Investors across the United States have been developing effective and sustainable strategies to solve social issues, such as educational reforms, government innovation, and public health issues, as well as putting them into action. With innovative approaches and systemic solutions, the investors address both simple and complex problems of our time through creative collaboration that help them join their forces and achieve their common goals. Two examples include Bloomberg Philanthropies and Education SuperHighway.
1. BLOOMBERG PHILANTHROPIES
- Bloomberg Philanthropies directs its resources on five key areas: government innovation, environment, public health, education and arts and culture.
- With a unique approach to all its projects, Bloomberg Philanthropies comprises the charitable givings of its founder Michael R. Bloomberg and works towards improving the lives of people across the nation.
- Bloomberg Philanthropies works with effective partner organizations such as Results for America, the Sunlight Foundation, Living Cities, Environmental Defense Fund, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund and many others that help achieve their shared goals.
- Some of its key projects include the “American Cities Initiative” which helps city leaders and empowers residents to solve problems of their cities, ” The Bloomberg American Health Initiative” which aims to solve the critical challenges to the country’s public health, and “Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative” which equips mayors and senior city hall officials with cutting edge training and support.
- Bloomberg Philanthropies also advocates for effective policies and uses data and evidence to drive solutions to the country’s critical problems.
- In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies along with partner funding, invested $70 million and selected 20 cities that will lead the United States in reducing greenhouse gases emission and tackle climate change.
2. EDUCATION SUPERHIGHWAY
- Education SuperHighway works towards connecting American K-12 public school classrooms to high-speed broadband internet access and provide all students with equal educational opportunities.
- Education SuperHighway was founded by tech entrepreneur, Evan Marwell in 2012 and has partnered with thirty states to bring broadband connectivity to schools that lack connectivity.
- The venture’s funders include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Leeds Family Foundation, Williams K. Bowles Jr. Foundation and thirteen others.
- The venture has released ” Compare and Connect K-12“, a tool that provides transparent speeds and pricing, a fiber tool kit and a school WiFi buyer’s guide to help the leaders of the school to get the right internet connection and equipment.
- Education SuperHighway provides free templates and guides to find affordable and sustainable internet solutions to the school and also offers webinars by a team of network and procurement experts.
- In 2017, Education SuperHighway facilitated nine schools to reach 100 percent high speed connectivity in all its schools.
- In 2018, 40.7 million more students were connected with access to high speed internet than in 2013 with 21,600 schools upgraded to fibre-optic connections since 2013.
3. THE HIDDEN GENIUS PROJECT
- The Hidden Genius Project is an organization that seeks to provide career opportunities within the technology sector; it is specifically targeted toward black males.
- It was founded by five black entrepreneurs who were alarmed at the combination of black male underemployment and lucrative career opportunities in the technology industry(source6)
- Key sponsors/investor groups include companies in the tech industry, government boards, and companies in the financial industry.
- Sponsors and key players include Google, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, and the Community Bank of the Bay.
- The Hidden Genius Project currently has 33 sponsors. A comprehensive list is available on the company’s website’s homepage.
- From 2012-17, approximately 2,800 students have been served by the HGP.
- Ninety-five percent of students formerly enrolled in the Hidden Genius Project have graduated from high school as of 2017.
- This indicates that students enrolled in the Hidden Genius Project graduated at a rate higher than the general US population, the California population, the black US and California populations, and the white US population in 2017.
3. SUSTAINABLE SILICON VALLEY
- Sustainable Silicon Valley is another investor community
- It optimizes and consolidates resources that are distributed between sectors in order to develop solutions to sustainability problems.
- In total, there are 38 members of SSV. The organization’s website has an exhaustive list.
- Some key investors included in this set include Facebook and Microsoft.
- The first of SSV’s three general projects relates to water replenishing.
- This is to address the projected growth of the California population and derivative projected water scarcity.
- The second relates to carbon reduction.
- The third project relates to educational outreach to impoverished communities to impart onto these communities the knowledge of living sustainable lifestyles.
4. WATER FUNDER INITIATIVE
- The website of Water Funder Initiative is http://waterfunder.org/.
- The Water Funder Initiative is a collaborative organization that supports approaches applicable to solving water crises across the US and the globe and ensuring sustainable use of water.
- The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Lyda Hill Philanthropies, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Pisces Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation are among the Water Funder Initiative’s members.
- Additionally, Water Funder collaborates with the US Government and the State of California to support a comprehensive strategy that lays the groundwork for the Salton Sea’s restoration effort and long-term management program.
- Projects of Water Funder Initiative are directed to ensuring clean water supply to people and nature, recovery of freshwater ecosystems and proactively managing water supply to cities, rural and agricultural communities.
- The Water Funder Initiative identified a couple of objectives that include bringing basins and watersheds “into balance” and strengthening the resilience of watershed air systems. To launch these efforts the organization’s funders “have committed $100 million to transformative water-related solutions, toward a $150 million goal.”
- The Initiative’s major actions set forth to accomplish its aims includes coordinated philanthropic actions like granting funds to communities, developing data and information systems, improving strategic communications, and encouraging innovations.
5. INVESTOR ENVIRONMENT HEALTH NETWORK
- The website of Investor Environment Health Network is https://iehn.org/.
- The Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) is a “membership-based, investor collaborative that promotes the use of safer chemicals to enhance shareholder value, public health, and the environment.” Key areas of focus are environmental and public health policy.
- 17 investment companies, including Amalgamated Bank, Calvert Group, Boston Common Asset Management, Domini Social Investments, and Citizens Advisers, established the Investor Environmental Health Network.
- Other key members include the As You Sow Foundation, Basilian Fathers of Toronto and Dignity Health.
- The Investor Environmental Health Network works to promote environmental health solutions such as the Chemical Footprint Project (CFP). CFP fundamentally changes how companies handle chemicals.
- In 2010, the Investor Environment Health Network, in collaboration with Green Century Funds, aimed to improve drilling firms’ openness and to compel them to provide information on drilling’s environmental impact. It is likely these types of policy-generating activities are what the Network primarily uses for engagement activities.
- As a membership association it provides its members with webinars, resources used for advocacy, collaborative working groups, and research (e.g., chemical footprint assessments).