Launched in 1987, Echoing Green's mission is to spark social change by identifying, investing, and supporting the world's most exceptional emerging leaders and the organizations they launch. Through a two-year fellowship program, we help our network of visionaries develop new solutions to society’s most difficult problems. These social entrepreneurs and their organizations work to close deeply-rooted social, economic, and political inequities to ensure equal access and to help all individuals reach his/her potential. To date, Echoing Green has invested nearly $25 million in seed and start up grants to over 400 social entrepreneurs and their innovative organizations.
Twenty "Bold Ideas" projects were chosen, involving 25 Fellows. The projects span a broad range, of which some flavor can be gained from this listing of the first four:
- Establishing independent community-based water organizations in the Philippines that will promote simple, affordable water treatment technologies and participatory strategies to improve community health
- Enforcing legal judgments of unpaid wages to America's poorest workers through strategic methods that promote sustained economic equality
- Creating a new legal infrastructure in the global south to empower refugees to obtain legal status and assert their basic human rights in their first countries of refuge
- Shifting the building industry in Buffalo from wasteful demolition practices to a business model for deconstruction, in order to support sustainable environmental development
On the web site, profiles of each of the projects and fellows are given. Most, but not all, of the fellows appear to be recent graduates, often with advanced degrees. It's heartening to see these talented people use their talent and training to address "society’s most difficult problems."