Friday, September 29, 2006

Social Enterprise In Hong Kong

I am an enthusiastic support of the social enterprise movement, people who are operating enterprises that have social outcomes as a primary goal. One of the most interesting things from a recent Gathering of the Social Enterprise Alliance was having an interview with a Hong Kong film crew that was doing a piece on social enterprise.

I was delighted to see the latest web site in Hong Kong about social enterprise, the Hong Kong Social Enterprise Resource Web. It's great to have this movement making an impact around the world!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Clinton Global Initiative

I am listening to Senator Clinton right now, as the Clinton Global Initiative makes it to its last couple of hours. The conference has been very interesting: great people and speakers, and an unusual format (the demand that every attendee make a specific commitment to social change). I think it really has catalyzed commitments: Richard Branson made a 3 billion commitment yesterday in the area of climate change. Our commitment is smaller, but really exciting to me: taking Bookshare.org international.

All we have to do is to raise $1.4 million and get a lot more publisher and author permissions!

I was particularly impressed with Queen Rania and King Abdullah of Jordan (who spoke yesterday morning and evening respectively): very well spoken given the incredibly difficult situation in the Middle East.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Lightning Strike!

Things are really hopping around Benetech today! I was just named a MacArthur Fellow and the phone is ringing off the hook and the emails are streaming in.

Because the MacArthur process is secret, I don't know who to thank for this, so I'm thanking everybody! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Soon I'll be remembering everyone I should be thanking, but I should start with my family, the Benetech team (including our board and advisors) and of course our supporters, all of whom made this honor possible!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Extreme Makeover Goes Bookshare.org!

A Bookshare.org member is going to be featured this weekend on on TV on Extreme Makeover. Cindy, one of our volunteers, shared the following on our volunteer listserv (and she said it better than I could!):

The opening episode, two hours, of Extreme Makeover, Home Edition, features the home and family of one of our bookshare members and active volunteers, Vic Llanes.

The show is this Sunday, from 8-10 p.m. on both coasts; my guess is it will be 7 - 9 central, but you can check your local schedules. I've been in correspondence with Vic for a couple of years now. I googled and read some articles about the show after he told me about it, and it sounds as if there is going to be a lot of wonderful new technology in the house to make living easier for the family. Vic and his mom, who lives with him, are blind as a result of a [de]generative eye condition which his two daughters also have, and he has a son who is deaf. I never thought until I read one of the articles about the problems of a blind father and a deaf son communicating. One of the technologies is going to make that easier.

I'm looking forward to the show--Congratulations, Vic and family.

Cindy

Friday, September 08, 2006

Outstanding Volunteer Scout

Our volunteers are essential to accomplishing Benetech’s mission. From time to time, I like to highlight the contributions of particular volunteers.

Today, I'd like to honor Matthew Devcich, a high school student and aspiring Eagle Scout, who chose to focus his major Scout project on Bookshare.org. Our Bookshare.org team was delighted to work with Matthew, who was meticulous in his preparation and organization. He pulled together volunteers from his community, involved the local public library in Chantilly, Virginia, and scanned and proofread 24 books. I saw his completed project workbook, and it was impressive. The books were beautifully done as well.

Matthew, and the people he engaged to help with his projects, exemplify the values of our Bookshare.org volunteers: people who love books and want to lower the barriers to accessing books for people who have disabilities that affect reading. They make Bookshare.org a vibrant and effective library and deliver on our mission of access to information for everyone!