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Kushal Chakrabarti Headshot

Change Happens When Social Good and Social Media Meet Up

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This week, I attended Social Good Summit in New York. Mashable, 92Y and the United Nations Foundation hosted the summit to bring together world leaders, celebrities, and forward thinking, cause oriented individuals who believe, like I do, that technology and social networks can be key catalysts in helping solve the world's challenges.

It was an amazing event to be a part of. Hearing how a variety of different efforts are making a big difference in raising awareness and dollars for life-changing causes confirmed once again for me that change is possible, and can move at a faster pace than ever before!

As Susan Smith Ellis, CEO of (RED), pointed out, the average person spends at least 13 hours online. For many of us, that number is much higher. Our social media activities -- tweeting, posting on Facebook, sharing our ideas and views -- often consumes most of it.

At Vittana, much of our growth and awareness has leveraged these tools. We use them to connect with like-minded individuals, who, like us, believe that you can change the world. We know that the work that we're doing is effecting change: Vittana students make three times more after they finish school than when they started. Our Vittana lenders tweet, post and blog about the students they are connecting to, and share their inspirational stories.

This week, in conjunction with Dealpop.com, we're running our own effort to harness some of this change that social tools can bring. Through Wednesday, Dealpop will feature Vittana, and encourage users to help fund our students, and DealPop will match those efforts.

We're excited to participate in this effort. Using the social buying phenomenon to increase awareness for social causes seems like a natural fit. These companies have experienced tremendous growth based on offering deep discounts at local businesses that create a word of mouth phenomenon amongst friends, family, and colleagues. Turning that growth engine and pointing it to do the same for causes like ours that help lift people out of poverty is a deal I'll sign up for every day of the week!