The Buzz 6-8-12

Our quick read on the top tweets, news, and buzz circulating in the field of changemaking this past week. Tell us, what's got you talking? And what do you want to be talking about?

  • Cities around the world are becoming hubs for entrepreneurship. Innovation is not just coming out of Silicon Valley or Mumbai or Shanghai anymore. How are they doing it? Mayors in Boston and New York are creating entrepreneurship ecosystems by changing policy; the Mayor of Manizales in Colombia is partnering with Babson College to increase high growth entrepreneurship. Daniel Isenberg, a professor at Babson, says that fostering urban entrepreneurship policies, and generating news ones, will be critical to jumpstarting the global economy:
  • Youth employment is at a 60-year low and student-loan debt is near $1 trillion. Teaching entrepreneurship in our schools is a proven means to not only give youth the tools to lead their own generation, but to also revive the world economy. But, nonprofits and private institutions, along with government, are responsible for shifting the national conversation.
  • “Innovation isn’t the goal; it’s everything that gets you there.” Thomas Edison may have invented the incandescent lightbulb, but it took another forty years for electric utilities to become stable, profitable businesses. Innovation doesn’t have an end—it’s about constant failure and ever-changing success. The New York Times shares thirty-two innovations that might just change our tomorrow:
  • Impact investing is catching on. Just a one percent shift in asset allocation towards development could generate in upwards of $2 trillion, ten times the global budget for foreign aid. With social impact bonds, the Big Society Fund in the UK, and big banks like JP Morgan starting social finance units, a new, modern capitalism is developing. The CFO of Bamboo Finance even says that in the next ten to fifteen years, mainstream and impact investing will merge. In the meantime, a lot more needs to be done to cultivate the sector:
  • As social entrepreneurship continues to grow, the field is becoming more crowded and competitive. Impact analysis and metrics are required when pitching new ideas—and even more critical when approaching funders. David Hodgson, Board Chair at Echoing Green, shares his long-view of the sector, since our founding over twenty years ago, and his thoughts on the future:

We were thrilled to announce our new class of 2012 Echoing Green Fellows and Black Male Achievement Fellows last week. These thirty-six visionaries are unleashing new ideas to change emergency-medical response in India, using social media to find affordable healthcare in the US, or providing legal counsel for death row prisoners in Pakistan. Watch their pitches, see where they are making impact in the world, and learn more about them: