In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder shares her experience at the 2016 Net Impact conference in Philadelphia. Net Impact is deeply rooted in its business school beginnings and it supports individuals to create impact. Net Impact catalyses this through their annual conference, which moves across cities every year.In this podcast you will get to hear 8 little clips from exhibitors, speakers, attendees, that covers two days of this conference.

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Net Impact 2016 Conference in Philadelphia : Making History

Net Impact is a global community of students and professionals who aspire to be effective drivers of social and environmental change. Their programs are delivered from headquarters, as well as globally through student and professional chapters.

The Net Impact Conference is a premier gathering of students and professionals who are committed to making a lasting social and environmental impact now and throughout their careers; this year the 24th Net Impact Conference happens in Philadelphia, a city where history is made.

Meet Dara Kosberg of The Dinner Party and George Srour of Building Tomorrow

Neetal moderated a session called “Confessions of a Social Entrepreneur”. Neetal met Dara one of the speakers, who focussed on the topic of vulnerability in taking big leaps. Vulnerability is an important factor in a social enterprise whether it is for an individual or an enterprise. Dara is driving a social enterprise called the “The Dinner Party”,  which is a community of 20’s or 30’s who had experienced significant losses in their social enterprises. They all meet for dinner and share their experiences, on what went wrong and how it continues to impact them both positively and negatively. Neetal also met George from “Building Tomorrow”. He spoke about the importance of passion in social enterprise. Building Tomorrow helps communities in underdeveloped areas by building schools for them.

Meet Camille Simm, London Lee, and Jivika Rajani

Neetal spoke with some of the volunteers at the conference and they shared their experiences at the conference. Camille is from McGill university and learnt a lot of tips on how to figure out passion to do something impactful. Neetal also meet with London Lee from UC Berkeley, and she learnt about the challenges and hardships faced by entrepreneurs. She could use all those learnings in her future. Neetal then meets Jivika, who is from India and she goes to the Claremont College. She learnt from various speakers, that the number of awards you win is inversely proportional to the money you make.

Meet Chahat Sharma, Net Impact Conference Director at Penn State University

Neetal met with Chahat Sharma during lunch, and spoke about her experience in social impact space. She is from Penn State, and is involved in the Net Impact chapter. Chahat Sharma felt that going to a business school is all about making money, but all that changed after she listened to Michael Hastings, at one of the conferences. It really changed her perspective about social enterprise, she understood how recruiters are looking for people with a heart for social impact. She is also interested in Women Empowerment, and she feels both of these go hand in hand. She is director of the conference at Penn state. You can learn more about conference by visiting

Meet Maren Keeley, Co-Founder of Conscious Company Magazine

Neetal met with Maren Keeley at the exhibitor’s booth, the co-founder of Conscious Company Magazine. They focus on purpose driven sustainable business. They have managed to create four issues of the magazine in 2015 and six in 2016. But in 2017, they are transforming themselves into a full fledged media company. Maren has undergraduate experience in philosophy and sculpture, and was a chef for 15 years. Megan and Maren has worked hard on the business model, and they are excited to make a contribution in this space. She is very that happy that people are ready to sacrifice things, for job with purpose.

Meet Kevin Bryan, Director of Recruitment at UnCommon Schools

Neetal met with Kevin, who is the Director of Recruitment at the UnCommon Schools. Kevin has a life long passion of increasing opportunities for good education. He sees his work as critical, at the UnCommon Schools in finding teachers who catalyzes lasting change. UnCommon Schools offer both instructional and operations fellowships for candidates looking to explore a variety of leadership opportunities. Both fellowships are paid, full-time positions within Uncommon Schools and include school startup preparation, school visits, and ongoing mentorship. You can learn more at

Meet Julia Delafield and Hannah Benson from University for Peace

Neetal meets Julia at the conference, Julia is the Director for Education at the University for Peace. The university was created in 1980 by the United Nations, to focus on making a more peaceful world at a global level. They have master level and doctorate level programs that focuses on peace from different lenses. The united nations have a part, in the university board of directors and they are a part of a long term commitment. You can connect with them at

Meet Abe Taleb, CEO of ReWork and David M. Chee, Aspiring Social Impact Educator

Neetal meets with Abe at the reception, who is the CEO and co-founder of ReWork. ReWork helps to place talent in the social enterprise sector. They work with social enterprises and non-profits and help them hire top talent. David is an aspiring social impact educator looking for a placement ins the social sector. These type of conferences help people to connect with each other, and David was in fact able to get an offer from a startup at the conference.

Meet Ariella Gastel, VP of Marketing of Greyston Bakery

Neetal met with Ariella Gastel during a concluding session at the conference. Ariella has been working with food industry for more than 25 years. Greyston is very impressed with the fact that Greyston is certified B-corp and they are able to do business with like minded folks. They have a kinship with other B-corps and get inspired by their work, like Ben and Jerry’s. Greyston do supply Ben & Jerry with their brownies. They also had an employee swap and learnt a lot from each other. They also partner with Whole Foods and Delta Airlines.

,In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder talks to Bryan Birsic, CEO of Wunder Capital an investment platform for solar energy projects. Wunder Capital develops and manages solar investment funds by leveraging its national partnership network, tested processes, proprietary underwriting framework, and best-in-class online investment portal.

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Meet Bryan Birsic

Bryan started his career with Bain & Company, a business consulting firm in New York. At Bain, Bryan and his partner Blythe, created the project Green Team. The team examined every facet of the office–from usage of paper cups to energy consumption. Then they came up with a plan, to function more sustainably. Bryan then moved on to join Village Ventures. A venture capital firm focusing on the consumer media/retail and financial services sectors. Village Ventures has built a platform, which it offers to seed early stage firms, provide for collaboration, co-investment and administrative cost sharing.

Bryan worked there for four years, and got bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Bryan wanted to do something which would have a significant impact, so he founded Wunder Capital. It is the third company that Bryan created, he wanted to make use of software revolution like, the amazon web services. At Wunder, they wanted to make it as efficient and cost effective as possible by using technology, to help small businesses to go solar.  Wunder Capital uses crowdfunding to bring in as much capital, as possible into this space.

Wunder Capital

Wunder has evolved the way funding is being sourced and tied to projects. In 2004, it was more like a marketplace where any credit investor or institution can come under the platform. Bryan and team noticed that some of the investors were looking for more data on materials and approach, before investing. Investing in solar is not as intuitive as a real estate and startups. But the investors liked the fact, that it is an impact investment, and they were presented returns portfolio as well.

As things started to evolve, investors were asking for good portfolios to invest. They don’t want to be tied to a specific project. So Bryan and team identified set of portfolios or projects that matches the criterias of the investors. They started to raise funds against the portfolios or bunch of projects, rather than a specific project. Any credit investor/institution can come to, and they sell notes out of the funds. Wunder capital immediately uses that money and lends it to business. As the businesses pay back, Wunder capital pays back the investors. This model has evolved to be more successful, for Wunder Capital.


Bryan’s perpetual frustration comes from the fact, that he is unable to unlock this space to as many investors as possible. They operate under the regulation D portion of the 2012 jobs act, which means only accredited investors can participate in the fund. You can qualify as investor, only if your  income is above 200,000 as an individual or 300,000 as a family. You can also qualify using your assets, if they are worth over a million, excluding your primary residence. So these restrictions are kind of a pain to accept a lot of willing investors. But Bryan and team are working hard to ease out these SEC restrictions.

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Blog : Read This if You are Not a Zillionaire: Impact Investing For the Rest of Us

In this episode of the Impact Podcast Innov8social founder talks to Shruti Goel, the Regional Manager of Sankalp Forum, an Intellecap initiative. Shruti is responsible for expanding Sankalp Forum in India & South Asia and ensure value creation for social enterprises and the ecosystem at large.

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Meet Shruti Goel

Shruti has a bachelor degree in Social Work from Delhi university working with social agencies like the UN. She did her Masters degree in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), from Mumbai working on urban development issues. Shruti is working on social impact space for quite some time, and now she is working mainly on public & rural health issues. Shruti has more than 8 years’ experience in managing Business Development and partnerships for large social sector organisations.

In India, the working relation between private and public sector has been very interesting for Shruti and her team. When Shruti started her journey in social impact space, it was seen as more of philanthropy and social good, but that has slowly changed itself into an interesting entrepreneurial space with maximized social impact. Shruti is now looking at a whole new world, with capital needs, networking needs, technology needs, contextualizing across geographies.

She was amazed by entrepreneurial spirit, which was present even at the street level shops in Gujarat. The same kind of spirit existed with the rural doctors who managed their workload and patient health, this where Shruti found that social enterprise initiative will help to maximize social impact. So the Sankalp Intellecap Initiative was born, it aims to influence the global inclusive development discourse through its work with entrepreneurs, impact investors and inclusive businesses in developing markets.

Social Entrepreneurship Programs

Shruti feels that though, Social Entrepreneurship courses are growing in India, they are not in the same rate as in the US. There are a lot of business schools in India, who provide a two years course in Social Entrepreneurship. Shruti also noticed that, there are a lot of certification programs available both on-campus and online. In Sankalp recently, they had a wonderful session, about these programs and how well these institutions equipped to provide courses on Social Entrepreneurship.


Intellecap essentially started as an advisory firm, to address Capital deficit. The founder of Avishkar Venture funds, Vineet Roy found problems due to capital deficit, while working with rural entrepreneurs. So he started Avishkar funds, which helped with the funding. But soon they realised that it is the support and knowledge, which is missing rather than funding. He wanted to have ecosystem which could propel social entrepreneurship, and that is how Intellecap was born. Intellecap advisory services, acts as a knowledge and advisory system for the entire ecosystem.

Intellecap has a product for each stage of social entrepreneurship. They have a product called “startup wave” which handles the inception of the program, it is a virtual incubation program. If it is a growth stage enterprise, they have I3N network, which is a network of investors. They also have consulting group which provides consulting services. There is also Intellecash which helps small retailers set up shops in cities.   They also have micro finance company in east India. With all these, initiatives they wanted to have a platform to connect and enrich the knowledge, resulting in formation of Sankalp.

Sankalp is a platform for the investors and entrepreneurs to connect, it started with some 200 odd people. But in the next 8 years of its creation, it gathered a lot of interest among donors, banks, investors who wanted explore the space. Sankalp also ventured into Africa and Indonesia. The Sankalp 2015 summit saw more than 1500 people attending the event, and in the last two years there are more players in the ecosystem pushing them to be competitive.  The event and the platform is getting curated day by day, and there are more specific events for an array of audience. Shruti also feels the numbers may not be only KPI, but they essentially reflect how they are performing.

Measuring Impact

At Sankalp they do focus on measuring the impact that each entrepreneur is able to achieve, as there is an increase investor focus on impact measurement. They have a tool called Prism which helps to measure the impact. It helps to contextualize impact based the area, region and the extent of the impact. This information helps the investor to better focus on their investments. It is an online tool, which is developed specifically for equity investing.

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In this episode of the Impact Podcast,  Innov8social founder talks to us, live from the 2016 Tech Inclusion event. Neetal talks to a wide variety of attendees as well as organizers on various topics. The event had a great session about, about race and the unconscious bias that comes along with it.

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Sound bytes from Nancy and Barbara

Neetal meets Dr.Barbara Adams, who is an organizational psychologist, she specializes in the aspect of human behavioral change due to disruptive technologies. Barbara feels that it is a great privilege, to be a part of Tech Inclusion, and to meet the amazing people at the conference. Neetal then meets Nancy Garcia, community and diversity program manager for Elemental Technologies. She was invited to the event by TechTown from Portland Development Commission.

Barbara felt that the event is a change catalyst, which helps people to come together and find people who can bond over similarities. She found people at the event, who are compassionate and helpful to one another. Nancy came to conference to built a community of people, who are interested in learning and making a change. You can reach Nancy by twitter @msnancygarcia and also at Barbara can be reached at and, she always loves to hear from the audience.

Meet Elena from Startup Showcase

Meet Elena, who manages the startup showcase. She takes care of the  startup pitch inclusion for the conference. She has the task of setting up the evaluation panel, which filters the 10 finalists from hundreds of applications. The selected finalists, will get to present their startup pitch on both days of the conference. Once the conference is done, the winners will be announced. There is a set of criteria of put forth by Elena’s team, one of them is to have a product which promotes diversity  and inclusion. The startup should also have a demo to showcase, in addition to the fact it should have received less than 2 million in funding. To learn more about the finalists, and the startup ideas they pitched, please visit

Meet Mitchell Glauser

Meet Mitchell Glauser, who is a software engineer by profession. She is also the founder of Techtonica, a non profit which provides free tech training and placement, for low income women in San francisco. She started her career in software, through one such boot camp called hackbright. Ever since, she has been helping a lot of women in tech industry. She noticed recently, the coding bootcamps have tripled their rates. She wondered how struggling people can afford to join these camps ? So she researched and found that, providing tech skills can make people thrive. She did so with the help of companies, who were looking for diverse professionals. The companies sponsored boot camps to help people in need. In turn the companies, also got benefitted by having new people with diverse skillsets. She has completed a whole bunch of workshops and fundraisers.

Meet Hader Cohen

Hader Cohen is the founder of “pivot to bloom“,  she believes that a healthy business culture, is the heart of a successful product. She partners with tech companies, help them sort out gender issues using a holistic approach. Hader’s team organizes weekly communications about gender, culture, and also conduct monthly workshops. They bring in the theory and apply them practically using fun activities to solidify the learnings.

As part of the workshops, they also communicate with Managers, and sort out the gaps between leadership and workforce. A lot of companies find it hard, to accept that they have gender and culture issues, but it is deeply rooted in them. You can connect with Hader through her website “pivot to bloom” and by e-mail at She loves to volunteer at Tech inclusion and is always amazed to meet wonderful people at the conference. She feels that experiences should shape your career, rather than a rigid thought process.

Meet Arvind

Arvind is a database engineer working for salesforce. At Salesforce, employees get an opportunity to volunteer for 7 full days a year. They also get to choose to volunteer locally  or to travel abroad. Many of them do go to, places like Vietnam or Nicaragua for volunteering to experience a different world. The volunteering work at Salesforce, helps their employees feel that, they are a part of family which creates an impact.

Neetal noticed that conference captured, the cutting edge of space, by bringing in speakers and thought leaders. The conference was huge win, as all participants walked away with their network and thought process widened.The conference gave hope amidst all the negative things happening around the world.

In this episode of the Impact Podcast Innov8social founder talks to Molly Hayward, the co-founder of Cora. Molly is trying to radically change the way women’s health products are sold, with a philanthropic twist. Cora is  committed to giving women, access to safe and effective menstrual products, as well as valuable and trustworthy information. In this episode you will get to hear from Molly, on how she took the challenge upon herself, to solve the problem.

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Meet Molly Hayward

Molly’s interest in social impact space, started as early as a ten year old, when she started collecting funds for a non-profit. The organisation supported girl child’s education in the middle east. Molly also raised a petition to stop baby chicks from being sent away, as meat for a zoo lion. She felt she was an activist at such an early stage, and that thread continued through her teens.

Molly started to pick up interest in social justice, humanitarian aid, international relations, and women’s economics during her college. She took her first job in a startup, which is an e-commerce platform for socially sustainable products. She was impressed with the idea, that a powerful for-profit enterprise was able to create an impact, by supporting sustainable products.

Cora Concept

After that stint, Molly had an opportunity to travel to Kenya with a non-profit to focus on girls education and maternal health. Molly had an opportunity, to talk to the girls and found that during the period week, the girls were not attending the school fearing leak in their dresses. They were not having access to affordable menstrual hygiene pads and products. So they would fall behind and eventually dropout from school. The women in her world never worried about access to these products or they never fall back on things due to a period. That is when, Molly got the spark for Cora, from some of the existing social enterprises like Tom’s. So that really started,  the Cora concept.

Cora’s Development

Molly started to research about how to create tampons using Google. But she was not able to get a full preview of what goes into the product from any leading manufacturer. Molly, understood the fact that cotton widely used in the creation of tampons, were heavily polluted with pesticides. So she decided that, the she will only be offering organic tampons. It took a lot of research for them to come up with a product, and Moreen the co-founder of Cora really helped in the research. Moreen helped to connect with the manufacturer for the tampons. Even though organic cotton is costly it was worth the shot, given the amount of social awareness and health consciousness.

Cora’s team has also created a subscription model, that blends well with the style of today’s working women who hate to rush to stores at the last minute. They have also designed an ingenious and elegant carrying clutch which is made of vegan leather, so there is no more hiding. They have even thought well, about the reusable storage box for the tampons which looks sleek and elegant.

Cora’s Partnership

With every month’s supply of sustainable pads that Cora sold, Cora gives the same to a girl in a developing country so she can do anything during her period. Cora partners with Aakar innovations from India, to distribute sanitary pads to underprivileged girls in the community. Molly has chosen to partner with Aakar, after a careful consideration from a lot of suppliers.  Aakar’s vision and social cause, falls strongly in line with Cora. Aakar’s vision is to create awareness and access to affordable, high quality, environmental friendly menstrual hygiene products. They help to empower women and girls, to make informed choices and enable them to take charge of their own socio-economic development.

Molly strongly feels the need to have high quality product and branding, to run a successful business in the U.S and also to bring about an impact. Molly recently polled her customers recently, to rank the value proposition of Cora. The customers have ranked, the organic factor as number one, the social cause came in a close second , third was the experience and packaging and fourth was the convenience and delivery. She feels very happy, that she was able to offer this help to girls, and help them go to school.

Molly felt the major challenge that she faced, while addressing the social cause in countries like India and Africa, is the cultural and social taboo. Another challenge they face is to help women understand, the difference between synthetic and cotton tampon. The next level would be helping them understand the difference between cotton tampon and organic cotton tampon. There were a lot of assumptions and misconceptions, but she is overcoming the same using social channels. As Cora tries positions themselves as frontrunners, Molly wants to women to be fully aware of the choices, they make about the menstrual products.

Show Notes

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Twitter : #fearlessperiod

In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder talks to Christopher Robert, the CEO of Dobility, which creates affordable tools for field research and impact measurement. Christopher started his work as early as in high school, developing Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). Those were online systems, which acted as precursor to the modern form of the Internet.

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Meet Christopher

Chris is a technologist, entrepreneur, economist,  researcher, and a lecturer. Chris founded Dobility, Inc., which produces SurveyCTO, an electronic data collection platform used worldwide by leading researchers and evaluation professionals. As an economist, researcher, and lecturer, he is involved in long-term projects to evaluate the impact of microfinance in South India. After the advent of internet, a disruptive form of technology Chris, wanted to do something much more impactful, so he took his first international trip Nepal. That kind of unsettled him, and his eager to contribute in a much more impactful way.

So he went back to Nepal and started teaching English, but that was just a start of a 14 year journey, that helped him earn a Phd, in public policy focusing on development economics. At the end of the 14 year journey, he was able to combine his expertise in technology with experience in public policy. He felt that technology backbone really helps him, so he never really chucked it out.  Chris has learned a lot from his experience in staying in places like Nepal, Cambodia and India and he was involved in a project to evaluate the impact of micro finance in South India.

The project was a randomized control trial, and there were numerous dimensions involving massive data gathering. It was during these trials, he felt the need for a more methodological/systematised data collection framework. He felt that the technology is really holding them back. He also realized that a lot of nonprofits, also failed due to the lack of technology. Chris also felt that the tools that were available, are either too costly or complex for the data collection. So he felt the need to develop a private technology or tool which could help rescue this situation.


Chris knows that data collection is hard, and what is particularly harder is collection of accurate data. As data is used for decision making process, it is imperative that quality data is collected and fed to the process. Hence Dobility was born, out of the need to simplify the process of collecting quality data. SurveyCTO is the product, which helps to collect quality data using high quality technology. The SurveyCTO technology helps to make sure that the data being collected is really accurate, by monitoring it at each step. The SurveyCTO was released with a very low monthly subscription cost, and recently they were able to release a beta version of the product, for small scale NGO’s.

SurveyCTO was used effectively for randomized controls, by nurses in South Carolina to understand the effects of a community nursing program. They were using SurveyCTO on phones and tablets, when they were visiting their patients at home. The data collection involves using Android phones, as most of patients won’t have access to internet. The nurses also record audio responses, GPS co-ordinates etc. and it has moved a long way from the fact that it was once captured in paper.

Dobility – Legal Structure

Dobility is registered as C-corp as they want to be flexible, as their commitments change over time. But they wanted to have the concern for social welfare, permeate each and every decision the company makes. The C-corp gives Dobility the flexibility of having foreign talents, to have an equity. This decision helps them to retain extremely talented developers from Greece, Romania to Brazil.

Dobility’s SurveyCTO, is a tool for anyone who wants to use the mobile, as a data collection tool. SurveyCTO also provides a web interface to create survey forms. Anyone can use the technology almost free of cost, by sparing 5 mins of their time. Users can spend that time to provide feedbacks or even be able to contribute anything, which makes the product better.

Show Notes

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In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder talks to Ketan Deshpande, CEO of FUEL which empowers local youth with opportunities. Ketan is an Ashoka fellow, and he started his work as early as 18, by connecting students with opportunities. The project FUEL started out of Ketan’s experience as a student and has now grown into a full blown social enterprise.

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Friends Union for Energising Lives (FUEL) is a non-profit organisation which has its origins in Pune, was initiated in 2006 and emerged from the idea of providing students with access to information and opportunities. FUEL started its service by providing career counselling, awareness sessions, building on career confidence among students in rural India. It has now grown to a level where more than 3 million students, are part of FUEL and more than 3000 institutions are working with FUEL. In 2012, Ketan received the Ashoka fellowship for his work in FUEL. Ketan works with a lot of corporations, and he lauds their effort in providing students with career opportunities. As the “Make in India” campaign is gaining momentum in India, Ketan feels the need for quality resources.

FUEL opened a helpline, which helps the students to know more about the application process for various universities. FUEL also has a text alert service to remind the students about application deadlines and other important deadlines. Ketan and team has built a career recommendation service, which takes in student inputs and comes up with recommended career options. FUEL starts as early as ninth grade where the students are presented, with view of various career options available and in tenth grade they take the psychometric test, which recommends possible career path for each individual. Personality, aptitude and interest are some of the key parameters, the test takes in as input, and they discuss the career options with the parents as well. In urban India, students have the option of video calling and connecting with FUEL. Recently FUEL has expanded its services to Uganda in Africa with the help of mobile penetration.

The Journey

Ketan faced a lot of challenges in the initial phases of FUEL. But the idea got the much needed morale, when he got a call from, then president of India Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam for a discussion. By 2012 he got the corporate support after he received the fellowship from Ashoka. Ketan felt very difficult to explain his career path as social entrepreneur as there were more lucrative options for making money. But he went on with his work and FUEL is now active in 11 states.  Ketan is confident about reaching out to students from underserved communities in all 29 states of India. His initial goal of reaching out to 1 million students, have now grown to 10 million. Neetal met with Ketan at the GES summit and they are both looking forward to the next GES summit in India.

Ketan attended the GES summit and is looking forward to have helping hand in raising awareness about his program among students. He is also open to work collaboratively with people with same mindset on technology and thought process. Ketan is getting help from a lot of well wishers,  for raising funds for students from underserved communities. People are also volunteering by going back to their schools to raise awareness about FUEL and career opportunities. And GES, Ketan’s thought process gained popularity, and there were many people who wants to do a similar thing back in their country.

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In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder talks to Devin Thorpe, a journalist, author and speaker in the impact space. He is also hosting the show “Your Mark on the World” which has more than 500 episodes. Devin is really huge presence in the impact space and also a writer for Forbes.

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Meet Devin

Devin is an incredible author, journalist and a host who planned to have three careers. One for making money, one for public service and the last one being a retirement plan, an author. He had a very successful career, in a food and beverage industry. Then he moved on to China, where he served as a professor in Business. It was during this period, he wrote his first book “Your Mark On The World“. Devin has evolved as an author and has written various books on financial planning and crowd funding. He has evolved as a journalist, and he is contributing regularly to Forbes. Devin also keeps him busy, with his show “Your Mark on The World”.  He also plans to write a book every year. Devin is an avid speaker, who would never miss an opportunity. 

Social Good

Devin is not only a journalist or writer but he also finds time to do actual social good. He is engaged in mentoring young entrepreneurs with the help of organization called Devin constantly engages with some social good, he was in Nepal last year installing cooking stoves. He feels that his quality of journalism, can attributed to the fact that he spends time on the ground doing social good. Devin was in Pakistan, to help eradicate polio and there are more than 20 million people involved in this initiative. It is one of the last places on earth where polio still continues to be a menace. The last case was documented in April 2016, but Devin hopes that it will be last case after their work.


Devin writing strategy is simple, write about things that interests him.  His latest book  “Adding profit by adding purpose”, is about Corporate Social Responsibility. He was covering CSR when he was writing about it for forbes. Devin feels that a lot of people feel CSR as an obligation to do some good. He finds that to be a flawed strategy, which will yield only, a minimal conceivable social good and strategy that will backfire. On the other hand, there are other corporations which are doing an amazing job. For Example, Estee Lauder which sells a lipstick viva glam where 100% of the proceedings goes to AIDS.  Devin feels that their numbers still blows his mind, they have contributed more than 400 million over the past 20 years. So Devin advocates that kind of thinking, which maximizes the impact and brings the brand a lot of credibility as well.




In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder talks to Monica Kang, the founder of InnovatorsBox. Monica has done impactful work, in the nuclear non-proliferation area for the government. Neetal talks to Monica about her career and her inclination towards creativity space, which led her to create the InnovatorsBox.

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Meet Monica

Monica started InnovatorsBox, as she felt she wanted to do something impactful that brings in a change. She was not very happy with the fact, that her career was progressing well and her job title was growing on paper. Monica instead wanted to do something that she would love, rather than a run of mill job. She always wanted to do things on her own, rather than being instructed by a boss. Monica realized that with so much of talk, about creativity and innovation, it is still being misled. She was involved in a not so creative field, like nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security, and always wanted to bridge the gap between creative and non-creative field. It was this urgency, that has led her to create the InnovatorsBox.

Innovators Box

Innovators box is a education smart business, pasturing creativity and innovation for professionals and organizations. InnovatorsBox provides various platforms like creativity workshops, trainings, talks, seminars for the public as well as private companies. It serves as an innovation and creativity hub for those coming from non-creative sector. Innovator box serves as a hub for like minded folks, who are associated with non-creative jobs. Innovators box wants to change the way, the people think about creativity. A lot of people who are  social innovation leaders, are also creative thinkers.

InnovatorsBox connects with its audience through four main ways. The first one is a public event, where individual get to participate in events like Mindful Monday. They also do pop workshops called, unplugged. InnovatorsBox is also getting ready for a weekend creative boot camp called Creative Jump. Creative Jump helps you to get unstuck and become a creative leader. They also offer a wide array of programs for clients, to built a creative mindset in their teams.  InnovatorsBox also participates in a community events. InnovatorsBox tries to change the language and perception on creative thinking and innovation by trickling in various events.

Monica feels that holding on your values is the key thing that she has learnt over the years. She also notes that being an entrepreneur is really tough, but you never really understand the path unless you take it.  Monica also notes that you should take small baby steps, honor your goals, measure them consistently. Everyday she self-evaluates herself to understand, what she needs to do better, to create impact.  Monica feels that on her journey she has faced a lot discouragement, and denial but she held on to her values and moved on to make things better.

Show Notes

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In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder talks to Michele Wucker, an International Affairs Expert and Author of “The Gray Rhino”. Neetal explores, Why do leaders and decision makers sometimes fail to address the obvious dangers before they spiral out of control ? Michele Wucker is a thought leader in this space, and she has written a book called “The Gray Rhino” to recognize and act on these dangers. Neetal talks to Michele Wucker, about an actionable framework to address these dangers.

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Meet Michele

Michele M. Wucker is an American author, commentator and policy analyst specializing in the world economy and crisis anticipation. Michele addresses the issues with the decision making failures, from two angles. One angle comes in the form of a former journalist, who addressed the issue of sovereign debt in emerging markets. As a journalist, she has witnessed a lot of crisis, and how people reacted to those failures. The other angle comes from her experience, in working as a think tank management in Newyork during 2008.

But the central question came to her during the Argentinian crisis. In 2001 when Argentinian crisis rose, the debt started going up, but economy and reserves went down. But there were people at wall street, who came up with a smart proposal to cut the debt and get it back on track. Sadly, Argentina’s denial of the fact, failed to grasp this opportunity resulted in crawling into a crisis. But a similar scenario happened with, Greece but there were people willing to talk about it and act on it.

Michele wrote an article in CNBC, about the problem and there were actions on it. Private debtors came to the rescue, and also helped to the stop the Euro from falling. So Michele, feels what makes the difference here is “how you see and react” to crisis.

Crisis Handling Trends

Michele gained a lot of crisis handling experience while running the organization, in the form of outside shocks, group dynamics and systems that needs to be created. She also got to know, how to make tough choices between long and short term  priorities. Michele started to see a pattern by looking at various problems like immigration, gun control policy, inequality, climate change, Syria etc.  The key trend in these problems is denial, where people fail to accept the problem. But once you get past denial, you get into modelling stage, where people are willing to talk about the problem.

Even though people, accept the problem they always come up with various reasons, on why they cannot deal with it. Michele found that some of these, are structural problems, like lack of diversity in group thinking, cognitive bias etc. The the next step in addressing a crisis, would be diagnosis, where people try to focus on the key problem. They analyse the problem to see how fast it is moving or  whether it is recurring issue, which requires a system to be created in future. While analyzing the problem, one has to think about the upstream and downstream effects that the problem is going to create.

Michele also noted that finding right perspective of a problem, is the key to address it. For example in Syria’s case, Russia sees the lack of power with Assad as the problem, whereas others look at the humanitarian issues with Assad. So assigning a right perspective, would give a right ingredient to solve the problem. The fourth stage in addressing the problem is Panic. Michele points out that, if there is plan to handle the problem then Panic can be useful in addressing the problem. And the final stage is action, and Michele feels that it is good to reach action faster rather being late and getting trampled.

Crisis handling for Social Enterprises

Michele finds that Social entrepreneurs are one of favorite group of people who try to handle a crisis. She feels that there are three ways you can handle it. One is to stuck your head in the sand, second one is make money out the problem, the third and best is figure out a solution to handle the problem. Michele feels that sustainability is one area where people try to come with efficient solutions to address the same. For example, Water scarcity is addressed differently by companies, some of them try to use them efficiently, whereas others try to clean up waste water and create renewable sources.

Michele finds that the philosophy of identifying a problem, and what you can do to solve a problem with a group of helpful individuals is great. When there is not enough awareness, then Michele feels thought leadership should be brought in address the same. Another important point that Michele brings forward is, making people aware that they are a part of problem, and what they can do to be a part of the solution.

Social Media Influence

Michele feels that emergence of social media helps a long way in taking denial rhino to a larger audience. For example Facebook live was helpful in addressing the truth in police shootings. With the emergence of media, it is difficult for people keep denying the fact and indulge in unethical practices. But on the flip side, it can create hatred among the community and incite violence as well.

You can connect with Michele through the following ways.

Show Notes

Linkedin :

Twitter : @wucker

Facebook :@MicheleWucker

Website :

Book : the-gray-rhino