Posts by Paul Polak and Mal Warwick
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Paul Polak is the founder of Colorado-based non-profit International Development enterprises (IDE)-is dedicated to developing practical solutions that attack poverty at its roots.
For the past 25 years, Paul has worked with thousands of farmers in countries around the world-including Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe-to help design and produce low-cost, income-generating products that have already moved 17 million people out of poverty.
Before establishing IDE, Paul practiced psychiatry for 23 years in Colorado. To better understand the environments influencing his patients, Paul would visit their homes and workplaces. After a trip he made to Bangladesh, he was inspired to use the skills he had honed while working with homeless veterans and mentally ill patients in Denver to serve the 800 million people living on a dollar a day around the world. Employing the same tactics he pioneered as a psychiatrist, Paul spent time "walking with farmers through their one-acre farms and enjoying a cup of tea with their families, sitting on a stool in front of their thatched-roof mud-and-wattle homes."
Paul’s ability to respond with innovative solutions-such as the $25 treadle pump and small farm drip-irrigation systems starting at $3-helped IDE increase poor farmers’ net income by $288 million annually.
IDE received a $14 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation in 2006. In 2004, Paul received Ernst & Young’s "Entrepreneur of the Year" award in the social responsibility category. And Paul was named one of the Scientific American "top 50" for his leadership in agriculture policy in 2003.
Mal Warwick is an ex-Peace Corps volunteer (Ecuador 1965–69) turned serial entrepreneur and impact investor who has been active in advocating for social and environmental responsibility in the business community nationwide in the United States for more than two decades. A former chair of Social Venture Network (SVN), Mal is the coauthor, with Ben Cohen, cofounder of Ben & Jerry’s, of Values-Driven Business: How to Change the World, Make Money, and Have Fun, and is the editor of the seven subsequent titles in Berrett-Koehler’s SVN book series. He has written, coauthored, or edited 18 other books, including two that are standard texts in the field of nonprofit fundraising, and has reviewed both fiction and nonfiction on his blog, “Mal Warwick on Books,” since January 2010.
During Mal’s 30-year career in fundraising, he was widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on direct mail and online fundraising for nonprofits. He taught fundraising to nonprofit executives on six continents from more than 100 countries. Mal chaired several industry groups and received top awards for his ground-breaking work. Currently, he chairs the board of Mal Warwick | Donordigital, the award-winning fundraising agency he founded in 1979. Now a B Corporation and owned by its 50 employees, the agency helps nonprofit organizations throughout the United States raise money by mail and online—a total of nearly $1 billion in the course of the company’s history. Numbered among its hundreds of clients have been many of the largest and most prestigious advocacy organizations, charities, and institutions in the United States.
Mal is also a partner in the One World Futbol Project, a mission-driven, for-profit company he helped establish in Berkeley in 2010. One World Futbol manufactures and distributes a virtually indestructible soccer ball that never goes flat. After just two years of operations, the company has distributed nearly 500,000 balls to United Nations and government agencies and NGOs working with disadvantaged children and youth in 141 countries.
Since 1969, Mal has lived in Berkeley, California, where he has been active in civic and political affairs. In 2006 he was awarded the Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal by the Berkeley Community Fund as “Berkeley’s most useful citizen” in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the community.
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