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

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Social Entrepreneurship

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

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Fast-tracking a Zero Waste Economy: More Governments and Business Leaders Commit to Circular Economy Action

  • Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates join over 50 leaders committed to circular economy impact by joining the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE).
  • PACE is fast-tracking circular economy solutions to pressing environmental challenges, from electronic waste to plastic pollution
  • The announcement comes as a major circular economy summit gets underway hosted by the Government of Japan and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra – Fourth Industrial Revolution solutions is a key focus
  • Nearly 90 billion tonnes of materials were extracted globally in 2017, with only a fraction cycled back into the economy, resulting in pollution and wasting about $4.5 trillion in recoverable resources.

Press Release – Geneva and Tokyo, 22 October 2018 – Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates have committed to joining a major global initiative to redesign the global “take-make-dispose” economy into a more circular one. They join over 50 government and business leaders who are part of the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), which was launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018 in Davos (see press conference here and the list of members here).

PACE includes the heads of some of the world’s largest companies such as Royal Philips and Unilever; senior representatives from the governments of Indonesia, Nigeria, the People’s Republic of China and Rwanda; and heads of organizations, including the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, World Resources Institute, Global Environment Facility, UN Environment and World Bank.

All are committed to efforts that cut waste and pollution and fast-tracking circular economy solutions in which products and materials are redesigned, recovered and reused to reduce environmental impacts. Extending the life of products creates new business opportunities and revenue streams, while minimizing the environmental impact of mining, resource extraction, refining and manufacture.

Japan’s commitment comes as the second World Circular Economy Forum – hosted by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and Finnish innovation fund Sitra – gets underway in Yokohama, Japan.

Japan is one of the most resource-efficient economies globally, and has recently launched its 4th Fundamental Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society a new public-private Plastics Smart campaign. The Netherlands government aims to achieve circularity by 2050 and halve the use of primary resources by 2030 and Denmark launched its Circular Economy Strategy and a related National Action Plan on Plastics. The UAE is committed to shaping strategic action to advance the circular economy.

To date, PACE, which is hosted and facilitated by the World Economic Forum, has catalysed major projects and collaborations to advance the circular economy, including the Global Plastics Action Partnership, which was launched in collaboration with the Friends of Ocean Action at the Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York. PACE is also focused on waste from electronics. In 2016, 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste was generated, equivalent to the weight of 4,500 Eiffel Towers. E-waste contains a number of toxic substances that can cause great harm to health. At the same time, the UN estimates that some 55 Billion Euro worth of secondary raw materials lays idle in e-waste.

Antonia Gawel, Head of the Circular Economy Initiative, World Economic Forum, said: “We have the knowledge, power and technologies to drive circular economy action. We just need to act more quickly and build partnerships to scale solutions. The Fourth Industrial Revolution offers great opportunities in this area – which is why PACE is excited to explore its potential with an expanding group of partners.”

Frans van Houten, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Philips, and PACE Co-Chair, said: “A circular economy is essential if we are to achieve global economic growth whilst stopping unsustainable resource consumption. Large corporations, SMEs and governments must collaborate to transform supply chains and the modern consumption economy. Philips is pleased to partner with private and public sector organizations through PACE enabling large-scale projects with firm commitments and decisive action.”

Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility (GEF), and PACE Co-Chair, said: “It is a real pleasure for me to welcome a growing network of governments to PACE. The world urgently needs to move to a more Circular Economy, and PACE is a strong platform that brings together a broad coalition of stakeholders to accelerate action.”

Yoshiaki Harada, Minster of Environment, Japan, said: “We all have a common view on realizing a circular economy on a global scale by networking and accumulating knowledge and experience of public and private entities around the world. The Ministry of the Environment of Japan has decided to participate in PACE, and share our knowledge and experience globally. As part of our contribution to PACE, we would like to provide information on excellent actions, experiences and technologies of Japan’s public and private entities registered in our “Plastics Smart” Campaign.”


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siggi’s Awards Grant to Winner of Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs Contest

Registered Dietitian Fallon Bader wins grant to launch pop-up nutrition and cooking classes on local farms

Press Release – New York, NY (October 22, 2018) – siggi’s, the maker of Icelandic yogurt with simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar, announced the winner of the annual Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest. Fallon Bader, RDN, LD, of Albuquerque, New Mexico will receive a $5,000 grant to help support her initiative, The Sprouting Kitchen – an innovative nutrition and cooking class pop-up on local farms.

The Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest started after the founder of siggi’s dairy, Siggi Hilmarsson, noticed the entrepreneurial spirit of many registered dietitians who follow their passions and help support accessible healthy eating habits in their communities.

“This contest is our way of giving back to a community whose goals align with those of our brand – helping people choose real foods without a lot of added sugar,” said Hilmarsson. “Each year we receive increasingly inspiring submissions and though it’s so difficult to select one, we at siggi’s are honored to help bring Fallon’s idea to life.”

Bader was motivated to start this program when she saw a need for engagement to encourage healthy eating. The program’s core objective is to help individuals create a deeper connection with their food to inspire healthy eating habits. The program involves meeting local farmers, harvesting what’s fresh, cooking a simple recipe and enjoying a meal as a group with nutrition education throughout the events.

“After my dietetic internship, I became a FoodCorps service member where I used school gardens to teach students about nutrition and cooking. This is where I realized being outside, planting seeds, and watching food grow was crucial in motivating kids to eat healthy foods,” said Bader. “I’m thrilled to be the winner of this year’s Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs program, and I’m looking forward to expanding The Sprouting Kitchen to more farms to get people outside where nourishing food is growing all around us.”

Now in its third year, the Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest generated a record-high number of submissions in 2018. With a 12 percent increase in contest entries, awareness continues to rise and gain momentum among entrepreneurial registered dietitians and nutritionists across the country. Each contest submission included an overview of the program idea, an estimated budget and a personal statement about why the contest resonated with the applicant.

As part of siggi’s ongoing commitment to dietitians and the health and wellness community, the company also launched its siggi’s sessions online education program in early 2018, offering opportunities for registered dietitians and nutritionists to secure continuing educational credits by viewing free educational webinars and attending in-person sessions. All of siggi’s sessions are made available on-demand in the siggi’s sessions portal, a dedicated resource that houses on-demand educational materials and free webinars on the latest research and hot topics facing the industry. For more information or to request access to siggi’s sessions, visit www.siggisdairy.com/sessions.

About siggi’s

siggi’s dairy began in 2004 when Siggi Hilmarsson felt homesick for a staple of his childhood diet, skyr, a thick, creamy, high-protein yogurt from his native Iceland. The yogurts he found on shelves in the U.S. were much too sweet and artificial tasting for his liking. His mother sent him a recipe, and with that, he began making skyr in his small New York City kitchen. Today, siggi’s dairy makes rather delicious yogurt products with simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar. True to Icelandic tradition, siggi’s products do not contain any artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors or colors, and they are made with milk from family farms that do not use growth hormones such as rBST. For more information about siggi’s Icelandic strained yogurts and to find store locations, visit www.siggis.com.


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Advisors See Increased Interest In Responsible Investing

ESG investing could drive new business for advisors

Press Release – BOSTON, October 22, 2018 – Responsible Investing continues to be a key area of focus for financial advisors according to the latest Eaton Vance Advisor Top-of-Mind Index (ATOMIX) survey of more than 600 advisors, with nearly eight out of 10 (79%) reporting they incorporate Responsible Investing into their practices. Of those, 44% said it is an important part of their practices, up from 31% in Q2 2018. Thirty-five percent reported increased interest from clients and 60% said Responsible Investing is an ongoing topic of discussion.

“Responsible Investing strategies allow advisors to take a more holistic approach to wealth management with their clients,” said Anthony Eames, director of responsible investing strategy at Calvert Research and Management. “As Responsible Investing gains in popularity, there’s increased dialogue between advisors and their clients.”

More than half (56%) of advisors said Responsible Investing is driving new business to their practices, yet only 35% classified themselves as “very well-informed” about Responsible Investing.

“We are working to bridge this information gap by offering advisors enhanced tools and educational programs,” said Mr. Eames. “Offering a full suite of Responsible Investing solutions can be a key differentiator for advisors trying to deepen and expand their client relationships.”

Research powers Responsible Investing

Advisors recognize the value of both qualitative and quantitative research behind Responsible Investing products. Eighty-seven percent said a robust research program is important to Environmental Social Governance (ESG) analysis, but 67% said it is difficult for investors to obtain measurable quantitative sustainability data from companies. Moreover, 54% admitted they don’t understand the connection between ESG performance and financial performance.

Jessica Milano, director of ESG research for Calvert Research and Management, argues there is a direct correlation between a company’s financial performance and its commitment to its customers, workers and the broader community it serves.

“Financial materiality is the key to effective, impactful ESG research,” said Ms. Milano. “Calvert’s proprietary research process leverages multiple data sources to capture and analyze ESG factors that drive company financial performance over the long term.

“Data show that firms that optimize their ESG practices tend to be rewarded for their efforts, along with their shareholders,” continued Ms. Milano.

Material and measurable results are also critical; 93% of advisors said demonstrating the impact of ESG investments is important to them and their clients. Taking an active role factors into Responsible Investing outcomes, with 82% of advisors stating it is important to engage with company leadership to drive positive business and ESG outcomes.

“It’s important to recognize that not all ESG strategies are created equal,” said Mr. Eames. “Our investment strategies follow the Four Pillars of Responsible Investing – performance, research, engagement and impact – which empower investors to seek competitive returns with portfolios that reflect their values and help drive measurable, positive change.”


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IBM, Stop the Traffik, Western Union, Barclays, Lloyd’s Banking Group, Liberty Global, Europol and University College London Unveil International Data Hub to Combat Human Trafficking

Universities, Law Enforcement, NGOs and Financial Institutions UseAI and IBM Cloud-Based Traffik Analysis Hub (TAHub) to More Rapidly Analyze Incidents of Human Trafficking

Press Release – ARMONK, N.Y- 18 October 2018: IBM (NYSE: IBM), Stop the Traffik (STT), Western Union, Barclays, Lloyd’s Banking Group, Liberty Global, Europol and University College London today announced the first ever international data hub between NGOs, law enforcement, and financial institutions providing its analysts with enhanced information to combat human trafficking. The estimated $150 billion forced-labour industry is one of the most pressing social issues of our time, with potentially millions of people around the world being subject to multiple forms of illegal exploitation.

Despite an increased awareness of human trafficking efforts to manually track and counter the issue through legislation, preventative measures and enforcement, these initiatives have been fragmented and ineffective—modern slavery is still pervasive in almost all communities. IBM, STT, Western Union, Barclays, Lloyd’s Banking Group, Liberty Global, Europol and University College London are unveiling the Traffik Analysis Hub (TAHub), an impactful collaboration to more easily facilitate the exchange of information about human trafficking across organizations.

Using Watson Natural Language Understanding, the TAHub has been trained by the IBM Ireland Lab with search terms by STT and other stakeholders for human trafficking incidents, such as exploitation type and demographic details. The TAHub uses machine learning and structured data from contributors to identify the characteristics of human trafficking incidents (e.g. means of transport and recruitment). And with IBM i2, analysts will also be able to visually analyze the enriched data and combine it with additional data sources to identify trafficking networks, patterns and hotspots to drive intelligence led collaboration.

IBM Watson Discovery is specifically trained on human trafficking terms and by using machine learning capabilities, ingests open sources of data at scale from multiple sources – such as thousands of daily public news feeds. By training the hub over time, it will improve in accuracy and likely develop predictive capabilities.

“The market is rapidly adopting AI and cloud-based platform models to address siloes across their functions, increase client satisfaction and revenue share,” said Guillermo Miranda, Vice President of IBM Corporate Citizenship. “We’re using the same emerging technologies and applying similar design principles to help the organizations working to save the millions of men, women and children who are trafficked in countries around the world.”

“Today’s event and the announcement of the Traffik Analysis Hub (‘The Hub’) marks the culmination of more than four years of collaborative work with STT. Western Union firmly believes that adopting a multi-agency approach is the most effective path to take to tackle the exploitation and trafficking of people,” said Duncan Deville, SVP and Global Head of Financial Crimes Compliance from Western Union.

“This initiative is a huge step forward in bringing together information from across multiple sectors, including NGOs, law enforcement partners and financial services, where we can take a truly intelligence-led approach to proactively tackling human trafficking,” said Paul Horlick, Director Financial Intelligence Unit, Barclays Financial Crime.

“The creation of the Traffik Analyis Hub is an important event in the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery. It is an institutional and structural development to society, industry and hopefully rule of law that will allow much greater data and information sharing and therefore potentially greater trust and collaboration,” said Duncan Jepson, Managing Director, Liberty Global.

“Trafficking in human beings is one of Europol’s main concerns in any of its forms, be it sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, forced marriage. Therefore, we are very pleased to support STOP THE TRAFFIK in the fight against this crime. We see great potential in this initiative, not only for better prevention and detection of human trafficking cases, but also for a further understanding and awareness raising. We are sure that the technical development of a system that enables data sharing between law enforcement, NGOs and the private sector will help to combat trafficking in human beings on a global scale,” said Robert Črepinko, Head of the European Migrant Smuggling Centre of Europol.

“The TAHub brings together two very promising elements: a truly cross-sector multi-agency partnership and an innovative technical approach. We are excited to be on board in our role as project evaluators. Such new initiatives are essential to developing evidence concerning the nature of trafficking and ultimately designing more effective solutions,” said Professor Kate Bowers of University College London

The Data Hub platform will run in a secure IBM Cloud-hosted environment with access granted to authenticated members only. Memberships to the data hub for other organizations combatting human trafficking will be available soon.

[1] The International Labour Organization (ILO), Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour . 2014.


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Win $30,000 in the 2018-19 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge

All students in Utah ages 14-18 are welcome to participate in this statewide business idea competition

Press Release – Oct. 16, 2018 – Registration for the 2018-19 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (HS UEC) competition is now open. All students in Utah, ages 14-18, are welcome to compete for $30,000 in cash and prizes. The grand prize is $7,500. The program is managed by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah and sponsored by Zions Bank.

Students can enter the competition by submitting their ideas online. Submissions are due by Feb. 28, 2019, at midnight. The final awards and showcase event will be held in the Lassonde Studios building on the U campus on March 30, 2019.

“Competitors have the valuable opportunity to not only pitch their idea to prestigious judges, but also to receive feedback on how to improve their presentation skills and business sense,” said Kearsa Hodgson, student director of the competition. “They will make valuable contacts through this challenge and will learn how to take their idea to the next level. Even if a team does not win a cash prize, high school students will gain experience speaking competently in a competitive business setting.”

The competition is designed to be a fun way for high school students to explore innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on problem-solving and the first steps in developing a business idea.

Students who already have a product or business idea are encouraged to compete, but this competition is not just for them. High school students across the state are challenged to think of a solution to any problem they may see globally, locally or individually, and then propose the solution in the form of a business idea. Students are encouraged to be as creative as possible.

“This competition is a great way for all high school students in the state to develop their ideas, learn about entrepreneurship and possibly win some prize money or scholarships,” said Anne Bastien, staff program director at the Lassonde Institute. “Every year, we are surprised and impressed by what students create. Some students advance to sell their product or service. Others use the experience to prepare for other opportunities in school and business.”

To participate, students form teams, develop an innovative idea and submit a presentation online to be judged for the first round. The top 20 teams will be announced on March 12, 2019. Those teams will be invited to the final presentations and judging event alongside with the collegiate Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Here is the full 2018-19 calendar for High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge:

  • Application opens online: Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018
  • Application deadline: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, at midnight
  • Top 20 finalists announced: Tuesday, March 12, 2019
  • Public online voting: Wednesday, March 13, 2019, through Friday, March 29, 2019
  • Final awards and judging event: Saturday, March 30, 2019 (judging of the high school competition will be held at the C. Roland Christensen Center and the final awards and showcase will be at Lassonde Studios)

The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is the high school counterpart to the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, which is also managed by the Lassonde Institute and one of the largest collegiate business plan competitions in the country.

Learn more about the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at lassonde.utah.edu/hsuec.

About the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute also manages Lassonde Studios, a new five-story innovation space and housing facility for all students, in partnership with Housing & Residential Education. Learn more at lassonde.utah.edu.


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Wahed Launches First App-Based Halal Stock Screener

New Free Tool Allows Investors to Quickly Determine if Stock is Halal

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY, October 18, 2018Wahed Invest (“Wahed”), the first fully digital Halal-focused ethical investing platform, today announced the launch of its “Halal Stock Screener,” a first-of-its-kind, free app that allows investors to determine if a company in which they are considering investing is “Halal.” Currently, faith-based investors are limited to investing in mutual funds or paying institutional rates for Shari’ah certifications. The Halal Stock Screener aims to democratize Halal investing, and is available as a free app on both Google Play and the Apple App store.

With Wahed’s Halal Stock Screener, users can search from over 50,000 stocks globally and request an analysis to see if they are AAOIFI compliant and ethical in nature. The analysis uses real-time data supplied by Thomson Reuters, and provides free information, including a company overview, stock pricing, financial ratios, company size, price per share data and estimates, as well as an automated halal quantitative analysis from leading financial organizations.

The Halal investing principles are confirmed by screening stocks for tobacco, alcohol, firearms, gambling, adult entertainment, impure food stock, usurious institutions, excess debt, excess interest, and other concerning financial ratios. Stocks are also screened by Wahed’s experts for the presence of interest, or Riba, and all other impermissible sources of income.

The app also includes a Zakat calculator, allowing users to accurately determine their Zakat annual contribution, which entails donating a portion of one’s wealth to those in need. Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

“With thousands of potential stocks available, it can be daunting for people to know if they are investing ethically,” said Kareem Tabbaa, CPO, Wahed. “The new Wahed Halal Stock Screener delivers an easy and fast way to determine if a stock meets a users’ ethical standards. This is an important tool for anyone who wishes to invest ethically, especially Muslims who seek to ensure that their investments are Halal.”

Additionally, the Halal Stock Screener app can provide users an official qualitative Shari’ah certification, and a Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) review of the ethical policies on any stock selected, for $9.99 per stock. The qualitative screening determines compliance based on The Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) methodology.

Wahed is the only Halal-focused investing platform that is overseen by an Ethical Review Board, preventing concerned Muslims and others from investing in companies that do not agree with their values (e.g., companies involved in any aspect of the liquor, firearms, gambling and tobacco industries). The platform also screens investments that generate profit from interest and those that do not comply with certain debt ratios.

About Wahed

Wahed is a technology driven company democratizing Islamic finance by increasing investment accessibility. Wahed’s investment portfolios are approved by an Ethical Review Board, enabling concerned investor to feel confident that their investments are halal. Please see www.wahedinvest.com for more information about Wahed.


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Aqua-Spark, Pioneer Investment Fund for Sustainable Aquaculture, Announces its First Investment in Feeding Optimization Technology for Cage Farming

CageEye Uses Industry-Leading IoT Technology and Acoustic Data to Analyze Behavior and Optimize Feed Efficiency

Press Release – New York, NY (October 18, 2018)Aqua-Spark, the pioneer investment fund focused exclusively on sustainable aquaculture, today announced its investment in the Norwegian technology company CageEye. With the funds, CageEye will invest in R&D, grow its team and expand its customer support network.

As a software and hardware developer focused on farm management, CageEye is known for its echo-sounder technology – which uses acoustic data and machine learning to measure and analyze biomass movements. This enables farmers to make informed decisions about the welfare of their fish, and automate and optimize common procedures, such as feeding.

The current iteration of CageEye’s echo-sounder is focused on improving the Salmon industry’s feeding practices, as feed is the single biggest cost input for any aquaculture operation. Inexact feeding regimes result in over or under feeding, which leads to: significant feed losses, higher Feed Conversion Ratios, and slower growth. Even though the Norwegian Salmon industry has some of the most advanced feeding practices, there is still a significant potential for improvement.

Long-term, CageEye aims for its innovations to reach more species and the aquaculture industry at-large.

“Current market practice is to use optical underwater cameras, which cover a very limited field of view and lead to highly subjective decisions,” explains Bendik S. Søvegjarto, CEO of CageEye. “Our acoustical system covers the whole feeding zone and makes consistent decisions meal after meal, which improve as we continue to train our models on growing data sets of salmon behavior and accompanying feed operator decisions.”

“Aqua-Spark provides long-term equity with no defined exit horizon, and the funding enables us to scale our team even faster, increase the customer value we deliver and allow on-boarding of new selected customers,” comments Ivar Strand, Chairman of CageEye.

“We are very excited to have Aqua-Spark on our team with their vast network and expertise within seafood, beyond salmon which is our current focus,” Søvegjarto adds. “Aqua-Spark also aligns very well with our core value of sustainability and shares our vision on how to feed a growing population without sacrificing our planet or the environment”

“Improving feed and addressing feed loss have been a priority within our portfolio from Aqua-Spark’s inception, as it’s the greatest challenge for any fish farm,” said Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founders of Aqua-Spark. “With CageEye, we’re able to support improvements in cage farm management, including how feed is distributed. Beyond this, we’re excited to see how their behavior assessment technology will impact other areas of farming as the company matures.”

With this round, CageEye has raised a total of €5.3 million in funding and grants since 2016, when it first began to offer its products for commercial use. This includes a recent investment from Breed Reply. The company has also secured a total of €2.5 million in funding in 2019.

About Aqua-Spark

Aqua-Spark is an investment fund with a focus on sustainable aquaculture businesses around the world. The small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in which they invest are working toward the sustainable production of aquatic life, such as fish, shellfish, and plants. Aqua-Spark believes that committing to a long-term vision is the way to realize effective and lasting results.

Since 2015, the fund has made 16 investments in 13 complementary SMEs including:

  • SognAqua: A Norwegian fish farm with the potential to change the way red-listed Atlantic Halibut is farmed.
  • Calysta (3 investments): A biotechnology company that is transforming fish feed–making it healthier and more environmentally sound.
  • eFishery: A crucial technology for monitoring fish feed with the power to revolutionize commercial aquaculture.
  • ChicoaFish Farms (2 investments): A fish farm that offers a vertically integrated solutions to the freshwater aquaculture industry in Mozambique.
  • Matorka: a landbased, geothermal Arctic Charr farm in Iceland.
  • Indian Ocean Trepang: An innovative sea cucumber farming operation in Madagascar.
  • LoveTheWild: A US-based company that produces sustainable, delicious ready to prepare seafood kits.
  • Protix: A highly technological and data driven insect producer.
  • Proteon: a leader in natural, safe and environmentally sustainable phage-platform technology, an alternative to antibiotics.
  • Cryoocyte: a reproductive technology platform for high precision fish farming.
  • Hatch: the world’s first accelerator focused on the aquaculture industry.
  • XpertSea: a data-driven Canadian aquaculture technology company.
  • CageEye: a data-driven company analyzing fish behavior using hydro-acoustics and machine learning to optimize feeding.

Thus far, Aqua-Spark has EUR 49,2 million under management, dedicated to investments in elements of the aquaculture industry that will make fish farming sustainable. The goal of the fund is to grow to EUR 1,5 billion AUM by 2025.

CageEye

CageEye has developed world-leading IoT technology for the salmon farming industry designed to analyze the behavior of the biomass in a cage and improve feeding processes, which is a key cost facing producers. It also has functionalities set for fully automated feeding.

CageEye’s easy-to-install solution delivers appetite controlled feeding which can substantially reduce the cost of feed waste and increase growth. The system, developed in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, uses acoustic data and advanced analytics to detect when the fish are hungry or full, and is a tool to improve feeding and growth while reducing waste. Already being used by some of the world’s leading salmon producers in Norway, CageEye has evidence of their business model and rapid market adoption, and has identified opportunities to expand the use of the technology in new regions as well as other species.


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Discovery Education and the Drug Enforcement Administration Launch National Event that Connects Students with Real-World Stories of Loss, Triumph and Learning at the Frontlines of the Opioid Epidemic

— Students invited to participate in ‘Opioid Crisis: Real People. Real Stories. Real Science.’ Virtual Field Trip on October 25 —

— Part of Operation Prevention, the Nation’s Leading Prevention Education Program Available at No-Cost to Communities Nationwide —

Press Release – Silver Spring, Md. (Thursday, October 18, 2018) – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Discovery Education are expanding Operation Prevention, the no-cost, standards-aligned, science-based initiative for parents, teachers and students, by introducing the 3rd in a series of dynamic Virtual Field Trips. As part of DEA’s Red Ribbon Week campaign, Opioid Crisis: Real People. Real Stories. Real Science. will broadcast on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT, providing middle and high school students with information on how addiction starts through first-hand accounts from survivors of drug misuse. The immersive virtual event will also introduce students to the science behind addiction and underscore the impact of the opioid epidemic in communities that have been hardest hit.

“Drug addiction, just like any addiction, isn’t limited to one group of people or community,” said Sean Fearns, chief of community outreach, DEA. “‘Opioid Crisis: Real People. Real Stories. Real Science.’ is an extension of our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic one person at a time. We believe one of the best ways to fight addiction before it starts is to empower families and teachers to openly communicate with their children and students about the opioid crisis.”

During Opioid Crisis: Real People. Real Stories. Real Science., students nationwide will be transported from their classrooms to see the real faces of addiction and hear personal stories behind initial experimentation and movement from trial, to usage, to addiction. This virtual experience aims to connect students with real people who have been affected by the opioid epidemic in order to inspire a deeper understanding of the dangers of experimentation and the benefits of drug-free living.

The Virtual Field Trip will allow viewers to meet two retired professional football players who understand the pressures of playing football through pain and now focus their efforts on discussing alternative pain management options with young athletes. Students will also be introduced to a young musician who played at Carnegie Hall as a teenager before becoming addicted, whose efforts now support musicians in recovery. Finally, students will hear from a family that has been plagued for three generations by opioid addiction. Their collective stories of challenge, triumph and learning will underscore the far-reaching impact of the opioid crisis. No matter how addiction begins, recovery from addiction is a struggle.

“Discovery Education is proud to expand the reach of ‘Operation Prevention’ with this dynamic Virtual Field Trip in order to further address a growing epidemic that is impacting every classroom, every community and every corner of the country,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “By focusing on prevention education with a science-based approach – anchored in the youth voice – ‘Operation Prevention’ gives students opportunities to share their stories, engage with their peers and to play a visible role in stemming the tide of young people who fall victim to the pipeline of addiction.”

Operation Prevention equips teachers, parents, students and communities with digital tools to initiate life-saving conversations about the opioid epidemic. The program’s immersive resources – focused on the science of addiction – include standards-aligned digital lessons, a self-paced e-learning module, a Virtual Field Trip series for classrooms, and a nationwide peer-to-peer video challenge that encourages teens to educate their peers about how drug use affects the brain and body. Since launching during the fall of 2016, Operation Prevention’s immersive English and Spanish-language tools have reached more than three million students ages 8 to 18. Additionally, an Operation Prevention public service announcement (PSA) aired on Discovery Communications networks has reached more than eight million homes to date. Operation Prevention efforts have expanded through the Operation Prevention Pledge – which brings together educators, advocacy organizations, businesses, think-tanks, and social impact groups – to encourage millions more young people to learn about the science behind addiction. The pledge also encourages the nation’s youth to live drug-free lives.

“Every day, another family is forced to deal with the overwhelming reality of an opioid addiction. Working together, we can truly make a difference in the rapidly growing epidemic that is affecting our youth in unprecedented numbers around the country,” said Cheryl Lykowski, Elementary School Teacher, Monroe Road Elementary, Bedford Public Schools. “‘Operation Prevention’s’ digital tools, PSA, and deeply engaging Virtual Field Trips are purposeful in equipping communities with the right information to tackle this problem and begin lifesaving conversations.”

Operation Prevention materials are available at OperationPrevention.com and also through Discovery Education Streaming Plus, where users can access the full range of student and teacher facing resources, in addition to an on-demand archive of the Virtual Field Trips and youth-created PSAs. To learn more about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest @DiscoveryEd.


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Young Impact Leaders Receive Nudge Global Impact Awards In Peace Palace, The Hague

Nudge founder Jan van Betten: “Focusing even more on impact, we aim to change the lives of 1 billion people.”

Press Release – Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 18 October 2018 – On Tuesday evening at the Nudge Summit, the Selected Awardees of the Nudge Global Impact Award 2018 were announced. Anacelle Bautista (PeoplePods, the Philippines), Marta Mazza (Gruppo Mondadori, Italy), and Karen Lopez (HEINEKEN Mexico) received this global recognition for their achievements in creating the most impact on people’s lives and our planet. Jaap Smit, Commissioner of the King in South-Holland, handed out the Awards. The Selected Awardees are alumni of the Nudge Global Impact Challenge, a yearly development programme about leadership, sustainability and impact. The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, strategic partner of the Challenge, was responsible for measuring and monitoring the impact created by the Award nominees. At the Summit, a jury consisting of Teresa Fogelberg (Global Reporting Initiative), Philipp Pattberg (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Fred Matser (Fred Foundation), Alexander Nick (BMW Group) and Jan Alberdingk Thijm (Nutreco) chose the three Awardees from six finalists. Each Awardee received €2.000,– to be used on a cause of public benefit connected to their impact project.

Nudge founder Jan van Betten: “The Nudge Global Impact Award is a great boost and recognition for our participants to realise their plans and create the impact they envision. With our Nudge projects, we aim to change the lives of a billion people, together with our partners, supporters, and of course the young women and men who are future leaders in sustainability. The Nudge Global Impact Challenge will help them make the change for a better world.”

This year’s Nudge Global Impact Challenge brought forward three ‘Nudge Impact Creators’ who won an encouragement prize. They are Giulia Zana (Ferrero, Luxembourg), Prithi Sharma (HEINEKEN, Malaysia) and Hamed Beheshti (wild card candidate, Germany). All 90 participants from 25 global organisations such as HEINEKEN, Danone, Ferrero, BMW Group, Rabobank, Nutreco, Philips and ABN AMRO were challenged to provide a tangible plan that generates sustainable impact. The three Nudge Impact Creators will spend two weeks in Amsterdam learning all about ‘Governing Climate Change’ at the VU Amsterdam Summer School to bring their sustainability knowledge and personal development even further.

Nudge Global Impact Award Selected Awardees 2018

Call to action

Nudge believes that the key to a sustainable future lies with young leadership and therefore calls on companies in all countries to join the Nudge Global Impact Challenge and support the participation of young professionals. The Support Partners contribute to bringing together the best young professionals from all over the world and giving them the knowledge, tools and confidence to implement positive and innovative change. Joining the Nudge Global Impact Challenge can be arranged by contacting Nudge.

About Nudge

Founded in 2010, Nudge strives towards a sustainable society. Nudge is a social enterprise and B Corp based in The Netherlands. Nudge connects people and organisations with its online platform in order to achieve grassroots initiatives that bring a positive and long-lasting change in our society. By facilitating bottom-up initiatives, Nudge offers perspectives for action that are accessible to everyone. Nudge invites everyone to take action and make a positive contribution to society. Over 65,500 people and approximately 200 organisations in the Netherlands are members of the Nudge community and this number is increasing daily.


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Good Returns and Inverdale Capital Management Surpass $10 Million in Guarantee Program for Impact Investors

Press Release – Dallas, TX – October 17, 2018 – Good Returns, the Dallas-based hybrid social enterprise whose unique philanthropic model for businesses helps create sustainable social impact, and Inverdale Capital Management, an asset management firm focused on alternative investments, today announced that they have raised more than $10 million in funding for their Guarantee-Investment-Values Strategies (GIVS).

GIVS provide guarantee capacity for impact lending programs and also target a financial return for participating investors. The capital provides a backstop for the Good Returns Cycle program, which creates impact by providing funding for organizations that address social issues. Investors in GIVS designate a portion of their managed assets to serve as collateral for Good Returns impact loans, while the assets remain continuously invested throughout the Cycle.

“We’re incredibly pleased with the high level of interest that GIVS have received in the impact investment community,” said Ryan Small, Managing Partner at Inverdale Capital Management. “This interest demonstrates that many investors are aligned with our belief that social impact can go hand in hand with strategies that target financial returns.”

Since the launch of GIVS in May 2018, Good Returns has initiated four new domestic and international Cycles. These Cycles have advanced women entrepreneurs and provided scaling capital for impact programs that focus on key areas of need, including poverty, education and health, among others.

“Our GIVS impact investment guarantee program has made it possible to offer companies the opportunity to participate in Good Returns Cycles that are much larger in both impact and scale,” said Kyle Lukianuk, President of Good Returns. “Good Returns can now help many more companies deploy sustainable capital for good.

More impact organizations will get the resources they need to fulfill their missions, and in doing so, more lives will be improved around the world.”


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