How I Give
Episode 10: From 16-year-old college graduate to two-time tech founder with Robby Walker

Episode 10: From 16-year-old college graduate to two-time tech founder with Robby Walker

February 23, 2021

Robby Walker is a two-time technology startup founder. His first company, Zenter, created an online presentation editor acquired by Google in 2007. His second company, Cue, built a personal search / digital assistant product and was backed by Sequoia Capital and technology incubator Y Combinator. Robby led the Y Combinator nonprofit program from 2016 to 2018, advising and selecting nonprofits to be accelerated alongside technology startups, including New Incentives, which is now a GiveWell top charity. He also serves on the board of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), a holistic poverty alleviation NGO based in Kenya.

In the episode of How I Give, we chat with Robby about his fascinating personal journey, his entrepreneurial career, and why he decided to take the pledge.

 

contact: podcasts@founderspledge.com

Site: founderspledge.com

Episode 9: Solving Problems for Small Businesses - with Daniel Yu Founder and CEO of Sokowatch

Episode 9: Solving Problems for Small Businesses - with Daniel Yu Founder and CEO of Sokowatch

January 8, 2021

Originally from the US, Daniel Yu is an entrepreneur and software developer who has worked and traveled across more than 65 countries. Currently based in Kenya, he is the Founder and Global CEO of Sokowatch, an amazing organisation transforming business for informal retail shops across sub-Saharan Africa, which sell over $600 billion in goods each year. Sokowatch supports these shops by allowing them to place orders at any time through SMS or mobile app, with free same-day delivery of goods to their shop along with customized lines of credit to enable them to grow. The company works with tens of thousands of merchants across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda while partnering with companies such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble.

 

In this episode of How I Give, we speak to Daniel about his unique entrepreneurial journey, his philanthropy and why he decided to take the pledge. 

 

Contact us: podcasts@founderspledge.com

Website: founderspledge.com

 

Episode 8: Entrepreneurship & philanthropy with Andrew Skotzko

Episode 8: Entrepreneurship & philanthropy with Andrew Skotzko

December 11, 2020

Andrew Skotzko is a product leader, podcaster, philanthropist and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. He co-founded Petabridge in 2014 and Afriji in 2016, and has previously worked at startups Chill and Pebble, which were acquired by Tinder and Fitbit respectively. In addition, he has taken on a number of venture roles, previously working as an Entrepreneur in Residence at PHD Ventures and Growth Hacker in Residence at 500 Startups. Passionate about all things Product, he is currently Group Product Manager at Applied Invention. 

No stranger to podcasting, Andrew hosts his own podcast called Make Things That Matter, which explores what’s possible in the Product world, how we can make things better and how we can use business as a force for good with a range of guests. In this episode of How I Give, we speak to Andrew about his unique entrepreneurial journey, his philanthropy and what inspired him to take the pledge and join the Founders Pledge community.

contact us: podcasts@founderspledge.com

Website: founderspledge.com

 

Episode 7: Tackling climate change - A conversation with Ignaz Forstmeier (Co-founder of Personio)

Episode 7: Tackling climate change - A conversation with Ignaz Forstmeier (Co-founder of Personio)

November 20, 2020

While the world’s attention is steadfastly focused on battling the coronavirus pandemic, we must not lose momentum as we work to tackle the immense climate challenge we face. At Founders Pledge, we encourage our climate-focused members to support some amazing high-impact organisations using audacious advocacy to help secure our planet’s future. One of these incredible climate-minded members is Ignaz Forstmeier, co-founder of Personio, a true Climate Champion. In this episode of How I Give, I talked to Ignaz about his own personal giving journey, his passion for saving the planet and why he has chosen to give through the Founders Pledge Climate Fund.

 

For more information on our Climate Fund contact us: Funds@founderspledge.com

For non-Founders Pledge members visit: every.org

 

Episode 6: Tackling poverty amid COVID-19 - A conversation with Michael Faye (GiveDirectly & Taptap Send)

Episode 6: Tackling poverty amid COVID-19 - A conversation with Michael Faye (GiveDirectly & Taptap Send)

August 12, 2020

Michael is the founder of GiveDirectly, a Founders Pledge-recommended high-impact organisation and the first and largest nonprofit to allow donors to send money directly to the world’s most vulnerable. Since 2009, GiveDirectly has raised over $450 million for delivery to the extreme poor and those affected by disasters. Michael also founded Taptap Send in 2018, a company providing a new way for immigrants to send money from Europe to mobile wallets in emerging markets.

In this conversation, Michael shares his story, first-hand observations of the impact of COVID-19 on his organisations, and insights into how founders and philanthropists can help tackle some of the world's greatest challenges.

This interview was recorded at the Treasury Summit in July 2020.

Post-show readings:

  • See the incredible impact GiveDirectly is having by reading stories from its COVID-19 relief recipients in Kenya.
  • Learn more about GiveDirectly's work and how you can contribute.
  • Read our summary of research by GiveWell about how cash transfers can help alleviate poverty.
  • Take a look at our blog about how COVID-19 is affecting people in low- and middle-income countries.

Contact us: podcasts@founderspledge.com

Transcript

 

Episode 5: Existential risk and why the world wasn’t ready for COVID-19 - A conversation with John Halstead (Head of Applied Research at Founders Pledge)

Episode 5: Existential risk and why the world wasn’t ready for COVID-19 - A conversation with John Halstead (Head of Applied Research at Founders Pledge)

July 24, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is showing us that preparing for – and proactively addressing – risks that perhaps seem far-fetched and unlikely is more crucial than ever. For all the devastating consequences of the current crisis, there are greater risks out there that threaten humanity’s long-term prospects. In this episode of How I Give, we talk to John Halstead, Head of Applied Research at Founders Pledge, about existential risk and why philanthropists should focus on safeguarding the welfare of future generations.

John joined Founders Pledge in 2017 from a background in policy think tanks and academia. He has a doctorate in political philosophy from Oxford and taught philosophy at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford. Following that, he moved to the Global Priorities Project, working as a researcher on global catastrophic risk.

Post-show readings:

  • Take a look at John's 2019 cause area report on existential risk and how to mitigate it.
  • Delve into existential risk and the future of humanity by reading The Precipice by Toby Ord.
  • Read John's latest blog about how we can compare the health costs and economic costs of lockdown.

Contact us: podcasts@founderspledge.com

Transcript

Episode 4: COVID-19 in low-income and fragile countries - A Conversation with David Miliband (International Rescue Committee)

Episode 4: COVID-19 in low-income and fragile countries - A Conversation with David Miliband (International Rescue Committee)

July 3, 2020

The International Rescue Committee estimates that without immediate action, fragile countries could see up to 1 billion COVID-19 infections and 3.2 million deaths. David Miliband, President of the IRC, joined us to discuss the imminent threat of COVID-19 to the world’s most vulnerable populations, including refugee and displaced communities. David shared his insights from the situation on the ground and helped us explore how we can best leverage technology and strategic philanthropy to mitigate the humanitarian, economic, and security impacts of the pandemic in fragile settings.

Post-show readings: 

  • Read our new blog about the impacts of COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries and how philanthropy can make a difference.
  • Learn more about the IRC's COVID-19 Global Response.
  • Explore the work of the Airbel Impact Lab, which designs, tests and scales life-changing solutions for people affected by conflict and disaster.
  • Find out more about the IRC's Signpost Initiative, which provides critical information services to refugees.

Contact us: podcasts@founderspledge.com

 

Episode 3: Staying Sane in Lockdown - A Conversation with Mark Williamson (Action for Happiness)

Episode 3: Staying Sane in Lockdown - A Conversation with Mark Williamson (Action for Happiness)

June 12, 2020

Mark is the Co-Founder and Director of Action for Happiness, a movement of people taking action to promote mental wellbeing and create a happier society. Mark has a long-standing interest in happiness and well-being and is passionate about creating a more balanced, collaborative society that focuses less on consumption and material wealth and more on helping people and communities thrive. 

Since creating and launching Action for Happiness in 2011, Mark has engaged with a vast range of organisations, projects and people on the topics of happiness, wellbeing and resilience - including leading academics, major multi-national corporations, public sector organisations, policy-makers, SMEs, schools, charities and community organisations. 

Prior to his current role, Mark gained a diverse range of experience working in both private and non-profit sectors, from start-ups to large multinationals. His areas of expertise include wellbeing, positive psychology, strategy, leadership, business consulting, innovation, clean energy, IT, mobile telecoms and programme/project management. After more than a decade of corporate life, Mark decided to change direction and began using his energy and leadership skills to help build a better society. 

In this episode of How I Give, Mark shares insights from the Action for Happiness model, which a recent RCT has shown to provide large, statistically significant improvements in life satisfaction and reductions in anxiety and depression.

Post-show readings:

  • Join Action for Happiness and LiveBetter’s 10 Days of Happiness free coaching programme.
  • Download Action for Happiness’ Joyful June calendar, packed with daily actions to bring you positivity during these challenging times. 
  • Take a look at these inspiring talks from Action for Happiness’ speakers.

Contact us: podcasts@founderspledge.com

Episode 2: COVID-19 briefing with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Episode 2: COVID-19 briefing with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

May 28, 2020

Taken from our COVID-19 webinar series recorded on April 1, 2020

Experts from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, including Dr. Tom Inglesby, share updates on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and help us navigate the data and understand how we can have the most impact in addressing this crisis and preparing for the next one.

Post-show readings:

  • Founders Pledge has been recommending funding for pandemic preparedness for over a year - do check out our existential risk report authored by our Head of Applied Research, John Halstead.
  • You can also find useful COVID-19 resources and regular updates from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security here.

Contact us: podcasts@founderspledge.com

Episode 1: Staying Sane in Lockdown - A conversation with Mike Nolet (AppNexus, LiveBetter)

Episode 1: Staying Sane in Lockdown - A conversation with Mike Nolet (AppNexus, LiveBetter)

May 27, 2020

In this episode, Mike Nolet shares lessons from his own journey building AppNexus through the 2008 financial crisis, experiencing success and burn-out, and launching LiveBetter to promote positive behaviour change at scale.

Mike founded LiveBetter to help others incorporate well-being and mindfulness activities into their daily lives, just as he tries to do in his own life. He does a bit of everything at LiveBetter, from writing code to fundraising. Over the past five years, LiveBetter has reached thousands of people around the world through their interactive, conversational app experience paired with engaging, evidence-based activities. Their research has proven that the use of LiveBetter can decrease stress, boost confidence and support people through challenges including anxiety, stress and self-confidence issues. LiveBetter technology was acquired by Ginger in March 2020. Prior to LiveBetter, Mike was the co-founder and CTO at AppNexus. AppNexus is an American multinational technology company operating a cloud-based software platform that aims to enable and optimise programmatic online advertising. AppNexus was later acquired by AT&T for close to $2 billion

Post-show readings:

Contact us: podcasts@founderspledge.com

Transcript

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