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September 2012

September 28, 2012

You're Invited! "How She Does It" Dinner Series - Featuring Caitlin Kelley, Founder of Africa Volunteer Corps


Date: Monday, October 15, 2012 
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (EST)
Location: 121 Fulton Street

REGISTER ONLINE:  http://nywsekelley.eventbrite.com

NYWSE invites you to attend the "How She Does It" dinner featuring Caitlin Kelley, Founder of Africa Volunteer Corps. Come join us for an evening with Caitlin as she shares about her unique journey living in Tanzania for several years and how she was able to inspire change within the Tanzanian community. She will touch upon issues common to anyone starting an unprecedented project in a foreign country, such as learning how to partner with locals, gain trust, and assimilate to different cultures.


About Caitlin Kelley

Caitlin Kelley’s mission is to help people live their greatest potential and to shift the paradigm of how the West interacts with Africa. After studying African history at Northwestern University, the path to facilitate justice and self-determination wherever possible took her to Tanzania where she learned Swahili and worked at a grassroots NGO. While there, she saw the world of local NGO’s from the inside out and met many passionate, educated locals hungry to find lasting ways to make a positive impact in their country. In 2009 she and partner Jafari Msaki founded Africa Volunteer Corps, a service corps for Africans to work in African-initiated development projects.


Event Host

121 Fulton Street, FiDi’s first gastropub, is a multifunctional, multi-room venue comprised of a full scale restaurant, bar and lounge and event space located at 121 Fulton Street between Nassau and Dutch Street. Featuring a modern and sleek design, 121 Fulton’s décor emphasizes a natural balance between sophistication and the cool, comfortable vibe of downtown. Allowing for various entertainment options with an emphasis on food and optimal service, the space is complete with a dual-sided restaurant complete with two separate dining areas, three separate entrances, a full bar area in front as well as a multitude of seating options for guests. Our savory and unique 60 item dining menu touches upon everything from brunch, lunch, dinner and even delivery. In addition, we have a full in-house catering, corporate menu which offers 30 different platters, 40 hot and cold passed hors d’oeuvres and 14 different buffet options to choose from as well as being able to create a menu tailored to your event needs.

Additional Info

Please note that some items on the menu may contain ingredients that could trigger food allergies, such as nuts and gluten. Let us know prior to the event if you have allergies and we will inform the kitchen. Also, all sales are final and refunds will not be issued. Thanks for your understanding.




September 17, 2012

Introducing Nicole Stubbs, Founder and CEO of First Access


We are pleased to announce Nicole Stubbs as the first speaker for the "NYWSE Members Speaker Series" event!

                                                                          More details to follow...

ID Photo 2011

Focused on supporting entrepreneurship in emerging markets, Nicole has experience in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. She is the CEO and Co-founder of First Access, a social enterprise based in Brooklyn and piloting in Tanzania. First Access is pioneering a credit scoring system for the global informal sector, which allows microfinance institutions to evaluate loan applicants instantly based on their prepaid mobile records. Prepaid phones represent the first access that people in informal markets have had to formal, traceable financial transactions, and First Access is using these to put people 'on the grid' of financial inclusion.

Prior to First Access, Nicole worked with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) to create a policy and advocacy strategy, and conducted an extensive survey on talent and compensation practices among impact investors and capacity development providers in emerging markets. She also helped design and launch MicroWorld, a Paris-based social enterprise that offers P2P and CSR microlending opportunities in Senegal, Cambodia, Peru, Lebanon and Tajikistan. She has contributed strategic research on private equity and venture capital trends in emerging markets to Endeavor Global in NYC, on Chinese microfinance policy to PlaNet Finance China, and on the expansion of pilot community healthcare programs in Tibet to Surmang Foundation, which has provided free healthcare to over 150,000 Tibetans.

Nicole holds a Master of Public Administration degree in development economics and social enterprise from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She also has a self-designed degree in Writing about Culture from Kenyon College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, and with Highest Honors. She has also studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing and the School for International Training in Fortaleza, Brazil. She speaks French, Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin, and is working, too slowly, on basic competence in Swahili.

September 05, 2012

Yoxi: So You Think You Can Be a Social Entrepreneur?

by Hannah Jang, Chief Blogger

"Changing the world should be fun. When seriousness is embedded in entertainment, and complexity is hidden behind an elegant layer of simplicity, we create intrinsic motivation for people to do good in more creative ways. Yoxi is about creativity and collaboration in the deepest sense we can imagine."

Sharon Chang is a media executive, brand strategist, social entrepreneur, impact investor, and Sharon_Standard_cropphilanthropist. She is the Founder and CEO of Yoxi, an innovative media platform that discovers and elevates Social Innovation Rockstars (SIRs) and leverages their influence and expertise for shared value business opportunities.

Before founding Yoxi, Sharon was the Chief Creative Officer of 19 Entertainment, the company behind popular TV shows American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. She is the Managing Trustee of TTSL Charitable Foundation, serves on the Board of Trustees of New York University, and advises a number of non-profit organizations, technology start-ups, and social ventures.

Learn how Yoxi cultivates a movement for social innovation by becoming part of pop culture.

Tell us a bit about Yoxi and how you came up with the name.

I don’t like to use terms like “think tank” or “lab”, but it’s hard to find the perfect phrase to describe Yoxi otherwise, because we are essentially a creative project in continuous evolution. I founded Yoxi to experiment with different ways to understand and harness the social innovation movement through the lens of media. I want to define a better connection between social responsibility and cultural influence. I see an opportunity to construct a new ethos that reflects a strong desire to build shared value, not through academic rhetoric, but by creating incentives for smarter and more sustainable lifestyle choices.

Currently we are developing a media platform called SIR.tv to capture the intelligence and energy surrounding Social Innovation Rockstars. Capitalizing on the knowledge and insight gained through working with these SIRs, we have also established a strategic consulting practice on shared value collaborations, with the goal to help brands align resources so they can pursue projects that focus on both business opportunities and social impact. We put a strong emphasis on finding media expressions for these collaborations because you have to see and experience impact before you can understand and measure it.

The name Yoxi means game in Chinese. I am not talking about game in a narrowly defined sense such as video games or sports games. I think “game” is the most effective metaphor and framework for change. When you design a good game and set up smart and consistent rules for people to play, you engage a community with shared and tangible goals. If we are playing a game designed to encourage conspicuous consumption, we can’t expect the outcome to be sustainability. In order to change the outcome, we have to start with the fundamental design of the game.

What specific qualities and traits must a 'Social Innovation Rockstar' possess?

Social Innovation Rockstars are original thinkers, creative problem-solvers, and inspiring leaders who care about creating lasting social value. These are the mavericks who see that each of us has an opportunity to alter the course of history, and then take bold steps to do just that. They march fearlessly towards what others have deemed impossible goals, with relentless determination to make things better, fairer, and more meaningful. One defining characteristic is their eagerness to take action. They do not sit idle and wait for others to come up with solutions. Also, they are not afraid to make mistakes because they understand that the conventional notion of success doesn’t necessarily lead to value.

These are social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs building the shared-value economy everyday. We celebrate their individual contribution, and more importantly, we recognize that their collective impact transcends the accumulation of knowledge and solutions to embody a lifestyle commitment emblematic of the Millennial psyche.

Can you share an inspiring "SIR" story with us?

I’d invite you to watch a video profile on Chid Liberty: http://sir.tv/profile/chid-liberty

There's a growing market for social innovation and "doing good" for society. How can we ensure that social entrepreneurship is not just the next trend or latest fad?

We live in an era where finite resources must meet the demand of seemingly unbounded growth. Social innovation is the key to creating a better balance by either unlocking new resource potential or curbing irresponsible growth. I don’t think it’s just the next trend because it offers the most essential and fundamental building blocks for achieving more efficiency in an increasingly complex global society. We shouldn’t treat social entrepreneurship simply as a discipline. Instead, it needs to be understood as a mindset.

A big part of what we aim to do is embedding that mindset in popular culture. If social innovation can be appreciated through a wide range of cultural contexts, rather then being confined in an echo chamber of experts, then its influence will be broad, deep, and lasting.

What exciting projects are currently in development for Yoxi?

We have just released a very basic beta version of SIR.tv. I am excited about what we have planned for the coming months. There will be incremental design improvements, as well as more inspirational stories to demonstrate the power of Social Innovation Rockstars.

In collaboration with one of our SIRs Chid Liberty, we are also working on a big project called Made In Africa. It’s a docu-reality show to discover and invest in emerging social entrepreneurs in Africa. Beginning in Liberia, the project will chronicle a high stakes competition to start the next socially responsible business in one of the toughest and most dynamic economies in the world.