Category Archives: Connecting Thought Leaders with Socially Responsible Organizations and Communities

GREEN EXCHANGE – Chicago Gets Greener

Green Exchange is the country’s first commercial real estate development designed for the advancement of green business. By bringing together an opportune mix of exceptional organizations under one roof, you’ll find a dynamic environment that fosters synergies and provides constant opportunities to grow green exponentially.

Business is increasingly going green. In the U.S., Europe and around the globe, organizations are realizing what it is to be both successful and sustainable. Green Exchange moves the green marketplace from niche to mainstream. Its mission is to further the new green economy, serving people, planet and profit.

“Green Exchange is a great example of the public/private partnerships that are working together to help make Chicago one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the nation.”

Mayor Richard M. Daley, City of Chicago

The four-story 250,000 SF, Green Exchange, located at 2545 West Diversey Avenue, is to be converted in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, with an aspiration to achieve a Silver certification. It will provide a significant retail presence, showroom galleries, office space, incubator lofts and attractive common areas, creating an epicenter for green businesses and organizations in the Midwest U.S.

Chicago Green Exchange environment Turbo Tagger

Imerman Angels


Jonny Imerman is the founder of Imerman Angels. Fighting cancer for 2 years, at the age of 26 years old, he had loving support from family and friends, but never met anyone his age who was a cancer survivor. He wanted to talk to someone just like him, someone who truly understood and remembered – someone who had already beaten the same type of cancer.

Today, Imerman Angels provides that gift for cancer fighters. Imerman Angels introduces and connects each cancer fighter to one survivor who is the same age, same gender, and someone who has already beaten that particular type of cancer. A cancer survivor would be an angel – walking, talking, living proof to inspire the fighter that he/she can beat cancer. The relationship provides a fighter the opportunity to ask personal questions and receive encouragement from someone who is uniquely familiar with the situation.  The relationship provides a survivor the opportunity to personally help a fighter as he or she battles the disease.

The nature of the 1-on-1 relationship is up to each fighter-survivor pair.  Perhaps the survivor will go to the fighter’s first chemotherapy treatment, or maybe the pair will simply speak on the phone from time to time.  In other words, the fighter and survivor determine the depth of their own relationship.
In addition, Imerman Angels also connects “caregivers.”  A caregiver is a friend or family member who is supporting a cancer fighter.  Like fighters and survivors, they wish to be paired up with another caregiver who relates to and understands their situation.  For instance, we have introduced the mother of a three-year-old cancer fighter to the mother of a four-year-old cancer survivor.
“Although Imerman Angels is based in Chicago, we help cancer fighters and survivors across the United States and the world.  While sometimes a cancer fighter and survivor live in the same city, we have connected people from different cities, even different countries.  We have found that the 1-on-1 relationships are not limited by geography.  For example, we paired up a cancer survivor in northern California with a cancer fighter in Guatemala.”
Whether you are a cancer fighter, survivor, or caregiver, our service is 100% free.  Imerman Angels does not turn anyone away.


Imerman Angels, founded in 2003,  is a federally registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.  All donations are tax deductible.

This Saturday, July 28, Don’t Miss This Outdoor Rooftop Event at Lakeshore Athletic Club Supporting Imerman Angels .org

Jonny Imerman is a friend of ours and runs an amazing organization I plan to talk much more in depth about next week.  For now, if you want more info on the incredible services Imerman Angels provides, pay them a visit or join them this Saturday for a terrific time.  You are the best, Jonny!
Derrick and Michael

ZAADZ is Still Changing the World – And You Can too!

Zaadz, and wanted to share it…

“History shows that we keep caring for the needs of larger and larger numbers of people: we’ve come from small hunter-gatherer economies to agrarian economies to a larger-scale plantation economy and then a full-scale industrial economy. Now we’re firmly settled in a knowledge economy: we have an entire market based on the transformation of information from one pattern to another.

(Amazing, hm? It wasn’t that many decades ago that the very idea would have seemed ridiculous. An economy based on information? On learning and then sharing? Absurd. Or phenomenal.

If history is any indicator, we’re not going to stop there. So we might well ask: What’s going to come after this knowledge economy?

If you look at everything from Microsoft’s interest in humanitarian causes to the greening of businesses worldwide and the deepening interest in making a living that matters, it might make sense to imagine that a change is already happening.

We’re shifting from an information economy to one that’s values-based.

What does that mean? It means that businesses that are doing good will be the ones that do well. It means that companies that contribute to social betterment will be the ones who attract the best workers. It means that organizations who care about the consequences of their actions will be the ones that thrive.

And so we’re finding out it’s not just possible to make money meaningful, it’s essential. After a certain point, money that’s not attached to some deeper value is worthless, and unsatisfying, and more and more people are waking up to that.

Which brings us to the ‘changing the world‘ part.

Capitalism is arguably one of the most powerful forces on the planet. So, waking up to the deep change stirring within it, and tuning into those movements from inside, is thrilling. (And you can feel the change, can’t you? There are people calling for careers that they can believe in and looking for ways to spend their money that doesn’t result in social and environmental harm, and our numbers are growing and growing and growing.)

The more we can do to facilitate that shift, and to encourage the growth of both the businesses striving to reorient themselves and the people interested in supporting this new values-based commerce, the better. It’s not an easy process. These sorts of fundamental changes (dare I say ‘paradigm shifts’?) take time. It takes the commitment of thousands—if not millions—to increased awareness, to being conscious of the way we make and spend our money, and to staying true to our own values and making sure these our aligned with our economic actions.”

Find out more about Zaadz and join!


Fox network’s American Idol has become the nation’s most watched TV show with an average of 30-35 million viewers.

A two-hour show filled with inspirational songs, movie, television and music stars and stories of poverty from Africa and the United States rounded off the two-night special. Even Celine and
Elvis an appearance!

“People say you can’t be the generation that ends brutal, stupid poverty, but we can and we
will,” Bono, U2’s lead singer and leading spokesman for the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty
History, said in a prerecorded segment.

(Ellen donated a check for $100,000)

Each vote cast by viewers via text and telephone triggered an undisclosed donation to charities
by the corporate sponsors of Idol – Ford, Coca-Cola and AT&T News Corp, which owns the Fox
TV network, donated $5 million after the vote tally hit 50 million. – Viewers
were also invited to phone in donations that will go to Save the Children, UNICEF, Malaria No
More, The Global Fund and Nothing But Nets for youth relief programs in Africa and poverty-hit
areas of the United States, including hurricane ravaged Louisiana.

Throughout the show Seacrest regularly crossed to comedian and talk-show host Ellen
DeGeneres at a concert she hosted at the Disney Hall in Los Angeles for musical performances
by stars such as opera group Il Divo, Annie Lennox and former Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.  – 

I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes an annual fundraiser.




ZAADZ – Hopefully you joined!

Today ZAADZ  told me about GLOBAL MINDSHIFT!

To change the world, change your mind.

Isn’t this amazing? And isn’t it true? This belief is at the core of Global MindShift’s philosophy.

Global MindShift is a growing non-profit community of people and organizations working together to
find new solutions to emerging and age-old problems – a community that believes these solutions
begin with a broader perspective and greater communication. 

They provide a beautiful means of connection. Their site gives you the ability to join people around the world in conversations that matter, by hosting discussions between 8 to 12 people in a structured
online format.

Through these conversations you get to explore the big questions in life, like “who are we?”,  “where
do we come from?”, and most importantly, “where we are going?”  The Global MindShift exercises encourage us to consider what it means to be human from the biggest possible perspective – our evolutionary journey – and how that bigger perspective can help us build a better world for all life.

Global MindShift offers content too. You’ve heard of memes? Those
 “units of cultural information” that make up the very DNA of human society? The site offers an
expanding resource of these memes that serve the emerging global community. It’s a wonderful
 collection of ideas and videos about the incredible shift in consciousness.

Good stuff!

Albert Einstein said that you can’t solve problems from the same level of thinking that created them –
so the importance of participating in conversations designed to help shift perspectives is essential.
And what better way to do it than with others who care?

So check out the Global MindShift online community, join a conversation, and help spread the word
that together we can make a difference. Go on. Have a look. And let’s change the world.


     AMERICAN IDOL and the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund (CPEF) have partnered on an historic television event – IDOL GIVES BACK – a two-night special raising awareness and funds for organizations that provide relief programs to help children and young people in extreme poverty in America and Africa. Millions of dollars are to be raised!

On Tuesday, April 24 (8:00-9:00 PM ET), the Top 6 finalists will sing songs that can be considered “Life Anthems.” In keeping with the IDOL GIVES BACK theme, all the songs performed will be about compassion and hope. After the performance show, viewers will vote for their favorite contestants via toll-free numbers and text messages, as usual. On this special night, however, viewers will also help change the lives of the truly needy. For every vote cast, AMERICAN IDOL sponsors Coca-Cola and AT&T, along with a range of additional partners, will donate money to the charity. The Ford Motor Company will also contribute to the cause in connection with its weekly music video, details of which will be announced soon.

The special two-hour results show on Wednesday, April 25 (8:00-10:00 PM ET) will be a star-studded evening featuring world-renowned artists and celebrities, including Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Pink, Michael Bublé, Annie Lennox, Il Divo and popular Kazakhstan journalist Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) among many others who will take the AMERICAN IDOL stage.


The money raised by the two shows will equally benefit the U.S. and Africa. In the U.S., the money will be distributed via CPEF to Save the Children and other U.S. organizations working to deliver programs to children living in extreme conditions in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country. To find out more about poverty here in America, please visit .

In Africa, the money will be dedicated to delivering health and education programs and will be distributed via CPEF to a number of organizations, including U.S. Fund for UNICEF, The Global Fund, Save the Children, Nothing but Nets and Malaria No More. For those interested in learning more about how to get involved in efforts to fight AIDS and extreme poverty around the world, visit ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History ( ).

/images/12877-12348/300comic_relief.jpg”>         Richard Curtis is a remarkable man and the Red Nose Day charity on BBC TV is an amazing humanitarian effort. Richard approached me a couple of years ago and asked how we could work together to launch a major new televised charity initiative in the U.S. following on from the $820 million that he has raised in the UK with Red Nose Day,” stated Simon Fuller, creator and executive producer of AMERICAN IDOL.

“After lengthy discussions it occurred to me that we should use AMERICAN IDOL as a platform to premiere this idea. Red Nose Day is an extraordinary institution and I am hoping that IDOL GIVES BACK is an enormous success, raising awareness and huge amounts of money for all these wonderfully deserving causes, and allowing us to continue to make these important, world-changing shows for many years to come.”

“The IDOL GIVES BACK premiere provides an excellent opportunity for AMERICAN IDOL viewers to engage with the issues of poverty and health in Africa. People all across Africa are fighting back against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and there is optimism and hope everywhere. AMERICAN IDOL viewers will be able to learn more about these successes and contribute directly to them. It is a wonderfully exciting opportunity,” said Sir Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund.


Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest traveled to Africa and personally witnessed the poverty and disease there, as well as the extensive programs that are underway to fight them.

“Having witnessed some of the appalling conditions in Africa firsthand, I’m especially proud that our show is offering Americans the chance to help those most in need,” said Cowell. “Ensuring that American charities will equally benefit from these efforts was one of my priorities, and I’d like to thank our sponsors for their support and generosity in making this possible.”

Seacrest added: “I thought I was prepared for what I would see in Africa, but the level of poverty was beyond anything I could have imagined. You see it, you smell it, you taste it. However, despite the extreme conditions, you feel an incredible sense of hope from the people … especially the children.”

Additionally, Cowell and Seacrest will be joined by Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, visiting areas such as Kentucky and parts of Mississippi and Louisiana devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Although it has been over a year since the hurricane hit, many people’s lives are still in turmoil despite the efforts being made.

These trips will be highlighted in the specials, demonstrating what can be achieved by communities working together and how even small donations can make a life-changing difference.

                                        THIS IS GOING TO BE HUGE!


Melissa Giovagnoli of Networlding and
 Eileen Messier of  The Social Network. “Networlding is all about strategic growth and sustainability-the greatest good for the greatest number.” said Ms. Giovagnoli. “I have been working with Eileen’s Social Network Group, and through conversations, I recommended something Oprah also recommended recently. Do something for someone and have them “Pay it Forward” to someone else. Because Eileen  has a large professional client base, I thought it was a good match to bring her together with the Namaste School and adopt them for one year, helping them with everything from providing financial support to helping coordinate volunteers. A 12 month emphasis and focus has so much more impact obviously than a one-time event or fundraiser.  Then, in turn, Namaste School will pay it forward to two other schools next year.”

Namaste (pronounced na-ma-STAY) Charter School  is committed to the physical, social and academic well being of students, staff and parents. “We believe that to achieve in school, students must be healthy, active and engaged in physical activity regularly. We also believe that adults must model the healthy lifestyle and positive attitude that we wish the students to embrace. The school will incorporate health, nutrition and athletics into its rigorous curriculum, created to ensure literacy, numeracy and a lifelong love of reading.”

Charter schools are independent public schools that are operated by outside organizations. They are monitored by the school district in which they are chartered and are subject to the same safety, civil rights, special education and bilingual regulations as traditional public schools.


Namaste School Model

The school was created in an effort to fill the void for more high quality education for students within the Chicago Public School System. The innovative approach to maximize the learning experience includes implementing a “year round” schedule in which students attend school for three consecutive months and then have a one-month break. The daily class schedule is also unique in that it includes breakfast and lunch to ensure the students are well-nourished, as well as a Family Breakfast each week. The school day is also extended to 7 1/2 hours (with early release on Fridays) to allow ample time for regular physical activity. The Namaste model is designed to promote advanced, focused learning and long-term health and exercise habits.

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WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE Documentary by Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films


view their other releases, or purchase through AMAZON from the link below.


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