Startups with big missions are all the rage, but here’s what it takes to build mission into a 140-year old financial giant.
Lata N. Reddy is Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion & Impact at Prudential Financial, and Chair and President of The Prudential Foundation. In this concise Shift Forum talk, Reddy outlines how a 140+ year old company has hewed to its original mission by incorporating “corporate social responsibility” directly into its business practices.
Lata Reddy: It’s great to be here. I’m going to talk about how it is that a legacy company makes the shift to this new vision of capitalism that we’ve been talking about. For us at Prudential, the new vision is really rooted in the past and in the belief that everybody should have the opportunity to be financially secure.
Robotics will drive untold benefits for humanity. But as we pursue the future, we can’t forget our very real present needs
Robotics are beginning to transform a broad spectrum of industries. But what’s far more exciting is the potential for robotics and AI to drive innovation that alleviates human suffering of many kinds, both directly and indirectly. While we’re excited about the application to autonomous vehicles or manufacturing, what’s potentially more inspiring is the opportunity to scale and dramatically improve disaster relief efforts.
Humanitarian efforts, the world over, will be greatly advanced by the development of these emerging technologies. While we focus on conquering the impossible and transforming the way things work, it is also our imperative to capitalize on the opportunity to create a better society.
Venture Capital firms don’t invest in industries to disrupt — they invest in industry disruptors, and many now support them operationally. Foundations should consider following suit.
I was recently interviewed by a collaborating team from three high profile foundations/LLCs. Their primary question: “How do we find and cultivate more breakthrough ideas in education?”
This question feels all too familiar from foundations today: a primary focus on ideas and issues, often at the expense of talent support and operational excellence. Grand challenges, RFP’s, and funder-borne calls to serve homegrown theories of change have established an unproductive power dynamic that stunts creative problem solving with grantees, inadvertently (and almost passive-aggressively) steering their efforts. Reporting requirements and restrictions with how dollars are to be used can be distracting, and even crippling.
Moy Eng has a market-based answer worth understanding
Moy Eng, Executive Director of the Community Arts Stabilization Trust, gives one of five Shift Ignite talks earlier this year at the Shift Forum. Our cities are losing their artists as the flight back to urban centers has driven rents beyond their reach. What can be done? This five minute Ignite talk has some answers.
Moy Eng: Hi. They say that you are who you really will be, at the age of seven. Here I am at the age of seven, bright, eager to please, and wanting to make parents and my teachers proud at my first Holy Communion.
Daniel Lurie, founder of Tipping Point, upends the traditional model with investments in R&D, new management approaches
Daniel Lurie was the chairman of the Bay area’s host committee for Superbowl 50, so he knows how to get things done in complicated, messy, and political environments. His day job requires that skill in spades: He’s literally reinventing how philanthropy is done. Watch or read below — and get to know Daniel and Tipping Point. It’s well worth the time invested.
Daniel Lurie: I love the Bay Area. I grew up about a mile from here. I went to really good schools, I had loving parents, great siblings, I had it really good. I do remember when I was 12 or 13 years old and I was lying in bed and I was upset, I was upset that I wasn’t doing more with my life.
Philanthropic lab funds individuals directly, empowering them to build a better Cincinnati
People’s Liberty will only last five years. After that, its ambitions — creating a stronger, better Cincinnati — will persist only through the actions of the 105 individuals it funded and mentored. It’s kind of an experiment, which is why the company brands itself as a philanthropic lab.
Supported by the Haile U.S. Bank Foundation, People’s Liberty conducts its experiments at the Globe Building, located in the Cincinnati neighborhood Over-the-Rhine. One of its four programs, Globe Grants, gives three people a year keys to its storefront to create an interactive art installation. Another program, Mad Philanthropists, invites nine people a year to join the team at People’s Liberty to work on projects with an eye toward building out their portfolios. The 16 people awarded Project Grants each year receive $10,000 to implement community development projects. Another program, the Haile Fellowship, is kind of a mini-MacArthur. The fellowship provides $100,000 to two individuals with a big idea that could positively affect the community. Brad Copper is working on tiny homes, which he hopes will address affordable housing in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. MUSICLi, an online library of music from the Greater Cincinnati, wants to help musicians earn more money via music licensing.