The application process for the ROI Summit is simultaneously one of the best and hardest times of the year for me – best because it reinforces the incredible young Jewish talent coming of age in communities around the world; hardest because I’m reminded that the Jewish world still does not have enough compelling opportunities to nurture all of it. Until we do, far too many young Jews who want to contribute to strengthening the Jewish future will be told “no, but” rather than “yes, and.” Faced with a negative response, many will choose to focus their time and talent elsewhere – a loss for them and for our community. Read More »
For Immediate Release
Roben Kantor Smolar, Communications Director, Schusterman Philanthropic Network / 847-226-3358 / firstname.lastname@example.org
ANNOUNCING UNREASONABLE@STATE: A GLOBAL GATHERING SET TO EXPLORE THE CONVERGENCE OF STARTUPS, POLICY, TECH, INVESTMENT AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Boulder, Colorado – April 25, 2012 – On May 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of State, Stanford’s d.school, Unreasonable Group and the Aspen Institute will co-host a global gathering of influential policy makers, designers, entrepreneurs, investors and development practitioners. The goal? To explore how and why entrepreneurship and design-thinking, a methodology for innovation, are key to solving some of the biggest challenges of our time.
According to the founder of Unreasonable Group and co-host of the event, Daniel Epstein, “This event represents a convening of black swans and wayward thinkers. Those playing at the nexus of technology, investment, international development and startups will come together to collaborate on putting a dent on issues like global poverty, famine and climate degradation.” He goes onto explain that “this gathering wouldn’t be possible were it not for the creative bravery exercised by Unreasonable’s partners at Barclays, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network and UNICEF who have come together as a catalyst for an event unlike any other.” These organizations are Unreasonable’s Cornerstone Partners for the gathering.
According to Thomas Debass, Deputy Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the U.S. State Department, “The gathering on May 1 will unite a potent mix of global startups, policy makers, investors and development practitioners who are coming together to explore the role entrepreneurs can play in addressing some of the key challenges of our time through ventures that combine social benefit with business opportunity.”
The main event will showcase 15 startups operating in over 30 countries; highlight the State Department’s efforts to support entrepreneurs; and offer insights from Unreasonable at Sea’s global experiment as a startup accelerator having sailed over 25,000 nautical miles and into 13 countries in just over 100 days. A panel discussion on “Why Entrepreneurship Matters” will be led by USAID’s Chief Innovation Officer Maura O’Neill and feature Jeff Hoffman, Founder of Priceline; Kudo Tsunoda, Head of Innovation at Xbox; Valerie D’Costa, Program Manager of the World Bank’s InfoDev; and Jonathan Ortmans, President of the Global Entrepreneurship Week.
There will be additional workshops on the second day of the gathering that are designed with a healthy “bias toward action,” according to George Kembel, the co-founder of Stanford’s d.school and “co-conspirator” of Unreasonable at Sea. “After having sailed around the world working with creative communities in 13 countries, we are now eager to build new investment vehicles and to collaborate with leadership to re-think education, healthcare, diplomacy, aid and development.” A select team from Stanford’s d.school, along with Kembel, will be facilitating design-thinking workshops at Google’s Washington DC office. There will also be a private investor gathering at the Aspen Institute focused on accelerating the flow of capital into startups solving difficult social, environmental and planetary problems.
Epstein goes on to emphasize, “The deal flow at the investor gathering and the companies who take the stage at Unreasonable@State will be uncommon and incredible.” Collectively, the 15 startups participating have already raised tens of millions of dollars and are generating millions more in revenue. They have been selected from well over 1,000 applications from just shy of 100 countries. Beyond profits, they are impacting millions of individuals directly with their technologies and have achieved operational scale in over 30 countries and 5 continents. Their expertise ranges from astrophysicists, to artificial intelligence, to biological, mechanical, software, medical and electrical engineers, to industrial designers, scientists, doctors and operational masterminds.
According to Epstein, “What unites them is a shared belief that their technology will help define progress in our time and a common eagerness to scale globally.” He continues, “We believe Unreasonable@State is an event that can take their efforts to the next level and we hope the world will join us.
The Unreasonable Group’s Cornerstone Partners include Barclays, the Schusterman Philanthropic Network and UNICEF.
“Whenever great minds intersect with great ideas, the potential for positive change is immense,” said Sanford R. Cardin, President of the Schusterman Philanthropic Network. “Unreasonable@State is one of a growing number of opportunities for world-class intellects and visionaries to gather, share with and learn from each other in a setting designed to inspire creative disruption. We are confident that Unreasonable@State will produce important outcomes and partnerships, and we are pleased that through our support for Unreasonable, members of our global network will be adding a distinctly Jewish dimension to the conversation.”
Schusterman is a global philanthropic enterprise that supports and creates innovative initiatives for the purpose of igniting the passion and unleashing the power in young people to create positive change for themselves, in the Jewish community and across the broader world. Its partnership with Unreasonable is part of a broader strategy to invest in young social entrepreneurs who can develop new solutions to longstanding challenges. Included in the Schusterman Philanthropic Network is the ROI Community, a global network of more than 800 Jewish innovators in 50 countries who are creating new ways to engage more people in Jewish life.
For details and to register for the events visit www.unreasonableatstate.com/register
Congratulations Jeremy Balkin! Jeremy, an ROI Community member from Sydney, Australia, was recently selected for The World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders Class of 2013 for his Give While You Live Initiative.
Give While You Live seeks to inspire wealthy people to give philanthropically during their lifetime. It began in 2005 as an educational tool for people with the means to give substantially and has since developed into a major fundraising vehicle
Team Schusterman spoke with Jeremy about his “Give While You Live” initiative. We also found out what makes him such as excellent leader, what inspires him and if he were a superhuman, what power he would have. Read More »
We are excited to congratulate Jeremy Balkin, an ROI Community member from Sydney, Australia, on his selection for The World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders Class of 2013. Other honorees include Chelsea Clinton, Randi Zuckerberg, William James Adams (aka will.i.am) and Nate Silver.
Balkin’s “Give While You Live” initiative seeks to inspire wealthy people to give philanthropically during their lifetime. It began in 2005 as an educational tool for people with the means to give substantially and has since developed into a major fundraising vehicle. Read More »
Jake Sharfman, Puder Public Relations Office: 212.558.9400 | Cell: 248.318.1072 | Israel: 077.444.7158 (ext.1) | Jake@puderpr.com
Tamar Fox | 773-744-7204 | email@example.com
Roben Smolar | 404-745-9482, ext 5 | firstname.lastname@example.org
HAGGADOT.COM LAUNCHES A CAMPAIGN FOR PASSOVER TO CREATE CROWD-SOURCED HAGGADAH
The Neverending Haggadah is a partnership with Schusterman Philanthropic Network to encourage people to personalize their Seders
Los Angeles, CA—March 12, 2013 – Every year, Jews around the world gather at the Seder table to re-tell the story of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. While some still reach for the same standard Maxwell House Haggadah, increasingly people are personalizing their Seders by developing their own custom creations. At the forefront of this movement is Haggadot.com, an online platform that allows people to curate and publish haggadahs.
This year, Haggadot.com has joined forces with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network to crowd-source a modern-day haggadah using Haggadot.com’s first-of-its-kind group collaboration tool. Over the next two weeks, up until the first night of Passover on March 25, individuals, groups and organizations are invited to contribute content to and download The Neverending Haggadah. Learn more here.
“Our group collaboration tool is a new feature on Haggadot.com that we are excited to share just in time for Passover,” says Eileen Levinson, an artist who founded Haggadot.com in 2011. “It allows multiple users to subscribe and contribute to one collaborative haggadah. To pilot this new technology, we asked the Schusterman team to help us reach out to their partners, friends and allies. We look forward to seeing the conversation that unfolds as people around the world contribute to The Neverending Haggadah.”
On March 13, at 1:00 pm EST, Haggadot.com and Schusterman will host a free webinar for users who want to learn how to host a more interactive Seder by curating their own haggadahs. For more information and to register for the webinar, click here.
Currently Haggadot.com has more than 230 contributors who have added a total of 1,500 pieces of content.
Haggadot.com works like an interactive scrapbook. Users can login, upload personalized texts, graphics and audio and video content, and mix and match pieces from other contributors to create a standard 15-part Haggadah that fits their unique interests. Haggadot.com’s intuitive user interface and design makes the process simple.
In addition to essays, commentary and poetry, Haggadot.com offers artwork, music and multimedia content. Among the clips on Haggadot.com, users will find:
- Passover yoga poses co-existing with selections from a traditional haggadah from the 1500s;
- Options for Ashkenazi and Sephardi families that include both traditions in one haggadah;
- A haggadah with the central theme of the Four Children, combining artwork, a game, a ballad and a lecture by Rabbi Benjamin Englander; and
- A haggadah featuring poetry by A. E. Housman, Langston Hughes and Yehuda Amichai’s ruminations on the Seder’s popular concluding song, “Chad Gadya” (One Goat).
Seed funding for Haggadot.com was provided by the ROI Community, a member of the Schusterman Philanthropic Network, and the Natan Fund. Haggadot.com was also among the nine recipients selected for the pilot Jewish New Media Innovation Fund, a partnership between the Schusterman Foundation, Righteous Persons Foundation and Jim Joseph Foundation.
“Innovative initiatives like Haggadot.com ensure that Jews all over the world are more than passive participants in our rich heritage and traditions,” says Lynn Schusterman, Co-chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network. “They enable us to take an active role in shaping our personal Jewish journeys.”
As part of its broader efforts to strengthen the Jewish future, the Schusterman Philanthropic Network provides young Jews with opportunities to create meaningful Jewish experiences and communities in their own image. This initiative is part of Schusterman’s celebration of 25 years of working to empower young people to create change for themselves, in the Jewish community and across the broader world.
Learn more and contribute to The Neverending Haggadah here.
Haggadot.com invites Jews of all backgrounds to find their place in the Passover conversation through the seder’s central text, the haggadah. Users can upload, exchange and personalize haggadot gaining simultaneous access to classical texts and contemporary interpretations from their peers, creating more meaningful Passover seders and connective Jewish experiences. www.haggadot.com
About the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network:
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network (CLSPN) is a global enterprise that supports and creates innovative initiatives for the purpose of igniting the passion and unleashing the power in young people to create positive change for themselves, in the Jewish community and across the broader world. CLSPN includes the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Schusterman Foundation-Israel, ROI Community and REALITY.
Every Passover, Jews around the world gather at the Seder table to re-tell one of the greatest stories ever: the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. As much as we love tradition, this year we are giving the Seder ritual a new twist—and we want you to join us!
So, how will this Passover be different from all other Passovers?
Because we are forgoing ye olde faithful Maxwell House Haggadah! We are working with our friends at Haggadot.com to pilot their new group collaboration tool to create an online (and downloadable) crowd-sourced Haggadah. Are you up to the challenge for collectively creating a never-ending Haggadah? This is your chance to share content that will add color and depth to another Seder and also to find content that will make your Seder more meaningful. It’s a Haggadah of reciprocity! Read More »
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Rebecca Langer, Puder Public Relations
Office: 212-558-9400; Cell: 201-280-8966; Israel: 077-444-7158; Rebecca@puderpr.com
THE NATAN FUND AND ROI COMMUNITY ANNOUNCE THE RECIPIENTS OF THE FIRST “NATAN GRANTS FOR ROI ENTREPRENEURS”
4 ROI Community members to receive a total of $37,000 from Natan to broaden the reach and deepen the impact of innovative Jewish projects
Jerusalem, February 4, 2013 – The Natan Fund and ROI Community announced the recipients of the inaugural “Natan Grants for ROI Entrepreneurs,” a new grantmaking partnership dedicated to supporting ROI Community members with innovative ideas for diversifying Jewish life in communities around the world. The grants, totaling $37,000, will be distributed to four recipients hailing from the U.S., Mexico and Uruguay. The new partnership between Natan and ROI Community, a member of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network, was initiated as a way of integrating Natan’s growing group of young philanthropists with ROI’s global network of emerging entrepreneurs and innovators.
ROI Community members from 10 countries submitted a total of 45 proposals to Natan. Through a highly competitive vetting process, Natan members made their selections based on how innovative the projects are at addressing challenges within their respective regions, the strength of the project’s leadership team and how deeply the projects resonated with Natan’s grantmaking agenda. Seven projects advanced to the final interview stage, from which the Natan grant committee ultimately selected four grantees.
The recipients of the first “Natan Grants for ROI Entrepreneurs” are:
- Amy Beth Oppenheimer (United States). Oppenheimer is the Director of Faces of Israel, an educational film that explores Israel as a Jewish state today focusing on questions of Jewish identity, religious pluralism and civil liberties. She received the grant to bring the highly interactive Faces of Israel program, which includes presentation, discussion and film-viewing, into remote communities across the U.S. www.facesthemovie.com
- Fabian Schamis (Uruguay). Schamis is the Executive Director of Punta del Este Jewish Community. He received a grant for Nefesh, a new local school that is the only source of Jewish education and strives to develop new leadership committed to Judaism and the State of Israel. Nefesh is the first program in the region to address the youth and their needs and is already strengthening ties within the local community as well as with other communities in the broader region.
- Isidoro Hamui (Mexico). Hamui received a grant for Merkaba Fest, the first annual Jewish music festival in Mexico. Merkaba Fest aims to create, promote and explore both local and foreign artists and share Jewish culture and music with the greater Mexican society. http://www.ficj.org/
- Robert Saferstein (United States). Saferstein received a grant to expand Friday Night Lights, a series of sophisticated Shabbat dinners for gay Jewish professionals, each highlighting a different charitable organization helping the LGBTQ Community. Friday Night Lights offers new access points into the Jewish community and fosters a genuine interest in long-term Jewish involvement. www.fridaynightlightsevents.com
The Natan Fund generally provides early-stage funding for creative approaches to some of the key challenges facing the Jewish people and the State of Israel today. Its portfolios includes creating new access points to Jewish life, especially for younger Jews who are less engaged with existing communal organizations; strengthening the bonds that connect Jews to one another, particularly across geographic borders; and strengthening Israel’s economy. Its partnership with ROI emerged out of a desire to expand Natan’s grantmaking to very early-stage ideas around the world and a belief that ROI’s rigorously vetted pool of innovators with diverse approaches to strengthening Jewish life would prove to be an excellent network of applicants from which to draw.
“More than just a grant program, Natan’s partnership with ROI is also a way of strategically integrating two networks of dedicated young people who are transforming the Jewish world for the 21st century,” said Felicia Herman, Executive Director of The Natan Fund. “By bringing Natan’s network of young philanthropists together with ROI’s network of young entrepreneurs and innovators, and by creating a dedicated source of funding for ROI members, both Natan and ROI hope to strengthen and enhance each others’ work while collectively having an even greater impact on the Jewish world than either group could have on its own.”
“These grants are a prestigious recognition of the creative, multi-faceted ways ROI Community members are changing the face of Jewish communities around the world,” said Justin Korda, Executive Director of ROI Community. “Our partnership with The Natan Fund is an incredible opportunity to help take these particular projects to the next level and also to foster long-term relationships between emerging philanthropists and entrepreneurs with bold ideas for ensuring a brighter Jewish future.”
About ROI Community:
ROI Community is a global network of Jewish innovators created by Lynn Schusterman. ROI connects dynamic, creative Jews and gives them the tools, support and space to turn their ideas into innovative work that will change the face of Jewish life. ROI Community conferences, gatherings, professional development, mentorship opportunities and financial support empower ROI members as leaders, activists and change-agents in shaping the Jewish future.
ROI is a member of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network, a global network focused on igniting the passion and unleashing the power in young people to create change for themselves, in the Jewish community and across the broader world. www.roicommunity.org
Natan inspires young philanthropists to actively engage in Jewish giving by funding innovative projects that are shaping the Jewish future. Natan believes that educated, engaged, and entrepreneurial philanthropy can transform both givers and nonprofit organizations. Natan members pool their charitable contributions, set the philanthropic strategy and agenda for the foundation, and allocate funds to innovative organizations that are building new vision for the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Through unique educational events and experiences, and through a rigorous, hands-on grantmaking process, Natan is creating an influential, philanthropically-minded community of young Jews dedicated to transforming the Jewish future. www.natan.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Rebecca Langer, Puder Public Relations
Office: 212-558-9400; Cell: 201-280-8966; Israel: 077-444-7158; Rebecca@puderpr.com
INDIEGOGO AND ROI COMMUNITY ANNOUNCE COLLABORATION TO BRING GLOBAL CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM TO NETWORK OF JEWISH ENTREPRENEURS
Marks Indiegogo’s first partnership with a Jewish nonprofit; will provide ROI Community members with extraordinary fundraising tool
Jerusalem, Israel, January 22, 2013 – ROI Community and crowdfunding platform Indiegogo (www.indiegogo.com) announce an exciting partnership aimed at empowering ROI Community members with an extraordinary tool to help raise funds for their projects. Indiegogo enables individuals to raise and pool funds from large numbers of people who share a passion for a new idea regardless of where they are in the world. For example, campaigns on Indiegogo aimed at helping victims of Hurricane Sandy have recently raised nearly 1 million dollars from people across the globe.
The partnership marks the first time Indiegogo has teamed up with a Jewish organization, and in doing so, its crowdfunding platform will be accessed by ROI Community’s global network of more than 800 Jewish innovators in 50 countries. As part of the collaboration, ROI Community will be one of Indiegogo’s featured partner pages, on which all ROI Community member crowdfunding initiatives will be included.
ROI Community members will receive a number of unique benefits by using Indiegogo:
- Discounted transaction fees for donations to their campaigns. ROI Community members will receive a 25 percent discount off of Indiegogo’s usual transaction fees.
- Matching funds from ROI. ROI Community will offer some campaigns matching opportunities of up to $5,000 per campaign.
- Increased campaign visibility. Campaigns affiliated with ROI Community will benefit from increased visibility by being listed on the ROI partner page on Indiegogo.com.
“ROI is thrilled to be partnering with Indiegogo to provide our members with unique access to this incredible platform,” said Justin Korda, Executive Director of ROI Community. “Indiegogo enables members, each with their individual skills and networks, to collaborate and promote joint agendas. It is a significant tool for ROI members who are constantly coming up with creative new initiatives that need seed funding.”
”Indiegogo is excited to add the ROI Community to our portfolio of partners,” said Jerry Needel, Head of Vertical Markets at Indiegogo. “This marks the first time Indiegogo will be working with a powerful Jewish non-profit to empower their global community with the tools to make their ideas and projects come to life.”
ROI Community is a global network of Jewish innovators created by Lynn Schusterman. ROI connects dynamic, creative Jews and gives them the tools, support and space to turn their ideas into innovative work that will change the face of Jewish life. ROI Community conferences, gatherings, professional development, mentorship opportunities and financial support empower ROI members as leaders, activists and change-agents in shaping the Jewish future. ROI is part of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network, a global network of philanthropic initiatives focused on igniting the passion and unleashing the power in young people to create change for themselves, in the Jewish community and across the broader world.
Indiegogo is the largest global crowdfunding platform, empowering anyone, anywhere, at any time, to raise funds for any idea. Since launching in January 2008, Indiegogo has enabled campaigner owners to launch campaigns from every country around the world. With millions of dollars distributed globally each week across the site, Indiegogo is democratizing the way people raise funds for any project – creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related. Indiegogo is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York. For more information, visit www.indiegogo.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/indiegogo and www.facebook.com/indiegogo.
No’a Gorlin is the Director of Strategy and Leadership Development for ROI Community. ROI is part of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network.
In the world of philanthropy, multi-million-dollar grants often grab the headlines. But smaller investments can also make a big difference.
In recent years, micro-giving in particular has grown across a variety of sectors. By taking advantage of platforms like Donors Choose, Kickstarter, Kiva and Indiegogo that have enabled the rise of crowd-funding and the $5 donor, small investments are empowering people who might not otherwise have access to funds, thus enabling grassroots ideas and innovation to spread.
At ROI, we have developed a micro grants program that puts a twist on this growing model. Read More »