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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: March 2015

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RobecoSAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) Features RepRisk’s ESG Data

RepRisk’s ESG Business Intelligence Used for Media and Stakeholder Analysis

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – March 31, 2015 – Today, RobecoSAM, the investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing, has announced the launch of the 2015 Corporate Sustainability Assessment for companies who wish to receive a coveted spot in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) – one of the most prestigious and longest-running sustainability benchmarks in the world. RepRisk, the leading provider of business intelligence on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, is pleased to share that its ESG data plays an important role in this process.

Launched in 1999, the DJSI World tracks the performance of the top 10% of the 2,500 largest companies in the world per industry that lead the field in terms of sustainability. The index is managed jointly by S&P Dow Jones Indices and RobecoSAM.

Specifically, RepRisk’s data is used for the Media and Stakeholder Analysis component of the assessment, which complements the detailed industry-specific questionnaire and extensive documentation that companies provide RobecoSAM as part of the annual DJSI assessment process.

“RepRisk is extremely proud to have its data used for this prestigious and highly influential benchmark,” said Alexandra Mihailescu Cichon, Head of Business Development and Marketing at RepRisk. “We believe that dynamic and timely risk information from third-party sources and external stakeholders, such as media, NGOs, and governmental bodies, is a critical component of assessing corporate sustainability. This type of data provides an external perspective and a layer of accountability – while also acting as a good gauge of whether a company’s policies, processes and commitments are translating into performance.”

About the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices

The Dow Jones Sustainability World Index was launched in 1999 as the first global sustainability benchmark. The DJSI family is offered cooperatively by RobecoSAM Indices and S&P Dow Jones Indices. The family tracks the stock performance of the world’s leading companies in terms of economic, environmental and social criteria. The indices serve as benchmarks for investors who integrate sustainability considerations into their portfolios, and provide an effective engagement platform for companies who want to adopt sustainable best practices.

The Dow Jones Sustainability Index family comprises global, regional, and country benchmarks. The Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and respective subsets track the performance of the top 10% per industry of the 2500 largest companies in the S&P Global Broad Market Index that lead the field in terms of sustainability. For more information, please visit:

About RobecoSAM

Founded in 1995, RobecoSAM is an investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing. It offers asset management, indices, engagement, voting, impact analysis, sustainability assessments, and benchmarking services. Asset management capabilities cater to institutional asset owners and financial intermediaries and cover a range of ESG-integrated investments (in public and private equity), featuring a strong track record in resource efficiency theme strategies. Together with S&P Dow Jones Indices, RobecoSAM publishes the globally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). Based on its Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual ESG analysis of 2,800 listed companies, RobecoSAM has compiled one of the world’s most comprehensive databases of financially material sustainability information.

RobecoSAM is a member of the global pure-play asset manager Robeco, which was established in 1929 and is the center of expertise for asset management within the ORIX Corporation. As a reflection of its own commitment to advocating sustainable investment practices, RobecoSAM is a signatory of the UNPRI and a member of Eurosif, ASrIA and Ceres. Approximately 130 professionals work for RobecoSAM, which is headquartered in Zurich. As of June 30, 2014, RobecoSAM had assets under management, advice and/or license in listed and private equity* of approximately USD 10.7 billion. Additionally, RobecoSAM’s Governance & Active Ownership team** had USD 85.1 billion of assets under engagement and USD 53 billion of assets under voting. For more information, please visit

Important legal information: The details given on these pages do not constitute an offer. They are given for information purposes only. No liability is assumed for the correctness and accuracy of the details given. The securities identified and described may or may not be purchased, sold or recommended for advisory clients. It should not be assumed that an investment in these securities was or will be profitable. *RobecoSAM Private Equity is the marketing name of the combined private equity divisions of Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (‘Robeco’) and its fully owned subsidiary, RobecoSAM AG (‘RobecoSAM’). Any funds or services offered by RobecoSAM Private Equity are managed and offered by Robeco, who may have delegated certain investment advisory functions to RobecoSAM. ** RobecoSAM’s Governance & Active Ownership team is a brand name of Robeco. Copyright © 2014 RobecoSAM – all rights reserved.

About RepRisk

RepRisk is a leading business intelligence provider specializing in dynamic environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk analytics and metrics.

On a daily basis, RepRisk systematically screens big data from a broad range of open intelligence sources in 15 languages in order to identify, filter, analyze and quantify ESG risks (such as environmental degradation, human rights abuses and corruption) related to companies, projects, sectors and countries. This external perspective provides valuable insight on whether a company’s policies, processes and commitments are consistently translating into performance.

Since 2006, RepRisk has built and continues to grow the most comprehensive ESG risk database that serves as a due diligence tool and early warning system in risk management, compliance, investment management, corporate benchmarking and supplier risk. The database currently includes risk profiles for over 50,000 public and private companies and 12,000 projects as well as for every sector and country in the world.

Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, RepRisk serves clients worldwide including global banks, insurance companies, investment managers, and corporates, helping them to manage and mitigate ESG and reputational risks in day-to-day business.

RepRisk provides the transparency needed to enable better, more informed decisions. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter.

Rambam Medical Center Expert Says Jews Are At Risk during Passover

Lots of Salt, Fat & Calories in Holiday Meals…May Not “Passover” After 8 Days

HAIFA, ISRAEL – A leading Rambam Health Care Campus Gastroenterologist, Professor Jesse (Yishai) Lachter, M.D. is cautioning Jews around the world to carefully monitor their eating habits during the eight-day holiday of Passover. Beware: even matzah, the famous holiday unleavened bread, has many more calories than a slice of bread.

Lachter says watch out for adding extra pounds as we replace our regular diets with high fat foods, added sugar and salt in many of our favorite Passover recipes/delights.

Rambam Health Care Campus offers five Passover tips to help maintain your health and weight as you pass through the eight days:

  1. It may surprise you, but matzah is fattening and should be treated as having double the calories as any slice of bread has! It gets a score of 3 on the standard weight watchers dietary point system, so don’t be fooled by its feather-like weight.
  2. Matzah is also very binding, which can often lead to constipation and discomfort. Increasing our water intake throughout Passover will help you avoid this unwanted side-effect and get you into a healthy habit of drinking lots of water, which will be good practice ahead of a much anticipated summer season.
  3. The Passover Seder can be an extraordinarily heavy meal, and is not a great time for counting calories. However, making sure the Seder is complete with an array of fresh and also cooked vegetables will ensure that your guests aren’t struggling to walk out the door on their way home.
  4. With such delicious food in front of us it’s often all too easy to get excited and over-indulge ourselves. The Rambam, Maimonides, recommended the following: take your time and eat until you’re 2/3 full, then relax and you’ll soon feel satisfied/satiated. Enjoy your Passover delicacies but in moderation.
  5. The vacation days are an opportunity to get some exercise – get moving!

Wishing a Happy Pesach, holiday of spring, holiday of Matzot, and holiday of freedom to all!

Meet Israel’s friends from around the globe.

Rambam Health Care Campus is a 1,000-bed academic hospital serving the over 2 million residents of Northern Israel. Providing comprehensive medical services in all medical specialties, Rambam is the tertiary referral center for 12 district hospitals. Rambam Health Care Campus’s garage can be converted into a 2,000-bed full-service underground hospital, the largest in the world. In addition to the citizens of Northern Israel, Rambam serves the Israel Defense Forces Northern Command, UN Peacekeeping Forces, and the U.S. 6th Fleet. Many of Rambam’s physicians participate in cutting-edge research projects to bring new therapies and treatments not only to their patients, but the greater community of the world. Rambam Heath Care Campus staff believes that everyone deserves the highest quality of care and has always proudly opened its doors to all those in need, regardless of their religious, race, and ethnicity. Visit


National Association for the Self-Employed Announces Extension of Deadline for Education Scholarship

As Graduation Season Approaches, Deadline for NASE Dependent Scholarship Extended Until April 30th

DALLAS, TX – As graduation season approaches and the rising costs of higher education looms large for most Americans, the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), the nation’s leading advocate and resource for the self-employed and micro-business community, today announced the deadline for the association’s scholarship program has been extended until April 30th, 2015.

The NASE Dependent Scholarship Program is an educational scholarship awarded to the dependent of NASE members to help ease the financial burden of tuition and other costs associated with attending college. This year, four winners will be chosen and each will receive $3,000 scholarships from the National Association for the Self-Employed.

“Since 1989, we have awarded more than $1.8 million to our members’ dependents through the NASE Scholarship Program,” said John Hearrell, Vice President of Membership and Affiliate Programs. “For the last twenty-five years, this scholarship has continued to help defray the costs and ease the burden for many self-employed members. Rising higher education costs continue to affect the bottom lines of all Americans, and for self-employed and micro-business owner that strain can sometimes be crushing for both the family and business’ budget.”

This award-winning program is open to legal dependents of NASE Members, ages 16-24. To apply, students need to be high school students or college undergraduates planning to enroll in college for the upcoming fall semester. Consideration is based upon:

  • Leadership abilities
  • Academic performance
  • Teacher recommendations
  • Career and educational background
  • School and community participation
  • Financial need

The application period for scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year has been extended from January 5th, 2015 until April 30th, 2015. Applications received after April 30th, 2015 will not be considered.

NASE members interested in applying for the scholarship or checking the status of an application can do so by going here and creating an account. To become a member of NASE, apply online here.

Further information about the NASE Dependent Scholarship Program can be viewed through this FAQ Document here or by sending an email with questions to (Note: Please include the name of the scholarship program or sponsor (NASE) and your username in your email.)

For more information on additional scholarships and grants available from NASE, please click here.

NASE members also enjoy a comprehensive list of benefits designed to help small business owners and sole proprietors start and grow their business. A complete listing of benefits available to NASE members is available, here. NASE members are offered a host of resources designed to help support entrepreneurs and small employers including access to professional “Ask the Experts” services in tax, health care and marketing, a navigational assistant health care portal, scholarships and grants, discounts on shipping rates and affordable email marketing systems and webhosting services. NASE’s newest member benefits continue the tradition of providing real-world, bottom-line assistance to small business owners.

Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano to Present a Major Exhibition of Works from the Renowned UBS Art Collection, Curated By Francesco Bonami

“Don’t Shoot The Painter. Paintings from the UBS Art Collection” Will Explore the Role of Painting Today, Featuring More Than 100 Works

On view 17 June through 4 October, 2015 during Expo Milano 2015

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Milan, 31 March, 2015 – Timed to coincide with Expo Milano, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan, GAM and the City of Milan together with UBS will present the second exhibition curated by Francesco Bonami featuring significant works from the UBS Art Collection, one of the largest and most recognized corporate collections of contemporary art in the world. On view from 17 June through 4 October, 2015, Don’t Shoot the Painter. Paintings from the UBS Art Collection will explore the role of painting in contemporary art today and celebrate the medium as a reference point for both artists and the public throughout history. The exhibition will feature 110 works by 92 international artists from the 1960s to today, including John Armleder, John Baldessari, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Michaël Borremans, Alice Channer, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Günther Förg, Gilbert & George, Katharina Grosse, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Alex Katz, Bharti Kher, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Struth, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Mark Tansey and Christopher Wool. Don’t Shoot the Painter is one of the largest exhibitions of the UBS Art Collection ever organized to date and will mark the first occasion in which most of the pieces will be on display in Italy.

The exhibition is one of the main initiatives within a three-year partnership among UBS, GAM and the city of Milan, initiated in 2013 on the common ground of art collection and to help reposition one of central Milan’s most distinguished cultural institutions. As part of the partnership, UBS sponsored the development and restoration of exhibition space and artwork from GAM’s permanent collection. In 2014, GAM presented YEAR AFTER YEAR. Opere su carta dalla UBS Art Collection (Works on paper from the UBS Art Collection), also curated by Francesco Bonami, which examined artistic production on paper and featured 50 works.

“We are proud of our multi-year partnership with Galleria d’Arte Moderna and the City of Milan, which allows us to work together within the framework of culture and art to help reinvigorate an important piece of Milan’s cultural heritage. Our relationship also enables us to share works from our renowned collection with residents and visitors alike, while providing opportunities to deepen existing client relationships,” stated Fabio Innocenzi, CEO of UBS (Italia). “This exhibition highlights the depth and strength of the UBS Art Collection, which is at the heart of our longstanding, global support of contemporary art, and furthers our belief that the art of today inspires and challenges, while also encouraging innovative thinking.”

“The Museum will host the works of the UBS Art Collection on its ground floor, recreating a special experience for visitors, who will have the feeling of entering a seventeenth-century picture gallery. The display will reflect the historical legacy of the museum, where the paintings impart a special meaning when placed in dialogue with other paintings. While respecting the individual nature of each work, the exhibition has been conceived as a musical composition in which the paintings are kind of notes.” explained Francesco Bonami, the exhibition’s guest curator. “To present a painting exhibition during Expo Milano 2015 means to highlight the very idea of the word ‘expo’ and to show that there is no better way to exhibit something than through the ‘window of knowledge’ that any painting becomes once it’s hung on a wall.”

The exhibition’s title, Don’t Shoot the Painter, is an ironic reference to classic western movies, in which the painter is compared to a saloon pianist, whose music would bring peace to the chaos of the room. Throughout the years, painting has remained a recognizable medium to diminish possible misunderstandings and communicate through a classical and reassuring technique that can be understood by all audiences. Set within GAM’s historic, eighteenth-century building, the presentation also aims to challenge the idea of space for contemporary art, seeking to create a harmonic dialogue between the works and the architectural style of the Villa through the recreation of a classical picture gallery which pays tribute to the way collectors once displayed art.

The UBS Art Collection consists of more than 30,000 objects and includes thousands of contemporary works (paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, video art and sculptures) by artists ranging from emerging talents to some of the most important artistic figures of the last fifty years. Works from the UBS Art Collection are installed in roughly 700 building in more than 50 countries around the world. UBS also regularly loans individual works to international museums, making the collection available for the enjoyment of the general public.

Don’t Shoot the Painter will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue.


International curator and critic Francesco Bonami studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. After a period as an artist, he began collaborating with Flash Art and later moved to the United States. In 1995 he became Artistic Director of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. From 1999 to 2009 he was Senior Curator of the Museum of Contemporar y Art (MCA) in Chicago, where he oversaw the retrospectives of Rudolf Stingel and Jeff Koons. In 2003 he directed the 50th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Bonami is Artistic Director of the project ENEL Contemporanea, launched in 2007. In 2008, at Palazzo Grassi in Venice, he curated Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, a controversial exhibition on Italian contemporary art of the last four decades. In 2010, he was the first Italian to curate the Whitney Biennial of American Art and in the same year he received the honor of Chevalier dans l’Ordre de la Legion d’Honneur of the French Republic. From 1997 to 2012 he was Artistic Director of Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery in Florence.

Bonami oversaw the Qatar Museum Authority’s Yan Pei Ming: Painting the History exhibition in 2012, and in the fall of 2013 he curated a major retrospective of Damien Hirst in Doha. In 2013 he ser ved as co-curator, alongside Peter Brant, for Andy Warhol at Palazzo Reale in Milan. Recently he oversaw The End of God: Maurizio Cattelan and Lucio Fontana at the Gagosian Gallery in London. He lives in New York and Milan. A full description of Francesco Bonami’s exhibitions, publications, and collaborations is available upon request.


UBS’s long and substantial record of patronage in contemporary art actively enables clients and audiences to participate in the international conversation about art and the global art market through the firm’s contemporary art platform. UBS’s extensive roster of contemporary art initiatives and programs include: the UBS Art Collection, one of the world’s largest and most important corporate collections of contemporary art; the firm’s long-term global support for the premier international Art Basel shows in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong, for which UBS ser ves as global Lead Partner; and a collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation on the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. These activities are complemented by a number of regional partnerships with fine art institutions including the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, the Louisiana Museum in Denmark and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. UBS also provides its clients with insight into the contemporary art world through the new and free iPad app Planet Art, the UBS Art Competence Center and the UBS Arts Forum. For more information about UBS’s commitment to contemporary art, visit:


Galleria d’Arte Moderna is a municipal institution that protects, presents and promotes not only the paintings and sculptures exhibited but also the architecture of the Villa Reale of Milan. The Villa was built between 1790 and 1796 by Leopold Pollack (Giuseppe Piermarini’s pupil) for Count Ludovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso. At the beginning of 19th centur y, due to political changes, the Villa became the residence of the Viceroy Eugenio di Beauharnais, Napoleon’s son. Since 1921, Villa Reale has held the municipal art collections of Milan from the nineteenth centur y. On the first floor are paintings and sculptures dated between 1770 and 1850, with galleries dedicated to the masters of Neoclassicism, Andrea Appiani and Antonio Canova. Additional galleries include works from the 1850’s to the beginning of the 20th centur y, and two monographic galleries dedicated to Gaetano Previati and Giovanni Segantini. The last gallery within the museum is dedicated to the symbolist production of the latter and of Pellizza da Volpedo. Galleria d’Arte Moderna also holds two private collections, which were donated to the city of Milan: the Grassi collection, with works by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Boldini, De Nittis, Fattori, Balla and Boccioni and the Vismara collection, with works by Picasso, Modigliani, Sironi, Morandi. The mission of the Gallery is to protect, promote and develop its precious artistic heritage in order to preserve and foster curiosity about the past, while providing its visitors with tools to better understand the present.

The Next Frontier: What’s Happening in African Tech?

Are you a member of the African diaspora working in tech? Do you work for a company creating tech solutions for African markets?

MEST is hosting a meetup! Come join us on Wednesday, April 1 for a rare opportunity to connect with individuals who:

  • Are building and scaling tech businesses targeting Africa
  • Were born or raised in Africa and now working in tech in SF
  • Involved in entrepreneurship and investment in the region
  • Represent a leading global tech organization with strong ties to the continent

Join us for an exciting eve of quick fire round of introductions to companies who are working within the African tech landscape.

6 pm – Arrive at Meltwater HQ, grab some snacks & refreshments.

6:30 pm – We’ll kickoff the night with a presentation from Chris Folayan, CEO and Founder of Mall for Africa, a Nigerian ecommerce company that racked up $17 million in sales in 2014 by partnering with retailers like Barney’s, Bloomingdales and Best Buy (check out their feature in Sunday’s New York Times here: Bringing African Shoppers to the Global Mall).

Following Chris, we’ll hear from companies like EveryLayer, African Technology Foundation, VOTO Mobile (to name a few) in a quick round robin and from 7 pm onward – plenty of time to mix & mingle.

This is a great opportunity, in a relaxed environment, to:

  • Expand your Africa network and reach locally
  • Meet like-minded organizations and individuals based in SF
  • Casually share stories and experiences of working on the continent

About MEST

Established in 2008, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) provides training, investment and incubation to aspiring high tech entrepreneurs in Africa and with bridges to Silicon Valley. Since its inception, MEST has invested $15 million in supporting West African entrepreneurs. Two hundred individual entrepreneurs have graduated from the training program and over 20 tech startups have been launched, via seed funding and mentorship from MEST.

MEST has been recognized as Fast Company’s “10 Most Innovative Companies in Africa” in 2015 and regarded as “one of the largest private investments in Ghanian economic development” by DFID.

Inspiring Story Tied to MLB Opening Day: Chase Jones, Cancer Survivor and Vs. Cancer Founder

On MLB Opening Day, Seattle Mariner Kyle Seager starts a special season in which he joins legions of athletes – from Little Leaguers to pros, coaches and fans – in a fight against childhood cancer. Every hit the third baseman records during the season will raise awareness and funds for the Vs. Cancer Foundation started by brain cancer survivor and Seager’s college teammate, Chase Jones.

Chase remains cancer-free eight years after The University of Texas MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center in Houston helped him beat a veritable death sentence. He has dedicated his life to helping young patients and, ultimately, ending childhood cancer.

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In 2006, Chase was a freshman catcher at the University of North Carolina when he was diagnosed with stage-four brain cancer. Proton therapy saved his life, allowing the then-18-year-old to defy the odds.

The experience gave Chase a new dream. In 2013 he founded Vs. Cancer to raise money and awareness for children’s cancer. That awareness often begins with sports teams shaving their heads.

“When I came back home, my Tar Heels teammates welcomed me with shaved heads to show solidarity with my experience and to raise money for a local cancer hospital,” says Chase. “Their gesture gave me an idea – athletes have a unique ability to help change outcomes for kids with cancer, and they can be a voice for young patients.”


Today, Vs. Cancer’s 50/50 model allocates 50% of funds to local pediatric oncology programs through the teams/individuals supporting Vs. Cancer and the other 50% to national cancer research efforts.

Vs. Cancer has partnered with numerous schools/teams, including Duke, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Brown, Harvard, Fordham, Yale, Texas A&M and UMass, among others. On the pro/semi-pro side, a few examples include the Mets’ Matt Harvey, a former roommate of Chase’s and one of the first to shave his head for cancer, and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (a New York Yankees AAA team). It also partners with likeminded nonprofits, such as the Jimmy V. Foundation. To date, Vs. Cancer has raised over $1.5 million; it helped 40,617 children in 2014 alone.

One of the biggest fundraisers involved a youth league of 6 to twelve-year-olds from Raleigh who raised $60,000. “Vs. Cancer gives people at every age and in every sport– college, high school, youth; baseball, lacrosse, football – a platform to make a difference,” Chase says.

Kyle Seager hopes to give Vs. Cancer a big boost. Every time Seattle’s third baseman steps up to the plate is an opportunity to help pediatric cancer patients. Through the Seager Vs. Cancer effort, fans can pledge a donation toward every hit he has during the 2015 season, and he’s matching the first 100 people to pledge, doubling the effort to help kids beat cancer in Seattle and across the country.

“Cancer is personal for me. Having battled this disease I have seen first-hand the impact it can have on families, especially children,” says Chase. “By funding research and supporting local children’s hospitals, we can make a difference that can increase survival rates and save kids’ lives.”

GREENbike To Reopen For Third Season March 31st

New Discount Office Pass Program to Be Announced

Salt Lake City, UT (March 28, 2015) – On Tuesday GREENbike begins its third season in downtown Salt Lake City, with over 150 bikes available at 20 downtown stations. This marks the earliest date the system has opened, thanks to mild early spring temperatures and highly successful 2014 season. Last year 14,538 people rode 113 GREENbikes 46,264 times in 264 days, an average of 411 trips per bike.

In an effort to decrease the number of short distance downtown car trips, GREENbike has created a new Office Pass Program. The greater number of Annual Passes an office purchases for its employees, the more discounted the rate per pass. Annual GREENbike Pass rates can be reduced to as little as $25 per pass if an organization purchases passes for at least 41 employees. Smaller businesses can take part in the program as well to promote clean air and encourage healthy lifestyles to their employees.

Every GREENbike Annual Pass includes a free “I BIKE SLC” Bern Unlimited helmet, RFID card that allows the user to tap any dock to unlock any bike in 15 cities and an online profile that tracks the rider’s trips, calories burned and C02 avoided. An annual pass costs $75 and includes unlimited one-hour trips for a year. A 24-hour pass costs $5 and gives the user unlimited 30-minute trips.


Bike sharing is an innovative, urban transportation solution that allows the public to access bicycles from a network of automated stations for short distance trips. The many benefits of bike sharing range from health and air quality improvements to decreasing traffic congestion, increasing transit ridership and extending the roadway life-cycle.

Over the last 5 years, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of U.S. bike share programs, with more than 40 currently operating in cities like Denver, New York City, Madison, Minneapolis, Boulder, Austin, Washington D.C., Boston, and San Antonio. Over 600 cities worldwide have instituted bike sharing as a comparatively inexpensive and quick-to-implement option for improving the mobility of city residents and visitors.

Salt Lake City launched its non-profit bike share, GREENbike, in April, 2013 with 10 stations and 55 bikes. By December, 2013, over 6,100 people had taken 25,361 trips, the equivalent of 390 trips per bike. Those figures made GREENbike the most successful small bike share system (less than 50 stations) in the U.S. GREENbike’s 2014 season began with 12 stations and 75 active bikes. In late July, the system added eight stations, 75 bikes and expanded four stations. This 87% growth resulted in a 184% increase in ridership.

GREENbike connects downtown office workers, visitors and residents with nearby employment centers, major transit stops and popular destinations for food, drink and entertainment. The program serves as a mechanism to improve community health, air, quality of life and increase the use of existing transit infrastructure.

The GREENbike organization grew out of a desire to create an active transportation alternative to single-occupant automobile trips and increase transit choices. Salt Lake City recognized the need for a sustainable transportation system that provides residents with safe, affordable, and efficient options to get around. GREENbike has become a key component of that system.

The GREENbike program has proved to be immensely popular and received support from the public, businesses, and regional/local governmental agencies. GREENbike is a non-profit, public/private partnership between Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance, Visit Salt Lake (Convention & Visitor’s Bureau), the Wasatch Front Regional Council, the Utah Transit authority, the Utah Department of Transportation, SelectHealth and a myriad of private sponsors.

Teams of Association CEOs, Members and Young Leaders Spent One Day with Other Teams to Craft Plans for Change

“Grand Challenges” Program Is Designed to Help Associations Reconnect with their Purpose to Drive Large-Scale Societal Change

Washington, D.C. – Association leaders from across the region participated in a day-long workshop on March 20 designed to spark big changes within individual organizations and across the association landscape.

Co-hosted by Tom Raffa and Seth Kahan, “Grand Challenges: Harnessing Your Association’s Unique Business & Social Value to Drive Membership and Benefit Society” brought together the CEO, a “rising star” staffer and a member from each of the day’s 17 participating associations to plan a Grand Challenge.

“A Grand Challenge is a skeleton key that opens three doors: growth; mission impact; and sustainable, profitable revenue,” says Seth Kahan, author of 2013’s Getting Innovation Right. “A Grand Challenge is especially valuable to scalable associations because it grows their stakeholder base exponentially. A Grand Challenge is a bold, audacious, socially beneficial goal aligned with the organization’s mission that captures the public’s imagination.”

“We were working on a Grand Challenge project ourselves, but to hear from a whole community of people about how they are coming at it and what their Grand Challenges are was helpful,” said participant David Gammel, executive director, Entomological Society of America. “I picked up so many ideas. The dynamic was invigorating. I got two or three ideas today that will materially help us have an impact and be successful.”

“I think it’s critical to take your headspace away from your daily work in order to think bigger and grander than you regularly can,” said participant Kate Ferrar, vice president, American Association of University Women Campus Leadership Program.

The goal of the event was not just to give individual associations the opportunity to think about their work in a different way, but also to build both a system to support change and a community of change agents who can work with and learn from each other to enhance what they would each be able to accomplish in their own space.

“We want to help associations transcend the ‘membership mindset’ and catalyze a movement aimed at leveraging the power of associations to solve the world’s greatest challenges,” said Tom Raffa, CEO of Raffa, a B-Corp certified, national top 100 accounting, consulting and technology firm. “My experience shows that early adopters will lead the transformation that is happening in this sphere and redefine what the association community can accomplish together.”

“There is a lot that the association world can give to the greater community. In some ways, the conversations today challenged people, but in other ways, they came to epiphanies that they would not have come to in their own work life,” said participant Tobin Conley of DelCor Technology Solutions. “They were both relaxed and outside of their comfort zone. That combination takes people places that they would never go to on their own.”

“Associations can scale in a way most people can’t. Most organizations are limited to their employees and their customers. Associations are not. They can scale in a grand way with almost no limit,” said keynote speaker Lisa Earle McLeod.

The March 20 event was the first step in creating a community of support and change within the association world. There will be additional meetings and smaller “meetups” to continue working with the day’s attendees. “Too often meetings like this are one-offs and people leave energized, but with no follow up. That is not what we have planned,” said Raffa.

Organizers also plan to coordinate a similar event for trade associations in the coming months.

About Tom Raffa

Tom Raffa helps nonprofit organizations and businesses build capacity and sustain excellence in all areas of their operation. He is the President and CEO of Raffa, PC, a B-Corp certified, national top 100 accounting, consulting and technology firm and founder of Companies for Causes, a collective of socially conscious CEOs whose mission is to solve the problems of their community using targeted philanthropy and hands-on engagement from member CEOs. Raffa is the recipient of the 2014 Pearl Foundation Award for Innovation in Philanthropy.

About Seth Kahan

Seth Kahan has worked with over 100 CEOs and agency heads in both the private and public sectors. He has led change initiatives working with the Peace Corps, World Bank, Shell, and Prudential, and is identified as a Thought Leader and an Exemplar in Change Leadership. Kahan is the bestselling author of Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out.

About Lisa Earle McLeod

Lisa Earle McLeod is a Sales Leadership expert for, and author of four bestselling books, including Selling with Nobel Purpose. McLeod is a sought-after expert, having appeared on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Her next book is entitled Leading with Nobel Purpose.

San Diego Schools Recognized in Regional Botball Tournament

Six local schools in SDSU’s Exploring STEM Careers Initiative were recognized for their engineering skills.

(San Diego, Calif., March 30, 2015) – Six local schools in SDSU’s Exploring STEM Careers Initiative (ESCI) placed among the best regional teams in their first year of Botball, a team-oriented robotics program for youth. Schools awarded trophies and recognition were: Carlton Oaks (Santee), Hoover High (San Diego Unified), Mar Vista Academy (Sweetwater Union), Monroe Clark Middle (San Diego Unified), Vista La Mesa (Lemon Grove) and Willow School (San Ysidro).

The robotics competition was held last Saturday at West Hills High School in Santee. Forty teams came from as far away as Palm Desert, Arizona and Estado de Mexico, Mexico. Their assignment was to move their “bots” on a huge board in a geology survey-themed game, looking for minerals and UFOs. Botball uses science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), along with computer code writing skills, to design, build, program and document robots that move on a board.

The 12 ESCI schools competing for the first time against seasoned teams demonstrated command of the playing field, after receiving support and training in January through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to San Diego State University Research Foundation (SDSURF) in collaboration with San Diego Science Alliance (SDSA). Professional engineers and college engineering students mentored the students and judged the competition.

Tournament awards went to: Hoover High, 3rd place Double Elimination, Jack Wetzel, teacher; Mar Vista Academy, 4th place Double Elimination and Outstanding Overall Design, Warren Garnier and Guadalupe Trejo, teachers; Carlton Oaks Middle, 2nd place Alliance Challenge, Pamela Mitchell, teacher; Monroe Clark Middle, 2nd place Alliance Challenge and Outstanding Rookie Team, Nicole Vetcher, teacher; Vista La Mesa Middle, Outstanding Rookie Team, Linda Ha, teacher; and Willow School, Judge’s Choice Trophy (KISS Award), Cynthia Mosqueda, teacher.

Other county schools that competed and were supported by the NSF grant this year were: e3Civic High (San Diego Unified); Pride Academy (Santee); Valhalla High (Grossmont); and Del Dios Academy, Mission Middle and Rincon Middle (Escondido).

For more info on ESCI, visit

For a list of all area schools competing, visit

Through ESCI, Botball® provides equipment, software, curriculum and professional development that enables teachers to teach their students to write computer code coupled with real-life applications of the engineering design process. The curriculum is aligned to Common Core Math and Next Generation Science Standards and (NGSS) vertically aligned with concepts and skills in middle and high school. The KISS Institute for Practical Robotics (KIPR) of Norman, Okla., has over 8,000 middle and high school students participating in Botball® around the world.

San Diego Science Alliance (SDSA) has been leading Botball education and competition in Southern California for 15 years.

Future of Nursing Scholars Program Selects 25 Schools of Nursing to Receive Grants to Prepare PhD Nurses

Multi-funder initiative aims to help reach Institute of Medicine goal to double the number of nurses with doctorates.

Philadelphia –  ­The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced the 25 schools of nursing selected to receive grants to support 48 nurses as they pursue their PhDs. These 25 schools comprise the second cohort of grantees of the Future of Nursing Scholars program. Each school will select one or two students to receive financial support, mentoring, and leadership development over the three years of their PhD programs.

The Future of Nursing Scholars program is a multi-funder initiative. In addition to RWJF, Johnson & Johnson, Inc., Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Ascension Health, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, and the Rhode Island Foundation are supporting the Future of Nursing Scholars grants to schools of nursing this year.

In its landmark nursing report, the Institute of Medicine recommended that the country double the number of nurses with doctorates; doing so will support more nurse leaders, promote nurse-led science and discovery, and put more educators in place to prepare the next generation of nurses. The Future of Nursing Scholars program is intended to help address that recommendation.

“At RWJF, we are working to build a Culture of Health that enables everyone in the United States to live the healthiest lives possible,” said Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing. “This program will create the transformative nurse leaders who can make that vision a reality by driving crucial changes in health care and inspiring future generations of nurses to achieve even more.”

Less than one percent of the nation’s more than 3 million nurses have PhDs in nursing or a related field. In addition, the average age at which nurses get their PhDs in the United States is 46­13 years older than PhD earners in other fields. This program will provide an incentive for nurses to start PhD programs earlier, so that they can have long leadership careers after earning their PhDs.

“The Future of Nursing Scholars represent some of the best and brightest minds in nursing today,” said Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN, Future of Nursing Scholars program co-director. “Each of them has committed to complete their PhD education in only three years. To support their studies, we provide each scholar with a $75,000 scholarship and the leadership, research, and other skills they need to take their nursing careers to the highest levels. They will be at the leading edge of health care research and nursing education.” Fairman is also the Nightingale professor of nursing, the chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, and director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

The schools selected for Future of Nursing Scholars grants are:

To be funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Columbia University (one scholar)
Emory University (two scholars)
Duke University (two scholars)
Indiana University (two scholars)
Marquette University (one scholar)
Medical University of South Carolina (one scholar)
The Johns Hopkins University (two scholars)
University of Alabama (two scholars)
University of Cincinnati (two scholars)
University of Hawaii (one scholar)
University of Illinois (two scholars)
University of Kentucky (two scholars)
University of Miami (two scholars)
University of Michigan (two scholars)
University of Minnesota (two scholars
University of Missouri (two scholars)
University of Pennsylvania (one scholar)
University of Texas Austin (two scholars)
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (two scholars)
University of Pittsburgh (two scholars)
Yale University (two scholars)

To be funded by Johnson & Johnson, Inc.

University of Maryland (two scholars)
University of Washington (two scholars)

To be funded by Independence Blue Cross Foundation

University of Pennsylvania (one scholar)
Villanova University (two scholars)

To be funded by Ascension Health

Marquette University (one scholar)

To be funded by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Medical University of South Carolina (one scholar)

To be funded by North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System

Columbia University (one scholar)

To be funded by Rhode Island Foundation

University of Rhode Island (one scholar)

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