This is a thrilling time to be in the technology-for-good business. The speed at which consumer and mobile technologies are evolving opens up so many opportunities to make greater social impact that touches more people faster. Our team has been thinking hard about Benetech’s next phase of growth and how we can best seize the tremendous opportunities available to us today to build a better tomorrow for all. My special passion recently has been thinking about using data for greater impact: watch for thought pieces from me on this topic in the coming months. I am delighted to share some of our latest news and exciting developments in our core programs.
I’m delighted to announce that the Benetech team is celebrating a new milestone: we have successfully exited our environment software enterprise, Miradi, and turned continued management and maintenance of this open source software tool to the conservation community. Miradi has grown to a place where it can be self-sufficient and managed independently by the conservation community. Benetech’s commitment to open source made this transition easy.
Benetech’s work is made possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters. To continue to provide our services, and to explore new ways in which targeted technological applications could address unmet needs of disadvantaged communities, we definitely need your help. Please join us in the Skoll Foundation’s second annual Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge—a fundraising campaign committed to strengthening the capacity of organizations like ours to accelerate impact on some of the most critical issues of our time. The Challenge launched on October 27 and runs through December 5th.
How can a social enterprise engage effectively in founder succession planning, and what are some of the benefits that may occur when a founder is able to share the ownership, control, and culture of the business with a successor, or even a wider group of social leaders? This was one theme of a plenary session at this year’s annual Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP14) in San Francisco. Benetech CEO, Jim Fruchterman, and VP of the Benetech Global Literacy Program, Betsy Beaumon, joined moderator Penelope Douglas, SOCAP Board Chair, for a dynamic conversation titled “Make Yourself Invaluable, Not Irreplaceable.”
Benetech Labs is where the Benetech team and our social impact partners incubate new software-for-good applications. Within the arena of startup incubators, however, Benetech’s social enterprise business model and Benetech Labs’ approach are unique.