Author Archives: Jonathan Isham

Place for key videos related to your work – PLEASE FILL IN

I.  Water

  • Nicole – from

II.  Health

  • Nina–

III. Property rights and indigenous rights

  •   [Great lecture by Anthropologist Wade Davis on why Cultural Heritage is crucial to conserve.] -Brad

IV. Food

  • While not necessarily a piece on social entrepreneurship, the Garden illustrates how a community garden can empower a community, even in light of corrupt politics. Follow the url to watch the trailer. – Brian
  • Claire – Here are a series of articles/videos on Project DISC (Developing Innovations in School Children)

V.   Education

VI.  Waste

VII.  Food production

Isham’s new notes – consolidating in ‘unity’

I.  Grant program

  • Two or three different approaches
  • A range of sized projects …
  • How to implement? – consult with Lisa Nitze
  • How to finance? – consult with George Overholser
  • Stonehenge-like grant program

II. Annual gathering of gifted social entrepreneurs

  • Four week program … preparatory resources, etc.
  • Decide, based on curriculum …
  • Inclusive of annual gathering of social entrepreneurs …

Isham’s notes on the ideas from groups A – E

Group A.

  • What do they mean by projects?  ANSWER – kenny’s project, for example.
  • QUESTION: does the symposium model work?  conference?
    • Quality of people
    • Diversity
    • Chances to interact
  • LIKE – focus on failures as well as successes
  • if not grant, speaker …?
  • DONT LIKE: integrate se into curriculum – sustainability model
  • FEEDBACK: Davis Projects tomorrow
  • DONT LIKE: creating a file, forming a catalog  BETTER?  Videos, story telling ..?
  • QUESTION: would folks have had to study se to apply?  Before … after?
  • DATA … this is so key …
  • As network … space for problem solving …
  • Under Center for Creativity and Innovation
  • DONT LIKE:  Expert model, speaker model …. (to some degree) … experts in what ..?
  • REC – $350,000 to students …
  • LIKE:  Rhiya’s version of networked, contingent, on occasion expertise …
  • LIKE: Starting small …. see what works …
  • QUESTION: encourage world-changing speakers or not?
  • DONT LIKE (?): ‘projects’ …. BETTER?  Invest in everyone who comes through door?
  • LIKE:  It’s about ‘popularizing ideas’
  • Mission?
  • LOOKING FOR: open, not closed ……

Group B

  • LIKE  Mission (go back to it …)
  • LIKE  undergrad mission
  • DONT LIKE: grants ….
  • DONT LIKE (?): minima, maxima ….
  • FEEDBACK: talk to Jesse …..
  • PREFER laboratory model
  • DONT LIKE: minor, ES focus …..
  • LIKE:  Addition of an SE course (What should be the pre-req) — feedback ..
  • DOUBLE LIKE: “School for Social Entrepreneurship”
  • DONT LIKE: so many Midd students judging …
  • QUESTION:  people, not projects

Group C

  • LIKE: their arrow thing
  • LIKE:  inventory of things we have …..
  • DOUBLE LIKE: we provide the space …..
  • DONT LIKE: ‘consolidate …’.
  • NOT SURE: annual campus theme … among categories …?
  • LIKE: that its about building connections …
  • LIKE:  incubator (3 parts)
  • LIKE: Stonehenge as solutionsU – we need to get Jessica Holmes in here …
  • LIKE: Middlabs documentation …
  • COMMENT: must distinguish our competition .
  • LIKE:  folks, say, from North Africa ……
  • QUESTION: Do we need a physical center …?

Group D

  • LIKE  Flow of ideas …
  • PRINCIPLE  How would we measure it?
  • PRINCIPLE  What challenges need to be solved?  Is it likely that we can help solve …
  • QUERY ES steering committee model?
  • LIKE: networking with other nodes on campus …
  • LIKE: outside of midd and midd
  • DONT LIKE (AT ALL): general topic areas
  • NOT SURE: poster sessions
  • LIKE: implementation/documentation
  • LIKE: What happens after the grant?  Plus, during!
  • LIKE: Hilary’s comment …
  • QUESTION: do all of this without a ‘center’?


  • LIKE: ‘anchor it around a place.’  Now I get it …..
  • LIKE: demand-driven ….
  • DOUBLE LIKE: emphasis on data … TOTALLY HUGE …..
    • Remember collaborative democracy ….
    • Constant use of data ….
    • Data and evaluation …..

Thoughts on ‘solutions’

From Michael Woolcock’s lecture and his accompanying paper, there’s a lot to learn about the development process – how it can go well and how it can wallow.  As you finish with the lecture tomorrow, please use the remaining time in class – till 12:30 – to share what you have learned from the article and the lecture, particularly as it relates to the three goals of the class.

And I would be thrilled if you’d record your observations and comments on this blog.  Indeed, you might even record them in real time as you talk tomorrow and hit ‘publish’ as class ends: then I can study what you have come up with as I come back east.

Data on 21st century global challenges

I thought it would be good to have a central spot with data on where we are in this century, absolutely and in comparison to previous centuries.  (Inter-decadal comparisons are also useful.)  I will try to find two kinds of links – an ‘overview’ link of the data source, and a link to a sample of the actual data that’s available (recognizing that there are usually many different iterations of the data.)  Please add what you find in the comments section.

The UN’s Human Development Index


Freedom House and freedom in the world


World Values Survey

  • On development, freedom and happiness –


  • Population reference bureau –

Millennium Development Goals


Ecological indicators

  • State of the world –
  • Vital signs –
  • UNEP reports –

Things we need to do …

So here’s the complete list that we came up with in class, organized around communication, process, and content.


  • We must “continue to communicate”
    • With ‘shared enthusiasm and excitement”
  • Communicate with other people, organizations on campus
  • Be comfortable about speaking up
    • Be able to point out directions (of class) that may not like
    • Be comfortable asking questions


  • Create the space in class to share experiences, tell stories
  • Work in small groups
    • Share challenges, ideas
  • Coordinate with campus organizations. leaders
  • Follow up with folks outside of campus


  • Learn about processes, how things work
    • NGOs
    • The Political system
  • Find failures (of social entrepreneurs)
  • Eliminate stuff (don’t try to do too much with the center …)