October 8, 2010

Discovery Day 10.10.10: Innovation on a global scale


Excerpt from ‘Macrowikinomics’ on transformative social change

JD LasicaThis Sunday, 10/10/10, is Macrowikinomics Discovery Day, the first global networked event that brings together innovation and community groups from across sectors to celebrate openness, collaboration and the web. Don’t you love it?

Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World — which just hit bookstores last week — is the social innovation follow-up to the bestselling Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams. The folks at MacroWikinomics reached out to bring together global and local communities captured in the book, including Meetup.com, NetSquared, 350.org, Mozilla Drumbeat, Discovery Channel and other organizations centered on technology, media, environment, energy, business and finance. The book devotes 60 pages to nonprofit and government innovation, including chapters on “User-Generated Freedom” and “The Rise of the Citizen Regulator.”

Celina Agaton from MacroWikinomics is providing toolkits and resources to support city celebrations. (Contact her.)

Here’s an excerpt from Macrowikinomics (see reviews on Amazon), which has already drawn praise from Eric Schmidt, Michael Dell and J.P. Rangaswami, among others:

From Social Cause Marketing to Social Innovation

This new model of social innovation is not just a pipe dream. It’s all happening today, just about everywhere around the world. Billy Bicket, for example, is the director of NetSquared, an online organization that seeks to match social entrepreneurs with social challenges through a series of funded contests. Bicket, who cut his teeth at Meetup (the online social networking platform made famous by Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential nomination), is one among a growing cadre of social activists who believe that the traditional NGO model is broken.

“Today’s NGOs aggregate their networks in Washington, D.C., and essentially operate direct marketing organizations,” he says. “Local affiliates are told by HQ what to focus on, and how to fund-raise.” When NGOs spend money on projects, the results are rarely measured and the outcomes are not always transparent.
Moreover, in a competitive market for donors, the issue-focus can drift toward marketable causes rather than the real problems that need solving. Continue reading

January 19, 2010

Save resources & money with Better World Telecom

A telecom that does good from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaUntil I met Salem Kimble (who earlier covered GoingGreen for Socialbrite), I had never heard of BetterWorld Telecom. With a tagline of “Change the world. One call at a time,” they’re a socially conscious telecom provider for nonprofits and mission-driven businesses that donates 3 percent of its revenues to social causes.

Salem Kimble, who runs the company’s social media efforts, says BetterWorld is a triple bottom line business that embraces the principles of economic justice, environmental values (“we carbon offset”) and social causes.

You won’t see them advertising on Desperate Housewives or CSI – they chiefly market through word of mouth. What people are mostly talking about is the average 28 percent in cost savings over providers like AT&T and Verizon. Their customers include Greenpeace, Green Mountain Coffee, Patagonia Clothing, Honest Tea, Yes! Magazine, Ode Magazine — chiefly organizations and nonprofits focused on environmental and social justice issues.

Check out my 6-minute chat with Salem at the most recent NetSquared conference:

Watch, embed or download the video on Vimeo


Continue reading

August 4, 2009

Socialbrite to appear at Net Tuesday


JD LasicaWe’ve been big fans of NetSquared and its global series of Net Tuesday meetups for years — check out this map showing the dozens of cities with Net Tuesdays around the world. And our own Amy Sample Ward is NetSquared’s Global Community Builder and organizes the London Net Tuesday group (see her Socialbrite profile).

Sarah_KennonSo we were honored when Sarah Kennon — whom Amy profiled here (pictured at right) — invited Socialbrite to be the featured guest on Sept. 8, 2009, at Net Tuesday San Francisco, and even more jazzed when PariSoMa — “a coworking space that provides desks, wi-fi, coffee, community and stellar events for independent professionals” — agreed to provide the venue.

We’re still planning the event, but here are the details so far:

What: Net Tuesday, spotlighting Socialbrite.org: Social tools for social change
When: Sept. 8 (a Tuesday, natch)
Time: 6-8 pm
Where: PariSoMa, 1436 Howard St., SF between 10th and 11th streets
Refreshments: Light snacks and beer, wine and sodas will be served
Price: Free


Agenda: Spotlighting tools and causes

We’re still mapping out how the evening will go, but Sarah and I have been talking about an almost full-circle setup (leaving room for a short presentation on a projector and giving participants the chance to call up noteworthy sites).

I’ll kick things off by showing off some of the things we’re doing at Socialbrite, including our Sharing Center and community widgets. For the second half of the evening we’d like to showcase some other community-focused organizations with a strong social media component, most likely a 5-minute talk followed by 5 to 10 minutes of questions from the audience. Some possibilities (we’ll send out invitations after this post goes up):

• Your organization. If you have a community-spirited effort that involves social media or uses social tools for social change, drop me a note and let’s discuss.

Continue reading