About Panelists | Sponsors & Community Partners | Special Thanks | Photos
To solve the world's most pressing social problems, entrepreneurs have contributed with innovative solutions in fields of technology, microfinance, and public health. Full Circle Fund was lucky enough to have top leaders from these fields convene in the same room in May.
Nearly 140 members and guests came to Full Circle Fund's event on May 20 network, learn more about our work in the community and hear an inspiring panel of top social entrepreneurs as they imagined the unimaginable.
Jim Fruchterman, President, CEO, and Founder of Benetech, Deb Levine, Founder of I.S.I.S.Inc., and Premal Shah, President of Kiva spoke about the ways their organizations use technology to empower individuals and communities today in ways unimaginable just a few years ago
Watch the video of event by member Matt Heintz
Premal Shah started the panel off by giving us a tour of Kiva’s highly successful model of microlending, which has radically changed the way donors can give to and engage with real people who need loans to help them overcome poverty. Premal stressed that social change technology is not about what the tool can do, but about the potential that can be unleashed.
Deb Levine told us about her route to becoming one of today’s leading experts on sexual health on the internet, and the groundbreaking work of SexINFO, a project of I.S.I.S. and a Full Circle Fund grantee (read more about our grant project by clicking here). She explained that we’ve only scratched the surface of how to use mobile technology to activate and educate communities, and pushed us to think even more creatively and imagine new solutions.
Jim Fructerman pointed out a limiting factor in that there’s no steady funding stream for technology solutions for social issues, without which we are not maximizing the possibilities for innovators to come up with the technology we need. Jim closed with a challenge for Full Circle Fund’s audience - How do we as philanthropists fill that funding gap and inspire new innovation?
Photo|Photos by Michelle Arree Photography and Jaime Reese
President, CEO, Founder, Benetech
Jim Fruchterman has been a rocket scientist, founded two successful Silicon Valley high tech companies in the 1980s and is now a leading social entrepreneur through his deliberately nonprofit technology company, Benetech. Benetech concentrates on applying technology to challenging problems facing our society, including literacy for people with disabilities and human rights monitoring and analysis. Fruchterman has received the MacArthur Fellowship, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and was named a Schwab Social Entrepreneur of 2003, which has included attending and speaking five times at the World Economic Forums in Davos, Switzerland. Fruchterman believes that technology is the ultimate leveler, allowing disadvantaged people achieve more equality in society.
Founder, I.S.I.S., Inc.
Deb has been working professionally on the Internet for more than 12 years. She created Columbia University's award-winning online health question-and-answer service, Go Ask Alice! She was the Director of Programming at ThriveOnline in San Francisco, CA, where she developed sexual health content for AOL and Time-Warner and created the persona of Ask Delilah, a popular online sex advice columnist. She has consulted on numerous other websites, including Planned Parenthood of America's Teenwire, WebMD, and CNNHealth. She is the author of "The Joy of Cybersex: A guide for creative lovers," published by Ballantine Books in 1998. Her work has been cited in former President Clinton's Advisory Report on Education and the Internet (1995). Deb founded Internet Sexuality Information Services, Inc. (I.S.I.S.) in 2001, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and using technology and new media to enhance the sexual well-being of individuals and communities. ISIS' mission is to provide leadership, innovation, educational resources and research in online sexual health promotion. ISIS' award-winning projects include SexINFO, a text messaging service for urban youth; inSPOT, an STD ecard project; and Sex::Tech, the first ever conference focusing on sexual health, technology and youth in 2008.
As President, Premal leads Kiva's efforts to scale its partnerships and member base. Prior to Kiva, Premal was a Principal Product Manager at PayPal, an eBay company. During his 6 year career at PayPal, Premal drove a number of key initiatives including a year long project defining eBay's role in economically empowering the global working poor. A number of corporate initiatives have come out of this effort, including PayPal's support of Kiva. Prior to PayPal, Premal was a strategy consultant at Mercer Management Consulting in New York. Premal has had a long standing interest in microfinance. In 1997, he was awarded a grant from Stanford University to research microfinance in Gujarat, India. More recently Premal co-founded the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network and spent 2 months in India working to refine / validate Kiva's model. In 2006, Premal was a featured speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative and Global Microcredit Summit. Premal graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University.
Sponsors & Community Partners
To Terry Heffernan for inviting us to Dogpatch Studios…Michael Woodward for the tasty catering …John Radovich for the delightful drinks…Christopher Kilday for his beautiful guitar playing…Matt Heintz of AT&T for the videography…Michelle Arree for capturing tonight’s excitement…Michael Hatfield for the A/V…Karen L. Gitter for the useful rentals…Amy Benziger, volunteer extraordinaire…and to all other awesome event volunteers: Kirstyn Bay, Daniel Bayless, Todd Berman, Betsy Flanagan, Ono Ganzorig, Natasha Kazatsker, Cecily Olson, Muzaffer Pasha, Heidi Smith, and Katie Sommer
If you cannot see the photo slide show above, view the photo set on Flickr.