Sunday, August 26, 2007

Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI)

My eldest son, Jimmy, and I were able to attend a portion of the Global Social Benefit Incubator at Santa Clara University last week. We were able to hear the elevator pitches of more than a dozen social entrepreneurs from literally all over the world. Oh, and Jimmy's 21 now so we can drink beer together in a public place!

Jimmy and Jim Fruchterman, holding beers, photo credit Sophie Asmar

Jimmy's quite interested in social entrepreneurship. Long term readers of the Beneblog might remember Jimmy's post from Davos last year, (the most popular Beneblog post I ever or never wrote!) when the Schwab Foundation allowed me to bring him along to their Social Entrepreneur Summit in Switzerland. Jimmy's changed his major to international studies with a focus on social issues: my peer social entrepreneurs got him very excited.

I think the GSBI program tackles the exact issue Jimmy noticed in Davos: all these great people doing great things, and the world hardly knows. The team at SCU's Center for Science, Technology, and Society are dedicated to raising the game of these award-winning social entrepreneurs, so that they are better equipped to make more positive social change (and attract the resources they need to make it happen).

The head of Santa Clara, Fr. Locatelli, gave a great talk to open the program. I was very excited to hear about the Messina Commons, a new project by the global Jesuit universities to share curriculum (similar to MIT's Open Courseware work). And I was able to get a word in on asking Fr. Locatelli to go beyond just curriculum, but to get faculty authors of textbooks to make it part of their book contracts to allow for low or no-cost distribution to the poor and disabled.

1 comment:

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