Putting Global Problems on Speed Dial though Entrepreneurship

“How can we help the world as entrepreneurs? Make more and give more.” With this statement, CNN founder Ted Turner kicked off this year’s Global Entrepreneurs Council (GEC). This year, I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to be a part of the 2013 – 2014 class of GEC members. I joined fellow entrepreneurial leaders last month in Washington, DC for two motivational days discussing how entrepreneurs can work with the UN to change the world for the better.

“The Global Entrepreneurs Council are putting global problems on speed dial.” – Elizabeth Gore, UN Foundation

The GEC was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2011, with the goal of launching the UN to a new level of innovation in helping to positively impact the world.

Through the GEC the UN has brought together a team of influential entrepreneurs to analyze, assess, and execute solutions for global problems. I am honored to be among some of the world’s brightest entrepreneurs, spanning across a multitude of backgrounds, and all with substantial track record in the fields of entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and advocacy on global issues.

The 2013-2014 Class of Global Entrepreneurs Council Members includes:

  • Troy Carter, CEO and Founder, Atom Factory (@atomfactory)
  • Barbara Bush, CEO and Co-Founder Global Health Courps (@ghcorps)
  • Tina Wells, CEO and Founder, Buzz Marketing Group ( @tinacwells)
  • Ruma Bose, Managing Director, Innovators Fund ( @rumabose)
  • Neil Blumenthal, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Warby Parker (@neilblumenthal)
  • Narry Singh, Technology Entrepreneur (@narry_singh)
  • Julie Smolyansky, President, CEO and Director, Lifeway Foods Inc. (@juliesmolyansky)
  • Ido Leffler, Co-Founder, Yes To, Inc. (@idoleffler)
  • Haroon Mokhtarzada, CEO and Co-Founder, Webs; Vice President of Digital Products, Vista Print (@haroon)

“The United Nations Foundation connects people with big ideas who want to change the world” – Kathy Calvin, President of the UN Foundation

My favorite part of our meetings was the passion I felt from every member of the council. Each person brought a uniquely valuable perspective to the process of identifying key problems and goals. We came away with a plan to create a unified goal for the next two years, a singular focus towards a world problem, so we can show real, measurable progress.

“How can we help the world as entrepreneurs? Make more and give more.” – Ted Turner, Founder, CNN

The GEC Class of 2013-1014 will be releasing details in the near future of our project, which relates to these two key issues:

  1. Global Use Issues – One of the largest problems in the world is that many children don’t have access to information, opportunity, education and jobs. The communities without these assets start acting out in desperation and it creates communities that struggle. We are looking to solve these global issues – how can we help provide the access these children need to succeed?
  2. Women and Girl Issues – Another large objective worldwide involves leveraging women in business. We know that when women receive funding or start building up a level of success, they take what they generate and give it back out to their communities. Women are the fastest growing business segment worldwide and are also the most under-utilized segment – how can we provide opportunity and solutions to women worldwide?

As Dell’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence, I’m excited to represent Dell as the only large corporate organization involved in helping to achieve these goals with the GEC. We are bringing the experience, resources and extensive network of a Fortune 50 corporation, along with Dell initiatives already in place to support entrepreneurs across the world. My focus will continue to be on the technology and funding pieces of this global puzzle. Through the innovative use of technology, we are creating ways to bring people together, gather knowledge and deliver helpful information to world leaders.

I look forward to my ongoing efforts with the GEC, and I will be sure to provide ongoing updates as our two-year project unfolds.

Learn more about the GEC here:

About the Author: Ingrid Vanderveldt