Social Entrepreneur exists at the intersection of profit and purpose. We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.
Can Meta be a Force for Good? An Interview with Emily Dalton Smith
Is it possible for the company formerly known as Facebook to be a force for good? There are some bright spots.
NOTE: For a full transcript of the conversation, go to https://tonyloyd.com/emily-dalton-smith
If you want to hear bad news about Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, you don’t have to look far. And, there’s plenty of bad news to find. If you’re interested in reading more about that, just Google the phrase Facebook Papers.
But, for me, there’s a more interesting question. Can Meta be a force for good? Is it possible?
As you know, here at Social Entrepreneur, our motto is “We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.” I admire models such as Solutions Journalism, where journalists ask the question, “Who does it better?” And I love appreciative inquiry, where leaders take a strengths-based approach. I would also recommend Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath.
The point of all of these approaches is, look for the bright spots. Look for what is working and spread that around.
If you know my story, you know that I was a corporate executive. I was bothered by big questions that drove me to leave my career and learn about social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs use the power of business to do social good.
I believe, if we are going to save humanity, we cannot depend on government agencies and nonprofits to do the work required. Their work is necessary but insufficient.
Every business must look at its impact, both positive and negative. We must find the positive effects of our companies and amplify that.
Let me be clear. To make the kind of impact needed, companies cannot work around the edges. If ExxonMobil plops a solar panel on top of their headquarters, they cannot declare victory and go home. We have to rethink our business models fundamentally.
And positive change requires third-party verification. That’s why I’m such a fan of certified B Corporations.
In today’s interview, Emily Dalton Smith, Vice President of Product Management at Meta, describes how Meta is creating a positive social impact. She talks about Crisis Response, Charitable Giving, Community Help, Health, Mentorship, COVID-19 Information Center, and the Voting Information Center.
Think Against the Grain for Regenerative Farmers, with Dan Miller, Steward
For extended show notes, see: https://tonyloyd.com/dan-miller
Steward is a community of borrowers and lenders who support regenerative farming.
Can a farm make the earth healthier? Regenerative farming is a set of practices that rebuild soil health by restoring carbon and nutrient content. This improves productivity and the health of the planet.
But there’s a problem. The agricultural capital system wasn’t built for small, regenerative farms. That’s where Steward comes in.
Steward equips regenerative farms with the capital they need to grow. Steward is a private lending partner, but they don’t work alone. Steward brings together a community of values-driven lenders who participate in loans and earn a return.
A Capital Marketplace for Regenerative Ag
Steward brings together a three-sided equation – small to mid-sized non-commodity farmers, people who are passionate about food, and the Steward platform. But it all starts with the farmers.
“It’s about thinking beyond a short view of taking care of a resource and feeling the bound to it,” Dan Miller of Steward says.
“For many historical and indigenous cultures, that was obvious. With our current culture, we’ve been disconnected from the resources that we live upon.
“For most of these farmers, small to midsize growing non-commodity, the current financial system is built for large scale commodity agriculture - large soy and grain farms. If you’re one of these smaller producers selling at a farmer’s market or selling to a well-known chef, you don’t have an outlet for capital.
“So they come to us. At first, farmers are surprised that we exist, that there’s a financial service that is focused purely on them as a customer. We have a team member that works them through the funding process. We have an in-house team member who’s a farmer. He helps speak with them about their actual business plan.
“So it is about helping them think about what funding they need. What’s the right amount? What’s the right structure. What are the improvements that they can immediately make to help grow their business?
“They’ve been undercapitalized so long that it’s often a very simple piece of equipment, or tools, or operational capital, or land. It’s not complicated at all. What they need are things they’ve needed for years. They have not had access to capital.”
Learn More About Dan Miller and Steward:
Steward on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoSteward
Steward on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/go-steward
Steward on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/steward
Steward on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoSteward
Social Entrepreneur Six-Week Quick Start: https://cultureshift.com
The Many Faces of Service, with Kate Glantz, Luma Legacy
For complete show notes, see: https://tonyloyd.com/kate-glantz
Luma Legacy: A Fairer, Kinder World
“Luma Legacy is a segment within Luma Pictures,” Kate explains. “It’s a magical creative studio that's been in the world for about 20 years. The bread and butter of the business is making movie magic - so visual effects. Luma Pictures makes superheroes fly, creates new worlds and realities, and all of the really fun stuff that keeps us entertained and dreaming big.
“Luma also has a venture capital arm that makes early stage investments in companies and founders changing the world with really an investment thesis around future of healthcare, future of work or future of food, and the like.
“And the Luma Features is our newest division that's actually making movies from the ground up. It’s all centered around the goal of creating imaginative, emotionally rich stories that other studios or financiers just might not take the risk on. But these are stories that need to be in the world from voices that aren't always heard.
“And then finally, Luma Legacy is that the segment of Luma that I was brought in to help figure out. And the mandate, the very broad, bold, ambitious mandate is to help create a fairer kinder world for everyone.”
A Company Built on Compassion and Empathy
“Facing any of these existential threats that are imminent, be it climate change or things we don't even know about yet without a certain sort of adherence to participating in the social fabric of what makes us human through compassion and empathy - we're kind of screwed.
“We're really looking at this work is by grouping underlying root causes to some of society's greatest problems. So, we talk about it sometimes as rather than taking medicine for a sniffly nose or itchy eyes, what's actually making you sick?
“There are a number of underlying causes that have driven this heightened state of polarization and intensified prejudice. But two that we're looking at are apathy and intolerance. When you flip those, you're looking at empathy and participation, and tolerance
“That has helped us create these three pillars, which are:
· Building bridges across America.
· Catalyzing civic participation.
· Promoting equity and justice, specifically the people and policies that are helping to solidify equity and justice under the law.
“Behavior change is a really important component. If you are inspired, educated, or moved, it's not sufficient to then walk away and make a sandwich and go back to life. There needs to be a clear call to action.
“At that very high level, our goal is to influence outcomes at the ballot box, so that we can create a truly equitable and representative democracy.”
Luma Legacy’s Theory of Change
Luma Legacy is creating all sorts of media. “It’s going to be what it needs to be to meet people where they are, where they gather, where they play, where they scroll.
“And so our theory of change is essentially trying to shift conversations in culture at the level where pop culture happens. And that's in various segments of entertainment and arts. So music, arts, gaming, food - where people are is where we're be. And each initiative might have a different audience and a different medium, but the goal will always be consistent with those pillars that I shared.”
Learn More About Kate Glantz of Luma Legacy
Luma Legacy: https://www.luma.inc/legacy Luma Pictures on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lumapictures Luma Pictures on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lumapictures Luma Pictures on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lumapictures
Social Entrepreneur Six-Week Quick Start: https://cultureshift.com
Katherine Venturo-Conerly and Tom Osborn, Shamiri Institute
For extended show notes and a full transcript, see https:://tonyloyd.com/shamiri-institute
Half of the young people in Kenya have elevated depression and anxiety. 45% of the disease burden comes from anxiety and depression. The Shamiri Institute has an answer.
Kenya has been described as a young hustle culture. But that hustle takes a toll.
According to Tom Osborn of the Shamiri Institute, “Mental health and wellbeing are really important. This is especially true in low-income settings like Kenya where I was born and raised. In Kenya, the median age is about 19. There's evidence that shows this young population is stressed because they have to succeed so early in life.”
In Kenya, there is a massive wealth gap. The Gross National Income (GNI) per capita is around $1,750, while the number of millionaires in Kenya will grow by 80% over the next 10 years. Less than 0.1% of the population (8,300 people) own more wealth than the bottom 99.9%. This places pressure on young people to succeed or be left behind.
“Most mental health outcomes are strongly connected with future career outcomes,” Tom explains. “We think mental health is important at this young age because it determines the life trajectories of many young people.”
According to Katherine Venturo-Conerly of the Shamiri Institute, depression and anxiety make up 45% of the disease burden for young people in low-income countries. “Our research shows that approximately one in two youths has elevated depression and anxiety. Yet these young people go untreated because of a lack of caregivers. There is around one mental health provider for every one million Kenyans.”
Tom Osborn explains that “societal stigma, government under-investment,” are partially to blame. But he also points out that “most existing treatments are long, costly, and not culturally appropriate.”
And the answer is…
The Shamiri Institute provides mental health interventions in a simple, stigma-free, scalable, and school-based group intervention. Services are delivered by young lay providers, ages 18-to-24. Shamiri trains the mental health lay providers and provides vetted tools.
Randomized Controlled Trials of the Shamiri Institute’s interventions show more than 35% reduction in both depression and anxiety lasting up to 7 months. The interventions also provided 14% improvements in social support and a 2.5% increase in academic grades.
“Our approach lowers the cultural and systemic barriers that make mental healthcare inaccessible for Kenyan youths,” Katherine explains. “Instead of the typical psychopathology-centered approach to treatment, we use a simple, positively-focused intervention that emphasizes wellbeing, academic and social improvements. Our innovation is brief, accessible, and disseminated through a network of peers working in schools.”
Learn More About Katherine Venturo-Conerly, Tom Osborn and Shamiri Institute:
Shamiri Institute: https://www.shamiri.institute Shamiri Institute on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shamiri_institute Shamiri Institute on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShamiriTeam Shamiri Institute on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShamiriTeam Vuma Biofuels (formerly GreenChar): https://www.vumabiofuels.com Tom Osborn’s interview, Episode 50: https://tonyloyd.com/podcast/050-tom-osborn-greenchar-social-entrepreneurship-comes-early
Social Entrepreneur Six-Week Quick Start: https://cultureshift.com Self-Assessment, Are you Thriving?: https://cultureshift.com/are-you-thriving Self-Assessment, Discover Your Values: https://cultureshift.com/values
Kick Off, Season Four
I’ve been thinking about you.
You want to live a life of significance
You feel compelled to serve a cause greater than yourself.
You see a need in the world that you can’t unsee. There’s a cause that burns in your heart.
To make a difference, you have to overcome the status quo.
The status quo whispers in your ear, “That’s just the way things are.”
The status quo is that you get up every day and act as if nothing is wrong in the world.
It’s easy to be lulled into complacency by the status quo.
There’s a high price for doing nothing.
Unless you take action, the world remains unjust.
You’re missing the opportunity to make a difference.
You’re missing the chance to live to your full potential.
You’re missing the chance to live a life of significance.
It’s time to kick the status quo in the teeth.
You can be the changemaker you always wanted to be.
This week I’m announcing three new offerings:
Season Four of Social Entrepreneur.The Social Entrepreneur Six-Week Quick Start Course.The Culture Shift Community.
What is the Culture Shift Community? We bring together aspiring social entrepreneurs to serve a cause that is greater than ourselves so that we live a life of significance.
This is your opportunity to:
Join a movement. You can make more progress with others than you can alone.Achieve results faster. Build the skills and mastery you need to speed up your progress.Get access to a roadmap to success. Gain clarity on your exact next step from idea to impact.
I know how frustrating it can be to change the world.
If you don’t know me, I’m Tony Loyd.
For years, I worked as a Fortune 500 executive.
I watched as companies prioritized the shareholders over the other stakeholders such as the planet, communities, and employees.
I knew there had to be a better way. But I had no idea where to start. The pull of the status quo seemed too great.
In 2014 I met a group of social entrepreneurs – people who made a dollar and a difference. They made money, but the money went toward a mission.
Today, I’m a best-selling author, TEDx speaker, and coach to social entrepreneurs.
I host one of the world’s most downloaded podcasts.
I have interviewed hundreds of social entrepreneurs. I found that successful social entrepreneurs follow predictable steps.
Here’s what I found. Success leaves clues.
You can learn what makes them successful.
It’s easy as 1 – 2 – 3 to get started.
Enroll today. Go to CultureShift.com and click the “Get Access” button. When you sign up, you’ll have access to a six-week live course to help you launch a grow a social business.Participate in live, interactive weekly sessions. Make more progress with others than you can alone. Get answers to your burning questions. Every week we host interactive, live sessions.Use shortcuts to get results faster. We provide a roadmap so that you always know your next step on the journey.
Make more progress with others than you can alone.
Go-it-alone doesn’t work. When you’re alone, you waste time, miss opportunities, lack guidance, and fail to reach your potential. That’s why you need a community of changemakers.
Join the Social Entrepreneur Six-Week Quick Start course and the Culture Shift Community:
Go to CultureShift.com and sign up today.
A Traveler’s Guide To World Peace, with Aziz Abu Sarah, MEJDI Tours
NOTE: For extended show notes, see https://tonyloyd.com/aziz-abu-sarah
MEJDI Tours sees tourism as an opportunity to transform lives through dual narratives and by strengthening local communities.
Aziz Abu Sarah is a peace-builder, social entrepreneur, cultural educator, and author of Crossing Boundaries: A Traveler’s Guide To World Peace.
But Aziz wasn’t always a peacemaker.
“I grew up very angry,” Aziz says. “I didn’t have any Jewish or Israeli friends growing up until I was 18 years old.
“In Jerusalem, if you don’t speak Hebrew, you’re not going to go to college. You’re not going to work. Your chances of success in life are minimal. In my high school, it was mandatory to learn Hebrew. But I went through three years of high school refusing to learn even a word of Hebrew.
“I escaped from that class. I told my teachers that I was not willing to come to class because Hebrew was the language of the enemy - the people who killed my brother. I was seven or eight years old the first time I was shot at. I had a lot of trauma to deal with. I still have to deal with it.
“And so when I was 18, I realized that if I don’t learn Hebrew, I will not have any chance of success in my life. So I went to study Hebrew. I studied Hebrew in a class where I was the only Palestinian, and almost all of the people in the class were Jewish immigrants to Israel.
“I remember thinking I’m here to learn the language. I’m not here to make friends. I’m not going to talk to anyone. Apparently, that doesn’t work if you want to learn a language. They force you to sit together, ask questions. ‘Hey, how are you? Where are you from? What kind of music you like?’
“And that’s how we became friends. It wasn’t over political things. It was over simple things like what coffee you drink and what music you like. I love Western country music, which most Palestinians do not agree with me. In that class, I found a couple of people who love country music.
“So we would sit down and talk about Johnny Cash. It started with that and eventually got to deeper conversations and political issues. But we had this space of ‘Wait a second. We have other identities that we can connect.’ And it’s not only ‘You’re Arab or a Jew, and therefore I have to hate you because of that.’
“And in that classroom, I made my first Jewish friends. From that point on, I understood that what divides us is a wall of ignorance, fear, and hatred. I wanted to put cracks in that wall. That became my mission in life.”
Today, Aziz runs MEJDI Tours. “MEJDI means honor and respect,” Aziz says. “We start with that for the local communities, those we work with, and all our travelers.”
MEJDI originated the Dual Narrative™ method that brings both sides of a conflict together as travel guides presenting their respective narrative. This approach was first introduced in the Holy Land and reaped remarkable results there and throughout the world.
MEJDI Tours goes against the grain by rejecting the model of traditional consumer tourism—a highly commercialized experience that supports big business and often damages local communities. Also, as peace-builders, we are tackling the challenge of a divided and polarized world.
Learn More About Aziz Abu Sarah and MEJDI Tours:
Book: Crossing Boundaries: A Traveler’s Guide To World Peace: https://amzn.to/3bPvGDb
MEJDI Tours: https://www.mejditours.com
Love the podcast!
I love the meaning behind every episode of this podcast and what it focuses on. Really what the business world needs right now!
Love hearing from like-minded entrepreneurs
Tony does a great job finding awesome guests that truly have a strong social mission behind their enterprise. I love hearing from like-minded entrepreneurs who are also on a mission to change the world.
A must add to your podcast lineup!
Tony, host of the Social Entrepreneur podcast, highlights all aspects of profit and 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!