Pitching Virtual Exchange at SVP Fast Pitch
Category : News & Media
On October 27, 2015, OneWorld Now! participated in the 5th annual Social Venture Partners’ Fast Pitch.SVP Fast Pitch is a business pitch competition for innovative nonprofit and for-profit social impact entrepreneurs – organizations that are solving today’s important social problems and making a positive impact in the Greater Puget Sound area. In its first four years, SVP Fast Pitch has connected social impact entrepreneurs with over $1.2 million in investments and grants. Thanks to their generous sponsors they raised the 2015 award pool to $375,000 – $125,000 in grants and $250,000 in investments. While OneWorld Now! didn’t walk away with a first place prize, the experience of pitching and presenting to 1,000 was priceless.
“Being a Finalist in the SVP Fast Pitch was a really rewarding experience. The SVP coaches and volunteers were really supportive, and what a thrill to speak in front of nearly 1,000 people. It’s great recognition of how OWN continues to innovate as we head into our 14th year of programming.” – Jennifer Tanaka, OWN Executive Director
Missed the SVP Fast Pitch? Read the transcript.My name is Jennifer Tanaka. I was born and raised here in the Seattle area. Like many young people today, I grew up with a lot of uncertainties about my identity; my self-worth and sense of purpose. Then, in the early 1990s I studied abroad in Romania, and it proved to be a pivotal moment in my life. It was the opportunity to develop relationships with people living in vastly different conditions, with different worldviews and cultural backgrounds that enabled me to learn about myself; to realize there is much more out there to see and do – beyond the familiarity of my life in Seattle…. It led to 20 years of working abroad on minority rights and leadership. I recently returned to Seattle and today am leading OneWorld Now! – an organization that continues to recreate stories like mine for today’s youth. For 13 years, OneWorld Now! has been changing the lives of thousands of low-income minority high school students through a model of language learning, leadership development and study abroad. We see our students gain self-confidence; become more open toward themselves and others, and of the 98% that go on to college, more and more are landing international careers, including the State Department, Department of Energy and United Nations. But our problem is that study abroad to critical regions we focus on, like China and the Middle East, costs around $5,000 per student. It is cost-prohibitive for most families. Today, less than 1% of all high school and 1% of college students in the US study abroad. 1% is not enough to ensure that our youth:
- get the self-awareness to really understand themselves in the world.
- develop the business skills needed to maintain and grow our role in today’s globalized economy.
- and as our future leaders, have the mindsets to more strongly contribute to peace and stability.
- Who do you think created this, and why?
- What themes are being explored?
- How does it reflect your social norms and cultural values?