing Water Pumps in Nigeria with WASH

She could not help looking just a bit smug as she grabbed the wrench and went to work on the broken water pump that stood in the middle of the…

Primeros Pasos: Fighting Malnourishment with Home Cooking

Chuicavioc, Guatemala: Janet Coyoy focused intensely on the cooking demonstration, taking mental notes on how to make cream of potato soup thick with vitamins and nutrients. It was only when another…

Food Fortification in the Midst of Turmoil?

Political turmoil and related conflicts can dictate the amount and quality of nutrients accessible to everyday people. Coverage of the Arab Spring has brought to light the dire circumstances still…

Shrimp and Sea Cucumber Farms Offer Models for Aquaculture Investments

From shrimp in Mexico to sea cucumbers in Madagascar, pioneering NGOs are testing new approaches to open ocean aquaculture that emphasize environmental stewardship and increasing local wealth — and lay the foundation for financially…

Cafe Impact: How To Tackle Thankless Social Change

Grunt work is annoying, sometimes demeaning, but necessary. Get over yourself. Accept grunt work with grace. The boring, awful details are the most important.

Eating Insects Makes for A “Sustainable” Snack

Last fall, I attended a conference hosted by the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics at MIT. The conference, entitled “Global Systems 2.0,” focused on potential interdisciplinary approaches to the environmental…

Newspapers Take to the Streets in Greece

For more than two decades, homeless and unemployed individuals have bought and sold magazines to make a living on the streets. In February the world’s newest ‘street paper’ launched in…

Powerful Tech: New Innovations to Fight Rape, Murder, and Atrocities

Can technology single-handedly prevent atrocities?  That may be far fetched. But, it can certainly help collect data, catalogue stories, and build awareness.  USAID and Humanity United, a foundation devoted to…