Nathan Mallipeddi is the Founder and CEO of Myspeech, an international nonprofit, where he leads a team of ~50 members and ~200 volunteers in tackling two of most significant issues in the field of healthcare services in speech therapy—the lack of access to care and unaffordable prices. They are currently building a technology platform to scale therapy and community services to millions of people who stutter around the world. They’ve impacted ~25,000 people in 26 countries, with partnerships in 30 schools. Their partners include Fast Forward, Future Founders, Harvard Innovations Labs, Microsoft, Salesforce, Verizon, the Westly Foundation, Donald A. Strauss Foundation, UCLA SOLE, the World Stuttering Network, and many more.
Jason Shim is the Director of Digital at the Ontario Science Centre. With over 15 years of experience spanning the nonprofit and academic sectors both as an employee and a consultant, he has consistently helped organizations stay ahead of the technology curve. He loves to help organizations explore the question “How can we harness technology to make a difference in the world?” In 2013, he led Pathways to Education to become the first Canadian charity to issue tax receipts for Bitcoin donations, providing access and awareness to a brand new tech-savvy audience.
Diana Wilson is very proud to be the Founder & CEO of Yielding Accomplished African Women (Yaa.W) and Black Sisters in STEM (Black SiS). They are a globally recognized nonprofit whose work has been featured by MTV, Google, The Malala Fund, Face2Face Africa, Blavity, The Late Afternoon Show with Berla Mundi and many more. Black Sisters in STEM is building the largest talent marketplace of Black college women in STEM and training the next Fortune 500 CEOs, innovators and world class leaders.
Caroline Spears is the Executive Director at Climate Cabinet, which began as a volunteer-based team in 2018, when a Texas state legislature candidate asked for climate talking points and policy solutions that were relevant to her district. They realized that this need was not unique: many candidates want to run on strong climate platforms but don’t have the time to simultaneously run a full-time campaign and do cutting-edge policy analysis. Thus, Climate Cabinet Action was born. Climate Cabinet Action has supported candidates and pushed climate on the campaign trail in four campaign cycles, including 2018 state legislature races, 2019 presidential primaries, 2020 state and congressional races, and 2021 Virginia House of Delegates elections. In 2020, they worked with 100 campaigns. Caroline grew up in Houston, Texas which is known for great food and for being the energy capital of today. She grew up with conservationist and pro-oil conversations happening around her and she took note of the tensions. She remembers evacuating for Hurricane Rita and the effects of Tropical Storm Allison. She saw the realities of climate change around her and saw her city grow an awareness of what that really meant. As she got into high school, Caroline took a specific interest in climate change as she tried to process and sort through all of the conflicting research she was hearing about what worked and what didn’t. She was fascinated by the combination of science and social science. In college she focused on answering these questions, even changing her major just before graduation and extending her graduation by two years to be able to take every climate class offered.
Michael Edmonson is the co-founder and CEO of Worthy Mentoring, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that connects mentors and mentees in the LGBTQ+ Community through a mobile iOS and Android App. The Worthy Mentoring App offers a safe platform for our community to seek personal guidance, professional advice, support, and friendship.
Amy Guterman is a human-centered designer and innovator, with a focus on leveraging tech for social impact. She is the Senior Director of Community Innovation, Impact Labs & Open Source Commons at Salesforce. At Salesforce, her team leads Impact Labs and Open Source Commons to foster community collaboration and inspire innovation on the world's most pressing challenges. Amy's work includes designing interventions to address issues in equity in education, housing and homelessness, and global health information systems. Her work has been featured in publications such as Forbes, FastCo, Wired, and The Verge and recognized internationally by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The White House.
Mari Galloway is the CEO and a founding board member of The Women's Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC), a Northern Virginia-based non-profit organization passionate about helping and empowering women to succeed in the cybersecurity field. Their primary mission is to advance women in cybersecurity by providing programs and partnerships that promote networking, education, mentoring, resource-sharing, and opportunities. Tennisha Martin is the founder and Executive Director of BlackGirlsHack (BGH Foundation), a national cybersecurity nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education and resources to underserved communities and increasing the diversity in cyber. BlackGirlsHack provides black women and girls with resources, mentorship, direction, and training required to enter and excel in the Cybersecurity field.
Alex Wilson is the co-founder of The Giving Block, a platform that makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency fundraising easy for nonprofits, empowering mission-driven organizations, charities, universities, and faith-based organizations of all sizes to leverage crypto technology to achieve their mission. Alex’s background is in management consulting where he worked with Fortune 500 companies to develop strategies around emerging technologies like AI, IoT, blockchain and cryptocurrency. As he went down the cryptocurrency rabbit hole, he and his co-founder discovered a need for nonprofits to be able to tap into the new and growing crypto donor demographic. Now, he’s turned his attention to the nonprofit world where he equips nonprofits to accept cryptocurrency donations and build fundraising programs.
Margaret Laws has distinguished herself as a catalytic leader in health care, forging cross-sector partnerships that drive positive social impact. At Hopelab Margaret leads a multidisciplinary team with expertise in healthcare, academic research, and design to create science-based technologies to improve the health and well-being of teens and young adults. She is passionate about bringing together government, nonprofit and private-sector stakeholders interested in advancing the role technology can play in supporting and improving health outcomes, with a particular focus on improving care for underserved populations.
COMMON Foundation combines the power of an incubator with philanthropy and social entrepreneurship to support, promote and develop non-profit ideas and organizations in the US and abroad for the benefit of people, planet, and peace. Prior to becoming the CEO of COMMON LLC, Mark Eckhardt was a principal at UFUSE Visionary Strategy Management, a global consulting firm devoted to unleashing creativity and helping entrepreneurs produce outstanding results through innovative business strategies, organizational design, and alignment of partnerships. Mark is also a Zen Buddhist Priest who has dedicated his life to transforming the nature of capitalism through social and environmental entrepreneurship. Mark joined us at Cause and Purpose to share the lessons he has learned through an entire career of conscious impact-building within capitalism.
Lisa Wang is the founder and CEO of Almost Fun, an innovative nonprofit organization whose mission it is to ensure low income and BIPOC students have a culturally responsive, accessible, and engaging resources that empower their learning. Almost Fun is also a graduate of FastForward’s nonprofit accelerator program, which we have featured in our startup edition on the podcast. Lisa joins Cause & Purpose for a tactical and enlightening discussion of what needs to change in how educational content is being made, what she learned from her time at Google about educational effectiveness and progress, and the lessons she has already learned in scaling a non-profit startup.
Larry Gast is the VP of Development at Moishe House International, a nonprofit that creates meaningful, welcoming communities for Jewish adults in a post-college world. Larry joins Cause & Purpose to discuss how he’s infused an entrepreneurial spirit into every one of his roles, from working with large organizations like the JDC to ones that closely resemble startups. He has a wealth of insights that can be used for your organization, no matter your size or mission. Some social impact leaders know they want to make a difference from a very young age. Others come to it on their own time. For Larry Gast, a career in social impact found him. And when it did, he knew it was what he would commit his life to. It all began at a public affairs firm in New York City. Larry’s boss was a leader at the UJA Federation of New York, one of the largest federations of Jews that pooled resources from supporters and gave them to various causes in need. She assigned Larry multiple projects organizing and distributing the resources, and he fell in love with it. He was working with neighborhood and community groups, but also supporting massive global organizations as well. For example, he supported the Interagency Task Force on Israel-Arab Issues, which focuses on Arab minority relations in Israel. As he went deeper with his work, Larry discovered a profound joy connecting with people both across the globe and in his own backyard. The power of human connection would ultimately become the headline item in his career. It led him to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) for nine years, and then to Moishe House International, where he currently works. Listen to Larry’s interview for the full story and so much more.
Karin Underwood is the Founder and CEO of Verano Health, an accessible mobile platform to provide life-changing diabetes self-management training to low-income Americans with chronic disease. She’s spent a lifetime embedded in social impact, from high school service trips all the way to living in Kenya for two years post-college with the One Acre Fund. Karin joins Cause & Purpose to detail her exciting journey as a nonprofit tech entrepreneur and share countless lessons-learned from a lifetime of firsthand experience interfacing directly with the communities she wants to help. Long before she founded Verano Health and graduated from the Fast Forward nonprofit tech accelerator, Karin Underwood was diving headfirst into service projects with her church and high school. Working with childcare centers, orphanages, and halfway homes for women at this formational time showed her that the world was so much bigger than her comfortable upbringing. The shining example for Karin came while she was in college working with homeless populations in St. Louis. The director of the center where she worked came to a meeting one day without her laptop. When asked what happened, her director said that her house was broken into and had many things stolen. Her response to all this was: “It’s OK, because I’m sure they needed it more than I did. I’m lucky enough to have the resources to get a new computer and replace these things.”“That moment had a huge impact on me. It was compassion in the face of great loss, and it showed me the kind of person I wanted to become.”Inspiration from her mother’s work in healthcare, on-the-ground service in East Africa, and time in the trenches with community health clinics would help her become that person. In this episode, you’ll hear:Heartfelt stories of impact from Karin’s time on the frontlines with patientsWhat a healthcare system of the future could look like in the U.S. About the importance of user-centered design and developmentHow to successfully introduce tech and innovation to people who really need itEditor's Note: In this episode, Karin refers to her company as CoachMe Health. They have since rebranded to Verano Health.
Woodrow Rosenbaum is the Chief Data Officer at Giving Tuesday, a movement designed to unleash the power of radical generosity around the world through a dedicated day for giving. Every year, Giving Tuesday activates over 70 national movements, 300 communities, and tens of millions of people to support organizations across the globe. Woodrow joins us for an exclusive interview on Cause & Purpose to share the origins behind Giving Tuesday, how we can shift mindsets for the social sector, and countless data-backed insights that can be applied to your organization on a year-round basis.
CauseMic is a boutique consulting firm cofounded by Matt Scott, CEO, to help nonprofits who want to truly disrupt the social sector. Their work is hyper-focused on implementing rapid growth plans that will see organizations scale their revenue 10x in 3 to 5 years, using technology to build personalized relationships at scale, and driving authentic engagement between organization and audience. Matt joins Cause & Purpose to share his insights, tactical advice, and so much more.
Shannon Farley is the cofounder and executive director of Fast Forward, an accelerator that focuses specifically on tech nonprofits. To date, they’ve graduated seven cohorts, raised more than $275 million on behalf of their members, and impacted the lives of more than 88 million people. Cause & Purpose was beyond excited to host Shannon and discuss how an entrepreneurial mindset has helped her career journey, from mobilizing the largest network of millennial philanthropists ever to funding the next great nonprofit founders obsessed with making a lasting impact on the world.
Tim Kachuriak is the Founder, Chief Innovation Officer, and Optimization Officer at NextAfter, a fundraising research lab and consultancy. They specialize in work with cause-driven businesses and nonprofit organizations to help them better understand their customers and inspire their donors to give generously. He's also the founder of The Human Coalition, a nonprofit that is committed to the goal of rescuing children and families from abortion. Tim joined us on Cause & Purpose to tell the story of how he was able to take career experiences from the world of advertising marketing and fuse it with the world of social impact. We also got tons of actionable insights for nonprofits to go along with the exciting tale.
Becky Kekula is a social change advocate, dynamic public speaker, and driving force behind the Disability Equality Index (DEI) from Disability:IN. A lifelong advocate for the rights and representation of people living with disabilities, Becky has covered many miles, touched many hearts, and has made a real impact on how people with disabilities are treated in the workplace. Becky joined Cause & Purpose to share her lived experiences, and talk about some of her struggles, successes, and failures from a life advocating for equal treatment for everyone.
Of all the social entrepreneurs we've met, few have had as diverse and unique a career journey as Rama Chakaki. Truly a citizen of the world, Rama spent parts of her youth in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. She's run both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. She's pushed boundaries in technology and touched countless lives through uplifting multimedia and purpose-driven e-commerce. Rama joined Cause & Purpose to share stories from her life and career, lessons learned, and discuss her latest ventures, including edSeed, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform that gives young refugees the resources they need to succeed in school and provide their entire family a new chance at life outside of a refugee camp.
As a teenager growing up in New Jersey, Maggie Doyne looked ahead to a future already written - college, career, student loans - and realized there must be more out there. During a gap year spent traveling in Southeast Asia, Maggie came face to face with a reality starkly different than the one she had known growing up - a refugee crisis, children forced into hard labor, and families torn apart by the Nepalese civil war. Struck by a deep affinity for the Nepalese people, Maggie new she had to act. She pooled what little resources she had, and together with her cofounder, a local Nepali man named Top Malla, she founded BlinkNow, a nonprofit organization that runs a school, women's center, and children's home in Surkhet Nepal.
When her best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 26, Zionna Hanson realized that there are serious problems in the way breast cancer is diagnosed and treated. The minimum screening age is typically 40 (far later than many women develop breast cancer) and long-term mental, physical, and emotional care is virtually nonexistent. Z founded Barbells for Boobs to advocate to redefine the standard of care in breast health and improving quality of life post diagnosis.
Throughout her career, Becky Straw has seen the impact stable employment can have on individuals and their families. A self-described “advocate for the unsexy,” Becky has repeatedly gotten involved with causes that foster entrepreneurship and job creation in developing communities around the world.
Shortly after graduating from college with a degree in political science, Chris Bessenecker enlisted in the Peace Corps. Alone and with minimal resources, Chris learned first-hand the power of human-centered design in development work, and went on to apply those learnings to building a unique innovation program at Project Concern International.
Carla Fernandez is a social entrepreneur and cofounder of The Dinner Party, an innovative nonprofit organization on a mission to transform life after loss from an isolating experience into one marked by community support, candid conversation, and forward movement using the age old practice of breaking bread. Carla joins Cause & Purpose to share her founding story and lessons learned from a life spent pursuing positive social impact. Traditional bereavement support groups can feel sterile, awkward, and somehow impersonal. Millennials experience grief and loss differently from previous generations, and are looking elsewhere for resources to help them cope.
As fate would have it, we recorded Jessica's first episode just a few days before George Floyd was killed and our nation erupted into chaos. Because of her background and unique insights, we felt it was important to invite Jessica back to share her feelings about the ongoing crisis, and provide some helpful tools for addressing topics of racial injustice with those in our own communities.In this episode, Jessica shares her thoughts and feelings around the racial tensions so prevalent today, and gives powerful recommendations for ways each of us can begin to generate empathy and understanding with those who might disagree with us, so our communities might finally begin to heal.
In our inaugural episode, Jessica Murrey joins Cause & Purpose to share stories from her life and career focused on conflict resolution and social justice. We'll delve into the importance of brand and communications strategy for nonprofits, exemplified by her work at The Search for Common Ground. We'll also discuss some of her upcoming projects, including an innovative new mobile game called Pathways, designed to teach teens about activism and self-efficacy.
Social entrepreneur, consultant, and podcast producer, Spear has been a member and critic of the impact sector since 2006.Learn More
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