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The show about leaders, innovators, and change agents, working on the front lines to solve some of the world's greatest social challenges...
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How Larry Gast Cultivates Highly Engaged Community Audiences with an Entrepreneurial Spirit at Moishe House International

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.

Larry Gast
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How User-Centered Design and Development is Helping Karin Underwood Make a Massive Impact in Healthcare with Verano Health

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.

Karin Underwood

Meet the host

Mike Spear

Social entrepreneur, consultant, and podcast producer, Spear has been a member and critic of the impact sector since 2006.

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