Weekend Briefing No. 37

Welcome to the weekend! This has been a big week in the social innovation world. So much interesting news. Let’s get right to it.




Ello converts to a Public Benefit Corporation. Ello – the hottest new social network with a 3 million person waiting list – is dubbing itself the “Anti-Facebook” because it’s vowing to not run ads or sell user data. This week it took the innovative move to protect that promise by converting to a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation. Oh yeah… and they also announced a $5.5 Million Series A. Read my post about this: 3 Key Questions on Ello’s Conversion to a Public Benefit Corporation.


Etsy lauches a mobile payments device. This week, Etsy, (featured in Profit & Purpose) launched a credit card reading device to use in connection with the Etsy app on a phone or tablet. The device is designed for its sellers to use at craft fairs. The device will not be a Square-killer, but it will help sellers manage inventory and create a connection point with in-person sales to drive them back to their Etsy shop. This move is not about the money – it’s about creating a more human marketplace. Read the Etsy blog for more info.


Corporate idealist. Christine Bader is a classic social intrapreneur – she spent years at BP trying to work within the system to create a positive social and environmental impact. In her new book The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil, she gives an insider perspective on how much good and how much destruction a single corporation can create. It’s definitely worth a read. Check out this short video to learn more about her story and watch her TED Talk.


2014 Innovation By Design Awards from Fast Company. Every year, Fast Company celebrates innovative designs. They award designs that are smart and sleek. This year is no different. My favorites on the list are Biolite Home Stove, the rapid packing container, and a sensor by Reebok to gauge the intensity of impact for football players. See the whole list at Fast Company.


Runa Tea raises $5.75 million in growth capital. Congrats to my friends Dan and Tyler! MetaBrand Capital, a new “conscious capital” private equity fund, announced a $5.75 million investment in Brooklyn, NY-based Runa Tea, supporting the growth of the “healthy energy” food and beverage market. Runa has emerged as one of the fastest growing organic ready-to-drink brands in the U.S. Like green tea, we see the opportunity for guayusa as an ingredient with useful applications in a range of healthy products from beverages to dietary supplements. Read more here.




@cubbygraham. Cubby is a new friend of mine. He’s got a knack for authentic, visual storytelling. By day he is building community for charity: water, by night he’s an instagram superhero. I love his work! Check him out.


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.