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Year: 2014

We hosted an epic celebration last month as part of The Feast Worldwide, a global movement of dinner parties to move the world forward. With 30+ cities involved, we couldn’t be more excited to highlight their stories, conversations and big ideas for change in a series made possible by Feastly.

We were thrilled to have Maria Rodriguez of Byoearth host the event at Chamba, a unique co-working space with the ethos, “Many Dreams, One Location.” The dinner focused on progression through education, and invited in speakers Karla Ruiz CofiñoTono Aguilar and María Kalschtmitt to share their work.

Whether exploring how to create jobs for stronger economies or how to further skills-based learning, they gathered an incredible group of people around the vision of making Guatemala City great. Check out the photos below!

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A big, big thank you to the local partners who made the dinner possible: Grupo Creative, Make It, Yo Amo Gua, Banco CHN and Distribuidora Alcazaren.

We hosted an epic celebration last month as part of The Feast Worldwide, a global movement of dinner parties to move the world forward. With 30+ cities involved, we couldn’t be more excited to highlight their stories, conversations and big ideas for change, in a series made possible by Feastly.

Here’s a quick look at a few awesome moments from Nairobi, led by Brenda Wambui and Mark Kaigwa. Enjoy!

Nairobi
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Nairobi

Check out more photos on Facebook here, or give a shout-out on Twitter to Brenda Wambui and Mark Kaigwa for a stellar job! 

In Nairobi? “Like” The Feast Worldwide, Nairobi page to stay in the loop.

This is cross-posted from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy blog by Meredith Lee, Rafael Lemaitre, and Brian Forde.

On October 10 – 11, technologists, entrepreneurs, and innovators across the public and private sectors participated in the first Civic Hardware Hackathon for Disaster Preparedness in support of the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative. Co-hosted by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), The Feast, IDEO, andIntel, the two-day event focused on creating and refining solutions to empower the disaster resilience community and survivors with critical information and resources.

First announced by DHS S&T at the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day on July 29, the Civic Hardware Hackathon was held in Red Hook, Brooklyn – a neighborhood still rebuilding from the impacts of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

From the start, the hackathon organizers shaped the interaction to enable collaboration and to strengthen participants’ insights about end-user needs. After a series of introductory conference calls where civic hackers shared their project goals and challenges, the participants convened Friday morning at the Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation in Red Hook. The hackathon included a Human-Centered Design workshop, a visit to the New York City Office of Emergency Management (NYC OEM), and field testing with volunteer first responders at the Red Hook Initiative (RHI).

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The Civic Hardware Hackathon included hands-on workshops, a visit to the New York City Emergency Operations Center, and field testing with volunteer first responders at the Red Hook Initiative Community Center.

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Soldering stations were used to prototype sensors and other devices.

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A “pop up” classroom built in a shoebox for the hackathon.

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A Red Hook Initiative Local Leader and Emergency Medical Technician shares the Civic Ninja “Citizen Power Brigade” prototype with neighbors during the hackathon.

Here are some ways these hardware innovators are working to make American communities more resilient and prepared for disasters:

In addition to these teams and the event co-hosts, participants included The Rockefeller Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Millennium Challenge Corporation, SparkFun Electronics, littleBits, 3DSystems, Microsoft, DoGoodBus, NYC OEM, RHI, and the American Red Cross.

From off-the-grid messaging using off-the-shelf components, to crowdsourced data and open hardware, the event emphasized community resourcefulness and capabilities that could be sustained under harsh conditions. Robin Reid, Brooklyn resident and hackathon mentor, noted:

“Participants were challenged to question their assumptions and see the big picture impact in addition to putting in the hours to get the hardware to work.”

As Laura McLaughlin from Cascade Designs commented:

The event brought together creative and open-minded people willing to roll up their sleeves to help, plus compelling real-world challenges – a recipe for collaboration and creativity.”

Coverage of the event can be found by following the hashtag #disastertech on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets.  In addition, The Rockefeller Foundation has sponsored a platform, Feast Connects, to enable continued collaboration. Participants will be able to share ideas, open source code, data, and open hardware designs to allow the community to build on progress made at this year’s event.

Meredith Lee is AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.

Rafael Lemaitre is Director of Public Affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Brian Forde is Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

We hosted an epic celebration last month as part of The Feast Worldwide, a global movement of dinner parties to move the world forward. With 30+ cities involved, we couldn’t be more excited to highlight their stories, conversations and big ideas for change. First up is Auckland, in a post by Jemma Field of the Auckland organizing team. Take a look!

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Last Thursday, Auckland was home to an epic event – The Feast. For the third year in a row, the Curative and innovate change troupe was super proud to be able to put together the Auckland hub of the New York-based initiative, and… it was my first time to get involved. As the newest addition (of a little more than a week) to Curative and innovate change, I was super enthusiastic, excited and perhaps a teeny bit nervous about being part of production team for The Feast. But in good ole fashioned novice style, I jumped in boots and all. The whole purpose of The Feast is to bring a community of people together, who are committed to making positive social good in their various industries. There’s a challenge. There’s food. There’s wine. And, there’s much talk and many laughs.

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This year, we set the challenge “how to create big change in large organisations”, and gathered together a room of 40-odd innovators, thinkers, changers and doers. We brainstormed around how we might be able to disarm the bureaucratic measures that often bar the road to change and development in big businesses. Some seriously inspiring, original and uplifting ideas were generated. We also whipped up some “progressive” poems and shared them aloud. It wasn’t all work though. Our spirited and charismatic host, Lisa Markwick, ensured that everyone remained upbeat. Plus, we were lucky enough to be housed at Lot23. Their awesome, accommodating and creative crew have the enviable ability to completely transform the space in to whatever needs. They also served up a delicious supply of victuals – the pottle of vanilla bean panna cotta topped with thyme shortbread was a personal highlight.

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The night was one of big ideas, ambitious plans and some hard-hitting realism. Whether you were part of the process this year or not, have a roll through the photos that Aria snapped and soak up something of the collaborative energy that characterised the night. AND, Eddy and Jade did a little bit of a magic trick between the main course and pudding… they consolidated all of the ideas into the Insider’s Guide to Change (IGTC), which can be used by anyone and everyone to help keep big (and small) organisations innovating, changing and growing.

A huge thanks to our sponsors AUT and Vodafone for making the night a reality.

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This series is made possible by Feastly, connecting passionate cooks with hungry eaters to offer homemade meals in a cook’s home. Learn more at eatfeastly.com

 

On October 11,  brilliant makers, doers and innovators in 30+ cities gathered for The Feast Worldwide. The goal? To bring together the movers and shakers making Progression a reality in their city and spark new initiatives, conversations, and collaborations.  From Athens to Jakarta, we put our heads and hearts together to move our world forward.

Check out a few of our favorite clips below! We’ll be sharing stories from all 30 dinners over the coming weeks. A very big thank you to Feastly for making our global feast possible. Be sure to check them out for your next dining adventure.

Rio de Janeiro

Organized by the wonderful maestro Rachel Corrêa

Chicago

Organized by the incredible Pilu Sanchez

Nairobi

Organized by the power team Brenda Wambui and Mark Kaigwa


Hungry for more? See photos, tweets and other moments on The Feast Worldwide page. You can also join our newsletter to stay tuned for updates and find a dinner near you by.

Andrew Yang - VFA

The Feast and GLG have partnered to bring you the stories of today’s brightest social entrepreneurs. Global, technology-driven, and nimble, GLG is the world’s largest membership for professional learning and expertise. GLG Social Impact connects social sector organizations with experts across industries and geographies for perspectives and expertise to accelerate the impact of their work, including through the GLG Social Impact Fellowship. Come back to feastongood.com every Monday for a feature on their Social Innovation Fellows.

Andrew Yang is Founder and CEO of Venture For America, an organization that equips the best and brightest college graduates with the skills and experiences needed to become successful entrepreneurs by sending them to start-ups in major cities where the fellows help grow the company for two years. In 2012, Yang met with President Barack Obama as a Champion of Change for Youth Entrepreneurs.

What inspired you to start your organization?

I knew that there were thousands of smart and driven young people who wanted to get into entrepreneurship but didn’t know where to start. At the same time I knew that there were dozens of growth companies all over the country who needed talent to reach their potential. If we could connect these two groups, the value creation would be enormous. I’d also learned myself by working with more experienced entrepreneurs, and I wanted to create that experience for others.

At what point did you realize that your vision and had legs?

I had a lot of confidence in the idea of Venture for America. But being invited to the White House to meet the President in our second year was definitely a good sign

What has surprised you most about being an entrepreneur and building an organization?

The biggest surprise has been the relationships we’ve built and what the organization means to people. You can’t anticipate that.

What has been the biggest catalyst for your project and in what way?

The individuals who bought in and joined the team early on. With the right team you can accomplish anything.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered? Can you recommend any strategies that helped you overcome it?

Non-profits aren’t typically big growth organizations themselves. We’ve overcome that by building relationships with people and institutions that have very high levels of resources.

Is there a basic principle or value that guides what you contribute to the world? What is it and why?

“What drives me is that most people aren’t in opportunities or organizations that bring out the best in them. If you can address that, you can change the world and solve most other problems.”

What is most exciting about the world of social innovation for you? Are there pockets of hidden potential you see?

What are the engines of character in our society today? What forms the values of our young people? There’s the potential for someone to help answer these questions.

In your area of work or interest, what do you think is most needed? How could other entrepreneurs or initiatives contribute to the answer in collaborative or parallel ways?

“We need to genuinely encourage experimentation and failure. Our institutions may talk about it but they don’t reward it at all. Entrepreneurs should be more direct about just how fraught the path is.”

What is your theory of change?

If you put people in position to build something, they’ll take on the challenge and become better people as a result. Sometimes, they’ll even create a few jobs.

What is the long-term vision for your organization and how it impacts the world?

We need to create more disparate paths and visions of success and achievement in our society. If you create value you should be rewarded. If you don’t, less so.

My vision is that more people throughout the U.S. are able to do something much closer to what they’re designed to do without having to overcome a host of external factors and pressures or feel like misfits.

When do you feel you are personally at your best?

I get most excited when I see someone else find an opportunity that helps him or her grow.

If you could give one piece of advice to a budding social entrepreneur, what would it be?

“Sales is going to be a significant part of your role. If that’s not something you’re comfortable with, you might want to find a partner.”

The Feast’s weekly round-up is a mixture of useful information and extraordinary inspirations. Is there something that should be on the next list? Let us know!

 

Can the non-stop tech connectivity make you feel disconnected sometimes? Learn how to balance technology with human interaction for better results.

Creative partnerships often make the most fruitful outcomes for your mission. The clip isn’t new, but this piece resurfaced it to make an important point: “when you let creative people do their thing, you’ll get something good out of it.”

Take advice from those who know best. Clients and people in your community may hold all the answers or ideas you need, you just need to ask the right questions.

An experiment in user experience may just have just found a promising new approach for the tricky world of news and content. Syria Deeply, and now Ebola Deeply, have not only used design to improve engagement and education among masses, but its also exploring new ways forward to stay afloat as a publisher.

Why we should do away with the term social entrepreneur. It’s time the concepts of entrepreneurship and positive impact become synonymous.

How you tell your story can be more important than the story itself. Learn about the single most effective way at telling a compelling story.

Not a morning person? Here are 6 simple things you can do before work to kick-start your day.

Put play into your purpose. Take it from us, just because your company is trying to achieve serious things doesn’t mean its strategy can’t be playful.  Add some well-placed ‘fun’ to your brand.

Need to mix up your daily routine? These suggestions could make you more productive and fulfilled.

Eugenie Teasley Spark and Mettle The Feast GLG

The Feast and GLG have partnered to bring you the stories of today’s brightest social entrepreneurs. Global, technology-driven, and nimble, GLG is the world’s largest membership for professional learning and expertise. GLG Social Impact connects social sector organizations with experts across industries and geographies for perspectives and expertise to accelerate the impact of their work, including through the GLG Social Impact Fellowship. Come back to feastongood.com every Monday for a feature on their Social Innovation Fellows.

Eugenie Teasley is Founder and Chief Executive of Spark and Mettle, a charity that uses coaching, tech and collaborative events to build character strengths, soft skills and networks in young people.

there was a such a stark contrast between opportunities available to affluent young people and those from less privileged backgrounds. The economic crisis was making it a lot worse. I vowed to do something about it…

What inspired you to start your organization?

I had been a teacher in south London, I’d done a Masters in Education at UC Berkeley, and I had worked at inspiring non-profit 826 Valencia in San Francisco. When I returned to the UK in 2009, I felt that there was a such a stark contrast between opportunities available to affluent young people and those from less privileged backgrounds. The economic crisis was making it a lot worse. I vowed to do something about it, however small, and decided to focus on building the character strengths, soft skills, and networks that we all need to succeed and flourish in both work and life.

At what point did you realize that your vision and had legs?

When strangers started to sign-up to volunteer and support the idea within the first few weeks of my posting about it online, I felt I might be onto something. When young people applied to our first leadership development programme, it made me think we might be doing a good thing. And when we had our first chunk of funding through (from the Dulverton Trust) I suddenly felt that I wasn’t going completely insane and that maybe this little tiny potato of an idea could be a real goer.

What has surprised you most about being an entrepreneur and building an organization?

How relentless it is! The responsibility is occasionally overwhelming, but having great support in place (from the likes of my board, advisors, funders and now GLG) makes it a lot more manageable. I am also learning how to put trust in others to lead on projects, while also being present enough to support and guide. But with the responsibility also comes the joy of seeing great successes being had by our young people. Recently one of them, Seyi Akiwowo, has just become the Labour Party’s youngest ever councillor in the London Borough of Newham. Others have found jobs thanks to us. Whenever the admin of building an organisation grinds me down, it’s these moments that build me back up again.

What has been the biggest catalyst for your project and in what way?

It’s a boring answer but funding. The UK philanthropy world is different to that of the US. The pots tend to be smaller, but securing funding to cover our core costs and test out a range of different projects and programmes has enabled us to demonstrate where we make significant impact and to learn what we can do better.
Aside from money, the biggest catalyst is the range of brains that we have in on designing and shaping the work that we do. Our young people co-create programmes and projects with us, which makes them much richer and more relevant and useful. Those development sessions are some of my favorite elements of the job.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered? Can you recommend any strategies that helped you overcome it?

Focus. I love experimenting with different projects to see what works best, and I can sometimes stretch myself too thin. I’ve worked closely with the board recently to make sure that we run projects that cement our core work, and we are developing ways to share our learning and methodology with other organisations so that they can experiment on our behalf!

Is there a basic principle or value that guides what you contribute to the world? What is it and why?

Yes! That it is fundamentally unfair—wrong, in fact—that opportunities in life are available on the basis of your background and circumstances, and that the less privileged you are, the fewer opportunities there are. We believe that everyone has a unique set of strengths and talents that should be allowed to flourish, and our work centres around enabling these to emerge amongst less privileged 18–24 year olds so that they can fulfil their potential and thrive.

it is fundamentally unfair—wrong, in fact—that opportunities in life are available on the basis of your background and circumstances, and that the less privileged you are, the fewer opportunities there are. We believe that everyone has a unique set of strengths and talents that should be allowed to flourish, and our work centres around enabling these to emerge amongst less privileged

What is most exciting about the world of social innovation for you? Are there pockets of hidden potential you see?

I love the blend of social good and generating some form of income—there’s a chance to be self-sustaining rather than to just always seek donations that I find really appealing. I also love what a genuinely collaborative and complementary space it is. It feels like a tribe of people trying to work together to find a new way to have positive impact collectively.

In your area of work or interest, what do you think is most needed? How could other entrepreneurs or initiatives contribute to the answer in collaborative or parallel ways?

We need companies and organisations to think beyond narrow academic parameters and success criteria when looking for new young employees and to embrace diversity in all forms. We also need them to be willing to pay all interns a fair, living wage. Together with other organisations who are also working with exceptional young people from marginalised backgrounds, we can try to create a tipping point when companies are excited to hire diverse young people and to relish the cognitive dissonance they may bring.

We need companies and organisations to think beyond narrow academic parameters and success criteria when looking for new young employees and to embrace diversity in all forms.

What is your theory of change?

Eighteen to 24 year olds from less privileged backgrounds often are not able to articulate, demonstrate or develop the key character strengths and soft skills needed to succeed in both work and life. Our programmes, workshops, and events trigger new ways to recognise, nurture and showcase their talents through a mix of coaching, personal reflection and networking across and among different social groups. Through this process, young people become more confident about what they can bring to the world and are able to identify and move along the next stages of their career plan.

What is the long-term vision for your organization and how it impacts the world?

We want to be the global heavy hitters for the soft stuff, but we want to do that by sharing our approach with the world and seeing how others want to take and use it for themselves. We particularly want to support other organisations working with young people to find neat ways of quantifying this nebulous soft stuff, so that they can show the real impact they are having.

I love being the conductor of the orchestra, helping everyone play their best notes alongside everyone else.

When do you feel you are personally at your best?

Working with a mixed group of people to develop or review a project or programme—that gives me so much energy. Or being in a room full of a cross-section of people—from professional lawyers to recent school-leavers—and setting it up so that they are working collaboratively together. I love being the conductor of the orchestra, helping everyone play their best notes alongside everyone else.

If you could give one piece of advice to a budding social entrepreneur, what would it be?

Set up a CRM database right from the start and if you aren’t a process person, find someone who is who wants to help you! Surround yourself with people who encourage you and who provide useful and constructive challenge. And whenever you get a chance, to take some time off, actually turn off your phone, or at least your email. Your organisation is at its best when you are at your most energetic, and even us idealists need to recharge our batteries every once in a while, too.

The Feast’s weekly round-up is a mixture of useful information and extraordinary inspirations. Is there something that should be on the next list? Let us know!

Do new technologies facilitate or encumber your creative process? Seven speakers give their input.

The best design is adaptive design. This house rises with water levels.

What does parenting have in common with social marketing? This dad sees examples everyday with his 4-year-old.

How do you engage with ‘smart’ products? Our expectations and level of control over these products seem to be changing.

Some say culture beats strategy. Learn how to create a great culture brand in your company from an unlikely source.

New business plans don’t always work. Here are some insights into why and how to make them more successful.

Feel awkward at big networking events? Here are some ways to focus on your strengths and make connections.

Does confidence trump skill? Research says self-confidence plays a crucial role in your career path.

While smartphones are getting bigger, some are going the opposite direction.  A tiny wearable smartphone might become a reality with ‘Puls’ designed by will.i.am.

Is it time to go beyond cross-disciplinary? The MIT Media lab is going a step further than busting silos, it’s not acknowledge them at all. Read why they are going antidisciplinary.

The best entrepreneurs know how to fail. Get tips on how to be good at failing from Kuli Kuli’s Founder, Lisa Curtis on The Unreasonable Institute’s blog.

We had an incredible poem crafted for us by The Haiku Guys for a dance transition at The Feast 2014, led by The Windmill Factory. Below is the full text – read, breathe, and enjoy:

The day is over for us to keep quiet.

We will not let things run their course.
It’s time to sharpen our tools and cut out the poisoned irreparable sections.
Excise the tumors, dislodge the splinters.
It’s time to look at what we can salvage, and dream up fantastic solutions to expand the box.
It’s time we lash together the new beams, and rub sap into the corners.

Every detail remembered.
Every skill tapped.
Awaken every sense.

Take our passion and make it happen. What a feeling, progress.
We learn, grow, adapt.

Our heart beats strong as we make our future…
We will plant flowers along the paths, still moving forward.
We will test weights, build bearings, still moving forward.
We will teach the best paths, call out clearly the steps, moving forward
It doesn’t matter how fast we walk, run, fly…
It only matters.
How many hands and feet. Together we are powerful.

We declare a world in which… People love the work they do.
We declare a world in which… People live well, are well.
We declare a world in which… People thrive in the face of change.

We will create the course.

Today we will be heard.