Alex is the CEO and co-founder of Conservation X Labs, a startup for tech innovation for conservation and development. Prior to founding Conservation X Labs Alex served as the Chief Scientist at USAID and founded the Global Development Lab. Conservation X Labs aims to harness exponential technologies, open innovation, and entrepreneurship to dramatically improve the efficacy, scale and sustainability of conservation efforts to end human induced extinction.
Echoing Green is a leading global non-profit that provides seed funding and technical assistance to emerging social entrepreneurs with ideas for social change. The organisation is celebrating its 30 anniversary in 2017. Over that time it has forged a community of global pioneers, now over 700 strong, and played a pioneering role helping accelerate these leaders to impact the world. Cheryl Dorsey has been at the helm since 2002 and has overseen Echoing Green’s development into a leading global non-profit.
In this interview, posted jointly with Financing Social Entrepreneurs (www.financingsocialentrepreneurs.com) Cheryl takes us back in time to the foundation of the organisation and highlights the central and on-going importance of its fellowship program, providing grant money for social entrepreneurs, and the strength of this community. She also highlights Echoing Green’s work supporting the evolving social entrepreneurship ecosystem and how it has been responding to the changes taking place in the field of social entrepreneurship. Cheryl gives her views on the key trends she sees in social entrepreneurship and impact investing today, and, looking to the future, shares her vision for the future of this unique organisation.
Jordan Kassalow is founder of VisionSpring, a US social enterprise whose mission is to expand affordable access to eyewear, everywhere. To date, VisionSpring has distributed over 3.5 million eyeglasses to their target customers, who typically earns below $4 per day. They estimate their total economic impact to be over $756 million.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 600 million people could have their vision restored with access to eyeglasses. With the goal of increasing impact, Jordan recently set up EYElliance–a multi-stakeholder initiative to radically scale provision of eyeglasses to people with refractive error who do not have access to eyeglasses.
Christian is a scholar of social innovation –he is the Leo Tindemans Chair for Business Model Innovation at KU Leuven — a visiting scholar at the Stanford University Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and an academic visitor at the Said Business School, University of Oxford. Christian, together with Johanna Mair are co-authors of the recently published Innovation and Scaling for Impact: How Effective Social Enterprises Do It.
Willy Oppenheim is an educator, a researcher, and the founder of Omprakash a social enterprise working to make international volunteering more ethical and impactful. Willy founded Omprakash (www.omprakash.org) in 2004 with the goal of creating a platform to connect volunteers with social impact opportunities around the world. Omprakash is a free online platform that connects grassroots health, education, and environmental organizations in over 30 countries with a global audience of volunteers, donors, and classrooms that can learn from and support their work.
Willy studied anthropology and religion as an undergraduate and went on to earn his doctorate in Education from Oxford University. He continues to lead Omprakash and its newest initiative, Omprakash EdGE, which is an online training and mentorship program intended to help university students enrich their international learning and impact.