Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Grinnell College announced Cristi Hegranes as a winner of the second annual Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize. Watch the outstanding feature video here!

The prize, which received nominations from 45 countries, honors three individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. The prize includes a $100,000 award.

Global Press Institute is an award-winning, high-impact social venture that uses journalism as a development tool to educate, employ and empower women in the developing world to produce high-quality local news coverage that elevates global awareness and ignites social change. Hegranes founded GPI in 2006 at the age of 25 after working as a foreign correspondent in Nepal.

During the last six years, GPI has trained and employed more than 130 women in 25 countries.

“I dedicate this award to the women journalists of GPI who have done me the tremendous honor of turning my little idea into a huge, world-changing reality,” said Hegranes, now 31.

Dr. Raynard S. Kington, president of Grinnell College, commended the 2012 prize winners.

“These young men and women embody Grinnell’s long-standing mission to prepare students to go out into the world and use their education for the benefit of the common good,” Kington said. “Our 2012 winners represent the ideals of the prize program in every way possible.”

Both journalism and social justice organizations have consistently recognized and lauded GPI’s work for its unique and effective impact. GPI has won more than a dozen journalism awards and honors, including the Journalism Innovation Prize from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2010 and the prestigious Kurt Schork Prize for Excellence in International Reporting from the Reuters Foundation in 2011. Hegranes received the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism in 2008 and a Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2011.

Members of the GPI team were thrilled to hear about the award today.

“In addition to recognizing the vision, courage and tireless efforts of Cristi Hegranes, the Grinnell Prize also validates the voices of GPI reporters, the stories they tell and the social justice they further,” said Maura Bogue, GPI’s managing editor.

Longtime board member Ryan Blitstein said: “After watching GPI produce high-impact work for more than six years, I am thrilled to see Cristi elevated to her rightful place among the world’s top social entrepreneurs.”

Hegranes will visit the Grinnell College campus the week of Nov. 12 to participate in the Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize Symposium and awards ceremony. Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, will be the keynote speaker.

About Grinnell College:

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations and pre-professional programs.

About Global Press Institute:
Global Press Institute is an award-winning, high-impact social venture that uses journalism as a development tool to educate, employ and empower women in the developing world to produce high-quality local news coverage that elevates global awareness and ignites social change.

GPI offers women a unique training-to-employment opportunity that builds the skills necessary for success in professional journalism and then provides them with long-term employment. Each woman who completes the training program receives a job offer at a fair wage to become a GPI reporter. To date, GPI has trained and employed more than 130 women around the world.

As a result of GPI’s high quality and extensive reach, more than 25 percent of GPI stories in the last two years have catalyzed direct action – sparking social protest, provoking international attention to issues first covered by GPI and even changing laws in a country.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cristi Hegranes, the Founder of GPI was interviewed by Folake Soetan of Ventures Africa.

Hegranes is “changing the face of international journalism and women’s empowerment,” says Soetan.

Read the exclusive interview here.

TED Prize winner Charmian Gooch wished to end anonymous companies at TED2014 and gave the audience an in-depth look at how anonymity feeds corruptuon. Yesterday's release of The Panama Papers made people all over the world feel this. Photo: James Duncan Davidson/TED

TED Prize winner Charmian Gooch has worked for years to end anonymous shell companies. At TED2014, she gave the audience a look at how anonymity feeds corruption. Yesterday’s release of the Panama Papers illustrates her message, with 11.5 million documents that paint a picture of a global network of anonymous dealings. Photo: James Duncan Davidson/TED

A trail of $2 billion in offshore deals that traces to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. The Prime Minister of Iceland, accused of hiding millions of dollars in investments. The Prime Minister of Pakistan’s family, linked to six luxury real estate deals in London.

The Panama Papers, revealed yesterday, represent the largest data leak in history – a total of 11.5 million files from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, which among other services incorporates companies in offshore jurisdictions like the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and the Seychelles. The contents of the leak point to the offshore holdings of 140 politicians and public officials from more than 50 countries, as well as to numerous celebrities and members of the global elite. The revelations in the papers have jaws dropping all around the world. But they’re not a huge surprise to Charmian Gooch, winner of the 2014 TED Prize. “It’s really exciting, isn’t it, that this secretive world is being opened up to global public scrutiny,” she said over email.

Gooch and her organization Global Witness have been calling attention for years to the issue of anonymous companies and how they enable corruption. In her talk at TED2014, Gooch wished to create a public registry of who owns companies, to make the anonymous ownership a thing of the past. To the team at Global Witness, the Panama Papers prove the importance of this mission.

“This investigation shows how secretly owned companies … can act as getaway cars for terrorists, dictators, money launderers and tax evaders all over the world,” says Robert Palmer of Global Witness. “The time has clearly come to take away the keys.”

Watch BBC One’s Panorama tonight for Global Witness’ take on The Panama Papers, and what can be done to end anonymous companies and open up tax havens. For a crystal-clear explanation of why anonymous companies are problematic, watch the TED-Ed animation below and check out Charmian Gooch’s TED Prize talk.

And for more on the issue of global corruption:

Forbes magazine just published its latest ranking of the World’s Most Valuable Brands.  The results weren’t all that surprising — Apple remains the far-and-away leader at $154.1 billion — and writer Kurt Badenhausen’s summary provides a good topline analysis of the ranking.  But there are always interesting data points in these kinds of reports that don’t make the headlines, so I thought I’d share with you three noteworthy, if not well-publicized, facts about the world’s most valuable brands.Forbes Worlds Best Brands 2016

1. Brands matter in B2B. Sixteen of the top 100 most valuable brands — and 2 of the top 10 — are B2B companies. GE tops the B2B brand list with $36.7 billion of value attributed directly to its brand.  For reference, the amount equals IKEA’s total revenues.  Also of note, that amount represents 40% of the company’s total revenue.  So it’s safe to declare GE’s brand is critically valuable to the corporation.

When I’m speaking about brand-building, I’m often challenged by people who think that brands don’t matter in B2B — that somehow purchase decisions are too rational, products are too functional, and competitive advantage is too technical in B2B companies for their brands to have any substantive impact.  But the Forbes ranking suggests otherwise.  And adding credence to these numbers is the introduction to GE’s last annual report, which stated, “Every GE business feeds off enterprise strength in technology, brand, globalization and services.” [emphasis mine]

2. Many companies are leaving brand value on the table. It’s not surprising that some companies generate revenues well above their brand value.  But Forbes calculates that 34 of the top 100 brands are more valuable than their companies’ revenues.  For example, Facebook’s company revenues are reported at $17.4 billion while its brand value is $52.6 billion.  In some cases, the differential is likely mostly due to corporate structure, e.g., the $14 billion that Google’s brand is valued over the company’s revenues probably contributes to Alphabet, its parent company’s revenue.  But for many brands, I’m at a loss to explain why companies would not be able to capture more of their brand value.  Perhaps they need to work harder at monetizing their brand equity?

3. Exact brand value is difficult to calculate. The differences between brand valuation rankings illustrates this point best.  For example, as noted above, Forbes reports Apple’s brand value at $154.1 billion.  But last year, Interbrand’s Best Global Brands ranking published by BusinessWeek estimated that value at $170.3 billion.  Some of the difference could be explained by Apple’s declining performance during the time gap, but a loss of $16.2 billion in such a short timeframe seems unlikely.  And the discrepancies do not result from Forbes consistently over-valuing brands — it puts Coke’s brand value at $58.5 billion, while BusinessWeek reports it at $78.4 billion.  The differences are most likely due to the differences in valuation methodologies as well as the subjectivity involved in the calculations.  I’ve written before about the shortcomings of brand valuation techniques, so I will simply reiterate here that these calculations are best used for comparative, not absolute use.

What do you find interesting, surprising, challenging, or helpful about the world’s most valuable brands?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

related posts:

The post three things they didn’t tell you about the world’s most valuable brands appeared first on Denise Lee Yohn.


Just a few of the intriguing headlines involving members of the TED community this week:

The bare necessities of life.  In a paper published on March 25, Craig Venter revealed that he and his team have created a minimalist microbe containing only the genes essential for its survival. The ultimate goal is to create new synthetic life forms, but the results reveal a pretty big catch: Of 473 total genes, the functions of 149 are completely unknown, roughly 30% of the total, underscoring how much we have left to learn about life. Read more about the results in an Atlantic article by fellow TED speaker Ed Yong. (Watch Craig’s TED Talk and Ed’s TED Talk.)

Vikings in North America. Despite their description in ancient sagas, Viking settlements in the New World have eluded discovery — with only one confirmed site on the tip of Newfoundland.  But further south, TED Prize winner and space archaeologist Sarah Parcak’s latest discovery, a stone hearth used for working iron thought to be built by Vikings, could upend our limited knowledge of Viking history in North America.  Read more about the discovery in National Geographic or on the latest Nova, and stay tuned for the release later this year of Global Xplorer, a citizen science-based game developed by Parcak, so you can try your own hand at space archaeology.  (Watch Sarah’s TED Talk.)

Roadblocks to economic stability. In a Bloomberg’s “The First Word” podcast interview last week, economist Dambisa Moyo weighed in on remarks by Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, in which he called on global financial leaders to rethink current systems to prepare for the next financial crisis. Noting the good intentions behind this call-to-action, Moyo nonetheless acknowledges the difficulties: “ We see a lot of differences and a schism across many countries across the world, partly driven by the weakness in the underlying real economy.” Considering the differences between, for example, how European and American institutions bank and trade, having one cohesive approach for all countries will be difficult. But is universality the key when tackling a new economic crisis? (Watch Dambisa’s TED Talk.)

A puzzling TV show. David Kwong has a puzzling profession, literally; he creates crossword puzzles for the New York Times and and sometimes, for TV shows like NBC’s Blindspot, a show whose protagonist has tattoos that are linked to a large criminal conspiracy. In the April 4 episode, the character Patterson starts a puzzle that was created by Kwong. In an interview, Kwong asks Martin Gero, the show’s creator, about his inspiration: “I’ve wanted to do a puzzle/treasure hunt show for years … but could never quite crack it. Finally I had this image of a giant puzzle map tattooed on a person’s body and I thought: yeah, this might be something people would watch.” (Watch David’s TED Talk.)

North Korean defectors in China.  At TED2013, Hyeonseo Lee described her harrowing escape from North Korea to China, where she lived in hiding for 10 years before receiving asylum in South Korea. China considers North Korean refugees illegal immigrants and pays people who report them. On March 26 and 27, in a rare public speech made as a North Korean defector in China, she returned to speak at the Beijing Bookworm Literary Festival because, as she told the New York Times, she wanted “to at least change some of the information they’ve been given.”  (Watch Hyeonseo’s TED Talk.)

How humans spread epidemics. While humans may feel powerless in the face of new epidemics, it turns out that epidemics rely on human actions like urbanization and factory farming to get started and to spread, says investigative science journalist Sonia Shah in an interview with World Policy Journal. The interview, and her new book Pandemic, explore how these interactions give rise to epidemics … and the steps we can take to prevent them. (Watch Sonia’s TED Talk.)

High demand for an electric car. Since public registration opened on March 31, advance orders for the new Model 3 Tesla car have skyrocketed. Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, estimated that by 10pm PST on Day One, Tesla received 140,000 orders. A cheaper and more energy-efficient edition, the Model 3 could help more people access an electric car. (Watch Elon’s TED Talk.)

Have a news item to share? Write us at and you may see it included in this weekly round-up.

In its first-ever advertising, PrivatizeMe LLC, Durham, N.C., targets seven disparate social sectors with little in common… other than a preference not to be targeted at all. They are: gun enthusiasts; porn consumers; college-or-higher-educated African Americans; people with STDs; people with personal hygiene issues; survivalists; and the LGBT. Ads for an eighth target market, the overweight, were rejected and did not run. PrivatizeMe is a browser add-on that removes cookies, making the attention-averse and their web histories invisible to and unreachable by the sites they visit.

The Twitter campaign was created by advertising agency The Republik, Durham, and media, in the form of paid Tweets, is managed by the client. The ads are in two formats, both of which are intended to address the viewer with discomforting directness. The first, “You forgot…,” is in the form of a digital shopping cart with some typically private item for purchase. The second, “You fit…,” is a stark, all-type summation of the viewer’s profile.

Starting this year, the client initiated serial ad buys for target audiences considered likely to value privacy, and then refocused on those audiences with higher response rates. Gun enthusiasts, for which the campaign has run both profile- and shopping cart-format ads, have had the highest response rate of any group. Porn consumers (shopping cart) have been second highest. The most recent ad, the profile-format “You have E.D.,” broke this month.

Creative credits go to The Republik creative director Robert West; associate creative director Matt Shapiro; and art director/copywriter George Lauinger. Additional design work was done by London-based Robert Burke.

Creative Credits:
AD AGENCY: The Republik, Durham, N.C.
CD: Robert Shaw West
ACD: Matt Shapiro
AD/CW: George Lauinger