As 2008 comes to an end, it's worth taking a few moments to reflect on all the great things I've come across this year related to Riches For Good.
Best Book: Out of Poverty by Paul Polak
Best Advice: "Go to where the action is!" written in the front cover of my copy of Out of Poverty after I asked Paul Polak to sign it and requested his advice on how to help a million people out of poverty during my lifetime
Best Technology to Help Rural Farmers: treadle pumps
Best Opportunity to Gain Startup Experience: Blessings and Francis' ventures in Zambia (Update: they are still waiting to hear back from the Zambian government on their garage door company registration; in the meantime, I am mentoring Blessings as he runs the photo shop started by his late father)
Best Blog: NextBillion.net
Best List of "Good" Blogs: Alltop
Best Magazine: Stanford Social Innovation Review
Best Podcast: Craigslist Foundation Nonprofit Boot Camp Online
Best Conference: BYU Economic Self Reliance Conference
Best Speaker: Muhammad Yunus at a Microcredit and Social Business event in Denver in March
Best Organizations to Benchmark Against: Fast Company Social Capitalists, especially the 16 with an international focus
Best Social Entrepreneurship Fellowships: Ashoka, Echoing Green, Draper Richards Foundation, Skoll Foundation, and Acumen Fund
Best College Course: Global Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurship, taught by Paul Hudnut at Colorado State University
Best Career Opportunity: transitioning to an international marketing role at Medtronic after about eight years as a finance professional
2008 was a fantastic year for me and my family. In addition to the categories listed above, my wife and I adopted a dog, we bought our first house, my wife finished years of grueling medical training to become a pediatrician, we cruised Alaska and backpacked Olympic National Park, we had meaningful service opportunities with a number of organizations, and we spent a lot of time with extended family. We feel extremely blessed!
In 2009, the following are a few key topics I plan to learn and blog about: social capital markets, social entrepreneur networks, microfranchising, and treadle pump distributors. I am excited to grow my network and knowledge-base in 2009, so that together we can help more people throughout the world to provide for the necessities of life.
Thanks for your interest in Riches For Good. I hope you were able to navigate successfully through the turbulence of 2008 and that your 2009 will be as prosperous as my family's 2008. Happy New Year!