Weekend Briefing No. 36

Welcome to the weekend! I’m back in Brooklyn celebrating the wedding of two great friends. Being on the road a lot for the last month and coming back to this community celebration reminds me of the power of community. Make sure to take time this weekend to invest in your friends and family.




The coolest impact report I’ve ever seen. Honest evaluation matters for entrepreneurs, beneficiaries, investors and consumers in the social impact space. But we often struggle with how to measure and communicate our impact. This year, my friends Travis and Kohl at Krochet Kids nailed it! They laid out their impact evaluation methodology and they communicated that impact in an honest, but engaging way, using text, video and interactive infographics. It’s one of those rare times where a report is both accurate and user friendly. They clearly invested time and money into this and we should all follow their example. Check it out here.


Why I don’t like the term ‘social entrepreneur’. When people talk about a female pilot, a female engineer, or a female race car driver, the world ‘female’ implies a bit of surprise. Men in the professional world are rarely seen through this same gender lens. Nobody wants their achievement to be modified. The same holds true for social entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur is an innovative problem solver – why does that need to be modified by the word “social”? I understand it’s important to distinguish as a matter of specifying the type of problem being solved, but I long for a day when we don’t need to use this phrase anymore. Read more on the topic by my friend Teju Ravilochan, co-founder of Unreasonable Institute.


A good job. A job is a job, right? Wrong. There is a difference between a good job and a bad job. This week I met Zeynep Ton, a Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management at the Aspen Institute Business Education Symposium, who just wrote Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to lower cost and Boost Profits. Whereas traditional management sees a tradeoff between good jobs and low prices, Zeynep shows how lowering inventory, operating with slack, standardizing, and cross-training can increase productivity and profitability even in low-end retail. Learn more by watching her 10 minute TED Talk.


Dr. Jordan Kassalow was awarded the Hellen Keller Service Award.  Dr. Jordan Kassalow, founder of VisionSpring – an organization featured in Profit & Purpose that seeks to empower entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid to sell affordable glasses – was presented with the Helen Keller Service Award by his longtime friend Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker, at Helen Keller International’s second annual World Sight Day Luncheon at the Conrad Hotel in New York City. VisionSpring’s innovative model has brought sight to millions and has proven that the market can be a powerful force for good. Read more here.


Profit & Purpose featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. If you are into social innovation, you already know how incredible the content is at SSIR. I was honored that they featured an excerpt from the book this week about how Embrace, which started as a non-profit, split it’s organization into a for-profit / non-profit hybrid structure and raised venture capital to grow. Read the except in Stanford Social Innovation Review.




Ebola Deeply.  Ebola is becoming a very serious global threat and if you’re like me, you’re trying to get up to speed on the issue. I’d recommend spending some time on a site created by my friend Azeo Fables called Ebola Deeply. It’s a single topic, deep dive look at the issue of Ebola featuring some of the best research and journalism on the topic – both historical and up-to-the-minute. I would recommend starting by reading the Executive Summary, but you may also want to check out the interactive map or the op-eds


You are super smart, so I’m interested in your thoughts. If you have any story ideas, questions or just want to say hi, feel free to email me. I’m looking forward to chatting with you. If you have friends that would like the Weekend Briefing, please forward it along. They can sign up for free here. Follow me on twitter for updates throughout the week.


Have a restful & thoughtful weekend.