Dean Kamen

New Documentary Profiles Inventor Doing Good

I recently watched a new documentary about inventor Dean Kamen. He’s the guy who invented the Segway, that impressive but only moderately successful people mover. Read more…

cassandra

Questioning our Relationship with Africa

A few years ago, I had the good fortune of working with veteran television producer Cassandra Herrman, pictured above. She produced and directed our story on the PlayPump, a profound reporting experience that would later compel me to launch Tiny Spark. Read more…

listen2

Positive Stories? We’re Listening…

I took this picture near my home in Austin, Texas. I love the LISTEN sign and the tranquility of the space. In a world where most of us are busy broadcasting our news, it’s nice to be reminded to create spaces for listening, too.

With that in mind, I wanted you to know that I’ve been listening to all of you. Read more…

Peacekeeping - MINUSTAH

Want to Help? Three Lessons from Post Quake Haiti

Typhoon Haiyan has led to an enormous loss of life in the Philippines. The search for survivors continues, and getting medical care to the wounded as soon as possible will be key. As international relief agencies begin to coordinate the humanitarian response, it is important to remember what we’ve learned from past natural disasters and figure out how we can most effectively help those in need. Read more…

TOMS Shoes Listens to its Critics

toms
An announcement came out of the Clinton Global Initiative last week. It didn’t involve lofty issues of world peace or universal access to education. But the announcement was important and it’s worth noting here. Read more…

Play-Pump

An Idea Sparked in Africa

I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know about the impetus behind Tiny Spark.

For several years, I worked as a public radio and television correspondent in Africa. During that time, I traveled around the continent, seeing a range of social enterprise initiatives and aid programs on the ground, each meeting with varying degrees of success. I also discovered that well-intentioned ideas, poorly executed, can actually do harm. Read more…

karlan-headshot

Demanding More Than Good Intentions

A lot of people ask me what factors they should consider when deciding which charities to support. It’s a tough question. And an important one. So I turned to one of the experts. Read more…

Photo Credit: Jennifer Collins

Ball Generates Electricity for Poor Kids…Until It Breaks

I’m so happy to bring you our first story produced by an outside contributor. Reporter Jennifer Collins’ investigation was made possible by the generosity of Tiny Spark’s Kickstarter backers. Read more…

Amy Costello, Head of Strategy, Lily Jamali, Dir of Technology, Justin Nowell.

Tiny Spark at NYU

Last night we took part in a showcase at NYU’s Stern School of Business Social Venture competition. Read more…

dhanya

Our New Intern!

I’m very happy to introduce Tiny Spark’s first intern!

Dhanya Addanki is a journalism major and senior at The University of Texas at Austin. She is interested mainly in using different media platforms to affect social change and to empower developing communities. Read more…

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Should Volunteers Who Live in Poverty Be Paid?

Across the developing world, many international charities rely on local, volunteer staff to perform all kinds of work. Many volunteers provide low-level assistance to organizations. However, thousands of volunteer healthcare workers are bringing vital skills and expertise to rural areas, which suffer from a severe shortage of doctors and nurses.

Many praise the “volunteer spirit” that makes rural healthcare possible, but what about the well-being of the volunteers themselves, many of whom are poor? Read more…

Credit: Reuters

Saying Goodbye to Mandela

I lived in South Africa for five years and if anyone embodies “doing good” it must be Nelson Mandela. Read more…

funded

We Did It!

So pleased to announce that our Kickstarter campaign has succeeded! We were 124% funded, raising nearly $31,000! Thank you to all those who pledged your hard earned money to helping Tiny Spark reach its full potential. This is an incredibly exciting time!

Read more…