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Terms Of Reference Podcast

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The Terms of Reference Podcast delivers critical, insider information for top performance as a professional or organization in the social impact sector.

The Terms of Reference Podcast delivers critical, insider information for top performance as a professional or organization in the social impact sector.
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The Terms of Reference Podcast delivers critical, insider information for top performance as a professional or organization in the social impact sector.




TOR180: The Global Knowledge Initiative with Sara Farley

You cannot live in today's world without being witness to the power of networks. Networks are all around us and constantly influence us in ways both conscious and subconscious. Immediate family and close friends, global-reaching social networks, professional networks, passion networks... the list of all the networks you're connected to gos on and on and overlaps and intersects in ways that solve problems, create opportunities and catch us in moments of incredible serendipity. So, as you...


TOR179: KopaGas with Dr. Sebastian Rodriguez-Sanchez

I take for granted that I can walk away from my microphone right now, head over to my kitchen and turn on my stove to boil water, bake a cake or cook myself a meal. And, I don't even think about the fact that I have hot water available on demand at any time of the day. I just turn on the tap and its there. This is not the case for millions and millions of people throughout the world. In fact, there is a huge portion of the human population that still relies on burning wood, or charcoal, for...


TOR178 - Ladies Get Paid and Red Bull Amaphiko with Claire Wasserman

Even though we work on hundreds of different issues across a similarly diverse group of settings, I think the argument could be made that the work of the social sector is ultimately focused on creating a world where all humans have equal opportunity to flourish. This is at the base of what we’re doing with programing that seeks to improve financial systems, agricultural practices, environmental protections, health systems and education. And, one of the things we know, unequivocally, is...


TOR177 - The mSTAR project with Troy Etulain of FHI360

If you're an ideas person, no matter what your field or expertise, there is nothing I can think of that is more attractive than a clear, tangible problem in need of a solution. As much as we hate to admit it in the social sector, these types of problems are not terribly common and they are almost never the lowest hanging fruit in a given situation. But in those instances where clear problems in need of solutions are identified, the next most attractive thing to an innovator is funding to...


TOR176 - The International Rescue Committee with Jodi Nelson

The International Rescue Committee is a well known force in humanitarian aid. As the organization has continued to evolve since 1933, they have literally written the book, multiple times, on how to best serve those in need. My guest for today's 176th Terms of Reference Podcast is Jodi Nelson who is IRC's Senior Vice President, Policy and Practice. Jodi has overall strategic and operational responsibility for IRC program technical units – including Research and Evaluation and Global...


TOR175: The SPONGE Project with Sanjay Prasad of IVL

Last week, we dove into an especially practical example of innovating to improve the plight of the agriculturalist. Or, more specifically, those who benefit from their yields. I'm happy that this week we have another agricultural innovation around water - but one that works in a very different way, solving a very different problem. My guest for the 175th Terms of Reference Podcast is Sanjay Prasad. He's working in an area where there is abundant, but very intermittent water supplies....


TOR174 - The Bhungroo Innovation for Agriculture with Trupi Jain of Naireeta Services

One of the things I love most about hosting this podcast is the sheer range of ideas, aspirations and impact I've been lucky enough to listen to over the past three years. In some cases we've talked about a digital future that we can only just now begin to see coming into shape and in others, extremely practical how-did-we-solve-this-problem-today with nuts, bolts and duct tape... and of course everything in-between. Today's show is one of those nuts and bolts conversation. For the 174th...


TOR173 - Patents for Humanity with Edward Elliot

For most of us seeking to innovate in the social sector, solving existing problems in new ways is accomplished by bringing technologies or processes from other sectors to bear on the problems faced by the vulnerable. However, innovators are sometimes also true inventors - devising first of their kind solutions for today's most pressing problems. In these cases, it is not uncommon for the inventor to seek protection for the unique intellectual property contained in their ideas. After all,...


TOR172 - A New Model For Higher Education with Eric Glustrom of Watson

Long ago, in the days of yore, when I was completing high school and looking to what was next, college was the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, as it turned out, following that path put me on a trajectory that would take 3 colleges, many majors and an embarrassing amount of tuition to finally spit me out the other side with a degree. And, here's the kicker, like so many others, when I was newly minted, I still didn't really have a clue about how to engage with the problems I...


TOR171 - The Office Of Transition Initiatives with Stephen Lennon

For many years now - and its just crazy that I can say that about this podcast at this stage - I’ve been saying the social sector is filled with lots of very smart, well educated people who truly want to lift up others in pursuit of greater human flourishing. Almost always, this is a fantastic thing, I mean, having intelligent, thoughtful people on your team is something we all wish for. But, at the same time, something I’ve also noticed over my career is that when we create teams with...


TOR170 - Adding Value To Technology With Indigenous Knowledge with Muthoni Masinde

When you think of innovation, you think about the future, right? At least, that's what I think about. My mind is usually filled with flying cars, holographic displays and a moneyless world. But, I know, that's just the super geek talking. Innovation is really about solving an old problem in a different way. But the reason I bring up the future is that, typically, when I speak to those interested in innovation they are focused on how we use new - sometimes yet-to-be-invented - technologies,...


TOR168: The World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator with Bernhard Kowatsch

When I think of innovating for food, well, I have to admit I’m usually focused on how my family can make dinner something special. Finding a way out of the rut of eating the same food as my children is a pain. But I know, that you know, we’re not here to talk about how I can become an Iron Chef. And indeed, in today’s 168th Terms of Reference Podcast episode, we are here to explore how innovation can be applied to making sure people don’t go hungry. My guest for today’s show is Bernhard...


TOR167: A Strategy For Digital Financial Inclusion with Badal Malick of Catalyst

I know that I take for granted that I am able to perform financial transactions, around the world via a multitude of channels, essentially any time I want. In fact, only because of my lifestyle, my biggest headache comes from a banking system in the US that often flags my non-US transactions as suspect for fraud. Today's episode is about how we can take a look at individuals and businesses on the other side of that coin (yes, another wonderful pun). I'm referring to the vast majority of...


TOR166: Venture Funding For Social Actors With Alix Zwane Of The Global Innovation Fund

Most social sector work, if not all of it at this stage, is driven by some type of results framework that is focused on outcomes. Unsurprisingly, when people (or a government or foundation) give you their money to do some good in the world - they want to know that it actually happens… or, as often happens, at least you gave it your best shot. Underpinning these frameworks are theories of change. In this paradigm, gaps in markets or social contexts are identified by the social actor and then...


TOR165 - Investing In Freedom Of The Press with Harlan Mandel of MDIF

Its taken me a while to figure out how to introduce today’s topic. Not because its totally radical - but rather, because my brain is freaking out that its something I have to introduce in the year 2017. So, I’ve decided the best approach is just to dive right in: Today’s topic is, essentially, freedom of the press. Now, while I don’t spend my day to day life in the United States, I’m definitely an American. And something that is just a part of who I am is an understanding that we need...


TOR164 - The Power and Promise of Open Contracting with Gavin Hayman

How much money did your government spend in 2016? The Government of the United States spent over $3.5 trillion dollars. China threw down $2.8 trillion and the UK just over $1 trillion. Worldwide, governments spent a combined total of $22.7 trillion. My point here is that there is a ton of money being spent by governments around the globe to procure products and services. It would be great to know where exactly all of that money goes, right? I mean, in most of the major economies out there,...


TOR163: Building Leadership In Advocacy with Jamie Bay Nishi of the Global Health Technologies Coalition

Today’s conversation has two themes that I think are important for our listeners. On one level, you’re going to hear about advocating on behalf of health sector innovators, but on another level you’re going to hear about what it takes to pivot a career and take on an entirely new role, in a new sector after almost a decade of dedicated service in another. My guest for today’s 163rd Terms of Reference Podcast is Jamie Bay Nishi. For the past 9 years, Jamie was at DevEx, starting with member...


TOR162 - How Creative Tech Agencies Can Accelerate Social Impact with Sam Applebee of Super Global

For as long as I’ve been in the social sector, there has been a consensus that those organizations who depend mostly on grant funding (whether from government or foundations or private donors) need to find better, and more sustainable ways to partner with the private sector, or more specifically, for-profit companies. The main reason behind this drive is the assumption that the for-profit world has resources and capabilities that can help socially focused programming achieve sustainability,...


TOR161: Supporting The Open Data Movement with Pavel Richter of Open Knowledge International

According to the May 6th, 2017 issue of the Economist, data has officially displaced oil as the world’s most valuable resource. If you’re like me, the most surprising part of this declaration is that its taken until now for it to appear. Data drives the business models of most, if not all, of the world’s most valuable companies, governments rely upon data for safety and security issues and data availability is something so many of us take for granted when we’re driving from our homes to an...


TOR160: Supporting the Economy of Prestige with Kurt Shaw of the Shine A Light Foundation

You’ve heard me lament more than a few times on this podcast about the fact that innovation in the social sector is often times synonymous with technology. We talk a lot about how phones and apps and data are accelerating change and opening up opportunities for those in need. And, of course, being something of a super geek, I admit I love these conversations. But, I’m also aware of this narrow focus, and so, when I get a chance to highlight other forms of innovation, I pounce. The innovator...