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Twitter Roundup – June 18: Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, World Cup fever, and youth entrepreneurship

   /   Jun 18th, 2010International, News

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 past week:

Big news! As the Chronicle of Philanthropy (@Philanthropy) noted, Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett this week kicked off what could wind up being the largest fundraising drive in history. It’s called The Giving Pledge, and it asks the world’s richest individuals to pledge (literally, with a public letter of intent) at least 50% of their wealth to philanthropic causes, either during their lifetime or upon their death. According to Fortune magazine, if Gates and Buffett—the two richest men in the U.S.—reach their initial goal of convincing just the Forbes 400 Richest People to pony up, the total return will be about $600 billion dollars. To put that in perspective, U.S. philanthropists–the most generous in the world—currently give $300 billion annually.

Tweeters were all over the World Cup this week as the international soccer tournament kicked off in South Africa. The United Nation’s Children’s Fund (@UNICEF) is using the event to raise awareness about children’s rights in the region through several creative initiatives. UNICEF is hosting open-air screenings of matches in remote parts of Rwanda and Zambia, with special messages about children’s rights and health. And in South Africa, UNICEF is launching a “Red Card” communication campaign to call attention to child abuse and exploitation.  And that’s not all: it’s also teamed up with clothier Mango and singer Shakira to create a line of T-shirts, with proceeds going to support elementary education initiatives in South Africa. (Buy yours at any Mango location.)

For the fourth year running, office supplier Staples (@StaplesTweets) and Ashoka (@AshokaTweets) are teaming up for a social entrepreneurship competition aimed at youth aged 12-24. Teams of students will be accepted as nominees through September 2010. Eight winners will get $5,000 and a platform to share their ideas at a TEDx conference. (Hey, and if you’re a young person interested in building a better world, don’t miss Do Something’s Social Action Bootcamp—which will screen tomorrow right here on Dowser.)

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