This academic year has been a blast, and we’ve truly enjoyed working with each and every one of you. As the last official day of the 2015-2016 academic year (and Commencement for many Hoyas!), we thought we’d share a visual Beeck “by the numbers” wrap-up.
Author Archives: Wilnie Petrash
Impact investing is gaining traction among both large and small investors and entrepreneurs – generating financial returns, and positive social impact.
In the corporate sector, there has been a long-standing tension between social-mindedness and financial performance. Some believe that social impact is “irrelevant” to the pursuit of profits, while others believe shareholder value should be subordinated to social impact.
After years of watching Washington policymakers fight over the budget and the deficit, I think it’s past time for us to acknowledge that these conversations — about the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling, and so on — are simply missing the point.
There is much discussion about the precise opportunities for integrating digital tools or information communication technologies (ICTs) into the political sphere.
This model positively contributes to food security, as the women and their families eat nutritious, organic food and spend nothing extra on it. With many different plants in their gardens, they can construct well-balanced meals without spending any money on food.
Before arriving, I had several questions about how we, considered outsiders, with a minimal grasp of the community’s language, would be able to build trust and understanding to collaborate and together build up a social enterprise venture. Oh, how grateful I am to have been proven otherwise.
This is not about fixing. This is about changing the system. Dr. King called for action and Peter Buffett is also making the same call. We need a completely new way of thinking, new models, new systems and a collective approach from business, government, and social sectors leaders alike to make a dent on the world’s greatest challenges.
When officials at England’s Peterborough Prison got frustrated about the increasing financial and societal cost of re-arresting, re-convicting and re-imprisoning the same people every few years, they turned to a new approach.
It isn’t easy to innovate in governance. However, partly in response to this same citizen disaffection, a new wave of participatory policy reforms is springing up across the United States.
Cities are gaining momentum as incubators for innovation. There is much excitement about the idea of cities as “laboratories of democracy.” As a result, cities can learn best practices from one another. Sharing this information can build a strong foundation to amplify and encourage experimentation.
In the 2012 presidential election, 18 to 29 year olds made up over 21 percent of the eligible voting population. Despite this, only 50 percent of millennials voted. In the recent midterm elections, only 13 percent of millennials voted.
We all seem to believe that government does not innovate. So the big question is: how can we scale government innovation faster? We have some ideas.
When thinking about technology innovation it is critical to think beyond simply the tool. We need to also think about how a given innovation directly affects and engages citizens. Fortunately governments are working to create spaces for civic engagement.
Welcome back to the continuing series, Warlord Leadership Lessons, your handy how-to guide for advancing practical solutions, in confusing times, to our most vexing social challenges.
Today’s global challenges — climate change, inequality, unemployment and diseases — require philanthropy to take a 21st century approach to investing in solutions that work.
Citizen science is an increasingly popular way for ordinary citizens to engage with science and civic innovation across a variety of subject areas and mediums.
Welcome back to the continuing series, Warlord Leadership Lessons, your handy how-to guide for advancing practical solutions, in confusing times, to our most vexing challenges.
On January 8th, collaborations of government and community partners around the country will submit Notices of Intent to apply for the Performance Partnership Pilots (P3).
As Todd Park, U.S. technology advisor in Silicon Valley and former Chief Technology Officer noted, data derives value from its application and uses.
This small entrepreneur is already making a huge difference for his family and the water security of his community. Within him I see the positive embodiment of national pride for economic development as well as individual innovation.
We assemble our design teams that we will be working with for the rest of the summer to share and realize profitable and innovative solutions to opportunities within the community.
These past two weeks have been filled with the simple pleasures that I was missing while zooming along at top speed – casual conversations with people we met on the streets, playing netball with my adorable neighbors, sitting on the porch with a cup of rooibos tea and my Kindle, watching the sun rise.
As we pulled up to a signless storefront on the outskirts of Ouagadougou, one of the top 100 innovators in Africa was already outside waiting for us.
My two scholar team members and community partners are excited to finally prototype our product in the upcoming days.
Per the ThinkImpact mission, we are here to work with the community to create a product or service with a social benefit, and we believe that through our project of making jam preservatives using the surplus of fruits, we can empower the community members to understand that their knowledge of their land and its produce has immense economic worth.
Life seldom goes according to our expectations, and this was proof. I look forward to seeing the ways in which Lutzville Wes upends my expectations in the next 2 and a half weeks.
The goal of my time here with ThinkImpact is to start a social business or innovation that uses local assets to change lives. This goal is ambitious, and none of us can achieve it alone.
The 2014-15 academic year is off to a great start. The Beeck Center is excited to be working with students after a quiet, but active summer.
It amazes me how much a place can move you, how deeply can certain people touch you and change you without saying anything particular, by just existing and allowing you to be part of their lives.
I remember that in the beginning, I was frequently clenching my teeth so as to not outwardly express the intense frustration I felt within.
Pay For Success is a model that incentivizes the government, investors, and non-profits to work together to produce better outcomes for our citizens. That would be a positive change on its own, but the model provides an additional benefit because it produces these better outcomes in a way that saves taxpayer dollars.
I came to believe in collective impact from a cognitive dissonance I increasingly experienced during two decades of work in the nonprofit sector.
Members of the Student Impact Board will have the support of the Beeck Center in creating innovative learning opportunities and connecting students with the resources necessary to reach their full potential.
I never thought of failure as a tool for development. It was fascinating to me that leaders could recognize their mistakes, without a constant fear of being judged.
Since then, experience has shown that paying for outcomes is most effective when the goals are near-term, specific, measurable, and meaningful. Put another way, setting an outcome answers the “so what” question of any project.
A new, online guide issued by a broad-based intergovernmental partnership provides a roadmap to improving program effectiveness and leveraging disconnected federal, state, local, and private resources.
GU Impacts fellowship connects Georgetown University students with local communities around the world, through program partners including non-profit organizations, businesses, and government initiatives.
We must always be percolating and cultivating social innovation and new solutions. Can Pay for Success models encourage innovation?
If, like me, you follow social impact trends, then you’ve probably been hearing the buzz over government “pay for success” or “pay for performance” models in recent years.
Five GU Impacts Alumni share their insight from their summer experiences in Ecuador, Rwanda, Panama, and Nicaragua.
Growing up, although my parents took turns driving the family car, my mom was always the one who made sure we actually got to where we were going.
Every day public state and local human service agencies deliver essential social programs to communities across the country.
On behalf of the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University, I applaud U.S. Representatives Young and Delaney for re-introducing the Social Impact Partnership Act today.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme of “Make It Happen” echoes the sentiment of systematic change, aiming to encourage effective action for advancing and celebrating women.
That is what makes my work at the Beeck Center so engaging. Innovation and social impact are about implementing by observing the what is, and then imagining the what if.
There are many conversations concerning “civic technology,” or “civic tech” and the opportunities for leveraging digital tools to benefit the public.
Like many organizations, we spend most of our time focusing outward, addressing systemic problems that live outside the whiteboard-walls of the Beeck Center.
These women are achieving for maximum impact and disruptive innovations — helping women get back on their feet, investing in businesses that have environmental impact, and creating opportunities for women to grow their businesses.
Every day we post details of our lives on Facebook, use “Likes” to save our preferences and interests, and give up our geo-locations for Google Maps and Uber, without much thought on how our individual and collective data will be used.
Turning theory into practice, fellows are provided with the opportunity to work with a real life client to scale and improve an existing social innovation program.
As someone interested in the field of social impact investing, I enjoyed learning about how financing for impact extends beyond providing capital.
These commitments demonstrate the growing appeal of impact investing for large-scale capital, and a new potential to drive change. Vice President Biden will announce this landmark effort at today’s Clean Energy Investment Summit, hosted by the White House.
Working toward inclusive governance takes a multi-stakeholder model. Government cannot – and should not – do it alone.
The SDGs will attempt to change international indicators on policies like poverty and climate change, but they will also have a new goal: to create “responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.” This goal builds on the democratic innovations around the globe.
We launched our Government Innovation work last summer to drive an action-oriented dialogue on how government, social sector, and philanthropy leaders can reimagine the public sector for the 21st Century.
Over the past year, the Beeck Center has been a leading voice in the rapid expansion of Impact Investing.
Visiting Research Fellow
Graduate Student Analyst
As part of our ongoing impact investing work, we were proud this summer to support significant federal policy progress and drive private sector engagement to combat global climate change.
There is an emerging range of tools — from open data to do-it-yourself science — that can more tangibly connect citizens with the science policy that impacts their daily lives.
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? I will be working with the Federal City Council, in Washington DC this summer. I am so excited to gain a better understanding of Washington DC’s landscape, structural possibilities, and challenges. Growing up in the suburbs of Maryland, just outside DC, I know…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? Mann Deshi, looking forward to the storytelling aspect and learning about the experiences of local women. What does social impact mean to you in your experiences? Always being cognizant of your contribution in relation to a problem’s solution and not entering humanitarian initiatives…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? This summer I will be working with Agora Partnerships in my home city Managua. This opportunity is exciting for so many reasons. First, it allows me to see Managua in a different light. I moved to the United States when I was 8…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? I’ll be working with El Nido Resorts in El Nido, Palawan in the Philippines. While I’m sure this summer has a lot of excitement in store, I’m especially looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about sustainable tourism as a tool for…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? This summer, I’ll be working for Yanbal in Lima, Peru. Although I’m thrilled to be living in Peru, I’m most excited to begin working on my project. As Jo and Bianca described it, the managers at Yanbal are very firm in their goals…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? I’ll be working for the Atlanta Center for Civic Innovation. The CCI works toward community engagement by investing in local governments, nonprofits, and social entrepreneurs. My goal is to work with nonprofits after college, but I have only ever interacted with these groups…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? Kigali, Rwanda- I can’t wait to connect with the community and experience Rwandan culture. I’m incredibly inspired by what my future coworkers are doing at Akazi Kanoze Access, and I’m excited to be a part of such a worthwhile effort. What does social…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? Center for Civic Innovation in Atlanta,GA. Besides it being Atlanta, which in my opinion is one of the best cities in the country, this location makes me excited because it gives me the chance to physically engage in the city with community members…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? El Nido. I’m thrilled to work in ecotourism in one of the most beautiful and ecologically important locations in the world! What does social impact mean to you in your experiences? Social impact means creating better livelihoods for people while building a more…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? I am a proud member of the El Nido cohort traveling to the Philippines, and I am confident that interning with the Ten Knots Development Corporation at the El Nido Resorts is going to offer me precisely the opportunity I have been searching…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? My location this summer is the Center for Civic Innovation in Atlanta, GA. I am incredibly excited to learn how Atlanta works and compares to other U.S. cities, as well as work in a collaborative space where government, business, and NGO perspectives meet…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? I am assigned to Akazi Kanoze Access, an NGO that is based in Kigali, Rwanda, and works on grassroots educational development throughout the country. I am really excited by the opportunity to not just immerse myself in the culture, but to explore how…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? I will be working with El Nido Resorts (ENR) in the Philippines. My excitement lies in anticipation of what I will learn. I look forward to building upon my interest in Southeast Asian studies and my passion for environmental conservation. I am excited…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? Gashora Girls Academy for Science and Technology in Gashora, Rwanda. I’m incredibly excited to dive into the culture of Rwanda, a completely new experience, while building off of my previous experience in education. Above all, I cannot wait to meet the students I’ll…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? My assigned location is Maharashtra, India. I’m excited because India is a bit of an unexpected country for me to go to since I have focused a lot of my service work in Latin America. I’m also excited because Mann Deshi Foundation’s mission…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? I will be going to Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology in Rwanda for ten weeks this summer. I am excited to build connections with the students at the academy and promote women’s empowerment while learning about food security by working on…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? While our initial location was Managua, Nicaragua, I am excited for the recent location change to Santiago, Chile because of the new opportunity it presents. We will be working with Agora Partnerships in a capacity that has yet to be fulfilled, which makes…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? I will be working with Yanbal International in Peru this summer. I have been interested in learning about the role of the private sector in development and I am incredibly excited to work in the intersection of business and social impact while living…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? My assigned location is with Women for Women International in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am happy that I have the opportunity to work with an organization that centers around one of my passions, women’s empowerment. WfWi helps empower women by giving them…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? My assigned location is the Center for Civic Innovation in Atlanta and I am most excited for working with individuals who have long term dedication to making their city a better place for everyone through such innovative ideas. I cannot wait to see…
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it? El Nido, Philippines — I’m most excited about the opportunity to work with local Filipino students on environmental projects. I have always been interested in learning more about ways of business doing good, and the El Nino project really presents that opportunity while…
The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, the GU Lecture Fund, and the GU Net Impact club invite you to an interactive panel discussion on inclusive economies. Panelists will explore how policymakers and investors can ensure that economic development is truly equitable, highlighting innovations in finance.