The Reinvention of Philanthropy: An Interview With The Aspen Institutes' Jonathan Greenblatt

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Apr 28, 2011 2:30 PM ET
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The Reinvention of Philanthropy: An Interview With The Aspen Institutes' Jonath…

Jonathan Greenblatt currently serves as the Director of The Impact Economy Initiative at the Aspen Institute and is the founder and former president of All for Good (Our Good Works [OGW]), the open source, web-based initiative to engage more Americans in service. It is the largest database of volunteer listings ever compiled and provides content to a wide range of government, nonprofit, and personal websites. Jonathan is the former CEO of GOOD Worldwide and the co-founder of Ethos Brands, the business that launched Ethos Water, the premium bottled water that helps children around the world get clean water. Jonathan served as vice president of global consumer products at Starbucks Coffee Company following its acquisition of Ethos in 2005 as well as joined the board of directors of the Starbucks Foundation.  

Jonathan also has worked at the highest levels of public service. He developed international economic policy as an aide in the Clinton White House and served on the Technology and Innovation working group of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition team. He currently serves on the board of several leading nonprofit organizations including the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, KaBOOM! and He is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and was appointed to the faculty at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA in 2006 where he teaches social entrepreneurship. He graduated cum laude from Tufts University and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

You are currently the Director of the Impact Economy Initiative at the Aspen Institute, can you tell us a little more about that?

We are living through a period of history when forces such as globalization and technology have accelerated the pace of change to a breathtaking rate.  In these turbulent times, as the country seeks new approaches to job creation and economic renewal, a number of experts increasingly acknowledge the relationship between national competitiveness, social impact and environmental benefit.  An increasing number of people describe this emerging convergence as the "Impact Economy," a phenomenon that encompasses a wide range of sectors including community enterprises and clean tech as well as new fields such as affordable living and ethical brands. 

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