Take 5! Here are five social innovation links we are clicking on today:

  1. Inside Philanthropy: Schools, Tools and People: How a Venture Philanthropy Fund Works on K-12 "The NewSchools Venture Fund was created at the height of the dotcom era in 1998 by social entrepreneur Kim Smith and venture capitalists John Doerr and Brook Byers. The idea was simple: using the venture investing tools that powered tech innovation to improve public education. The founders aimed to provide entrepreneurs in the K-12 space with access to early-stage capital and strategic guidance to scale their organizations. Fast-forward nearly 20 years. NewSchools says it has now invested $250 million in 150 education entrepreneurs who've established 450 schools serving over 171,000 students and who've created education technologies touching the lives of more than 60 million students and their teachers around the globe. Along the way, NewSchools has attracted support not just from its original VC founders and other tech givers, but from a who's who of top ed funders, including the Walton Family Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and others. While venture philanthropy funds were still new in the late 1990s, NewSchools is now part of a broader ecosystem of such outfits that also includes New Profit (founded around the same time), the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, and newer funds like Chicago Beyond."
  2. USA Today: Exclusive: Google pledges $50 million to help people land jobs "Google is pledging $50 million over the next two years to prepare workers for a 21st century job market that's being dramatically reshaped by powerful forces, including Google itself."
  3. The Atlantic: This Is the Way the College 'Bubble' Ends "Not with a pop, but a hiss"
  4. NPR: Screen Saviors: Can Activism-Focused Games Change Our Behavior? "If you don't have time to call your senator, stage a protest or partake in a rescue mission at a slaughterhouse, you can at least save some chickens on your phone. Thanks to the new animal rights app Paintball Hero, created by 17-year-old game developer Skylar Thomas, animal liberation is now as easy as click, swipe, win....The impact of activism-focused games might be difficult to quantify, but these game developers are still making important strides. They are skewering stereotypes of gamers, stretching the boundaries of their medium and steering their gaze outward — and toward the real world."
  5. The Economist: Technology is transforming what happens when a child goes to school "Reformers are using new software to 'personalise' learning."