Moving America Forward

Sin City Goes Green, Philanthropic Investments That Reap Incredible Returns and More

May 13, 2016
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Sin City Goes Green, Philanthropic Investments That Reap Incredible Returns and More
The Park in Las Vegas features native Southwestern plants, recycled metal furniture and a 40-foot-tall statue originally from the Burning Man festival, plus large metal structures that keep visitors shaded and cool. Photo by Barry Toranto
Take a break from the regular news cycle and check out these NationSwell must-reads, which uncover solutions that are moving America forward.

 

 

Behind the Bright Lights of Vegas: How the 24-Hour Party City Is Greening Up Its Act, The Guardian
It may be known as Sin City, but that doesn’t mean the indiscretions taking place in the Nevada desert must include harming the planet. A new leafy oasis now offers vacationers a respite from the bright-as-the-sun neon lights that illuminate the Strip all night long. The Park, which features native Southwestern plants, a 40-foot-tall statue originally from the Burning Man festival and large metal structures that keep visitors shaded and cool, might be the only actual green space amongst the seemingly-endless stretch of casinos, but it’s one of many ways that Las Vegas is reducing its environmental footprint.

How to Bet Big on the American Dream, The Atlantic
Despite politicians’ proclamations, the American Dream isn’t dead or even on its last legs. But how much philanthropic investment is necessary for low-income residents to have a shot at upward mobility? The nonprofit advisor Bridgespan Group examined how impactful $1 billion dollars invested in each of 15 different philanthropic ventures would be at reducing poverty. As with any investment, the payout isn’t certain. But with returns estimated at being between $3 and $15 for each $1 spent (not to mention a high probability of drastically increasing program recipients’ lifetime earnings), these are bets that seem to be worth taking.

New MOOCs for Rising Leaders, Stanford Social Innovation Review
Why is it that things are usually out of reach to those most interested? Social entrepreneurs often can’t afford or get to leadership development programs. But now, educational seminars are going to them, thanks to the release of two new MOOCs (massive open online course). Free video classes from Philanthropy U provide students insights from social enterprise greats such as the cofounder of Kiva.org; Leaderosity, which charges tuition, touts among its instructors leaders from The Presidio Institute. Both programs provide access to personnel development that’s desperately needed in this sector.

MORE: Big Bets: How a 12-Month Boot Camp Transforms Low-Income Youths into Whiz Kids

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