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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Social Entrepreneurship

This category includes articles about social entrepreneurs, typically about businesses with a for-profit model with a social mission embedded into the fabric of the business.

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ImpactUs Marketplace Welcomes Two New Issuers to its Online Impact Investing Platform

Press Release – Washington, D.C.— Ahead of SOCAP17, impact investing’s leading industry conference, financial technology provider ImpactUs has announced two new issuers to its impact investing platform, ImpactUs Marketplace—a community-driven site that offers institutions, individuals and financial advisors an extensive range of private impact investing opportunities.

The two issuers* are mission-driven organizations dedicated to building strong, healthy and successful communities, and will be at SOCAP17 all week:

  • Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF): LIIF is a national community capital organization that has invested more than $2 billion to build healthy, vibrant communities and create pathways of opportunity for over 2 million low income people.
  • Meow Wolf: An arts and entertainment company that creates immersive, interactive experiences to transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story. This certified B Corp transforms community spaces with 400,000 visits in the last 12 months at its Santa Fe, New Mexico location. The company provides living wages to artists, advancing the arts and creative economy.

*Some of these issuers’ offerings are only available to accredited investors. Investing in private investments requires high risk tolerance, low liquidity concerns, and long-term commitments. Investors must be able to afford to lose their entire investment.

The new issuers added to the platform mark a milestones for ImpactUs. Meow Wolf is ImpactUs’ first early-stage venture and first issuer that brings a creativity lens to impact investing through the ImpactUs Marketplace. The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) is the first Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) on the platform available to non-accredited investors.

“These two organizations are the newest examples of a growing number of mission-driven institutions that are expanding their reach to prospective impact investors and bolstering support for their current investors by utilizing our technology and administrative services,” said Reginald Stanley, President and CEO of ImpactUs.

The foundational support necessary to launch ImpactUs was provided by some of the leading organizations in the social impact sphere, including MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Open Road Alliance, Enterprise Community Partners and City First Enterprises.

“Organizations like these are vital to our shared-mission of creating flourishing communities through impact investments. We’re excited to make our services and technology available to help these institutions connect with investors that share their vision for vibrant and supportive communities,” said Liz Sessler, Vice President of ImpactUs. “Investors can seek both financial and impact returns in the (areas or sectors) of affordable housing, healthcare, employment, and now, the arts, through these issuers.”

ImpactUs will have a strong presence at and around SOCAP17. CEO Reginald Stanley will be a participant in the 4:00 PM PDT SOCAP panel on Thursday, October 12 titled “Bridges Not Walls: Interdependence Powering Greater Impact in North America and Beyond,” while Vice President Liz Sessler will be on a panel with LIIF on Wednesday, October 11th titled “Off Wall Street: the Democratization of Impact-First Investing.” ImpactUs looks forward to meeting with like-minded organizations.

Those interested in learning about these investment opportunities and more can log onto www.ImpactUsMarketplace.com to register.

About ImpactUs

ImpactUs Marketplace simplifies the impact investing process. It provides investors, advisors, and impact organizations greater choice at accessible costs while directing more capital to funds and projects that seek to deliver community, societal, and environmental benefits. Every day, ImpactUs connects investors with purpose, creating more equitable and thriving communities.

The information contained in this press release does not constitute an offer or solicitation and may not be treated as an offer or solicitation (i) in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation is against the law; (ii) to anyone to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer or solicitation; (iii) if the person making the offer or solicitation is not qualified to do so. The issuers named in this press release can only be marketed in certain jurisdictions only.

All securities related activity is conducted through ImpactUs Marketplace LLC a registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, located at 1875 Connecticut Ave., NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20009. ImpactUs does not make investment recommendations and this communication should not be construed as a recommendation for any security offering named in this press release. Private investments are only suitable for investors who are familiar with and willing to accept the high risk associated with private investments. Securities sold through private investments are not publicly traded and are intended for investors who do not have a need for a liquid investment.


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New Report Reveals £300bn Opportunity For The ‘Impact Economy’

Press Release – The UK National Advisory Board for Impact Investing (UK NAB) has highlighted the opportunity to unlock an additional £300 billion in investments that directly address social and environmental challenges, and establish the UK as a global hub for impact investing.

The report, titled “The Rise of Impact: Five Steps Towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Economy”, is aimed at business leaders, investors and Government. It identifies five areas where action is required to build an inclusive economy that accelerates the rise of purposeful business and enables more people and places to benefit from economic success.

Recommendations include the creation of a £2 billion UK Inclusive Economy Catalyst Fund which could jump-start investment and stimulate opportunities in communities that have seen decades of under-investment and no real income growth. This is expected to draw in significant private investment and reach tens of billions of pounds over 5-10 years, tackling issues including social care, affordable housing and climate change.

Recognising both the imperative and the benefits of action, the report highlights how institutional investors can seize on the investment prospects that will help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UK, following the precedent of European financial institutions that are already leading the way. A coalition of the largest investors in the Netherlands – with a combined 2.8 trillion Euros in assets under management – has already agreed an action plan for investing in SDG themes, and the UK is in danger of falling behind.

Michele Giddens, Chair of UK NAB and Co-Founder and Partner at Bridges Fund Management, said:

“Impact investing has shown its value across multiple sectors and asset classes, achieving strong returns on investment while also financing new solutions to some of the UK’s most difficult social and environmental challenges. Over the last few years we have seen an explosion of interest globally, with more and more mainstream investors coming into the space. We are reaching the tipping point; we hope this report can help the sector move from the margins to the mainstream and, in the process, enable the UK to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

“The world is facing a funding gap of tens of trillions in addressing sustainable development issues and recent political events have highlighted that large segments of the UK population feel left behind by economic growth. If investors, business leaders and policy makers all consider social and environmental impact alongside financial value then we can start to redress these issues. This is an incredible opportunity to evolve our traditional investment model and release billions of pounds to reduce inequality, protect our scarce resources and stimulate innovative new solutions.”

Other recommendations in the report include the creation of ‘Pensions with Purpose’ that will enable savers to invest in line with their values. UK NAB highlights the potential of harnessing the assets within Defined Contribution (DC) pension schemes, which are predicted to grow six-fold to $1.7 trillion over the next two decades. Three-quarters (77 percent) of DC pension fund members have already said they would prefer a social investment fund compared to a conventional one; and 44 percent said they would do so even if their final retirement pot ended up eight percent smaller .

Government is the single largest buyer of goods and services in the UK and UK NAB wants it to place even more emphasis on social value within public procurement. It is also calling for more support for purposeful businesses that contribute positively to society and the environment, and has outlined an enhanced role for the UK in international development finance – with CDC visibly championing investment in developing markets, and large asset owners allocating more of their capital to address challenges aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The UK has been recognised as a global leader in impact investing since the Government commissioned the first Social Investment Task-force in 2000. The world’s first social impact bond was launched in the UK in 2010, and the world’s first social investment bank Big Society Capital was also created in the UK in 2012. A representative of the Government’s Inclusive Economy Unit has attended UK NAB’s Practitioners’ Council as an Active Observer throughout this process.

There is currently at least £150 billion of capital currently committed to impactful investments in the UK, and interest in the area has been growing. Mainstream investors such as Barclays, Blackrock and Standard Chartered have recently joined Bridges Fund Management, Un Ltd and other pioneers by launching products or platforms that explicitly seek both to achieve financial returns and drive social change.

Sacha Romanovitch, member of UK NAB Advisory Board and CEO of Grant Thornton UK LLP said:

“Imagine a world where everyone could say ‘I know where my money goes and the positive impact it has – as a tax payer, saver, consumer’. A world where investing with impact is not at the expense of financial return. This report shows this is already emerging and provides a vision and a plan for putting purpose at the heart of our economy. When this happens, we’ll build markets people trust and in turn that will drive innovation. We’ll have environments that enable business and people to flourish. We’ll have dynamic organisations, growing sustainably. We’ll have a vibrant economy.”

UK NAB is the UK’s voice in a Global Steering Group of 15-member states plus the EU, chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen, which was established as the successor to the Social Impact Investment Taskforce set up during the UK presidency of the G8. It is composed of a diverse group of senior leaders drawn from across the public, private and non-profit sectors of the economy, united by a single vision: to build an including and sustainable economy by ensuring that measureable impact is regularly embraced as a deliberate driver in investment and business decisions, to create better outcomes for all stakeholders and wider society. Chaired by Michele Giddens (co-founder of Bridges Funds Management), its members include David Blood (co-founder of Generation Investment), Saker Nusseibeh (CEO of Hermes Investment Management), Sacha Romanovitch (CEO of Grant Thornton), and Hazel Blears (former Labour MP).

For a copy of the report and recommendations, please visit www.uknabimpactinvesting.org.

1 April 2017, Peter Thomson, President of UN General Assembly estimated a shortfall of US $90 trillion over 15 years to 2030; in July 2016 the World Economic Forum estimated a shortfall of $3.9 trillion per year

2 DCIF (2013) ‘Identifying new ways to engage savers in Defined Contribution Pensions’

3 UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing: 2017 Impact Investing Guidance note


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IIX Catalyzes Impact Investing in the Pacific with Pacific Trade Invest Australia

Press Release – SINGAPORE, 2 October, 2017 – IIX announces the signing of a letter of engagement with Pacific Trade Invest Australia (PTI Australia), the lead trade and investment promotion agency in the region, to catalyze growth of the impact investing market across the Pacific Islands. Drawing on PTI Australia’s extensive network in the region, IIX will begin to effectively build the market for impact investing beginning in aquaculture and agriculture sectors with plans to expand the ecosystem deeply across sixteen pacific island countries and the surrounding oceans. This understanding between IIX and PTI Australia aims to drive economic growth in the region while highlighting the potential of women-focused enterprises in the agriculture, ecotourism and fisheries industries.

Chad Morris, General Manager, Investment & Tourism, PTI Australia said that he welcomes formalizing the relationship between the two initiatives. “IIX is achieving great things in the impact investment space. I’m excited about the opportunities formally strengthening our relationship brings for the people of the Pacific Island countries.”

IIX Founder, Durreen Shahnaz, expresses, “The Pacific is a region brimming with innovative companies tackling the pressing social and environmental challenges of today. IIX is beyond excited to work with leading institutions to strengthen the impact investing movement and apply a multi-stakeholder approach to sustainable development across the pacific island countries that are some of the most vulnerable countries in the world.”

IIX officially extended its reach into the Pacific earlier this year working in the fisheries sector and then expanding its involvement with support from PTI Australia and Pacific Readiness for Investment in Social Enterprise (Pacific RISE). Pacific RISE is an innovative initiative of the Australian Government established to pioneer and facilitate a social impact investment market in the Pacific. With the support of Pacific RISE, IIX has facilitated an accelerator program with Australian Business Ventures and are looking to support impact enterprises with a gender lens. Together, Pacific RISE and IIX also educated global investors on the potential of impact investing in the region through an online webinar series. Both PTI Australia and Pacific RISE are supported by the Australian Government via the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

About IIX:

Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) is a Singapore-based impact enterprise that builds pathways to connect backstreets of underserved communities to the Wall Streets of the world through impact investing. IIX investment platforms and innovative financial products enable impact enterprises to accelerate their business and scale their positive impact, while pushing the impact investing space from the margins to the mainstream. To date, the work of IIX has spanned 20 countries and continues to expand with the mission of unlocking US$5.6 billion of impact investment capital, impacting 300 million lives by 2022.

About Pacific Trade Invest Australia:

Founded in 1979, Pacific Trade Invest Australia (PTI Australia) is an Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)-funded Pacific Island agency that creates jobs in the Pacific Islands by facilitating trade and attracting impact investment into the region. With an extensive network and a deep understanding of the Pacific Islands, PTI Australia supports private sector growth to reduce aid reliance, making long-term, sustainable improvements to the region’s economy and the livelihoods of Pacific Islanders.


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Weather Events Intensified By Climate Change & Health Costs Due Fossil Fuel Burning Stunt U.S. Growth

Climate Action Outweigh The Escalating Economic Losses And Costs

Press Release – Economic losses from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and 76 wildfires in nine Western states, intensified by human-induced climate change, will be the most costly combined weather events in U.S. history.

When the final accounting is completed, the economic losses of these three hurricanes and the wildfires, which happened within one month, could cost nearly $300 billion in damage, 70 percent of the 92 weather events of at least $1 billion in the last decade (Figure 1).

Extreme weather events causing at least $1 billion in economic losses, by decade

Added to the damages of extreme severe storms, hurricanes, floods, droughts and wildfires are the enormous health expenses of burning fossil fuel, the main cause of climate change. Total cost on average is now $240 billion a year (Table 1), excluding the catastrophic events this August and September and excluding climate related economic losses in the agricultural sector and associated with heat stress on humans.

Economic losses: weather events intensified by climate change & health costs from fossil fuel use during the last decade

Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2017). https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions; Energy Policy: The International Journal of the Political, Economic, Planning, Environmental and Social Aspects of Energy, Air pollution emissions and damages from energy production in the U.S.: 2002–2011, Paulina Jaramillo (Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University) and Nicholas Z. Muller (Department of Economics, Middlebury College)

This annual average economic losses and health costs equal about forty percent of the current growth of the U.S. economy, according to a new report, The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States, published online (https://feu-us.org) by the Universal Ecological Fund.

In the next decade, these economic losses and health costs are projected to reach at least $360 billion annually equal to an estimated 55 percent of the U.S. growth. These escalating costs are due to the continued use of fossil fuels triggering the climate to continue to change.

“Burning fossil fuels comes at a giant price tag which the U.S. economy cannot afford and not sustain,” says Sir Robert Watson, coauthor of the report and former Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading scientific body on climate change.

“The evidence is undeniable. These recent extreme weather events are a continuation of a three decades trend of increasing numbers, intensities and costs of severe storms, hurricanes, flooding, droughts and wildfires. Simply, the more fossil fuels we burn, the faster the climate continues to change and cost. Thus, transitioning to a low-carbon economy is essential for economic growth and is cheaper than the gigantic costs of inaction.”

These massive costs fall mainly on individuals and families, not the Government or the private sector, says the new report.

“We can expect extreme weather events and economic losses and costs associated with them to continue increasing unless we make dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” says James McCarthy, Ph.D., coauthor of the report and Professor of Oceanography, Harvard University. “The Trump Administration is determined to maximize the use of America’s fossil fuels –coal, oil and natural gas— as well as to cut energy industry regulations. This is taking us the opposite direction.”

Alternatively, addressing this problem can ensure economic growth and create jobs.

“Clean and sustainable energy just requires smart decisions and smarter investments,” says Liliana Hisas, Executive Director of Universal Ecological Fund (UEF) and coauthor of the report.

Soaring number of extreme weather events

“Weather events are the result of natural factors. However, human-induced climate change has altered their intensity and frequency substantially and measurably,” explains Dr. Watson, Director of Strategic Development at the U.K’s Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research.

For example: the number of extreme weather events with at least $1 billion in economic losses and damages have increased by almost 2.5 fold, totaling 92 in the last decade (2007-2016), compared to 38 in the 1990s and by more than 4 fold, compared to 21 in the 1980s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Centers for Environmental Information.

In the latest 10-year span, the economic losses from these extreme weather events – droughts, wildfires, severe storms, hurricanes and flooding—have almost doubled, from $211.3 billion in the 1990s to $418.4 billion in the last decade.

In the latest 10 years, weather events of less than $1 billion are estimated at about $100 billion in damages or $10 billion for 80 events a year, compared to $50 billion or $5 billion for 60 events a year in the 1990s.

Hardest hit states by extreme weather events

Not all states are impacted in the same way by extreme weather events.

Texas had 49 events that contributed to or exceeded $1 billion in economic loss, since 2007.

Hurricane Harvey is the most damaging of all these events (Map and Table 2).

Number of extreme weather events causing more than $1 billion in economic losses, by state
The map shows the increasing frequency of billion dollar events (it does not indicate that each state impacted by multi -state extreme weather events has suffered $1 billion in losses for each event)

Number of extreme weather events causing more than $1 billion in economic losses. by state & decade

The table shows the increasing frequency of billion dollar events (it does not indicate that each state impacted by multi -state extreme weather events has suffered $1 billion in losses for each event)

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2017). https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions

The states impacted with economic losses of at least $1 billion from extreme weather events in the last decade are:

  • Severe storm: Texas (32, a more than a four-fold increase, compared to the 1990s), Kansas (24, a six-fold increase, compared to the 1990s), Oklahoma and Illinois (23 each, a more than a four-fold and almost a six-fold increase respectively, compared to the 1990s), Missouri (21, a more than a five-fold increase, compared to the 1990s) and Tennessee (18, more than a four-fold increase, compared to the 1990s).
  • Hurricane: Alabama, Louisiana and Virginia (4 each, a two-fold increase, compared to the 1980s); Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Connecticut (3 each, a 50 percent increase compared to the 1990s); North Carolina (3); and Mississippi and New Jersey (3 each, a three-fold increase, compared to the 1990s).
  • Flooding, as a result of severe storms and hurricanes: Louisiana and Missouri (4 each, a four-fold increase, compared to the 1990s); Texas (3); and Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and Iowa (3 each, a three-fold increase, compared to the 1990s).
  • Drought: California (8, with no billion-dollar droughts in the 1990s or 1980s), Idaho (7, with no billion-dollar droughts in the 1990s), Oregon and New Mexico (6, a six-fold increase, compared to the 1990s), Oklahoma (6, a two-fold increase compared to the 1990s), Kansas (6, a three-fold and two-fold increase respectively, compared to the 1990s and 1980s) and Texas (6, a three-fold increase, compared to the 1990s).
  • Wildfire: California (6, a two-fold increase, compared to the 1990s), Arizona and Oregon (6, a six-fold increase, compared to the 1990s), Idaho (6, with no billion-dollar wildfire events in the 1990s), Texas, Nevada, Washington and Colorado (5 each, a five-fold increase compared, to the 1990s) and Montana (5,with no billion-dollar events in the 1990s).

The economic impact for a single state can be severe. For example, in August, 2016, 30 inches of rainfall fell in a few days, flooding southern Louisiana. As a result, more than 50,000 homes, 100,000 vehicles and 20,000 businesses were damaged or destroyed. The economic losses due to the floods in Louisiana were $10 billion. Some 75 percent of those affected by the record Louisiana rainfall were uninsured.

In these severe storms, hurricanes, flooding, droughts and wildfires, many individuals, families and businesses lost everything.

Impact on agriculture

Climate change is changing rain patterns. Because agricultural production in the U.S. mainly depends on rain, farmers are especially being hit. Since 2012, farmers across the Central and Western U.S. have suffered $56 billion in economic losses, due to the persistent drought.

The production of corn and soybean –the largest crops in the U.S.—could experience a 20 to 30 percent decrease within the next three decade, if action to address climate change is not taken. Thus, corn and soybean producers could potentially lose $17 to $25 billion annually.

Unhealthy air

Combined with weather events are unhealthy air costs, caused by fossil fuel burning. More than 43 million Americans live in an area with unhealthy air pollution. These costs due to air pollution exposure caused by energy production in the U.S. were estimated at about $188 billion in 2011.

Emissions regulations on the energy sector reduced air pollution health damages by 35 percent or almost $67 billion a year –from $255 billion in 2002.

“The costs of health damages due to air pollution exposure caused by energy production will increase without regulations to the energy industry,” says Dr. Watson. “Individuals and families will have to pay these health costs, either directly or through increased insurance premiums.”

Coastal Cities

Coastal cities such as Miami, Boston, New York, Seattle and San Diego are at most risk due to sea level rise, caused by climate change.

“The question is when and how much sea level will rise,” says Dr. McCarthy. “Lives and almost $1 trillion worth of real estate in coastal areas are at stake.

“The quantity of greenhouse gases that has accumulated in the atmosphere increase global temperature, and in turn warm the oceans. Hurricanes, like Harvey, Irma and Maria, gain strength and moisture traveling over warmer water, making them larger, stronger and more intense, especially endangering coastal cities.”

Fossil fuels account for 80 percent of U.S. energy

Coal, oil and natural gas currently account for just over 80 percent of the primary energy generated and used in the U.S. This percentage has decreased slightly over the last two decades. As a result,

82 percent of America’s greenhouse gas emissions are solely from carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel burning. It is these CO2 emissions, driving the observed climate changes.

Despite the escalating costs and economic losses on U.S. lives, health, homes, businesses and livelihoods, the U.S continues to rely on fossil fuels to produce energy, which includes electricity, fuel and natural gas.

“Every time you turn on the light on or start your car, you are contributing to climate change,” says Ms. Hisas. “Everyone is part of the problem and everyone is part of the solution.”

Economic growth and job creation with climate action

Securing sustained economic growth and job creation –a priority for the current Administration for the next four years in the U.S.– requires generating energy differently, according to the new report. It also requires a more efficient use of energy in all sectors –residential, commercial, and industrial and transportation.

Relying on fossil fuels for economic growth was how many economies grew in the 19th and 20th centuries. More than a century ago, the consequences of burning fossil fuels were not known and understood; they were not appreciable then either. Today, however, they are.

Climate action can provide economic growth and job creation in these ways:

Changing the energy equation

Carbon-free and sustainable energy can provide the additional energy needed in the U.S. Clean energy can also significantly increase the energy employment, now employing 1.9 million workers, via:

Renewable Energy. 10 percent of the energy (or 15 percent of electricity generation) used in the U.S. currently comes from renewables –solar, wind, bioenergy, hydropower and geothermal (Table 3).

Energy use in the U.S. by source, 2016

*Less than 1 % of electricity is used by public mass transit systems and by electric vehicles.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy

Half of the electricity generated by renewables are solely from solar and wind, or about 7 percent of the electricity used in the U.S. These technologies provide almost 500,000 jobs, including manufacturing, construction, project development, operations and maintenance. Jobs in the solar industry grew 17 times faster than the overall job creation in the U.S. economy. In 2016, the solar workforce increased by 25 percent, accounting for 374,000 jobs or more than 40 percent of the employment in the generation of electricity in the U.S.

While a major transition to renewable energy is required, even doubling the solar and wind generation capacity will create 500,000 new jobs. It will also provide sustainable clean electricity, only requiring an initial investment in installation, but there will be significant savings for users in the long-term, due to low operating costs.

Most importantly, doubling the solar and wind generation capacity will reduce the share of electricity generation from fossil fuels (natural gas and coal) by 23 percent –from the current 65 to 50 percent.

The expansion of these renewable technologies will, in turn, make their costs much more competitive and accessible.

Workers in the extraction of natural gas and coal in Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming can with training and investments greatly benefit from these new jobs in renewable energy.

Nuclear. Electricity produced with nuclear power accounts for 9 percent of America’s energy (or 20 percent of electricity generation). Nuclear power provides carbon-free energy and is now safer.

Sixty nuclear power plants in the U.S. employ about 70,000 workers. Two new nuclear reactors are planned for Georgia and an additional four new nuclear power plants are to be built in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Texas. These new plants will provide at least 10,000 new jobs in the generation of electricity.

Using fossil fuels responsibly

Fossil fuel power plants can be consistent with job creation and a low-carbon economy.

Currently, fossil fuel power plants generate 65 percent of the electricity used in the U.S., contributing 39 percent of the U.S. CO2 emissions. Natural gas and coal are the main sources of electricity generation, accounting for 34 and 30 percent respectively.

The 220,000 workers employed by these fossil fuel power plants may feel threatened by the need to switch the generation of energy to address climate change. However, carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies which bury CO2 deep underground would allow the continuing burning of fossil fuels to responsibly meet America’s energy needs.

Of the 16 large-scale CCS plants in operation in the world, eight are in the U.S. An additional CCS plant will be operational this year, placing the U.S. at the top of technological innovation in using fossil fuels responsibly.

Power generation with CCS is still in its infancy and still requires more research and development for its large-scale deployment, according to Dr. Watson. More pilot programs will need to be implemented, since more than 1,000 electric power plants burn fossil fuels in the U.S. (256 use coal and 816 use natural gas).

The research, construction and maintenance of CCS plants could double the current number of workers in energy construction, creating 250,000 additional jobs, while securing the jobs of those currently employed by fossil fuel power plants.

Fusion is an example of new technology being tested to generate electricity. Fusion is the human replication of the mass-to-energy conversion of hydrogen in the core of the Sun that gives the Earth light and warmth. This highly complex process has been duplicated at facilities in San Diego, Princeton, Russia, U.K., Germany and South Korea.

Right now, the International Fusion Energy Organization (ITER), a collaboration of 35 countries, is constructing the largest controlled fusion device ever built in France to prove the viability of fusion.

Fusion is clean, abundant, safe and economic. ITER estimates that the first fusion plants will start coming on line in the mid-2040s.

Innovation and new technologies

New technologies to produce carbon-free energy will also have to be tested and deployed, such as locally produced advanced biofuels from forest and crop residues or municipal and construction waste, and biofuels derived from algae with subsequent sequestration of CO2.

Currently, about 300,000 workers dedicated to research, architecture, and engineering to support energy generation technologies. An additional 50,000 jobs will accelerate the identification, testing and deployment of innovative technologies to generate sustainable clean energy.

Using energy more efficiently

Reducing fossil fuel use will be easier and faster in some sectors of the economy than others. Thus, promoting energy efficiency in those sectors is a key element of ensuring economic growth while taking climate action.

For example, a critical sector of the economy is transportation. Gasoline, diesel and jet fuel –all petroleum-based fuels— account for 92 percent of the energy used in the transportation sector; natural gas is another 3 percent. The remaining 5 percent is biofuels –ethanol and biodiesel—that is added to gasoline and diesel fuel.

These fuels are used in 263 million cars, trucks, motorcycles; 6,676 aircrafts (passenger and cargo), 132,500 transit and commuter buses and rail cars; 397,500 freight trains and locomotives; 11.8 million recreational boats and 465 vessels (tankers, passenger and cargo ships) to transport individuals, passengers and goods throughout the U.S.

Using transportation more efficiently and promoting vehicle performance improvements will ensure that travelling and trade meets needs and demands, while using less fuel.

“This is why it is essential that the Trump Administration support, or ideally, strengthen the 2025 fuel efficiency standards negotiated between the Obama Administration and the automobile industry,” says Dr. McCarthy.

“Reducing the 95 percent fossil fuel use for transportation will require more research to develop alternative biofuels on a large-scale, without compromising food production,” says Dr. Watson. “It also requires electric cars powered by renewable energy.”

Programs to provide consumers with financial incentives to purchase electric cars will make the transition faster and more accessible.

Other sectors that can greatly benefit from energy efficiency include:

  • 136 million U.S. homes and buildings where 324 million people live.
  • Offices, hospitals, schools, police stations, places of worship, warehouses, hotels, shopping malls and industries (manufacturing, agriculture, and construction) where 160 million people work in the U.S.

Generating strategic investments

Transitioning to a low-carbon economy and increasing the efficient use of energy in all sectors will require strategic investments. Much of the revenue for these investments could come from a carbon tax.

The aim of a carbon tax is to reduce emissions, promote a more efficient use of energy and encourage the transition away from fossil fuels.

The potential revenues from a tax on carbon emissions could be up to $200 billion in the U.S.

within the next decade, according to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

A carbon tax will increase the cost of gasoline for fuel users. However, a carbon tax will promote a much more efficient use of vehicles and stimulate the transition to electric cars.

“Protecting Americans from the escalating economic losses and costs due to the impacts of climate change can happen. It will require increased efficient use of energy in all sectors, the share of carbon-free electricity to doubled or tripled, and fossil fuel generation with CCS to expanded, along with installing a carbon tax,” says Dr. Watson.

Source: https://feu-us.org/press-releases/


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Corporate Citizenship’s Megan DeYoung to Reveal Research at COMMIT!Forum on Fortune 50 Participation in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Press Release – WASHINGTON — In the two years since the formation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), organizations have been working to formulate strategies that will contribute to the worldwide goals of eradicating poverty, creating a healthy planet for future generations, and building peaceful and inclusive societies.

Many organizations, however, are struggling with how – and are hungry for meaningful data that will help them plan for the future and allocate resources they’ll need to contribute to this new global development framework.

Megan DeYoung, vice president Americas of the global management consultancy Corporate Citizenship, has answers – and will reveal exclusively for attendees at COMMIT!Forum’s “Brand Taking Stands” event how Fortune 50 companies are mapping their corporate responsibility strategies to the Global Goals.

“Many companies are seeking clarity on the role they should play in the SDGs. Understanding what others do can provide useful insight, which is why Corporate Citizenship has assessed Fortune 50 companies’ actions on the SDGs.” said DeYoung, who is also a member of the Corporate Responsibility Association. “Sharing this research for the first time at COMMIT!Forum can help attendees get a sense of how they compare to peers and become inspired to take more action.”

At COMMIT!Forum, DeYoung will discuss findings extracted from a three-year global survey that shows how a variety of Fortune’s 50 sustainably minded companies are responding to the SDGs, what trends are emerging, and how this new data can serve as a roadmap for organizations that want to take action but need quantifiable ROI. The session will be moderated by John Friedman, sustainability manager at WGL Holdings, Inc., a diversified energy business providing natural gas, electricity, green energy, and carbon reduction and energy services.

A member of Corporate Citizenship’s Executive Team, DeYoung directs the consultancy’s North and Latin American practices, and advises leading companies worldwide on incorporating social, environmental, and economic issues into their strategies and business practices.

COMMIT!Forum, the annual leading event for corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners, will convene on Oct. 10-12, 2017, at the MGM National Harbor near Washington. Attendees will have the opportunity to network, discuss, and gain professional development by attending pre-conference workshops, roundtable discussions, and sessions that will focus on the event theme, “Brands Taking Stands.”

More than 50 speakers, panelists, and interviewers from a broad range of industries will facilitate and contribute to discussions around sustainable business operations, prioritizing corporate responsibility goals, combining sustainability and profitability, brand and reputation management, sustainable and diverse workforce recruitment and retention, among many more topics.

About COMMIT!Forum

COMMIT!Forum (http://www.commitforum.com) is an annual gathering of corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners with emphasis on networking, case studies, new research, and compelling presentations from companies committed to making progress against an ambitious environmental, social, and governance (ESG) agenda. The event is produced by the Corporate Responsibility Association and CR Magazine.


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Leonhardt’s Launchpads Expands into Playa Vista, LA Tech Capital

Leading innovation and startup accelerator focused on regenerative medtech and regenerative economy innovations is expanding into Playa Vista, California following Cedars Sinai, Yahoo, Imax, Google, YouTube, Facebook, USC Institute of Creative Technologies + USC Center for Body Computing and Honest Co. into Los Angeles’ leading tech startup community.

Press Release – Los Angeles, Playa Vista – September 27th, 2017 – Leonhardt’s Launchpads is enhancing our footprint in Southern California with new regional offices at Runway Playa Vista @ 12760 Millennium Drive and at WeWork Playa Vista @ 12655 W. Jefferson Blvd. Incubating/accelerating startups in the area will be invited to locate at WeWork’s co-working space with mentoring support from the walking distance Runway Playa Vista live work loft space.

The new branch office presence in Playa Vista will put Leonhardt’s Launchpads in the heart of the fastest growing tech startup community in all of California – Silicon Beach @ Playa Vista. The company’s headquarters is in Santa Monica @ WeWork, 520 Broadway Suite 200.

“We are excited to join the Playa Vista tech startup community with our beautiful new spaces. This is great place to live and work. I have moved my family here. Being at the site of Loyola Marymount University, 5.3 miles from our headquarters in Santa Monica, only 8 miles to UCLA, 16 miles to USC, 17 miles to the Los Angeles Biomedical Institute in Torrance, 27 miles to Caltech and our contract micro infusion pump development and manufacturing facility in Pasadena, 39 miles to our contract implantable bioelectric stimulator development facility in Santa Clarita, 42 miles to our bench top bioelectric stimulator manufacturer in Anaheim, 45 miles to UC Irvine and only 4.5 miles to the Los Angeles International Airport is ideal for our research and development collaborations”. stated Howard J. Leonhardt, Founder, Executive Chairman and CEO

Runway Playa Vista comprises more than 220,000 square feet of retail, 420 residential units and the office space. The mixed-use property is spread across 11 acres in the core of the growing Silicon Beach community. The Silicon Beach corridor from Santa Monica north to Playa Vista south is home to over 83% of the tech startups in Los Angeles. Leonhardt’s Launchpads Playa Vista joins Cedars Sinai, Yahoo, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Imax, the USC Institute of Creative Technologies + Center for Body Computing and Honest Co. in locating here.

Leonhardt’s Launchpads opened up a life science incubator in Northern California near Santa Rosa in 2008, an accelerator in Santa Monica in 2013, Salt Lake City, Utah in late 2015 and now in Playa Vista, California in 2017. Leonhardt’s Launchpads by Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. is majority owned by Leonhardt Ventures (Leonhardt Vineyards LLC DBA Leonhardt Ventures) which has been patenting and developing devices for human organ regeneration and recovery since the early 1980’s (previously H.J. Leonhardt & Co.). In the 1980’s the team patented and developed the PolyCath line of cardiovascular balloon catheters, in the 1990’s the Taheri-Leonhardt (TALENT) stent graft and StentValve the first percutaneous heart valve. Since the 2000’s the team has pioneered heart and other organ regeneration with the combination of a bioelectric stimulator, a re-fillable micro infusion pump and a multi-component stem cells + growth factors composition. In 1988 Leonhardt affiliated research team members completed the first stem cell repair of damaged heart tissue in large animals followed in 2001 with the landmark first human non-surgical stem cell repair of a damaged heart in The Netherlands. In 1995 the team completed the historic first percutaneous repair of an aortic aneurysm in Melbourne, Australia and in 1999 with a team in Germany published the first study in The New England Journal of Medicine of aortic Type B dissection repair by non-surgical percutaneous endovascular means. Leonhardt inventions have been used to treat more the 400,000 patients to date. 26 organ regeneration and recovery startups and 4 regenerative economy platforms are in the Leonhardt’s Launchpads 2017 portfolio class – https://leonhardtventures.com/our-companies/#toggle-id-1. All of these startups have originated out of the Leonhardt Ventures venture creation lab and have gone through the CalXelerator 108 Days from Create To Great startup launch program – www.calxelerator.com The Leonhardt’s Launchpads business model is to accelerate each innovation and corresponding startup through first-in-man results and then seek a strategic partner/buyer. 25 of our 26 regenerative medtech startups are all based on the same patented core technology platform of a bioelectric stimulator + a micro infusion pump + a multi-component mixed stem cell + growth factor based organ regeneration composition. The Leonhardt team has developed and has patented or has patent pending over 16 bioelectric organ regeneration signals that control stem cell homing, proliferation, differentiation, new blood vessel growth and tissue and muscle regeneration. Patented and patent proten expressions include SDF-1, IGF-1, HGF, EGF, PDGF, VEGF, eNOS, HIF 1 Alpha, Activin A+B, Follistatin, IL-6, Anti-VEGF, RANKL, OPG, IL-1 and TNF A and Tropoelastin – link to patent pending – https://patents.justia.com/patent/20170266371

Howard J. Leonhardt has 21 issued U.S. patents related to organ regeneration and recovery and about 100 new patents claims pending with the U.S.P.T.O. – https://patents.justia.com/inventor/howard-j-leonhardt

The Leonhardt team announced earlier this year option licenses for patents from Caltech and Neuro Code Tech Holdings adding to its own estate of IP for advanced circulatory support, bioelectric cancer tumor treatment and bioelectric high blood pressure treatment technologies.

Leonhardt’s Launchpads has research lab space at BioInnovations Gateway in Utah with a number of bioengineers employed. Over 140 contract researchers, bioengineers and advisors are employed by Leonhardt’s Launchpads – https://leonhardtventures.com/team/. and https://calxstars.com/scientific-advisory-board/ The Leonhardt team has access to contract research lab space in both Northern and Southern California. The company employs a contract manufacturer in Anaheim, California for bench top bioelectric stimulators and in Santa Clarita, California for implantable bioelectric stimulator development, currently about the size of a quarter, pre-programmed with their patented and patent pending bioelectric signals. Leonhardt’s Launchpads has an exclusive relationship with Fluid Synchrony LLC of Pasadena, CA for the development and supply of OEM programmable, re-fillable micro infusion pumps for organ regeneration. Fluid Synchrony LLC has secured more than $2 million in National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research grant funding to develop this product. All catheter and polymer based devices are manufactured for all Leonhardt’s Launchpads startups by Biomerics headquartered in Utah and their subsidiary Biomerics Advanced Catheter in Minnesota. This includes the Second Heart Assist, Inc. www.secondheartinc.com circulatory assist catheter that recently successfully completed Phase I large animal studies at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

“The Playa Vista branch will be ideal for integrating into research collaborations in the Los Angeles academic and tech communities” stated Alex Richardson Vice President of Engineering and Product Development

“The Runway Playa Vista live work loft space will dually serve as a place to stay for visiting scientists and research collaborators including our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Leslie Miller and Dr. Jorge Genovese our Vice President of Bioelectric Regeneration Research.” Leonhardt further stated.

Top 6 startups in portfolio likely targeted on schedule for first-in-man results in 2018*…

  1. OrthdontiCell – bioelectric accelerated tooth movement and stabilization (RANKL and OPG protein expression studies have been successful completed at our lab in Utah and in Argentina and a new study is about to begin at Forsyth Institute in Boston).
  2. VascuStim – bioelectric treatment of diabetic foot/leg uclers and ischemia (components of this technology have already achieved successful first in man results).
  3. Second Heart Assist, Inc. – circulatory assist support (successful large animal studies have been completed at Tufts Medical Center).
  4. Stem Cell Bra – breast tissue generation (successul large animal studies have been completed in Argentina).
  5. HairCell – hair regeneration (component of therapy has already completed clinical studies in Canada).
  6. BioLeonhardt – heart regeneration (components of this technology have already achieved successful first in man results).

Top 6 startups in portfolio likely targeted on schedule to reach first-in-man results in 2019*..

  1. CancerCell – 7 component bioelectric cancer tumor treatment therapy.
  2. CerebraCell – brain regeneration
  3. MyoStim ED – bioelectric erectile dysfunction treatment.
  4. SkinCell Stimulator by MyoStim Skin.
  5. PancreaCell – pancreas regeneration.
  6. PressureStim – bioelectric high blood pressure treatment.

Top 6 startups in portfolio likely targeted on schedule to achieve first-in-man results 2020*…

  1. Valvublator – heart valve decalcification and regeneration
  2. LiverCell – liver regeneration.
  3. BioPace – biological pacemaker.
  4. AortaCell. – aorta regeneration/aneurysm recovery.
  5. DentaCell – bioelectric and stem cell composition treatment for a number of dental disorders.
  6. EyeCell – eye regeneration.

* Subject to change.

The most ambitious long term development project that the Leonhardt team is undertaking is whole body regeneration with its startup BioLeonhardt Whole Body which pulls together into one platform all that has been learned in regenerating individual organs since the 1980’s – https://leonhardtventures.com/bioleonhardt-whole-body/

Leonhardt’s Launchpads Regenerative Economy portfolio includes The California Stock ExchangeTM under early stage development with hopes and aspirations to be a social good impact stock exchange of the future with new rules favoring the small investor and smaller companies – http://mysocialgoodnews.com/the-california-stock-exchange-tm-announces-progress-and-long-term-plan/ and The Kindheart Lionheart TV Network www.kindheartlionhearttv.com a social good impact online TV network with over 2 billion views across all its curated independently produced programs.

About Leonhardt’s Launchpads:

Founded in 2008 as a life science innovation incubator and accelerator in Northern California and set up headquarters in Santa Monica in 2013. Expanded into Utah in 2015 and Playa Vista, California in 2017. The company also utilizes WeWork work space in Pasadena close to Caltech and WeWork Manhattan Beach. Leonhardt’s Launchpads is currently accelerating 26 regenerative medtech and 4 regenerative economy startups. See web site – https://leonhardtventures.com/leonhardts-launchpads-utah/

About Leonhardt Ventures:

Founded in 1982 as the venture arm of inventor Howard J. Leonhardt. Over 21 issued U.S. patents. Over 33 startups founded. Filed as an California LLC (Leonhardt Vineyards DBA Leonhardt Ventures) in 2005. In 1980’s patented and developed PolyCath cardiovascular balloon catheters, in the 1990’s the TALENT stent graft and StentValve percutaneous heart valve, since the 2000’s pioneered stem cell based organ regeneration technologies. Web site www.leonhardtventures.com

Contacts: Brian Hardy Director of Marketing @ brian@leonhardtventures.com, Asli Gozoren Director of Investor Relations @ asli@leonhardtventures.com, Howard J. Leonhardt Executive Chairman & CEO howard@leonhardtventurses.com

Link to Leonhardt Ventures and Leonhardt’s Launchpads 2017 Annual Report > http://2ho06i23weps2hx3g346udzo-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/cal-x_stars_annual-report_2017_v12_web.pdf

Forward-Looking Statements, Disclaimers & Risks Warnings:

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations, as of the date of this press release, and involve certain risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include statements herein with respect to the successful execution of the Company’s business strategy, the Company’s ability to develop and grow its business, the successful development of bioelectric, circulatory support, micro infusion pump or cellular therapies with respect to the Company’s research and development and pre-clinical + clinical evaluation efforts in connection with the Company’s bioelectric organ regeneration and recovery programs. The future of the regenerative medicine industry as a whole and the role of stem cells and cellular therapy, bioelectric stimulation and micro infusion pumps in that industry and the performance and planned expansion of the Company’s contract development and manufacturing business are unpredictable and uncertain and is wrought with high risks. The Company may not have adequate patent protection and may be found to be infringing on other patents. The Company’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Factors that could cause future results to materially differ from the recent results or those projected in forward-looking statements include the “Risk Factors” described in the Company’s Annual Report, Private Placement Memorandums and newsletter updates and in the Company’s other periodic filings with the SEC and state agencies. The Company’s further development is highly dependent on future medical and research developments and market acceptance, which is outside its control. The innovation accelerator business model based on simultaneously developing 30+ products and startups at once with a small staff and a small budget leaves the company at greater risks than other stand alone startups. Information on all associated web sites and other associated materials may not always be up to date and accurate despite best effort attempts. If you have any specific questions or require clarification on any points of concern please write directly to our Executive Chairman & CEO at howard@leonhardtventures.com or Asli Gozoren our Director of Investor Relations at asli@leonhardtventures.com Leonhardt’s Launchpads innovations are very early stage developments not yet proven for safety or efficacy in controlled statistically significant clinical trials and its products are not available for sale and are limited when available for Investigational Use Only.


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LightWorkers Media, Roma Downey And Mark Burnett Launch LightWorkers.Com A New Inspirational Online Destination

LightWorkers.com Debuts with New Web Series and Exclusive Uplifting Interviews with Niecy Nash, Van Morrison, Jeff Probst and Many More

Carnival Corporation’s Fathom Brand Comes on Board as a Launch Partner

Press Release – September 26, 2017 (Los Angeles) – LightWorkers Media, a joint venture owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, today announces the launch of LightWorkers.com, an online destination for uplifting and encouraging short-form digital and social content. Featuring expertly produced, socially engaging and personally curated video and editorial pieces, LightWorkers.com allows Downey to bring her brand of inspiring storytelling to audiences like never before.

LightWorkers.com has a robust offering of emotional, shareable and impactful content that highlights entertainment, lifestyle, faith and family. The content, social media and real-life activations aim to offer visitors achievable ways to make positive changes in their communities, both online and off. It will also create new advertising and sponsorship opportunities for brands, including video franchise sponsorship, custom branded videos and original branded series that align with a shared mission of doing good.

LightWorkers.com already has a hit with “37 Seconds of Good News” which spotlights ordinary people doing extraordinary things in this world. Originally launched on social media, the series has already surpassed 21 million views on Facebook. LightWorkers.com will also showcase a wide range of content from new and established personalities, including bestselling author Michelle McKinney Hammond telling it like it is in advice series “Tough But Fair”; Brooklyn Wagner, who brings her blunt and boisterously random perspective to “Welcome to Brooklyn”; and Julianna Strickland and Natasha Feldman who’ll take your thoughtful gift-giving game to the next level with “Giftable.” There are also moving profiles of athletes and influencers in our premium docuseries “I Struggle. I Rise.” and celebrity interviews with friends of the LightWorkers family – Van Morrison, Jeff Probst, Cindy Crawford, Ali Landry, Niecy Nash, Brooke Burke and more – opening up like never before about how they’ve persevered through challenges in their own lives.

“LightWorkers has sparked a movement on social media, where we’ve been able to engage across different platforms sharing positive messages of hope and encouragement. We need these inspirational messages now more than ever,” said Downey, President of LightWorkers Media. “My motto has always been that it’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. My hope is that LightWorkers.com will invite others to do the same, inspiring them to shine their own light within their communities to remind us that there are good people doing extraordinary things everywhere.”

Carnival Corporation’s purpose-driven travel brand Fathom jumped on board for the LightWorkers.com launch with the collective goal of producing branded content together by telling stories that bring more light to the world. LightWorkers will create and distribute the content, with social and digital support from Carnival Corporation’s cruise line brands, to showcase the power of travel through our storytelling lens.

“MGM has a rich history of award-winning storytelling and we are launching LightWorkers.com with the mission to share the good and inspiring stories happening around us in a time when we are inundated by negativity in the news,” said Kevin Conroy, President of Digital and New Platforms at MGM. “Not only do we create our own short-form digital series, we offer companies like Carnival Corporation’s cruise line brands’ custom original content through this lens of positivity, distributed in a brand-safe environment to a large and highly engaged audience.”

Together, Downey and Burnett have brought powerful stories to theaters and the small screen including “The Bible” miniseries for HISTORY Channel, “A.D. The Bible Continues” on NBC, “The Dovekeepers” for CBS and “Answered Prayers” on TLC. Downey was also an executive producer on several feature films including “Son of God” from Twentieth Century Fox, “Ben-Hur” for MGM and Paramount, “Little Boy” for Open Road Films, “Woodlawn” for Pure Flix and the documentary “Faithkeepers” about the persecution of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.

KEY SERIES AT LAUNCH INCLUDE

37 Seconds of Good News

Even though there’s craziness in the world, there are always organizations and individuals doing extraordinary things and trying to make a difference. This series gives good news a more prominent platform to brighten people’s days and inspire them to share the good. From 101-year-old skydiving grandpas to community refrigerators designed to eliminate food waste while feeding the hungry, we guarantee that this series will bring hope to your feed and a smile to your face.

Tough But Fair with Michelle McKinney Hammond

Bestselling author and expert life and relationship coach Michelle McKinney Hammond provides a quick-talking, 45-second burst of actionable advice to live a better life, be a better friend, have more success in love and think positively through life’s challenges in this 16-episode series. Michelle is tough but fair—the motivator you never knew you always needed. from overcoming obstacles in their lives. Interview subjects include fashion blogger and model Lauren Scruggs, pastors and authors Chad and Julia Veach and boxer and WBC champion Heather Hardy. No matter how tragic the story, these mini-docs provide a feeling of hope and inspiration to viewers struggling with their own life challenges.

Giftable

Giftable is a series of thoughtful DIYs featuring Julianna Strickland and Natasha Feldman, two best friends who have mastered the art of gift-giving. One part cooking series and one part creative gift box inspiration, the results are what Pinterest and Instagram were made for: unique, adorable and full-of-personality presents that will make you want to be more thoughtful for the loved ones in your life.

Celebrity Interviews

You might think you know your favorite celebrity, but you’ve never seen them like this. Our interview series goes beyond the standard line of questioning, getting to the heart of what makes a person tick, from their unique perspective on life to their work ethic and everything in between.

In My Day

Everyone has something to share, but in our world where news travels at the speed of a tweet, the stories of the Baby Boomer and Silent generations are a bit more analog than what we’re used to. This series captures the insights and intelligence of regular people through compelling storytelling, insuring that our generations and the ones still to come will have a direct line to connect with the wisdom of their elders.

Truthmark

Aaron and Viergeni White, a husband and wife youth ministry team, share their unique perspective in two-minute spoken word slam poetry performances, covering everything from happiness in the age of consumerism to the joys of parenthood.

Welcome to Brooklyn

Oregon native Brooklyn Wagner has a lot to say – about people, relationships and celebrating the small things – in this quirky, stream-of-consciousness peek inside her delightfully realistic and optimistic brain.

The Golden Rule

From inner city teens volunteering to keep their neighborhoods clean, to “volunteer cuddlers” who spend their days with babies in the NICU, this uplifting series spotlights everyday people doing extraordinary things. This is life by the Golden Rule – to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Craftitude

Do you have an attitude for crafting? Even the most DIY-phobic among us won’t be able to resist this delightfully inspiring series designed to take the guesswork out of answering the age-old question: What should I do with my kids today? Each episode shows simple step-by-step instructions for a unique hands-on craft, noting which important skills it will also teach the little ones. Craft on!

Get Read

For anyone who thinks it’s taboo to discuss religion, this thoughtful book club series will change your mind. Our diverse and passionate panel tackles tough issues from classics and new releases alike, all while pulling out the practical teachings from each of the books they’ve read. Their conversations are real – never preachy – and they’re the perfect entry point to starting your own deliberations with friends and chiming in on ours on social.

Welcome to Adulting

New York Times bestselling author, new mom and record-holding former women’s soccer player at LSU, Mo Isom gives viewers an unfiltered peek at just how messy life can be when you’re playing hard and juggling a lot of balls. She gives 2-minute snippets of her life as a speaker, blogger, wife and mom in this new series.

Office Guinea Pigs

You’ve seen it, you’ve heard about it, you’ve probably Googled it to get the real scoop… if you’re curious about a bizarre new beauty product, our office guinea pigs have done the dirty work for you. Watch, cringe, laugh, share, rinse and repeat – from bubbling face masks to charcoal toothpaste to female face shaving (yes, it’s a thing), we’ll try anything. And yes, we all actually work at LightWorkers… if you thought your office bonding rituals were weird, we’ll bet they don’t ask you to show off your blackheads to the world!

The Brekkie Series

The Brekkie Series proves that easy doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Take back the most important meal of the day, and let’s make breakfast good again – together! Host Kara Elise is a pro at making any kitchen novice feel comfortable and empowered to throw out the recipes and make what tastes good to them. This series combines nutritional lessons with breakfast how-tos – from chia seed pudding and overnight oats to a full-blown brunch for friends – to start your day off right, every day.

A Taste of Grace

International speaker, blogger and children’s pastor Seth Dahl shares the lessons that he has learned since recovering from drug abuse and finding his faith. In this 15-episode series, Dahl discusses becoming a parent and gives viewers a moral of the story that doesn’t feel forced or fake. His authentic delivery, in just over one minute, and adorable children make these teachings easily digestible and infinitely helpful.

I Love My Goofy Pet

No matter how silly your pet is, there’s really no love like the love you have for your furriest family members. This funny series of shorts features peculiar pets and the owners that adore them.

An Ode To…

This series features short-form, eye-catching video love letters to niche things we love. From French fries to donuts, these videos are as full of comedic personality as they are of crave-worthy visuals.

The Good Race

Matt Brown is an evangelist, author and co-founder of the non-profit Think Eternity, a digital and live event movement that brings the gospel to millions of people each year. Although short, his one-minute messages help answer some of life’s deepest questions to guide you in the journey of faith.

Animal Classroom

Yes, animals are adorable and awe-inspiring wonders of nature, but they’re also really wonderful teachers. Dogs are fiercely loyal, penguins have fascinating mating rituals and meerkats… well, meerkats are just hilarious to watch. This series spotlights the important life lessons that pets and wild animals can teach us. Class is now in session!

Dad Does Lunch

Featured on “Good Morning America,” The Lunchbox Dad Beau Coffron is a host and food blogger who specializes in creative recipes to spice up your kid’s lunch. Each episode wraps up with a lesson in modern parenting, including patience, problem-solving and slowing down to appreciate life’s everyday moments.

Totally Accurate History!

Kids say the darndest things! This series is like the G-rated version of the ever-hilarious “Drunk History,”instead giving kids the spotlight to tell their versions of how things happened. From explaining the extinction of the dinosaurs to detailing the bizarre history of the waffle, these precocious teachers are way more entertaining than a textbook… and maybe even a tiny bit right.

About LightWorkers Media

Celebrated Emmy-nominated actress and producer Roma Downey launched LightWorkers Media (LWM) in 2011 along with her husband, award-winning producer Mark Burnett. LightWorkers is a joint venture owned by MGM, Burnett and Downey, with Downey serving as President. Under the LightWorkers Media banner, they have produced the 10-hour hit miniseries “The Bible” which was seen in the U.S. by 100 million people and was nominated for three Emmy awards. Additionally, LWM produced the series “A.D.” for NBC, “The Women of the Bible” for Lifetime, “The Dovekeepers” for CBS, “Answered Prayers” for TLC, the feature films “Little Boy” for Open Road Films, “Woodlawn” for Pure Flix, “Ben-Hur” for MGM and Paramount and the upcoming TV series “Messiah” for Netflix.

About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The company owns one of the world’s deepest libraries of premium film and television content as well as the premium pay television network EPIX, which is available throughout the U.S. via cable, satellite, telco and digital distributors. In addition, MGM has investments in numerous other television channels, digital platforms and interactive ventures and is producing premium short-form content for distribution. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.

About Carnival Corporation & plc

Carnival Corporation & plc is the world’s largest leisure travel company and among the most profitable and financially strong in the cruise and vacation industries, with a portfolio of 10 dynamic brands that include nine of the world’s leading cruise lines. With operations in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, its portfolio features Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK), as well as Fathom, the corporation’s driven travel brand.

In 2017, Fast Company recognized Carnival Corporation as being among the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” in both the design and travel categories. Fast Company specifically recognized Carnival Corporation for its work in developing Ocean Medallion™, a high-tech wearable device that enables the world’s first interactive guest experience platform capable of transforming vacation travel into a highly personalized and elevated level of customized service.

Additional information can be found on www.carnival.com, www.fathom.org, www.hollandamerica.com, www.princess.com, www.seabourn.com, www.aida.de, www.costacruise.com, www.cunard.com, www.pocruises.com.au and www.pocruises.com.


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South By Southwest Announces Community Service Award Honorees For 2018

Press Release – Austin, Texas – September 26, 2017 – South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals (March 9-18, 2018) is proud to announce the Community Service Award honorees for 2018. These awards highlight hardworking individuals and organizations serving their communities in Austin and beyond, and celebrate the life and work of SXSW Interactive co-founder Dewey Winburne.

“The SXSW Community Service Awards help us honor individuals and organizations whose good works are helping to improve many many lives across the United States and around the world. These Community Grant honorees inspire us all to do more to help those around us — and inspiration to create a better world is a driving force of the overall SXSW mission,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer.

Six individuals and six organizations will receive more than $50,000 in grants as well as complimentary badges to SXSW to help further their goals. When selecting these honorees, SXSW looked for uniqueness, level of impact, clarity of mission, and relationship to Austin and the SXSW community.

“I am astounded by the passion and heart that these individuals and organizations bring to their work. I’m humbled to host them at SXSW in March and can’t wait to showcase the talents that they bring to community service,” said Tammy Lynn Gilmore, Senior Conference Programmer and Non-Profit Grant Specialist.

Grant recipients will be honored in a ceremony on March 12, 2018, during SXSW. The free and open to the public ceremony does not require a SXSW badge to attend.

Read below for more information about the 12 honorees. Full bios of the Community Service Award recipients can be found here.

Individual Recipients

Chris Diaz – (Action Tank) Chris helped form the Action Tank in 2016 with a group of post 9/11 veterans with a mission to solve tough problems aimed at improving the social conditions of their community by harnessing the experiences, skills and relationships of service-minded citizens. The Action Tank has spent the past year working to combat the opioid epidemic by introducing policy and legislation that will reduce opioid related overdoses and save lives.

Catalina Escobar – (MAKAIA) Catalina co-founded MAKAIA and has led it since its inception 11 years ago, transforming an idea into an organization that has served hundreds of nonprofits and social projects in Latin America. MAKAIA is a not-for-profit organization that promotes capacities for social development through cooperation, technology and innovation. MAKAIA’s work is implemented based on two pillars, technology for social change and international cooperation and partnerships. MAKAIA has reached more than 25,000 people and 3,600 organizations abroad.

Char Hu – (The Helper Bees) Char Hu has dedicated his career to one goal: improving the lives of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Dr. Hu founded and is CEO of The Helper Bees, a technology company in Austin which provides intelligent in-home caregiver-to-senior matching. The Helper Bees allows seniors with early dementia to extend the time they can live at home, an affordable and life-affirming choice.

James Jack – (human-I-T) James is a social entrepreneur with the keen ability to see how innovations in technology can come together to create social impact. James co-founded human-I-T as a platform for putting donated technology into the hands of low-income households. Since human-I-T’s inception in 2012, it has grown from a two-man operation to a national organization with multiple locations.

Linda Novick O’Keefe – (Common Threads) Linda’s experience and desire to develop innovative solutions to social problems, combined with her passion for food, led her to start Common Threads with chef Art Smith and artist Jesus Salgueiro in May 2003. Under her leadership, Common Threads has grown from the basement of a Chicago Hyde Park church to providing in-school, after-school, teacher, social service training and family programming to more than 750 schools and community partner sites in nine major US cities and will expand throughout Texas this year as a SNAP-Ed Program Provider.

Celeste C. Smith – (1Hood Media) Celeste C. Smith is the Chief Curator of Cultural and Strategic Initiatives for 1Hood Media, a collective of conscious Hip Hop artists and activists who utilize Hip Hop as a means of raising awareness around issues affecting oppressed people around the world. Celeste is also a founding member of the Nefertiti Alliance, an organization dedicated to raising awareness around the importance of self care and protecting the cultural capital of Black women in the arts, and serves as the organization’s chair.

Organization Recipients

Allies Against Slavery – Allies Against Slavery works to build Slave­ Free Cities, places where traffickers cannot exploit the vulnerable and where survivors have access to all they need to heal. Slave ­Free Cities are built by empowering survivors, connecting partners and building tools that help professionals overcome human trafficking together. Allies is working to solve the problem of victim identification by developing a screening tool that helps frontline agencies rapidly and effectively identify sex trafficking victims.

Creative Action – Creative Action is a nonprofit, arts-based, youth development organization that provides dynamic and engaging creative learning programs in the classroom, in after-school settings, and in the community. Their Youth Cinema Collective is a program that provides a space for teens who are passionate about filmmaking and film’s ability to share stories that may otherwise go untold. Teens produce original films that speak to their communities, tell new stories, and address social issues they care about.

Gamers Outreach – Gamers Outreach is a 501(c)(3) charity organization that provides equipment, technology, and software to help kids cope with treatment inside hospitals. Their organization aims to inspire and heal patients through the power of interactive play. Gamers Outreach primary initiative is Project GO Kart, GO Karts are portable, medical-grade video game kiosks which enable nurses to easily provide bedside activities to children unable to leave their rooms in hospitals.

Jeremiah Program – Jeremiah Program’s mission is to transform families from poverty to prosperity. Researchers have determined that two-generation models like Jeremiah Program achieve significant educational, health, and economic benefits for both children and their parents. This is achieved through career-track college education for parents, high quality early childhood education for children, as well as safe and affordable housing.

Kids In A New Groove (KING) – Kids In A New Groove (KING) provides Texas youth in foster care with a committed one-on-one mentoring relationship through weekly, private music instruction, giving students the ability to build concrete strategies for life-long success. Music Mentors travel to students’ homes and KING provides each student with an instrument, lesson materials, and a reward system – to help create a sense of achievement and confidence.

Urban Roots – Urban Roots’ mission is to use food and farming to transform the lives of young people and inspire, engage, and nourish the community. For the past 10 years, they’ve provided paid internships to young people on their 3.5 acre farm in East Austin. This grant will support opportunities for 45 youth as they spend five months learning to grow food while serving the community and growing as leaders. Together they grow more than 25,000 pounds of fresh food each year, 40 percent of which is donated to those in need through hunger relief partners.

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2018 will take place March 9-18, 2018.

SXSW 2018 is sponsored by Capital One and The Austin Chronicle.


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Humanitarian And Investor Ibrahim AlHusseini Joins Rainforest Action Network Board Of Directors

Press Release – LOS ANGELES, CA (September 26, 2017) – Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has appointed Ibrahim AlHusseini to its Board of Directors.

Ibrahim AlHusseini is a humanitarian and investor dedicated to financing companies that implement market ready solutions to our greatest social and environment challenges. He is Managing Partner of FullCycle Energy LP and The Husseini Fund. As founder and Managing Partner of FullCycle Energy, he is dedicated to addressing our growing global waste crisis and financing projects that convert our costly environmental problem into clean, valuable fuel to power communities around the world. In addition, The Husseini Group has over a decade of funding ventures that embrace social enhancement and ecological sustainability with numerous notable holdings.

“I am pleased to join the Board of Directors at Rainforest Action Network. I will be joining a group of individuals who are equally dedicated to making this world a cleaner and better place, which is incredibly important to me,” said AlHusseini. “Our climate crisis is serious and Rainforest Action Network is an effective and innovative activist organization whose members understand this, in addition to the fact that clean energy is the next technological and economic frontier.”

Equally passionate about gender equality and the arts, AlHusseini supports several NGOs advancing social and cultural change in societies that adversely impact women and girls. In addition to RAN, Alhusseini serves on the boards of Synova Power, Cornerstone Capital, The Culture Project, The Global Partnership for Women and Girls and The Biomimicry Institute.

Established in 1985, Rainforest Action Network fights for people and the planet by working at the intersection of three core issues: preserving rainforests, protecting the climate, and upholding human rights. And, unlike other organizations, RAN achieves this by focusing on corporate accountability. RAN’s work challenges corporate power and systemic injustice by targeting the companies and industries that act as the greatest drivers of deforestation and climate change. RAN also has a long history of partnering with and directly supporting frontline communities who feel the greatest impact of climate change and deforestation — and who frequently hold the best strategies to protect our planet and our climate.


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“Domino for Good” Catalyzes the Impact of Data Science Beyond the Enterprise

Social impact initiative offers technology, mentorship and data science access to nonprofits, academia and students

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)Domino Data Lab, the makers of an innovative, collaborative data science platform, today announced the launch of Domino for Good, a social impact initiative that provides nonprofits, academia and students with access to its technology, mentorship and data scientists. The program’s commitment to advancing society through data science collaboration aims to have a wide-reaching, profound impact on global issues such as poverty, disease and public safety.

The launch materializes Domino’s long time commitment to social impact. “We founded the company with the belief that being data-driven will fundamentally change the way all organizations operate,” said Domino Co-founder and CTO Chris Yang. “Our mission is to help all organizations that are using data science, such as non-profits, and educational programs, we well as our commercial and government customers.”

Early adopters of Domino, including the Audubon Society, MDRC, and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, have used Domino for research core to their missions, from studying how climate change will impact wildlife to how genetic sequences influence cancer.

“As interest increased and we began to see how nonprofits and groups could use our platform to effect change, we hired Dr. Lisa Green who has dedicated her career to figuring out how to leverage data science for social good,” said Nick Elprin, CEO of Domino. “She brings with her a wealth of experience and a rich network. We’re excited to see how she can build on our vision.”

Dr. Green, who joined Domino to lead the initiative, has more than 10 years of experience advocating for open innovation, digital rights and data science for social good. Most notably, Dr. Green initiated a program to advance open science at bioinformatics leader Illumina. She also established an open, international data policy at nonprofit Creative Commons and then went on to build a nonprofit dedicated to open data called Common Crawl. Dr. Green received her PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

“The success of Common Crawl validated my belief in the impact of open data, empowering valuable research by academia, large businesses, startups and individuals,” said Dr. Green. “Domino for Good, to me, represents an equally significant opportunity to help organizations and individuals with limited resources make the biggest impact possible using data science.”

The Domino platform helps individuals and organizations develop and deploy predictive models more rapidly, to advance science faster and to benefit society as a whole. This is especially critical for nonprofits that generally suffer from “hand-off” issues when volunteers work on projects part-time and the work is not transferred to the next person.

“Volunteer data scientists are an important tool for nonprofits who make use of analytics and data science–but they often work in short or temporary stints, and are distributed across physical locations spanning different time zones. This makes reproducibility and collaboration essential to success,” said Peter Bull, co-founder of DrivenData. “Domino for Good ensures that nonprofits get that reproducibility and consistency that enables distributed projects to thrive.”

Domino for Good has partnerships with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Data for Democracy, DrivenData, Ice911, MDRC, Thorn, University of Virginia and others.

Program participant Dr. Leslie Field, founder and CEO, Ice911, shared how her organization is using Domino for Good: “We rely heavily on the use of data science to achieve our mission of slowing climate change. Domino for Good helps us make the most of limited resources by giving us access to the Domino platform, which would have otherwise been beyond our means. We are working faster, smarter and more collaboratively today than ever before.”

For more information about the initiative, visit dominodatalab.com/domino-for-good.

About Domino Data Lab

Domino is the world’s most advanced data science platform, powering organizations that are using predictive models to drive their business. Companies including Allstate, Coatue, Mashable, Monsanto and startups alike use Domino to accelerate breakthrough research, increase collaboration and productivity of data scientists, and more rapidly deliver models to drive business impact. Founded in 2013 and based in San Francisco, Domino is backed by Sequoia Capital, Bloomberg Beta, and Zetta Venture Partners. To learn more, visit dominodatalab.com.


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