Every month, the NetSquared Community comes together offline at NetSquared Local events around the world to mix, swap stories and ideas, build new relationships, and collaborate to help the local community. Our local organizers are volunteers dedicated to helping create local opportunities for learning, sharing and using technology to make a difference. In this Organizer Spotlight series we bring you interviews with organizers from around the world.
I’m a social entrepreneur -- passionate about ending global poverty and building trust across the world. I also perform improv!
How do you spend your time when you’re not organizing NetSquared Local events?
I'm the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving. We're a website that helps people give and volunteer with the top-performing, vetted organizations all over the world. We're committed to quality, so our projects are vetted through UniversalGiving's proprietary Quality Model.™ It's also important to us that 100% of each donation goes directly to the cause. Our second service is UniversalGiving Corporate, which helps Fortune 500 companies scale Corporate Social Responsibility programs worldwide. We have clients such as Cisco, Symantec, and MTV.
What inspired you to organize local NetSquared Local events in your community?
I love the community- it's a smart, caring team. And they propose innovative, cutting edge topics.
What’s the hardest part of the job?
There is no hard part. I love NetSquared. :)
How do you measure the success of your events?
First, you should enjoy the process as much as the end event. Attendance is important, but participation is equally important. So for example, I'd rather have 50 people attend with a dynamic conversation, than 100 where there is little dialogue.
Tell us about the best NetSquared Local event. What did you learn from that experience?
In this one we talked about the different forms of volunteering - it was great to have diversity of view points and also great audience participation. That's important that it's a back and forth flow with the audience so we are all engaged. The event was "The New Volunteerism: How to Plug into Cool Projects in Your Community."
What’s the local social-web-tech scene like in San Francisco?
San Francisco is wonderfully creative. People care not just about technology and making money, but how technology can change our lives. Increasingly, I've seen the technology become more personal and integrated into our daily lives. And people really talk about these issues, what works and what doesn't - they are smart, open, personable, active.
How do you envision NetSquared Local events evolving over time?
With social media, the diversity of events will continue to unfold! What I'd love to see is more virtual participation, by internationals all over the world who are interested in the dialogue, but perhaps can't be present.
What’s your change-the-world philosophy?
I believe in "World Trust," or Trust in the World. World Peace is a challenging concept to tackle. We all want it; we benevolently strive for it. But I am not sure one can “make” peace.
Yet if we commit to developing long-term relationships based on trust, we work towards helping others achieve their goals as well as our own. It's building a relationship rather than simply a concept. We see a larger landscape where everyone is building and integrating their lives together. If we focus on building this trust peace in our world can result...Peace is based on Trust.
What music are you listening to now-a-days?
Lots of San Francisco Symphony. My last concert was the innovative, contemporary Rouse; Beethoven's Emperor Symphony and Brahm's Third Symphony. What a repertoire! I also love my mom's Chamber Music Group, Avedis, which performs at the Legion of Honor, May 21st. Anyone is welcome to come and we will get them tickets.
I also love music from my nephews, Will and Connor, age 14 and 12. Always learning from them! And will always love Michael Jackson, funk, hip hop, Frankie Valli, especially the updated CD from the theatre production about The Four Seasons, and Jack Johnson. I love variety and am always learning new artists.