I am so happy to introduce you all to Sreeratna Kancherla and the work of IDEX Fellowship in Social Enterprise where she serves as Director. Sree and I met through friends at The Hub Atlanta and the Enterprising Schools Program at Gray Matters Capital. IDEX, a combination of Ideate and Execute, is a program which fits perfectly within the enterprising & affordable private schools model in India – educating young women and men who would not otherwise have the same level of education. The mission of IDEX is to recruit and place fellows from the USA who have recently graduated from college, to work in India, assisting the social entrepreneurs who are creating these schools with the many skills they may need in order to be successful. While today the program works in India, the plan is to grow this APS model and thus the IDEX fellowship program beyond the current scope to a global reach. In the interview, conducted in early February at HUB-Atlanta, Sree and I discussed how the program works and some of the major issues that contribute to it’s success. I look forward to hearing your feedback about the program.
VIDEO 1 – Sreeratna Discusses How the IDEX Fellowship Works
VIDEO 2 – The Involvement of Corporate Support like Nike Foundation
VIDEO 3 – Sreeratna and I Discuss Larger Systemic Issues like Micro-finance
Stay tuned this month as I provide some exciting new interviews on global education of women and girls and a further discussion of the dire sexuality issues that face young women in many countries. NEXT interview: Sreeratna Kancherla, the Director of IDEX Fellowship Social Enterprise.
Last Fall, I had the benefit of speaking with Darcy Winslow, the former head of Nike’s Global Women Brand and also Sustainability – a career than spanned 20 plus years and led the corporation into very important work as it relates to women and girls. Darcy was introduced to me by World Pulse founder, Jensine Larson, as a women who is helping to save the world. When I think of the magnitude of a corporation such as Nike, I think of the tremendous global footprint, both socially and environmentally. I also think of the great influence of such a brand on the hearts and minds of children everywhere. Athletics has been a major component of building community, creating partnership, overcoming obstacles and empowering girls. Yes, it is true. As Darcy points out in our conversations, Nike has stepped up to be a major supporter of the empowerment and education of women and girls across the globe.
There was so much terrific content from our conversation that I did very little editing to the videos. [I apologize to Darcy and everyone ahead of time for the cropping of the video. Sometimes iMovie wants to shorted the view of the speaker's face. It happened here too.]
Regardless of the video image, the voice is strong and clear as Darcy presents her deep understanding and commitment to women, humanity and our planet. I am honored to present this conversation. It dovetails nicely with the last interview with Peter Buffett on NoVo Foundation, Nike Foundation and Girl Effect. To learn more about Darcy’s work today, click on her website.
DARCY WINSLOW Interview with Lewis Perkins, WSWNow.
VIDEO 1: On Nike and Sustainability
VIDEO 2: On Women in Leadership
VIDEO 3: On Corporate Consciousness
VIDEO 4: On The Nike Foundation
VIDEO 5: More On Women Leading
Please leave your comments below or feel free to email me directly at email@example.com.
Today I was pleased to speak with musician and philanthropist, Peter Buffett, about the work he and his wife Jennifer are doing to change the lives of girls and women on this planet through the NoVo Foundation. I connected to Peter via the Atlanta Girls School as he will be performing in Atlanta this Sunday (January 30) at Symphony Hall. Here is the link to that event for those of you in the Atlanta area.
Jennifer & Peter Buffett in Africa
As I mentioned in the interview, The Girl Effect, funded by Nike Foundation and had a big impact on me as I was launching this site a year ago. I wanted to reach the many men and women doing this work to educate and support the lives of women globally. I admire Peter and Jennifer greatly for their work and support. I would have loved to have Jennifer on the call yesterday as well, but she was traveling with Nike to see the work being done in the field.
In our conversation, Peter and I discuss everything from the role of men in this work to how everyone, regardless of social or financial status, can be involved.
I hope to continue sharing more stories of their work and global support to women’s project in the future.
The next interview I will be posting is with Darcy Winslow, who has spearheaded Global Women’s Brand and Sustainability for Nike and has served on the Foundation board as well. That conversation is a great follow up to my talk with Peter.
AUDIO 1 – Discussion with Peter Buffett – The role of supporting Women
AUDIO 2 – Discussion with Peter Buffett – Men as a part of this work
AUDIO 3 – Discussion with Peter Buffett – His Work as a Musician & Philanthropist
Again for tickets to Peter’s concert on Sunday (1/30/11 at 3pm), click here.
Happy New Year to you all. It is great to be back online posting today’s interview with Barbara Marx Hubbard, a leader in human evolutionary thought and discussion. 2010 ended on a great note for me and my colleagues working on Women Are Saving The World Now. We hosted a local (Atlanta) TEDx event for the TEDWomen Conference in D.C. – live streaming all presentations. I was very inspired by the remarkable work of women globally and the men who are stepping into partnership with these women. You can watch them now online at the link above.
Today’s post with Barbara Marx Hubbard addresses the role of the evolutionary female as the co-creator to the evolutionary male (the interview took place in November in San Francisco at THE GLOBAL SUMMIT II: Humanity Uniting for a Sustainable Future, where WSWnow was a media sponsor). Barbara is indeed a brilliant mind on this topic. For me, she grew the awareness that this current global movement of advancing women is not just a trend, but part of our design as a human species and that we are called to embrace the entire spectrum of our being in order to pull ourselves out of our current global crises. All hands on deck! That not only means to bring women forward into leadership, but it means to allow the entire range of our human talents to come forward. Each man, woman and child is seeded with a great creative gift for the world today and it is all of our role to allow those gifts to move forward with speed.
As always, I welcome your feedback on this conversation. And please let me know the women you would like for us to interview in 2011. Blessings to you all.
VIDEO 1: The Evolution of Women
VIDEO 2: The Union of Pioneering Souls
VIDEO 3: The Evolutionary Capabilities of A Universal Humanity
When the investment community recognizes the value of reviewing and investing in companies who support women as a category of socially responsible firms, it is a good indicator that a larger global shift has occurred. While it may seem that Conscious business is the topic de jour, the history of the SRI (socially responsibility index) in the United States is actually quite long. In fact, it was the Quakers who first forbid their congregation from investing in the sale of humans – thus prohibiting slave trade.
It is remarkable to think that over 300 years later, we are still in the practice of human trafficking in our world. Oftentimes, global industries support this practice by looking the other way as their foreign suppliers utilize cheap labor from “unfree labor” or debt slavery. (Perhaps we will address this issue in more depth with a future WSWnow interview. I would love to dive into this topic in more detail – so send me any contacts we should interview).
I recently learn a bit more about how U.S. based investment firms, such as Calvert Investment Group, are making conscious use of their shareholder dollars a larger part of their philosophy and practice from Alya Kayal, VP of Sustainability Research at CIG.
In 2004, Calvert, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Fund for Women, developed the first global voluntary code of conduct guiding business on how to empower, advance, and invest in women worldwide. The Calvert Women’s Principles bring together a variety of ways in which business can contribute to the advancement of women. They are:
1. Employment and Compensation
2. Work-life Balance and Career Development
3. Health, Safety and Freedom from Violence
4. Management and Governance
5. Business, Supply Chain and Marketing Practices
6. Civic and Community Engagement
7. Transparency and Accountability
My dear friend Stephanie Armistead, founder of Green Business Works, invited me to meet with Alya when she was in Atlanta last month as keynote speaker for the GBW Expo. The following interview was conducted that day. From Alya, I learned much about Calvert’s leadership role in the field of bringing women safely and profitably into the world economy as a goal of smart and responsible investors. She is a heartfelt, smart woman who truly knows the role of women in creating longer term sustainable companies who are part of a global solution, rather than exploiting or suppressing women for shorter term financial gain. This thoughtful approach to global investment is very much in line with the conversation we had with Jacqueline Novogratz of the Acumen Fund in October.
VIDEO 1: Calvert Women’s Principles
VIDEO 2: Women and Social Responsibility Index (SRI)
VIDEO 3: Investing In Women
I look forward, as always, to hearing back from you all. Many thanks for your continued support of this site and the interviews.
I am honored to share Jeff Brown’s work with you. It was a member of this community who introduced me to hisApology to the Divine Feminine and led to these discussions. I find his honesty and truth to be extremely vital for today’s world in transition. I look forward to your response.
APOLOGIES TO THE DIVINE FEMININE (from a warrior in transition) by Jeff Brown
I apologize for my inability to distinguish the benevolent warrior from the heartless warrior, a reflection of my own confusion dealing with the battlefields of yore. When I opened my heart too wide, I was vulnerable to attack from warring factions. I was conditioned to believe that I had to stay rigid, focused, prepared for any eventuality, in the desire to protect myself and others from attack. But I went too far, and closed too tight, and eradicated the bridge between our hearts. I am seeing this now and I am sorry.
I apologize for my perpetual absence, a reflection of my own inner absence, my inability to connect from a heart jammed tight by unresolved emotions that I did not have the tools to work through. I still lack many of these tools, but I am open to their emergence.
I apologize for my inability to distinguish relationship from war. Like a warrior in enemy territory, I would sneak in and out of your life in the night, plundering and selfishly taking what I needed, then crawling back to the other side of the abyss with the spoils. I gave little back for fear that I would become vulnerable to attack. I had war on the brain and I could not see the river of love waiting on the other side of the battlefield. I now recognize that love is the antidote for the armoured warrior, but I could not drink the antidote in my driven state.
I apologize for not seeing you, my eyes blinded by congealed rage and unshed tears. If it is any consolation, and I imagine it is not, I could not see myself either. I saw only that which served my hyper-vigilance, my warrior focus. My mirror was a battlefield.
I apologize for my ungrounded materialism, my power driven tyrannies, my obsession with accumulation. Somehow I imagined that accumulation would protect me and those close to me, but I failed to recognize that it just perpetuated the madness. I also apologize for my egoic abuses, a reflection of my own misguided ego, pumped up to deal with an inherently competitive world. I couldn’t distinguish the healthy, confident ego from the cocky, unhealthy ego. I went much too far in the wrong direction.
I apologize for a sexuality that was objectifying and disconnected from the heart. I know you longed for real intimacy, a merging of our souls along the heart-genital highway. But there were too many defences around my heart, and no bridge could form between our souls. There were moments when your loving ways freed me from my body masks, but I had no template to stand in that heart-fire. I am sorry for this, for I know that the path you longed for was the path to God.
I apologize for my horrifying acts of violence, a reflection of my own congealed rage, my own inability to distinguish real enemies from friends. There are no words that can undo what I have done in those moments of madness. I know this, I do. I would hide my face in shame, but that won’t make things better. I need to own my misdeeds, and then find a way to believe in my capacity to move from a more loving place. I call out to other male warriors to be accountable for the actions of our gender, not in a way that is self-hating, but in a way that is courageously self-honest and genuinely compassionate. The heartfelt warrior acknowledges the error of his ways, and has the courage to do all he can to make amends over time.
I apologize for my inability to develop a conscious relationship. You were right there with your beautiful heart on your sleeve but I was too attached to my individualism and afraid of this unknown terrain. I know the forests, the marketplace and the ways of the outer world so well, but my inner geography is foreign to me. You called me to a place I was ill-prepared to go, although I sensed, below the surface of my bravado, that you called me home.
I am grateful for your willingness to believe that who I was in those rare moments of vulnerability was the real me. You were right- the real me lives inside of my heart- but a few moments now and then was the most I could handle. I saw you as dangerous, for in your presence I began to taste a surrendered way of being. Nonetheless, your faith in my goodness kept me going through many a battle, and restored my faith in life when I most needed it. You were the light at the end of a barbaric tunnel, and I am blessed.
I am grateful that you stuck with me through thick and thin, and I also understand those times you had to give up and let go. I now recognize that there is meaningful difference between a love-ship and a relationship. Love alone is not enough. Without a shared willingness to become conscious, there can only be frustration. I was so often impossible, clinging to my unconsciousness like a soldier clings to his weapons. I recognize the courage it took for you to keep your heart open in the presence of my resistance. You had every right to seek an authentic relationship, as your spirit was ignited in its presence. Your beautiful heart had every right to be met in its openness and willingness. I am grateful for the time you gave me, a moments respite from the hiding places I mistakenly called home.
I am grateful for Grandmother, for no one saw my tenderness more clearly. I am grateful for Mother, for choosing to bring me into being and for nourishing my body until I could find my feet. I am grateful for Mother Earth, for grounding my expansion and enlivening my spirit. I am grateful for the Divine Mother, the real Mother of us all. I now feel her divine presence, so close. Fiercely compassionate, she was always right here, breathing life into me, holding me safe. I sit in her lap as she breathes me.
I look forward to the day when the only thing that ignites relationship is two souls calling out to one another, two soul-hearts beating in the same direction, a whisper of longing that bridges one essence to another. I want to want you not because it gratifies my ego, not because you are outwardly beautiful, but because your very presence invites my Godself out of hiding. I want to touch you with my heart on my sleeve, to know chemistry between us that is not gender identified, but that is essence sourced, loves liquid lava flowing from the heart to the genitals to the great beyond. In this love-struck world, relationship will always be experienced as spiritual practice, a devotional expression of our God-self.
I had always believed that sensitivity is impossible to hold to in a harsh world. Yet in this moment, I feel sensitive, but without the fragility. I am still wearing armor but there is a shift in the direction of my intensity. I can linger in the heart-space a little longer than I once could, I am softening in places. After so many lifetimes with weapon in hand, a tenderling warrior is being birthed in the core of my being. He is confused, but he intuitively knows that this is the way home.
Please don’t give up on me or my fellow warriors. Forgive us our misdeeds, or, at the least, be open to the possibility that we will change as the trail expands to meet our shifting intentionality. The day will come when our warrior spirit loses its harsh edge, and comes into alignment with benevolent action. Some of us are already there, and many more of us will follow. The road to transformation is dependent on a bridge between genders, a benevolent bridge that celebrates our differences with respect and kindness. That work must begin with healing the rifts along the gender continuum, working hard to heal the collective heart until one day we can stand on a bridge across forever, hands held together, hearts open and alight, embracing the sacred masculine and divine feminine living at the heart of us all. I will meet you there.
May you feel the love of the Divine Mother crashing down on your heartfelt shores, graciously lifting you up above the madness of the world, nestling you in the grateful arms of those you have nurtured. Those of us who have received your blessings may not always acknowledge it, but your acts of love have landed within us, growing us stronger and infusing us with love’s light. Thank you.
If you ever had a dream you wanted to follow, or a feeling that you were meant to do something amazing in this world, you will identify with Jacqueline Novogratz’s story. Many year ago she found herself called to make a bigger impact on the planet by changing the way we invest globally in emerging markets. This ultimately led her to the creation of The Acumen Fund in 2001 to address growth in markets where strategic investment, coupled with smart & conscious business, could serve to grow new businesses. These investments would service companies whose goal is to solve social and environmental issues – like health, water, housing and energy. Her work has impacted millions through a new form of global philanthropic investing called “patient capital.”
Jacqueline, Lewis & Erin.
Her story is told in her book The Blue Sweater. The title comes from a amazing occurrence in Jacqueline’s life when she spotted a sweater on a young boy in Africa which she had donated to charity as a teenager back in the USA. She knew it was the same sweater when she turned the collar over and saw her name stitched inside the label. It was one of many signs she would receive that her work in Africa was the beginning of her calling.
Today, a growing community of supporters from over 110 different countries are part of the Acumen Network – thought leaders, corporate professionals, social and investors – all dedicated to learning about and tackling issues of global poverty.
This interview was conducted by Erin Levin, WSWnow friend. Her own work in Africa and producing and filming the lives of people effected by all levels of crisis makes her the perfect interviewer for WSWnow. It was an honor to spend this time with Jacqueline as she was in Atlanta and we look forward to sharing this interview with our audience.
VIDEO 1: Jacqueline speaks on the HH Dalai Lama quote and expands it to her understanding of the feminine qualities needed today in “saving” the world
VIDEO 2: The courage Jacqueline found to leave her job and create the Acumen and follow the “job of a lifetime.”
VIDEO 3: Why she wrote The Blue Sweater and one important piece advice for women everywhere.
VIDEO 4: The difference between “patient capital” and other forms of philanthropic investing, sich as micro-lending. Jacqueline also explains why women tend to be the majority recipients of micro-loans.
VIDEO 5: The role of women in global leadership and how the Acumen Fund works.
VIDEO 6: Erin asks one last question on behalf of her mother: What role does education play?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and please share to your networks.
I originally set out to interview Carole Hart because of her important work, documenting the gatherings of the 13 Indigenious Grandmothers in the film For The Next Seven Generations. What I did not realize was the breadth of her lifework until we spoke on the phone. I was privileged to see a screening of FYN7G in Atlanta this September and immediately set out to reach the filmmakers. That is how I found Carole Hart.
When Carole called me back, I learned that she was not only part of the original writing team for Sesame Street, but that she was also the music producer for Free To Be You And Me, with Marlow Thomas, the Ms. Foundation and many celebrities of the day as contributors. Many of you will remember this work as it was extremely impactful to children in the 70’s as it sought to education us on gender and even racial equality in a way that was fun and creative.
Song’s such as “When I Grow Up,” “It’s Alright To Cry” and “William Wants A Doll” made it okay for young boys and girls to view themselves in a way that broke through gender roles and stereotypes. It was a Emmy Award winning work which touch many lives.
CAROLE FILMING FOR THE NEXT 7 GENERATIONS
Today, Carole’s contributions in capturing and expressing to new audiences the wisdom of our indigenous grandmothers could not come at a more important time. In the interview clips below, Carole shares with me a remarkable story of how she was lead to the grandmothers and how an ancient healing ceremony saved her life. This film is her gift back to the indigenous people and all men and women on the planet today who need to be reminded of how we are all one. This is a theme in Carole’s life work. We are all blessed for that.
I hope you enjoy the conversations below. Please leave your comments.
Several months ago I met Erin Levin, a bright enthusiastic women who is changing the world through her own passion, influence in her work with CNN and recent travels to Africa. Stay tuned on Erin because I image we will be featuring her work before long, as well.
Today, Erin has interviewed Haley Kilpatrick a close friend who inspires her daily through the work of Girl Talk, a non profit organization Kilpatrick founded nearly 10 years ago to address the difficulties of being a young teen woman. In the following interviews, Erin asks Haley everything to how she founded to the organization to what inspires her to get up in the morning. I love this interview as it is the first one where an other person is interviewing her “woman saving the world.” There is not doubt Haley is just that. Thank you Erin and Haley both for contributing to this project.
Video 1: The Mission of Girl Talk
Video 2: Is Girl Talk Really Free?
Video 3: Who and What Inspires Haley? And What’s Next and How to Get Involved