Hello! Guten Tag! Or, in my Scottish ancestors’ native tongue, Hallo agus fàilte! I’m Tristan and I’ll be covering Minnesota’s highly active social enterprise and nonprofit community as TECHdotMN’s social correspondent. My goal is to keep a close eye on web-based technologies and high tech innovations that have been created specifically to help people in need.
A social past
I became involved in the field of social enterprise and entrepreneurship about two years ago and have only looked back to realize how much happier I am. As volunteerism and civic engagement flourishes in Minnesota, there are more not-for-profit organizations and for-profit social ventures than ever before. We are also beginning to see how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plays an increasing role of respecting community stakeholders. Social entrepreneurs are rising-both within Minnesota and across the country. Partnerships like Ashoka’s Youth Venture and Best Buy’s @15 are getting more young people involved. It seems the snowball effect is building momentum, creating positive change and real impact.
My first large role in this movement was at a nonprofit in Minneapolis. I had heard an inspiring story (one of many) and thus became involved as the Web Manager at the Hughes Foundation. They operate in the Twin Cites, Nagpur, India and Namibia, Africa with the goal to be a lifeline to individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
I also write for and help to manage SocialEarth.org. SocialEarth is a news blog founded by two Minnesotans and focused on the promotion of social entrepreneurship across the globe. It also features resources for social entrepreneurs covering subjects such as funding, impact, PR, social media and strategy. Additionally, I work for Richfield-based BestBuy.com, which led me to get involved with BBSR (Best Buy Social Responsibility). This has given me yet another opportunity to examine the impact of technology and community development.
As you probably could tell, I truly believe in social entrepreneurs and social enterprises helping create a better world. This generation seems to be more committed, more prepared and more resource-backed than ever before. It includes everyone — baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, everyone. I hope you enjoy following my posts as I take you into the 21st century’s technology age of social impact right here in your backyard.