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What Happens When You Mix Spirituality And Finance? More Giving

25 Mar

Brent Kessel is the CEO and co-founder of a wealth management firm, but it’s the combination of that with his other beliefs that’s led him to a life of generosity (and a financial company that’s a little different from what you would guess).

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How does one’s spirituality influence their generosity? For Brent Kessel, the CEO and co-founder of Abacus Wealth Partners, 20 years of yoga and meditation practice has affected everything from the firm’s investment philosophy to its culture. His ability to bridge the worlds of finance and spirituality has helped him build one of the country’s most interesting wealth-management firms, which is part of why we’ve selected him as one of our Most Generous on Wall Street.

Born and raised in Apartheid-era South Africa, Kessel witnessed blatant racial and economic inequalities that still resonate and fuel his empathy today. An active Acumen Fund Partner, he recently traveled to East Africa to meet with several of the social enterprises in which they invest. On his January 2013 trip, he visited one company that is enabling micro-entrepreneurs in Nairobi’s slums to buy franchised toilets. By keeping it clean, they earn money to pay off the toilet, and at the same time help reduce the spread of disease. To earn additional revenue that helps keep the cost of the toilets low, the company composts the waste, transforming it into fertilizer using a new technology created in conjunction with the Gates Foundation. In addition to his work with Acumen, Kessel is an avid charity: water supporter, has sponsored two Cambodian children for many years, and has helped raise over $600,000 to help find a cure to Type 1 Diabetes, the disease one of his sons was diagnosed with in 2003.

Click here to read the full article on FastCo.Exist.

How The Impact Of Collaboration Led One Man From Wall Street To The Millenium Development Goals

22 Mar

Jeff Walker was a successful investment banker who focused on giving back while in finance, but then left the industry to give even more of his time, hoping that his collaboration with younger social entrepreneurs would send ripples of giving back throughout the world.

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Jeff Walker is the former chairman of CCMP (the successor of JPMorgan Partners) and philanthropist whose approach to giving is tied to his practical spirituality. Known for integrating business strategies with the nonprofit world, his charitable influence has reached renowned charitable initiatives. Collaboration is his mantra; his career on Wall Street taught him that managing your ego enough to work with others not only makes you more efficient but also increases your creativity and impact.

Click here to read the full article on FastCo.Exist.

How To Design Products For People Making $2 A Day

8 Feb

We’re recognizing game changing careers and inspiring acts of generosity beyond deep-pocketed philanthropy. The Series profiles continue today with Mark Randall,  Most Generous Designer. 

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Proximity Designs is a for-profit design company whose goal is to create products cheap enough–and good enough–that they can be bought by poor farmers, instead of just giving them aid.

 Proximity Designs–led by Debbie Aung Din and Jim Taylor–works to reduce poverty and advance the well-being of rural families in Myanmar, where the Taylors have worked since 2004. They design, produce, and distribute products, like their foot-operated irrigation pump, that are affordable for low income farmers and help to increase their income and productivity. To date, they’ve sold more than 110,000 items to Burmese farmers, using a model of designing and producing tools that are affordable to those making less than $2 a day.

Spreading The Message Of Design For Change

6 Feb

We’re recognizing game changing careers and inspiring acts of generosity beyond deep-pocketed philanthropy. The Series profiles continue today with Mark Randall,  Most Generous Designer. It continues through the winter with most Generous Tech Founders, Wall Streeters, Marketing Gurus and Filmmakers. Follow the series every Monday, Wednesday and Friday  for in-depth profiles of all our honorees.

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Through a program called Design Ignites Change, Mark Randall and Worldstudio are inspiring a new generation of designers and architects to give back.

Worldstudio is a New York City strategy and communications firm that builds bridges between clients and communities to enable positive social change. Mark Randall helped Worldstudio launch Design Ignites Change in collaboration with the Adobe Foundation to support architects and designers who want to make a difference in their communities. He is also the co-founder and chair of Impact! Design for Social Change, an annual six-week summer intensive at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

 Read the full article here on FastCo.Exist. 

Why You Shouldn’t Call Yourself A Social Good Designer

4 Feb

We’re recognizing game changing careers and inspiring acts of generosity beyond deep-pocketed philanthropy. The Series profiles continue today with Robert Fabricant,  Most Generous Designer. It continues through the winter with most Generous Tech Founders, Wall Streeters, Marketing Gurus and Filmmakers. Follow the series every Monday, Wednesday and Friday  for in-depth profiles of all our honorees.

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Frog’s Robert Fabricant discusses the work his firm is doing to design new solutions to improve health outcomes in the developing world, but why he never calls it “giving back.”

Specializing in design for social innovation and health care, Robert Fabricant lends his expertise to Frog Design’s initiatives with a global impact. Recently, he has led projects that use technology to combat HIV/AIDS and collaborated with UNICEF to improve maternal and infant health worldwide.

Click here to read the full article.

This Design Firm Only Works on Projects That Give Back

30 Jan

We’re recognizing game changing careers and inspiring acts of generosity beyond deep-pocketed philanthropy. The Series profiles continue today with Rich Hollant,  Most Generous Designer. It continues through the winter with most Generous Tech Founders, Wall Streeters, Marketing Gurus and Filmmakers. Follow the series every Monday, Wednesday and Friday  for in-depth profiles of all our honorees.

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Richard Hollant’s Co:Labs doesn’t just find time for a charitable project now and then. All of its projects focus on making the world better and strengthening the community.

Co:Lab is a design firm that works exclusively with nonprofits, communities, and enterprises committed to social profit. It’s founder and leader, Rich Hollant, helps these organizations tackle big questions that lead to greater awareness, purposeful motivation, and deeper loyalty. The firm’s work (see it above) includes a project to help inspire and integrate the youth of Middletown, Connecticut and work for the Human Rights Institute to show that human rights are a universal issue. Committed to developing youth engagement in his community, Hollant has also co-founded the platform Giv2, a place where teen volunteers can give back, too.

Click here to read the full article on FastCo.Exist.

Two Architects Reinvent The Hospital To Prevent Infections

25 Jan

We’re recognizing game changing careers and inspiring acts of generosity beyond deep-pocketed philanthropy. The Series profiles continue today with Michael Murphy & Alan Ricks,  Most Generous Designers. It continues through the winter with most Generous Tech Founders, Wall Streeters, Marketing Gurus and Filmmakers. Follow the series every Monday, Wednesday and Friday  for in-depth profiles of all our honorees.

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Mass Design created a Rwandan hospital that drastically cut down on disease transmission.

As grad students, Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks accepted the challenge of using architectural design to address major world health issues like reducing disease transmission in Rwandan hospitals. Since opening their first hospital in that country’s Burera District, the area has seen the most drastic drop in infant mortality of anywhere in the world. Now they’ve formed Mass, to tackle all sorts of problems associated with health worldwide.

Read the full article here.

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