Praxis: Accelerating Social Entrepreneurs of Faith
For centuries, people of faith have led major social efforts to create common good in our world. Many of the top hospitals, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit enterprises providing social care around the world were originally birthed out of a Christian worldview modeled after the compassionate life that Christ lived out.
Beyond all of the extreme, stereotypical depictions of “Christians” by mass media, I’ve been deeply encouraged by the new surge of people in faith that are committed to generating intelligent, compassionate, and meaningful good for our world. These individuals are motivated by their understanding of Christ’s love for the world without the need to “pitch Jesus” in everything that they do.
A breath of much needed fresh air…
This is why I was so encouraged to hear from my friend, Dave Blanchard (formerly of IDEO), about the formation of a new organization called Praxis.
Praxis is an organization that exists to support emerging social entrepreneurs of faith by providing accelerated programs that focus on four distinct areas:
- Mentorship & Customized Expertise
- Action-oriented Education & Planning
- Peer networking, and
- Access to Capital Sources.
The year-long program, designed to be progress-focused and iterative in nature, features three main events, in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. At each event, Praxis Fellows will receive guidance from over 20 highly experienced mentors, including:
- Chris Crane, Founder of Edify, former CEO of Opportunity International
- Jamie Tworkowski, Founder of To Write Love on Her Arms
- Jason Russell, Founder of Invisible Children
- Gabe Lyons, Creator of Q
- Joy Anderson, Founder & President of Criterion Ventures
- Jena Nardella, Founder & Executive Director of Blood: Water Mission
- Peter Greer, President & CEO of HOPE International
- And yes, yours truly 🙂
Mentors will hold intimate roundtable sessions, while also providing tailored, individual attention in one-on-one sessions, on a comprehensive set of topics critical to organizational development, from fundraising to board development to team building.
Dave recently stated, “We’ve designed a program meant to provide social entrepreneurs with the knowledge and network they need to create high-impact organizations,” said Dave Blanchard, Praxis Founder and President, who created the program after working on social innovation at design firm IDEO. We’ve also addressed a deep market need by creating a place where social entrepreneurs are supported in processing how their faith impacts their work.”
They just opened up applications for program fellows today!
They are only selecting 12 non-profits and mission-driven for-profits for the development program, where mentorship, peer support, and a myriad of organizational development resources will be provided, culminating with a pitch event with $100,000 in cash awards. The accelerator has been designed in collaboration with Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society.
If interested, please visit www.praxislabs.org for more information.