Activism

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An Open Letter to Occupy: A Carrot is Better Than a Stick

Carrotmob founder, Brent Schulkin explains why offering a “carrot” to businesses is better than to berate them with a “stick”. And he bring his ideology to the Occupy movement. Traditionally, people who wanted to influence businesses would threaten or attack them. Brent believes people can have more influence on businesses by giving them a positive incentive to change: our money. If you agree, sign up!

April 2nd

Locals Do It Better: GoVoluntr Helps Small Businesses with Effective Cause Marketing

Cause marketing is complex, challenging and costly. Despite these known challenges both local organizations and businesses recognize the efficiency of cause marketing as a revenue booster and an awareness platform. These are the clear hurdles for social innovation, but ones that if confronted can reap substantial rewards for everyone involved.

A platform like GoVoluntr’s Volunteer Rewards might just do the trick. Businesses can provide discounted goods and services as a reward for volunteering hours with non-profits or choose to use products to endorse a specific cause. “Free stuff” can be an effective motivator to volunteer, especially for those individuals who aren’t yet familiar with the natural rewards of helping out.

January 10th

Occupy Wall Street Is About Sustainability and Ecological Innovation

Much has been said in recent months about the Occupy Wall Street movement and its link with a broader movement to rein in wastefulness and unsustainable business practices through entrepreneurial innovation. Occupiers are often critiqued as being off-message or, worse, not having a message. Other times Occupiers are accused of being too vague or hypocritical. It seems most of middle America would rather complain about pictures of Occupy Wall Street protesters holding Starbucks coffees than actually listen to their grievances. The most common charge waged at the group is that they don’t really know what they’re protesting, that it’s generalized liberal ambiguity. However, if you read between the lines, there are several clear messages emanating from Occupy Wall Street and they are perfectly aligned with environmental responsibility and sustainability:

January 4th

US Congress Worth Over $2 Billion: Wealthy Lawmakers Mostly the Top 1 %

Do people become politicians because they are rich or are they rich because they are politicians? Whichever the case, such a high proportion of wealthy lawmakers is just not a healthy situation.

According to a Roll Call analysis of US Congress members’ financial disclosure forms, the collective net worth of American lawmakers jumped 25 percent to over $2 billion in just the last two years — with 50 of the richest Congressmen and women accounting for 90 percent of the increase.

January 2nd

8 Trends That Will Impact Social Entrepreneurs in 2012

2011 was full of good news for social entrepreneurs. And 2012 promises to be even more exciting. Here is what I think social innovators will build upon in the New Year! We saw social enterprises created out of cooperatives and clean tech. Non-profits came out of their comfort zones and many for-profit companies took on a more holistic vision. The local and occupy movement created opportunities, previously un-imagined. Overall, social entrepreneurship came of age and is raring to go into 2012!

December 30th

What Non-Profits Can Learn From Coca-Cola?

Melinda Gates, through her travels for the Gates Foundation in the developing world, sees that poverty-stricken areas do not have a lot of things we take for granted- clean surroundings, clean water, sanitation or electricity. But she is astounded by what they do have- Coke. At TEDxChange, Melinda Gates makes a provocative case for nonprofits taking a cue from corporations such as Coca-Cola, whose plugged-in, global network of marketers and distributors ensures that every remote village wants — and can get — a Coke. Why shouldn’t this work for condoms, sanitation, vaccinations too?

December 21st

Another Reason to Switch to a Credit Union: Banks Fund Climate Change

Whether the coal is coming from traditional mines, whose well-documented dangers include inhaling coal dust and mines collapsing, or whether it’s harvested by companies who use mountaintop removal, it is devastating to our environment and to human life. A recent study, “Bankrolling Climate Change”, gives a disturbing look at how banks are funding the coal industry. Our use of coal is one of the major contributing factors to global warming, not to mention that coal mining itself is hideous.

December 8th

The United States Isn't Broke But Why is Our Economy Broken? It Favors the Top 1%

The Story of Stuff Project takes on government subsidies in new online movie called ‘The Story of Broke’ and calls for investments in a clean, fair economy.

The United States isn’t broke; we’re the richest country on the planet and a country in which the richest among us are doing exceptionally well. But the truth is, our economy is broken.

We are producing more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other country. In these and so many other ways, it just isn’t working. But rather than invest in something better, we continue to keep this ‘dinosaur economy’ on life support with hundreds of billions of dollars of our tax money. The Story of Broke calls for a shift ingovernment spending toward investments in clean, green solutions—renewable energy, safer chemicals and materials, zero waste and more—that can deliver jobs AND a healthier environment.

November 8th

Is the Occupy Movement a Call for Sustainability?

For years the American public has professed to care about the environment, yet their purchasing decisions did not reflect this value. Consumers have decried labor conditions, yet sought the lowest-price option for goods. The sustainability community in the United States has long called for a consumer awakening to the fact that each time they make a purchase, they are ‘voting with their dollars’ –supporting practices, governments and policies that they dislike in survey after survey.
That is why I have watched with growing interest as Occupy demonstrations began and have grown from New York to more than 150 cities across the country and around the world. Using social media, I reached out to participants and organizers (I was admonished not to use the term ‘leaders’ as their role was to convene, not to direct) of the various movements. And what I found surprised me.

October 27th

Top 10 Green Marketing Campaigns

I was recently asked for a list of top-ten green marketing campaigns so here is mine in chronological order. Some were created for large companies and some for small companies, but they all share in their innovation and how they changed the conversation about how to market green.

October 26th

How Corporations and Special Interest Groups Can Influence Citizens Through Astroturfing

Grassroots movements are usually considered the “community’s voice” and key to any democratic institution. But apparently not always. Some grassroots organizations and actions are actually “astroturfing”, that is really the antithesis of the above definition. In light of recent political debates and issues of green jobs, climate change and energy policies, this issue affects how key political issues are perceived and presented to citizens.
Astroturfing has emerged as a powerful and malignant form of corporate greenwashing that has potential to change the political direction of this country.

September 15th

This World Water Week Help Charity: Water Bring Clean Water To Africa

Do you know there are a billion people on the planet who don’t have access to clean water? This is the main driving force behind Charity: Water’s mission.
Most of us have never really been thirsty. We’ve never had to leave our houses and walk 5 miles to fetch water. We simply turn on the tap, and water comes out. Clean. Yet there are a billion people on the planet who don’t have clean water. Charity Water invites you to put yourself in their shoes.

August 25th