sxsw popexpert salon: Bet on People Doing Good Things


Cameron Sinclair and Blair Palmer partnered up for an inspiring discussion on social entrepreneurship and how to balance funding and functionality in order to make positive social impact on a global scale.

Both Cameron and Blair have amazing experience and we packed the bus with other key leaders in the “social good” space.

An interesting theme emerged from this Salon that ended up being repeated in several others – a lot of us are recognizing the need to do something meaningful with our careers and are taking the leap from the corporate world’s profit-focused stability to pursue work that serves a “higher purpose.” But, as Blair and Cameron discussed, we are starting to see that doing good can also be good business.

Here are some highlights:

  • “It’s not about inches in the NY TImes. I care about conversations…We need to make people part of the conversation and connect each story to action.”
  • “A big problem in doing good is that the lowest common denominator is as good as the best project when it comes to the way metrics are typically reported.”
  • “There is a professionalization gap in developing countries where we help the cute kids but forget people when they get to the awkward teenage years.”
  • “Anybody can help. 50% of our disaster funding for Architecture for Humanity is from high school students.”
  • “We’re giving people tools, not necessarily a full solution but tools that people will actually use. One of the biggest failures we see is when you don’t understand your users lives.”
  • “For the Hope Phones campaign, we raise money by partnering with all sorts of corporations. For example, we were able to expand a project in Nepal because those funds covered the hardware costs. As a result, over one hundred community health volunteers are being equipped with mobile applications and solar panels.”

It was refreshing to think about how doing good can also be profitable – thank you Cameron and Blair for such candid and inspiring discussion.

Visit Architecture for Humanity and Medic Mobile to learn more. @casinclair @blair_palmer

sxsw popexpert salon: james andrews on changing the game, how to get your organization onboard with social

The first SXSW popexpert salon led by James Andrews (@keyinfluencer) could not have kicked us off to a better start of transformative discussions.  It was not at all a surprise given the unique ability James has to cut to the heart of connection and influence, evidenced by one attendee’s comment that, “I first heard about James when I saw him on CNN.”

The conversation flowed from health care to music to how large brands like Banana Republic and American Express are starting to engage people who have crafted celebrity through gathering massive Pintrest and Tumblr followers.

Here are a few great quotes:

  • “Using social media, there are key influencers that are able to sell out madison square garden in a facebook post.”
  • “This next generation of kids is using social media and the web to become experts.”
  • “People are starting to take control of their own health using social media and technology to facilitate self diagnosis through connections.”
  • “I believe that anything is possible and that if you help people ignite change they’ll usually tilt toward creating it.”
  • “We work with global philanthropy and look at young adults as levers to create something spectacular.”
  • “Everybody has the opportunity to create community in their own image.”
  • “One of the reasons I came to the popexepert salon is we know these moments are really spectacular.  There is something to be said for creating connections online.  You can’t end community online but you can start building it.  We can transform community in the digital space.”
  • “When everyone has something to give, everybody has a reason to gather.”

A huge thank you to James for bringing together a great group and to all our participants who are experts in their own right! @keyinfluencer @djtakefive @yanivrivlin @ashleyschlaifer @socialdiva @lebaron99 @joeydigital