Let’s Talk About the Future: The Global Grand Challenges App

Let’s Talk About the Future: The Global Grand Challenges App

Podcast Summary

SU works with organizations of all shapes and sizes: corporations, startups, NGOs, governments, academia, you name it! They help people understand how technology is transforming the future and how they can prepare for that transformation. In this episode, hear about…

  • 2:00 How SU addresses the Global Goals
  • 4:00 Solving Problems with Vision Instead of Tactics
  • 7:00 SU’s Global Grand Challenges
  • 12:00 The brain-computer and casting a vision
  • 22:00 The Global Grand Challenges App
  • 33:00 Challenge: Go have a conversation with someone about… the future.

 

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[0:27] Singularity University was founded about a decade ago with a recognition that technology is advancing at an extremely rapid pace in the world, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that these powerful developments of technology are leveraged in a way that makes the world a better place.

“So the mission really is to build this community of leaders that are empowered and equipped to leverage the advancement in technology to tackle some of the greatest challenges that we face in the world,” Brett says.

What is Singularity up to with the Global Goals?

[02:00] SU thinks about addressing the Global Goals in two main ways:

  1. Resource Needs These are the things we need to survive and then societal needs– the things that we need to thrive. So on the one side of resource needs, we’re thinking about everything from food, water to energy, space, and resources.

2. Preparing for the Future These areas of development include education, healthcare, and mitigation of future risks.

 

 

To tackle these two categories, SU has developed a very large global community that they have been building for this last decade. Today they are at about 200,000 people in 131 countries in scope.

There are chapters set up in 142 cities around the world, and now they are beginning to launch different types of country partnerships to spread the global footprint. Brett says,

“We tried to bring together around this one common mindset and this one common vision of what we can do together and what we can accomplish.

We believe we have with these tools in our world, like technology to bring about a future of abundance to bring about a future where people, no matter where you are on this planet, you’re no longer experiencing these different types of global grand challenges or they’re at least being reduced in some meaningful way.”

Solving Problems with Vision Instead of Tactics

[04:13] The SU community frames the global grand challenges with a slightly more broad view on the future state that we can imagine within each of these challenge spaces. Brett mentions that there’s something really fascinating in the psychology of problem-solving that has come up as their community has taken on the goals: humans tend to react to problems with fixes and solutions, rather than creating a vision for a new possible future.

“The vision tends to get a much more compelling response from people,” Brett says.

The Stimson Center Study

[04:57] The Stimson center is a nuclear threat reduction think tank. They were curious about why people globally were not actively getting involved in the question of nuclear threat. It’s a very real, very tangible issue for people today… but no one was getting involved.

What they discovered was that the more seriously a threat or a problem was framed, the less likely people were to actually get involved in solving it. It’s sort of an unexpected psychological reaction where people think “oh, if it’s such a serious problem, then someone smarter and more specialized must be taking care of it and I don’t necessarily need to take action.”

This research pointed the Stimson center to look toward the future vision that people can create together. a future vision is more motivating and it doesn’t elicit that same “someone else is taking care of it” reaction.

[05:44] “So that idea is really baked into our approach to the global grand challenges. We’re creating future visions of what we can achieve, and we are inviting people to come together and take action as a community.”

SU’s Global Grand Challenges

The Global Grand Challenges road map will be created together with SU’s global community, faculty, startups and partners to become a core part of their thought leadership. They will:

  • Help people find the opportunities that truly make sense for them to take on.
  • Show the small steps each group can take.
  • Show some of the large steps we can take as a community.
  • Help orient people toward the types of R&D breakthroughs that we might need in order to push an industry or push a challenge space forward.
  • They’ll include policy changes that we believe would be very helpful in shaping the correct ecosystem to let this change come about.
  • The GGC’s will also incorporate technological developments to guide people through leveraging technology.
The Brain Computer

[12:27] Ray Kurzwell had one specific prediction that influences SU greatly: that within 10 or 15 years people will be able to hold in our hands a computer that has the processing power of a human brain for $1,000.

So that’s a computer that can process 16 trillion calculations per second and we’ll have that kind of computing power in their hands.

[14:54] The prediction is that this power of computing and access to technology will be spread all around the world. It will begin opening up completely new markets… completely new communication channels. It will begin to level the playing field a little bit more from country to country and from continent to continent.

The Exponentially Growing SU Community

[20:29] “So we have this massive community of 200,000 people in 131 countries and right now that community convenes primarily around geographies and country partnerships that we have. But we’ve been asking, “how can we start to create smaller action groups within that large Global SU community? Can they come together around existing interests and existing industries?

These are called the Singularity University micro-communities.

Measuring, Reporting and Validating Micro-community Actions

[21:12] Brian asks, “How do we truly take ownership for something that’s happening out in the world, especially when it’s happening in such a distributed manner? We’ve had about 5,000 initiatives reported from around the world… but we know there’s so much more we’re not capturing.”

[24:28] Just this week we launched a brand new feature through our app, which you can download from the App Store or from Google Play and it. It’s a feature called Impact Goals, and we’re kind of asking our community to set some goals with us as we come into 2019.

So it’s a really simple framework for setting the goals that you would like to achieve in whatever timeframe you’re looking for.”

The app has 6 different pathways:

  1.  Creation of a new organization
  2. Innovation within your existing organization
  3. Education and awareness campaigns
  4. Mobilization of resources
  5. Pursuing policy
  6. Pursuing research and development

Challenge: go have a conversation with someone about… the future.

[33:14] We actually have some really amazing pop culture that we can turn to, Brian says. Whether it’s Scifi that you’re reading or it’s TV shows or movies, we already are seeing questions of the ethical dilemmas and the interpersonal dilemmas. And, some of the social challenges we’re going to see.

“We’re beginning to see these really pervade a popular media. And that makes me really, really excited because that provides framing for people to actually engage in the future together. You can look at possible probable futures and have a meaningful conversation about them without really overextending yourself to try to grasp at new information, or find something that’s not in your world.”

Black Mirror and Star Trek

Brett recommends watching Black Mirror, a TV show about some of the ethical dilemmas that may come up as technology develops more and more. But don’t just watch it, he says, … go have a conversation about it with your family or friends afterward.

[35:35] “I was watching Star Trek Discovery when it first came out, and I specifically remember a scene where the main character is arguing with an AI. She’s reasoning with an AI to try to release her from imprisonment and they’re going back and forth about what moral standard is the most important.

It was this fascinating scene to think about… this is actually something we might have to deal with at some point in time. How do we encode moral and ethical frameworks into our technology? And then how do we actually reason with it and help it evolve?”

That will be the game… constantly evolving. Faster than the technology, hopefully…

 


Takeaways

  • Get ready for the Global Grand Challenges! They’ll be released soon… with roadmaps we can actually use to make a difference, and make better business decisions.
  • Challenge: Keep an eye out for the Road Maps!
  • Challenge: Join one of Brett’s workshops if you’re near San Fransisco.
  • Challenge: Log one of YOUR goals in the App! You can download it here:
22 Preparing Startups for the Abundant Future

22 Preparing Startups for the Abundant Future

Singularity University is on a mission to make the world a more abundant place. In this episode, we’ll hear from Molly Pyle, the Senior Program Manager of Singularity University Programs and the Co-Chair of the Women’s Impact Network.

Summary

In this episode we’ll explore the SU ecosystem, learn about the resources they have available, and get a glimpse into the next-level community it will take to prepare for an exponential-tech-driven future.

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[00:51] Ultimately we are working on preparing leaders of the future, whether it’s startup founders, leaders of governments, NGOs, you name it. We really want people to understand the opportunities and the implications of exponential technologies and help them become more connected. Connected to our global ecosystem as well as connected to the future business and tech landscape. We’re asking, how do we ultimately understand how to solve the world’s most urgent and pressing problems?

SU provides program services, information, education, and resources to help folks have the mindset, the tools, and the resources to ultimately transform the future and create a world of abundance.

How Singularity Started: Niching in Exponential Technology

[02:16] “Singularity University was founded by Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis. These guys are very famous thinkers, inventors, futurists and entrepreneurs in their own right respectively. Ray and Peter came together one day and realized that the future’s going to look a lot different than what we currently understand it to be.

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Exponential technologies are those which are rapidly accelerating and shaping major industries. And ultimately every aspect of our life and that if we can understand these exponential technologies like:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • Digital biology
  • Biotech
  • Nanotech
  • 3D printing
  • Blockchain robotics

We want to know how they’re changing and the law of accelerating returns, as Ray Kurzweil called it. We can actually leverage that information to help make the future abundant and help make it a place where everyone has access to what they need to thrive.

With exponential tech, we believe it’s possible to live in a world where nobody wants for anything. It sounds like a crazy sort of idealistic future, but we really view that the future can be anything that you can create it to be.”

An Exponential Mindset

[04:09] “An exponential mindset or an abundance mindset refers to that point of view that we have here at SU: that ultimately there’s no problem that we cannot solve when we apply exponential technologies and innovative ways of thinking. We really have that hopeful outlook on the world and our future. So we want to focus our energies on bringing that information to others and empowering them to create that abundant future we envision.”

The SU Ecosystem

[04:55] SU has hubs or chapters that are led by alumni. People who have gone through a program with us before will go out then into the world and galvanize others around the mission. They can start a chapter anywhere in the world.

“Right now SU has 126 chapters across 63 countries. We have 191,000 community members who either have been to an SU program or are part of an SU chapter and are really keen on the exponential mindset.”

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SU and the UN Global Goals

[08:47] The goals that SU focuses on are the following 12: Energy environment, food, shelter, space exploration, water, disaster, resilience, governance, health, learning and security. SU buckets various sustainable development goals under these 12 global grand challenges.

[09:18] “We are not telling you how to solve these problems. We are not standing on the stage dictating the future and exactly step by step what every country or government or city or organization needs to do. That would be really prescriptive, right? And it’s not our role to do that.

Our role is that of a convener. So we want to bring the right people together with the right skills and the right technology so that they can solve these big pressing problems that honestly should have been solved decades and centuries ago, but we’re still working on them because they’re that hard.”

The SU Community

SU resident entrepreneurs have 7 weeks of in-person mentorship and then 3 weeks of virtual mentorship. The point is to create a global network that resources mission-driven people.

SU is asking, how do you integrate a 190K+ people who already have a shared vision and value set? How do you make sure that they are authentically meeting and connecting with each other and helping each other?

The Startup Ecosystem for Global Problem Solving

[14:03] We’re on a mission within the next 10 years to back 10,000 impact startups. So 10,000 startups using technology, hopefully using exponential technology to solve a global grand challenge to make it a thing of the past.

About Molly

[15:16] “I am the designer, right? I mean, I speak on behalf of them because they are what I believe the lifeblood relate to creating this transformation in the world is through the design of experiences.

[15:34] Molly puts together the right curriculum, the right content, the right speakers, mentors, faculty, and what the program is going to look like so that it transcends everybody’s expectations.

How are businesses going to anticipate technological shifts in your own business model and your roadmap for the next five years?

[21:31] “That’s what we want people to really be challenged with. We understand that is not an easy thing to figure out, so that’s why this program is a hybrid model of in-person and digital support. For a whole year.”

Content Style: Curriculum Designed for Startups

[23:20] “We’ve asked the experts to redesign their usual talks and lectures completely from the ground up with startup founders in mind.”

It’s important that the information is actionable or meaningful to the student. So, even if you think you’re an energy company using blockchain, you listen to the talk on quantum computing and then you listen to the talk on the blockchain, and you realize there is a convergence of those two technologies. You realize that quantum computing is the key for you to massively scale or for you to 10 x your impact.

The Global Startup Program

[25:06] SU is packaging up the content curriculum, the speakers and sending it all over the globe to be – the global startup program. Part of this will take place in another country, another continent, and then faculty and students will come back to Silicon Valley for the accelerate phase. They network like crazy, look for opportunities for funding, meet local mentors, and ultimately then launch out a big demo fair in the valley.

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Where do I start?

[26:52] First, you can access SU’s digital content first and get all of that foundational knowledge before you even enter the first in-person phase. You can get access as a GSP participant to this digital platform with all of the digital courses. That way, you can feel really prepared walking in the first day of the program.

“But even if you’re not in GSP in those digital courses, I’d say they are a great place to start to understand what all this terminology means and beyond terminology. How do I actually integrate this to transform my life and build a future that I want to live in?”

A Fearless Abundance Mindset

[30:12] Molly says, “Once I heard Ray say in a talk, ‘optimism is not idle speculation. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.’

We can create the future that we want. It may seem really daunting and scary sometimes, but an abundance based mindset and ultimately a community of other people who can help you make it happen. With that, anything can happen.”

What do the next decades look like for SU?

[31:33] “We’re really working on our approach to sort of future growth with the platform mindset. So how can we build infrastructure that allows others to create, to convene and to connect ultimately to solve these really huge problems for humanity? So I’d say that’s what we’re thinking about.

Molly talks about the innovators and geniuses in emerging markets who have the creativity to solve global challenges.

[34:52] “If we get voices in the room and people around the table who maybe aren’t often invited- they have answers that are just waiting to be scaled, waiting to be acted upon. To me, that’s also what entrepreneurship is about. It’s a way of, if I may be radical here, decolonizing what current power structures look like by providing people with information, power, resource, and opportunity to create things. They may have never had that opportunity before.”

Molly emphasizes how many of us are all trying to solve the same problems. What kind of velocity could we create once we work together, across genders and cultures, to solve problems?

Takeaways

  • SU is a global organization – because the problems and solutions are global.
  • Challenge: join the SU virtual community and download the app.
  • Let’s increase the speed of our feedback loops, or we won’t be positioned and ready for the ever-changing future.

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20 The Data-Driven Countdown Clock to End Extreme Poverty

20 The Data-Driven Countdown Clock to End Extreme Poverty

Did you know 1.1 people escape poverty every second? The World Poverty Clock uses data to countdown toward Global Goal #1, no poverty. 

Episode Summary

In this episode, we talk with Kris Hamel, Chief Operating Officer at World Data Lab. World Data Lab sources high-quality data and then makes the data come alive in the form of interactive tools, such as the World Poverty Clock. Here’s a podcast summary:

  • 1:45 What is the mission of World Data Lab?
  • 8:15 What is WorldPoverty.io, and why did you join World Data Lab?
  • 13:00 Why did you choose Global Goal #1?
  • 14:50 What is the current state of poverty and how can we remove it?
  • 18:30 How does the tech work?
  • 14:45 How does the business model work for World Data Lab?
  • 27:50 What are some of your biggest 90-day challenges?
  • 32:00 What do you see for the future of impact data in general?
  • 36:30 How can someone get involved?

We’ll focus on how World Data Lab addresses Global Goal #1, no poverty. At worldpoverty.io you can see a real-time estimated number of people living in extreme poverty. Listen in if you’re interested in learning more about interactive data tools and how to help eradicate poverty. 💯

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The Mission

World Data Lab is a social enterprise operating out of Austria. They are set up to do 2 things:

  1. Income: How much do people earn?
  2. Demography: Where are people likely to live?

“We view these 2 domains as the two biggest questions people will ask themselves, so governments and development organizations will be interested in this data.” 

That’s why the data is important. As World Data Lab sources high-quality data internationally, their job is to get the data peer-reviewed and then make it visual and simple to understand. Their poverty clock shows how many people are living in extreme poverty every single day. You can actually see animated little people escaping poverty, and how close we are to increase the “escape rate” from 1.1 people to 1.6 people per second, which is the rate that would have us reach Global Goal #1 by 2030: to reduce poverty from 8% to 6% of the global population.

“No one can credibly talk about trying to solve SDG #1 (no poverty) or any of the SDG’s if we don’t know the reality of the current situation or the likely future situation… we can design development interventions to try to solve what’s likely to happen. So that’s what our maps give you.”

Kris’ Story

Kris has worked in the development space for 15 years, and worked as a project economist at the World Bank Group. He did infrastructure projects like hydroelectric dams and finance projects to fund them. As he spent time around people with the influence and power over governments, Kris got interested in how best to make a difference.

He then moved to work with the UN on more grassroots initiatives to support marginalized people. Kris was able to see the difference between how to make an impact through large intermediary organizations, and how to make a difference from the bottom up.

He concluded that the real currency is through data “it’s most important give people access to data and help them use data to help them make decisions.”

Why Global Goal #1?

Here are the reasons World Data Lab chose to tackle Global Goal #1: No Poverty:

  • It is a quantified, specific goal that can be tracked
  • Tackling this goal will impact multiple other Global Goals dramatically
  • We can use data on this goal, whereas other goals are more aspirational or broad and less quantifiable.

However, we’re not quite on track to reach the goal by 2030:

  • Currently, there are 630 million people on the planet who make less than $1 per day
  • By 2030 it will still be around 415 million. That is progress, but it’s far from eradicating poverty.
  • Asia will eradicate extreme poverty as a region by 2030, which is huge. Extreme poverty is people making less than $1 per day.
  • So, extreme poverty will be isolated to Africa. The good news is, we can target very specific areas of development as organizations with an aid budget.

“The thing we’re trying to do now with the poverty clock is to get to the next level… we want to tell you which countries in which regions need the most targeted aid.” The data becomes a critical decision-making tool to address poverty where it counts.

The Tech

Kris sees the tech as a 2-step process.

  1. Advance the data and tech familiarity and usage as a 20th-century phenomenon – with visual data clocks and easy-to-read dashboards. They intend to use the data available now and design the best use cases to collect and show it.
  2. Gather data more efficiently. Move from surveys as the sole-source of information and use more reliable and granular techniques to gather information, like satellites and sensors.

Kris shares that gathering and showing data has been a political issue in the past. Governments want to allocate aid funding based on political preferences rather than where the aid was most needed. So as data collection and distribution improves, the politics become less of a block to accomplishing Global Goals.

Sustainability

When developing the poverty clock, it has been important to create a sustainable business model to keep the tech up to date and drive traffic to the website. So, the World Data Lab partners with organizations who find this data valuable.

In the next 90 days, the World Data Lab has 2 goals:

  1. To go deeper than just what survey data can provide.

“What we really want to do is go down to the village level. So our challenges are developing new methods to process satellite imagery data – teach machines how to recognize different attributes in a daylight picture.”

2. Develop games where people upload pictures and information that will crowdsource data.

“We’ve got the platform, now we can improve the credibility of the data and the visual maps we’re working with.”

What’s it going to take to get to 1.6 escape rate (people per second)?

Kris says that the biggest gamechanger for poverty actually isn’t economic growth. “Another place to look is human capital – the extent to which education can be focused on, and transitioning graduates with skills into jobs – that will have the most direct impact on poverty and infrastructure.”

To get involved:

  1. Read the methodology and send feedback.
  2. Go to the world poverty clock and drill down on the country, and check the numbers.
  3. Become an affiliate partner to represent World Data Lab locally, and help develop the next data tools. Contact them at hello@worlddata.io.

Takeaways

Chandler shares his top takeaways at the end of the show:

  1. The role of credible data in society. “It’s tough to know the real information and find legitimate numbers from credible sources about the Global Goals. I love the world data labs put the world poverty clock together and they’re going to expand to other SDGs.”
  2. As a social entrepreneur “I gotta say my favorite part about this tool is just seeing the real numbers behind these grand challenges.”
  3. Asking the right questions. As Kris mentioned, with the current solutions we have as a planet, we’re behind pace to eradicate extreme poverty off the planet by 2030. So, that means there’s a gap in the marketplace. Here are some questions to close that gap:
    1. Who are the top players?
    2. What solutions are out there?
    3. What are the top solutions that have the most leverage?
    4. What do they need to scale faster?
    5. What does your mind think about?
    6. How does the data change the way you see your business if you’re working to tackle global goal #1?
19 Spring: The Startup Growth Company Behind 350 Impact Entrepreneurs

19 Spring: The Startup Growth Company Behind 350 Impact Entrepreneurs

Spring has helped 700 entrepreneurs launch over 350 business globally. In this episode, we talk to Co-Founder and CEO Kieth Ippel to hear how Spring’s growth programs work.

Episode Summary

Keith Ippel is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spring. Spring helps social entrepreneurs make an impact with their Incubator, Accelerator, Peer to Peer learning network, and their Funding Roundtables. Here’s what we cover:

  • 2:20 How Spring started
  • 3:30 Spring has worked with a LOT of entrepreneurs… how?
  • 5:45 What does it take to start a social venture?
  • 15:30 What are the top lessons Keith has learned?
  • 26:45 Keith’s proudest company wins
  • 37:30 Impact investing tips and the Global Goals

Spring is taking on Global Goal #8, decent work and economic growth. Listen in to hear some of the top lessons learned while working with these social entrepreneurs, and the key things to know as you look to raise for your social venture.

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Keith shares what it takes to start a social venture, and what Spring looks for in entrepreneurs they want to work with.

“We’re looking for entrepreneurs who are highly inquisitive, sharp, have a trememndous amount of hustle, are coachable, are able to articulate their why, and understand that they’ll need to create some white space in their industry in order to create growth. Our heart is really for people who want to change the world… it requires a deeper resillience to get impact-driven products and services to the world.”

How Spring’s Programs Work

Spring’s programs are set up to work locally in the cities they have a presence in, and they are headquartered in Vancouver.

  • Incubation: Pre-launch, idea validation, setting the path to launch. 6-12 weeks. Guest speaker and teaching heavy, classic models.
  • Acceleration: Post-launch, helping people prepare for scale and capital raising. 3-6 months. Mentoring and capital raising education.
  • Funding Roundtables: Educating impact entrepreneurs to get the check.

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Finding Success in Fundraising Rounds

Kieth shares with us that the biggest gap they are trying to fill for social ventures is targeting the right impact investors.

“Our entrepreneurs are good at target marketing for their customers, but not so much for investors. Most investors have criteria for who they are looking for.”

The rest, he says, is helping them get the paperwork right. How to create a cap table, how to break down and manage a due diligence folder, how to do a negotiation and ultimately how to get 8-12 investors to sign the same deal.

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Should We Pre-Sell? Or Go for Funding?

“That is the million dollar question!” Kieth says,

When it comes to raising money for our business, there are several ways we can go.

  1. Our own back pocket
  2. Friends and family
  3. Pre-selling
  4. Selling shares of your company

Selling shares of your company is expensive, especially if you don’t have revenue or credibility data. Kieth advises to get all of that data together to prove that you can get users, understand your key metrics, grow a team and company, and prove your model. “That will make it easier to find the right investors for you, too,” he says.

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Top Lessons from Working with Social Entrepreneurs

  1. The paperwork is universal. These are the four main ways investors fund a business.
    1. Common shares
    2. Convertible notes
    3. Safe agreements
    4. Preferred share deals

The entrepreneur should be agnostic to what type the investor chooses. Each one can be great or terrible for a company, depending on how the terms are set up.

2. Be cross-border fearless about finding the right investor.

“You’ve said the most important thing: raising money is a business. It requires a sales process. Run it like a business. Run it like a funnel.”

He explains, “There’s a top of funnel, there’s stages that you go through with gates, you’ll need to ask for 10x what you need at the top of the funnel in order to get what you need at the bottom. And frankly, investors value being treated that way, because it increases the communication and efficiency of the deal.”

Better to Build an MVP or Fundraise Right Away?

“The more that you can prove, the more confidence you’ll have to go raise as an entrepreneur.”

At the end of the day, Kieth says, if you’re working under a million dollars of revenue then the investor can only invest in you. After the first meeting, all other follow up meetings will be all about

  1. Can I trust you and your team with my money?
  2. Are you asking smart questions?
  3. Are you adaptable?
  4. Are you showing progress?

So, the more that you can push to MVP, they more you’re showing that you and your team are capable, adaptable, and pushing toward the finish like. You have to display your resilience and perseverence towards that. Sometimes a landing page with an email signup to get a million interested buyers!!

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The No-Fail Investor Trust Plan

Kieth says 50% of the preparation is for the first meeting. The following 50% is planning for the 3-6 months after the first meeting to the next meeting, in order to show maximum progress and exceed your investors’ expectations.

So, plan for your first meeting with an appropriate deck and sales pitch training. Then, plan your growth stages between the first meeting and second to prove your progress.

And, how can you get to the MVP as cheaply and quickly as possible? It’s not about how to do it all, just get to MVP with less time and less money and you will succeed. The more money you have leftover, the more time and margin you have to adapt.

“Apple computer started in a garage with 2 guys. If they can do that, you can.”

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Which companies is Spring Super Proud of?

  1. Social Nature: transforming the way people get food. 

Anna was lazer focused on getting her ideal investor, and the 3-6 month plan to keep investors engaged and invested.

2. Nada: the zero-waste grocery store. 

This grocery store has an underlying platform that could enable all grocery stores to strip all consumer plastic waste. They were strategic and balanced their raise across multiple platforms. They took loans, won a contest, did a killer crowdfunding campaign, and raised several good investment rounds as well.

“The best rounds with the highest investment have all been female founders. They are incredible at preparing ahead. They know their stuff when they go in. And they’re more natural in sharing their impact WHY. For all the female founders listening to this, go for it. And here’s a challenge for the men: take some best practices from the women around you.”

Another example is Emily with LegWorks, who was fearless about being cross-border with her investors and being prepared for rounds. They are now able to sell their products globally.

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Growing Impact Investing

“Human nature is hard-wired to make the world a better place.”

Kieth says what works is to get rid of the term impact. Smart investing isn’t some exclusive thing to do with money, Kieth says, so to change the terminology will lower the entry and remove the cognitive bias to make impact investing mainstream.

Kieth emphasizes telling the success stories of impact companies and investment rounds to show the world of investors and partners that the “impact sector” is not only viable but worth being personally involved as a player. Telling the success stories captivates the market who still thinks traditional philanthropy is the only way to make impact.

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Impact Investing and the Global Goals

In order to really tackle the Global Goals, Kieth says, it will take more collaboration. Most of the companies Spring works with have no idea how many countries and markets they could impact, if they were fearless about going cross border for customers and partners and teams.

“My encouragement for investors is to know that cross-border deals are going on every day. Set aside a part of your portfolio for Cambodia, Belgrade, Canada… wherever you find values-aligned opportunities. That’s how we’re going to change the world.”

Takeaways

  1. Your investors are customers as well. They need to align with your values because they’re buying the future potential of your company.
  2. Build an ideal investor avatar, and be ready to turn down investors who are not aligned.

Thanks for reading and listening – please COMMENT with the biggest questions you’ve had about starting a social venture, and check out spring.is to see more of Spring’s awesome impact companies.

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Bonus: Six Real-Time Data Resources for Social Entrepreneurs

Bonus: Six Real-Time Data Resources for Social Entrepreneurs

“If you’re doing something for me without me… it’s not for me” In this bonus episode, Chandler shares six resources for social entrepreneurs to know what’s going on in the world – so you can start solving problems that matter now.

Podcast Summary

As social entrepreneurs, we believe that we can use business as a vehicle to solve problems.  

One of my biggest takeaways from Kenya is that you have to go to where you want to solve a problem to see it from the ground. If you don’t have the chance to go… You better have really good data about the challenges. I’ve found that’s pretty tough! So I started digging, and I found some amazing resources and thought I’d share my favorite top six with you.

  1. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  2. The SDG Indicator Handbook
  3. UN Stats List
  4. SDG Data Hubs – Explore Geospatially Referenced Data by Goal
  5. UN Data Forum Blog
  6. The UN Global Pulse

Listen in to hear why these six are such game-changers… and to source data on the problem you’re solving!

Full Post

Maybe you’re excited about impact and trying to figure out what business you want to start, or maybe you’ve been in the game for a while and have had several social ventures. So we’re problem solvers and we see these global goals as opportunity to integrate those that we want to impact into our business model. The bigger our business grows, the bigger the impact.

“if you’re doing something for me without me… it’s not for me”

It takes really good data to effectively address a challenge. And I’ve found that’s pretty tough. Finding real numbers about these grand challenges can outdated, biased based on the source, etc. We’re talking about every country, 17 goals, 169 targets, and 232 indicators (which are the specific metrics they measure).Here are six resources you can use to find the data you need.

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Tool #1: Getting Started | The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a global blueprint for dignity, peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and in the future. And we’re only three years in.

I’d highly recommend checking out the 2018 progress report! It’s on unstats.un.org You’ll find every global goal on here with progress metrics. Are we ahead of pace or behind pace? Which ones are Goals are going really well and ahead of schedule and which are behind?

For example, in the least developed countries, the proportion of the people with access to electricity more than doubled between 2000 and 2016.

However, the proportion of undernourished people worldwide increased from 10.6 per cent in 2015 to 11.0 per cent in 2016. This translates to 815 million people worldwide in 2016, up from 777 million in 2015.

These are just a few stats that scratch the surface. Go check out your favorite global goal and see the progress.

Tool #2: Diving Deeper Into Data | The SDG Indicator Handbook

The global indicator framework was adopted by the General Assembly on July 2017. It’s goal is to provide a solid framework for how we will go about measuring progress of the goals to inform policy makers and ensure accountability.

These efforts are especially important in identifying those left furthest behind, since data are increasingly disaggregated by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, disability, geographic location and other characteristics. This type of detailed information is the basis of effective policies.

Tool #3: Inside the SDG Indicator Handbook | UN Stats List

I found a great handbook that breaks all of these indicators down to make the progress very easy to understand. The handbook defines the indicator, shares how they gather data for the indicator, and shows references. For my data friends out there, you can even see the formulas they use! 😍

Yes. I’m excited too.

  • Indicator 1.1.1: Proportion of population below the international poverty line, by sex, age, employment status and geographical location (urban/rural)
  • Target 1.1: By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day[1].
  • Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

If that isn’t cool enough, this database has an open API. The database, maintained by the Statistics Division, was released on 20 June 2018 and contains over 1 million observations.

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Tool # 4: Explore Geospatially Referenced Data by Goal | SDG Data Hubs

This site breaks down all the indicators by location to see progress. They have maps and other data visualizations and analyses, and easy to download in multiple formats.

And, you can also see by country! Ireland, Mexico, Philippines, and the state of Palestine.

Tool #5 | UN Data Forum Blog

This blog is updated constantly with new info on how the UN is gathering data for the SDGs. For example, one great article was centered around the topic of how can we use mobile network data to integrate into the global data platform to better understand the progress towards the SDGs? This is particularly fascinating because the amount of people who have access to the internet is growing so rapidly.

With more than 5 billion people connected to mobile services in 2017, and projections reaching 5.9 billion by 2025 (71% of the world’s population), we can see the mobile phone sector is increasingly important in achieving the SDGs.

And still… can we use data to make decisions with over half of the current population not online?

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Tool #6 | The UN Global Pulse

Global Pulse is a flagship innovation initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General on big data. Its vision is a future in which big data is harnessed safely and responsibly as a public good. Its mission is to accelerate discovery, development and scaled adoption of big data innovation for sustainable development and humanitarian action.

To this end, Global Pulse is working to promote awareness of the opportunities Big Data presents for sustainable development and humanitarian action, forge public-private data sharing partnerships, generate high-impact analytical tools and approaches through its network of Pulse Labs, and drive broad adoption of useful innovations across the UN System.

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So if you’re like me and a data nerd, you’re going to spend a TON of time of these sites. My goal for you is that it makes you curious.

How can you use this data to better understand the people you want to impact. And to get what’s happening in your market? 

Or if you’re already hyper zoned on the problem… What impact are you making on a global scale?

Show us with the data.

Listen Now

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