Philadelphia Story: An Ambitious Campaign to Spread Opportunity Into All Corners of the City

Here's a proven alternative to the gentrification of American cities. For decades the “Philadelphia Story” was about steady economic decline. That story is being rewritten today as many Americans rediscover the advantages of cities—inviting public spaces, rich cultural diversity and a creative environment that fertilizes start-ups and attracts talent. Young people, in particular, have moved here in droves, realizing they can enjoy the same kind [...]

When Kids Are Held Back, Gains Can Follow

NEW EVIDENCE ON LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF GRADE RETENTION IN THIRD GRADE FINDS SOME GOOD NEWS AMONG THE NUANCE Does repeating a grade help — or hurt — a student’s long-term academic progress? New research from Harvard Graduate School of Education professor Martin West tells a nuanced and evidence-based story about grade retention, finding that — contrary to critics’ fears — repeating third grade does not [...]

This Trendy Cafe Trains Refugees To Become Cooks

Named for poet Emma Lazarus, who wrote the sonnet mounted on the Statue of Liberty, the restaurant offers paid culinary training to refugees, asylees and survivors of human trafficking. The eatery tailors its learning program to meet the unique struggles these groups face when they come to America and aims to place its students in restaurant jobs within a month of completing the program. “We [...]

How to Build a Business Model on Altruism

When I was in the hospital several years ago battling cancer, I was given a beautiful candle that soothed me, imparting hopefulness and peace of mind. The mission of my company was birthed out of that experience, and I wanted to reflect that hope and healing back to my community — and the world — by giving 10 percent of my company’s revenue back to [...]

4 disruptive education technologies poised to change higher learning

Digital technology disrupted our everyday lives and now it's coming for Higher Education. The most promising innovations aren't mainstream yet. But they will revolutionize the very fabric of learning. moreThey will not only change education contents and the student experience. They will also influence student attraction and student retention. Things are about to get very interesting. These are four disruptive digital technologies poised to disrupt higher [...]

What Exactly Do We Mean by Systems?

Everyone is talking about systems. Or at least, that's how it seems in my wonkish corner of the philanthropic world. You can't attend a conference or even have a meeting without hearing about systems, whether it's people trying to disrupt them, map them, learn from them, or catalyze them. We're not above it at the Freedom Fund, a global philanthropic initiative to end modern slavery. [...]

The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur

The Unfinished Social EntrepreneurJonathan C. Lewis203 pages, Red Press, 2017Buy the book »This book is about powering up your social justice career.For most of my life, the idea of writing about social entrepreneurship has paled in comparison to doing social entrepreneurship. Then, I discovered writing was one way to think harder about social entrepreneurship and social justice, to catalog my reflections and missteps, to collect my [...]

Kiva hits $1B in crowdfunded loans

On Monday, Kiva, the platform dedicated to social lending for social good, surpassed $1 billion in loans on its online platform. More than 1.6 million donors lending $25 dollars at a time have helped 2.4 million people launch and expand their businesses, complete their education or pursue other opportunities for themselves and their communities. As the San Francisco-based nonprofit organization looks toward the next billion, [...]

The Odds Are Not in Favor of Working Mothers

New moms don't get much support from our laws. Tara worked full-time and was already caring for a toddler when she had her second child. Like many American mothers, Tara was not granted maternity leave. Instead, she cobbled together vacation days to give herself a mere 20 days with her new baby following the birth. With money tight, “my family can’t afford the loss of [...]