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Nicole Skibola
Deciding to trade in her legal training for an unconventional path in social innovation and interdisciplinary design work, Nicole works to create opportunities for collaboration, idea synergy and benefit among the legal, business, and nonprofit worlds. Concepts that she finds endlessly interesting are Amartya Sen’s theory of development as freedom and capabilities, quantum theory and systems thinking, and how happiness and creativity for all people (especially lawyers) would make the whole world a better place.

Check out more of her ideas and writing on social innovation, policy and design on her blog.

Entries by Nicole Skibola

How About a Lump of Coal This Christmas?

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 8:41 PM

Thankfully, this year, there were no headline-breaking fistfights at the local Walmart on Black Friday. In fact, Black Friday sales dropped for the first time in four years, leading to speculation as to why Americans aren't buying more.

I have a hypothesis of my own. People are less and...

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We Believe in Kabul

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 2:03 PM

Like most people, I didn't realize that there was a burgeoning art movement in Afghanistan until it recently appeared in my Facebook feed. Colorful street art images of guerrilla rebels throwing a heart rather than a grenade, and machine guns with rainbow cartridges began to regularly appear in...

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Who's Getting Paid to Have Sex? The Politicization of Female Sexuality

(148) Comments | Posted March 9, 2012 | 1:57 PM

Heated debate over President Obama's bill that mandates employer sponsored insurance plans to cover female contraception took a nasty turn last week. Despite talk of religious freedom and the proper role of the state in the private sector, one can't help but wonder how much of these political discussions is...

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The Hottest Gift This Holiday? A Stove

(4) Comments | Posted November 26, 2011 | 12:01 PM

"As a mom, I was shocked to learn that the leading cause of death of children in developing countries is respiratory illness," says The Adventure Project co-founder Jody Landers, in describing the problem of toxic indoor smoke.

Every day, 3 billion people in developing countries are exposed to toxic...

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Wife, Mother, Social Impact Trailblazer: Bridging the Worlds of Social Change

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2011 | 12:36 PM

Scrolling through Jody Landers' blog is a strangely intimate experience -- one that embodies the way that the Internet has transformed our personal and private lives. Pages are colored with birthday cakes, first days of school and grandpa hugs; she openly blogs about her challenges as a parent and a...

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Creating a Pipeline of Angel Investors

(1) Comments | Posted September 15, 2011 | 1:58 PM

According to a 2011 report by the University of New Hampshire's Center for Venture Research, only 13 percent of U.S. angels were women.

Investor Halla Tomasdottir described the benefit of women investors in her 2010 TEDWomen talk in terms of diversifying interests and decision-making:

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Shine On, Sister: Solar Entrepreneurs Make a Big Impact

(3) Comments | Posted August 15, 2011 | 10:58 AM

It's a warm early summer night in Brooklyn, and the walls of VII Agency are covered with Peter DiCampo's Life without Lights exhibit -- dark faces illuminated by the glow of candles, flashlights and fires. DiCampo has worked to portray energy poverty for the last five years, highlighting...

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Play, Policy, and Tree Planting: How Gaming Is Changing the World

(1) Comments | Posted June 29, 2011 | 5:02 PM

Al Gore opened the Games for Change Conference in New York last week, touting the growing importance of games. "This is a very large, extremely significant industry with a wildly diverse and rapidly-growing audience of players on all kinds of platforms. We already know the immense...

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The Movement to Kickstart Rural Agriculture

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2011 | 3:05 PM

In the front yard of his second home, Johnson Nduati takes a spin on his new motorcycle. His two young sons have just returned from private tutoring. His wife, Lucy, gently bounces their youngest daughter on her hip. This scene would seem ordinary, if one didn't know that the Nduati...

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The New Face of Microfinance

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2011 | 7:04 PM

Simonida Cvejic flashes a devilish smile after I inquire whether her bootstrapped success is a cultural byproduct. "My mother's side is Liburni -- maybe that's why I am so stubborn."

The Liburni were an ancient seafaring society in Croatia, speculated to be the region's only matriarchical society. Cvejic makes...

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A Quarter Century Behind Bars: One Man's Story of Innocence

(8) Comments | Posted April 7, 2011 | 11:26 AM

"It was a good week to be a black man in America," smiles Darryl Burton, thinking back to the week of August 28, 2008. President Obama was the first black man to be nominated for the presidential office, and Darryl Burton was exonerated one day later -- after spending 24...

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Dignity, Self-Sufficiency and Potable Water This World Water Day

(3) Comments | Posted March 22, 2011 | 9:39 AM

"I would visit rural Africa, and in every village, someone could point me in the direction of the nearest broken well," explains Becky Straw, founder of the Adventure Project.

With 1.1 billion people -- roughly one sixth of the world's population -- lacking access to...

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Financial Independence for the World's Women: Jane Wurwand Pays it Forward

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2011 | 3:36 PM

Jane Wurwand is passionate about beauty salons.

As the founder of the global skincare company, Dermalogica, she has made beauty her business and is passionate about the relationships that make the beauty industry so unique.

On her whirlwind tour publicizing the new joint Dermalogica and

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Sovereignty, Stability and Sweet Micky: What is Going on in Haiti?

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2011 | 8:53 AM

"I love the dude's music," says one of my Haitian friends, "but do you realize that he is the R. Kelly of Haiti?"

Yes, that would be Michel Martelly, aka "Sweet Micky," the front runner in the Haitian elections a mere 20 days away. A search of...

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Hunger, Obesity and Innovation in the Emergency Food System

(16) Comments | Posted March 3, 2011 | 2:25 PM

Nationally, one in eight people -- and one in five children -- received emergency food help in 2009, up 46 percent from 2005. Yet, two-thirds, or more than 190 million Americans, are overweight or obese, with women and children living below the poverty level...

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Bringing the 'Girl Effect' Back Home: Microfinance Projects for American Women

(12) Comments | Posted February 23, 2011 | 2:42 PM

Rosalva immigrated to the U.S. 20 years ago, struggled to get by as a babysitter, house cleaner, and community service worker, while raising children. In 2002, Valarie lost her husband to gun violence in Hayward, leaving her as a young single mother to take care of...

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