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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: December 2013


Zurich, December 12, 2013 – A study on the effect of negative news on credit risk has won the UNPRI award as part of the PRI’s annual Academic Network conference in Paris last month.

Julian Koelbel, a PhD student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, won the best student paper award, sponsored by Sustainalytics, for his study “The effect of bad news on credit risk: a media based view of the pricing of corporate social responsibility”. Professor Timo Busch of the University of Hamburg co-authored the study.

The study combined two data providers: Bloomberg for Credit Default Swap (CDS) spreads and RepRisk for negative news related to corporate social responsibility (CSR). For each company, the study authors counted the number of RepRisk news per quarter that criticizes the company for environmental, social or governance (ESG) issues. They included news from a broad range of sources including international and local media, NGOs, government agencies, think tanks, blogs and more; news items that appeared in a media outlet with broader readership were assigned a larger weight.

The sample size was determined by the availability of the CDS data and consists of 413 firms from all industries excluding financial services during the period from 2007 to 2012. The results show that the news count has a significant, positive coefficient, which means that more negative news on CSR issues are associated with higher credit default swap spreads.

Julian Koelbel stated: “What I like about this study is that it frames CSR as something that is very dynamic, not a one-size-fits-all approach. What CSR is and what it should be is not set in stone, but is debated every day. I think this is a very realistic approach and the data shows us that it works.”

The PRI-CDC (Caisse de Dépôts) Academic Network Conference 2013 attracted more than 160 delegates from 60 universities and research institutions and featured presentations on more than 40 new papers.

“Receiving an award as a young researcher is a great motivation to continue and produce more work that I hope will also be valuable in the academic and business world and contribute to the debate on CSR” concluded Julian Koelbel.

The study’s executive summary is available here


Alessandra Oglino
Marketing and Client Relationships
RepRisk AG
Stampfenbachstrasse 42, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 43 300 54 48

About RepRisk AG

RepRisk is the leading provider of business intelligence on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks. As such, RepRisk systematically collects and analyzes criticism, controversy and negative incidents related to companies and projects worldwide. It does so on a daily basis and in 13 languages from thousands of public sources including international and local media, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), newsletters, social media and blogs.

The RepRisk database currently includes information on over 39,000 companies, 9,000 projects, 6,000 NGOs and 5,000 governmental bodies. These numbers are continuously growing as relevant ESG information is added.

The use of RepRisk business intelligence allows companies and financial institutions to proactively assess ESG issues that may present financial, reputational and compliance risks. For more information about the usage and benefits of RepRisk in relation to the effective management of ESG Risk, please visit our website:


Startup to Take the Bank Out of the Real Estate Finance Equation

ATLANTA – Nov. 11, 2013 – GROUNDFLOOR, a progressive real estate crowdfunding startup, announces its launch into the Atlanta market with the opening of its pilot development project in Midtown. Taking advantage of Georgia’s innovative securities laws and the Invest Georgia Exemption, GROUNDFLOOR makes real estate investing to all, regardless of net worth or income. For the first time, unaccredited investors can profit from real estate opportunities by backing independent developers who choose to reach beyond the limitations of traditional bank financing.

With the pilot project opening to investments starting at $100 on November 20th 2013, GROUNDFLOOR seeks to change the status quo of real estate finance for the benefit of independent real estate entrepreneurs and investors who have the vision to back them. With the peer-to-peer funding facilitated by GROUNDFLOOR, investors earn uncommonly high rates of return, backed by real property as collateral, without the fees, restrictions, risks and black box complexities common to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

“A new day has dawned for online investors and independent real estate entrepreneurs,” says Brian Dally, co-founder and CEO of GROUNDFLOOR. “Secured lending has long been an engine of wealth creation for accredited investors and powerful financial institutions. The Web’s decentralization of bank lending and bank power is undeniably entering an even more promising phase.”

For its pilot project, GROUNDFLOOR seeks to raise a total of $300,000 to fund two loans sponsored by real estate entrepreneur and Managing Principal of RPG Properties Pat Gilroy. The loans will be used to refinance, renovate and lease a Midtown residential development and will be secured by the property until repaid with interest within a one-year term. Throughout the life of the loans, investors will be privy to confidential reports from the borrower on milestone achievements including construction progress and leasing performance.

“GROUNDFLOOR has created a refreshingly flexible way to finance real estate projects,” says Gilroy. “This innovation unlocks a previously untapped source of capital and will enable us to take on more development projects in less time and with less risk than ever before.”

For more information on GROUNDFLOOR and how to invest in the pilot project, please visit <> For independent developers interested in working with GROUNDFLOOR, please submit projects for qualification at <>


Nominees get the chance to go on a groundbreaking NGO placement Fighting major obstacles faced by worldwide NGOs at a grassroots level

The D&AD White Pencil rewards creative ideas with a social purpose. The Award is the world’s top prize for design, advertising or digital work that addresses key social, political or ethical issues.

In order to demonstrate its increasing commitment to supporting positive change through creativity, D&AD is collaborating with The International Exchange (TIE) to offer two placements to White Pencil nominees.

TIE is a leadership development program that combines the expertise within agencies and studios with the needs of NGOs to create positive, sustainable change. It takes talented communications leaders and enables them to share their experience and skills in areas of urgent need.

TIE counts many of the world’s top agencies as clients. Alice Hooper, now Board Account Director at Leo Burnett London, co-founded Leo Burnett Change on the back of her TIE experience back in 2011, in which she helped to develop a communications campaign for a small grassroots NGO working with extremely vulnerable children and adolescents within Recife, Brazil.

Change is a collective dedicated to making powerful communications with positive social impact. This initiative led to Leo Burnett worldwide taking on the inaugural White Pencil challenge, and saw them take home the first White Pencil for ‘Recipeace’ by Leo Burnett Chicago.

Philippa White, Founder and Managing Director of TIE, said “By collaborating with D&AD, our reach around the world will be that much bigger, and the skill sets offered that much more diverse. We’ll not only be helping many more NGOs and communities around the world with our powerful communications skills, but together we’ll also be enabling more talented communication leaders to learn and grow from the experience of sharing their skills with the emerging world.

“The opportunity for change is huge, both abroad, but also back at home. On the back of the TIE placements, more commercially sustainable ways to fix problems will be discovered and the industry will be better placed to know how to grow business by doing the right thing.

“The more TIE placements that take place, the more our industry will start to change from the core. Our industry will be made to stand for more and we’ll all feel even prouder of our chosen profession. Here’s to a very exciting collaboration.”

Making ethical business behavior the norm

Tim Lindsay, CEO of D&AD, said: “Our responsibility is to help agencies, studios and individuals to understand and get involved in more sustainable ways of doing business. To encourage a movement that puts corporate social responsibility at the cornerstone of all corporate growth plans and that makes ethical business behavior the norm, not the exception.

“Ahead of the curve, as they so often are, Unilever liked this and now generously sponsor the White Pencil and through their support we’ve been able to collaborate with TIE to help push the White Pencil agenda forward.

“The White Pencil, now split into two categories – one for advertising and one for design – is about encouraging and rewarding brands, and their agencies, who are looking to grow those brands and businesses, but in a way that benefits everyone involved.

“And if everyone – consumer, supplier, retailer, employee and employer – benefits, then the motivation becomes irrelevant. In the end, everyone will have to join in or see their business diminish and eventually disappear.

“It’s a great opportunity for the advertising and design industries to help our clients, and their consumers, by inventing a new vocabulary; developing new capabilities and leading from the front. In short, to demonstrate that commercial communications can be a force for good. The White Pencil is designed to help the industry bring this about. Over to you.”

Recent TIE Success Stories

Melissa Parsey, Lead Strategist for JWT Ethos, has recently completed her own TIE placement in Recife, Brazil, and is now working on the Al Gore Brief with Jon Steel, WPP Planning Director, to tackle the Global Legacy Project – changing habits to change the world. This brief has also been set to our young creative community through the D&AD New Blood Awards.

Trevor Gilley, a designer at Wieden+Kennedy New York, worked in Malawi to create a presentation for government officials that showed people, for the first time, the shocking reality of charcoal production and its impact on deforestation in Malawi. At launch, more than 10,000 fuel-sufficient stoves had been ordered.

Sarah Walker, Director of R&D at Millward Brown London (WPP), explained her recent experience in Brazil: “I have just returned from working with a group of NGOs in Brazil to raise awareness of some of the corruption and human rights atrocities that are being committed in the name of ‘preparations’ for the coming World Cup… We had four weeks to plan, create and implement a campaign, with a budget of little more than £1000, in a media environment largely controlled by the government. It was one of the most enjoyable, but also intense, learning experiences I have ever had.”

All nominees for this year’s White Pencil will have the chance to apply for a spot on a TIE placement of up to 30 days. Everyone in the nominated team can apply, from the ECD to the Account Manager, to the Strategist. The individual who is selected will then have the full support of their team back at their home ‘base’, meaning everyone can play a part.

For more information on this collaboration, visit:

You can enter work for D&AD’s White Pencil by going to:

The pinnacle of creative achievement across the design, advertising and digital industries, the D&AD Awards have been running since 1962.

Follow D&AD @DandAD #DandAD14 #WhitePencil


TIE Film:

TIE is a leadership development program that combines the expertise of communication professionals with the needs of NGOs to create positive, sustainable change. We enable talented communications leaders to learn and grown from the experience of sharing their skills with the emerging world.

TIE develops future leaders. The program takes them out of their comfort zone by getting them to run all aspects of a campaign from start to finish, drawing on skills they already have but may not use every day. Individuals are given the chance to develop their skills whilst making a difference to people who really need it. People return from the program more confident and brimming with fresh ideas.


Since 1962, D&AD has been inspiring a community of creative thinkers by celebrating and stimulating the finest in design and advertising. A D&AD Award is recognized globally as the ultimate creative accolade, entered and attended by the best creative decision makers from around the world. Set to reward, promote and enable creative brilliance in all areas of creative communication, a Yellow – or Black – Pencil remains the pinnacle in many careers.

But it’s much more than just awards. Members join a vibrant global community, whilst creatives and clients are inspired by a world-class training and development programme. Students are supported with projects, awards and exhibitions, which give them a vital leg-up as they enter the industry.

As a non-profit, all of D&AD’s surpluses go straight into programmers that develop the next generation of creative talent while campaigning for the creative industries to help solve the world’s toughest social and environmental issues.


Dan Bryant
D&AD | +44 (0)20 7840 1122|

Matthew Parker
D&AD | +44 (0)207840 1121 |


New incentives offered for civic crowdfunding project on to support the revitalization of the Mother Road at its birthplace

SPRINGFIELD, MO, Dec. 12, 2013 – CrowdIt (, the first company to bring business networking and support services into the crowdfunding experience, today announced it is working with the City of Springfield, Missouri to offer new incentives to the city’s “Revitalizing the Mother Road” Route 66 Renovation Project ( to help it surpass its civic crowdfunding goal.

In line with promoting the nearing deadline for promoting the Route 66 Renovation project, the City of Springfield is putting on an evening of music and fun on Thursday, December 12 with the theme“A Night at the Blue Room” ( to garner support and conduct live crowdfunding activities for the renovation project. The event will be held at Billiards of Springfield ( and will begin at 6:30 p.m. Central Time.

As the birthplace of Route 66, Springfield is the first municipality to use crowdfunding to help renovate the renowned national highway. CrowdIt was selected because of its local Springfield roots and early success in the crowdfunding market.

“We’re very appreciative of the support we’ve received and want to continue getting people involved, both locally and nationally,” said Cora Scott, director of public information and civic engagement at the City of Springfield. “We’re revitalizing a piece of our nation’s history and the positive impact this project has on our great city and nation is immeasurable.”

New Incentives by the City of Springfield, Missouri:

  • Limited Edition Christmas Cards – $66

Just in Time for the Holidays! For a donation of $66, or more, receive a limited edition set of eight vintage-style Christmas cards. Show your support of Route 66 as you send out holiday greetings. Only 30 sets of cards are available.

  • Photo with Professional Model Sara Vega – $25

Get a photo taken with the promotional model for Best Western Hotels along Route 66, Sara Vega, at the “Night at the Blue Room” event.

“We’re thrilled to continue working with the city on this civil renovation project,” explained Jason Graf, CEO of CrowdIt. “They’re doing a great job of engaging with communities of support which is critical for successful crowdfunding endeavors.”

“We’re thrilled to continue working with the city on this civil renovation project,” explained Jason Graf, CEO of CrowdIt. “They’re doing a great job of engaging with communities of support which is critical for successful crowdfunding endeavors.”

Birthplace of Route 66

Springfield is officially recognized as the birthplace of what became known as the iconic “Mother Road.” It was on April 30, 1926 at Park Central Square where officials first proposed U.S. 66 as the name of the new Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway.

Route 66 meandered across the city from Kearney to Glenstone to St. Louis Street, through Park Central Square to Olive and College streets, then headed west along what is now Chestnut Expressway in Springfield.

For more information, or to contribute to the Route 66 Renovation Project, please visit: (

Share this: The City of Springfield @CityofSgf#Missouri has new offerings for #Route66#crowdfunding project via

About CrowdIt

Based in Springfield, MO, CrowdIt ( is the first company to bring business networking and support services into the crowdfunding experience. Unlike first-generation crowdfunding sites, CrowdIt offers more than a place to raise capital. It is a community of Dreamers, Believers and Suits who believe in the power of an idea, passion or project. CrowdIt presents an end-to-end crowdfunding community that promotes success after funding, through networking, peer review and expert advice. A start-up, CrowdIt is privately held and backed by venture capital firm Baron VC. For more information, please visit (

Media Contact:
Jeremy Douglas
Catapult PR-IR
O: 303-581-7760, ext. 16
M: 720-974-2858

City of Springfield Media Contact:
Cora Scott
Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement


Four Years since the Earthquake Patients Have Tripled and 30,000 Children are at Risk of Being Turned Away!

Nearly four years since the earthquake, St. Damien Pediatric Hospital, the most modern pediatric facility of its kind in the country has seen their patients tripled – an increase of 60,000 annually. Without additional funding, they risk turning away 30,000 children.

“Since the earthquake, poor sanitation and widespread poverty have led to young children here being 15 times more likely to die from diarrhea and pneumonia than HIV/AIDS,” emphasizes Father Rick Frechette, D.O., Director, Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH) Haiti.

“In America these are very preventable diseases but our resources are shrinking and there is an urgent need for funding to help us sustain our work in the community so that this emergency situation doesn’t become an even greater catastrophe.”

Please view this video for a better understanding of the dire situation faced by St. Damien Pediatric Hospital

NPH USA is helping transform thousands of lives through the support of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos/Nos Petit Frères et Soeurs (NPH/NPFS Spanish and French for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”). Since 1987, NPH/NPFS has operated the St. Helene home in Haiti for orphaned and abandoned children. While the initial goal of NPFS was to build this permanent home, the large number of children dying from treatable illnesses showed a desperate need for a hospital that could treat chronic and other debilitating pediatric illnesses.

Funded through private contributions to NPH worldwide, St. Damien Pediatric Hospital provides high quality medical treatment for disadvantaged and sick children in Haiti. More than half of all patients are admitted for an infectious disease such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV while 25% are admitted for non-infectious diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and kidney infection. Most patients admitted are also malnourished. The outpatient clinic treats 100 children daily, for acute, parasitic, and bacterial infections. In specialized clinics, chronic conditions such as sickle cell anemia, congenital heart diseases (CHD), tuberculosis and cancer are treated for months or years if needed. St. Damien Pediatric Hospital and associated public health programs of NPFS reach over 90,000 women and children annually.

The St. Damien Pediatric Hospital Fund supports the budget necessary to run the hospital and provide support programs to the Haitian community. In a country where 1/3 of the population is under 14-years old, improvements in pediatric health are a vital and necessary requirement towards Haiti’s economic, social, and political development. St. Damien Pediatric Hospital offers children a place to receive first-rate quality and dignified healthcare regardless of their social level.

90% of every dollar that St. Damien receives goes towards providing high-quality life-saving medical care. Please help save the lives of children in Haiti.

To donate and learn more about St. Damien Pediatric Hospital, please visit


(New York, NY; December 10, 2013) – The Innocence Project welcomes two new members to its Board of Directors: John A. Kaneb, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of HP Hood LLC; and Ekow N. Yankah, Professor of Law at Cardozo School of Law.

“The Innocence Project is thrilled to welcome Mr. Yankah and Mr. Kaneb to its Board of Directors,” said Sen. Rodney Ellis, Texas State Senator and Innocence Project Board Chair. “Mr. Kaneb brings to the Innocence Project a wealth of experience in business and on nonprofit boards, as well as a history of strong support for our policy reform agenda, and Professor Yankah brings a deep commitment to issues of justice and much needed critical thinking on criminal law and political theory. We are grateful for their leadership and experience, which will be instrumental in helping us meet our mission of exonerating the wrongly convicted and improving the criminal justice system.”

John A. Kaneb and his family acquired HP Hood LLC, one of the country’s largest branded dairy processors, in 1995 and increased its annual sales from $600 million to about $2.3 billion. Prior to that, the Kanebs bought a controlling interest in Gulf Oil and tripled its sales to $4.6 billion before selling it in 2005. Besides his business work, Kaneb is a Trustee Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame. He is also an Emeritus Trustee of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Emeritus Trustee and former Chairman of the Board of McLean Hospital. He has worked on other boards and groups including the Board of Fellows of the Harvard Medical School. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission in 2004 and was named vice-chair of that commission. Kaneb is also part owner of the Boston Red Sox.

Ekow N. Yankah joined the faculty of Cardozo School of Law in 2008, after teaching at the University of Illinois School of Law, and serves as the faculty advisor for a number of student organizations including the Cardozo Democrats, the Cardozo American Constitution Society student chapter and the Unemployment Action Center, and has been awarded an Inspiration award by his Cardozo students. Yankah holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Columbia University School of Law, graduating with honors, and a post-graduate degree from Oxford University, where he was awarded a Lord Crewe Scholarship. Throughout his work, Yankah explores the intersection of analytical jurisprudence, criminal law and political theory. His current work explores republican theories of political obligation grounded in civic duty and its relationship to law generally and criminal law in particular. Yankah is also the Co-Chair of the New York Democratic Lawyer’s Counsel, the voting rights organization of the Democratic National Committee, on the New York Executive Board of the American Constitution Society and a Board member of the Law and Humanities Institute.

The Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. It was founded by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld in 1992 as a student clinic at Cardozo School of Law. In 2004, the Innocence Project became an independent nonprofit (still closely affiliated with Cardozo). Its 15 member Board of Directors oversees a staff of approximately 70 full-time employees and an annual budget of approximately $10.6 million, plus an additional $5 million in donated legal services.

To date, 311 people nationwide have been exonerated through DNA testing. The Innocence Project has assisted in 171 of these exonerations. In addition, dozens of states have implemented critical reforms to prevent wrongful convictions.


Funded by entrepreneur Ted Caplow, $1 million prize will be used to transform the lives of children and mothers in impoverished Karachi suburb

MIAMI, FL (Embargoed until December 10, 2013 at 9am EST) – A Pakistani woman who left behind a successful pediatric career in America to save children’s lives in her homeland has won the first-ever $1 million Caplow Children’s Prize, the largest award dedicated to saving children’s lives in the world today.

With nearly 18,000 children under five years old dying from preventable causes every day, the Children’s Prize was launched in January 2013 by engineer and social enterprise entrepreneur Ted Caplow to fund projects aimed at saving the greatest number of children’s lives in the most impactful and cost-effective way.

From the more than 550 applications received from around the world, contest judges selected eight finalists. Doctor Anita Zaidi, a Pakistani physician working to reduce child mortality in an impoverished Karachi suburb, was the only project in this group that was proposed by a single individual. Her competition included major international organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Plan International.


Dr. Zaidi

The $1 million prize will be used by Zaidi to implement a comprehensive program focused on reducing neonatal deaths, which refers to deaths between birth and one month of age, the segment of child mortality that has been most resistant to reduction worldwide. Pakistan, a country challenged by extreme wealth inequality and high rates of unskilled home birth, ranks third in the world in total child mortality (with over 400,000 children under age five dying there each year), and has the seventh-highest neonatal mortality rate. In the Karachi suburb where Zaidi will apply the Prize funds, one out of every seventeen babies dies in the first 28 days of life, and one out of nine dies before reaching age five.


Dr. Zaidi

Zaidi’s project combines several proven methods that support the nutrition and health of mother and child for an entire year before, during, and after delivery including: eliminating malnutrition in both mothers and babies through caloric supplements; fortifying them with vitamins and vaccinations; overcoming cultural barriers to hospital birth; and training community health workers and midwives in order to continue healthy pregnancy and safe birthing practices permanently.


Dr. Zaidi and Kids

Zaidi estimates the project will reduce child mortality rates in the village by 65 percent and save the lives of nearly 200 children over the next two years. Overall, more than two thousand children will participate in the project, providing each of them with a much better chance of a long, healthy and productive life.


”Dr. Zaidi’s project was selected because of her innovative, comprehensive approach to supporting maternal and newborn health for an entire year surrounding the critical moment of birth,” said prize founder Ted Caplow. “With no administrative overhead and two-thirds of the budget directly dedicated to medicine, medical expenses and nutritional supplements, Zaidi’s project epitomizes the Prize’s mission to cost-effectively save children’s lives and uncover best practices and models for accelerating reduction in child mortality rates.”


“What is innovative about this project is that it demonstrates what a package of child health interventions can do for child survival even in a short period of time,” said Dr. Zaidi. “Such carefully measured impact data are not currently available to policy planners. The project has high potential for being replicated in South Asian countries and other regions where a large proportion of child mortality is concentrated in the neonatal period.”

Zaidi, 49, was among the first group of medical students to graduate from Karachi’s Aga Khan University (AKU) in 1988, where she received the Best Medical Graduate Award. She is currently an AKU Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health. She completed a residency in pediatrics and fellowship in medical microbiology at Duke University Medical Center, followed by training in pediatric infectious diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital and a masters’ degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. She returned to Pakistan to work at AKU in 2000, which has the country’s only Pediatric Critical Care and Pediatric Infectious Diseases training program. In addition to training and retaining the next generation of pediatricians and researchers, she is a leading researcher focused on vaccine-preventable illnesses in children and neonatal infections.


Working outside of traditional channels of foreign aid and philanthropy, Caplow created the Children’s Prize to allow anyone with a valid proposal – from individuals to organizations of any size or type – to compete on a level playing field. He took an open and inclusive approach, using the Internet and new media tools to reach potential applicants around the world and attract the widest possible pool of proposals.

A team of experts recruited from organizations such as Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Miami’s Department of Pediatrics helped select the eight finalists.


Dr. Zaidi and Team

While the number of deaths in children under five worldwide has declined from 12.4 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012, the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals aim to reduce child mortality by two thirds from 1990-levels by 2015.

About The Caplow Children’s Prize

The $1 million Caplow Children’s Prize is the largest humanitarian prize dedicated to saving children’s lives in the world today. Recognizing that nearly 18,000 children under five die from preventable causes every day, the Children’s Prize works outside of traditional channels of foreign aid and philanthropy to uncover and fund the most impactful, credible, and cost-effective, action plans for reducing child mortality. By leveraging the power of new media, the Prize allows individuals and organizations of any size or type from anywhere in the world to compete on a level playing field. The Prize was founded by Ted Caplow, an engineer and social enterprise entrepreneur with a record of developing groundbreaking projects focused on renewable energy, water conservation, and sustainable agriculture. For more information visit


  • Key 1,000 high-level participants from 40 countries invited to gather in Dallas, Texas to discuss the global urban future Mayor
  • Mike Rawlings of Dallas: “It is time to re-imagine our cities and tell a new story about the places that define and shape who we are. We’re proud that Dallas will be the epicenter of these crucial, transformative discussions on our urban future.”

Dallas, Texas – December 9, 2013. The New Cities Foundation today announced the theme for the New Cities Summit 2014: Re-imagining Cities: Transforming the 21st Century Metropolis.

The New Cities Summit will gather 1,000 of the world’s most forward-thinking urban leaders, mayors, CEOs, architects, entrepreneurs, academics, thinkers, urban planners, scientists and artists for pragmatic, action-oriented discussions on the future of the urban world. The invitation-only event will take place on June 17 -19, 2014 in the Dallas Arts District, the cultural hub of one of North America’s fastest growing metro regions.

By 2050, cities will be home to 70% of the world’s population. Cities and metropolitan regions are increasingly becoming powerful economic and political actors in their own right. The New Cities Summit responds to this major phenomenon by calling upon city leaders and thinkers to shape ambitious and effective strategies that foster tangible change.

The Summit speaker program will address “Re-imagining Cities” from multiple perspectives, offering practical examples, learning and solutions from the many sectors that determine the future of cities, including governance, transport, education, healthcare, technology, finance, architecture, design and culture.

An exciting mix of prizes, initiatives and special projects will be showcased at the event. These include the AppMyCity! Prize for the worlds’ best mobile application, and WhatWorks, a series of inspirational short-talks by urban innovators from a spectrum of sectors and global locations. Summit participants will also benefit from expert-led tours of the city of Dallas, gaining insight into key urban development projects.

The New Cities Summit 2014 also provides a platform for the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN), a strategic network of leaders from the world’s most important cultural districts, from Hong Kong to Qatar. The GCDN was launched at the 2013 New Cities Summit and is headquartered in the Dallas Arts District.

The Summit kicks off a week of discussions that will place Dallas at the very heart of global thought-leadership on the future of cities. Following the Summit, Dallas will be host the Annual Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors on June 20-23.

The venue of the 2014 New Cities Summit in Dallas will be the Winspear Opera House in the Dallas Arts District.

John Rossant, Founder and Chairman of the New Cities Foundation, said: “As cities develop, and as they increasingly compete and cooperate across borders, they need to deftly and strategically position and re-position themselves on local, national and global playing fields. For most, this means a difficult but necessary process of re-imagination and transformation. This calls for creativity, and it also calls for decisive action and common purpose. Dallas, with its can-do spirit and dynamic economy, is a fantastic backdrop for launching a new agenda for all cities globally. It’s time to re-imagine the cities we live in today, for the citizens of tomorrow.”

Mayor Mike Rawlings of Dallas said: “It is time to re-imagine our cities and tell a new story about the places that define and shape who we are. Change is in the fiber of our dynamic city, making Dallas a great place to start this conversation. We’re proud that Dallas will be the epicenter of these crucial, transformative discussions on our urban future.”

Maxwell L. Anderson, Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, Chairman of the Dallas Arts District, and Co-Chairman of the GCDN, said: “The re-imagining of cities demands insight into the distinctive character of a place through its cultural heritage, creative industries, and built environment, and the 2014 Summit will stimulate fresh thinking about these facets of urban planning for cities around the globe.”

The previous editions of the New Cities Summit took place in São Paulo, Brazil in 2013 and in Paris in 2012. The host city for the 2015 Summit will be announced in Dallas in June 2014.

More information coming soon at


Marina Bradbury

Communications & Media Relations Manager
New Cities Foundation
+33 6 17 79 17 72

About the New Cities Foundation

The New Cities Foundation is a leading global non-profit organization, with a vision to build more inclusive, dynamic and creative cities benefiting people and society. Its mission is to incubate, promote and scale urban innovations through collaborative partnerships between government, business, academia and civil society.

The New Cities Foundation hosts a number of leadership events on the most pressing urban issues, including its flagship event, the New Cities Summit ( It also hosts smaller, more focused leadership events worldwide.

The Foundation’s applied research wing, the Urban (co)LAB, manages a number of projects including Task Forces, thought leadership activities and competitions. The Urban (co) LAB recently completed two Task Forces on Urban E-health in Rio de Janeiro and on Connected Commuting in San Jose, California. The Urban (co)LAB also manages the annual AppMyCity! Prize for the world’s best urban mobile app, and seeks out the most talented urban innovators for the WhatWorks series of talks hosted at the New Cities Summit.

An independent, non-profit organization, the New Cities Foundation was created in 2010 and is financed by its members and partners. Overall, its members include some of the most forward-thinking companies, universities, cities and city organizations from around the world. The New Cities Foundation’s Founding Members are Cisco and Ericsson. The Foundation is based in Geneva and its head office is in Paris.

For more information about the New Cities Foundation, please visit:

Facebook: /NewCitiesFoundation

Twitter: @newcitiesfound

About the New Cities Summit

Launched in 2012 as the New Cities Foundation’s annual flagship event, the New Cities Summit has fast established itself as the leading international gathering on the urban world. The invitation-only Summit unites about 1,000 high-level participants from across the globe and from across a spectrum of sectors. These include local and national government, business, finance, philanthropy, architecture, design, urban planning, civil society, startups and creative communities. With its focus on practical examples over theory, cross-sector discussions and a plurality of international voices, the Summit aims to showcase creative solutions to urban challenges, build lasting networks between city leaders and thinkers, and incite bold, tangible changes.

Previous editions of the New Cities Summit:

New Cities Summit 2013: The Human City – June 4 -6, 2013

São Paulo – Auditorio Ibirapuera & Oca Pavilion

The latest New Cities Summit focused on The Human City, placing the individual at the heart of discussions on our urban future. Taking place in São Paulo, the event gathered a total of 789 people from 29 countries, including 103 members of the media.

Read the New Cities Summit 2013 E-book:

Watch the 2013 highlights video:

New Cities Summit 2012: Thinking Ahead, Building Together – May 14-16, 2012

Paris – La Defense

The inaugural Summit was held at La Defense in Paris, in partnership with the City of Paris and Mayor Bertrand Delanoë. The event gathered a total of 622 people from 42 countries, including 67 members of the media.

Read the New Cities Summit 2012 E-book:

Watch the New Cities Summit 2012 highlights video:

Past New Cities Summit speakers have included:

Greg Clark, UK Minister for Cities; Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris; Jose Fortunati, Mayor of Porto Alegre; Fernando Haddad, Mayor of São Paulo; Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv; Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta; Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver; Khalifa Sall, Mayor of Dakar; Abel Ang, CEO, Economic Development Innovations Singapore; Fahd Al Rasheed, CEO, Emaar Economic City; Lady Barbara Judge, Chairman, UK Pension Protection Fund; John Rice, Vice-Chairman, GE; Hans Vestberg, CEO, Ericsson; Wim Elfrink, Chief Globalization Officer, Cisco; Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman and MD, Hindustan Construction Company; Daniel Libeskind, Architect; Richard Quest, CNN; Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements; Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd; Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University and Ye Yumin, Director of the Department of Urban Planning and Management, Renmin University.

Twitter: @newcitiesfound #ncs2014

About the City of Dallas

The City of Dallas employs approximately 13,000 people and has an annual budget of nearly $US 3 billion. As the ninth-largest city and part of the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the nation, Dallas covers approximately 343 square miles and has a population of 1,223,229. The ultra-modern and sophisticated city attracts worldwide travelers, making the area the number one visitor and leisure destination in Texas. Dallas boasts the largest urban arts district in the USA and has more than 13 entertainment districts. It is the ideal place to discover the latest, greatest, and most innovative partnerships and attractions.

About the Dallas Arts District

The Dallas Arts District is a nonprofit organization stimulating the cultural and economic life of North Texas by advocating for the largest urban cultural district in the United States — comprising 20 square blocks of museums, performance halls, parks, restaurants, offices and residences. The Dallas Arts District also serves as world headquarters for the Global Cultural Districts Network in partnership with the New Cities Foundation and AEA Consulting. For more information, please visit

About the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN)

The GCDN serves to foster cooperation and knowledge-sharing between those responsible for conceiving, funding, building, and operating cultural districts; and to help to ensure that these projects are vital assets for their communities, contributing to the vitality of 21st century cities. Over the next decade, some $US 250 billion will be invested in the creation of new cultural districts around the globe. A successful cultural district is not just one that is built, but one that, once built, thrives and, in thriving, animates the city or region that it serves. This holistic definition of success is central to the Network: success is not just getting an arts building or series of buildings out of the ground, it is about ensuring that they are viable and play a central role in their communities.

The GCDN provides the following services for its members:

  • Regular convening to share emerging best practices, hear expert panels, and discuss the place of cultural districts in urban policy, economic development and related areas of public policy such as travel and tourism;
  • Original research on topics of common interest such as programming, audience development, cultural tourism, professional development, relevant trends in technology and creative industries strategies;
  • Regular summaries and circulation of secondary research and news of common interest;
  • Virtual forums for detailed sharing of information and discussion of opportunities and challenges;
  • Opportunities for establishing strategic partnerships for content, programming, skills training, and knowledge transfer.

Twitter: @gcdnet

Facebook: /GCDNetwork



Seasoned Conservation Leader Begins New Role January 6, 2014

Portland, OR, December 9, 2013 – River Network, the leading conservation organization for the river and watershed community in the United States, is pleased to announce the appointment of Nicole Silk as President. Silk is a proven conservation leader, with over 25 years of experience including as Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Global Freshwater Team. Her experience building coalitions among global and national institutions influential in the water arena will bring an informed strategic perspective to River Network’s role in the freshwater movement.

“Water is essential for each and every one of us. Water, and the rivers it flows through, connects our landscape, drives our economic activities, provides recreational opportunities, and engages our senses. Managing rivers to support nature and people is no easy task, but River Network has proved its value by providing individualized support and needed capacity to local efforts. I look forward to continuing that tradition and expanding our collective impact. I am thrilled to be River Network’s new President,” stated Silk.

Silk’s diverse experience includes strategy development and goal setting for projects, public policy efforts from the local to national level, innovative knowledge practices, fundraising, and relationship building of all kinds. Silk earned a BA in Environmental Studies and Economics at University of California, Santa Cruz and a JD at UC Davis. In addition, Silk worked as a river guide for nearly a decade, concurrent with her professional pursuits. Today, she spends as much time as feasible on rivers and enjoying the outdoors with her family.

After a six-month nationwide search, River Network couldn’t be happier with its choice. Board Chair Suzi Wilkins Berl shares, “River Network was conceived in 1988 out of a commitment to conserve rivers through grassroots action. Over our 25-year history, we have had five Presidents lead us. Nicole joins us at a time when the river movement is expanding and our organization is poised to play a more significant role in shaping freshwater issues at home and abroad.”

Today’s non-profit executives need to possess a diverse set of skills in problem solving, fundraising, communicating their organizations messages, building strong coalitions and working closely with both board and staff to realize their goals. Silk brings all those skills and more and joins a talented and seasoned team at River Network.

About River Network

For twenty-five years, River Network has empowered and united people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain the health of our country. River Network envisions a future when every person knows their watershed and is an active caretaker of their local river, lake, stream or bay. The organization works for the day when all people, fish and wildlife have access to clean plentiful water. The headquarter staff in Portland, OR and field staff in Vermont, Maryland, North Carolina, Utah and Ohio work closely with over 2,000 watershed protection groups from coast to coast – building the capacity of state and local groups, assisting people grappling with water and environmental health problems, protecting habitat for fish, wildlife and people, developing blue cities through green infrastructure, and reducing our country’s use of water and energy.

For media inquiries, interviews and image requests, please contact Suzi Wilkins Berl, River Network Board Chair; 828-250-0017;



Platforms and Portals, Security firms, Title II and III Experts, Attorneys, financial and fund managers, Start-ups, Real Estate Developers and Brokers, P-to-P investors, entrepreneurs, investors, incubators and accelerators meet up during this two-day professional event while attending informative keynote sessions and networking with industry leaders.

SAN DIEGO, CA — On January 30-31, 2014 Crowdfund Weekly News, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP,, and Leverage PR, present two full days of high-level educational sessions, networking, business development, Keynote addresses, and receptions at the San Diego Convention Center.The Crowdfund Global Expo is a pivotal event for the crowdfund and finance industries, and the number one event for professionals taking crowdfunding to the next level.

Only at the Crowdfund Expo will you have the chance to meet face-to face with industry leaders and instrumental SEC officials.

“2014 marks the date that Title III Non Accredited Crowdfunding will join Title II Accredited Crowdfunding and ease the pathway for entrepreneurs to raise capital in the US and also afford individual investors the opportunity to consider investing in a wider array of entrepreneurial activities.” States Doug Ellenoff, Partner at Ellenoff, Grossman & Schole LLP.


Doug Ellenoff

Leaders and speakers include: DJ Paul, CSO at Gate Global Impact & Co-Chair of CfIRA, Doug Ellenoff, Partner at Ellenoff, Grossman & Schole LLP, Brendan Ross, President at Direct Lending Investments, Alon Goren, Co-Founder & President of and Kim Wales, Founder of Wales Capital and Crowdbureau, Judd Hollas CEO of Equity Net, Brendan Ross, President of Direct Lending Investment LLC, and many more crowdfunding leaders.

“We at CFIRA applaud Ms. Downs and her organization for orchestrating what will clearly be the first important crowdfunding conference of 2014. Both the breadth as well as the specificity of the agenda and the stature of the proposed speakers look to be the makings of a great and productive event.” emphasizes DJ Paul, CSO – Gate Global Impact, Co-chair, CfIRA.


DJ Paul

“As one of the premier crowdfunding events in the industry, EquityNet is delighted to speak at the 2014 Crowdfund Global Expo and offer valuable insights from its operation of an industry-leading crowdfunding platform.” Says Judd Hollas, founder and CEO of EquityNet one of the leading Crowdfund platforms. 

Media sponsors for the Crowdfund Global Expo include: Crowdfund Insider, Crowd Café, Crowdfund Weekly News, SoHo Loft, and more.

For a complete list of speakers, sponsors and the program, please visit out website. Registration and Exhibit Spaces are filling quickly and discounts apply for two more weeks. Don’t miss the Crowdfund Global Expo where you can get all the information and network with the highest-level executives all under one roof in two Days!

About Coastal Communications:

Coastal Communications, Inc. operates as an International full service media company providing face-to-face, multi-functional networking events and tradeshows. By developing high-level events, publications and online community development, Coastal Communications is the primary resource in digital media as well as finance and investment. Our dynamic and entrepreneurial networking events include Crowdfund Global Expo – the #1 professionals crowdfunding event. The AppShow – quickly becoming the largest Digital Media and Mobile App show worldwide, AppShow and CONNECT – The Funding, Discovery and Monetization Conference, Professional Women Entrepreneur Events, Real Estate Crowdfunding Conference Series and a number of other shows and publications including crowdfund weekly news. Our goal is to connect companies and provide foundational informational events.Visit or call 877-936-2788

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