Weekend Briefing No. 6

TOMS Coffee?

The New York Times reports that TOMS, known for pioneering the one-for-one model in shoes, announced the launch of a coffee brand and cafes. Through a partnership with Water For People, each bag of coffee will provide one person with clean drinking water for a week. This expansion into coffee seems to be in line with speculation of TOMS moving into multiple categories, making it a sort of Virgin of one-for-one goods.

 

Millenials are not “Environmentalists.”

According to a recent Pew Research study, only 32% of Millenials consider themselves “environmentalists”, even though they are most likely to pay a premium for a sustainable product and support strict environmental legislation. Maybe they share the values, but are not into the hippy, granola connotation of the term “Environmentalist.”

 

Facebook to use drones in Africa.

Facebook is in talks to buy Titan Aerospace which produces solar-powered drones that can soar up to 20 km above sea level and stay in flight for 5 years, making them ideal for regional internet systems to bring broadly available internet access to Africa.

 

Climate Change.

The good news is that this floating farm could use the melting icebergs to bring local food to Greenland. The bad news is that it may threaten guacamole at Chipotle. As an avid Chipotle fan, this hits too close to home.

 

The Social Innovation Fund at Four.

Four years after President Obama created the SIF, it has disbursed $177 MM to grantmakers who matched the funding – doubling the impact. They have funded 217 organizations serving 270,000. Congress just boosted the SIF’s budget to $70 MM in 2014, a 40% jump from 2013.