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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: November 2016

The MovingWorlds Institute Launches to Help High Achieving Professionals Transition to Social Good Careers

Jamie might look like your typical consultant. Well spoken, Master’s Degree, and a whiz with Microsoft Excel. But her path to a leadership role at a West Coast social good consulting company working with internationally acclaimed organizations like PATH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was anything but normal.

Jamie Experteering with Sistema B in Buenos Aires

Jamie Experteering with Sistema B in Buenos Aires

Jamie represents a growing body of early-to-mid career professionals that are looking to diversify their skills sets, learn practical knowledge, and gain international experiences that help them excel in our diverse – and often global – workplaces. And, like Jamie, they want to make sure their talents make a positive impact in the world. Research published in 2016 by Imperative and LinkedIn showed that 74% of professionals want to find work that delivers a sense of purpose, and many will take a pay cut to get it. Master’s degrees and domestic internships just don’t cut it anymore.

“Any employer, especially those with programs that contribute to environmental and social good, aren’t just looking for a candidate with the right skills. They want to know you’ve spent time in the field working on social change issues – and proof that you’ve made an impact there.” – Aaron Hurst, Founder and CEO of Imperative, author of The Purpose Economy

But where do you find real, practical, skills-based experiences that contributes to the greater good? And, provided you’re already working in a full time job, how can you find the time?

MovingWorlds, a Seattle-based social enterprise that has popularized the Experteering movement has the answer: The MovingWorlds Institute.

A cohort-based program limited to 30 selected applicants, the MWI provides case-based curriculum, networking, coaching, and mentoring as supplements to an independent, skills-based volunteering project overseas that MovingWorlds calls Experteering. Beyond your international Experteering trip, the MWI is a mostly virtual program, but it does kick off by bringing participants together for a 3-day immersive program in Seattle to teach real-world design-thinking and shared-value skills. In the process, the program team – led by social enterprise practitioners and university faculty – learns about your current strengths and career aspirations in order to pair you with an industry mentor.

During the 6-month institute, you’ll get support from your mentor, and have monthly calls with an impressive and diverse group of social change leaders from around the world. But the real value of the MWI is your 3 to 16 week Experteering trip overseas that is custom sourced to fit your schedule, skills, and career aspirations. To ensure you have a great project, the MWI support team will work with participants, one-on-one, to find placements with some of the most inspiring and innovative social enterprises around the world that come through its partnerships with Mercy Corps Social Ventures, Village Capital, Agora Partnerships, and Endeavor to name a few.


After your Experteering project, in the last month of the 6-month program, you’ll work with two career advisors to help you package your experience into a portfolio-worthy capstone project, and get individual guidance on how to sell the experience on your resume, LinkedIn profile, and prepare for interviews and/or promotion negotiations. And, while MovingWorlds can’t guarantee that you land your next promotion or career, with its vast global network and the exposure gained in the program, it’s sure to help.

“MWI was designed in the spirit of MovingWorlds: Helping changemakers in the field access expertise to overcome any challenge, but it adds something special to benefit the Experteer, too – It builds on the recognition that when people go Experteering, it’s a transformative life experience, and by adding an experiential learning model complete with theory, goal setting, mentoring, conceptualizing, applying, reflecting, and generalizing, it can be a transformative, career catalyst, too.” – Cole Hoover, Director, MovingWorlds Institute

Inspired by the world-positive leadership development programs it supports for companies like Microsoft, Kering, and Siemens, the MWI is the latest program from MovingWorlds that expands on its open Experteering platform and its corporate and university solutions.

Don’t Downplay The SDGs: The Risky Business Of License To Operate

By Alejandro Litovsky, Founder & CEO, Earth Security Group

Image credit: /Cia Pak

Image credit: /Cia Pak

One year on from the United Nations’ formal approval of 17 crucial global Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, and many companies are still wondering what to do, struggling to develop a meaningful and credible approach.

Some have adopted pet SDGs to illustrate corporate responsibility projects they are doing anyway. But for these types of companies there is a catch: all governments have now agreed on the 169 targets.

The SDGs are the new “political framework for business.”

From decent work to taxation, good governance and social conflicts over limited resources, companies must use the SDGs to address material issues that will undermine the sustained growth of their businesses.

Consider, for example, how SDG No. 3 will shape the future growth of global pharmaceuticals.

The target “…affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all.”

Ergo, governments are prepared to forego drug patents in the interest of protecting public health. In India, the production and sale of generic drugs is estimated to have been worth $15 billion in revenues in 2014.

The issues are multiplying. Environmental pollution, not previously considered a top material issue for global pharmaceuticals, is in the spotlight. Global investors are increasingly worried that pharmaceutical companies and their portfolios may be creating unprecedented levels of pollution within their supply chains, which is compromising local drinking water and the health of local communities.

Pharmaceuticals are just one example. Similar challenges affect companies whose supply chains reach far and deep into developing countries. So what should business leaders be doing now?

1. Activate ‘business diplomacy’ for sustainable development

The convergence of three trends in most developing countries — social inequality, resource scarcity and governance gaps — will affect the license to operate of companies in ways that are more difficult to control than ever before.

This requires an enhanced, political approach to corporate sustainability, but even the most sophisticated companies have trouble sensing their external environment. It is no longer enough for companies to focus on minimizing negative social and ecological impacts from their operations.

The increased scrutiny requires them to show that they are part of the solution to these challenges.

We at Earth Security Group call this business diplomacy for sustainable development. It means companies taking a more proactive role to align their growth models with societal interests in the countries where they operate.

The political backlash that companies are seeing on issues like water scarcity or land conflicts means that being part of the solution is the only way to ensure their organization’s long-term continuity.

Key to business diplomacy is better communication across all externally facing corporate functions like risk management, government affairs and strategy, with the knowledge and analysis that has been traditionally in the domain of corporate sustainability.

These functions must begin to work much more collaboratively to anticipate external conflicts and become an active part of the solution to these challenges.

2. Partner with governments to improve regulation

Most global sectors now have some form of corporate platform bringing companies together on common concerns. Last month I contributed to the launch of the Global Agri-business Alliance (GAA) in Singapore, an industry where pre-competitive cooperation has lagged behind.

Convened by Olam International, the GAA brings together 40 leading agribusinesses to address SDG No. 2 on food security and sustainable agriculture. Along similar lines, a few years ago pharma companies set up the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI) to demand better social and environmental conditions where drugs are supplied from.

However, less than 15 percent of the 140 largest global pharmaceutical companies are members of PSCI today according to sector analysts.

Voluntary corporate initiatives that aim at the “self-regulation” are a necessary step for leading companies. However, they are not enough to address the problems that companies are facing. This is partly because they leave out competitors and partly because government regulation, not voluntary commitment, is the ultimate game-changer.

Companies must begin to collaborate with governments in order to turn these principles of good corporate behavior into legislation. Think corporate lobbying as a tool for positive change.

Ultimately, business diplomacy goes beyond corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility, by focusing on leveraging government relations for good.

The social and political scrutiny on companies is only going to increase. A product of lengthy political negotiations, the SDGs provide an unparalleled framework of issues that matter to business.

Global companies operating across national borders, in particular those relying on global supply chains including developing countries, must now take another look at the SDGs and consider a strategic response.

Originally published on Greenbiz


Alejandro Litovsky is the Founder and CEO of the Earth Security Group in London. He has worked as an advisor to companies and governments in major emerging markets, from Russia to Indonesia, China, India and Brazil.

Re-published here as part of Your Mark On The World’s collaboration with

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Cradles to Crayons® Appoints New Chairman of the Board

Dean Athanasia of Bank of America elected as new Chairman of National Board


Dean Athanasia

Press Release – Boston, MA – October 31, 2016Cradles to Crayons®, a nonprofit organization that provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive, is pleased to announce Dean Athanasia as their new Chairman of the National Board of Directors. Dean Athanasia, President of Preferred & Small Business Banking and Co­head of Consumer Banking at Bank of America, has served on the Cradles to Crayons Board of Directors since 2014.

Bank of America, a Cradles to Crayons’ national partner, has contributed over $1.2 million in funding since 2005. Through these contributions, Cradles to Crayons continues to expand and help an increasing number of children living in poverty across the country. Cradles to Crayons was awarded Bank of America’s esteemed Neighborhood Builders Award—the nation’s largest philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership development—for Massachusetts in 2010 and Greater Philadelphia in 2012.

“I am honored to assume the role of Chairman for the Cradles to Crayons National Board,” said Dean Athanasia. “It has been a pleasure working with the Cradles to Crayons team and supporting the work they do for the community. I look forward to pursuing new opportunities with the board as we continue to expand the Cradles to Crayons brand and mission.”

Dean Athanasia will replace Jordan Hitch of Bain Capital, who previously served as the National Chairman for two years. While stepping down as Chairman, Hitch will remain on the National Board. Athanasia has worked alongside Hitch on the board since 2014 and will continue to expand on their efforts and policies in his new role as Chairman. In addition, Athanasia has played a significant role in Bank of America’s sponsorship involvement and national partnership with the nonprofit.

“We are extremely thankful for Dean’s ongoing support and dedication to our organization and for stepping into this new leadership role,” said Lynn Margherio, Cradles to Crayons, Founder and CEO. “We are also grateful for Bank of America’s support and guidance over many years. This extraordinary partnership has been vital to our organization and future plans to continue to grow and assist children in need.”

For 14 years in Boston, nine in Philadelphia and now in Chicago, Cradles to Crayons has been providing children and families in need with clothing, books, school supplies, and toys to help children feel safe, valued and ready to learn. Over 300,000 volunteers and several hundred service partners have committed to the organization over the years and have assisted in delivering the essentials children need to succeed at home and in the classroom. This year, Cradles to Crayons marked its one millionth child served since its inception. Under the leadership of CEO and Founder, Lynn Margherio, Cradles to Crayons plans to extend its reach and influence with the development of two new locations in the United States within the next few years.

About Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,600 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning online banking with approximately 34 million active accounts and more than 21 million mobile active users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.

About Cradles to Crayons

Cradles to Crayons launched in 2002 and has operations in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The nonprofit provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive—at home, at school, and at play. They supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need. Cradles to Crayons mobilizes communities of plenty on behalf of communities of need, recycling and reusing high-quality children’s goods and engaging thousands of youth and adults in tangible service activities each year that benefit local children. For more information go to

Dream Foundation Hosts 15th Annual Dreamland Gala

Vital Funds Raised will Help Fulfil the End-of-Life Dreams of Terminally-Ill Adults

Press Release – Santa Barbara, Calif. — Dream Foundation will host its 15th Annual Gala, Dreamland, on November 5th at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara in an effort to raise awareness about the Foundation’s mission to fulfill the end-of-life Dreams of terminally-ill adults that offer inspiration, comfort, and closure. The vital funds raised will allow the organization to maintain its history of never turning down a qualified Dream applicant, a record it has maintained since its inception.

The evening will honor special guests, Dreamers Jonathan White and Daniella Dominic Enriquez, who will share their Dream stories.

Jonathan, 36, a music lover from Brooklyn, NY, has worked with wood since the age of 13, now an experienced cabinet maker. He has always Dreamed of making his own lasting contribution to music by building a guitar. His request was for a guitar side-bending machine, which would allow him to craft acoustic guitars and would bring his Dream to life. On behalf of Dream Foundation, Jonathan was presented his own bending machine by world-renowned guitar craftsman and luthier, Roger Sadowsky, at Sadowsky’s workshop in Long Island City, NY. Also donated to Jonathan was a guitar making kit by Stewart-MacDonald. Sadowsky spent the afternoon mentoring Jonathan on the art of guitar making to both of their delight. Jonathan, his wife Olga, and their 4 week old daughter, Ophelia will attend the Gala on Saturday to share their story. Jonathan plans to craft a guitar as a lasting memory for his 14-year-old son.

Daniella, 21, who until her terminal diagnosis was pursing her education at the University of Tennessee, wrote to Dream Foundation about visiting her family in California. “This is something that would allow me to spend precious time with my family,” Daniella said. “It would offer me and my family a great deal of peace and comfort.” In June, Dream Foundation flew Daniella to California to embrace her family one last time. Daniella will also attend the Gala and share her touching story.

The evening will include a one of a kind performance by Quixotic; an experimental product that happens when technology, live music, contemporary dance, and Cirque du Soleil arts come together. Classically trained floor and aerial performers, including former Cirque du Soleil puppeteer, Eros Biox, will interact with visual effects, award-winning live musicians, and responsive environment action to create a multi-sensory experience. Its fusion of visuals and breathtaking manipulation of light and rhythm transcends language and makes this collective of artists a favorite among audiences around the world.

In addition, guests will also enjoy an interactive live auction hosted by long-time Dream Foundation supporters and Santa Barbara locals Andrew and Ivana Firestone. Featured live auction packages include extravagant vacations to Portugal, Spain & Morocco, Buenos Aires & Chile and Costa Rica to name a few. Also available, “Breakfast with Betty” – breakfast at Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan with fashion legend, Betty Halbreich followed by a personalized styling session and much more. A silent auction before the program will consist of more than 60 items, including Hollywood Bowl box seats and an exotic trip to South Africa’s Zulu Nyala Game Reserve.

Highlighting the celebration will be Grammy Award-winning artist, Estelle. This London born musician is most well known for her electric mix of various musical genres. She has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the business including David Guetta, John Legend, Robin Thicke, and Kanye West on “American Boy” for which she was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Song Collaboration as well as being nominated for Song of the Year. In addition to music, Estelle founded All of Me, an organization that focuses on educating and expanding horizons of young people through college scholarships and volunteer opportunities abroad. Dream Foundation is thrilled to have her perform on their special night.

Following the Gala, Generation Dream will host an exclusive after-party with world-renowned DJ, Chris Cox where guests will dance the night away while sipping on Patron Tequila and Beau Joie Champagne.

“We are eternally grateful to our local community and those across the nation that continue to bring thousands of Dreams to life each year with their support, time, and resources,” says Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Kisa Heyer. “Dreamland will be an opportunity to share our successes, our Dream stories, and raise vital funds in an effort to fulfill more Dreams for those mothers, brothers, veterans, and families.”

Dream Foundation acknowledges the generous support of Dreamland’s Platinum Sponsors: Colleen Barnett-Taylor & Michael Taylor, Barnett Clutches and Cables; Jan & Bill Sanger, Envision Healthcare; Genentech; Kindred Gentiva Hospice Foundation; and Indagare Travel as well as its dedicated event committee: Daryl Stegall, event chair, Baret Boisson, Debra Borden, Kyle Brace, Julie Chaminand, Kendall Conrad, Debbie Darke, Lisa Hagerman, Lynette Hall, Caroline Harrah, Jennifer Hecht, Robin Himovitz, Kimi Matar, Stephanie Nicks, Kathy Nicolson, Beth Perry, Kim Robertson, Christina Rottman, and Steve Shulem.

More information can be found at

About Dream Foundation:

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 25,000 final Dreams over the past two decades and has never turned down a qualified applicant. Dream Foundation does not receive any federal or state funding and relies solely on individual donations and corporate partnerships to fund its programs. The Foundation is proud to maintain Charity Navigator’s four-star rating—its highest—for sound fiscal management ensuring its donors and partners that their investment will be used wisely. For more information, please visit

Meat Consumption And The Natural Equilibrium

CSRlive World: Switching to sustainable diets will require years, if not decades, but one must start now and build awareness of the climatic disruption caused by the meat industry, shares Luca Castellanza

Image credit:

Image credit:

Leading the world consumption of beef with $30bn worth of products, America has set an unsustainable model of alimentation and exploitation of resources. World consumption statistics show a strong and worrying upward trend, with more and more people gaining economic emancipation and access to fat, tasty burgers.

For those unfamiliar with beef production, the process is highly resource-intensive, involving thousands of litres of water for a single burger. The causes for such waste are not industrialisation and inefficient mechanical processes, but the cows themselves. By breeding billions of cattle, mankind has altered the natural equilibrium of species and heavily disrupted environmental stability.

Pollution Is Not The Problem

How much does breeding a cow cost? The pitfall of this question is, if one considers only direct effects, the resulting number will be relatively low. The highest cost in breeding cattle is animal feed, which often consists of cheap soy or other grains.

Nevertheless, externalities are rarely taken into account when analysing the meat industry. Cheap soy certainly does not come down from the sky like rain! A single cow eats tonnes of feed per year, and there are more than 70 billion farm animals in the world. Further, soy cultivation is extremely water-intensive, requiring 450 litres of water for each acre of ploughed soil.

The total acres of land needed for cattle sustainment can be easily calculated. Estimating an average tonne of produce for each acre, we would need 70 thousand billion of land acres to feed the beloved cows. Since the animal population is rapidly growing and soil will get infertile, new land has to be ‘stolen’ from rainforests each year.

Finally, when considering its environmental impact, beef outweighs by far alternative products. For example, compared to the famously unsustainable palm oil, cattle ranches cause six times as much deforestation. Most importantly, cows are the main emitters of methane, and the meat industry is responsible for 53% of total greenhouse gases. Global warming and poisonous emissions depend on people’s culinary habits.

Alternative Foods

Nutritionally-wise, beef does not prove any benefits to human health. Several Eastern populations have traditionally fed on soy, rice and vegetables and benefited from an equal, if not improved, life expectancy compared to Western people.

Drawbacks of a predominantly meat-oriented diet encompass, among others, moderate chances of developing obesity, diabetes, heart-related diseases and cancer. The worrying consumption rates of 2kg per week and 1.3 kg per week in the US and Europe respectively would lead to severe environmental degradation if adopted globally by emerging countries.

What Does It Take?

Global reports on the beef trade show an alarming trend: since 2010, imports of beef in China have more than doubled. Yet, if methane emissions continue with the current rate, the threshold of greenhouse gases will be soon exceeded and global warming will become exponential and unstoppable. The only way for human salvation might be switching to balanced diets and convert pastures back to forests or cultivated land.

Vegetarian diets could provide food with one-sixth of the land needed for carnivore diets. We currently dispose of sufficient plants to feed the global population, yet we nourish animals rather than humans. Can the world go vegan? Probably not, or not in the immediate term. Nonetheless, the world cannot stay carnivore in the long term. Switching to sustainable diets will require years, if not decades, but one must start now and build awareness of the climatic disruption.

What would happen if the cost of externalities was included in the final price of burgers?

In other words, since the cost of cattle-related waste, pollution and deforestation are not borne by the farmers, they are not accountable for in the supply chain. Hidden from the eyesight of unaware customers, externalities translate into higher sanitary costs, natural disasters and consequences on a global scale. Would you pay $30 for your next menu? Would you rather buy a veggie burger? Or simply wait until it’s too late?

Originally published on The Market Mogul


Luca Castellanza is a postgraduate student at IIM Ahmedabad and journalist at The Market Mogul. After some years in startup advisory and consulting, his keen interest for sustainability issues, clean technologies and impact of business on society have brought him to write thought-provoking articles about the challenges faced by our world.

Re-published here as part of Your Mark On The World’s collaboration with

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New Forest Satellite Monitoring Tool Set For Take Off

CSRlive World: A new radar and satellite system will give brands greater forest commodity sourcing transparency, shares innovation Forum, UK


Companies that source commodities from areas potentially at risk of deforestation will have a new weapon in their armoury from the start of 2017. Starling is a high-resolution satellite auditing service that can be used to check forest management practices, in particular in source countries for palm oil, such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

Starling has been developed by Airbus Defence and Space, TFT and SarVision, and makes use of the aerospace giant’s network of radar and satellites. TFT came up with the idea, and Bastien Sachet, TFT’s chief executive, says the system will combine radar and satellite imagery “to really precisely monitor land-use change”.

The service is essentially a super-enhanced means of carrying out supplier audits. Starling can be used to check that suppliers conform with corporate zero-deforestation commitments. It is likely to be much more effective than sporadic on-the-ground visits by auditing teams, who might in practice have limited access to forest areas.

Brands pilot

Starling is in a pilot phase until the full launch of the service in January 2017. Ferrero and Nestlé are among the companies testing it.

Ferrero – whose Nutella brand has been in the spotlight over its palm oil content – is using Starling to provide extra assurance about the practices of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil-certified plantations it sources from.


High level assurance

Nestlé, meanwhile, illustrates the scale of the monitoring challenge for brands. The company sources directly and indirectly from “maybe 2000 plantations”, Sachet says. Adequate checking of all of these would be almost an impossible task for conventional auditing.

Smart monitoring

Starling is a proprietary service that can be purchased from Airbus. Companies can use it in parallel with risk assessments of their supply chains – a high-tech sweep of areas considered high risk can be done, for example, every two weeks, while low risk areas can be monitored less frequently. Like traditional audits, it will be up to the brands that use the service to publish the results or not.

Forest campaigners broadly welcome the initiative. Hannah Mowat of forests NGO Fern says Starling is an “excellent programme that we encourage companies to make use of”. However, “it will only be meaningful if companies make the information publicly available so that we can hold them accountable for the commitments they have made,” she adds.

Sachet emphasises that the service is not just about identifying areas of poor management. It can also be used to recognise good practice by providing extra evidence and assurance. “No one’s focusing on the good guys,” who should be encouraged, he says.

Scale-up potential

Starling is another example of smart monitoring technology as a back-up for companies’ responsible business pledges. In terms of combating deforestation, a separate initiative, Global Forest Watch, aggregates satellite data so that trends in changing land use can be tracked. The Global Fishing Watch project is doing something similar for the oceans.

Sachet says Global Forest Watch was pioneering as a tool that enables NGOs to challenge companies. By comparison, Starling directly uses Airbus’s satellite data and can carry out monitoring on a highly precise basis – almost to individual tree level. Starling is also “real time,” compared to Global Forest Watch’s “near real time”.

Airbus’s reach also means Starling can operate worldwide, and the service can be offered globally. This could make a real difference in the fight against deforestation, Sachet says, because “we have to have solutions that scale up”.


Innovation Forum produces high level events and analysis around sustainability trends and opportunities for business. With over 30 years’ experience in the sustainability space the Innovation Forum team has developed an extensive readership and broad network of senior CR and sustainability professionals, along with strong ties to companies, NGOs, academics, governmental officials and the media operating in the sector.

Re-published here as part of Your Mark On The World’s collaboration with

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