We look at how a new generation of philanthropists is attempting to use the tools and approaches of the tech industry to help solve social problems more efficiently and effectively.

Jocelyn Wyatt, co-lead/executive director for, a non-profit organization using design and innovation to relieve poverty
Adnan Mahmud, co-founder of Jolkona, which seeks to connect donors to a range of nonprofit projects
Renee Kaplan, chief strategy officer, Skoll Foundation
Daniel Lurie, CEO and founder, Tipping Point Community

  • Nicole Neroulias

    Can’t wait! When will the recording be available online, for anyone who misses it live?

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Usually around twelve noon or one o’clock in the afternoon most days.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Affordable small housing, healthy clean food, family planning, education and living wage jobs are real needs in this country and California specifically, but we don’t seem to be hearing much about these issues being tackled head on by any of the new young philanthropists. Why? No media interest?

    • CSTS at SCU

      Hi Beth,

      You’ve raised a really good question. Historically, we’ve been focused globally because the need is greater and our resulting impact is more profound. However, recently we have partnered with the eBay foundation to host a “bootcamp” for Bay Area social entrepreneurs.

  • Joe

    Oh boy! The rich are going to turn a page and give a crap about the poor and dwindling middle class? Yay! Here’s #1 on my Wish List: Let’s have the rich money-grubbers at Google provide a few of their Google Shuttles for the homeless to sleep in overnight. Then maybe, if Google really cares, they can help keep the homeless safe too, by stationing their security guards around the GBUSes. These guards are top notch as they variously work for either a Carlyle Group front company called USIS or an anti-union high-turnover security firm called SIS. If anybody tries anything funny I bet the USIS guys will shoot ’em dead, just like they kind of maybe didn’t do or perhaps they did, to whistleblower Theodore Westhusing. Don’t be evil? Yay!

    Free stuff from rich people? Oh lucky day!


  • Jim Chu

    One of the most important things that can be carried forward from the tech industry is the willingness and latitude to innovate. Traditional/conventional philanthropy is incredibly risk averse — I suppose one “must” if you’re dealing with donated money, right? — but that means it doesn’t do enough to encourage trying new ideas, being transparent about failures and learning from failures, iterating on solutions, and going for the BIG impact.

    • CSTS at SCU

      Hi Jim,

      If you interested, check our work on impact capital. We like to see ourselves as a learning laboratory and we are designing new investment vehicles to balance the right about of risk and yet encourage investment in innovation.

      And, we here you, we also like to go for BIG impact. Our Center’s vision is to positively impact the lives of 1 Billion by 2020.

      • Jim Chu

        Thanks, CSTS. I run a social enterprise based in Haiti providing a market-based solution to clean drinking water. We’re investor driven, with investment from large institutions and small investors. It wasn’t easy and a lot of the issue was having the right investment vehicle for our company. I’m curious about the work that you’re doing at CSTS and would be interested in having a more in-depth conversation. Contact me at jim at dlohaiti dot com if you’d like

  • David

    We pay for impact assessment, accountability and reporting. Happily. It’s part of the project’s dna.

    David Rankin
    VP Programs
    Great Lakes Protection Fund

  • As a small tech company ( trying to provide a comprehensive yet affordable data management solution (we’re the Blackbaud alternative), to budget-strapped nonprofits, much of our time is spent peeling away the layers of challenges between us and the nonprofits who really need our services. The nonprofits I have worked with have such incredibly tight resources – both in dollars and people – that it’s difficult to convince them to learn or try something new. On top of that is the fact that many donors cringe at the thought of donations going to administration or outreach efforts. Add to that the fact that industry consultants are giving them a long list of what they should be doing and you have a group that becomes almost paralyzed to make any kind of dramatic shift.

  • Menelvagor

    This is patronizing. Capitalists always advocate charity and glorify themselves. If you people really want to improve society or decrease the gap between the extremely poor and the disgustingly rich– take that stolen money–subsidized by the state/people–and lobby for hugely-increased taxes, anti-trust laws, against the corporate-Internet, and corporate personhood, stop protecting your money in GATTS and offshore accounts, stop buying elected officials and blocking important democratic initiatives, and lobby for state/welfare programs and work programs. National health care would go a long way. Jobs would go a long way–instead you offshore all our jobs and refuse to pay us. While degrading our environment and standard of life. You try to patch the holes with our charities–which are questionable (and lack priority)–but the ship is going down. And you rearrange deck chairs. Psst! A curse on you!

    Forum–when will you be critical of the establishment? COme on Krasney!–spine? Ask some pointed questions–dont just flatter all your guests.

  • Richard Seyman

    If techies are coming up with all kinds of apps capable of making a real difference even in extreme impovershed third world regions, perhaps they could come up with some apps to overcome the difficulties faced by poor Americans trying to get access to register and vote against the candidates of the 1% and the far right.

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