296 episodes

Social Entrepreneur exists at the intersection of profit and purpose. We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.

Social Entrepreneur Tony Loyd: Business executive and mentor to social entrepreneurs

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    • 5.0, 138 Ratings

Social Entrepreneur exists at the intersection of profit and purpose. We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.

    Environmental Change in the Midwest, with Janet McCabe, Environmental Resilience Institute

    Environmental Change in the Midwest, with Janet McCabe, Environmental Resilience Institute

    The Environmental Resilience Institute helps midwestern communities understand and prepare for environmental change. 


    There’s something powerful about understanding how a global trend impacts your local community. For example, it’s one thing to hear about world hunger. It’s another to hear about hunger in your state. But there’s a different feeling when you realize that there’s a hungry kid in your neighborhood. As Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local.”


    It’s the same thing with climate change. You’ve probably heard about the global climate crisis. And, when your state is mentioned, you might pay attention. But, when you notice the impact on the health and wellbeing of your local community, well, there’s something compelling about that.


    Climate Change in the Midwest


    We hear a lot about the impacts of climate change in far-flung corners of the world. We are aware of the dangers of flooding along the US coastline. But what about the Midwest?


    The average annual temperature has been increasing across the Midwest. Warmer air holds more moisture, which changes moisture patterns. That means more frequent flooding, and drought.


    For each 1 degree Celsius of warming, the crop yield declines for corn, wheat, rice, and soy.


    Warmer, wetter winters have led to higher tick populations. The mosquito season is longer. Mosquitoes and ticks spread diseases.


    Helping Midwestern Communities Understand and Prepare for Environmental Change


    Janet McCabe is an expert in environmental law and policy. She is the director of the Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University.


    The Environmental Resilience Institute collects data across all 92 counties in Indiana to predict changes in climate, groundwater systems, vegetation, wildlife, and more. Their goal is to help Indiana understand how a changing climate will affect health, communities, industry, and agriculture.


    Before joining the Environmental Resilience Institute, Janet held key positions in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.


    Learn More About Janet McCabe and Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute:


    ·        Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute: https://eri.iu.edu


    ·        Janet McCabe on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janet-mccabe-204b53126

    • 29 min
    A Just and Equitable Transition to a Clean Energy Future, with Ry Brennan

    A Just and Equitable Transition to a Clean Energy Future, with Ry Brennan

    The problems are systemic and complex. So are the answers.


    Globally, the United States accounts for 5% of the world’s population, but we produce 15% of the energy-related CO2 emissions. Coastal flooding, hurricanes, drought, and fires are all related to climate change. And who suffers the most from the impacts of climate change? Mostly the poor and vulnerable.


    Bringing this closer to home, in the US, 5.9 million people live within three miles of a major coal-fired power plant. On average, these people have a per capital income of $18,400, which is 17% lower than the average in the US.


    A Yale University study found that Hispanics have the highest exposure rates for 10 out of 14 air pollutants. African Americans have higher exposure rates than whites for 13 out of the 14 air pollutants.


    68% of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant. Black people are exposed to 1.5 times more particulate matter than white people. Hispanics have about 1.2 times the exposure to particulates than non-Hispanic whites.


    African Americans are hospitalized for asthma at three times the rate of white Americans. And, the death rate from asthma is 172% higher for African Americans than white Americans.


    Among children, the results are even worse. According to the Centers for Disease Control, black children are twice as likely to have asthma as white children. And black children are 10 times more likely than white kids to die of complications from asthma.


    And, that is not to mention increased birth defects, heart disease, lung disease, learning difficulties, and lower property values.


    The average US household spends 4% of their income on energy costs, while low-income families spend 17% of their income.


    African Americans spend around $40 billion on energy. Yet, 1.1% of energy jobs are held by African Americans. And, only .01% of energy revenue went to African Americans.


    The Solutions Can Be the Problem


    At one level, we have the solutions in hand. King Coal is dead. It is more expensive to generate electricity from coal than from either wind or solar.


    Wind is the cheapest source of new electricity generation in Minnesota. The cost fell by 16% in one year.


    The price of solar energy in Minnesota has declined 34% over the last five years.


    LED lighting is energy efficient. Electric cars don’t emit CO2 from combustion.


    However, as H. L. Mencken said, “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.”


    The problems are systemic and complex. The solutions are at the systems level.


    According to Ry Brennan, a doctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, “Solving the problems with our existing energy infrastructure requires creating resilient energy systems. These systems must be decentralized, diverse, and open to democratic deliberation. This change will require a dramatic remaking of our hard and soft energy infrastructures.”


    A Call to Action


    In this episode of Social Entrepreneur, Ry challenges us to think deeply about our electrical system. “Figure out how energy gets from the plant to your light switch. If you're not happy about it, find out what people in your town are doing about it. If they're not doing anything about it yet, ask if anyone wants to help you make some noise. If you are happy about it, share your community's good idea with someone else.”


    About Ry Brenna


    Ry Brennan is a doctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where they study energy justice, infrastructure, environmental sociology, prison ecology, and democracy, especially as these themes and fields relate to energy decentralization. They are also a community organizer working in a range of different affinity groups with the simple ambition of ending oppression in all its forms to cultivate the flourishin

    • 30 min
    Jessica Hellmann, Geofinancial Analytics and the Institute on the Environment

    Jessica Hellmann, Geofinancial Analytics and the Institute on the Environment

    If you could invent a post-pandemic world, what world would you create?


    I hear a lot of people talking about the desire to return to “normal.” However, normal was unsustainable. Before the pandemic, there was another crisis, an environmental crisis. A crisis in our food systems, our energy systems, our clean water systems, and our unequal economic systems. Coronavirus did not break our systems. It revealed how broken our systems already are.


    There is a saying, “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them." That is why, when faced with intractable problems like COVID-19 or the climate crisis, I like to talk to thought leaders.


    On the other side of the pandemic, we have an opportunity to begin again. What world can you imagine in a post-pandemic world? I asked this question to Jessica Hellmann, the Director of the Institute on Environment at the University of Minnesota.


    The Institute on the Environment has a bold vision for the world:


    Sustainable agriculture feeds the world.Renewable energy powers healthy homes, efficient transportation, and flourishing businesses.Every person has access to food, water and shelter.Oceans, lakes and rivers are clean and healthy.Communities have vibrant economies, neighborhoods and cultures.Thriving ecosystems support thriving economies and societies. Overall, humanity restores and renews resources for the benefit of all living things.

    IonE is accelerating the transition to this future by supporting breakthrough research across disciplines. They develop the next generation of global leaders, discover breakthrough solutions, and build transformative partnerships.


    “Universities have been profoundly important in figuring out what environmental issues are,” Jessica explains. “Now, it’s equally, if not more important in addressing those problems.”


    Jessica says, “Occasionally, there are projects or activities that are created within an interdisciplinary institute. Some ideas continue to flourish within an institute, and some go off elsewhere.”


    One example of a spinoff from the institute is Geofinancial Analytics. Jessica is the Chief Scientist at Geofinancial Analytics. They are a science-driven benefit corporation. Their mission is to accelerate capital flow from climate stressors to sustainable solutions. They inform investment decisions with transparent, objective facts.


    Learn More About Jessica Hellmann:


    Jessica Hellmann: https://jessicahellmann.org/Institute on the Environment: http://environment.umn.edu/Geofinancial Analytics: https://geofinancial.com/

    • 22 min
    A Systems view of the Climate Crisis (and Coronavirus) with Jonathan Foley, Project Drawdown

    A Systems view of the Climate Crisis (and Coronavirus) with Jonathan Foley, Project Drawdown

    • 25 min
    Kickoff, Season Two, Social Entrepreneur

    Kickoff, Season Two, Social Entrepreneur

    In season two, we are telling stories of an inclusive and just transition to a clean energy future.


    Happy Earth Day! Welcome to Season Two of Social Entrepreneur. You already know that we tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions. In season two, we are focusing on stories of an inclusive and just transition to a clean energy future.


    Here are the kinds of guests we will feature:


    Underrepresented voices such as women entrepreneurs, people of color, Native Americans, LGBTQ voices, and others who don’t normally get the spotlight. The venture capitalist Arlan Hamilton refers to them as the underestimated. We highlight the true hustlers, those who have overcome the most on their journey.Are working to solve big problems, tied to sustainable development goals. In this season, we are focused on an inclusive and just transition to a clean energy future.Have a sustainable business model. We give preference to for-profit businesses. We will consider nonprofit businesses who sell a product or service to sustain their impact.Are solution-focused. Our Guests are making a lasting difference through direct action.

    Upcoming Episodes:


    We’re excited to bring you new stories about our clean energy future. Here are some examples of upcoming episodes:


    Jonathan Foley, Project DrawdownJessica Hellmann, University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and Geofinacial AnalyticsRy Brennan, Grad Student, UCSBJanet McCabe, Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana UniversityMarc Kuo, RoutificSteve Downey, Harmony FuelsMany more. 

    • 3 min
    Introducing Thrive. Connect. Contribute.

    Introducing Thrive. Connect. Contribute.

    Positive stories of resilient people who thrive in life, connect with others, and contribute to the world in the face of adversity.


    Who do you know who is modeling resilience during difficult times?


    Have you heard any good stories lately? In this critical time, we are surrounded by acts of heroism, both large and small.


    I want to introduce you to the podcast, Thrive. Connect. Contribute.


    Here is What You Will Hear:


    I am sharing stories of resilient people. Here are three examples.


    Episode 3: How I Overcame Anxiety, Found the Purpose of Life, and Lived a Year of Personal Bests. If you’ve been wondering “What happened to Tony?” This answers the question. It’s been quite a year.


    Episode 4: These Children Show Us How to Connect with Others in a Time of Crisis. I interview a 10-year-old boy and his 7-year-old sister. They launched a new podcast so that kids can learn and have fun.


    Episode 10: Crowdsource Kindness During the COVID-19 Crisis with Morgan Schmidt. According to Morgan, the world is full of kind people. She found a way to crowdsource kindness.


    What I'm Doing During the COVID-19 Crisis


    I’m looking for these stories. I’ll bet you have heard stories like this. And, I’ll also bet that you have stories from your life.


    In the middle of this pandemic, I feel compelled to do this.


    I am calling for stories. Here’s how it works.


    You can nominate a story that you heard from someone else, or you can tell your own story.


    Why "Thrive. Connect. Contribute."?


    Last year I did a personal experiment called “My Year of Personal Bests.” If I boiled the entire year-long experience into one phrase, it would be this:


    You are here on earth to connect with others and contribute to the world. But before you can connect and contribute, you must first practice self-care. In other words, you must thrive. Thrive. Connect. Contribute. In that order.


    Take Control of Your Destiny


    So, help me out, will you? Let’s find and tell the stories of people who are thriving, connecting, and contributing in the face of adversity.


    Nominate someone to tell their story. Or, let us know about the story you have to tell.


    We need these stories now more than ever. 

    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
138 Ratings

138 Ratings

Katie Joy B. ,

Passion, Perspective, and Purpose, Oh My!

Tony and his wide range of incredible guests talk all things business, but it’s so much more than that! You’ll get tons of actionable advice and tangible tips, but you’ll also get heaps of inspiration from truly engaging and devoted individuals that have been where you are and want to see you succeed while adding value to the world around us. Thanks so much for putting out such a spectacular show Tony - keep up the great work!

SideHustleBob ,

Outstanding people with outstanding stories

If you're setting out to start a social-good company or a not-for-profit organization (as I am), this is the podcast to listen to.

Tony interviews people who have either "been there" in very difficult life situations (e.g. relationship abuse, poverty, human trafficking, etc.) or people who have been touched by those world problems and have set out to do something about it.

Tony has a nice presence. He's easy to listen to and he himself is an excellent listener of his show guests.

This show has been a terrific resource for me. Thank you, Tony!

Brooke Craven ,

Awesome Podcast!!

Tony, host of the Social Entrepreneur podcast, highlights all aspects of profit, purpose and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

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