Generosity Network: Breaking Down Walls Between Donors and Doers

There really is no difference between donors and doers.

Generosity Network is an idea that we have been teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School and it’s opening up networks so that you find individuals who can be your partner in causes of the day. 

Many nonprofits these days focus on the idea that, “Gee, I need help and so I need to raise capital.  How do I get funds?”  And then the donors feel like they’re under attack, that they’re having many people going after them for funds.  Our philosophy is is that there really is no difference between donors and doers.  Lowering the walls between those two individuals allows a lot more resources to come to the table.

The way you do that is to start having individual conversations about how people with common passions can come together.  And you bring whatever you have to the table for the goal of achieving and solving a problem.  So for example, we worked on malaria together.  There’s a whole group of individuals - people with money, people with networks, people with knowledge, people with expertise, people with time - who all came together to say we want to solve the problem of deaths from malaria.  There was a million people dying per year from malaria.  Today after the collaboration that came together there’s 450,000 people a year dying in sub-Sahara and Africa mainly.  Our goal for the next two-and-a-half years is to go down to zero.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Algorithmic catastrophe: How news feeds reprogram your mind and habits

The most powerful editors in the world? Algorithms.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • According to a Pew Research poll, 45% of U.S. adults get at least some of their news from Facebook, with half of that amount using Facebook as their only news outlet.
  • Algorithms on social media pick what people read. There's worry that social media algorithms are creating filter bubbles, so that they never have to read something they don't agree with and thus cause tribal thinking and confirmation bias.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less

Psychological gym experiment proves the power of mind over matter

It isn't mind over matter as much as mind properly working with matter.

DENVER, CO - MAY 16: Brian and Monica Folts workout on treadmills at Colorado Athletic Club Tabor Center on May 16, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The couple runs marathons and compete in Ironman triathlons and train on on treadmills. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Mind & Brain
  • A new Stanford study finds believing you have genetic predispositions for obesity and low exercise endurance changes your physiology.
  • Participants told they had a protective obesity gene had a better response than those told they did not, even if they did not actually have the gene.
  • Runners performed poorly after learning they did not have the gene for endurance, even if they actually have the gene.
Keep reading Show less

Why this 2015 NASA study is beloved by climate change skeptics

The findings of the controversial study flew in the face of past research on ice gains in Antarctica.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • A 2015 NASA study caused major controversy by claiming that Antarctica was gaining more ice than it was losing.
  • The study said that ice gains in East Antarctica were effectively canceling out ice losses in the western region of the continent.
  • Since 2015, multiple studies have shown that Antarctica is losing more ice than it's gaining, though the 2015 study remains a favorite of climate change doubters to this day.
Keep reading Show less