What is “Impact Investing”?

Impact Investing is a relatively new term used to describe philanthropy and charitable giving, but it implies that these projects require a return on the investment, although return requirements are much more lenient than what a typical financial investor would demand.  Here’ s a good New York Times article that delves into the topic at length:

More often, impact investing is described by what it is not. It does not work in the same way as socially responsible investing, which excludes areas a person does not want to invest in — like tobacco or guns — through a simple screening process. Impact investing focuses more on bringing about change — helping the working poor in India buy a home, for instance.

While most of the money is going into areas like helping to reduce poverty and improving the climate, it is not philanthropy. Investors expect at least a return of their capital with an adjustment for inflation and, in many cases, a lot more than that.

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Update on One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)

It’s been slow going. About 1.6 million of the group’s laptops have been distributed to date, said Matt Keller, vice president for global advocacy at the O.L.P.C. Foundation, based in Cambridge, Mass. Today, the largest concentrations are in Uruguay, at around 400,000, and Peru, at 280,000, followed by Rwanda (110,000) and Haiti and Mongolia (15,000 each).

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The Updated CauseWorld App For The iPhone

We’ve previously written about CauseWorld, an app that offers several ways to donate while you shop.  The new and improved app now incorporates the location based check in phenomenon.  Instead of checking in for gaming purposes as one does on Foursquare and Gowalla, CauseWorld let’s you connect to stores around you so you can use the points you get for checking in to support a variety of charitable causes.

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Check out the complete review here.

More human beings today have access to a cellphone than the United Nations says have access to a clean toilet

A nice article on cell phones and the part they are playing to close the great tech divide:

The number of mobile subscriptions in the world is expected to pass five billion this year, according to the International Telecommunication Union, an intergovernmental organization. That would mean more human beings today have access to a cellphone than the United Nations says have access to a clean toilet.

And because it reaches so many people, because it is always with you, because it is cheap and sharable and easily repaired, the cellphone has opened a new frontier of global innovation.

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