meet our authors…
I am the acting Executive Director of Strait Talk, a non-profit that facilitates conflict resolution dialogues among university students on the Taiwan Strait issue. I’ve been a part of Strait Talk since it started as a student group at Brown four years ago. I graduated from Brown in 2008 with a concentration in Political Science.
I definitely don’t feel like an expert on social innovation, so I’ll try to find out what you (Brown students and other readers) want to know, carry out some real research about the topic, and then report back. Please send me any and all questions that you have about your project or about social innovation in general; I’ll do what I can to find the experts and experienced folks in and around our community.
Aden Van Noppen
I’m a senior at Brown concentrating in Development Studies. In addition to being a student, I spend my time working with Acumen Fund, leading social venture capital fund, to develop programs that engage young people with market based solutions to poverty. As a sophomore, I founded and led Brown’s primary climate group, “emPOWR,” and I serve on Brown’s Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee and the Providence City Council Environmental Sustainability Task Force.
My blog posts will focus on the role that business and finance can play in poverty alleviation. I hope they will show that instead of two isolated buckets– “for-profit” for making money and “non-profit” for doing good– there is a powerful spectrum that merges the two by drawing on the strengths of the private sector to leverage the goals of the non-profit secto
I have nearly fifteen years of international development experience advising NGOs, corporations and governments on civic engagement, sustainability, advocacy and the political process. I managed the Social Enterprise Initiative at the William Davidson Institute (WDI) and now provide project-based assistance for the initiative. I am also an adjunct lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. I received MA Degrees in Public Policy and Urban Planning and a BA in political science from the University of Michigan.
My current research focuses on mapping the landscape of social innovations although I am also interested in how the convergence of the private, government and nonprofit sectors can result in enhanced social value. I have extensive fundraising, consulting and project management experience with organizations including the Ford Foundation, the European Commission, USAID, the State Department, and Roche.
I graduated from Brown in 2008 and am the Current Co-founder and Chief Eternal Optimist for the Mali Health Organizing Project (www.malihealth.org). I am interested in applying organizing tactics to health development and health financing, particular primary care. I am living and working in Mali currently, and also I am about to embark on a west african adventure to help found a francophone african primary care conference.
I have previously worked in Rwanda (with WE-ACTx), with the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, RI Free Clinic, and more. MHOP, specifically, aims to enable slum communities to design and build their own universal primary health care systems, and organize to impel government investment in health.
Emily Viggiano and Meagan Morse
Emily and Meagan are two members of the Honduras Initiative, a new organization at Brown that strives to creative a sustainable relationship between Brown undergraduates and the Honduran village of Guachipilincito. The Honduras Initiative works in collaboration with Shoulder to Shoulder, a grassroots health organization that provides primary care, health education, and public services in rural Honduras. We will be working with a women’s group called Madre Guias that was created as a means of distributing folic acid supplements to women of reproductive age. We hope to spend this summer working with this group to develop long-term strategies to combat malnutrition.
Emily just completed her first year at Brown and is planning to concentrate in human biology. This past year she was involved with the Sustainable Food Initiative, VNA Hospice, and the Go Kids Obesity Prevention Program. Meagan is also a member of the class of 2012, concentrating in Human Biology and Hispanic Studies. Aside from her work with the Honduras Initiative, she is a volunteer with Project HEALTH’s Family Help Desk, an organization that works to connect low-income families to resources such as housing, public benefits, and adult education.
Our blogs will focus on our experiences this summer assessing the Madre Guia program and general nutrition in Guachi. We will take you through our preparations for the trip, who we meet and what we learn through our interviews and surveys. We would love to hear your feedback and suggestions about the project!
Ben Gordon ’05
I will be working in the areas of development (irrigation building), public education, and rural microbanking over the coming years. I will be in Peru and Nicaragua. The SII Hub will allow me to share observations and gain insight from others; ask questions to begin discussions; and, contribute to ongoing discussions based on the experiences I have. I see myself as a courier of information, in some sense, and encourage everyone visiting this site to contribute in some way. Even if it seems minimal to you, it may prove to unfoil a wrinkle in someone’s work abroad.
I am part of the energetic class of 2005 at Brown University. Over the past several years, I have had more jobs than can fit on one hand. My work in community development finance at Merrill Lynch and Citibank has been the most enriching experience for me. While at Brown, I was President of the Entrepreneurship Program.