The Members Project: American Express Rallying Members To Do Some Good For The World

Just found out about this program from American Express– this is how it works:

1. American Express rounds up card members to join. For each member, AMEX will donate $1 to The Member’s Project.
2. Members read, rate, and discuss the projects submitted by fellow Cardmembers.
3. Members are encouraged to submit projects or ideas.
4. Members vote for the winning idea.

Here’s their official copy:

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Introducing The Members Project, an exciting new initiative that brings American Express® Cardmembers together to do something good for our world.

Join Cardmembers to dream up, and ultimately unite behind, one incredible idea. American Express will bring it to life with up to $5 million.

So where does the money come from? It’s all about power in numbers. For every Cardmember that registers, American Express contributes $1 — up to $5 million for that one winning idea.*

Will you send meningitis vaccines to Africa? Rebuild a school in New Orleans? Or support small organic farmers? The possibilities are endless. The decision is yours. Join The Members Project today.

Get involved at membersproject.com.

Fifteenth Anniversary Party for Green Corp – NYC

From a fellow alum–

You are invited to attend the…GREEN CORPS 15th Birthday Bash and Benefit

Celebrating 15 Years of Training the Next Generation of Environmental and Social Change Leaders

March 1st, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
The Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery
526 West 26th Street, No. 213

OPEN BAR and hors d’oeuvres

Featuring Special Guest Speaker: William Powers, author and conservationist

Tickets: $50 in advance and $75 at the door. RSVP to nycparty@greencorps.org

Contributions can be made here.

Here is the email copy:

I want to invite you to one of the best and definitely most important – parties of the year: the New York City celebration of Green Corps’s fifteenth anniversary. Green Corps is an extraordinary organization that trains the next generation of environmental and social change leaders, people on the front lines of today’s biggest environmental and political battles.

Since graduating from Yale in 1999, I have spent the past eight years working with Green Corps to help recent college graduates launch their careers in environmental and social change advocacy. We’re celebrating our 15th anniversary with a big bash and benefit in NYC on March 1st at the beautiful Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in Chelsea from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. It will bring together some of New York City’s top environmental, political, and social change leaders (list below). The event is being organized by Yale alumni Glenn Hurowitz (Class of 2000) and Adam de Havenon (Class of 2002), and includes several Yalies on the host committee, including Frances Beinecke (President of NRDC), Seth Brown (Class of 2000), Adam Gordon (Class of 2000), Annie Decker (current), Diana Adams (Class of 2001), Margie Klein (Class of 2001), and Matt Runkle (Class of 2000).

RSVP now by emailing nycparty@greencorps.org. Entrance tickets are $50 in advance and $75 at the door. Contributions can be made at https://www.oursecureserver.org/greencorps/support.html.

We’re honored to have author and pioneering conservationist William Powers as our speaker. Mr. Powers will have just returned from a five year stint in Bolivia, where he worked deep in the Amazon with indigenous people to protect more than 3 million acres of endangered tropical forest, a groundbreaking, prize-winning project that leveraged the financial resources of the some of the world’s biggest polluters to conserve the forests that produce the world’s oxygen – establishing a model for tackling global warming around the world. Mr. Powers wrote about his experiences in his recent book Whispering in the Giant’s Ear and Blue Clay People, and is the author of the children’s book Kusau and the Tree of Life. His essays and commentaries on global issues have appeared in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, and on National Public Radio.

Jim Collins On Leadership In The Social Sector

Good to Great and the Social Sectors

Jim Collins is considered one of the great business gurus of our time and really made a name for himself with Built to Last : Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, which was on the Businessweek Bestseller List forever), and followed up with Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t.  These two books are a must read for anyone interested in learning more about leadership and management in the business world.More recently, Jim Collins has focused on leadership in the social sector and last year, he published his findings in Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great.
WSJ article:

For years, Mr. Collins has maintained that top-flight leaders are defined by a combination of humility and fierce resolve. In his most popular management book, “Good to Great,” published in 2001, Mr. Collins asserted that such leaders “will sell the mills or fire their brother, if that’s what it takes to make the company great.”

Now Mr. Collins is reworking his ideas about how to set goals, build teams and achieve lasting growth. The adjustments are based on 2½ years of studying police departments, symphony orchestras and other “social sector” entities — and most are aimed at nonbusiness leaders. But he argues that some principles apply to corporate bosses, too.

I think this is a must read for any social entrepreneur. Amazon offers Good to Great together with the Monograph for a 40% discount off the cover price.

Social Entrepreneur Focus: Negroponte and his $100 laptop

Nicholas Negroponte is the founder of MIT’s Media Lab and a professor at MIT. Link to his bio.

He helped to establish the 2B1 Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing online access and personal computing to children in remote areas of the world.

My goal is to specifically highlight his “One Laptop per Child” non-profit organization, which wants to distribute a $100 laptop so that every child in the world has access to the power of and knowledge of the internet.

The idea is pretty simple. As more and more stuff moves online, the digital divide will grow bigger and bigger. Those without computers will be left in the dark and with how fast the internet is growing, if we don’t close the gap soon, it will get harder to address. Thats why this laptop project and free/muni wifi initiatives have tremendous social value.