Friday, September 29, 2006

Newsletter: Issue 1

I sent out an email newsletter to all of my friends & contacts when I started.. For posterity, here's a copy of it:

Hi all! Sorry for the mass-email, but I wanted to send out a quick noteto let you all know what I'm up to. A few months ago, I was awarded a fellowship in social entrepreneurship at Stanford called the Digital Vision Program In fact, I just received a call from Bill Clinton! (ok, that was actually a political ad) I’ve taken a year’s academic leave of absence from Nokia to be a visiting scholar at Stanford.

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

My definition is using the tools of business and entrepreneurship toward positive social change; somewhere between making nonprofits more efficient and making adding positive societal impact to for-profit companies. PBS's website defines it as "A social entrepreneur identifies and solves social problems on a large scale." Interestingly enough, they cite historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt and Susan B Anthony as early pioneers in the field.

What am I doing?

One goal of the RDVP fellowship is to develop and launch a project. My project idea is based around camera phones, youth education, and online community. I'm very much in the research phase right now, fleshing out what I'm planning to do, who I want to partner with, and how it'll all come together. The first two weeks have been a whirlwind of seminars, brainstorming, and amazing speakers. The highlight was probably Jim Fruchterman, a rocket scientist who started an amazing company called Benetech that is tackling everything from document processing for human rights groups to landmine detection with bomb detection technology.

Digital Vision Program
PBS New Heroes