Call for Submissions for Solutions Summit at UN Headquarters this September

United Nations

Solutions Summit is an annual catalytic gathering at UN Headquarters in New York during UN General Assembly high-level week in September. This initiative lifts-up and advances the work of exceptional teams who are already developing innovative solutions that address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s Solutions Summit will take place in the UN SDG Media Zone – a live broadcast event space at the United Nations focused on the SDGs – and will involve in-person accelerator sessions and social media interaction with the selected solution-makers. Solutions Summit 2017 will highlight projects that advance the objectives of one or more of the 17 SDGs.

During the Solutions Summit, a group of selected global innovators will give a ‘lightning talk’ outlining their breakthrough efforts to an audience of senior policymakers who have the means to pave solid regulatory foundations, investors who care deeply about long-term change and impact, industry leaders who are able to deploy quickly and at scale, fellow entrepreneurs who can share wisdom on starting up, and members of the public, including youth, who will bring additional creative insight. The gathering will serve as a catalyst to convene resources and talent around solution-makers.

The Solutions Summit is led by the UN Foundation, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) and the Global Innovation Exchange, in collaboration with Shift7, the Global Entrepreneurs Council, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, with an open invitation for governments and other partners to join. UN-NGLS is coordinating the open and transparent application and selection process to curate solutions to be featured during the Solutions Summit.

Responses will be available for open review here:
Responses to the questions in the application preceded by a # will not be made public.
NOTE: Incomplete applications / submissions will not be eligible for consideration.

23 August 2017: Apply to be a part of the Selection Committee
24 August 2017: Submit a solution to be considered for inclusion in Solutions Summit


Help us surface extraordinary individuals and teams who are developing solutions that address the SDGs and encourage them to apply. Please share this form and spread the word!

ASEAN Impact Challenge Announced


With the theme Inclusive Innovations for ASEAN, this year's challenge for regional impact-driven social innovators and entrepreneurs is now open. The Challenge welcomes scalable innovations with long-term solutions for community, social and environmental issues. Apply by 9 September.

ASEAN Impact Challenge is a regional program to discover innovators and entrepreneurs from Southeast Asia who are accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the ASEAN Post-2015 development agenda through cross-sector partnerships and scaling disruptive innovations.

‘Inclusive Innovation’ refers to the knowledge creation, acquisition, absorption and distribution efforts targeted directly at meeting the needs of the low-income or the base-of-the-pyramid (BoP) population. The focus of Inclusive Innovation is on delivering high-performance products and services or high experience at an ultra low cost to the people whose needs are generally not addressed. (Taken from the Global Research Alliance)

This year’s challenge is themed ‘Inclusive Innovations for ASEAN’ and hopes to discover innovations from the citizen and private sectors that are delivering on the inclusivity agenda in the region through the power of entrepreneurship and collaboration.

The Sustainable Development Goals were established by the United Nations to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.

To ensure a holistic approach towards creating impact, the ASEAN Impact Challenge was designed to align with the Global Goals. Participating teams are encouraged to form their innovations to address at least one of the 17 Goals.

Innovations in the ASEAN Impact Challenge can be categorized into nine tracks, for more information go to.

ANDE Releases New Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshots of Lagos, Abuja, and Accra


We are excited to announce that ANDE West Africa regional chapter has just released entrepreneurial ecosystem snapshots of Lagos and Abuja (Nigeria), and Accra (Ghana). With the generous support of the Citi Foundation, ANDE developed these snapshots to provide a better understanding of the entrepreneurship landscape in these cities.

In 2016, we commenced these studies to identify key actors in the Lagos, Abuja, and Accra entrepreneurial ecosystems, andl to map out the kinds of support these actors provide. Further, the snapshots aim to provide insight into existing gaps and opportunities within each ecosystem. As a result, we expect that ANDE members and other intermediary organizations will be empowered to make more informed decisions and tailor their programs towards embracing the opportunities, as well as closing the gaps, in the ecosystems.

We also aim for these snapshots to enable more small and growing businesses owners to have greater access to the kind of support they need to succeed, expand, and create more high-quality jobs.

See the full snapshots here:

As a tool for both job-creators (small business entrepreneurs) and organizations that seek to support them, we hope that these snapshots can help catalyze job opportunities across these cities, especially for young people. Bolstering small business entrepreneurship is an important part of building economically-vibrant cities, which can help promote economic progress across all facets of society.

For more information about the entrepreneurship ecosystem snapshots, send a note to the West Africa Regional Chapter staff: Olatunji Ajani or Joshua Adedeji.

Help us spread the word!

Just released: @AspenANDE #Lagos entrepreneurial ecosystem snapshot: w/ support from @Citi

The #SGB sector in #Abuja is experiencing gradual growth. Learn more in new @AspenANDE ecosystem snapshot:​

What sector leads the #Accra entrepreneurial ecosystem? Check out @AspenANDE's new snapshot:

Humanitarian Accelerators Call for Entries

The Humanitarian Accelerators

The Humanitarian Accelerators is a first of its kind initiative in the Arab World connecting start-ups and established companies from around the world with the UAE’s humanitarian sector to tackle social, cultural and environmental challenges in the Arab region.

Applications for our inaugural program, starting October 1st, are now open.

Applications Now Open for SVN’s Innovation Entrepreneurs Program

Social Venture Network

SVN is proud to announce that we are now accepting applications for the next cohort of SVN Innovation Entrepreneurs. [Please consider forwarding this announcement to any entrepreneurs who might benefit from this opportunity.]

SVN’s Innovation Entrepreneurs Program identifies and supports diverse, innovative, and high-impact business leaders. The program focuses on identifying women entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs of color who are leveraging business for the greater good.

Innovation Entrepreneurs are welcomed into the SVN community, a network of influential, mission-driven leaders who support one another professionally and personally. As Innovation Entrepreneurs, emerging leaders gain access to people, resources, and ideas to help scale their organizations and deepen their impact. Apply to become a 2017 Innovation Entrepreneur today.

Criterion Institute Launches Gender Lens Investing Toolkit Workshops in NYC and Denver

Criterion Institute


We will be in New York City and Denver this fall and would love to have you join us for our gender lens investing TOOLKIT workshop. These will be our last public TOOLKITs for the year, so we encourage you to join us for this opportunity!

This workshop is more than a training program: it is a design session and a place to actively build strategies using finance to create gender equitable social change. Led by Joy Anderson, Criterion Institute has hosted more than 40 TOOLKIT workshops in the past two years across the US as well as in Asia, Australia, and Europe. Every time, an amazing set of people come together bringing their aspirations to shape and build gender lens investing, whether that is the whole field or a single strategy. In the course of a day we move forward those aspirations while expanding the sense of what is possible at the intersection of gender and finance.

New York City, September 28th, 2017
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Register at

Denver, November 7th, 2017
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Register at

More information can be found on the registration page as well as on our website at

We encourage you to share this invitation widely with those you believe have the capacity to change the world.

NoVo Foundation Launches Radical Hope Fund

NoVo Foundation

Global call for bold, transformative projects advancing social justice! In a time of darkness and division, NoVo Fund to provide leaders ‘room to dream.’

The NoVo Foundation today announced The Radical Hope Fund, a new $20 million, four-year commitment to support bold and transformative social justice work across the globe.

The fund is designed to complement and deepen NoVo’s current work by encouraging new partnerships, collaboration and creativity. Beginning today, the foundation is inviting letters of inquiry from projects anywhere in the world, including from current grantee partners.

“Radical hope is one of the core values of the NoVo Foundation, and it serves as the inspiration for this new global commitment,” said Jennifer and Peter Buffett, NoVo’s co-presidents. “The Radical Hope Fund is grounded in deep optimism that a time of great challenge can also spur a moment of unprecedented collaboration and imagination, deepening our collective ability to build a more just and balanced world.”

Earlier this year, Jennifer and Peter Buffett and NoVo’s executive director, Pamela Shifman, encouraged foundations to double down on support for grassroots advocacy, activism and organizing, especially amid a global rise of regressive policies, discrimination and violence affecting girls and women, communities facing racial and ethnic discrimination, LGBTQI people, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees, and other marginalized people and communities around the world. The new fund is one way that NoVo is seeking to put its own words into action.

As foundations, including NoVo, have increased essential rapid response funding in the wake of the U.S. election, NoVo also saw an opportunity to complement that immediate response by offering support for proactive, forward-looking work focused on long-term transformation, both in the United States and around the world.

“In a time of darkness and division, there must also be room to dream,” said Pamela Shifman, executive director of the NoVo Foundation. “Even as we help communities respond to daily threats, we can—and must—also create space for them to imagine, build and lead us toward a better and more just future. That’s how we hope this fund will make a significant difference.”

Like all of NoVo’s work, the fund will be grounded in the belief that meaningful change happens from the community level up—informed by lived experience, powered by movement building and activism, and guided by the leadership of marginalized people as the best experts of their own lives and futures.

CEPPS Announces Grants for Non-U.S. Organizations


CEPPS has announced a new grants program designed to increase the political participation of historically marginalized populations in electoral processes. These grants are intended to counter discrimination against marginalized populations, which remains entrenched in many societies and is frequently reflected in political, legal, and financial institutions.

Through the provision of grants to local and regional organizations, CEPPS will support projects that address issues of particular importance to these communities. Qualified applicants include: non-U.S.-based regional and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); private, non-profit organizations; professional associations; and relevant special interest associations or coalitions.

Please find the announcement and Request for Statement of Interest (RSOI) on the website (link below), as well as attached here. Please share this broadly with your partners as you deem fit. The deadline for submission is August 17, 2017.

Please cite PCDNetwork as the source of the posting in your application.

Gray Matters Capital’s coLABS Invests in Colombia’s LikeU

Gray Matters Capital

Gray Matters Capital’s coLABS, an early-stage and gender-focused portfolio, announced that it has invested in the Colombian startup LikeU. Implementing sustainable and inclusive employment opportunities through telecommuting, LikeU is creating thousands of part-time jobs and providing high quality services to Business Process Outsourcing sectors. coLABS, which was launched in early 2017, provides entrepreneurs with investment capital and advisor support.

LikeU is revolutionizing livelihood opportunities in Latin America, particularly for women and persons with disabilities, by offering online training, skills certifications, and well-paid salaries through part-time telecommuting jobs. Telecommuting creates more flexible positions for women who need to balance domestic responsibilities with the need to contribute to their household income. The company brings greater efficiency to corporate clients since recruits have already been vetted and trained in specific services or products, making the hiring process three times faster. The investment from coLABS seeks to promote LikeU’s growth by allowing the company to boost its corporate partnerships and improve its online platform to automate the entire recruitment process.

Juan Esteban Rincón, Founder and CEO of LikeU, commented, “We believe that people do their job best when they enjoy their work and are happy. We support women by creating new employment opportunities, strengthening families through acknowledging the need for balancing domestic responsibilities, and pushing towards a more inclusive and equal society. As a company, we align with coLABS’ desire to help change the gendered status quo. We are constantly innovating, always with an eye on quality of life for our clients and quality of services offered to our companies.”

coLABS’ investment in LikeU was made after a targeted search in Latin America for innovative companies tackling critical issues for women in the region. LikeU’s offering of access to formal employment to enable autonomy and self-sufficiency, particularly among the increasing number of female-led households in the region, made the company a great fit for the coLABS portfolio.

The next coLABS investment cycle will occur in October and is open to global applicants. “We are thrilled to add LikeU to our growing portfolio. We are energized by the incredibly talented entrepreneurs who are solving challenges faced by women across the world, and we’re excited to support their growth,” said Anna Cable, who co-leads the portfolio. “coLABS will continue to consider applicants from all over the globe throughout the year. However, we’re especially on the lookout over the next quarter for ambitious entrepreneurs working in East Africa, as we’re aiming to double the number of current investments before year-end.”

Entrepreneurs who are passionate about changing the lives of women and girls at scale should visit the coLABS website for information on investment criteria and how to apply for funding.

Hunter Creative Labs to Host Cruise on ‘Leveraging Technology for Social Change.’

Hunter Creative Labs

Once in a while, there are opportunities to come together that can be transformative. We cannot promise that our ‘Leveraging Technology for Social Change’ cruise in November will do that. But with your help, we ask, what if this one event changed a thousand peoples lives? A million? What if it changed your life?

From Nov. 18th-23rd, we are bringing together Changemakers from around the world from diverse backgrounds, skillsets, and goals. We will give you tools, networking opportunities and peer-to-peer collaboration as we sail around the Caribbean. We also ask you to co-create the event with us and simply be PEOPLE who want a BETTER WORLD. For yourselves, for future generations, for our planet and beyond.

We humbly ask that you bring your voice, your courage, and the change you want to see in the world and join us. We will only be as great as we aspire to be, as an individual, and as a civilization.

Lipman Family Prize Call for Nominations

Lipman Family Prize

The Barry & Marie Lipman Family Prize at the University of Pennsylvania is an annual global prize given to one organization that celebrates leadership and innovation in the social sector with an emphasis on impact and transferability of practices. Winners of the Lipman Family Prize are models for the good they achieve as well as for their approach and implementation.

The Lipman Family Prize recognizes and supports these organizations — providing a service to the broader social sector by connecting organizations across service areas to the broader Penn community.

Award Components

Announced each spring at an award ceremony at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the Lipman Family Prize honoree package includes:

A $250,000 unrestricted cash award for the winning organization and $50,000 for each of the two other honorees.
An ongoing partnership with the University dedicated to knowledge sharing and support of the organization. This includes promotion of their work and accomplishments in the Lipman Prize network of organizations, Penn faculty and alumni, and social impact funders.
Access to tuition-free executive education programs at Wharton Executive Education and the Center for Social Impact Strategy, valued at approximately $15,000.
The exclusive Lipman Nonprofit Leadership Scholarship, given in partnership with the University’s School of Public Policy and Practice, valued at approximately $10,000
All three honorees for the Lipman Family Prize receive the same non-monetary benefits. Together with the University of Pennsylvania, each year’s honorees will help to build new knowledge, resources, and solutions for the social sector.

Points of Light Names New CEO

Points of Light

The Civic Accelerator is pleased to share the exciting news that Points of Light has named Natalye Paquin as its new CEO. The Civic Accelerator– a national entrepreneurial bootcamp and investment fund that supports and invests in early stage civic ventures – is delivered by a lean startup team in the Civic Innovation division of Points of Light.

Natalye is currently the chief transformation officer at the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Natalye brings extensive experience in nonprofit leadership, education and civil rights to the role, as well as a skilled hand at working with large networks and volunteer organizations – all key to the Points of Light mission and our work with you. Her undisputed passion for good, demonstrated leadership skills and commitment to action make her an exceptional choice to lead and build on the legacy of this organization.

She shared with us that she is “honored to join Points of Light at this moment in time, recognizing how important it is for the organization to lead in helping people and organizations connect their time, talent and treasures to the causes they care about. I look forward to joining Points of Light and working with all of you as partners in this shared global community. Together, we can accomplish so much and make the world a better place.”

I hope you will join me in welcoming Natalye to the Points of Light community in September.

In Service,

Neil Bush

GlobalGiving Accepting Applications For September 2017 Accelerator


GlobalGiving, the world’s first + largest global crowdfunding community, is accepting applications for new prospective nonprofit partners to participate in the September 2017 Accelerator.

The GlobalGiving Accelerator is an opportunity for you and your organization to build skills, access tools, and grow your base of supporters to achieve crowdfunding success. When you graduate, your organization becomes a permanent member of GlobalGiving, and you’ll have access to all the tools, training, and one-on-one support available in the GlobalGiving community.

During the last Accelerator program (June 2017), more than 550 nonprofit organizations from around the world raised nearly $750,000 in less than 3 weeks to support their projects.

American Sustainable Business Council to Host 6th Annual Sustainable Business & Policy Summit This October

American Sustainable Business Council

SustyBiz17: Advancing a Sustainability Agenda in the Trump Era

Government often makes bad decisions about climate, infrastructure, health care, taxes, regulations and other priorities because a few unsustainable mega-influencers insist that’s “what business wants.” Responsible business leaders know better. At SustyBiz17, on October 22-24 in Washington, D.C., you’ll get the tools to tell your representatives what your business really wants from government to create an economy that works for all.

ASBC’s 6th annual sustainable business & policy summit brings together company leaders, elected officials, think-tanks and media to understand and share best practices and reality-based policy initiatives. Attendees include a wide range of companies: large and small, established and start-up, publicly traded, privately held and B Corps. All of them enrich the dynamic opportunities at #SustyBiz.

The stakes have never been higher, and waiting it out is not an option. Join us at SustyBiz17 and help us give government the real message of “what business wants.”

Reserve your place at the table today:

Washington, DC
[email protected]

Jonathan C. Lewis Releases New Book ‘The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur’

The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur is about powering up your social justice career.

The world feels so screwed up, so unfair, so unnecessarily mean, so Trumpian. More than ever, the world needs you. This book is a book of conviction about the unfinished work of social justice. According to Lewis: "The crusty work of social entrepreneurship is as much fun as I’m permitted to have in public. It’s joyous, fulfilling and happy-making. Tackling big challenges is heady stuff. Fighting the good fight is utterly gratifying."

The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur is a compendium of 21 original essays and insights - part memoir, part handbook - about the challenges and questions every social entrepreneur thinks about. For the novice changemaker, each chapter bristles with provocative tips and tools to transform your social justice career. Because social entrepreneurship is not called solo entrepreneurship, the book also contains 19 additional commentaries by other change-makers.

Get the book here and use the 50% discount code ConvenersAugust (expires August 30, 2017).

All book proceeds are donated to social justice causes.

Unreasonable Institute Has Rebranded To Uncharted

Unreasonable Institute has just rebranded to Uncharted. The rebrand will help our team put a larger dent in some of the world's greatest problems, and we couldn't be more excited about it.

Make sure to check out our new website. Here are a few new pieces of content you might be interested in, too!

There is no single way to solve the problems our globe faces. This learning marked the beginning of an arduous, important journey to not only a new look, but also a redesigned approach for how to solve the world’s greatest problems.

Uncharted represents that our world, and how we improve it, is not fixed. There is no single way to solve the problems our globe faces, so we must head into the uncharted and learn what it takes to put big dents in big challenges our world encounters.

Problems are complex and dynamic. Our approach to solving is multi-colored, multi-changing, and multi-shaped. So is our logo. Its multiple permutations symbolizes that no matter the situation, Uncharted will adapt and become best suited to solve. Our brand is as dynamic as the solutions required to better our world.

We are excited for this new approach to creating serious, scalable impact across the world, and we're thrilled to take this next step in our journey—moving into uncharted waters to learn how to solve problems. And then going out and solving them.

Save the Date for ANDE’s Metrics from the Ground Up 2017


Save the Date!

Metrics from the Ground Up 2017
November 15-16
Nairobi, Kenya

Join ANDE in Nairobi this November for two days of conversations focused on emerging practices in measurement, practical strategies for adoption, and lessons from your peers who are supporting small and growing businesses in emerging markets.

Registration will open August 14th.
ANDE members: $125
Non-members: $350
Scholarships are available to cover lodging and registration costs; read below for more details.

Why attend?

“I feel like I've found a kindred group of highly intelligent, driven individuals who care deeply about
measuring the impact of the work of not only their own organizations but of the sector at-large.”

Intimate Conversations. With a max of 80 participants all grappling with questions of impact assessment, conversations are focused, intimate, and fun.

Practical. We move conversations beyond theory to demonstrate real examples of what works (and what doesn’t work).

Transparent and Open. We ask that all participants come prepared not just to learn, but to share their expertise.


Why Nairobi?
After 8 years, this is the first year that Metrics from the Ground Up will be hosted outside Washington, DC. ANDE is partnering with DFID to build the capacity of impact investors, social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial support organizations working in sub-Saharan Africa to measure their social and environmental performance. Metrics from the Ground Up Nairobi is an opportunity to bring together all these players for two days of learning and collaboration. We are excited for this opportunity to live up to the event's name: we aspire to tackle global impact measurement challenges from the ground up.


Now is the time to submit your session ideas! We will work closely with ANDE's Metrics Learning Labs to develop an agenda based on your feedback. Check back in September for a draft agenda.

Themes we are interested in are:
1) data for decision-making
2) exploring industry standards
3) measuring outcomes
4) making measurement useful along the whole 'impact value chain'
5) creating a culture of measurement. Sessions are practical, based in concrete experiences or resources, and discussion-based or hands-on.

Submit your session idea by August 4th.

Event Venue

The event will be held at Raddison Blu hotel in Nairobi. Check back soon for a list of recommended hotels.

Nominations Open for the Marshall Memorial Fellowship

German Marshall Fund

We invite you to help continue the spirit of the Marshall Plan and to strengthen transatlantic relations by nominating a rising leader for the Marshall Memorial Fellowship, which empowers leaders from business, government, and civil society for transatlantic engagement and cooperation. Nominations will be accepted until September 28, 2017.

How to Apply or Nominate
The Marshall Memorial Fellowship empowers emerging leaders from business, government, and civil society for transatlantic engagement and cooperation. Using a method perfected over more than 30 years of implementation, the Marshall Memorial Fellowship provides an intense learning and networking experience of benefit to those working on issues of shared concern for communities on both sides of the Atlantic.

SOCAP17 Guest Curator Spotlight Series Announced


To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Social Capital Markets conference, we reached out to leaders in the impact space and asked them to join us as Guest Curators. Each guest curated “Spotlight” is focused on a core inquiry, and utilizes multiple sessions and various formats to explore that inquiry with SOCAP attendees.

SOCAP always comes together through sessions designed by and for practitioners, and we are excited for these Spotlights to deepen conversations on important themes beyond a single session. In extending the invitation we started with the question:

If you had a platform at the world’s largest convening of impact investors, social entrepreneurs, and changemakers, how would you use it to break down sector silos and catalyze action towards solutions?

We are very excited to announce that several notable members of our community have taken on this challenge:

-B Lab
-Mission Investors Exchange
-CultureBank (Penelope Douglas and Deborah Cullinan)
-Gary Community Investments
-Jed Emerson

While developing their core inquiry and aligned sessions, SOCAP Guest Curators were asked to draw from their own perspectives and networks while considering the diverse, cross sector SOCAP community. Our hope is that our Guest Curators will help bring new ideas and voices into the conversation at the intersection of money and meaning.

Lindsay Smalling on the Guest Curator Series
The SOCAP content team, led by SOCAP Producer and Curator Lindsay Smalling, will be working with each curator to help them develop and bring their concept to the stage at SOCAP17. Lindsay said the Spotlight Series “will be a valuable addition to SOCAP content because it will create a more sustained and nuanced exploration of key questions. We have also taken care to invite curators who sit at the intersection of impact investing and other communities, to increase conversations across the silos that slow progress.”

Guest Curator Interview Series Coming Soon
To give you insight into these special sessions, over the next several weeks we will be interviewing our Guest Curators and sharing their visions with you for the content they are now developing. They will discuss the vision guiding their core themes, the challenges and opportunities in their topic areas, their hopes for what the audience will achieve during the session, and their hopes for the future.

Spring Launches First Global Impact Accelerator in Canada


The Global Impact Accelerator at Spring is the first in Canada to focus on global impact businesses looking to move to Canada and make the world a better place through their ventures. Vancouver is the Canadian leader for impact entrepreneurship and is the #1 ranked startup ecosystem in Canada.

Spring’s Global Impact Accelerator is a comprehensive, 4-month program, under the banner of
the Start-up Visa (SUV) Program. SUV targets established, immigrant entrepreneurs with the
skills and potential to build high-growth businesses in Canada, spur innovation and create jobs
in the local economy.Spring’s program is focused on businesses in:
i) Healthcare
ii) Sustainability
iii) Arts
iv) Progressive Food
v) Cleantech

Spring’s Global Impact Accelerator Program is uniquely positioned to provide mission-based
businesses with a platform that encompasses the knowledge, networking, mentorship and
support needed to grow, scale and amplify one’s impact on the global scale. Spring’s program
will run on a cohort basis, with a maximum of 6 companies selected to participate. The first
intake will also include up to 2 Vancouver companies, so as to speed integration into the
community, provide richer market perspectives and increase the global competitiveness.

“We are looking forward to engaging with some amazing high-growth impact ventures and
leaders, providing them with the tools and support needed to unlock growth in the North
American market. We believe that not only will this elevate the start-up pool and talent here in
Vancouver, but also spur new innovation across the board”.

“In today’s global environment, where businesses are more closely inter-connected than ever
before, Spring’s Global Impact Accelerator Program, allows us to bring some of the world’s best
impact companies to Vancouver and continue to move the dial on Vancouver and Canada’s
position as a leading world-class, startup and impact ecosystem”.

About Spring Activator
Whether you are just beginning your journey or looking to grow, Spring provides the tools to
build a successful impact business. We know that starting a business and trying to change the
world for the better is not easy; our goal is to help you maximize your chance of success as an
entrepreneur. Spring has supported over 400 entrepreneurs, 200 companies, has helped create
more than 200 jobs in our local economy and enabled early stage funding of over $8.5mn to be raised. Many of our companies have been accepted into premier accelerator programs such as Techstars, Entrepreneurs Round Table, Futurpreneur, Fledge, CTA, Radius, CDL West, The
Next Big Thing (TNBT), and SRCTec.

About The Start-up Visa Program
Canada’s Start-up Visa (SUV) Program is intended to attract foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish new, high-growth businesses in Canada which will support innovation and

The Start-up Visa program serves as an important tool for incubators and accelerators looking
to source international ventures. Start-Up Visa companies have enjoyed much success in
Canada, thanks to the quality of support provided by designated entities and Canada’s
business-friendly economic policies.

Points of Light Civic Accelerator Investment Winners Announced

The Points of Light Civic Accelerator

The Points of Light Civic Accelerator announced today that it will invest $50,000 each in SpringFour (Chicago) and The Virtual Scholarship Center (Atlanta) – one for-profit and one nonprofit startup. Both ventures are focused on financial well-being and economic mobility to help more individuals and families succeed.

The Civic Accelerator is the first accelerator and investment fund in the country focused on “civic ventures” – for-profit and nonprofit startups that solve social problems by tapping into human capital as part of the solution. The goal of the accelerator is to equip each startup to seek investments and scale their social innovations.

The investment came at the end of The Civic Accelerator’s ninth bootcamp-style startup program and investment fund. The Spring 2017 program convened 12 startups over 10 weeks for three in-person, weeklong sessions in Atlanta, New York and Seattle, in addition to an in-depth virtual curriculum. The participants peer-selected the two ventures that received $50,000 investments.

Call for Nominations for Fast Company’s 2018 Most Innovative Companies

Fast Company

For the last 10 years, Fast Company‘s editors have scoured the globe to identify enterprises at the forefront of their industries.With the breadth of innovation expanding, our research process for the 2018 Most Innovative Companies list is also expanding—tapping into new sources, new data sets; identifying new patterns. In that vein, we have instituted an application process for organizations that wish to be considered for Most Innovative Companies designation. While the ultimate decision and discretion will continue to reside with our editorial team, this will widen the candidate pool to reflect today’s expanding innovation efforts across the business landscape.

What’s Eligible

There are 24 industry categories, plus a General Innovation designation. We are looking for innovations that have had an impact on your company, your industry, and the broader culture. Enterprises of all sizes will be considered. Download our guide for how to nominate your brand.

Why Apply

Companies chosen for the Most Innovative Companies list will appear in the March 2018 issue of Fast Company magazine (circulation 725,000) and on (12.3 million monthly unique visitors); receive a verified company bio page on, and receive automatic entry into Fast Company‘s influencer community.

For the last 10 years, Fast Company‘s editors have scoured the globe to identify enterprises at the forefront of their industries.With the breadth of innovation expanding, our research process for the 2018 Most Innovative Companies list is also expanding—tapping into new sources, new data sets; identifying new patterns. In that vein, we have instituted an application process for organizations that wish to be considered for Most Innovative Companies designation. While the ultimate decision and discretion will continue to reside with our editorial team, this will widen the candidate pool to reflect today’s expanding innovation efforts across the business landscape. What’s Eligible There are 24 industry categories, plus a General Innovation designation. We are looking for innovations that have had an impact on your company, your industry, and the broader culture. Enterprises of all sizes will be considered. Download our guide for how to nominate your brand. Why Apply Companies chosen for the Most Innovative Companies list will appear in the March 2018 issue of Fast Company magazine (circulation 725,000) and on (12.3 million monthly unique visitors); receive a verified company bio page on, and receive automatic entry into Fast Company‘s influencer community.

SXSW Community Service Awards Call for Applications or Nominations

SXSW Community Service Awards

The SXSW Community Service Awards celebrate the spirit of community in Austin that we think is unique to SXSW. Each spring, five individuals and five organizations are recognized for their community service. Each honoree or organization will receive complimentary badges to SXSW, a $5,000 grant, and a chance to spread the word about their work to the SXSW community.

Get Your Invitation for the Regenerative Business Summit

Regenerative Business Alliance

Do you know a business that is in pursuit of shifting the paradigm of its industry?

The Regenerative Business Summit will be held in Seattle, September 25-27, 2017. The Summit is an invitation-only, interactive event for a select group of caring and courageous business leaders (with fiduciary responsibility for their business) from across a wide range of industries. These are players who not only want to multiply the growth of their venture, but disrupt their industry and society in fundamental ways.

The summit is designed and orchestrated by Carol Sanford, author of two books — The Responsible Business and The Responsible Entrepreneur — and The Regenerative Business Alliance, a network of regenerative business practitioners working at the cutting edge of business innovation and human development. Carol is a pioneer of regenerative business transformation, with a 40-year track record of helping CEOs of Fortune 500’s (such as P&G, Dupont, Colgate and Kingsford/Clorox) generate double- and even triple-digit growth for years, responsibly, while irreversibly transforming the lives of their stakeholders.

This Summit isn’t for everyone. This is not a conference where you sit and listen. Invitations are made to those who want to engage with peers in a rigorous dialogue to create great change that shifts societal and ecological systems health—and grows their own business. Participants engage in dialogue processes that are drawn from living systems philosophy, embedded in a regenerative business frame of reference. Our invitees are chosen because they want to move more thoughtfully and faster in the next year – and, as a result, have more impact in the world.

The theme for this year’s Summit is: Invest! Invested Co-Creators. Investing in Offerings. Gaining Investors.

Take a look at this Summit at a Glance and share this information with business leaders who should be in the room. It could be a powerful way for them to connect with a wider community of impact-focused businesses—and also develop their own thinking about their work.

The Roddenberry Foundation Announces The Roddenberry Fellowship

The Roddenberry Foundation

Today, we are excited to announce our newest initiative: The Roddenberry Fellowship.

Starting on July 25, the Roddenberry Foundation is awarding a total of $1 million to 20 activists, changemakers and community organizers from across the US to enter a 12-month fellowship program, which will commence in January 2018.

Fellows will each receive a $50,000 award, as well as tailored support, to implement a project or initiative that has direct impact in one of four major areas:

Civil Rights
Climate Change and Environmental Justice
Immigration and Refugee Rights
LGBTQIA and Women’s Rights

If you'd like to receive updates about the Roddenberry Fellowship, please opt-in here!

Even better, if you or someone you know might be a good candidate for the Fellowship, please check out our website, apply or nominate someone for the opportunity.

Because of the unique challenges facing the US this year, the Roddenberry Fellowship will focus on grassroots and community-based action within our borders. We hope you will join us in this endeavor. Next year, we will again invite innovators from around the world to apply for the 2018 Roddenberry Prize.

Thank you,
The Roddenberry Fellowship Team

Act Boldly for a Better Future

Registration Open for Big Data for Peace & Justice 2017

Humanity X

The 4th edition of the summer school provides an in-depth exploration into the challenges and opportunities that lie in using data for peace, justice and humanitarian response. Throughout the 5-day programme, you will combine theory and lessons that are drawn from practice to address some major challenges in leveraging the Data Revolution.

The courses are especially tailored to meet the needs of organisations that work in sensitive environments. To meet such challenges, the programme allows the development of the right set of skills to design data-driven innovation.

The annual summer school Big Data for Peace & Justice by HumanityX and the Centre for Innovation, Leiden University will take place 28 August – 1 September in The Hague, The Netherlands.


Our speakers will lend their expertise using a Theory, Think and Action labs format: a mix of academic teaching, presentations by practitioners and hands-on workshops. Over the course of the week, you will work in team-contexts to address particular challenges brought forward by the experts, yourself, or other participants.

This year’s programme includes various thought leaders and experts working on data-driven innovation in the peace, justice and humanitarian sector, with contributions from Leiden University, NOHA/University of Groningen, UN OCHA, UN Global Pulse, International Criminal Court (ICC), World Bank, World Vision, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, the Hague Institute for Internationalisation of Law, Institute for Economics and Peace, and many more!

Alliance for Securing Democracy Launches at GMF

German Marshall Fund

In 2016, American democracy came under unprecedented attack. The government of the Russian Federation attempted to weaken the pillars of our democracy and undermine faith and confidence in our society’s most fundamental right — the ability to choose our own leaders.

This effort was only the latest of Russia’s repeated and ongoing efforts to undermine democratic institutions and influence free and democratic elections throughout Europe. Its success has led Vladimir Putin to conclude that disruption is effective, and comes with little consequence.

These assaults employ offensive weapons to attack and weaken democracy. Putin’s Russia is seeking to harm the national security of the United States and our democratic allies and weaken us as nations by striking at our core strength — the strength that enables us to protect and advance our interests and prosperity. These efforts are particularly insidious because they seek to use our greatest strength — our openness — against us in order to undermine our democracy.

Finding out what happened in the United States in 2016 and the impact it had is important. But that is not enough. The U.S. intelligence community assessed in January 2017 that “Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against U.S. allies and their election processes.” Russia’s efforts are also ongoing across Europe — and we also need to prepare for other state actors to replicate Putin’s tactics. Moreover, Putin does not distinguish between political parties, but rather seeks to sow and exploit divisions. When our democratic institutions are weakened, every party and democratic nation is at risk.

Meeting this challenge to our democracy demands that Republicans and Democrats in the United States unite with our democratic allies around the world to better understand Russia’s multifaceted aggression in order to defend ourselves and our democratic partners, and deter such activity in the future.

The Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative housed at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions. The Alliance will work to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.

The Alliance will forge partnerships across the Atlantic with political leaders, policymakers, like-minded institutions, and technical experts to address the urgent need to secure our democracies, create a common understanding of the techniques used to undermine democracies, and share lessons learned about effective defensive and deterrent strategies. Enlisting leading transatlantic experts on cyber security, disinformation, illicit finance, Russian influence operations, and other relevant areas, the Alliance will develop strategies for making democracies more resilient against future meddling and better able to counter Russian efforts to use the subversion of democracy as a weapon. The Alliance will bring together experts across these areas and work with the private sector and civil society to develop and employ strategies to strengthen and secure our democracies.

Finally, it will analyze emerging technological and societal trends to identify areas of vulnerability to the eventual challenge from other state and nongovernmental actors who may attempt to replicate these tactics. By analyzing what Russia is doing today, the project will develop a shared playbook with recommendations for democratic leaders about how democracy can be better safeguarded tomorrow.

We must not lose sight of the fundamental strength of our free and transparent institutions — and we can never again allow authoritarian regimes to turn our greatest strength into a critical weakness. By shining a bright light on these tactics, ensuring that we close vulnerabilities in our system, and raising the cost on Russia and others that would seek to undermine democracies, the Alliance for Securing Democracy will help ensure that our democracies are resistant to foreign interference in the future. Doing so will not only strengthen the resilience of our democracy, it will be a reaffirmation of the entire democratic experiment.

The 2017 Impact Fellowships Summit Announced


ProInspire published a report in 2015 on Social Impact Fellowships, which included data from a field-wide survey. The research found a strong desire for collaboration within the fellowship industry. In fact, nearly 100% of survey respondents indicated that they would like to identify ways to share best practices and work with other fellowship programs to address common challenges. In response to this desire, Atlas Corps, ProInspire, and Public Allies came together to organize the first-ever Impact Fellowships Summit in 2016. Over 70 professional from 46 organizations gathered for a day of shared learning and community, and 100% of post-survey respondents expressed interest in continued collaboration and a Summit in 2017.

- Create an inclusive learning and sharing community for individuals who work on impact fellowship programs to identify common challenges, share best practices, and create solutions
- Identify and act on opportunities for collective action as a means of improving the quality and impact of fellowship programs
- Foster ongoing collaboration and support among community members

Click on the below link to learn more:

Gray Matters Capital’s coLABS Announces First Round of Gender Lens Investments

Gray Matters Capital

Gray Matters Capital (GMC) is excited to announce the first round of investments from its newest portfolio coLABS, which invests in innovative and scalable pilots that are tackling critical issues facing women and girls around the world. Launched at the beginning of this year, coLABS supports entrepreneurs of early-stage ventures with seed investment capital, rapid prototyping, and advisor support.

This first round of investments reflect the portfolio’s varied interests—three different sectors spanning three different continents. “We are extremely proud to support these diverse pilots as they each use innovative solutions to address challenges faced by women,” said Jennifer Soltis, co-lead of the new portfolio. “The entrepreneurs in this group are incredibly talented, and we are thrilled to work with them as they grow their businesses.”

African Renewable Energy (ARED) uses a micro-franchise model that focuses on women and disabled individuals to provide Wi-Fi, mobile phone charging services, and intranet content via solar-powered kiosks. ARED launched in January 2013 in Rwanda and is using coLABS funding for its first international expansion into Uganda to market test its newest kiosk model, the Shiriki Hub.

doctHERs is a Pakistani digital health and telemedicine company that connects a network of home-based female doctors—who are unable to access the workplace—to healthcare consumers—who lack access to quality, affordable healthcare–via technology. In February 2017, doctHERs pivoted after 18 months of a community-based clinical model to focus on underserved stakeholders in corporate value chains to achieve more scale and financial sustainability. doctHERs is using coLABS funding to test this new corporate model. On the supply side, it is reintegrating women healthcare professionals into the workforce. On the demand side, it engaging workers and families within corporate value chains with a special focus on health and wellness for women and girls.

IssueVoter is a non-partisan platform that gives its users a voice in Washington by making civic engagement accessible, efficient, and impactful. IssueVoter keeps users informed year-round by alerting them before Congress votes on key issues that they care about, sending their opinions directly to representatives with one click, and holding politicians accountable by tracking how they vote so that users can make informed decisions at election time. IssueVoter is passionate about promoting civic engagement among underrepresented women and is using coLABS funding to enhance their platform offerings, reach more citizens, and pilot a corporate engagement model.

Further information on the current portfolio and its entrepreneurs, as well as profiles of strategic advisors who are recruited to support enterprise development, is available on the coLABS website.

The coLABS investment cycle occurs approximately every three months and accepts applications on its website from ambitious entrepreneurs who are passionate about changing the lives of women and girls through disruptive innovation.

StartingBloc NY’17 Call for Applications

StartingBloc NY'17 Institute

StartingBloc’s NY’17 Institute is officially over halfway full!
StartingBloc brings together change leaders and social innovators from across the world for 5 days of workshops that hone your leadership skills and view your work from different perspectives.

Most importantly, you will join a community of passionate leaders who have each others’ backs. Our Fellows consistently connect each other to opportunities, jobs, and mentors, they team up on projects, and they hold each other accountable.

Why apply? 1. We have a great lineup of speakers with over 100 years of combined experience in social impact.

2. You’ll get connected to Fellows in the area + a group of StartingBloc Fellows who fly in from all over the country to support you through your Institute experience.

3. You’ll walk away with new leadership frameworks like Polarity Management, experience crafting your vision and sharing it with the room, and apply the process of Rapid Prototyping with a locally based organization. Click here to learn more about the Institute experience.

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