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CASE in Point – CASE
18 minutes | Aug 19, 2020
Bart Houlahan: Building a Movement to Drive Systems Change
At CASE, one of the trends that we are constantly talking about is the idea of systems change – addressing the root cause of social problems in order to fundamentally shift the components that are contributing to those problems. On this episode of CASE in Point, Bart Houlahan, the co-founder of B Lab, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to using business as a force for good, provides tactical advice about how to engage and build a movement to drive change. If you are enjoying the CASE in Point podcast, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher and share with your network. The post Bart Houlahan: Building a Movement to Drive Systems Change appeared first on CASE.
18 minutes | Aug 5, 2020
Jordan Kassalow: Navigating Founder Transitions & Becoming a Systems Change Entrepreneur
By bringing together governments, corporations and nongovernmental organizations, Jordan Kassalow, founder of VisionSpring and co-founder of EYElliance, is working to change the system and increase access to eyeglasses to people around the world. On this episode of CASE in Point, he gives advice about how to deepen your understanding of the problem you are trying to solve, build trust and lead from behind in order to work through two important challenges that entrepreneurs face when they are working to scale their impact: 1. How to navigate founder transitions and 2. How to become a systems change entrepreneur. Stay tuned for the next episode of our CASE in Point podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher and share with your network. The post Jordan Kassalow: Navigating Founder Transitions & Becoming a Systems Change Entrepreneur appeared first on CASE.
33 minutes | Jul 22, 2020
Ommeed Sathe: Mainstreaming of Impact Investing to Achieve Real Change
At CASE, we believe that impact investing, the practice of investing for social or environment impact, as well as financial return, is a critical lever for solving social problems. Impact investing has continued to gain momentum and is becoming more mainstream with some estimates citing a $502 billion dollar market and nearly all asset-management firms having launched impact strategies. On this episode of CASE in Point, Ommeed Sathe, Vice President of Impact Investments at Prudential Financial, shares his lessons learned from managing $1 billion dollars towards impact and his insights on the opportunities and risks of the mainstreaming of impact investing. If you are enjoying the CASE in Point podcast, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher and share with your network. The post Ommeed Sathe: Mainstreaming of Impact Investing to Achieve Real Change appeared first on CASE.
28 minutes | Jul 8, 2020
Jordan Kassalow: Daring To Matter – The Path to Making a Difference
One of our favorite things to do at CASE is talk to a number of the experienced and successful social entrepreneurs in our network and pick their brains about their path to becoming the social impact leaders that they are today. On this episode of CASE in Point, Jordan Kassalow, founder of the social enterprise VisionSpring and co-founder of EYElliance, a multi-stakeholder coalition driving global strategy to increase access to eyeglasses at scale, shares powerful stories from his journey to becoming a social entrepreneur and tips from his latest book, Dare to Matter: Your Path to Making a Difference Now. Stay tuned for the next episode of our CASE in Point podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher and share with your network. The post Jordan Kassalow: Daring To Matter – The Path to Making a Difference appeared first on CASE.
23 minutes | Jun 24, 2020
Bart Houlahan: Shifting from Shareholder to Stakeholder Capitalism
We are witnessing a momentous shift in the expectations of business – from a sole focus on financial shareholders to being held accountable to all stakeholders, including employees, consumers and the environment. On this episode of CASE in Point, we’ll discuss the role of B Corporations, the Business Roundtable’s 2019 announcement about the purpose of business, and the future of capitalism. Our guest, Bart Houlahan, is at the front lines of these conversations. Through the experience of scaling and selling his $250 multimillion basketball footwear and apparel company, AND 1, Bart Houlahan and his partners experienced firsthand the challenges of trying to run a socially responsible business and so they went on to found B Lab, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to using business as a force for good. If you are enjoying the CASE in Point podcast, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher and share with your network. The post Bart Houlahan: Shifting from Shareholder to Stakeholder Capitalism appeared first on CASE.
36 minutes | Jun 7, 2019
Daryn Dodson: Addressing Implicit Bias in Global Banking
At CASE, we have spent the better part of our year diving into the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion as it pertains to our work and the greater field of social impact. In this episode of CASE in Point we talk with Daryn Dodson, a Duke alumnus, who shares insights from his work addressing implicit bias in the field of global banking and from his role as a board member of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Daryn’s career in social impact started in Duke’s hometown, Durham, at Self-Help Credit Union. He later gained experience at The Idea Village and Calverts Research and Management before founding Illumen Capital, an impact investment firm driving transformation in the global economic system to create a more equitable, empathetic, and prosperous world. In this episode, Daryn shares his personal story and the steps we all can take to address implicit bias and create lasting social change. Inspired to Pursue Social Justice After studying civil rights leaders, Daryn had the opportunity to travel to 22 cities across the United States, meeting a number of these leaders. Inspired by the story of Charles Hamilton Houston, who set out to train a generation of leaders to tackle inequity from a legal perspective, Daryn decided to take a similar path—but within the context of global finance. The asset management business has over $61 trillion in circulation. Of those, just a little over 1% are controlled by funds led by women and people of color. Coupled with the implicit bias inherent in the financial sector, many minority groups face significant barriers when trying to access capital to grow. Beyond Allocating Capital Daryn believes that creating change within the financial sector must go beyond a focus on capital allocation. Changing the system also requires intentional investment in the training and education of managers to reduce bias. Daryn believes that the financial sector can learn from efforts to reduce bias within other systems, such as education and health care. Proximity As social justice activist Bryan Stevenson shares, to create solutions to systemic problems, we need to be proximate to the issue. Daryn proposes taking investors on impact experiences as one vital step to recognize and address implicit bias. Solutions at the Community-Level As affected communities work to drive solutions to address racial inequity, Daryn emphasizes that investors should be building upon that work—not entering with prescriptive solutions. Too often, investors come in with their own definitions of the problem and appropriate solutions. Lessons from Ben & Jerry’s Even a progressive company like Ben & Jerry’s realizes that it has much to learn about addressing inequality. Daryn shares how the company’s leaders are actively listening to the employees on the front lines and learning about how they are addressing social issues from a local context. He also shares how leadership keeps its ears open to employee activists and those within the community to determine how best to leverage its influence. If you are enjoying the CASE in Point podcast, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher and share with your network. The post Daryn Dodson: Addressing Implicit Bias in Global Banking appeared first on CASE.
31 minutes | May 2, 2019
Lorraine Orr: Empowering Local Leadership & Keeping National Standards
Leading a national social venture is no simple task, especially under a federated model. How do you balance the need for national standards while embracing local adaptation for impact? In this episode of CASE in Point, we continue our conversation with Lorraine Orr, COO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). In this episode, you will hear Lorraine Orr share the challenges of driving impact at a national organization with a federated model and the tactics she is using to overcome those challenges. Managing a Complex Business Model Over the past 150 years, the BGCA has opened–and now —around 1,100 independent 501(c)3 organizations. Further, the 1,100 organizations run a total of 4,400 clubhouses around the globe, including on U.S. military bases in 15 different countries. Set national goals In order to unify over a thousand organizations under a national umbrella, BGCA sets centralized goals focused on two key areas: operations and mission. For the BGCA, these goals are set based on indicators that can be tracked using a database, so corrections can be made at individual club to ensure impact growth. Empower local leaders While the central team sets national goals, BGCA is deeply committed to providing support for local adaptation of those goals. For Lorraine, it is critical that BGCA communicates openly, honestly, and—whenever possible—face-to-face to address the tensions that arise in complying with national strategy but informed by local context. Identify the hard lines The local BGCA organizations have the ability to adapt programmatically to meet local needs. However, Lorraine shares that there are certain non-negotiables that organizations must comply with—the most important being safety. Mergers and Making Hard Decisions Identifying locations for mergers When making decisions about mergers within the BGCA, Lorraine shared she looks at proximity first, and then at performance indicators related to operational and mission goals. Mergers can be difficult, but can be an important way for BGCA to achieve mission goals and increase efficiency. Hard lessons learned Mergers within a large national organization are complicated, and Lorraine has learned many difficult lessons long the way. She shares ways in which the organization has used consultants and has taken into account the resources required to carry out mergers, as well as the importance of having strong partnerships and using clear and constant communication to head off rumors. If you are enjoying the CASE in Point podcast, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher and share with your network. The post Lorraine Orr: Empowering Local Leadership & Keeping National Standards appeared first on CASE.
31 minutes | Apr 4, 2019
Lorraine Orr: Using Data to Drive Mergers and Mission
For many people, finding passion in their work means switching companies until finding the perfect fit. But this was not the case for Lorraine Orr, COO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Now into her 31st year at the organization, Lorraine has spent her career working to level the playing field for disadvantaged young people in America by providing extra-curricular programming that meets young people where they are. After becoming a local club CEO at the age of 25, Lorraine continued her career in different leadership roles throughout the organization. As COO, she impacts over 600,000 young people every day by working with over 61,000 professionals managed by 26,000 board volunteers and supplemented by 250,000 volunteers. In this episode of CASE in Point, you will hear Lorraine discuss how the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is using data to drive strategic decisions including: Analyzing Data for Actionable Patterns With the largest database in any youth-serving organization in the country, BGCA is able to collate and analyze data from across their network to find patterns, predict youth behavior, and drive changes in training front line leaders. For example, BGCA’s data showed that young people have better outcomes when leaders know and use their names, so the organization incorporated that into its training programs. Rigorous data collection also allows BGCA to identify variability in performance and quality across clubs, making it possible to identify areas for improvement and consistency across the network. Merging to Help Achieve Better Results BGCA realized that in order to improve quality and outcomes, it needed to address inconsistencies across local affiliates. One solution was through mergers, where BGCA is working to consolidate from 1,100 affiliates to nearly 700. These mergers have proven to be challenging, and while they did not result in cost efficiencies up front, they have led to increased growth and improved outcomes for the young people at merged clubs. Pursuing New Pathways for Scale, through Partnerships and Technology After achieving much of their growth organically, BGCA is exploring new pathways to achieve greater scale and impact. It remains focused on key metrics, analyzing its data to find opportunities and continuing to iterate and innovate. BGCA has identified partnerships (including with school systems) as a key driver of scale, as well as the ability to leverage technology to connect youth to the club experience. Identifying the Right Talent for Growth Scaling impact requires having the right people in the right places at the right time. For Lorraine, one of the most challenging aspects of her role is making sure she has the right talent in place at every level of the organization. If you are enjoying the CASE in Point podcast, please leave a review on Apple podcasts, Google play, and Stitcher and share with your network. The post Lorraine Orr: Using Data to Drive Mergers and Mission appeared first on CASE.
45 minutes | Mar 6, 2019
Emily Bancroft: Government Partnerships, Impact vs. Costs
For the past 20 years, VillageReach has kept its vision of improving access to quality healthcare in some of the world’s hardest to reach communities, continually evolving and adapting its relationships to achieve this vision. Now led by Emily Bancroft, VillageReach has prioritized the organization’s collaboration with and support of local governments as a key pathway to create and scale sustainable impact at what it calls “the last mile” (i.e., where community-level healthcare is consumed). In this episode of CASE in Point, you will hear Emily discuss VillageReach’s evolution in understanding how to best contribute to the systems-level change it was seeking. She shares tactics that VillageReach uses to work effectively with government, including: Adapting to Government Systems Identifying how your proof of concept model might need to evolve to meet the shape of the current government systems, including its infrastructure and incentives. How can you design solutions that can ultimately be absorbed within the local systems? Minimizing Risk for Government Partners Given the many priorities and demands placed on government, often with only limited budget, social ventures can play a key role in absorbing some of the risk of testing out new methodologies. Emily shares how VillageReach works to help minimize risk for its government partners while pursuing innovative solutions together. Managing Trade-offs Most social ventures strive to achieve the key elements of impact, scale, and sustainability—but with the knowledge that there are usually trade-offs between the three. Emily discusses how VillageReach has pursued all three, and where it made strategic decisions to sacrifice one for the benefit of the other. Formalizing Partnership Structures Emily speaks to some of the ways in which partnerships can be formalized and maintained, such as developing MOU’s to clearly define the relationship, developing toolkits to support process, and identifying internal champions to help move the work forward. If you are enjoying the CASE in Point podcast, please leave a review on Apple podcasts, Google play, and Stitcher and share with your network. VillageReach is one of the many organizations we interviewed as a part of the Scaling Pathways series in partnership with the USAID Global Development Lab, the Skoll Foundation, and Mercy Corps. The Scaling Pathways series includes case studies on organizations that have scaled well and deep dives on topics around finance and government partnerships. You can learn more and read the studies at https://scalingpathways.globalinnovationexchange.org/. The post Emily Bancroft: Government Partnerships, Impact vs. Costs appeared first on CASE.
37 minutes | Dec 14, 2018
Elisa Villanueva Beard: On Centralization vs. Decentralization
We continue our conversation with Elisa Villanueva Beard, CEO of Teach For America (TFA). We ask how, as an organization expands geographically, it can be challenging to find the balance between centralization for brand control and decentralization for local adaption. We know that local context is critical, but we also worry about controlling quality, brand messaging, and more. How can social ventures navigate this tricky balance? Our conversation with Elisa, outlined below, is centered around answering this question. In the first episode of CASE in point, Elisa shared her own path to TFA and how later TFA hit a bump on the road to scaling their efforts. You can listen to this first episode of CASE in Point here. In this episode: The balance of centralization vs decentralization naturally evolves over an organization’s lifecycle. TFA moved from “scrappy start-up” to scaling through a centralized model and then decentralized to empower local leaders to adapt to their local context. The level of centralization will depend on your organization’s stage and the associated need to test, prove, and codify programs and practices. When decentralizing, it is not just about tactics. Elisa cautioned that as TFA decentralized, they made assumptions that the “basics” (north star, values, tenets) were well understood and so went too quickly to focusing on codifying tactics. They soon realized that they needed to be clearer about what defines TFA – the non-negotiables that set norms and behaviors – and make sure that local leaders were engaged in deep conversations about the nuances before they could adapt tactics and programs. Get clear on the role of the central team. The central team supports the local teams and conducts functions that are more efficient/cost-effective when run from the center, or that support increased knowledge sharing across regions. For example, TFA’s central team provides infrastructure to spur – and learn from – innovation; common functions such as finance, technology, recruitment and admissions; and brand management to ensure TFA is communicating as one organization. Commitment to continuous learning and testing. TFA has a commitment to continuous learning and shares the responsibility with both local leaders and central staff. Allowing for adaptation at the local level is important, it is here where local leaders can innovate, test, and iterate. The central staff then provide the connective tissue that is needed to drive towards common metrics, coalesce data, and help to share learnings across regions for all to benefit from and build on the learning happening in the field. And there is much more in the conversation with Elisa. If you enjoy CASE in Point and find our content helpful, please leave a review so we can spread the word! Credits Show host: Erin Worsham Producer: Josh Dixon Audio Editor: Jason Van Sant The post Elisa Villanueva Beard: On Centralization vs. Decentralization appeared first on CASE.
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