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For A Season of Global Giving

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Author: the Inkslinger

We got this guest post in this morning from our friend John Heckinger at Global Giving. They’ve got a cool new idea brewing over there, and I think it’s an inspired way to start the week and to celebrate the season.

Last week, GlobalGiving introduced a whole new way to give others a whole new way to give – GlobalGiving Gift Cards. They’re the size and shape of a normal credit or gift card, but they’re 100% biodegradable. These little pieces of wallet candy are made out of corn and can be used exactly like the gift cards you purchase from a retail store, but with much greater benefits:

GlobalGiving Gift Cards make it easy, and maybe even stylish, to help others close to home or in remote parts of the developing world, in a direct and real way. When you give a GlobalGiving Gift Card, you’re giving someone the ability to give someone else in the world something extremely meaningful– an education, a livelihood, clean water, or a safe place away from conflict.

Many of us are fortunate that we can worry about installing high-efficiency light bulbs, choosing renewable energy, and buying hybrid cars. Many others around the world deal with much more immediate problems, and giving a GlobalGiving Gift Card is a way to engage others is solving them.

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Dethroning King Coal

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Author: the Inkslinger

Welcome to Thursday and this inspired guest post from global protagonist Veronica Bach

Watching with horror the latest in the series of fatal mine worker deaths, I was thinking that we should be able to provide these wonderful people alternative jobs that would produce energy, but would allow them to work above ground in a safer environment. Stopping the use of coal in our energy systems would save many lives in every area of the production of it, including the final result of a coal plant. My idea is to begin with the states where coal mining is the predominant part of the economy, and start recruiting their workers to be retrained for solar panel making and wind power jobs. We could begin in our country, and then take it global, including China and Australia.

For what it's worth.

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Blessed Unrest

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I just finished reading Paul Hawken’s new book Blessed Unrest. It is a beautifully written, extensively researched, deeply thoughtful but in the end unsatisfying read. While Hawken talks convincingly about the convergence of the environmental/sustainability movement with the social justice and indigenous rights movements (collectively described as “the movement,”) and the significance of the millions of organizations that have arisen world-wide to tackle the many issues that all these movements encompass, I don’t believe that this alone will adequately address our challenges.

The role and responsibility of business is for the most part sadly minimized and its potential unconsidered.

In the last pages of the book, Hawken writes:

“The only spiritually responsible way I know to be a citizen, artist, or activist in these strange times is by giving little or no thought to ‘great things’ such as saving the planet, achieving world peace, or stopping neocon greed. Great things tend to be undoable things.”

While I understand the sentiment, I disagree wholeheartedly. To face the challenges that confront us today, we need a symphony of commitment and possibility. From those of us that are only willing to make small adjustments to our lifestyle to those of us willing to ensure that the world’s largest corporations become a source of hope and positive impact, only by believing that we can, as Hawken says, re-make the world into a better place, will that possibility come into existence.

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Global Giving's Gold Medal Winner Is...

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Author: the Inkslinger

Hey all... GlobalGiving's John Heckinger dropped the Inspired Protagonist a line this morning to let us know who won his organization's GlobalGiving Olympics. John writes:

Thanks again for the guest blog spot. India took the gold in a landslide, and all the results are on our home page. The "100 Slum Children of Sex Workers" were the big winners. During the competition, we had a visit from a legend, Inderjit Khurana, featured in the New Heroes Documentary, and her amazingly motivated son, Anoop. Inderjit's project came in second, but Anoop used the occasion to mobilize the extensive Indian diaspora community in California.

Our next big thing will be gift certificates. Just in time for the holidays! They're a great viral tool for folks who want to spread the good around.

Thanks to all who voted, all who helped, and all who are keeping Earth's needful many in their hearts and at the center of their deeds this holiday season. You're making the world spin in a good direction.

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Inspired Protagonists Wanted

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Do you have an incredible new idea that could change your community, your country, or your world?

Are you an entrepreneur who won't rest until your idea has been brought to life? Or a leader who has recently started an organization to do just that?

If so, apply for an Echoing Green Fellowship. You could receive up to $90,000 in seed funding and support to launch a new organization that turns your innovative idea for social change into action. Think about it... How often does an offer like this come along?

Echoing Green is a great organization run by Cheryl Dorsey. Launched in 1987, its mission is to spark social change by identifying, investing in and supporting the world's most exceptional emerging leaders and the organizations they launch. Through a two-year fellowship program, the group is helping a network of visionaries develop new solutions to society’s most difficult problems. These social entrepreneurs are working to close deeply-rooted social, economic and political inequities in order to ensure equal access and help all individuals reach their potential. To date, Echoing Green has invested nearly $25 million in seed and start up grants to over 400 social entrepreneurs

Apply online for a fellowship by December 1, 2006 and you could follow in the footsteps of the founders of Teach For America, City Year, and over 400 other social change organizations. Watch the video here and then find out whether you qualify. Have any questions? Contact Echoing Green's Jeremy Schifeling at jeremy@echoinggreen.org.

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Our Latest Guest Blogger Invites You to Join the Games for Good

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Author: the Inkslinger

We're big fans of the people at GlobalGiving. We love the work they're doing and the results its producing for those in need around the world. So we’ve invited GlobalGiving's own John Heckinger to be a guest blogger. Welcome, John!

Hi, everyone. I wanted to drop in and let everyone here know about our special GlobalGiving Olympics, an event that’s bringing people together to lend a hand to some people who could use the help.

Between October 9, 2006 and October 31, 2006, all projects on GlobalGiving are competing for $75,000 in prizes. In the places where we spend our funds, this is a large and powerful sum.

It could create access to clean water for 250,000 rural villagers in India, where poor water quality is the leading cause of death for children under 5. Or it could save 10,000 people from treatable illnesses at health clinics across Sub-Saharan Africa, where 25,000 die each day from such diseases. Or it could lift 250 families out of poverty in Kenya, where 13 million people live on less than $1/day.

The big question is who gets to decide who gets the prizes and what good gets done. The answer is everybody in the world. That’s because anyone anywhere can come to the GlobalGiving Olympics and vote by making a donation. The GlobalGiving project that generates the most donations will receive the $50,000 grand prize. The choice is in everybody’s hands.

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It's the Shoes

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The Blackspot V2's are out and are pretty darn comfortable. Adbusters has done it again...check it out.
WR

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