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New structures for helping Haiti rebuild

While most of the Haitians that were displaced by the devastating earthquake of more than a year ago are still living in tent cities and shacks made of plywood, one…

Quench: Development lessons in a startup

International development projects have long been subject to critiques that they are unsustainable, inattentive to local needs and overly costly. But young self-starters continue to see value in bringing their…

Twitter Roundup: February 25 – Roving cybercafes, the scoop on branchless banking, and TEDtalks go conversational

Search for the hashtag #socent and you’ll find wide-ranging interest in social entrepreneurship on Twitter. Here’s a roundup of a few interesting tweets from the last week: In an innovative attempt…

GetRaised advises women on the art of asking for a raise

While most of us have experienced the agony of getting up the nerve to ask our boss for a raise, perhaps we haven’t considered the large-scale effects of asking, or not…

Interview: Acumen Fund’s Sasha Dichter on trends to look for in 2011

As the director of business development at Acumen Fund, a global venture fund that invests in entrepreneurial approaches to poverty, Sasha Dichter has a firm grasp on the evolving discussion…

The Excel Center: A new model for adult education

About 1.2 million American students drop out of high school each year, at great cost — high school graduates earn ten times more wealth over their careers than dropouts. If…

Charles Slaughter of Living Goods applies the Avon model to healthcare in Uganda

Living Goods is a hybrid microfinance and public health organization; it operates a network of saleswomen in Uganda who go door to door offering health products, like bed nets, condoms…

Design Impact: Design solutions for the developing world

Good design can innovate solutions to problems we weren’t even aware of and create products that make everyday life easier. Ramsey Ford, a co-founder of Design Impact, spoke to Dowser…

Sustainable theory and practice at the Human Impacts Institute

While working as the program director at the Lower East Side Ecology Center in New York City, Tara DePorte saw the same problem again and again — many groups working…

Last post of 2010: Recapping some innovation trends

As we teeter on the edge of a new year, after eight months in operation, we thought we’d highlight a few of the stories we came across the past year….

How Nuru Lights markets LEDs via networks of micro-entrepreneurs

While driving through a village in Rwanda, Sameer Hajee came across a mother walking with her two-year-old son, who had severe burns covering a third of his body. The cause:…

Giving What We Can: Maximizing the impact of donations

In the giving season, choosing where to donate can be difficult; the staggering number of important organization and causes is overwhelming, and where you put your money is as important…

Fair trade certification expands to the apparel industry

In time for the gift-buying season, Fair Trade USA launched a new a fair trade certification for apparel. Their other certifications, like the ubiquitous fair trade coffee, enable consumers to…

Common Security Clubs: A new model for building community in times of economic crisis

When people face overwhelming, frightening challenges they often seek comfort through support groups. From cancer to addiction, these groups help us understand disorienting events and foster community where there might…

Richard Cherry of the CEC on confronting climate change with better buildings

Richard Cherry’s organization, the Community Environmental Center (CEC) bridges climate and low-income issues by focusing on the building sector. Using seemingly simple tools like weatherization, the CEC is able to…