Thursday, September 27, 2007

Clinton Global Initiative

Clinton Global Initiative sign
I'm greatly enjoying the CGI event this week in New York. Many great social entrepreneurs running around along with the world leaders (and of course, Angelina Jolie). I've been taking a fair number of pictures. Clinton has a great talent for making everybody feel like they're important: I liked the way he interacted with Vicky Colbert, the great education social entrepreneur from Colombia.

Angelina Jolie and panelists

Vicky Colbert and Bill Clinton with hand on his heart

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Guatemala's civil war records

A great radio story aired today on Public Radio International's show, The World, on Guatemala's civil war records. It talks about National Police Archive in Guatemala, and has a quote from Patrick Ball. Clark Boyd of The World took a team to Guatemala earlier this month, and was there for their big election.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Benetech

We just launched a major stakeholder communication initiative, at My Benetech. We've partnered with the folks from Papilia to provide user-customization of the information they receive from us. It's a place on our website where our users and supporters can sign up for the information they want.

I think of it as being similar to the social networking sites (like FaceBook or LinkedIn) where people have more control on what information gets shared with whom. In this case, we're recognizing that Benetech serves widely differing audiences. Some folks are passionate about literacy and helping people with disabilities, others about human rights, and still others about the environment. So, we now have the ability to sign up for one, two or all of our project areas.

It's also part of the professionalization of our communications (which I'm sure long term readers will notice). Telling the story of why technology matters to real people is essential to accomplishing our mission goals. By setting up a user-driven communications vehicle, we're mirroring how we design our technology projects. My goal is see more voices emerge from Benetech: to keep my founder's voice going (and still answering my own email), but to see the distinctive voices of our other leaders and projects come through. Finally, Papilia has a fully compliant opt-in structure that is based on permission-based communication. I think that's crucial to scaling in an way that reflects Benetech's values.

So, sign up and state your preferences! Benetech is up to lots of great things, and the new My Benetech part of our website will provide you a way to get just the information you want from us!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Revolution Through Social Enterprise' Conference

I'm heading down to Malibu next week to give the keynote for the 'Revolution Through Social Enterprise' Conference at Pepperdine. Should be a lot of fun: it's my first visit to the Pepperdine campus.

Speaking at college campuses has to be one of the best parts of my work. Two nights ago, I spoke at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, in a class on social enterprise taught by my buddy Jim Schorr, former CEO of Juma Ventures. Like many other classes in social entrepreneurship, it's way oversubscribed. The amount of enthusiasm on campuses for socially relevant learning is terrific, and gives me great confidence for the future of the movement.

Coming up just in the next month, I'm also giving talks at Stanford and Kellogg Business School(at Northwestern), and trying to schedule talks lots of other places in the not so distant future.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Check out Miradi.org

Miradi logo, Adaptive Management Software for Conservation Projects
We're piloting our new Miradi.org website, which is our environmental project management software. Miradi (the new name of what we used to call the e-Adaptive Management software) has been in beta test for a while and we've gotten great feedback from all over the world from environmental practitioners.

We've just put Google Analytics on the site, and are playing with it. So, feel free to visit and check it out. Google Grants (Google.org) also did a lot of work on our Google Adwords, and searching for "Miradi" on Google brings up our ad, too.

We had a summer MBA intern from Haas Business School (at UC Berkeley), Jeff Rauenhorst, and he wrote a draft launch plan which we're just putting the finishing touches on. Next step is to review it with our partners in developing Miradi: groups like The Nature Conservancy, WCS and WWF. So, we're rolling forward towards getting version 1 out there!