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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: September 2015

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New Executive Director Named at Chabot Space and Science Center

OAKLAND – September 30, 2015 – Oakland resident Adam Tobin has been named Chabot Space and Science Center’s executive director. This announcement comes after a four-month national search by Chabot’s Joint Powers Agency Board of Directors.

“The JPA has set a high standard for Chabot’s next leader and we have successfully achieved this goal with the selection of Adam Tobin, who has a proven track record of growing programs and funding, while engaging the community,” says Board Chair Michael Levi, PhD.

Tobin will be leading a staff of 58 full- and part-time and more than 350 volunteers to meet Chabot Space and Science Center’s mission to inspire and educate students of all ages about earth and the universe.

As Chabot’s new executive director, Tobin will be focused on deepening Chabot’s educational impact and strengthening partnerships throughout the area.

“Chabot is a local treasure, and so inspiring to many people. Yet, it has only begun to realize its potential for meaningful impact in our communities and beyond,” says Tobin. “I’m honored and excited to help write the next chapter in Chabot’s 130-plus year history.”

Tobin was previously the director of global studios at the Exploratorium, responsible for building partnerships with and providing creative services to institutions around the world. Prior to joining the Exploratorium, he was an award-winning toy inventor and founder of two educational toy development and manufacturing companies. Tobin holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University.

Tobin was preceded by Alexander Zwissler, who began as executive director in 2007 and left Chabot earlier this summer to pursue other interests.

About Chabot Space and Science Center (

Chabot Space and Science Center, a Smithsonian affiliate, is a 501c3 nonprofit interactive science center, located at 10000 Skyline Blvd., in Oakland’s Redwood Regional Park. Founded as an observatory in 1883, today Chabot offers visitors the very latest in hands-on, interactive exhibits, displays, and planetarium shows that explore the mysteries of the universe and of life here on earth. Combined with a full program of activity-filled classes, workshops, camps, outreach programs and special events, Chabot Space & Science Center has become the Bay Area’s destination for visitors who want to discover and learn about space and earth sciences.

Sue Petrisin of Michigan Becomes First Female President Of Kiwanis International

INDIANAPOLIS – Sept. 30, 2015 – Susan A. “Sue” Petrisin becomes the first female to lead a top international service organization on October 1, 2015. As president of Kiwanis International, Petrisin will guide more than 630,000 members who make a difference in the lives of children in their communities and around the world.

This year, during Kiwanis’ 100th anniversary, 15 women will serve alongside Petrisin as district leaders, or governors. The history-making precedent continues in 2016-17 with Jane Erickson of Nebraska. Erickson will be the second female to lead the international organization as president when she takes office in October of next year. In Kiwanis, 30 percent of the members are women.

Rising through the ranks of Kiwanis, Petrisin began her affiliation with the organization as a member of its youth clubs. She was one of the first women to join the East Lansing, Mich., club when women were admitted in 1987.

“It’s truly an honor to be the first woman president of Kiwanis International,” Petrisin said. “Most importantly, it’s an honor to serve alongside men and women around the world who are dedicated to improving the lives of children, in their communities and in places they’ll never visit.”

As a Kiwanis club member, Petrisin has participated in service projects that have benefitted her community of East Lansing. Globally, Petrisin has raised money for, visited with and worked alongside volunteers who will eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus from the globe. Through The Eliminate Project, a Kiwanis partnership with UNICEF, US$100 million has been raised toward a goal of US$110 million to eliminate the disease. It’s the second global project for Kiwanis and UNICEF; the two partnered on the Iodine Deficiency Disorders initiative, raising more than US$100 million to eradicate IDD, the leading preventable cause of mental deficiencies. This effort has been heralded as one of the most successful worldwide health initiatives ever.

For Petrisin, who is assistant director of Alumni Programs at Michigan State University, working with students is invigorating and rewarding.

“Students at Michigan State, and all of the students in Key Club and Circle K have one thing in common – they want to help others,” Petrisin said. “In my role at the university it’s been rewarding to reconnect graduates to the university to support a project or a program and with the Kiwanis youth programs, it’s inspiring to work with them as they seek to make changes in the world. Many of their service projects are targeted to their community, but these kids always have the bigger picture in mind. These are the future leaders of the world.”

As a child, Petrisin and her siblings always volunteered in their community. “I was raised in a family that always reached out to help others, and it’s a tradition we continue today,” Petrisin said. With 7 brothers and sisters, the Petrisins could make an impact on any project.

While the volunteer aspect is key to all Kiwanis clubs, Petrisin says the leadership skills she’s learned in Kiwanis have served her well in other endeavors, even at Michigan State University.

“The youth members learn about leadership in subtle ways, and some progress to leadership roles such as club president or international president,” Petrisin said. “Every student learns the value of working together toward a common cause, of teamwork and the rewards of completing a project. There is no doubt that the leadership skills I learned as a student have been put to good use as an adult – in Kiwanis and in my role at the university.”

During her year as president, Petrisin will focus on the Kiwanis motto of serving the children of the world by asking Kiwanis clubs and their members to recommit to the foundation of the organization.

“I want our club members to focus on projects and activities that will help children in their communities and children a world away, because we know kids need Kiwanis now more than ever. In an age of municipal budget cuts, decreased school funding and fewer civic organizations, it’s important for Kiwanians to identify the ways children in their community can benefit from a service club, whether it’s providing school supplies, building a playground or sponsoring a youth club.”

About Kiwanis

Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of clubs and members dedicated to serving the children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including Circle K International for university students, Key Club for students age 14–18, Builders Club for students age 11–14, Kiwanis Kids for students age 6–12 and Aktion Club for adults living with disabilities, dedicate annually more than 18 million service hours to strengthen communities and serve children. The Kiwanis International family comprises nearly 630,000 adult and youth members in 80 countries and geographic areas. For more information about Kiwanis International, please visit

Fathom Announces Intended Ports of Call, 7-Day Itinerary to Cuba

Carnival Corporation’s new social impact brand plans to visit Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba

Typical Fathom itineraries will feature visits to arts, educational, cultural and historic sites, local musical performances, dinners in private home restaurants and more

SEATTLE, Wash., Sept. 30, 2015Fathom, the pioneer in social impact travel and Carnival Corporation’s (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) 10th and newest brand, today announced that it intends to visit three ports of call in Cuba — Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. It also unveiled the intended 7-day itinerary that Fathom travelers will experience featuring an authentic Cuban cultural immersion – part learning, part sharing and all immersion into the Cuban culture and full connection with the Cuban people.

Launched in June 2015, Fathom made history in July in receiving U.S. approval to sail from the U.S. to Cuba, and it is working to finalize Cuban approval. Currently Fathom is accepting reservations for its inaugural voyage to Cuba beginning in May 2016.

Today’s announcement gives travelers preliminary information about the three ports Fathom intends to visit, along with insight into the proposed itinerary for the 7-day journey and the experiences that will take place in Cuba – which will focus on supporting cultural exchange and economic development for the Cuban people and include a variety of artistic, educational and humanitarian activities.

Below is a sample itinerary for a 7-day journey from Miami to Cuba:










“Cuba is a magnetic, beautiful country with tremendous opportunity for the Cuban people and for Fathom travelers to immerse, learn, grow and flourish through educational and cultural exchange experiences that we will offer,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation. “Fathom travelers will have the chance to interact, one-on-one, with artists, musicians, small business owners, health workers and others to learn about all aspects of Cuban society and to connect and share insights and stories, leading to further progress for the Cuban people.”

Russell added: “We believe there is tremendous pent up demand in the marketplace to visit this extraordinary country – particularly in the U.S. where travelers are eager to experience Cuba – so we wanted to share as much of the country as possible.”

According to Russell, each of the three ports of call is unique and was selected to provide distinctly different Cuban experiences. For example:

  • Havana: Cuba’s colorful capital is popular for its exciting collection of Spanish-influenced castles, cathedrals, mansions and museums, and may be best known for historic Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site with more than 900 landmarks. One of the most culturally rich urban centers in the world and once home to Ernest Hemingway, Havana features a lively music and entertainment scene, an eclectic mix of inspirational museums and art galleries, some of the world’s best ballet schools and dance companies, and much more.
  • Cienfuegos: Considered an architectural jewel of French influence and known as “the Pearl of the South,” this city is popular among diving enthusiasts for an undersea maze of coral columns along the coastline called Notre Dame. Among its many attractions, Cienfuegos boasts an imposing fortress – Castillo de Jagua – built to protect the city from attacks and widely recognized as one of Cuba’s most important military structures.
  • Santiago de Cuba: Cuba’s second-largest city, Santiago de Cuba is infused with a distinctly Caribbean spirit. The traditional site of two popular festivities – Carnaval and the Fiesta del Fuego – the city encompasses a diverse assortment of architectural influences, from the El Morro castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), to the Parque Céspedes in the bustling historic quarter, to the glorious Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, Cuba’s most sacred pilgrimage site.

The Cuban itinerary provided has been designed in full compliance with U.S. Department of Treasury rules that allow licensed travel companies to transport travelers to Cuba to engage in activities that support the Cuban people. Fathom is working to finalize the details around the proposed itinerary with its partners.

Fathom travelers will sail aboard the 710-passenger MV Adonia where they may take part in robust onboard experiences customized to this unique travel encounter, including specialized retail focused on empowering purpose-driven businesses and entrepreneurs and culturally and geographically relevant music and film options, as well as Cuban-inspired menu options.

Special onboard programming will include a wide variety of activities covering an array of interests, ranging from an orientation to the country’s history, customs and culture, to casual fun personal enrichment activities, to conversational Spanish lessons, to guided sessions with the Fathom team to share insights, ideas and opportunities about the future of cultural exchange travel to Cuba.

Fathom Also Begins Sailing to Dominican Republic in April 2016

In addition, beginning in April 2016, Fathom will begin sailing to Amber Cove – Carnival Corporation’s new cruise port in the Dominican Republic and Fathom’s first social impact destination. In the Dominican Republic, Fathom will offer consumers authentic, meaningful impact travel experiences to work alongside locals as they tackle community needs. Fathom collaborated with diverse Dominican stakeholders including Dominican community leaders, Dominican officials and leaders of top local non-profits with deep roots in the country to identify activities that would have the greatest impact on people’s lives and make lasting contributions to the community.

Prices for the seven-day trips to the Dominican Republic start at $974 per person, excluding taxes, fees and port expenses and including all meals on the ship, onboard social impact immersion experiences, three on-shore social impact activities and related supplies. Prices will vary by season. To secure a spot on future sailings, a fully refundable $300 per person deposit is required for all cabin categories and occupancy levels. Final payment is due 150 days prior to departure.

Prices for seven-day itineraries to Cuba start at $1,800 per person, excluding Cuban visas, taxes, fees and port expenses and including all meals on the ship, onboard social impact immersion experiences and on-the-ground cultural immersion activities. Prices will vary by season. To secure a spot on future sailings, a fully refundable $600 per person deposit is required for all cabin categories and occupancy levels. Final payment is due 150 days prior to departure. To reserve a spot on future sailings, travelers may call 1-855-9Fathom or through a travel professional. Learn more at

About Fathom

Fathom is a different kind of cruise that combines one’s love of travel with the desire to make a difference in the world. It is a new category of travel, social impact travel. Part of the Carnival Corporation (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) family of now ten brands, Fathom offers consumers authentic, meaningful travel experiences to enrich the life of the traveler and work alongside locals as they tackle community needs. Fathom is unique in that it leverages Carnival Corporation’s expertise and scale for a one-of-a-kind business model to create long-term collaboration with its partner countries, allowing for sustained social impact and lasting development. Fathom will serve the sizable and growing market of potential social impact travel consumers – approximately one million North Americans – in addition to global travelers already pursuing service-oriented travel experiences worldwide.

Sailing aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises (UK), Fathom will mobilize, educate and equip travelers on every trip allowing for thousands of impact activity days per week – and tens of thousands of travelers a year to communities of promise, providing unprecedented scale for impact.

The Naivete of the HIVer, and Only Half Are Taking Their Pills

Vancouver WASHINGTON – September 30, 2015 – According to a recent report, only 51.9% of HIV-infected adults were on antiretroviral therapy. Yet, there is currently no alternative to taking the multiple pills needed, it is the only way for an HIV patient to keep their viral load in check.

The newly diagnosed HIVer, and the naïve ones that know they are infected but continue to put off the inevitable, face a decision about when to start their toxic clock. When do they begin taking pills for the rest of their lives – three, four and sometimes more pills each day? Others wait until their viral load is so high and white blood cells so dangerously low before they start their regimen, a regimen which can be toxic if not taken at the same time every day —– forever.

Currently, once an HIV patient commences their pill regimen, he/she cannot stop taking the pills, not even for one days, and expect to keep their viral load in check. If not ingested at the exact time every day the patient develops a resistance to the regimen and the pills becomes less effective.
A product currently in Phase 3 FDA trials, PRO 140, is the only alternative. When approved by the FDA, only one simple sub-coetaneous dose a week of PRO 140 will be needed to keep the viral load in check. It is a toxic free antibody with almost no side effects. Future studies could allow patients to take PRO 140 once every two weeks or maybe once a month. Quite a difference from multiple pills a day!

Patients in an earlier extension trial of PRO 140 now have one complete year with a suppressed viral load.

A much-hoped-for stress reliever is the possibility of a drug holiday. When FDA approved, and PRO 140 is part of the dosage regimen, the HIV infected could go on a vacation without having to take any antiretroviral therapy for 7 days at a time —- getting a well-deserved drug holiday break.

There are about 350,000 HIVers very much in need of PRO 140.

About CytoDyn

CytoDyn Inc. (OTC.QB:CYDY) is a biotechnology company focused on the clinical development and potential commercialization of humanized monoclonal antibodies for the treatment and prevention of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. The Company has one of the leading monoclonal antibodies under development for HIV infection, PRO 140, which has finished Phase 2 clinical trials with demonstrated antiviral activity in man and is currently in Phase 3. PRO 140 blocks the HIV co-receptor CCR5 on T-cells which prevents viral entry. Clinical trial results thus far indicate that PRO 140 does not negatively affect the normal immune functions that are mediated by CCR5. Results from six Phase 1 and Phase 2 human clinical trials have shown that PRO 140 can significantly reduce viral burden in people infected with HIV. A recent Phase 2b clinical trial demonstrated that PRO 140 can prevent viral escape in patients during several weeks of interruption from conventional drug therapy. CytoDyn intends to continue to develop PRO 140 as a therapeutic anti-viral agent in persons infected with HIV. For more information on the Company, please visit

About PRO 140

PRO 140 belongs to a new class of HIV/AIDS therapeutics — viral-entry inhibitors — that are intended to protect healthy cells from viral infection. PRO 140 is a fully humanized IgG4 monoclonal antibody directed against CCR5, a molecular portal that HIV uses to enter T-cells. PRO 140 blocks the predominant HIV (R5) subtype entry into T-cells by masking this required co-receptor, CCR5. Importantly PRO 140 does not appear to interfere with the normal function of CCR5 in mediating immune responses. PRO 140 does not have agonist activity towards CCR5 but does have antagonist activity to CCL5 which is a central mediator in inflammatory diseases. PRO 140 has been the subject of seven clinical trials, each demonstrating efficacy by significantly reducing or controlling HIV viral load in human test subjects. PRO 140 has been designated a “fast track” product candidate by the FDA. The PRO 140 antibody appears to be a powerful antiviral agent leading to potentially fewer side effects and less frequent dosing requirements as compared to daily drug therapies currently in use.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of United States securities laws, including statements regarding the Company’s Phase 3 study and its results and completion. These statements and information represent CytoDyn’s intentions, plans, expectations, and beliefs and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many beyond CytoDyn’s control. These factors could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements or information. The words “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “attempt,” “anticipate,” “foresee,” “plan,” and similar expressions and variations thereof identify certain of such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, which speak only as of the date on which they are made.

CytoDyn disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements or forward-looking information. While it is impossible to identify or predict all such matters, these differences may result from, among other things, the inherent uncertainty of the timing and success of and expense associated with research, development, regulatory approval, and commercialization of CytoDyn’s products and product candidates, including the risks that clinical trials will not commence or proceed as planned; products appearing promising in early trials will not demonstrate efficacy or safety in larger-scale trials; future clinical trial data on CytoDyn’s products and product candidates will be unfavorable; funding for additional clinical trials may not be available; CytoDyn’s products may not receive marketing approval from regulators or, if approved, may fail to gain sufficient market acceptance to justify development and commercialization costs; competing products currently on the market or in development may reduce the commercial potential of CytoDyn’s products; CytoDyn, its collaborators or others may identify side effects after the product is on the market; or efficacy or safety concerns regarding marketed products, whether or not scientifically justified, may lead to product recalls, withdrawals of marketing approval, reformulation of the product, additional pre-clinical testing or clinical trials, changes in labeling of the product, the need for additional marketing applications, or other adverse events.

CytoDyn is also subject to additional risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with the actions of its corporate, academic, and other collaborators and government regulatory agencies; risks from market forces and trends; potential product liability; intellectual property litigation; environmental and other risks; and risks that current and pending patent protection for its products may be invalid, unenforceable, or challenged or fail to provide adequate market exclusivity. There are also substantial risks arising out of CytoDyn’s need to raise additional capital to develop its products and satisfy its financial obligations; the highly regulated nature of its business, including government cost-containment initiatives and restrictions on third-party payments for its products; the highly competitive nature of its industry; and other factors set forth in CytoDyn’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2015 and other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

5 Questions to Ask before Traveling Abroad on a Spring Gap Semester

Projects Abroad shares the biggest motivations for students to participate in volunteer projects and internships overseas during the spring college semester

NEW YORK – September 30, 2015 – The fall semester is in full swing across North America and amid the whirl of classes, assignments, and extra-curricular activities, hundreds of students are already planning ahead for the spring semester. Studying abroad is always a popular choice during the spring and there are many great reasons for joining an international program.
Here are the 5 most important things you should think about for a gap semester abroad:

What impact will it have on my future professional career?

Participating on a volunteer or internship program in a developing country can have huge benefits for your future career. Not only could it help you decide on which direction your career path should take, it will also aid you in acquiring new skill sets for your resume. An international internship with Projects Abroad is particularly useful for students considering a career that requires getting into a competitive post-graduate program, like medical school or law school.

What about my current academic career?

Pursuing an undergraduate degree can be tough and there are times when a student’s interest fades. Continuing can be a struggle if this happens! Putting together your own personalized program with Projects Abroad is a great opportunity to reconsider your goals and renew your interest in your studies by getting involved in a project that will put you in the field and let you help others. Projects Abroad can work with you and your university to make credit for your trip abroad a possibility.

What can this experience do for my personal development?

One thing that Projects Abroad hears frequently from returning volunteers and interns is how their experiences impacted them personally. Many learn independence and become more mature and self-confident as a result, and their world view is broadened. It is an experience that opens their minds to global issues and cultural exchange, and lets them see the world beyond the pages of a textbook or a computer screen.

For Valerie, an Early Childhood lecturer at SUNY-Cortland in New York, this is precisely what she sought to achieve when she traveled with a group of students to Costa Rica: “My goal was to take the students and have them experience something besides their own culture, their own country, and their own privilege, and to see how other people live.”

How much control can I have over my experience?

Your time overseas should be used to complement your time at college. As such, Projects Abroad offers flexible start and end dates. You choose when to arrive and depart, which helps avoid scheduling conflicts with your university. In addition, you can request for your placement to be tailored to your specific needs, interests, and goals. You also have the option of piecing different programs and destinations together to optimize your experience.

Will I make a difference in the country I volunteer or intern in?

At its core, volunteering is about making a difference through sustainable development. Whichever Projects Abroad project you choose to join, the work you do will be a part of ongoing efforts to improve the lives of people in disadvantaged communities and help give them the tools to secure their financial independence and their futures.

For college students interested in a semester abroad, volunteering or interning with Projects Abroad is a great way to have a productive and enjoyable time, without having to worry about coordinating details such as placements, accommodation, and insurance. To learn more about the hundreds of worthwhile projects in nearly 30 destinations that the organization offers, please visit

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.

Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 28 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.

For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at

Using Nature’s Design Principles to Feed Nine Billion

Finalists announced for the world’s first food system focused biomimicry innovation accelerator

Earlier this year, hundreds of people from around the world took on a challenge to fix our global food system by looking to nature for design solutions. Now, eight finalist teams have been invited to prototype their solutions in an accelerator program that will award $100,000 to the top contender in an effort to increase speed to market for biomimetic solutions to global problems.

The Biomimicry Institute ’s Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, sponsored by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, asks participants to tackle any aspect of the food system that could be improved by looking to nature for design guidance. In the first year of this Challenge, the focus is on key food and agriculture issues like waste, packaging, agricultural pest management, food distribution, energy use, and other solutions.

Biomimicry Institute engaged 60 judges, themselves biologists, business leaders, venture capitalists, and agriculture, to select eight finalist teams. These teams have designed a range of solutions using biomimicry, such as desalination by looking to mangrove forests, soil remediation by emulating the digestive tract of earthworms, and a peer to peer networking app whose algorithm mimics the communication function found in a flock of birds . A full list of the finalists’ submissions and links to their pitch videos can be found here.

“Entrepreneurs don’t have the same R&D budgets as big companies, but those who are patient enough to understand and employ nature’s designs have a distinct advantage: they are leveraging millions of years of evolution,” said Beth Rattner, Biomimicry Institute executive director. “That’s what we’re seeing with these amazing submissions. They aren’t just good ideas; they’re proof points that radically sustainable products are possible.”

The finalist teams will travel to Austin, TX on October 4, 2015, to present their ideas at SXSW Eco, pitch to judges on the marketability of their ideas, and participate in an awards event. The teams will then spend the next eight months prototyping and testing their innovations, and will compete for the $100,000 Ray C. Anderson “Ray of Hope” Prize, to be awarded in 2016.

“Seeding and accelerating nature inspired solutions to global challenges and then mentoring them as they seek marketability is an idea that my grandfather would say is ‘so right and so smart’,” said John Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Interface Founder Ray Anderson, who funded the Foundation upon his passing in 2011, was famously inspired by radical new approaches to centuries old design and manufacturing techniques, and sought them out when rethinking his $1 billion, global carpet tile company’s products and processes.

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has pledged $1.5 million over four years to support the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, a multiyear effort to crowdsource, support, and seed promising innovations inspired by nature. Each year beginning in 2016, the Institute and Foundation together will award the $100,000 “Ray of Hope” Prize to the most viable prototype that embodies the radical sustainability principles of biomimicry. The first two years are focused on food systems, while subsequent years will change to other sustainability issues.

A new round of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge opens October 5, which will be another opportunity for teams to join and compete for the $100,000 “Ray of Hope” Prize. Individuals and teams can learn more about the firstround finalists and register for the next round here.

New IFHF Film Documents Breakthrough Treatment Programs and Hope for Victims of Traumatic Brain Injury

Intrepid Spirit Centers Report More than 90% Success Rate in Returning TBI-Suffering Military Back to Duty 

Washington – With national alarm rising over Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in professional sports and the military, a new 12-minute documentary ( from Passing Lane Films tells of the remarkable breakthrough treatments for TBI at special facilities on two military bases – Army Fort Campbell (KY) and Marine Camp Lejeune (NC). These Intrepid Spirit Centers (ISCs) report over 90 percent success rates in returning TBI-suffering warfighters to family and career, meaning certified for full active duty. A four-minute companion film ( tells of parallel success treating strokes, Alzheimer’s-like symptoms, MS, and other neurodegenerative conditions.

“The films could not launch at a more critical time,” said Passing Lane Films producer Drew Tidwell. Last Sunday The New York Times article ran a devastating front page story detailing the suicide epidemic among veterans of one Marine battalion stationed in a heavy fighting zone in Afghanistan. The week before, a PBS Frontline episode — “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis” — reported that an alarming 87 out of 91 former NFL players who suffered repeated concussions had been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

“The Passing Lane Films production tells the amazing success story of the Intrepid Spirit Centers and how they have already rescued more than 3000 TBI sufferers in our military,” said David Winters, president of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), a 501c3 that worked with the military in developing the ISC’s revolutionary combination of treatments and then designed, raised the funds for, and built the centers themselves, turning them over to the military to operate. He added, “The centers were designed from the ground up to produce inter-disciplinary, team-oriented rehabilitation. They employ techniques ranging from neuropsychology to acupuncture.”

The films are posted:

Intrepid Spirit Center – TBI Film from Passing Lane Films on Vimeo.

Intrepid Spirit Center – Outtakes from Passing Lane Films on Vimeo.

In addition to the two ISCs featured in the film, the IFHF has built a third at Fort Belvoir (VA). It is currently constructing two more at Forts Bragg (NC) and Hood (TX) and is raising funds for a final four, at Army-Air Force Joint Base Lewis-McChord (WA), Marine Camp Pendleton (CA), and Army Forts Carson (CO) and Bliss (TX).

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving United States military personnel wounded or injured in service to our nation, and their families.

Tata Communications and MasterCard Join Forces To Empower 100 Million Women

Mobile platforms driving social and financial inclusion

New York – September 30th – At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting closing plenary, Tata Communications and MasterCard announced a CGI Commitment to Action to financially empower 25,000 women in the developing world, part of a larger vision to ultimately reach 100 million women. The global telecommunications leader and the leader in global payments technology join forces with a unique network of partners including Brightstar Corp, Kiva, Tone, Trickle Up and the Hidary Foundation to bring their shared vision to life over the next five years through access to transformative mobile platforms comprising a range of financial, health and education applications and services.

“Three billion people will come online over the next decade primarily from the developing world. We now have our generation’s greatest opportunity to unshackle women from endless cycles of poverty and dependency by providing them with access to information and economic opportunities,” said Rangu Salgame, CEO, Growth Ventures Group, Tata Communications. ”With this program, Tata Communications and MasterCard are embarking on a journey to harness the long-term potential of the next 3 billion online.”

In developing countries, 200 million fewer women than men are online, and 300 million fewer women own a mobile phone. Yet, research also shows that the impact of empowering women financially is tremendous starting with their ability to raise the living standard of the entire household given that they are more likely to spend their income on establishing healthier and sustainable lifestyles for their families.

“Two billion adults globally, the majority of them women, still don’t have a safe and easy way to receive, store and use their money,” said Walt Macnee, vice chairman of MasterCard. “We see an opportunity and responsibility to empower women with access to and control over their finances through digital financial tools. By financially including women around the globe, we take an important step towards poverty alleviation, equality and economic prosperity.”

Tata Communications, MasterCard and its network of partners will realize this vision by taking a non-linear implementation approach as is often taken in the technology sector. The program will kick-off with pilot projects in India, Nigeria, Indonesia and Guatemala, targeting 25,000 women, serving as microcosms. The replication of these microcosms will enable scale with a vision to reach 100 million women by 2020.

San Diego Food Bank Selects FOR Solutions Composter to Eliminate Food Waste

In-vessel composter to convert 500,000 pounds of waste annually into high-quality compost for local farms

San Diego and Morristown, N.J.— September 29, 2015FOR Solutions, developer of commercial-scale sustainable composting solutions for businesses and institutions, announced that the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank has selected its Model-2000 aerobic, in-vessel rotary drum composting system to achieve the food bank’s goal of zero landfilled food waste. Installed on-site, the FOR Solutions composting system will divert the food bank’s more than 500,000 pounds of food waste per year from landfills, recycling the waste into high-quality compost for use at local San Diego farms.

The San Diego Food Bank receives more than 23 million pounds of food annually, of which, 500,000 pounds cannot be distributed and requires disposal. According to the EPA, the U.S. sends more than 30 million tons of food waste to landfills each year and recycles less than three percent of food waste. Landfilled food waste harms the environment by producing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and leachate, which pollutes water systems.

The FOR Solutions system includes an on-site aerobic in-vessel rotary drum digester that protects the environment by recycling food waste into high-quality compost in just five days. FOR Solutions composters are optimized for large institutions such as colleges, non-profits and mid-to-large size businesses that currently send large amounts of food waste to landfills or incinerators. The FORSolutions Model-2000 system processes 2,000 pounds of food waste per day and will help the San Diego Food bank improve its environmental footprint and achieve substantial savings on hauling and tipping fees.

“The FOR Solutions composter fits in perfectly with our directive to integrate sustainability into every aspect of our operations,” said James A. Floros, Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank CEO. “We considered a number of food waste recycling options and selected the FOR Solutions composter for its simple design, ease of use and ability to process large amounts of waste within a small footprint, all of which will help us save money, protect the environment and focus on our core mission of providing food to those in need.”

The FOR Solutions Model-2000 will be an integral part of the food bank’s ambitious sustainability program, which already includes a 350 kW solar array, LED lighting retrofits and a high-efficiency HVAC system. By installing the composter before the end of the year, the food bank is acting ahead of California law AB 1826 that will require organizations to recycle their organic waste starting April 2016.

“The San Diego Food Bank is to be congratulated for its forward-thinking approach to sustainability,” said FOR Solutions CEO Edward Friedman. “We think food waste is the next frontier in recycling and we are pleased to partner with the food bank to help it eliminate its waste, save money and serve as a symbol of environmental stewardship.”

Lionheart Fitness Kids – Award-winning Curriculum Provides Platform For Building Self-Confidence And Self-Image In Pre-School Children Through Sports

Los Angeles, CA, September 29, 2015 – Having “fun” is serious business at Lionheart Fitness Kids. The program, a nutrition and life lessons program for kids 2-5 years old, began with just seven children and now has reached more than 50,000 kids since it began in 2008. Lionheart Kids is currently operating in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, San Diego, Chicago and Denver and is available to children through schools, corporations and park programs.

The program is simple. It was developed by experts in the fields of nutrition, child development and physical education, with two criteria to uphold:

  • Teach fundamentals of sports in a fun, non-competitive environment
  • Train the coaches with patented methods and hold them accountable.

The end result: Healthy self-esteem, positive thinking, leadership, courage, responsibility, integrity, good sportsmanship, motor skills and social skills.

“Our program is authentic, our coaches are accountable and we always put the children first,” states Coach John. “A Lionheart coach understands that all children have greatness inside of them. It is our job to find that greatness, nurture it and inspire every child to feel special.”

Lionheart Fitness Kids founder, John “Coach John” Skoryna has dedicated his life to teaching children life skills through fitness and nutrition and considers it an honor to be a role model for them. Skoryna is a lifelong athlete, and notably he coached a competitive hockey team in San Diego that won a national championship title and a bronze medal in the Jr. Olympics. He taught his teams the techniques he learned specific to visualization and the power of positive thinking – and now children at Lionheart Fitness Kids also benefit from his methods.

Later this fall, Lionheart Fitness Kids will launch a special certificate program to train more coaches to handle their nationwide expansion.

NBA Hall of Famer, Scottie Pippen agrees. “Some of the best lessons I have learned were through great coaches. They were Life Lessons – not just game strategies or tactics. Lionheart Fitness Kids provides these very same valuable moments and memories, and from some of the most inspiring coaches I have ever met,” says Pippen.

For more information, please visit

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