Tag Archives: Organization

A Podcast Creates A Growth Space for Youth

Current Problem

Gen Z’ers are motivated activists and advocates working on social justice. However, after starting, they lack the network and know-how to accelerate their changes into meaningful community impact. The burden of running an organization dilutes their efforts to spread awareness, while the financial burden of paying for their cause out of pocket can severely hinder their work. 

The Solution: What Cause Inspires You podcast

What Cause Inspires You is a podcast I launched and host, in which students from across the nation share the service they are doing in their communities, be it designing an app and donating blood to sending e-cards to elderly homes or creating an anti-bullying campaign. The podcast is currently booked through March 2021, broadcasting the passionate voices of the next generation’s change-makers. 

After experiencing cyberbullying, I initiated the podcast with the goal of bringing awareness to the issue. I thought, “What better way to educate my peers about a topic close to home than hearing it from a student like themselves?” My episode on cyberbullying was a hit and from there, I had youth from around the nation reach out to me to use my What Cause Inspires You podcast series as a platform to gain traction for their own movements. 

In addition to raising awareness, our scholarship division host challenges to provide monetary awards to students who are making an impact. Students in our most recent scholarship challenge created a one minute video about a cause that inspires them and why. The winner was the youth founder of the organization, Me2U Foundation, who won $1000 to help donate food and hygiene supplies to underdeveloped countries. The winner of our ongoing Flyer Challenge will receive $100 and the opportunity to interview one of our experts on Professional Perspective podcast and gain a lifelong connection. 

The Impact 

Through What Cause Inspires You, I have already helped 35 students from 12 states across the US to build awareness for their causes on a global scale, reaching students, parents, and experts alike on Spotify and Youtube. With a goal to unify our communities, the podcast series helps our audience connect with our speakers to encourage them to be invested in the student organization’s cause, all while educating on important and often under-represented issues. In addition, speakers join an exclusive group of youth leaders where they are given the opportunity to connect and collaborate with one another. 

To further enhance their networks, I have also initiated Professional Perspectives, a sub-series that features interviews with CEOs and experts regarding their insight on social justice, social entrepreneurship, and how to accelerate change. These episodes allow students to connect with inspirational professionals and in return, we have seen real change – student-organizations partnering with CEOs and presenting innovative solutions to long-standing problems. 

My impact with Humanity Rising extends far past the WCIY podcast. I am also the marketing and social media head for the organization, combining my expertise in business strategy and social justice. I lead a team of 20 student volunteers in marketing, analytics, interview operations, and outreach. My interns receive exposure to the hundreds of causes that need our society’s help and gain experience in the social entrepreneurship sector. They incite change in their communities and have already reached 100,000 students globally. 

What the Future Holds

Using What Cause Inspires You podcast, I hope to leverage my personal experience and leadership to empower student organizations with awareness, connections, and financial resources. In the future, the team and I are looking forward to bridging CEO involvement and What Cause Inspires You by providing corporate sponsorships for impactful organizations. To get involved, sign up for our email newsletter, and join the movement towards unity and progress.


Alisha Gupta is the founder and host of the What Cause Inspires You podcast series as well as the Head of Marketing Communications and Outreach for Humanity Rising Ambassador. Contact Alisha at alishagupta2020@gmail.com and @whatcauseinspiresyou.

Break Out of the Outbreak

Though separated by a malfunctioning Zoom dashboard, I could see the passion radiating from youth nonprofit Break the Outbreak when I met the team for the first time. “How can we contribute to our society? How do we make a difference?”, asked Sky Yang, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the group. “It is our responsibility as members of the community to stop the COVID-19 outbreak from spreading and endangering more people.”

More than fifteen teenagers from across the country were constituents of this virtual board meeting, where the team discussed their recent impact on the community, sources of funding, and plans for the future. I found myself nodding with silent pride for my generation. Despite the onslaught of Advanced Placement testing, final exams, and pre-college drudgery, so many students have dedicated their time and tears towards addressing the outbreak — an effort that was thoroughly refreshing to watch. Over the past three months, a handful of teenagers established ten chapters across three states, received thousands of dollars in donations, and collectively distributed more than five hundred masks to local communities. Impressed and slightly intimidated by this nonprofit’s meteoric rise, I decided to chat with the teenagers who made it happen. 

Sky Yang, Founder and CEO of Break the Outbreak

 How did Break The Outbreak begin? Were there any obstacles you faced during the initial stages of founding the organization?

In the beginning, I realized that people don’t have a centralized platform to post about COVID-19 necessities and assistance. Instead, I found hundreds of posts on platforms like Facebook, NextDoor, Reddit, and Instagram. Inspired, I spent three straight days and nights to construct our website — https://breaktheoutbreak.org/.

This was just the beginning. At the time, I still had a few months of school left and managed to recruit four like-minded students from the city. Once I formed a small team, we were on the move — buying supplies, editing the website, and trying to figure out what places needed our help. Eventually, we decided to direct our attention to different stages of the food industry, from farmer’s markets to grocery stores to restaurants.

In April, we partnered with a local Rigatoni’s, and Break the Outbreak took off from there. It was difficult at first. Our operations were small at the time, and we had to finance them on our own. Without a relationship with local establishments, we faced initial rejections from many restaurants. But we persevered and forged a student network with San Ramon. After gaining traction among local farmers’ markets, we expanded in cities like Fremont, Pleasanton, Roseville, Salt Lake City, Chillicothe, Los Angeles, and San Jose. 

 

For our readers who may not be familiar with your cause, could you describe what “Break The Outbreak” does? 

Break The Outbreak is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to donating masks, face shields, and money to local businesses in order to keep them afloat during the current times of global pandemic as well as when the pandemic is eradicated. The meaning behind the title “Break The Outbreak” simply means: breaking out of the current outbreak of pandemic and rising from the rubble it has created. 

Lizzie Davies, Director of Livermore Chapter

Tell us a little more about your group’s experience in making masks? What kind of technology is required? How do you maintain safety and sanitary standards? 

Making masks was actually quite difficult at first. We had many problems with the quality of the masks not being good enough and having to get rid of them. It took us a while to get a small subsection of individuals that would do a good job and produce high-quality masks. We had to learn how to use a sewing machine as well as be meticulous with our work. We couldn’t settle for something mediocre, so often times masks had to be redone to ensure that they were safe enough. Face shields on the other hand were quite easy to make. To maintain sanitary standards, all of the materials are cleaned beforehand — the cloth is thoroughly washed and all shield materials are wiped down with disinfectant. All materials are then cleaned a second time once it has been assembled.

Adithya Krishnaraj, Director of San Ramon Chapter

Here’s a simple tutorial documenting how Break the Outbreak makes their face shields!

Over the course of your time with “Break the Outbreak”, have there been any notable stories about students you’ve worked with or projects you’ve initiated that you would like to share?  

I remember the first time we ever donated and it was at Rigatoni’s in Dublin. I remember that we were pretty nervous in that donation because none of us had done anything like this before and we really didn’t know how to approach it. We just went in and talked to the staff and they gratefully accepted our donations. It was a great feeling being able to donate to people in need and knowing that these donations will help save lives. It was a great day and kicked off our operation as Break the Outbreak. I think the most positive response we’ve experienced has been from Banana Garden in Dublin. When I talked to the owners Luis and Aldo over the phone, they were very encouraging of our operation and were delighted to see us when we arrived to donate. Though we were social distancing and all wearing masks, I could see the happiness on Aldo’s face when we handed him the box of PPE and he got the whole staff to try our face shields on then and there. Luis was very grateful and offered us tokens of their appreciation as well. It was a nice gesture and an enjoyable experience which made us all happy to be part of Break the Outbreak.

Ansh Tripathi, Associate Founder

5) There are millions of adults working ‘round the clock to promote safety and awareness. Why do you think it’s important for young people to contribute to these efforts as well? 

I’ve seen people die due to the virus. I’ve seen people lose jobs due to the virus. I’ve seen companies shut down due to the virus. I want the world to return to normalcy when people aren’t skeptical of each other, when we can sit in classrooms for school, and when everyone isn’t afraid of a global pandemic. Since most young people are quarantined at home doing nothing during these hard times, I think it is important to contribute to society. We can do our part and help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Sam Zhou, Director of Roseville Chapter

What advice can you give other young teenagers who want to make a difference during these nebulous circumstances?  

When people try to tell you that your plan isn’t going to work, you’re too young to make a difference, or your voice is unimportant in a world full of powerful adults, you cannot let their words stop you from moving forward. There will always be people that will try to tell you that you’re either not good enough or you won’t succeed, but if you believe that you will succeed, then you will. Letting people’s harsh words pollute your conscious won’t allow progress to be made. 

Lizzie Davies, Director of Livermore Chapter

Break the Outbreak is a powerful reminder of how initiative sprouts from adversity. It’s the kind of sprawling endeavor that requires a medley of both courage and compassion from its members. It’s evidence that young people want to make a difference, and will.

For more information, follow BTOB on their social media platforms:

Make the movement work! Be sure to contribute to their Gofundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/we-break-the-outbreak

Kanchan Naik is a rising senior at The Quarry Lane School in Dublin, California. Aside from being the Youth Editor at India Currents, she is the 2019-2020 Teen Poet Laureate of Pleasanton, editor-in-chief of her school news magazine The Roar and the Director of Media Outreach for nonprofit Break the Outbreak. Find Kanchan on Instagram (@kanchan_naik_)

World Health Organization: The Lost Genie

Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore US President, Donald Trump. Known for not mincing his words and rarely playing diplomatically, he recently tweeted that, Corona Virus is a very bad ‘gift’ from China to the World. 

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1266014911127306240?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1266014911127306240&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Findianexpress.com%2Farticle%2Fworld%2Fvery-bad-gift-from-china-trump-in-his-latest-rant-on-coronavirus-pandemic-6431932%2F

Whatever Trump says or does makes a difference. He has provisionally suspended the funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) and accused the WHO of being Pro-China, mishandling the Corona Crisis. A few days back he wrote a letter to the Director-General of the WHO, threatening to exit the global organization. 

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.

And now he has finally announced to end US’ relationship with the World Health Organization… 

It is evident in history that whenever any crisis emerges, it challenges all the previously existing structures, organizations, and institutions. A global crisis like COVID-19 is very much capable of either reducing our existing institutions as redundant or tagging them as completely outdated.

Donald Trump has put WHO in an embarrassing spotlight and while, we may or may not agree with him, we also cannot ignore a few basic analysis points.

WHO came into existence on 7th April 1948 and its identity centered around the global population’s health. WHO, as a global health body, should be held liable, accountable, and responsible for missteps regarding the current pandemic.

Covid-19 has threatened the very existence of humanity. The invisible attack has proved that the WHO is not adequate enough for serving Global Health.

From the very beginning of the pandemic, WHO failed to gather timely information with its epidemic surveillance system, and paradoxically praised China for its effort to contain the virus. 

China mislead the World, as well as the WHO, about COVID-19, many global reports clearly suggest. Whistleblowers were targeted by the Chinese government and human-to-human transmission was completely denied, initially. WHO should have kept a close eye on misinformation and disinformation surrounding COVID-19.

WHO is obligated to inform communities about their rights and obligations with respect to health. Undeniably, acting as ‘Information Intermediary’ is the most vital function of WHO.

If one goes on to analyze the WHO’s Constitution, Article 1, states the objective of WHO is the attainment of the highest possible health for all. Article 2, highlights various functions of WHO, which include taking all ‘Necessary Action’ required to attain the highest possible level of health. Note that, Article 2(q), says that it is the function of WHO to provide information, counsel, and assist in health-related fields. Article 2(r), says that WHO work will be to assist in developing an ‘Informed Opinion’ among all the people about any matter related to health. 

Generally, there are few distinguishing essentials that determine efficient governance by any international organization.

First, the one who leads the organization makes a significant difference. Without a proactive leader, an organization as paramount as WHO may remain inert and passive. This is especially true in WHO’s context, where Article 28(i), authorizes the Director-General of WHO to take all necessary steps to combat epidemics.

Second, what power does the organization has if any member State violates its guidelines or recommendation?

According to the WHO’s constitution, Article 63 mentions that each member shall communicate promptly to WHO on important laws, regulations, official reports, and statistics related to health. Article 64 says that each member shall provide statistical, epidemiological reports in a manner determined by the Health Assembly. And Article 65 points that each member State shall transmit on the request of the Board such additional information pertaining to health.

To ensure the credibility of any organization, it is most important that its guidelines are binding on member States. In case any member violates its mandate, then the organization should have the power to penalize it. 

Lastly, the organization’s source of funding should be transparent and autonomous. Independent sources of funding make a tremendous difference in the efficiency of any organization. Financial autonomy plays a very significant role in making any institution equitable, fair, neutral, and bold in taking decisions. But WHO lacks financial autonomy and transparency in its funding.

USA has been the biggest donor to WHO contributing almost 15 percent of its total Budget under Assessed Contribution, the amount each member State pays to WHO according to the GDP. Over time, the Assessed Contribution has declined and Voluntary Contributions have risen, which include funds from private organizations. This reliance on Voluntary Contributions should be reduced to contain transparency of funding.

One thing that is clear is that the WHO has a GREAT responsibility in global health scenarios. The saying goes “with great power comes great responsibility” but the saying holds true the other way around as well. At least some bare minimum power is needed to ensure the efficient working of any institution. If this great responsibility is not complemented with bold, autonomous decision-making power, then failure of such an institution shouldn’t be surprising at all. 

Priyanka Singh is an Economics Assistant Professor, Delhi University(India). 

Sujeet Singh is Political Science Assistant Professor, Delhi University(India).


Featured image by Thorkild Tylleskar and license here.

Image of Director-General by ITU Pictures from Geneva, Switzerland and license here.

Silicon Valley Forum’s 2018 Visionary Awards

On May 17th, 2018, Silicon Valley Forum’s annual Visionary Awards returns for its illustrious 21st year—four of Silicon Valley’s brightest stars and leading founders will take the stage in celebration of their achievements, work, and contributions to Silicon Valley’s renowned business and technology ecosystem. The Visionary Awards invite the Valley’s thriving community—from up-and-coming entrepreneurs to lifelong company leaders, from seasoned investors to service providers—to come together for this singularly inspiring evening. The 2018 Visionary Awards will be held at Domenico Winery in San Carlos, California.

The 2018 Visionary Award recipients are:

  • Kimberly Bryant– Founder and CEO, Black Girls Code; visionary entrepreneur and speaker
  • Caterina Fake– Cofounder, Flickr and Hunch; author, entrepreneur, and angel investor
  • Astro Teller– Entrepreneur, scientist, and author; Captain of Moonshots, X
  • Vivek Wadhwa– Author, entrepreneur, and Carnegie Mellon Fellow

“Every year at our annual Visionary Awards, we look forward to the opportunity to celebrate the absolute best of the best of Silicon Valley—the leaders whose work is synonymous with what makes this region so magnetic,” said Denyse Cardozo, Silicon Valley Forum CEO. “We’re proud to invite the Valley to join us this year as we celebrate the achievements of this extraordinary group.”

Tickets are available at the event page both individually and in tables of 8 for attendees who want to enjoy a shared client or team experience. The evening begins at 6 pm with a wine reception, followed by a seated dinner and speeches from each of the Visionary honorees. Cocktail attire is encouraged.

At Silicon Valley Forum, we believe in the transformative power of entrepreneurship. We’ve dedicated the last 35 years to helping people learn how to build a business the Silicon Valley way, with a focus on creativity and innovation, using technology to bring society towards a better future. Whether you’re trying to create a company here or build your own Silicon Valley at home, our events and our online portal light the way for you to learn and grow as a 21st century entrepreneur.

Throughout our 35-year history, we’ve created thousands of successful events, programs, and conferences that educate, train, inspire and connect technologists, entrepreneurs, corporates, investors, innovation and startup hubs, and students—in Silicon Valley, throughout the U.S., and globally. We organize over 70 different activities per year, have over 20,000 subscribers/users, and work with over 40 countries worldwide.

Our partners include global leaders like Accenture, IBM, Microsoft, Mercer, and SAP, just to name a few, as well as leading venture capital firms and service providers. Silicon Valley Forum is a fully independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.

For more information, visit our website at http://www.siliconvalleyforum.com.