Echoing Green Blog

2006 Echoing Green Fellow Peter Haas shares a powerful essay on the two year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake.

According to the World Health Organization, 25 percent of medicines consumed in developing countries could be counterfeit or substandard. A $200 billion industry, counterfeit drugs cost little to manufacture and clearly result in huge profits.

This week President Obama announced the appointment of Cecilia Muñoz as Director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House. Ms. Muñoz, in her new role, will oversee policy-making on a range of domestic issues, including education, energy and health care. "Over the past three years, Cecilia has been a trusted adviser who has demonstrated sound judgment day in and day out," Mr. Obama said in a statement. "Cecilia has done an extraordinary job working on behalf of middle-class families, and I'm confident she'll bring the same unwavering dedication to her new position."

Having kids and becoming a social entrepreneur were both decisions born of passion, not logic. I walked away from a high-paying “big law” job to launch City Hall Fellows, then got pregnant with my first child a few months later. (Not a combo I’d recommend.)

For years, I had unfulfilled desires that converged in this unique opportunity: live in India, pursue social enterprise and experience the challenges and impact of a start-up. The choice was one that some considered brave and ambitious and others considered irresponsible and foolish. When I moved to India, I discovered that this fine-line was the first of many.

These days, a lot of us talk big about failure: "Embrace it; share it; learn from it!" Funders (or at least some) are pushing for more transparency so that money can be allocated more effectively. Young people are beginning to take more risks, some that may lead to some big fails, to help find a career with meaning. FailFAIRE takes the notion of "learning from your failures" to a whole new level.

As so many of us resolve what we will do this year, some of us at Echoing Green have challenged ourselves to create something we’ve heard a few people talking about—our not to do lists. Now, this isn’t an invitation to simply flip your resolutions, to say “I will not drink too much soda” instead of “I will drink less soda or more healthy beverages.” So what are we talking about here? That’s where it gets interesting. Because each of us interpreted it differently.


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