Month: January 2019

Look Out 2019

Look Out 2019






Friday, January 25, 2019

I started Social Good Blueprint to examine how others are creating awesome social change… I wanted some inspiration, and thought you might too.  If you don’t want to miss this, you can sign up below and receive it each week in your inbox!

[1] Look Out 2019

Triple pundit’s outlook for 2019 highlights that a third of startups have a social good component to their business, but found in research that as disposable income decreases, that people are more interested in purchasing the cheaper mass produced products than their purposeful counterparts.  The rise of impact investing helps provide new funding models, making it easier for social enterprises to grow… but these companies are going to continue to find ways to communicate the importance of impact. 

[2] Teaching Tech

In NYC, PwC rolls out robots to help Students Learn Tech.  By bringing fun technology into the classroom, they hope to inspire interest and engagement with technology.  Hopefully, if they can get students to look away from their mobile phones for more than 3 minutes, then I suspect they’ve made a great start.

[3] Impressionable Impact

I love projects like Art & Clay on Main, with a social mission to provide training and employment for individuals with disabilities, but their business is delivering activities with artistic expressions – such as painting pottery, painting on canvas, and working with clay.  Something about creating something physical brings people closer together.

[4] Appetite for Change

Okay, I shouldn’t be writing a newsletter when I’m hungry.  But if you’re hungry, why not support a cause at the same time.  In Columbus, Ohio, Hot Chicken Takeover has taken over… with an employment model of hiring people with barriers to entry.  They can hardly meet the demand, so it’s exciting to see others join in, such as Freedom a la Cart, L.A. Catering and Too Good Eats.  Enough talk, now it’s time for a snack.

[5] Social Impact Spotlight

Give Back Hack is one of my favorite events.  It’s a fantastic weekend hack-a-thon centered around starting ventures that have a social impact, but unlike other hack-a-thons, they support ideas after the event ends.  We went to Give Back Hack, Cleveland last year – and launched a t-shirt company called Wild Tiger Tees… employing youth experiencing homelessness.  Coming full circle, the youth just printed shirts for the upcoming Give Back Hack event in Baltimore, MD on February 1st. How’s that for social change?!?

[6] Start Some Good

Need some quick inspiration to Start Some Good? This week I supported the project: Kindle a Fire: Help K-Lumet Create Inclusive Jobs! — partly because it’s snowing outside and fire starters sounded like a good idea, but also because I love people who create jobs for those with barriers to entry. Check ’em out!

First Edition

First Edition






Friday, January 18, 2019

Starting the new year with a newsletter that has some uplifting ideas to take my mind off politics. Because great stuff is happening and I want to hear about it, and I suspect you do too.

[1] Currently Playing – Episode 39

After last year’s hiatus (we started a social enterprise of our own, called Wild Tiger Tees), we posted Episode 39, Investment Insight with Alan Grodin! With Wild Tiger Tees, we’re screen printing t-shirts with youth experiencing homelessness, and one thing I’m curious about is how people mentor youth, so I reached out to a long-time friend, Alan, whose career in financial services spans decades. He gives back to his community by sharing his insight into how to approach financial planning for retirement, and he shared this in detail on the podcast.

[2] Scaling a different wall

I saw the rise of impact investing this year – people were talking about it everywhere… because it makes sense. Grants have their place, but what if you could get your money back and you could give it again? 2018 was the Year Wall Street Got Sustainable Investing… and a lot of other people did too.

[3] The Girls’ Index

ROX, aka, Ruling Our eXperiences – took skills training from OSU research and launched a venture to give girls the skills they need to live healthy, independent, productive, and violence-free lives. Now they are expanding their impact nationwide helping girls find success. Here’s hoping they take over the world.

[4] Purposely Political

A Year in Purpose: The Top 10 Trends of 2018, highlights the growing trend for companies and employees to stand for something. I kept trying to stand for something, but it just looked like I was stomping my feet.

[5] Social Impact Spotlight

A trip to India last November took me to Madurai, and I couldn’t pass up seeing the Aravind Eye Hospital – they are one of the grandfathers of social enterprise, founded in 1976. They are a the premier model for providing services to those who can’t afford by managing costs and subsidizing care with multiple price points. While they have slightly better amenities next door for the paying customers, the facilities for non-paying customers are beautiful, clean, and incredibly efficient.

[6] Start Some Good

Need some quick inspiration to Start Some Good? Because kids rock, and this looked like a fun way to make an impact, I gave to Learning through Social Circus and Play in Myanmar this week. Check ’em out!

Investment Insight with Alan Grodin

In this episode we dive deep into investment insight, on how to save for your future.

The People Helping People podcast is back after a long break.  Over the last year, I went to Give Back Hack up in Cleveland, and pitched an idea to start a t-shirt screen printing company to employ youth experiencing homelessness.  The idea was selected, a team was formed, and we launched Wild Tiger Tees. Working in partnership with the Star House, we’re helping mentor and employ youth in the Columbus area.

The youth that we work with are amazing – they’re all quite different with each navigating their own challenging situation – and usually without family or mentors giving them feedback or direction.

So, I was excited to recored a podcast with a long-time friend, and New Yorker, Alan Grodin, founder of Northern State Financial.  He has a career in financial services, but has been giving back by teaching youth about finance and saving… so I was curious what he does.

Alan started his financial services right on the precipice of the tech bubble… and weathered the storm in 2008, when the average stock lost 40% of its value.  He speaks about good savings habits — but what struck me is that his core message was to build the habit.  In your 20s and 30s, even if you can just save $50 a month – it’s giving you the mindset you need to be successful later on.  On the flip side, he warns to never be fooled by credit cards, and to learn how to use them as tool to only spend what you have… never to accumulate debt with them, because their interest rates are so high that it becomes a very ineffective method of managing your money.

I didn’t know this, but when selecting a financial advisor, you can search on FINRA — (I even checked out Alan) and advisors with more complaints, or those that move between jobs more often, should be treated with suspect.

The podcast is packed full of investment advice, and is a great starting point if you have no idea about saving for your future, so tune in!