Trends for 2017: ‘We the People’ for Social and Economic Sustainability

The United States, United Kingdom and the European Union are undergoing dramatic social, economic and cultural change in a volatile political environment. Donald Trump’s victory was the outcome of years of disturbing world events, a turbulent financial system, and economic stagnation in the U.S.

In the wake of the election, the political system being scrutinized, lack of trust and transparency, ‘We the People’ have to live with it and has forced us to take poise.

 Preamble to The Constitution of the United States and Bill of Rights:

 We the People’ of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

What is certain is that progress must be made to ensure a healthy planet for our future generations.

As we reflect on the complex global challenges, notably the widening gap between the rich and the poor, government(s) and hierarchical systems alone cannot address the multiple social, environmental and economic problems.

 ‘The world perishes not from bandits and fires, but from hatred, hostility, and all these petty squabbles.’  Anton Chekhov

 A recap of the realities we face:

  •  Poverty: 700 million people worldwide are living on less than $1.90 a day.  The world will need to feed nine billion people by 2050 and a 70% increase in global agricultural production will be essential to ensure an adequate food supply.
  • People displacement: Wars, conflict, and persecution have forced more people than at any other time to flee their homes, seek refuge and safety elsewhere. There were 65.3 million people forcibly displaced in 2015 with children and families being forced to flee to neighboring countries.
  • Destruction of forests: Half of the earth's forest cover is gone with only 40 billion hectares remaining today. Every year, an average of 13 million hectares of forest disappear, often with devastating impacts on communities and indigenous peoples.
  • Threatened wildlife species: In the 1970s, Africa was home to more than 1.3 million elephants. Today, as few as 415,000 may remain and 35,000 elephants are killed by poachers each year to feed the ivory black market.  Most recently, China announced a plan to phase out all ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017, a move that conservationists hope will stymie the mass killings -- and threat of extinction -- of African elephants.
  •  Chronic diseases: Deaths from chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, have risen by more than 50 percent and are rising fast in low and middle-income countries, striking far younger populations than in rich countries.
  •   Lack of education in Africa: Today, there are 30 million children who are not receiving education and a shortage of quality teachers is a major problem.  

Reputation Dynamics Predictions for 2017:  Destructive Transformation:  

In the face of a disruptive economy and new technologies emerging every day, institutions are tasked to make progress with the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) which cites no poverty, zero hunger and partnerships for the goals among top priorities.  Key considerations for 2017 include:

  • Nonprofit/Citizenship Program Development and Innovation:  Under the new administration, it is anticipated that government funds for charities will decrease over the years.  Growth of nonprofits, social enterprises and community development programs will depend on new approaches for fundraising and long-term development. Technology, marketing and creating an effective user-driven experience will be essential for authentic donor cultivation and support. 
  • Public-Private Partnerships: The role of inclusive partnerships (to include corporations, academia, civil society/NGOs) will become even more critical to address gaps mitigating poverty, improving the lives of displaced children and families, while preparing for future leaders in the workplace.
  • Diversifying with Foundations:  The growth and emergence of mission-critical organizations willing to give larger funds for innovative institutions with well defined cases for support addressing challenges for the longer term.
  • Tapping the Next Generation: The millennial generation will outspend baby boomers for the first time in 2016. Gen Xers are set to inherit $40 trillion. For and nonprofit institutions must improve how they advocate, market and align with their philanthropic commitments via experiential digital and mobile network communications.
  • Aid for Refugee(s) Displacement: Resettlement efforts are complex and must support children and families with immediate basic needs and education for future survival.
  • Protecting Forests and Greening of Cities: The growth of urbanization, greening of cities, including conserving and sustainably managing forests are vital for addressing climate change, protecting ecosystems and wildlife habitats. 
  • Role of Academia: Raising the bar on preparing business and social enterprise leaders for the needs of tomorrow’s workforce.  Engaging students in experiential learning and community programs to gain greater knowledge about human rights and social justice issues.

Conclusion:  The co-creation of programs at the local and global level with businesses, academia, civil society/nonprofits will continue to be essential for restoring and building resilient communities. However, what is fundamental to success is to convene more alliances, break down silos, enforce dialogue and action on a united front.

Since 2005, Reputation Dynamics (RD) has been committed to addressing social, environmental and human justice issues. RD will continue to mobilize corporations, NGOs/civil society and academia to devise share-valued approaches based on longer-term community needs and improvement of livelihoods.

We the People’ deserve our dignity, freedom, potential, human and social justice.

We welcome a dialogue with colleagues who are committed to making the world a better place and exploring opportunities for collaboration in 2017.

By: Samantha Taylor - Founder of Reputation Dynamics

To learn more about RD's work and clients' on the front lines of  change, please contact: sam@reputation-dynamics.com

Narrowing the Divide between the Rich and Poor: Field Trip Report with TCU in Panama

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Upon arrival into Panama City, one is struck by the new skyscrapers, architectural wonders and causeways in celebration of the prosperous trade traffic navigating the Canal, reporting fiscal revenues of $2.61 billion in 2015.

Panama is booming, with an average economic growth of 9 percent in the past five years, the highest in Latin America. Financial services and projects like the subway and multibillion-dollar expansion of the canal have contributed to this growth with the canal accounting for 10% of the country’s GDP.

However, Panama illustrates the starkest disparities of wealth in Latin America.  Poverty in Panama, according to the World Bank, is a rural and indigenous territories phenomenon, as can be seen in the once vibrant town of Colon, an hour’s drive from Panama City.

Despite the nation’s great wealth, we are reminded of the divide between the rich and poor, inequality that keeps almost 40 percent of its population in poverty – threatening to turn ‘The Boom to Bust’.  Furthermore, half of the country’s children are poor with nearly a fifth suffering from malnutrition.

I invite you to read more about my visit to Colon, Panama with staff/faculty members from TCU’s Discovering Global Citizenship Program and reflections about poverty. 

We took a very scenic train ride to Colon via the Panama railway fringing the edge of the canal and diverse, lush biodiversity with the occasional crocodile popping its head around passing ships.   The city of Colon sits by the Caribbean, wedged between a port and a cruise ship terminal. 


Our day began with breakfast at Hotel Washington, once a popular venue with its marble lobby and majestic pillars, commanding a view of the water and an abandoned ship.  The crumbling and neglected hotel with wires sticking out of walls in precarious places, is in desperate need of repair.

Today, Colon is where potable water, electricity, structurally sound buildings, and employment are all in short supply for the city’s 220,000 residents.

Yet in the early 1900s, during and after the construction of the canal, Colon blossomed with theaters, clubs, restaurants and finely manicured boulevards, hailing distinguished visitors like Albert Einstein.

The Lost Colon:

'The 98 cent tour’ with Sister Barbara who runs MUCEC, a non-profit charity supporting distressed women in Colon, provided a whole other perspective on poverty in a span of a mere 4/5 blocks.  We were told to leave our bags and not have any cameras exposed. Following closely on Sister Barbara’s earnest heels of conviction through the mess and stench of unsanitary conditions, she takes the hands of the children to ask if they had any food or water that day.  Sister Barbara, originally from Brooklyn, has committed her life to this community to help these families see hope of a future.

The visuals entailed rotting buildings with weeds sprouting from the cracks, a steady stream of sewage in the alleyways, jury-rigged water services, abandoned yellow taxis resting on deflated tires, while malnutritioned locals hang out in the streets.

As Panama City grew and modernized in the post-World War II era, Colon’s vibrance wore off. The ultimate closing of American military bases with the canal’s transfer to Panama in 1999 accelerated Colon’s deterioration. Crime and poverty grew, and the middle-class relocated to the suburbs, Panama City or out of the country.

Colon is the city that Panama forgot, in spite of vigorous development meant to court Caribbean cruise ships. Prior to 1869, the railroad connecting Panama City and Colon was the main transit across the continental Western Hemisphere. A last whiff of prosperity was seen during the construction of the Panama Canal.

Meanwhile, just around the corner from Colon is a $5 billion canal upgrade, a so you would think hub for economic development, skills development, creation of jobs and opportunity to improve livelihoods, including the 27,000 people that continue to live in condemned housing.

Colon’s duty-free trade zone, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, has done little to improve the town’s fortunes. Recent developments, including a hotel, an airport upgrade, a cruise ship dock enabling visitors to shop without entering the city’s squalor, have benefited mostly the businesses in the zone, a source of friction. Home to the zone’s 30,000 employees, Colon got lost in the middle of the free zone, and has become a challenge for the government, residents, businesses to revive what was once a thriving town.  Yet, it has been argued that projects like a new highway connecting Panama and Colon, the expansion of the canal, construction of a new hospital and other public works have reduced unemployment and poverty, yet these families continue to live in this squalor with no immediate way out.

Plans are now in place for the revitalization of Colon but with a lot of skeptism about how to realistically save and restore some of the crumbling buildings and historical assets, recently attracting preservation experts to write a plan with the help of organizations like the World Monuments Fund.  This will entail moving families out and securing the provision of basic human needs.  But how and to where?

In 2015 UN-Habitat reported signing two cooperation agreements with the cities of Colon and Panama to promote urban renewal and revitalization. These agreements, directly related to the issue of urban land use, planning and revitalization, seek to encourage public and private investment.

To be sure, such disparities are growing starker in rising economies like Peru, Brazil and Ecuador where communities are excluded in urban development and renovation plans, keeping the divide firmly intact between the rich and the poor. Fundamental to any progress will be addressing the racial discrimination that has stagnated Colon, getting people out of poverty, creating jobs and improving livelihoods.

This cannot be solved by government alone and will require other leaders from civil society, academia and international development partners to step in.  This is an opportunity to develop new models and approaches for mitigating poverty in the midst of social, cultural and political circumstances – scale and replication for ‘Boom to Bust’ scenarios such as Colon.

In conclusion, I share Sister Barbara’s powerful perspective, hope for Colon and communities trapped in poverty around the world:  Change does, however, occur. We have witnessed repeatedly violated, humiliated and oppressed women find shreds of human dignity from which to build new lives and to grow. We have seen the malnourished children of these women learn to read or just to say “thank you”. Once launched, the empowering search for self-respect and human dignity is not easily lost.  Hence, after years of slow, painful struggle, and almost constant evaluation, our prospects are stronger than ever, and our motto remains “Si podemos” – “Yes we can”.

By Sam Taylor, Founder of Reputation Dynamics.

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Sam Taylor is Senior Advisor to TCU’s Discovering Global Citizenship Program and accompanied Dr. Jane Kucko and John Singleton to learn more about the Universities work and community development partners.  TCU’s mission is to “educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.”  The University transforms life and learning by infusing international perspectives and skills throughout the teaching, research and service missions with a focus on developing markets.

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About MUCEC: MUCEC began in 1985 with efforts to help some of the poorest of Colon’s impoverished inhabitants -- the abused women and their children with little or no income.  Unlike other programs, MUCEC seeks a permanent solution rather than a temporary fix of the problem via a handout. For more information: http://mucec.org/english/nosotros.html

 

 

 

CONCERN WORLDWIDE US: Helps People Living in Extreme Poverty Improve Lives

Reputation Dynamics is excited to work with Concern Worldwide US to support corporate development and marketing.

Concern’s mission is to help people living in extreme poverty achieve major improvements in their lives that last and spread without ongoing support from Concern.

Concern was founded in Ireland in 1968 by a small group of people who joined together to respond to the devastating famine in Biafra. The founders launched a nationwide appeal that raised over a quarter of a million pounds in three months, and “Africa Concern”—a non-governmental, non-denominational, humanitarian aid organization—was born. As their work spread beyond Africa in the succeeding years, the organization was renamed Concern Worldwide to reflect their global reach.

Over the course of nearly half a century, Concern has grown from a localized grassroots movement into a highly respected global organization, now implementing programs in 29 countries reaching 7.4 million people.

Concern’s program areas, with particular focus on helping people recover from disasters, include access to nutritious food and adequate health care, and strengthen their resilience to the effects of climate change.

For more information: http://www.concernusa.org/our-approach/

Sam Taylor, Founder of Reputation Dynamics

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Reputation Dynamics: Client Spotlight - Hamptons International Film Festival 2015 and ‘The Uncondemned’

On the heels of the HIFF2015 and mourning of the tragic passing of co-director Nick Louvel,'The Uncondemned,' which received the 2015 Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for a Film of Conflict and Resolution, also received the Victor Rabinowitz and Joanne Grant Award for social justice this past weekend.

In support of the documentary’s advocacy for and education about mitigating violence among women, Reputation Dynamics teamed with EILEEN FISHER to create a social impact partnership for 'The Uncondemned,' working with Reisa Brafman, Social Consciousness Leader of Community Partnerships & Women’s Initiatives.  EILEEN FISHER hosted a reception for the filmmakers and cast, along with 70+ people, in their East Hampton store, immediately following the premiere screening, a Q&A coffee discussion the following morning with Patricia Sellers,  as well as day of shopping fund raiser.  This partnership underscores the power of cultivation events, informing and empowering local and global communities to support important causes. 

We are extremely grateful for the Hamptons International Film Festival’s and EILEEN FISHER’s support and commitment.

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THE UNCONDEMNED tells the gripping and world-changing story of a group of young international lawyers and activists who fought to make rape a crime of war, and the Rwandan women who came forward to testify, to win justice, where there had been none. Up until this point rape had not been considered a war crime and was committed with impunity. A courtroom thriller, and personal human drama, THE UNCONDEMNED interweaves the stories of the characters in this odyssey, leading to the trial in the International Criminal Court — and the results that changed the world of criminal justice forever.  We invite you to review the trailer: www.filmat11.tv/theuncondemned.

Social Impact Program Alignment:

We welcome exploring opportunities to support this critical documentary on a local and global basis, including sponsorship, hosting educational screenings with Michele Mitchell, and alignment with SEVOTA Association's mission to help widows and orphans to promote self-sufficiency and livelihoods. "The Uncondemned" is a 501c3 through fiscal sponsor, Filmmakers Collaborative.

Latest Articles:

Guardian: 

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/oct/09/rwanda-genocide-documentary-uncondemned-filmmaker-death

Please contact sam@reputation-dynamics.com to support this critically important documentary and explore opportunities for alignment.

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Sam Taylor, Founder of Reputation Dynamics

 

 

"The Uncondemned": Lessons to be Learned from Genocide: Field Report from Rwanda

Last  month, I was fortunate to be part of a delegation in support of the private filmmakers' screening of "The Uncondemned" documentary in Kigali, Rwanda including the opportunity to meet the incredible women who made the case possible: witnesses JJ, NN, and OO, and Godelieve Mukasarasi, Chairwoman of the SEVOTA Association. The trip included genocide memorial site visits and opportunities to be further informed about the atrocities that took place during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

In 1997, a mismatched group of underdog lawyers went after rape as an international war crime for the first time. The film recounts their fight for the first conviction and follows the story of the heroic Rwandan women who risked a wave of witness assassinations to testify. The documentary is directed by former investigative correspondent to Bill Moyers (PBS) and political anchor at CNN, Michele Mitchell, and co-director, Nick Louvel. 

Rape continues to be used as a tactic of war in conflicts around the world and the perpetrators of this violence are not being held accountable. "The Uncondemned" is inspirational and educational in addressing these challenges - it underscores the value of "seeing is believing" as we tackle our humanitarian and social justice issues.

I invite you to read more about my trip, highlights from a robust itinerary, and personal reflections about the impact of genocide on society.


Wars, conflict, and persecution have forced more people than at any other time to flee their homes, seek refuge and safety elsewhere, according to a new report from the UN refugee agency. UNHCR's annual Global Trends Report: World at War, released on June 18, reported that worldwide displacement was at the highest level ever recorded. The number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 had risen to a staggering 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million a decade ago.

When the genocide in Rwanda ended in 1994, 800,000 people had been murdered – 300,000 of these victims were children. In addition, 95,000 children had been orphaned. Thousands of children were victims of brutality and rape, and thousands of children – some as young as seven – were coerced into military operations and forced to commit violent acts against their will.

The lingering trauma of the 1994 genocide still leaves many women and youth with little hope for a prosperous future and rebuilding models can take years to restore communities and economies.

 

Ntarama and Nyamata Genocide Memorial Sites

Leading up to the screening, we visited two churches 25-30 km south of Kigali that are evidence to some of the most brutal killings during the 1994 genocide. These churches are two of the most moving memorials, having on display the bones, skulls and bloodied rags of those brutally murdered.  During the genocide, the Tutsis (persecuted minority of the population), sought sanctuary in the Catholic churches in the hopes that they would be a safe haven. People smuggled food and other essentials into the churches. It is thought that some of the clergy informed the Hutus of the secret mass of Tutsis that had taken refuge in the churches. Ultimately, the Hutus stormed the churches and massacred all the people.

At Nyamata, the Nyamata Parish Catholic Church is the larger church. Here, grenades, rockets and automatic weapons were all used to massacre the people imprisoned inside the church. It is believed that 10,000 were killed inside the church with a further 35,000 killed around the church compound in April of 1994. The church houses the bloodied clothing of the victims piled up on the benches. A set of stairs leads down to a crypt where a shelf of skulls lie above a coffin of a woman who was repeatedly raped. The walls of the church show where the grenades blew holes in the walls, doors and windows were blown open.

Next to the church is a large underground crypt. It is filled with thousands of skulls, femurs, and other bones belonging to the 55,000 people that were brutally murdered. There are crude, wooden coffins filled with bones of whole families, neatly stacked and all draped in purple covers.

Ntarama is a small church and school where about 5,000 people, many of whom were women and children, were massacred.  People hiding in the separate kitchen building were burned to death. The children were taken into the one room school and killed by smashing their skulls against a wall.  There is a blood-stained wall where these massacres were carried out. The blood-stained clothes of the dead are draped over the church pews and the instruments used in the executions are grouped at the front of the church. At the rear of the church are all the skulls, other bones of the victims, pots and pans demonstrating community life.

 

 

Private Filmmakers' Screening of "The Uncondemned" – June 17

At 11 p.m. on the night before the screening, Michele summoned the core members of her team to advise us that not only had President Kagame agreed to attend the screening, but the entire logistics and location were also to be changed.  

"The Uncondemned" is a feature-length documentary that traces the legal chase to a historic verdict—which included the first-ever conviction for genocide and for rape as a form of genocide. Shot in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, The Netherlands, and the U.S., the film includes interviews with the first women to testify about rape as a war crime, as well as the genocidaires-turned-militia that committed the crimes. It has been a crime of war since 1919, but was not prosecuted until 1997, when a group of young prosecutors, activists and investigators went after that first conviction. Thanks to the extraordinary courage of the women of rural Rwanda, Witnesses JJ, NN, and OO, and their fearless leader Godelieve Mukasarasi, they changed history and formed a community to empower women and improve livelihoods. 

More than 300 representatives from the government, private and civil society sectors attended the screening including his Excellency President Kagame, her Excellency, the First Lady, Jeanette Kagame and Ms. Barks-Ruggles, the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda. The documentary and its critical story was well received and publicized locally and internationally.

Post-screening - A Visit to SEVOTA

After the screening, we visited the ladies in Taba (home of the convicted Jean-Paul Akayesu) and were greeted by celebration, dance, and presentations made by the Deputy Mayor and principals. We were then each handed a gift with a hand-written card of thanks and appreciation.

SEVOTA is a Rwandan organization that hosts forums for women who became pregnant because of rape during the genocide. The organization’s mission: Solidarity for the Development of Widows and Orphans to Promote Self-Sufficiency and Livelihoods.

 

Lessons to be Learned

Surely, the consequences of genocide are suffered not only by the targeted society, but also by humanity at large. Genocide has devastating consequences at all levels of society and a society cannot rebuild or manage its development in isolation.  It must include participation from the solidarity of other people and survivors who have suffered similar experiences in other communities around the world.

Rwanda, now considered one of the safest countries in Africa, is a model for future learning as a society that underwent genocide and post-conflict resolution. To that end, Rwandan survivors' associations are advancing by establishing relationships with other survivors, creating organizations to learn from their experiences, and building resilient communities for women and orphaned children, including the provision of basic needs, health services, and education.  However, this level of work and advocacy has to be further advanced to help mitigate and prevent further acts of crimes against humanity. 

We all need to think critically and understand what human beings are capable of, especially in the context of war and genocide. As such, we must cultivate transparency and open dialogue about common problems such as intolerance, bullying, domestic violence, rape, prejudice, hatred, abuse, gender inequality, and more. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to learn from these lessons.

By Sam Taylor, Founder of Reputation Dynamics.


"The Uncondemned" is currently in post-production and we welcome exploring opportunities to support this critical documentary including  sponsorship, hosting educational screenings, and/or alignment with SEVOTA Association's mission to help widows and orphans to promote self-sufficiency and livelihoods. "The Uncondemned" is a 501c3 through fiscal sponsor, Filmmakers Collaborative. We invite you to review the trailer: www.filmat11.tv/theuncondemned.

About SEVOTA: A Rwandan organization that hosts forums for women who became pregnant because of rape during the genocide. Website: www.sevota.org 

Featured Article: http://af.reuters.com/article/rwandaNews/idAFL5N0YQ2X620150616

Please contact sam@reputation-dynamics.com to explore opportunities for partnership.

"The Uncondemned": Filmmakers’ Screening and Educational Campaign to End Violence in Conflict, Rwanda, Africa

In 1997, a mismatched group of underdog lawyers went after rape as an international war crime for the first time. This is the story of their fight for the first conviction - and the story of the heroic Rwandan women who risked a wave of witness assassinations to testify.

"The Uncondemned" is a feature length documentary that traces the legal chase to a historic verdict, which included the first-ever conviction for genocide and for rape as a form of genocide. Shot in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Netherlands, and the U.S., the film includes interviews with the first women to testify about rape as a war crime, as well as the genocidaires-turned-militia that committed the crimes. It has been a crime of war since 1919, but was not prosecuted until 1997, when a group of young prosecutors, activists, and investigators went after that first conviction. Thanks to the extraordinary courage of the women of rural Rwanda, witnesses JJ, NN and OO (and their fearless leader Godelieve Mukasarasi), they changed history and formed a community to empower women and improve livelihoods. The documentary is directed by former investigative correspondent to Bill Moyers (PBS) and political anchor at CNN, Michele Mitchell, and co-director, Nick Louvel.  Their debut film, "Haiti: Where did the Money Go?," won the national Edward R. Murrow 2013 for Best TV Documentary as well as a Gracie Award for Best Investigative Feature.   

There will be a private filmmakers' screening of "The Uncondemned” in Kigali, Rwanda on June 17 including the opportunity to meet the incredible people who made the case possible: witnesses JJ, NN, and OO, and Godelieve Mukasarasi, Chairwoman of the SEVOTA Association.  A number of influential representatives from local and international development communities, government, and the private sector will be attending.

The team is in the final stretch to finish "The Uncondemned" and there are several opportunities to help support this groundbreaking film on the trial that made rape a war crime.  Despite this precedent-setting trial, rape continues to be used as a tactic of war in conflicts around the world and the perpetrators of this violence not being held accountable.

"The Uncondemned" is currently in post-production and we welcome exploring opportunities to help support this critical film to include sponsorship, host educational screenings, including alignment with the SEVOTA Association’s mission to help widows and orphans to promote self-sufficiency and livelihoods. "The Uncondemned" is a 501c3 through fiscal sponsor Filmmakers Collaborative.

We invite you to review the trailer (www.filmat11.tv/theuncondemned) and link to their Kickstarter campaign (http://kck.st/1zWIwJP).  

About the SEVOTA Association:

"Out of Rwanda’s total population of 11.5 million people, 25% are orphaned and vulnerable children. The lingering trauma of the 1994 genocide, which took nearly 1 million lives, still leaves many youth with little hope for a prosperous future."

SEVOTA is a Rwandan organization that hosts forums for women who became pregnant because of rape during the genocide. The organization’s mission: Solidarity for the Development of Widows and Orphans to Promote Self-Sufficiency and Livelihoods.  

Website: http://www.sevota.org

Please contact sam@reputation-dynamics.com to support this critically important documentary and explore opportunities for alignment.

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Sam Taylor, Founder of Reputation Dynamics

Client Spotlight: American Forests and Eddie Bauer

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To commemorate Earth Day and celebrate 20 years of partnership with American Forests, Eddie Bauer has made a commitment to honor the planet by setting a goal to plant 500,000 trees in 2015. And for all you outdoor enthusiasts, Eddie Bauer is making it easy to get what you need for yourself, family and friends while also helping preserve the landscapes you care about. 

From today until Earth Day — April 22 — Eddie Bauer is making its “Add a Dollar, Plant a Tree” option available to both online and in-store customers. In addition, on April 21 and 22, Eddie Bauer will plant a tree for every transaction, whether online, in store, or by phone. Our 20-year partnership has resulted in the planting of more than 6.5 million trees in 150 ecosystems in the U.S. and Canada. Over the course of two decades, these trees have contributed to $100 million worth of improved air quality, $16 million in sequestered carbon and $20 million in enhanced water quality.

Please help us continue to restore and protect our forests by supporting our work through Eddie Bauer.

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Sam Taylor

Trends for 2015: Joining Forces is Vital for Resilient Communities

In 2014, the UN Climate Summit, the first ever U.S.-Africa Summit, dwindling natural resources, gaps between the rich and poor has propelled awareness of advancing solutions for our complex challenges.

To be sure, the influence of climate change is fueling global economic volatility, posing threats to natural resources and wildlife habitats. What is certain is that progress must be made to ensure a healthy planet for our future generations.

A recap of the top realities we face includes:

  • Harsh climate: This burden cost $2.1 billion between 2000-2013 due to weather-related disasters.
  • Destruction of forests: Half of the earth's forest cover is gone with only 40 billion hectares remaining today. Every year, an average of 13 million hectares of forest disappear, often with devastating impacts on communities and indigenous peoples. The conversion of forests for the production of commodities such as soy, palm oil, beef and paper-accounts for roughly half of global deforestation. 
  • Threatened wildlife species: The London Zoological Society has reported that world wildlife populations have been cut in half from 1970 to 2010:
    •  In the 1970s, Africa was home to more than 1.3 million elephants. Today, as few as 419,000 may remain and 35,000 elephants are killed by poachers each year to feed the ivory black market.
    • The South African government recently reported a record 1,020 rhinos have been poached in the country since the beginning of 2014, surpassing the 1,004 rhinos killed in all of 2013.
  • Chronic diseases: Deaths from chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, have risen by more than 50 percent according to the Council on Foreign Relations and are rising fast in low and middle-income countries, striking far younger populations than in rich countries.
  • Lack of education in Africa: Today, there are 30 million children who are not receiving education and according to the 2014 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, the shortage of quality teachers is the key problem.  Children are not receiving quality education and skills training for potential jobs.

Major initiatives in 2014:

First Ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in D.C: The White House convened African heads of state and government, U.S./African corporations, civil society to strengthen alignment between the United States and opportunities for trade and economic investment in the continent. Africa is finally being recognized as the next major emerging market, access to new consumers and resources with a combined GDP upwards of $2 trillion.

UN Climate Summit: President Obama unveiled a series of actions to urge the international community to cut emissions and help developing countries better prepare for climate change.  While the EPA proposed a new plan designed to cut carbon emissions by 30% by the year 2030:

  •  New York Declaration on Forests: More than 150 governments, companies and NGO world leaders endorsed a global timeline to cut natural forest loss in half by 2020, and strive to end it by 2030. 
  • The U.S. and China signed the first major deal on climate change to cut emissions.

Predictions for 2015: Value of nature:

While nature is deemed priceless, various studies have tried to estimate the value of ecosystem services (provision of timber, minerals, food and medicines) in financial terms.  The total value of ‘nature’ is estimated to be about $33 trillion per year of which the global economy is consuming about $7 trillion dollars annually.

This is raising the bar on developing more inclusive partnerships between the public and private sectors to ensure the provision of basic needs (such as food and water) and solutions to ensure more resilient economies.

Environmental awareness and education: With consumers and millennials more informed about the increasing role of crowd funding, digital and mobile network applications, for and nonprofit companies must improve how they share, advocate and demonstrate their commitments. Also, enlist participation from the public at large with authenticity and transparency.

Forest and wildlife protection: Continued action to conserve, sustainably manage and restore forests can contribute to economic growth, alleviating poverty, creating food security, protecting wildlife species and habitats.

Investment in Africa: Africa’s economic growth and prosperity will be driven by primarily investing in youth education and creating jobs. 

Market access: More correlation and alignment between trade, new and existing markets is the focus of economic growth.  The co-creation of programs at the community-level with businesses, government and nonprofits is essential for long term sustainability, protection of resources and livelihoods.

Conclusions: In a disruptive global economy, companies and individuals have significant opportunities to promote economic growth, develop new products and access new customers, while saving trees and protecting wildlife species. However, what is fundamental to this success is to convene more alliances, break down silos, enforce greater knowledge exchange and a more united front to address the complex challenges associated with climate change.

By: Samantha Taylor - Founder of Reputation Dynamics.

Reputation Dynamics and #GivingTuesday

Reputation Dynamics is proud to support #GivingTuesday by building awareness, forming inclusive partnerships and mobilizing action between the for- and nonprofit sectors to protect the planet and improve livelihoods.  Specific focus areas include forest and wildlife protection, youth education and empowering women’s owned businesses. Reputation Dynamics is excited to highlight the following initiatives:

American Forests: Restore forests, create wildlife habitat and improve the health of the planet – www.americanforests.org.

Indego Africa:  A leadership Academy in Kigali, Rwanda to provide artisan partners with free advanced business training, equip these talented women with the tools they need to succeed as independent businesswomen and drive sustainable change in their communities – www.indegoafrica.org

As we celebrate our national day of giving in support of nonprofit organizations, it is important to work together collectively to address our pressing world issues. Reputation Dynamics welcomes the opportunity to learn more about your #GivingTuesday initiatives, exchange knowledge and explore opportunities to collaborate.

We look forward to hearing from you and providing information about how to support these terrific initiatives.

Harambee.

Sam Taylor, Founder of Reputation Dynamics

#ReputationDynam

 

 

 

AMERICAN FORESTS: PROTECTS AND RESTORES FORESTS

Reputation Dynamics is excited to work with American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country, to support corporate development and engagement. 

Founded in 1875, American Forests restores and protects urban and rural forests.  The organization has served as a catalyst for many milestones in the conservation movement including the founding of the U.S Forest Service. Since 1990, American Forests has planted more than 44 million trees in forests throughout the US and in 44 countries, improving ecosystems and livelihoods.

For more information – www.americanforests.org

 

First Ever U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in D.C “We Don’t Need No Education. We Don’t Need No Thought Control.”

Sam Taylor's visit to Shining Hope School, Kibera Slum, Nairobi. Kids singing a song they created in the hopes of their future.

The White House has convened more than 50 African heads of state and government, US and African corporations, as well as members of civil society to strengthen alignment between the United States and opportunities for trade and economic investment in the continent.

Africa is finally being recognized as the next major emerging market, access to new markets, consumers and resources.  In fact, Africa, with a GDP of more than $2 trillion in 2013, is now larger than India’s. Topics being addressed include investing in women, health, resilience and food security in a changing climate, combating wildlife trafficking, as well as an emphasis on forging more inclusive partnerships between the public and private sectors.

In addition to combating corruption and enforcing transparent business practices, there needs to be more education and advocacy for the continents pressing social, environmental and cultural challenges including impacts of climate change and poverty.

While the theme of the U.S./Africa Summit is about “Investing in the Next Generation,” at a fundamental level, we need to tackle lack of access to education and interrelated links between poverty and the provision of basic human needs such as food and water.

Today, there are 30 million children in Africa who are still out of school and according to the 2014 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, the shortage of quality teachers is the key problem in the efforts to provide children with quality education, skills training and potential jobs for our future generations.

While there are considerable benefits and economic potential for the United States, Africa’s economic growth and prosperity will be driven by primarily “Investing in its Youth” and creation of jobs for the continent.

We are to be reminded that one of the Millennium Development Goals set by world leaders in 2000 was to achieve universal primary education by 2015. 

 By Samantha Taylor, Founder of Reputation Dynamics

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Conscious Commerce: Realities of “Years of Living Dangerously”

images Protection of Forests: Critical For Future Generations

Deforestation is an increasing contributor to global warming and environmental change impacting the health and well-being of the most rural communities. To be sure, the transformation of forested lands by human actions and the removal of trees without sufficient reforestation is one of the greatest drivers of biodiversity destruction, conflict, loss of habitat and wildlife species, and poverty.

‘Realities at a Glance’

  • We are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation, which equates to 50,000 species a year.
  • Regions such as Indonesia lost more than 6 million hectares of its primary forest -- an area the size of England -- from 2000 to 2012.*
  • About one half of the forests that covered the Earth are gone with only 40 billion hectares remaining today.
  • There are fewer than 300,000 chimpanzees remaining in the wild.
  • Only about 22% of the world's original forest cover remains "intact" – contained in three areas: the Canadian and Alaskan boreal forest, the boreal forest of Russia, and the tropical forest of the northwestern Amazon Basin and the Guyana Shield.**

In addition to the sourcing of paper and palm oil from forests, the impact of human behaviors continues to be profound. Forests are cleared, degraded and fragmented by timber harvest, conversion to agriculture, road-building, fires and in a myriad of other ways. The effort to use and subdue the forest has been a constant theme in the transformation of the earth, across societies and cultures, and is a major source of humanitarian conflict.

‘The Wake Up Call’

Deforestation has important implications for life on this planet. Forests are the foundation of the global ecological system, the lungs of our planet and crucial for the future sustainability and survival of generations.

Increasing population growth combined with poverty forces local communities to use forest resources in unsustainable ways in order to meet their basic needs such as food and water, as well as income generation for farmers and their families.

Meanwhile, with the quest for Africa’s natural resources at an all-time high including palm oil production, competition is rising for the global demand for forest and extractive industry products. Africa also lost 3.4 million hectares of its forested area between 2000 and 2010.***

Moving Beyond ‘Profits with Purpose’

The protection of forests, ecosystems and wildlife species can no longer be solved in isolation and requires more integrated approaches to address the complex challenges and interrelated links with poverty. This includes protecting farmers and their communities to ensure provision of food, shelter, health and skills training.

With the quest for new markets and customers, experts from multiple sectors – corporations, NGOs, fair trade and forestry experts - need to convene on shared value approaches for future ‘Years of Living in Prosperity’ in a globalized economy.

While an increasing number of corporations have committed to using sustainable palm oil and protecting forests, at the most fundamental level, consumers need to be educated about responsible purchasing options, integrity of ingredients and be included into the ‘Call to Action’ to preserve the planet’s natural resources. With the acceptance of corporate responsibility continuing to drive brand reputation and purchasing habits among consumers, behavior changes are needed to influence more responsible purchasing decisions.

Breaking down the systemic barriers to poverty is essential to preserving forests and protecting ecosystems to ensure the provision of basics human needs such as food and water, while developing responsible goods and services in the marketplace.

Traditional models of giving are continuing to evolve with the new sustainability imperative. This will ensure integration across multiple disciplines in the supply chain, while creating programs and product development strategies. These models will align giving at the heart of ‘People Connection’ while protecting families and communities.

In Conclusion: Corporations, supported by NGOs and governments, have profound shared values and our society cannot mitigate pressing social, economic and environmental issues without adapting to the realities of our planet and enlisting support from conscious-driven consumers.

By: Samantha Taylor – Founder of Reputation Dynamics.

##

Sources:

  • Years of Living Dangerously: Showtime documentary series about the human impact on climate change
  • *Scientists: Belinda Arunarwati Margono, Fred Stolle: Nature Climate Change
  • **World Resources Institute
  • ***FAO Global Resources Assessment 2010

Conscious Commerce: Business and Social Innovation Trends for 2014

Rwanda

*Eradicating Poverty and Protection of Farming Communities Imperative for Improving Livelihoods*

The integration of ‘Doing Good in Society,’ new approaches and practices continues to evolve, becoming further embedded in business and throughout the supply chain,  raising the bar on industry performance and consumer loyalty.

In fact, according to a recent study, Profile of the Practice 2013, by the Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College, above-average industry performers are more likely to have a formal corporate citizenship department, led at the executive level, with higher budgets for corporate citizenship and charitable giving.  Today, almost 60% of companies now have an executive leading corporate citizenship - a 74% increase over 2010.

However, the companies that will be the most successful industry performers and maintain consumer loyalty will be those who have a hybrid approach to protecting the planet providing benefits to business and improving the lives of people in rural communities.

With increasing volatility of climate change, world disasters and emerging markets, fueling radical change in business and community response models, it is imperative to close the gap between consumer expectations and perceptions about corporate responsibility impacts to transform brands, manage reputations and motivate talent.

A recap of the top issues and realities we face:

Widening Gap between Poverty and Inequality:  Rates are high in the US and around the world with 46.5 million in the US and approximately 413 million in Africa.   These populations fail to meet their most basic needs with shortages of food, clean water and lack of access to proper education.     

 Vulnerable Children: There are more than 151 million orphans and vulnerable youth worldwide who are in need of a loving family and a prosperous future.

Climate Change: Increasing drought, flooding, and changing climatic patterns are at the route of hunger and poverty.  Deforestation is undermining the livelihoods of millions of people, requiring radical changes in farming practices and crop management.

Food Security and Agriculture:  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, mostly living in developing countries, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. This is due to not having enough land to grow, or income to purchase enough food.

Key predictions for 2014: Our ‘Knowledge-Driven’ Economy is Driving Market-Sector Relevance

Despite contributions from the private and public sectors, the social, cultural and environmental circumstances of populations in under-served markets remain complex and unsustainable requiring new approaches and investments to address poverty at the fundamental level.

Breaking down the systemic challenges of poverty is essential to protecting ecosystems to ensure the consistent provision of human needs such as food, health, shelter and education, while developing responsible goods and services in the marketplace.

The New Dynamics of Philanthropy:  Traditional models of giving are changing to motivate innovative change, ensure integration across multiple disciplines, supply chain, new market access and product development strategies. These models will increasingly align giving at the heart of ‘People Connection’ and protecting families.

Investment in Rural Communities: More correlation and alignment between trade, new and existing market access is the focus of community investment.  The co-creation of programs at the community-level with businesses, government and nonprofits aligned based on the market-sector needs of the economy is essential for growth and development:

  • Public-Private Partnerships: Community approaches are raising the bar on more inclusive partnerships to improve livelihoods and represents considerable benefits including co-creation of  community-driven and locally-owned models, provision of education, human needs, skills training and job creation;
  • Focus on Farming Communities and Agriculture:  A million ton cocoa shortage is anticipated by 2020 so supporting cocoa farmers in Africa and small-holder farming communities is key especially during times of drought;
  • Creating Jobs in the Supply Chain:  Investing in small- to mid- size companies in the supply chain to create jobs in rural communities;
  • NGOs: Aligning with NGOs to develop new standards for community measurement and impact.  Non-profits need help diversifying funding sources beyond individual donors, become less reliant on government funding, and seeking long-term partnerships and higher funding ranges with corporations.

Spotlight on Africa: More than 220 million Africans will join the middle class as consumers within five years, presenting opportunities to develop and sell more products and services.  Africa is the world’s fastest growing region after emerging Asia and fostering new approaches for development challenges, while providing opportunities to life millions out of poverty.

Story Telling: Companies must improve how they share, advocate and demonstrate their CSR commitments, inform and enlist participation from the public at large with authenticity and transparency.

In Conclusion: Corporations, supported by NGOs and governments, have profound shared values and our society cannot mitigate pressing social, economic and environmental issues without adapting to our knowledge-driven economy and increasing demands from conscious-driven consumers.

By: Samantha Taylor - Founder of Reputation Dynamics

It takes a Village to Raise A Child: A field report from Rwanda

DSCN1329In memory of Anne Heyman and acknowledgement of her contributions providing a future for Rwanda's children. May the legacy of her work continue to help orphans and vulnerable youth around the world. During the summer, I was fortunate enough to visit a community youth village in Rwanda on assignment for a client – Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.  Not only an inspirational experience, it was educational and underscores the value of ‘Seeing is Believing’ as we tackle our complex global social, economic and humanitarian issues.

It was also no coincidence that I was preparing for new beginnings in my own life. I realized that nothing compares to what orphaned and vulnerable children have to suffer.  The reality is that there are still more than 151 million orphans and vulnerable youth worldwide who are in need of a loving family and prosperous future.

I invite you to read about my trip and learn more about Agahazo Shalom Youth Village (ASYV), a unique residential community and high school located in Rwanda, which is home to 500 vulnerable youth, many of whom were orphaned during and in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide.

DSCN1306Upon arrival at Agahazo-Shalom’s magnificent 144-acre campus with commanding views of a vast, lush green valley, one of the students who greeted me looked me straight in the eyes.

Piercing my heart and soul. I was struck by the confidence and vitality of these youth going about their activities around the village.

Founded and mostly funded by Anne Heyman and Seth Merrin in 2008, this remarkable community model has been developed based on ‘Restoring the Rhythm of Life,’ by providing a safe, structured environment in which they can heal and thrive.

Agahozo-Shalom means ‘a place to dry one’s tears in peace.’ It is indeed a place of peace and tranquility along with more than 100 species of birds.

The mission of the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village is to enable orphaned and vulnerable youth to realize their maximum potential by providing them with a safe and secure living environment, health care, education and necessary life skills.

Anne and her Founders built everything from scratch. They bought the land, they built the houses and dining room, imported vehicles and equipment, established a health clinic, installed a water pump and IT services, hired local staff, built a farm – all major accomplishments in less than five years.   This is marked by the famous mango tree which is home to many visitors and meetings.

DSCN1284My visit coincided with the first ASYV Alumni event and celebration for the 103 of 118 students, just six months after graduating from Agahozo-Shalom, who journeyed from all parts of Rwanda to gather, present art, music and words of reflection in anticipation of their future and jobs.

Rwanda, home to the famous silverback gorillas, is an attractive destination for future economic and social investment in Africa.  However, out of Rwanda’s total population of 11.5 million people, 25% are orphaned and vulnerable children. The lingering trauma of the 1994 genocide, which took nearly 1 million lives, still leaves many youth with little hope for a prosperous future.

DSCN1410Rwandan citizens struggle to achieve an adequate quality of life with 76% living on less than a dollar a day and 70% of university graduates are unemployed.

The village includes a state-of-the-art school, residential facilities, a health clinic, a farm, sports fields, an art and science center and Amphitheatre.  The vast dining hall serves these kids and staff three meals a day from the kitchen.  DSCN1336Interacting with these kids in the dining hall signifies community, camaraderie and celebration.  They have discos on Friday nights and on Sunday mornings you can join them in Gospel singing and worship.  Music is everywhere in the village and if not in dining hall, the students listen to radios.  Where ever I went with Anne around the campus, the students flock to ‘Grandma’ full of thanks, hope and praise for a chance of a future.  And ‘Village Time’ always brought special surprises and talents of the youth in performance art under the magical African sky in the Lily Safra Amphitheatre.

We are reminded of the power of art and music to help with trauma and healing.

At 5.30 am, amongst the shrilling birds, I wake to hear the kids playing the drums to start another day in the rhythm of life.

These kids, selected from districts around Rwanda, come from challenging circumstances, living on or making a living from the street, had no food or shelter, suffer abuse and conflict.

DSCN1433DSCN1296After a full day of school, meals, sports and electives the day concludes with reflection and family time in one of the communal houses of 16 students headed by nurturing family mums.  I heard a moving story from one of the students and his personal circumstances.

I took drugs to forget about my problems, spent nights crying because I did not have money for clothes, did not love anyone and had no hope. When I came to ASYV, I thought it was a dream. I started to reconstruct myself and over time I gained respect, helped others, developed hope, and envisioned my future’

Kigali Genocide Memorial Museum

A trip to the museum tells the history of Rwanda leading up to the genocide and catalogues the 1994 massacre with personal testimonials, photographs and videos.  There is also a small room dedicated to children, innocent victims of the genocide which are just heart wrenching.

I hung out with the kids one night at the art center to do some beading on a pen.  I was not able to complete it as the electricity went out and left to retrieve my torch light.  Towards the end of my trip, a select group of students wanted to see me before I left, they presented me with a couple of gifts…the finished beaded pen and a bracelet.

Anne Hayman’s belief in and commitment to these youth is summed up in a remark she made at the Alumni event.

“We wanted to teach you how to be thinkers. You have already exceeded our expectations and I know that for all of you it is just going to continue to get better”

The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village represents a model that can be replicated to enable vulnerable youth around the world to become responsible citizens and have a prosperous future.

We invite your support of ASYV’s upcoming end of year campaign to ensure the provision of food, health, shelter and education programs for the 500 youth.

To support this terrific nonprofit, further information can be found at – www.asyv.org.

A video link of Reputation Dynamics journey with Anne Heyman  to Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village can be found at - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3KP4SZk0s

Posted by Sam Taylor

***

Employee Engagement 2.0: Business and Social Purpose

execunet              

 

Date: Thursday, December 12, 2013: 1.00 – 2.00 ET   Format: Webinar presented by Sam Taylor

The most successful organizations now must be driven by purpose as much as by profit. They also recognize that increasingly social purpose is becoming a critical component in terms of motivating, recruiting and retaining talent.

In this presentation, Sam Taylor, Founder and CEO of Reputation Dynamics, provides perspectives on how to align “Doing Good in Society” with business strategy, competitive edge and employee engagement. Topics covered include:

  • Why companies with a social purpose perform better
  • The role of social purpose in employee engagement
  • Case studies of how to drive a company with social purpose
  • Practical advice on how to seek out “do good” companies to work for, and more

This presentation is for any business leader who wants to gain insight into the far-reaching benefits of corporate social responsibility; for company Chief Talent Officers who care about retaining their best workers; and for any executive seeking a new opportunity with a company that has a strong social commitment.

We hope that you will be able to join us, for further information and to sign up, please visit – www.execunet.com

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A Salute to Women of Vision: Gloria Awards

MSFoundationGloriaMsFoundationDebCox Last night was a celebration of women and their contributions to fight for global justice at the Ms. Foundation for Women's 40th Anniversary co-hosted by Gloria Steinem and Anika Rahman. 

An inspiring list of honorees included:

  • Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton - champion of economic justice for women
  • Saru Jayaraman - co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Center United -workers rights and standards of equality
  • Kierra Johnson - Executive Director of  Choice USA - reproductive justice activist
  • Sunny Clifford - an Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota - access to emergency contraception
  • Lauren Embre - The Embrey Family Foundation - improving her community and the lives of women and girls worldwide
  • Diane von Furstenberg, founder of DVF Studio - mentor to women leaders and entreprenuers
  • Melinda Wolfe - Bloomberg L.P., diversity and professional development

The event hailed attendees from a variety of sectors including nonprofit, academic, foundations and representatives from the entertainment world including Canadian R&B singer-songwriter - Deborah Cox, American actor, dancer and singer - Ben Vereen and television host - Tom Murro.

There is still so much more to be done mobilizing the collective power of women to mitigate pressing world issues:

-American women still earn an average of 25% less than men

-Birth control and basic services are still controversial

-Every day, at least 800 women die while giving life and, unlike other global health challenges, most pregnancy and childbirth complicatoins can be prevented

The Ms.Foundation for Women fights to eliminate barriers for all women.  More information - www.forwomen.org.

Posted by Sam Taylor

Jeff Corwin’s Wild Adventures Launches at the Franklin Park and Stone Zoos, Boston

JCCWe are excited to announce the launch of ‘Jeff Corwin’s Wild Adventures' for families and their kids. JeffCorwinConnect, Inc. (JCC) co-founder, Emmy Award-wining TV host and wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin has launched his pioneering interactive audio tours - ‘Jeff Corwin’s Wild Adventures’ - at two of the most prestigious zoos in New England – Franklin Park and Stone Zoos. Over 680,000 visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to go on a “Wild Adventure” with Jeff as their personal guide and to learn about the different animals residing at the Zoos. The audio tours will focus on the challenges these endangered species face today, and encourage visitors to get involved with conservation programs at the Zoos.

JeffCorwinConnect has partnered with French company Orpheo Inc to develop and provide the latest cutting edge technology for this program which was designed for visitors of all ages. The audio tours are offered on iPod Touch devices that have a custom app, which is interactive and allows visitors to plot their own trails while being able to track which exhibits they have already seen. The app also greatly reduces the need for using paper maps and is eco-friendly by design. Visitors also get to hear the calls (sounds) and see images with close ups of the animals on the devices. This ensures that visitors experience beyond what is visible or heard when at the Zoos.

JeffCorwinConnect is a wildlife-nature focused, global trans-media edutainment company that develops branded mobile, digital and consumer products, creating online and onsite experiences, for kids and families.

Please contact us regarding partnership and sponsorship opportunities to advocate for and protect our endangered species.

Conscious Commerce: Business and Social Innovation Trends for 2013: 'Raising the Bar on Private-Public Partnerships'

Earth boy - AfricaWhile corporate responsibility and sustainability (CR) continues to fuel radical change in business and philanthropic models, reputation management and employee engagement, CR alone is not enough to mitigate pressing social issues and consequences of climate change. Despite contributions from the private and public sector, the social, cultural and environmental circumstances of populations in under-developed markets remain complex and unsustainable.   A recap of the daunting realities we face include:

  • Water: Nearly 800 million people lack dependable access to clean water and about 2.5 billion people lack access to modern sanitation, putting them at risk of disease;
  • Hunger: About 1 billion people across the globe go to bed hungry every night, 200 million of them are children;
  • Education: 60 million children are deprived of access to education;
  • Blindness: 45 million blind and 135 million visually impaired people live around the world, of which 90 percent live in under-developed countries; 
  • Poverty: 61 percent of Africa’s one billion people live on less than $2 a day;  
  • Climate Change: Driven by fossil fuel use and deforestation, is undermining the livelihoods of millions of people.

Meanwhile, corporations are continuing to explore growth, investment and social impact opportunities overseas including China, Asia and now Africa is the new spotlight. These markets represent the four billion people who live in poverty and potential customers for new products and services.

Africa is Rising: Africa is the world’s fastest growing region after emerging Asia with Africans expected to number 2 billion by 2050.  By 2020, more than half of African households are projected to have discretionary income: 85m-130m. This economic expansion is fostering new approaches for development challenges while providing the opportunity to lift millions out of poverty. The Obama administration recently launched a ‘Doing Business in Africa’ initiative to promote economic growth, trade and investment in Africa.

The Power of NGOs: NGOs have become increasingly influential in world affairs, and the World Bank estimates that more than 15 percent of total overseas development aid is channeled through NGOs.  They are the new leaders for the conscious movement representing broad public interest, expertise in the field, tackling complex social and environmental issues.  NGOs are developing new standards for community change and impact, have the connections with local governments and businesses to change policies.  Non-profits are diversifying funding sources, becoming less reliant on government funding, and seeking long-term partnerships with corporations.

The Role of Public-Private Partnerships: Corporations continue to be challenged by developing solutions for sustainable, long term change to scale.  Further dedication of resources toward more inclusive private and public partnerships is critical for improving livelihoods and represents considerable benefits for both parties including co-designing community-driven and owned models, building quality programs, skills training and job creation.

The collective power of partnerships’ are fundamental to properly understanding and navigating the economic, social and political circumstances of our most vulnerable communities in need.

Corporations, supported by NGOs and governments, have profound shared values and our society cannot progress, break new ground, or mitigate our pressing world issues without greater collaboration.

By Samantha Taylor

The Nature Conservancy - Advancing Sustainable Conservation in Africa

BetterTNC_logo-4e664ce4196a3Reputation Dynamics is excited to work with The Nature Conservancy on corporate marketing and social responsibility development to support awareness, growth and development of their programs in Africa. Since the 2006 launch of the Africa program, TNC has been protecting land, freshwater and marine ecosystems in key African regions including, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and Mozambique.    With the population of Africa expected to double by 2050, there will be greater demands for energy, food and water which will pose challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the resilience of the continent's natural resources, alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life for underserved communities.

For more information - http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/africa/index.htm.

Helen Keller International - Preventing Blindness and Reducing Malnutrition

HKIReputation Dynamics is excited to work with Helen Keller International on corporate development.  Founded in 1915 by Helen Keller and George Kessler, Helen Keller International (HKI) is among the oldest international NGOs (non-governmental organizations) devoted to preventing blindness and reducing malnutrition in the world. HKI currently work in 22 countries: 13 in Africa, 8 in Asia-Pacific, and the United States.  HKI's mission is to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.  HKI combats the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health and nutrition.  For example, HKI's Vitamin A supplementation programs have helped save the sight and lives of nearly 100 million children in Africa.

For more information - www.hki.org - and please contact me if you would like further information about this terrific nonprofits work led by CEO, Kathy Spahn.