During my interview with Paul Polizzotto, the president and founder of EcoMedia CBS and a renowned social entrepreneur, I was most impressed by his humble demeanor and the fact that he does not claim to have reinvented the wheel. Rather, he believes he has successfully tweaked existing solutions ever so slightly: His business model makes both commercial sense and serves a social purpose.
In our video interview below, Paul explained how surfing in the Santa Monica Bay led him to create the first successful industrial cleaning company that provided zero discharge services. After selling his company, Paul shared how he turned EcoMedia into an award-winning for-profit company that was acquired by CBS to function as a social enterprise and serve communities across the USA.
Paul describe 4 steps to making a social enterprise work:
1. Find problem and understand the reality of it: legal obligations, regulations, needs, costs, etc
2. Find a motivation in a social problem because it will get you over all hurdles, particularly the financial ones.3. Educate your target market: people don't do harm purposefully. Most often they cause harm because that's how it's done in their industry, it's considered normal and they didn't really think about the negative consequences. 4. Develop a business model that makes it an affordable solution. If it's too expensive or doesn't deliver the quality of service expected, people won't use your solution.
Paul created an award-winning advertising model that uses ad dollars to fund tangible, social change. A portion of an advertiser's spend is allocated to fund much-needed wellness, environment, and education projects across the nation. Learn more about Paul in this interview.
Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulPolizzotto
I want to write few words about how mentoring and coaching affected me: three years ago I was 18, I had just joined AIESEC in Warsaw (Poland) as a new member and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Today, I'm the President of an organisation in Vietnam that is strong of 600 people spread over 7 branches throughout the country. Last year, through AIESEC Vietnam, we changed the lives of 550 recent graduated by placing them in international jobs: we send Vietnamese students for jobs abroad and bring in international graduates to work in Vietnam.
My name is Paweł Górski, I am 23 year old. Recently I have been elected as a president of the Vietnamese branch of a global social enterprise aiming to develop leadership among youth – AIESEC
When I (Noam Kostucki
) gave my TEDx Talk in Warwick about "making money from doing good
", a guy came to talk to me with so much positive energy, enthusiasm and willingness to help that it was impossible to ignore him.
This university graduate is Anton Chernikov. Since that first meeting, Anton delivered training at a Seeducation's Community Skills Share
event, he's helped with designing infographics for Seeducation and it has been a pleasure to help him on his journey because he lives and breathes social entrepreneurship.
Anton has recently given a TEDx Talk for Youth that summarises his learning through the sentence "give before you take", and we are proud to present it here on the Seeducation blog.
Meeting social entrepreneurs in New York this summer has left me enthused and energized. Shayne McQuade is the perfect example of a passionate, experienced, established and with inspiring social entrepreneur; I am glad to have had the chance to interview him for the Hidden Heroes series.
Shayne is the founder of a Voltaic System
, a social enterprise that produces bags with solar panels; maybe the first ones that actually work effectively... I can't wait to order mine and test it myself!
With a background in management consultancy, and coming from Australia, Shayne brings a different perspective to social entrepreneurship. I am particularly interested in Shayne's recipe for success because I share his belief that if you make a half-baked product, people may buy into the philosophy, but you won't grow a sustainable business because they won't buy back, nor recommend you to their friends. On the flip side, if you create products that work well and that people are really happy about, they'll do your marketing and make your social enterprise grow through word of mouths.
Shayne also has exciting plans for the future: bags with solar panels are only a start, next, he wants to explore how to help people in the developing world produce their own electricity to get out of poverty.
When I was in New York, I had the privilege to interview Marissa Feinberg who is at the heart of green businesses and social enterprises. Marissa co-founded Green Spaces
, a co-working spaces for social and green businesses in New York and in Colorado, and Green Leaders Global
, a network of 1,000+ experts who are dedicated to run green and social businesses.
In this impromptu interview, Marissa tells us about how she got started in the social enterprise world and on how Green Spaces has become a financially viable social business.
Thanks to her work at Green Spaces and Green Leaders Global, Marissa has had the chance to meet and follow the progress of hundreds of social entrepreneurs. She shares with us her invaluable insight on how to make a green or social business work... watch the interview to discover how to make it work!
Seeducation is proud to present this interview we made with Saul Kaplan, founder of the Business Innovation Factory
- a platform to foster social innovation - and the author of the Business Model Innovation Factory
to share the experience of making innovation happen across sectors.
In this interview, Saul explains why putting yourself in new situations is the best way to learn about new perspectives and approaches. Through his inspiring journey, Saul was Senior Strategist at Accenture before becoming an "accidental bureaucrat" and starting the Business Innovation Factory in 2005.
We have asked Saul about how looking at innovation through the lens of a corporation differs from looking at it through the lens of a community, and what makes innovation happen more effectively.
Saul shares his belief that we don't necessarily need to invent new solutions: the problem is not in technology, but in us humans because we tend to be stubborn and resistant to change. This is why we need to create safe and manageable environments where we can play with the parts to change some of the big social systems which we desperately need to perform better in the 21st century.
The "BIF Genome" that makes innovation happen more easily has 15 principles divided around 3 themes:
- Connect - Innovation is a team sport
- Inspire - Do what you are passionate about and create movements people can join
- Transform - Go beyond tweaks and incremental change
Today we have the great pleasure to welcome Mark Hibbitts, author of the Alfie Potts the Schoolboy Entrepreneur series of children’s books.
We found Mark Hibbitts very interesting because of his unusual journey: from casino manager to writer of entrepreneurship books for children, he admits going bankrupt and losing everything.
Always smiling and positive, Mark has the kind of charisma that makes you want to listen to more of his story.
If you want to get a quick flavour of who Mark is before you watch the interview, here's a short bio:
In 2008 Mark declared bankruptcy, losing his house, business, and self esteem. After selling his wife’s jewellery to pay the rent and feed his small children he decided ‘something’ had to change. An intense mission of learning and personal development followed, and now Mark passes on what he learned to children in the form of inspirational stories about a 12 year old boy named Alfie Potts who becomes an entrepreneur.The aim of the Alfie Potts books is to empower both children and parents into thinking differently, developing themselves, and becoming the best they can be, knowing that by doing so ANYTHING becomes possible!You will find out more about Mark's journey and Alie Pots in this interview. If you like it, please remember to share it with friends, if you hated it, please feel free to share it with people you dislike!
We are thrilled that Richard Cullen
took half a day of his time to give a talk at Seeducation.
Richard is a veteran leader in the payment systems industry with over 30 years experience in the sales, marketing and product development of payment cards and products. Throughout his career, he held a wide variety of senior management positions with VISA International and VISA Europe in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Istanbul and London. Last year, Richard founded Payment Services Development Limited through which he undertakes consultancy with a range of organisations across Europe.
In this talk, Richard shares his life story: when he graduated from high school with no other qualifications that an 0-level in metal work, teachers told his parents he ought to work in a factory. Despite these low expectations, Richard lead an incredibly successful career in business.
With a lot of humour and honesty, Richard gives us a snapshot of what his path looked like. We feel extremely grateful to get a chance to hear such a story because it is not often we get the opportunity to hear someone's life from beginning to school to retirement.
So proud of ourselves! What was it all about?
Linchpin is a book written by Seth Godin
that became an instant best seller from launch day: this is all about being indispensable!
Kennys Jones started a Linchpin Magazine collecting the stories of people who've attended a Linchpin Meetup. These meetups are all free and open to anyone to join.
We've written a 2 pages article for the magazine, and will receive all the profits to support Seeducation!
So, what now?Well, you helped us win the competition, now help us make the most out of it:
Please buy this magazine and get another 10 people to buy it!Click this link to help Seeducation
, and enter the code "LINCHPIN" to get the 25% discount.
Make it your Facebook status, LinkedIn status, and send this to as many people as possible... and if you hurry, there's a 25% discount until 13 July!
If you really don't want this magazine, make a donation of $15 to Seeducation, which will help us make the world a better place by making more free courses available, and to get closer to changing THE WHOLE of education!
Thank you SOOOO MUCH for all your help.
We can't wait to announce a new record for the number of magazines sold!! Here's what you can copy to your and We helped Seeducation win a David vs Goliath competition, now let's help them make the world a better place: get the Linchpin Magazine to read a 2 page article about Seeducation and 52 pages of interesting stories... http://bit.ly/linchpinmag
and all the profit goes to Seeducation. [Use the "LINCHPIN" code to get a 25% discount before 13 July, and if you really don't want it... make a $15 donation to Seeducation: help great people do great stuff!]
Here's 140 characters you can tweet Plz RT: You help @Seeducation win, now help us make the world a better place: get the Linchpin Mag http://bit.ly/linchpinmag