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Twitter Roundup – April 16: 7,000 days to reinvent civilization, following Skoll vicariously, and business pitches in 129 characters or less

   /   Apr 16th, 2010News

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 last week:

Bruce Lowry, communications director for the Skoll Foundation (@SkollFoundation) is live tweeting this year’s Skoll World Forum, the world’s premier conference on social entrepreneurship. Chairman Jeff Skoll kicked off the discussion at Oxford University Wednesday by remarking that although they’d be lauding many organization directors and founders throughout the forum, “changing the world is a team sport.” An impressive list of speakers is presenting at the conference, which runs through the end of the day today.

Hundreds of people are live tweeting the forum, so search #swf10 on Twitter and experience the whole event vicariously!

Alex Steffen (@AlexSteffen), co-founder and Executive Editor of sustainability media outlet Worldchanging, is crunching numbers about carbon dioxide. According to, humanity needs to get CO2 levels in the atmosphere down from 387 parts per million, where it is now, to 350 parts per million. Based on research, Steffen predicts that if we don’t implement a plan to accomplish this by 2030, we will hit an irreversible global warming tipping point. He did the math and found we have, well, “7,000 days to reinvent civilization.” Gulp. Maybe we should get to work?

TransFair USA (@fairtradeusa), the only U.S. third-party certifier of fair trade products, celebrates record sales of fair trade coffee last year-which is sold everywhere from mom-and-pop coffee shops to Walmart and Mickey D’s. Since TransFair’s inception in 1996, domestic sales of fair trade products have grown ten-fold, despite some criticism from both ends of the political spectrum.

Lora Kolodny (@lorakolodny), a small business blogger at the New York Times, has the scoop on a new contest from MIT’s $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. They’re offering $500 to whomever can come up with the best business pitch in 140 characters or less (well, really, 129 characters plus the required hashtag #100kTwitch). If you’ve got a great idea, this could be a way to get some startup money; check out the full rules here (which are, by the way, longer than 140 characters). Why not practice submitting some of your mini-pitches in the comments to this post?

Someone at All Day Buffet (@alldaybuffet) popped the big question – no not that big question! They asked readers to submit their definitions of social entrepreneurship. Many have debated and argued this point for years, while others dismiss the whole discussion as divisive and superfluous. So far, there’s been no large-scale internal war forged over this tweet, but some of the responses have been intriguing.

Did we miss anything extraordinary? Let us know. Tell us what tweets should be in our next Twitter Roundup at @DowserDotOrg.

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