YouTubers FunForLouis And Dave Erasmus Embark On Global Journey To Fund Social Entrepreneurs

YouTubers Louis Cole and Dave Erasmus are a comical, charming, and adventurous duo. Their friendship is evident through their travels: snowboarding in Canada, salsa dancing in Cuba, and jazz sessions in New York.

Yet, recently, I met them in Delhi embarking on something bigger: a 30-day tour around the world called The Solvey Project.  The aim is to find social entrepreneurs who could use a nudge: financially and emotionally.  The duo will fund 7 ideas (or individuals) with a minimum of $1,000 a piece at the end of this whirlwind tour.

It’s a pitch competition unlike others — not centered around massive funds, but learning, listening, and seeing where their small doses of capital can spark a change, says Erasmus.

Cole, who is famous for his Youtube channel, FunforLouis, which has nearly 2 million subscribers, sees Solvey as a way to start a “revolution.”

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Read the full story at Forbes.com.

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How A Bootstrapped Idea Made It Onto Apple’s Online Store

Say hello to the future of filmmaking — on an iPad or smartphone.   A small bootstrapped startup is now selling an aluminum and urethane contraption on the Apple Store that can turn any iPad into a movie-making machine.

Since DSLR cameras start at $500 (for a very basic kit) and lenses alone can run upwards of $10,000, filmmaking can be an expensive hobby.  That’s why Josh Apter, a filmmaker and founder of the Manhattan Edit Workshop, created the Padcaster.  “I literally took my iPad to a framing store and had it framed like a picture,” he says.

Perched on a tripod and with space to attach a microphone, a light, and even lenses, the $400 iPad in this “crude prototype,” as Apter refers to it, had transformed into a proper filmmaking camera.

He took the first iteration to the NAB Show, a massive conference for all things film, technology, and content.  Though Apter was there primarily to promote his film school, he attracted more attention for this one-eyed, odd-looking contraption.

Apter started testing it out at events, illustrating to consumers that this device could give rise to what he jokingly calls, “Video Twitter”  After interviewing folks, he’d do a quick edit on the tablet, using iMovie, and then post the video online on social media platforms — all within hours, if not minutes.

“People were amazed by the speed.  They expected to see it up online in a week or two, not in an hour.  Their mouths hung open. And that’s when I knew that we had something. That was the draw.”

Read the full story at Forbes.com.

Why Social Entrepreneurship Is Not Enough

The term “social enterprise” is far too limiting, says Laurence Brahm.

“Why shouldn’t business be profitable?”

Rightly so, it should, he says.  But the aim of business has to be so much more than just profit.  It has to solve problems, he goes on to explain.  He’s referring to big global problems like the environment, food security, poverty, inequity.

Brahm is a lawyer turned activist.  His CV is far too long to detail all his achievements but can be succinctly described as a lawyer who built a fruitful entrepreneurial career and in the process, got absorbed into policy, even serving as a member of the UN Theme Group on Poverty and Inequality.  Most interestingly, though, he’s an American who has been advising the Chinese government on how to do growth differently — not the American model.

In the meantime, Brahm also built the Himalayan Consensus and African Consensus, two approaches to growth and development that go beyond GDP (check out this YouTube video for a detailed explanation).

“We’ve been using GDP since WWII.  We need a new way to measure growth and prosperity.  We need to look at growth all over again: do we want exponential growth?  No,” he says.

Brahm has spent years, if not decades, setting up social enterprises in the Himalayas; these are small, community-based ventures that create jobs and don’t harm the surroundings.  For instance, he helped revive old Tibetan structures in Lhasa by turning them into hotels, run by local Tibetans and showcasing their culture.  Otherwise, these buildings would have been converted into cookie-cutter hotels by larger companies, destroying years of history and the indigenous culture.

Read the full story at Forbes.com.

Feel Better, Millennials—Matt Damon Says His Generation Was Terrible

Anyone experiencing fatigue over millennial bashing may find actor Matt Damon’s take refreshing.

“My generation had our heads up our own asses. That was Gen X. Today’s generation is so much smarter and interested in fixing these issues,” he told journalists at the Sundance Film Festival this week.

The issue the Bourne Identity actor is interested in is a water crisis that has left 663 million people without access to clean drinking water. Damon spoke of becoming a cofounder in 2009 of Water.org, a nonprofit that delivers microfinance loans to water-deprived communities.

Read the full story at TakePart.com.

Why This Photographer Took 12 Years To Shoot Coffee Growers Around The Globe

This photographer took 12 years to complete his latest project on what he calls “one of the most important products we trade in the world.”  It’s well worth the wait.

Sebastião Salgado, a renowned photographer from Brazil, partnered with Illy, the Italian coffeehouse, to document the world’s coffee-growers. A beautiful coffee table book, titled the Scent of a Dream: Travels in the World of Coffee, debuted earlier this year, featuring intimate images of coffee farmers from far corners of the globe: China, India, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and more.

Andrea Lilly , CEO of Illycaffe, visited Salgado at the Instituto Terra, a research center and reforestation program started by Salgado in his native Brazil, in 2002.  Illy quickly became a partner, trying to resurrect a seemingly dead swath of land into a thriving forest.  Lilly  was as interested in Salgado’s environmental pursuits as his artistic talent.

“When I first met with Salgado, I fell in love with his photographs and his story,” Lilly  writes in the forward of the book.  “His project became ours.  And ours became his: a project founded on a shared dream of respect for the environment and its people through the ideals of kindness, beauty, and justice.”

Shortly after their meeting, and discussion about sustainable coffee growing practices, Salgado took on the task of capturing the stories of these families in partnership with Illy.

Ready the full story at Forbes.com.

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Photo Courtesy of Subject. Book cover.

All photos credited to: (c) Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas Images

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