Our friends at Shokay [Ventures in Development] are hosting a Yak Around the World Campaign. Just in case you have no idea what that means, Shokay is a socially conscious luxury brand that creates beautiful clothing using yak down fiber. Shokay sources their fiber from Tibetan herders which enables them to "earn a sustainable living while preserving their traditional lifestyle." In August Shokay launched the Yak Around the World Campaign. Twenty-four social changers received a hand-knit baby yak and hat with the question, "What are you doing to change the world today?" Each person/group takes a picture with their baby yak and posts it on the campaign page then sends it to another changemaker. That's where you come in! We want some help deciding who to send it to! Send us your suggestions for changemakers. We'll pick one and send our little yak along on its way.
Recently, I was invited by one of SVG's nonprofit partners to be part of the live studio taping of the popular Chinese show "No Free Lunch" which airs on the Shanghai television station here. If you watch carefully, I make a brief cameo in the audience at about 23:18, wearing black and sitting with one of our SVG donors! The format of the talk show usually targets young Chinese entrepreneurs in a sort of wacky version of American Idol in which contestants are judged on their business models rather than musical ability. In each episode, two contestants go head to head on their particular revenue model and strategy, all while critiqued by a committee of judges led by the "The Boss," an influential entrepreneur in the business world. The committee of judges vote for their choice, but, in the end, the final winner is determined by the Boss. I have long been a big fan of "No Free Lunch" because I really appreciate the sharp and challenging questions raised by the team of judges, especially as I am also working in a startup.
This week Grace participated in a joint Give2Asia/Social Venture Group conference call in which she discussed the current state of philanthropy in China including the impact of the Sichuan earthquake, the role of social enterprises in China, and the current opportunities/needs in China's grassroots nonprofit sector. Listen to the presentation in full below.
Keeping up with all the latest in Chinese philanthropy is now just a tweet away. Crossroads just posted a list of China's "socialpreneurs" that he follows on Twitter. We've reprinted the list below, but he's asked readers to submit more so check back on their site for additions to the list.
the saddle now in Shanghai and heading off again tomorrow to Taipei for
2 weeks. First I wanted to share some takeaways from the fabulous Give2Asia
conference last week in Beijing. Dien and her staff pulled off an
excellent and informative inaugural conference, and I met some terrific
people there. I hope there will be many more such events in years to
For me there were 2 main focal points of the various speakers and panels:
Sam (our Board chairman) sent me this article today in the WSJ about the massive reverse migration that is occurring now as factories are closing and migrants are returning to the rural areas ('China Fears Restive Migrants as Jobs Disappear in Cities'). I encourage you to take the time to read it as it not only highlights a slow reversal of one of the largest human migrations in history, but it also is a foreboding message about brewing social unrest in China. Quite simply, what do you do with millions of unemployed and unskilled migrant workers who return to their farms, farms which were more or less already gainfully employing those who hadn't left? Where can you gainfully employ them, and what value can they bring to China's current economy?