Friday, May 29

Taxi, Teddy & Echoing Green

Eitan in a yellow taxi (he resists for a dollar). The Natural History Museum greets us with four quotes from Theodore Roosevelt, each uniquely appropriate for the setting. Here is one at the westward front entrance:

"I want to see you game boys. I want to see you brave and manly. and I also want to see you gentle and tender.
Be practical as well as generous. In your ideals, keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.
Courage, hard work, self-mastery and intelligent effort are all essential to a successful life.
Character in the long run is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike."
-- Teddy Roosevelt

Grace buys me Roosevelt's biography which I probably won't read since I only do fiction since post MBA. I ask Eitan and Madeleine their favorite part of the NHM and, expectedly, get: "gift store." And: "shopping." In fairness, Gracie buys Eitan a battery powered flying Space Shuttle and Madeleine and collection of rocks she thinks diamonds. Hard for anything stuffed to top that. Katie, meanwhile, gives a presentation to her Echoing Green foundation, who chose her with four others to demonstrate what social ideas and capital may accomplish. She is then off to see Jeremy plan in his band somewhere in lower Manhattan. We gently decline the invitation as the Shakespeares wiped out.

From the Echoing Green website: "Since 1987, Echoing Green has provided seed funding and support to more than 450 social entrepreneurs with bold ideas for social change in order to launch groundbreaking organizations around the world." Katie tells me the foundation supports less than 1% of applications. Here are several examples:

Kumar - building an (rural India) venture capital fund to serve businesses owned by or employing low-income producers, enabling them to scale up their businesses to become commercially successful companies.

Anne Tamar-Mattis - protecting the civil rights of children born with variations of sex anatomy.

Ben Schmoltz - improving the nation's disaster management systems through public accountability, citizen oversight and empowerment, whistle-blower engagement, and policy research.

Elizabeth Scharpf - Amplifying girls' and women's economic potential by launching female-run franchises that manufacture and distribute low priced, high-quality, environmentally-friendly sanitary pads.