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Paula Goldman
Paula Goldman is an anthropologist and social entrepreneur whose work focuses on making unorthodox ideas mainstream. She currently serves as a Senior Director at Omidyar Network where she is responsible for strategies to promote innovation in the social sector.

As Founder and Director of the Imagining Ourselves project with the International Museum of Women, her work won several major awards for the use of new media for social impact. Paula’s efforts have been profiled in global media outlets—from O, the Oprah Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle and CBS News to Times Out Bombay and the Irish Times.

Goldman holds a PhD from Harvard and a Masters Degree from Princeton, and has lived in eight countries on four continents. She has been on faculty at UC Berkeley and Mills College, where she taught courses about social entrepreneurship and international development. Her first book, Imagining Ourselves, was published in 2006.

Entries by Paula Goldman

Problem First, Tool Second: A Flexible Funding Approach to Social Change

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2015 | 5:04 PM

Earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced the formation of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to which they've pledged 99% of their Facebook shares--currently valued at $45 billion dollars. Their announcement was met with a great deal of enthusiasm, as well as curiosity about the details. One...

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Beyond the Pioneer: Getting Inclusive Industries to Scale

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 6:46 PM

This post is co-authored with Matt Bannick, Managing Partner, Omidyar Network.

At Omidyar Network, we are deeply inspired by entrepreneurs innovating to better serve disadvantaged populations in emerging markets. From solar lighting to mobile money to affordable high-quality education, the size of these markets -- and...

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Impact Investing 2.0: Uncovering The "There There"

(1) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 1:44 PM

In certain circles, "impact investing" has started to become trendy. Over the course of 2013 -- from Davos to the G8 to CGI -- you could not attend a global gathering without hearing poetic waxings on how impact investing is able to effect positive social change, while still generating a...

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The Future of Impact Investing

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 10:55 PM

Sir Ronald Cohen, widely regarded as the father of British venture capital, caused a stir with a recent post on the HBR-Bridgespan Insight Center: "Social Impact Investing is the New Venture Capital." The piece, co-authored with William Sahlman, argued that impact investing (the practice of investing...

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Not London, Not New York: Emerging Centers of Gravity for Impact Investing Are in the Global South

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 9:22 AM

Since the term "impact investing" was coined in 2008, the movement has gained tremendous momentum. Until recently, the de facto home for most self-identified impact investors -- investors looking to generate both social and environmental good, along with financial return -- has been the U.S. and Europe. But that is...

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How Satire Can Save the World

(20) Comments | Posted March 15, 2012 | 1:56 PM

You're an activist in Kenya. You're mad about corruption in your country -- with hundreds of millions of dollars meant to aid people in poverty being siphoned off by greedy officials. You want to speak out, but worry that doing so might put your life in danger.

What should...

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Don't Be Redundant

(2) Comments | Posted November 30, 2011 | 4:20 PM

This is not an invitation to a picnic.

So warns the preface of Antony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson's book Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making A Difference.

If you haven't heard of impact investing -- the practice of investing money for both financial return and...

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Doing Good While Doing Well: Let's Make it Legal

(9) Comments | Posted April 4, 2011 | 12:35 AM

On Wednesday, the California State legislature will be reviewing SB201, a landmark bill that would create a new corporate form known as the Flexible Purpose Corporation.

Why is this important?

Right now, instead of recognizing that business and market-based strategies have the potential to bring...

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(4) Comments | Posted December 1, 2010 | 4:45 PM

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Nike and Little Girls -- A Happy Secret of Viral Marketing

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2010 | 11:08 AM

Last week, while browsing, I came across a photo essay that made me want to stick my head into an oven.

If you want to see incredibly well rendered images that do the opposite of motivate action, take a gander. The first photo is that of Jean...

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Gladwell, the Tea Party and the Truth About Social Media

(4) Comments | Posted November 3, 2010 | 5:28 PM

For the past month or two, social media gurus have been feverishly debating a range of topics -- from whether they deserve Nobel Peace Prizes, to whether or not Twitter was the engine for the Tea Party revolution.

If you missed it, the big controversy started when bestselling...

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No, Seriously... What About Men?

(79) Comments | Posted October 20, 2010 | 3:54 PM

For nearly eight years, I held leadership positions in international women's organizations. And for all eight of those years, every time a stranger asked me what I did for a living, I always felt a brief twinge of discomfort, as if I needed to offer some kind of caveat or...

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Sustainability: There is no Enemy (?)

(1) Comments | Posted September 10, 2009 | 11:20 AM

In the past several decades, we have seen a tide-shift in the way we think about social change. It is a shift towards recognizing the interconnectedness of issues; a paradigm in which words 'resistance' and 'domination' are being trumped by words like 'effectiveness' and 'results.' It is a shift away...

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Don't Move to Canada

(31) Comments | Posted October 17, 2008 | 4:45 PM

The other day, I was having coffee in a café in Menlo Park, California -- a small town in the heart of Silicon Valley -- and overheard a horrifying conversation.

It was late morning on Tuesday. Four mothers, appearing to be in their early forties, had gathered to catch up....

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Delivering Hope In South Africa

(2) Comments | Posted April 5, 2008 | 7:05 AM

Most changemakers can't exactly remember when it is they decided to commit themselves to attempting to better the world. They generally give vague answers to the question: the influence of a parent, or a general feeling of discontent about a particular issue.

Simone Honikman, however, remembers the moment vividly....

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The Network: Going Green(er) in Great Britain

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2008 | 6:21 PM

I have to admit that, like many people, it was only recently that I woke up to the importance of global warming.

Before that, environmentalism was always someone else's issue. Something I was sympathetic towards, but in a vague kind of way. I recycled, poorly. I...

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Own Your Impact

(3) Comments | Posted November 16, 2007 | 4:46 PM

A few weeks back, I found myself in Orlando, Florida, helping to lead a panel on using technology for social change at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference.

We spent the afternoon in small breakout sessions. I had the pleasure of talking to a handful...

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On Leaving the Dormouse Behind

(1) Comments | Posted March 7, 2007 | 12:26 PM

Can we agree that International Women's Day doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves? There are three and half billion plus women on the planet, and you'd think if it did, the noise would be deafening. But yet somehow it comes and goes like a whisper. At least...

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