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Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 12.28.15 PMSocial Capital Markets (SOCAP) – co-founded by Tim Freundlich ’90 – leads the charge toward a socially responsible economy by connecting and supporting social impact leaders around the globe.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 12.28.19 PMThis year, SOCAP will award scholarships to 150 outstanding entrepreneurs for SOCAP15 (Oct. 6-9 in San Francisco), as well as Gratitude Awards in the categories of education, environment/sustainability, and community development.

Read the details here and apply by June 30! We’ve given out tickets to the annual SOCAP conference in the past, and you can read the glowing reviews from Wes attendees here.

A few great opportunities at the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center that’ll make you wish you were a kid again:

 

P1140664Girls in Science Summer Camp with Wesleyan Professors Erika Taylor, Christina Othon, and Ruth Johnson
  • Open to girls going into Grades 4, 5, and 6
  • August 3 – 7, 2015
  • 8:30am – 4:00pm daily with breakfast and lunch included
  • Science Showcase for Family and Friends on Friday, August 7th at 4:30pm
  • $350 for the week, scholarships available for free lunch students 
  • Application deadline June 30, 2015 – spaces are limited.
  • Details and application can be found here.

 

P1140370Discovery AfterSchool Fall Classes

  • September 14 – December 11, 2015 
  • For Grades 1 – 5, Classes run Monday-Friday from 4:15 to 5:15 PM with an optional homework help period available Monday – Thursday from 5:15 to 5:45 PM.
  • For Grades 6 – 8, the Wesleyan Bound class is offered on Fridays from 3:15 to 5:15 PM.
  • Classes taught by professional teaching artists and Wesleyan students
  • Take one to five classes a week
  • Details, class descriptions, and registration forms can be found here.
  • There is a 50% discount available for AfterSchool classes for Wesleyan affiliates!

 

book cover 100 Under $100 low rezAt this season of academic transitions—students seeking summer internships, jobs, and experiences, and new grads heading out into the world—I have good news and bad news. Even mature adults are stuck figuring out what to do when they grew up, or at least grow older.

That is how I have become a first-time author and a grandmother at the same time. Granted, writing 100 Under $100: One Hundred Tools for Empowering Global Women did not take me 40 years; I had several careers before arriving at this juncture. But it is a great reminder that with luck and long life, one can have many work trajectories.

About a decade ago my art business had become predictable and my youngest child, Nomi (Wesleyan ’11), was leaving home.  I treated this as an opportunity to let my business contract while beginning to search for Frederick Buechner’s “place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” I did eventually grow a new career, though it was a slow, non-linear process.

Getting to 100 Under $100 involved a lot of serendipity. I began blogging about sustainability and socially responsible consumption; though a hobby, it turned out I was acquiring actual skills. I went on a lot of informational interviews. The main takeaway: I was too old for an entry level job and too quirky for more specialized positions.

Through networking, though, I learned about a conference on microfinance and was bowled over by Elizabeth Israel, head of GreenMicrofinance. She displayed a chart showing how much impoverished people lacking electricity pay per KwH—more than we rich country denizens do. She further explained that a solar panel provides a path out of extreme poverty. Within a few weeks I was the Communications Director of the fledgling GreenMicrofinance. My blogging? Now it was part of my dream job.

Nomi '11 and Betsy Teutsch

Nomi Teutsch ’11 and author Betsy Teutsch, right. Photo credit: Johanna Resnick Rosen

GreenMicrofinance launched in 2008; you can guess how that ended. Nomi, then a sophomore, phoned home one day, very excited, reporting that a young man in her sociology class had just arrived at Wesleyan straight from a slum in Kenya and was starting a school for girls back home. She was jumping in to help. Of course that was Kennedy Odede ’12, dreaming the Kibera School for Girls into existence. Soon the school was under construction and I volunteered to help. That’s how I wound up a [lucky!] member of the founding board of Shining Hope for Communities.

I saw very few signs of women in the humanitarian technology world, either as designers or as users; I knew that was a problem. In the women’s empowerment sector, exemplified by SHOFCO and other initiatives I learned about, I saw very little tech. This, too, posed a problem. How can girls and women be empowered without the power of the plug? I decided I could, and should, focus on this disconnect and try to contribute to bridging it.

I started searching for women in humanitarian tech and design, experimenting with a then new social media tool, Pinterest—more serendipity. Soon I’d “pinned” scores of images of women doing amazing things: designing affordable water treatment, better maternal health tool, improved fuel, even sanitary napkins. These women were actively improving the lives of women all over the world.

After a few weeks I sat back to admire these vibrant images. Blam! It hit me. I needed to write a book about these women and their work: a beautiful, hopeful, informative book that would invite people to engage in and support these initiatives. A crazy undertaking, perhaps, but I knew my deep gladness had met up with the world’s hunger.

My definition of “tool” expanded as I researched, to include public health practices, WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene), ICT (Info & Communication Tech), Sustainable Agriculture, Financial Inclusion, and Legal Tools. (When it’s your book, you make the rules.) The book is a comprehensive look at the sectors of development. Each entry has a  icon: something YOU, the reader, could do. These were really fun to track down, varying from something as simple as buying fair trade products to challenges as huge as replicating an existing model in a different region. Spoiler alert: there are a lot of internships included in the book. The actionable items make the book extremely useful to a wide range of readers: students, idealists, classroom and informal educators, families seeking meaningful philanthropic or travel opportunities, and socially responsible consumers.

Readers will find an immense amount of information about Human Centered Design, social enterprise and entrepreneurship, and flat-out cool surprises. Who knew that urine makes great fertilizer? Or that you can make bricks out of plastic bottles filled with non-recyclable waste, a win-win? The book is oversize, with 170 gorgeous photos of women in action. One of my favorite reviews describes it as “a coffee table book for activists.”

A special shout-out to Aaron Greenberg ’11, fact checker for the book’s sustainable farming section. He was a farmer at Long Lane, back in the day!

Betsy Teutsch’s book, 100 Under$100: One Hundred Tools for Empowering Global Women is available at her website, on Amazon, and through independent bookstores.

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The Archimedes Project is recruiting aspiring entrepreneurs to spend two­-three months working in their chosen country as a Frontier Fellow. The Fellow will examine the water and sanitation market, needs and customer attitudes, conduct stakeholder interviews, build local partnerships and may begin micro­testing business ideas. Working with the Archimedes Project team, the fellow will, among other things, identify social enterprises and nonprofits working in the area, pinpoint potential markets.

At the end of this period, the Fellow will present their findings to the Archimedes Project. Based on demonstrated aptitude during this Fellowship period, Fellows may be selected as an Archimedes Project Co­founders with whom we would design and launch an enterprise.

The fellow will receive a stipend of $5,000 for travel and room and board in country.

Fellow Criteria:
Fellows must be connected to an Archimedes Project target country and be able to live there and serve as a fellow full­time during the fellowship period. They must meet the Archimedes Project entrepreneur criteria and be interested in co­founding a clean water or sanitation social enterprise with the Archimedes Project.

Who should apply?
Anyone who has a deep commitment to improving the wellbeing of a country and believes that clean water and sanitation are key to achieving that. We are looking for leaders who will work with us to design, develop and launch the next generation of clean water enterprise, providing sustainable access to this vital resource while creating local jobs.. Key characteristics: A strong entrepreneurial spirit, creative intelligence, leadership and resilience.

Application Opens Period Ends Departure

  Applications Open Period Ends Departure
Summer April 15 May 15 June 15 – July 15
Fall June 15 August 1 September 1 – October 1

Applications are accepted on a rolling a basis at archgrp.org/fellow.

Reunion & Commencement begins on Thursday, May 21, and the weekend is well-stocked with events related to civic engagement, social impact, and the goings-on of the Allbritton Center. Students, alumni, parents, and everyone else in the Wesleyan family are welcome to attend! Come learn about all the ways that students and grads are working toward change on campus and in communities around the world.

FRIDAY, MAY 22

WESEMINAR – Skills for the New Economy

What skills and aptitudes will Wesleyan graduates need to enter the emerging very demanding economy, dominated by the Internet and rapid change?  In this seminar a panel of Wesleyan faculty, staff, and alumni working in the new economy will offer views on what success will require.
1:00 – 2:00 PM in 41 Wyllys, Room 112

WESEMINAR – Social Entrepreneurship and Civic Engagement at Wesleyan

Social impact has always been in the DNA of Wesleyan. This year, we were recognized by Princeton Review as the #1 “Best School for Making an Impact.” During this panel discussion, we’ll hear from student entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, activists, and community leaders who are using their interdisciplinary liberal arts education to tackle the pressing problems of the world–starting right here on campus.
2:30 – 3:30 PM in Allbritton 311

The student panel for this WESEMINAR includes:
Nina Gerona ’15, Co-coordinator of the Wesleyan Local Foods Co-op
Olayinka Lawal ’15, Co-founder & Business Strategist at JooMah and President of Wesleyan’s African Students Association
Brent Packer ’15, Founder of Wishing Wells and Potlux
Rachel Verner ’15, Founder of Assk Apparel & Education and Wesleyan Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Intern
Julia Vermeulen ’15, Co-Director of The Wesleyan Doula Project and Kindergarten Kickstart Teacher
Kehan Zhou ’15, Co-founder of TechBucks
others TBD
The panel will be moderated by Makaela Kingsley ’98, Director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (PCSE) Open House

Join staff and students from the Patricelli Center and members of Wesleyan Alumni in Philanthropy and Public Service (WAPPS) for an open house and networking reception. To learn more about the PCSE or to volunteer, visit wesleyan.edu/patricelli
3:30 – 5:00 PM on the Ground Floor of the Allbritton Center

Allbritton Center Open House

The Allbritton Center is the hub for civic engagement at Wesleyan. We study public life, actively partner with the local and regional community, and teach practical skills for social impact. Join the faculty, staff, and students of the engagement centers within Allbritton for an open house to learn about how we are serving the public good in and out of the classroom, on and off campus.
3:30 – 5:00 PM on the First Floor of the Allbritton Center

WESU Happy Hour

Come enjoy an early evening happy hour with WESU alumni, current staff members, student DJs, and community volunteers. Refreshments and good conversation will be provided.
4:00 – 6:00 PM in Woodhead Lounge (1st Floor in the Exley Science Center)

SATURDAY, MAY 23

WESU 88.1 FM Open House

Parents, families, alumni, and students are all invited to attend an Open House at Wesleyan University’s radio station, WESU. Stop in to check out the studios, browse the expansive and eclectic music libraries, and meet current Board members and DJs.
2:00 – 5:00 PM at WESU (2nd Floor of 45 Broad Street, above Broad Street Books)

WESEMINAR – Fail Early, Succeed Often: Why One Third of Entrepreneurs are Dyslexic and What This Reveals About Innovation

One third of successful entrepreneurs are dyslexic, including Charles Schwab, Richard Branson, Barbara Cochran and Magic Johnson.  This talk will help explain why dyslexic individuals thrive in innovative businesses and what this teaches us about break through companies.  Anyone who wants to better understand resiliency, dyslexia or entrepreneurship should attend.
3:00 – 4:00 PM in the CFA Hall

In collaboration with HOT Schools, the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center will be hosting a potluck workshop about the use improvisation in the classroom setting on Thursday, May 14 from 6:15 to 8:15 PM. All teaching artists and interested college students are welcome to join this fun filled night at no cost. All we ask for in return is that if you bring your favorite dish to share with the group. This workshop will be led by HOT Schools very own Teaching Artist Jackie Coleman. 

Jackie Coleman is Senior Executive Advisor for the Arts for Hartford Public Schools. As such she works toward bringing dance, music, theatre and visual art to the students of Hartford in as many ways as possible.

Prior to Hartford Schools, Jackie left Hartford Stage as Director of Education. During her 6 years there she expanded the reach of Connections – a theatre literacy program, created Innovations –a science/theatre residency, formed the Hartford Stage Young Company, designed a multitude of interdistrict and after school programs, increased professional development opportunities and started their adult acting series.  

Jackie is a Master Teaching Artist on the roster for the Connecticut Office of the Arts. She has 15 years of acting credits in and around New York City and Connecticut. She holds an MFA from the University of South Carolina and a BFA from the University of Connecticut.

The schedule will be as follows:

6:15 – 6:45 — Dinner
6:45 – 7:30 — Circle share
7:30 – 8:15 —  Improv workshop with Jackie

Zoe Toulouse ’16 and Adriana Brau-Diaz ’16 were selected to receive an Enrichment Grant from the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. With this grant, they attended a weekend-long birth doula training, which will allow them to work as doulas this summer and explore careers in women’s reproductive health down the road. You can read Zoe and Adriana’s reflection below, read past grantee reflections here, and visit the PCSE website to learn more about all of our grant programs.

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On the weekend of March 6-8, we completed an introductory birth doula training with Rina Crane in New York City. It was an extremely enlightening experience in which we learned all about the ins and outs of childbirth and being a supportive presence for an expecting and laboring mother. Specifically, we were taught to be active listeners, how to help a woman design a birth plan (for hospital and home births), physical comfort techniques, and how to serve as a mediator between the woman, her partner, family, and medical professionals. The training consisted of a number of group activities and we bonded with other workshop participants. This will be beneficial in the future as we work as doulas and need to create a network in that world.

Additionally, the workshop taught us how to approach the business aspect of the doula profession. We learned about offering birth doula services pro bono initially, and later how to truly build a career out of it. Our trainer Rina Crane has been in the field for over 10 years and was able to provide us with a lot of resources in the New York City area based on the connections she has formed over the years. The workshop reaffirmed our passion for childbirth, babies, and a woman’s wellbeing during this life-changing event.

We plan to carry out what we learned in the workshop this coming summer and further in the future. We strongly believe every expecting mother deserves a doula. This summer, Adriana will be working as a birth doula at Harlem Hospital in New York City, and Zoe will be working as the Women Children Infants intern at Mary’s Center in Washington, DC.

erinboggs

Erin Boggs ’93, Executive Director of Open Communities Alliance

Open Communities Alliance is a Connecticut non-profit run by Erin Boggs ’93 that promotes access to opportunity for all people through education, organizing, advocacy, research, and partnerships. The Alliance works to build an urban-suburban interracial coalition to support policies that lead to housing choice.  

On Thursday, May 21, OCA and the Partnership for Strong Communities will host a conversation on mobility counseling, an innovative service that helps ensure that low-income families have a real choice when deciding where to live.

We know that where a family lives can dictate success in life – especially for children. This program will explore strategies to ensure that families opting to stay in areas that are under-resourced can increase their chances for success, but will also focus on mobility counseling as a critical means of connecting families who have been isolated from opportunity to areas that provide thriving schools, safe streets, and other community benefits.

If you are interested in attending and you’d like a ride from campus, contact Makaela Kingsley by May 20. 

Event details:

Thursday, May 21st at 9:00 
(coffee, pastry & conversation @ 8:30) 
at the Lyceum, 227 Lawrence Street, Hartford, CT 06106
Register Now! Attendance is free.

For more on mobility counseling, visit Open Community Alliance’s website.
For more details on this event, see the event flyer.

Kehan Zhou ’15 was selected to receive an Enrichment Grant from the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship to subsidize his trip to Berlin to attend a Bitcoin conference. You can read Kehan’s reflection below, read past grantee reflections here, and visit the PCSE website to learn more about all of our grant programs.

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Inside Bitcoin Berlin Reflection: Kehan Zhou ’15 

bitcoinWith the support from the Student Enrichment Grant and the CSS department, I attended one of the biggest Bitcoin conferences in the World in Berlin. This conference brought together economists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs who work on Bitcoin enterprises. The result was many stimulating talks on the most advanced Bitcoin technology. 

Bitcoin is a digital currency that uses blockchain technology to achieve anonymity and security. It is the first digital currency that solved the problem of double spending where the same currency is spent twice. Compared to traditional currency, Bitcoin offers very fast payment that costs only a fraction of the traditional transaction fee. In addition, Bitcoin is a “smart money” which means that it is programmable like computer code. This allows it to accomplish many complicated payment schemes that traditional currency cannot achieve.

The conference discussed many interesting ideas on Bitcoin around the world. For example, one company is working on bringing space Bitcoin banking to Africa by allowing people to bank through satellite signals. Bitcoin technology can also support prediction market where any prediction can be bought and sold like a securities. The prediction could be the weather for tomorrow or the result of presidential elections. I truly believe that Bitcoin and blockchain technology are the future of money. While we are still in the trial and error phase, Bitcoin’s technology could revolutionize the way we use money and many other fields.

I want to thank the PCSE Enrichment Grant for supporting my trip and I would like to chat with anyone who is interested in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and share my experience with more people.

A Letter to Wesleyan Social Entrepreneurs and ENGAGE Readers:

Kevin Egolf '05

Kevin Egolf ’05 is Founder and Manager of Local Farms Fund, which provides land security and a path to ownership for farmers through long-term lease-to-own arrangements. He says “Wesleyan teaches its students how to think and learn. Go out and be a sponge, soaking up as much knowledge as possible. Everything you absorb will help you down the road when you are ready to step out and chart your own path.”

I recently attended an event on campus where I was able to share my career experiences with a group of graduating and rising seniors. As I listened to the other panelists and reflected on my own past, I realized, among many things, that a career—meaning the job or position in a field that one will do for the rest of his or her life—takes time to find and develop. My story, while not unique and interestingly having common threads with all the panelists from the career event, demonstrates that gaining skills and seeking experiences while continuing to learn will ultimately lead to a successful career covering all domains, including physical, emotional and financial. This is extremely important for all the social entrepreneurs and civic leaders that want to change the world right now. Some graduates may have everything one needs to immediately start a successfully career, but many more still need further expertise, which can only be gained through real-life practice. My advice is simple: have and hold those dreams and passions, but do not forget that following the beaten path for a while will likely increase the opportunities for one to make a difference over the course of a lifetime. This is NOT financial security now, philanthropy later. This is learn, experience now until ready to apply, change later.

While my career is still young and will likely have many more twists and turns, I have found an industry that I want to be in for the long haul. I work in the impact investing field, a rapidly growing financial sector that deploys investment capital for positive social returns alongside financial gains. I started the Local Farms Fund, a farmland impact investment fund focused on supporting early stage sustainable farmers. I consider myself a social entrepreneur, not because I am creating a new product that is going to save the world, but because I am breaking traditional investment barriers and altering an industry that has created both amazing wealth and amazing problems. Local Farms Fund provides land security and a path to ownership for farmers through long-term lease-to-own arrangements. For those not familiar with the issues facing farmers, the number one challenge for young farmers is access to land. Local Farms Fund is using patient investment capital to address this huge challenge. Investors receive modest returns; farmers receive land tenure.

When I left Wesleyan in May 2005, I did not jump into impact investing nor did the concept really exist at that time. In fact, many current and recent graduates will likely have careers in fields that do not exist right now.  My first few jobs were very traditional finance positions. I spent seven years (with one 11 month break to travel—I did go to Wesleyan after all!) in the investment banking and private equity world before I found the perfect career for me, managing impact investments. The seven years I spent on the “traditional path” taught me many valuable skills. Accounting, business valuation, negotiating, interpreting legal documents and business management just to name a few. These skills blend perfectly with the values Wesleyan instills into the student body for a career in impact investing. Without the confluence of both my work background and my Wesleyan education, I would not have been able to launch and manage Local Farms Fund.

I encourage all the students and recent graduates, especially those with strong entrepreneurial spirits, to think boldly and dream big. Pursue goals that seem unattainable and be willing to fail. Failure happens to everybody, but remember that you may not have all the skills and experiences you need to achieve your aspirations right now. Wesleyan teaches its students how to think and learn. Go out and be a sponge, soaking up as much knowledge as possible. Everything you absorb will help you down the road when you are ready to step out and chart your own path.

Sincerely,

Kevin Egolf
Manager, Local Farms Fund
LFF@localfarmsfund.com
www.localfarmsfund.com

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