Innovations Feed

Green Collar Jobs in LA

Drum Major Institute:

Green collar jobs: the elusive key to revitalizing our country’s industrial and manufacturing base while reducing our environmental impact. The term gets bandied about quite often, but the reality is that these types of jobs are rare. And if green collar jobs are going to bring about the American industrial renaissance and create high-quality jobs, all levels of government are going to need to take some steps to encourage and incubate this new sector of the economy. Los Angeles, more than any other locality, seems to be taking some of these steps. LA Mayor Villaraigosa and some members of the City Council were recently reported to support a proposal for the city’s Department of Water and Power, a public utility that supplies electricity to approximately 3.8 million Los Angelenos, to greatly increase the amount of solar electricity that the agency produces.


Many online philanthropy sites want to be "the eBay of philanthropy." Here is one that wants to turn social change agents into the equivalent of rock stars with their own backers, fans, and funding.  A post about it here at TriplePundit. As for the business model, for profit and proud of it:

We believe that business can help us save the world – that’s right, good ‘ole capitalism. On Changents, good corporate citizen companies are able to connect with the freshest group of conscious consumers on the Internet. We understand that Changents members increasingly make purchase decisions based on what they know about a company’s commitment to social responsibility. Our commitment to the Changents community is that they will only see messages on this site from companies that are committed to ethical behavior, giving back or whose groundbreaking initiatives are having a material impact on changing things for the better. (In case that was too subtle, green washers need not apply.) In particular, we welcome companies that have been vetted and favorably rated by reputable third parties like KLD, Calvert, CRO Magazine and so on. The point is that when you see an ad on Changents, you know you’re in the good company of good companies.

Prostitute Auctions Sex for Charity


"I've already auctioned off the 27 hours of love," Maria Carolina told Reuters on Wednesday, saying she had raised about $4,000. "One of my clients already paid. It seemed like a good deed to him."

....Speaking about Maria Carolina's unusual donation, campaign organizer Mario Kreutzberger said he would not encourage "immoral" activities, but said he would accept her pledge.

A funny story, sure, and one that sheds some rueful light on what Lucy calls embedded giving.  But who am I as a born again prostitute turned morals tutor to get all moralistic? Candidia funds us all. And I am glad she does. I need the money.

Global Giving Guaranteed

Dennis Whittle via:

Starting today, if a donor is not happy for any reason with his or her experience on GlobalGiving, he or she can get a refund. The refund comes in the form of a voucher the donor can use to give to any other project he or she wishes.

In store credit? Wish the Baptists would do that with the tithe. I have been paying it regular and I am no better than when I started. My wife says I have only gotten more insufferable. I want the money, though, not some in-Church credit. Plus interest. And some compensation for the time I wasted.  They make big promises, but I want results. You call this "born again"?



(pronounced MAT-tee-em) derives its name from the ancient Egyptian symbol, Maat, that represented truth, balance, justice and reciprocity. The company's name was changed from its beta stage name FreePledge to Maatiam to better reflect our philosophy of balancing consumption and charity.

Buy through retailers at normal price, and part of the purchase price goes to the nonprofit of your choice. 

Beyond Success, by Randy Ottinger

Ottinger Randy Ottinger, of LMR Advisors, has written a book, Beyond Success, that is both an expression of his personal journey and also a map of the rapidly evolving philanthropic field. As a personal testament, you can see in Randy's work a yearning he shares with many Boomers: to have a decent life, making good money, but also to make a difference for the betterment of others. As the son of a Senator, as co-chair of his family's foundation, as a Harvard MBA who worked with Anita Roderick to launch the Body Shop, as a financial executive services, as an executive in high tech companies, and now as a social entrepreneur in his own right, Randy has the background to see the field as a whole, as if from a birdseye view.  He has also done lots of research, not only reading books and articles, but interviewing leading players in the field. (And, he interviewd me.) Randy understands the financial side of wealth transfer planning and how that fits in financial firms. He understands the family foundation world. He also understands the importance of social impact for philanthropic dollars. He understands how intricate are the mechanisms connecting grant to outcome.  He also understands the new double-bottomline hybrid structures, combining features of both for-profit and non-profit. Most importantly, he sees how these elements fit into a system, or ecosystem. For that his book provides an excellent overview or map.

For those familiar with the territory he maps, Randy provides two "new things."

  1. Milken's Approach To Philanthropy: Randy shows how Milken has created a community, or marketplace of ideas, around his cause, prostate cancer, bringing the players into communication with one another, improving information flows and knowledge management, evaluating work being done, attracting new money beyond Milken's own, directing money to leading work, and, in the end, creating real solutions that have had a measurable impact on the cause. Randy sees this as a repeatable success story, and is mining what worked for Milken for transferable best practices.
  2. Predictions: Randy ends with predictions. He is in a better position than almost anyone at this point to "see over the horizon." Based on the book and a call with Randy this morning, I would say that what Randy sees are several mutually reinforcing trends:
    • More Boomers will want a little meaning with their money, but want the money too.
    • Financial firms will seek out legacy planning as a differentiator to attract and retain meaning-hungry clients.
    • Financial firms and advisors will struggle with the meaning piece because they are product driven, deal driven, and driven to retain assets under management, while giving can defund accounts managed by advisor and firm.
    • More issues areas will find a strong center as with what Milken has done. Those field centers will attract more and more attention and more and more resources.

If you are following the giving field or hope to lead in it, or contribute to it, read Randy's book for the "state of the game."

One caveat from my own eccentric perspective, on the margins, a view from a Dumpster by one for whom Success seems a distant and ever receding, indeed delusory, prospect: When St. Paul made his journey, on the road to Damascus, the lightning bolt unhorsed him, and struck him temporarily blind. He experienced a total mind shift (metanoia), and he repented of his earlier ways. The net result was that he went from Success to Significance, as a writer of the Gospels. He was martyred under Nero,  crucified head down. 

My point: Venture Pilgrim! Please don't go too far on your journey beyond success without first engaging a Fool as your constant companion.  Those who would find themselves must lose themselves, as the Bible says. To do that you need "a guide who has at heart only your getting lost," as Robert Frost said in "Directive. "  Sadder and wiser sometimes go together.  Wisdom is often born in "brokenness and surrender."  Milken's road to philanthropy went by way of his own prostate cancer, and was preceded by a career disaster, including jail time.  The meaning thing in our society still needs work. Tragedy as well as comedy, satire as well as hagiography, treat of these themes. "Many are called," as someone said, "and few are chosen." Those untouched by the call to selflessness should be grateful.  I would rather have been lucky than wise, and have turned out to be neither.  On my own Fool's Errand I skipped a step, chasing the ever-elusive Meaning from youth to old age, walking right past Success along the way.  O! What a Fool am I! Wish I had gone for the MBA and left meaning to the Philanthropists.  Even if I had found Meaning, at my age, without a spare million what good is it going to do me? So I must read books like Randy's with a certain bittersweet smile, a sorry Fool, indeed.

Really Simple Social Action (RSSA)

RSSA is a model for connecting people, ideas, and activities at a large scale. It is based on the model of RSS that allows sites to create web feeds of their content that can be then collected by aggregators into a common feed. RSSA is an enabling technology to allow diverse sources on the web, such as blogs, email signatures, videos, web sites, podcasts, wikis, television and radio broadcasts, etc. to attract attention to a common Activity Space. As people and agents interact, their Activity Stream is recorded so that others may see what is being done.

Legacy Planning for Your Blog

From a comment on another, somewhat less reputable, site,

Maintaining your web presence beyond your demise, if that is important to you, should be provided for in your estate plan.

But leaving an unfunded request for blog immortality will only go so far. Would a life insurance policy be in order? Sean? Any other ideas from a tactical perspective? What would be an appropriate size bequest to keep a blog online forever? (In my case, I would also like to leave an endowment to support at least 1,000 daily readers of my old posts. They could be in India or wherever as long as they read English.)