Minnesota

The Bold North

These Minnesota changemakers are part of the problem-solving capital of the new economy. They define what it means to forge north.

Mobile Gaming for Social Good, with Elizabeth Sarquis, Global Gaming Initiative and Jukko

Global Gaming Initiative provides a suite of tools and services to make it easier for game developers and publishers to produce and monetize games for social good. Elizabeth Sarquis was born in a small town along the Magdalena River in Colombia. When Elizabeth was five years old, her family moved to the US. Growing up, she went to school in the US and spent time her summers in Colombia. Elizabeth says “It struck me when I would see children on the streets begging. Then I would go back home, and I would have everything. It didn’t make sense to me.” As an adult, Elizabeth worked in nonprofits focused on children’s…

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The Terrifying, Magical Life of a Social Entrepreneur, with Emily Hunt Turner, All Square

All Square is a craft grilled cheese restaurant and professional institute that breaks down barriers for those with a criminal record. A criminal record can be a barrier to employment, housing, benefits, and voting. With barriers to employment and housing, there is a high rate of recidivism. One study across 30 states found that 67.8% of released prisoners were rearrested within three years of release. Recidivism is a large problem impacting millions of people, including the loved ones of those with criminal records. Nearly one-third of American adults have been arrested by age 23. Arrests fall disproportionately on men of color. One out of every 106 white men is behind…

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Launching Minority-Led Tech Startups with Mondo Davison, The Black Tech Guy

Mondo Davison, known as “The Black Tech Guy,” is on a mission to inspire a generation of black youth to pursue a life in tech. African-Americans make up a little more than 11 percent of the US population. Yet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, only 2.1% of businesses with at least one employee were owned by African-Americans. In the tech sector, the statistics are worse. According to CB Insights’ data on VC investments, only 1 percent of VC-funded startup founders are black. Mondo Davison, known as “The Black Tech Guy,” is trying to close that gap. When Mondo was a child, people would ask him…

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Create a Better World through…Paperwork? Rachel Armstrong, Farm Commons

Farm Commons empowers farmers to rewrite farm law by and for themselves. Rachel Armstrong knew exactly what she wanted to do when she grew up. She wanted to be a farmer, just like her father and her grandfather. “Respecting where food comes from was part and parcel to my childhood, Rachel explains. But she received some important advice. “I changed my mind a little bit when my mother said, ‘That’s a terrible idea.’” Rachel knew the realities of agriculture. “The farming life is very difficult…Rural people are disadvantaged in so many ways.” So, she did as so many farm kids did. She went away to college. But a funny thing…

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Community Feasts for a Cause, with Emily Torgrimson, Eat for Equity

Eat for Equity is building a culture of generosity through sustainable community feasts. In the early 2000s, Emily Torgrimson was a college student on financial aid. She lived in a cooperative house in Boston with 24 people. “We always came together around food,” she recalls. “The kitchen was the hub of the home.” During Emily’s senior year, Hurricane Katrina struck the southern US coast. Not only was Katrina one of the costliest and deadliest storms in US history, it also uncovered financial and racial inequities. Emily wanted to do something, but, she says, “I had no money to give. So, I wondered what kind of difference I could make.” Because…

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Fair Trade Coffee from Smallholder Farmers, with Lee Wallace, Peace Coffee [ENCORE]

NOTE: This is an encore presentation of an episode that first aired on July 11, 2016. Advice from Lee Wallace is featured in the book, Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs. To hear the original, extended interview, go here: https://tonyloyd.com/096.   Smallholder farmers grow more than half of the coffee consumed worldwide. Imagine if you will, that you are working at a non-profit in Minnesota, focusing on public policy. The phone rings, and the person on the other end says “Hello. This is the Port of Los Angeles. We have 38,000 pounds of green coffee with your name on it. How would you like to…

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A Social Enterprise with a Radio Show at its Heart, with Krista Tippett, OnBeing [ENCORE]

NOTE: This is an encore presentation of an episode that first aired on March 14, 2016. Krista Tippett is featured in the book, Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs. To hear the original, extended interview, go here: https://tonyloyd.com/057. You can find a transcript of the conversation with Krista Tippett here.    When I sat down with Krista Tippett of OnBeing to interview her for Social Entrepreneur, she told me some stories that she has told before through her books, award-winning radio program, and her many public appearances. However, she also talked about the back stories, the inner workings of her social enterprise. “We have not really…

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Katrina Klett: Elevating Honey in China

Elevated Honey Co is dedicated to preserving traditional Himalayan beekeeping methods to produce the world’s purest honey.   Katrina Klett moved to China nearly a decade ago to study languages. While there, she found her true calling there as a beekeeper. She’s now turning that vision into a business as a social entrepreneur. Katrina is the CEO of Elevated Honey Co, a small honey company in southwest China that is passionate about helping farmers connect to better markets through supply chains. The company works with a rare native Asian honeybee species that produces a smaller amount of honey than bees in the U.S. As such, the honey is rare and…

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Making Technology Fun, Relevant, and Accessible for Girls, with Betty Gronneberg, uCodeGirl

uCodeGirl offers pathways to technology careers for teen girls by tapping into their curiosity, skills, and potential. Betty Gronneberg grew up in Ethiopia. She attended Addis Ababa University where she majored in statistics. Betty recalls a day in college when she saw her name on a list of students who had been accepted into the new Computer Science track. She was one of two female students on the list. This was 1991. The “world wide web” had not yet been invented. Betty learned to write simple programs in BASIC, an early computer language. Betty’s experience grew rapidly as the internet began to spread. She became a country-wide email administrator for…

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