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For the longest time, I admired the innovative drive of Steve Jobs. Many agree that he changed the world, but did he really?

Here is what he actually did:
drove amazing design and distribution of toys manufactured by ultra low wage paid employees in China, who work in pretty poor conditions, while amassing the largest private company cash pile known in history. His products are romanced as an “extension of yourself,” are nice and expensive... and alienating.

So, in fact, think about this: How is this picture different from that of the pharaohs that built the pyramids with super low cost (or free?) labor? Or how is it different from the sweatshops in China that British merchants exploited to make silk for the European bourgeois?

There is NO difference...

The world is still dramatically polarized, wealth distribution is worse than in the times of Louis XV; the poor are still dying of hunger; the middle class is still living in the “pursuit of happiness” (but still mostly unhappy), and most of the well off are still sick of greed and focused on low-conscience-empty-wealth growth goals.

What should we hope for?... What is it that we should aim for, as humanity? What should our youth aspire to? What should revolutions accomplish?

In the end, happiness... not the superficial and momentary kind... nor the one that trades one tyrant for another. It’s got to be the one that brings peace to a person’s soul.

And in this huge universe of issues to solve...
well, here is our minuscule contribution.

We will fully sponsor one Customer-Centric website project every year for NGOs or startups that aim for significant change or contributions to at least one of the following areas:

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Improvement of Living Conditions

Organizations focused on the improvement of living conditions in disadvantaged communities, including improvement of homes utilizing innovation, clean water filtration, and innovative & democratized construction systems.

Why we want to help organizations in this category?
We see human living conditions as the prerequisite for any kind of progress to take place.  If people live without access to basic services; this automatically excludes them from participating in any meaningful way in their societies, they can’t study, they can’t work, they can't raise a healthy family... livable housing is the base of everything.

Education

3 categories: 1/ Organizations focused on improving the awareness of student centered education systems that foster self confidence, creativity, and independent thinkers (think Montessori or the Studio Schools in the UK); 2/ Organizations focusing on spreading access to education to disadvantaged communities; and 3/ Organizations that research the current and future need of skills to suggest adjustment of education programs to meet the demands of the future.

Why we want to help organizations in this category?

Education is in crisis. On one hand, education isn't reaching as many communities as we'd like to see, while education is the best investment that any community can make to its development. This needs to be fixed. On the other hand, we see traditional education systems killing creativity, curiosity and self confidence from very young ages while most of the population is just unaware of alternative education systems that solve these problems at the core.

We hate to see how much disinformation there is about education among parents, students, and teachers, and how most people act literally like if there was no research in education. There is research in education; there are proven systems, and there needs to be more awareness about them. Also we see an incredible disparity in the supply of skills, and their demand in the marketplace, there needs to be better planning here. Right now, with the pace of technology it is projected that there will be a shortage of engineers and scientists, too significant to sustain.

Urbanization, City Life Improvement

Organizations researching how to improve the livability of the metropolis.  This includes organizations focused on increasing the amount and quality of citizen funded public spaces, art movements, use of renewable energy, and pressure groups to push public policy for the better of city dwellers.

Why do we want to help organizations in this category?

Cities that are not livable, simply put, can collapse.  They get to a point where their citizens can’t function; they can't get to work, they can't breathe its air and distribution networks get clogged.  This leads to unhappy, unhealthy, and poor citizens.  We DON’T believe that improvements to livability start with city ordinance nor government action. They start with citizens taking action and influencing other citizens and their governments to focalize funding towards better public transportations systems, walkability, city beautification projects, as well as incentives for companies that use remote workers, innovative architecture and flexible buildings that result in better living conditions.

Food & Food Distribution

Organizations researching new ways to improve the quality of the foods that we eat and the more efficient distribution of organic and non-GMO food, as well as organizations raising awareness around nutrition quality, i.e. that teach people how to eat (properly).

Why we want to help organizations in this category?

When all of your choices on the supermarket shelf are filled with poisonous chemicals, it’s time to call it out and do something about it.  Food giants will feed you crap for as long as you let them and as long as it turns up a profit at the end of the quarter. And the excuse that they do so in order to keep up with demand is pure BS.

We think the solution is in a) the research for better food growing and distribution that brings the growing of healthier food to areas where it is consumed, and b) improving the education about what food and nutrients do in the human body.  Just informing people about the implications that food choices have in their health could create a demand for better choices, and that’s how standards and policy get through. This kind of stuff should not be a luxury - it should be a basic right, like freedom.

Well Being and Awareness

Organizations focused on educating people about their own health and wellbeing by promoting social consciousness, as well as organizations focused on increasing citizen awareness and social change (such as http://storyofstuff.org/), freedom of expression and government transparency (such as transparency.org , and global witness), as well as corporate transparency (think the good guide, and other organizations that keep corporations honest).

Why we want to help organizations in this category?

Individualistic mentalities are due to expire. They have to Everybody wants well-being for themselves and their families, no problem there, but when that is done at the cost of the well being of others, that creates an unsustainable chaos.

Look, today you have a human food chain that looks like this:

First, there’s the investors that demand ever increasing profits. Then, you have the boards and CEOs that are happy to cut corners on quality - even if that means putting employees and customers in harm’s way. There’s managers that will stop at nothing to impress their CEO in the hopes of that next pay raise - a pay raise that will help them acquire a larger home and sprawling backyard, “better” education for their children, and more financial security. Finally, there are the employees that aspire to achieve the same individualistic goals their managers “achieved.”

Just look at it - the entire focus of the whole chain is wrong!

More money won’t make you happier; a bigger house, and a newer car won’t either. A private backyard won’t make your city more livable. On the contrary, cities with the largest concentrations of single family homes with large, pretty backyards have the worst carbon footprints. They alsohave the most frustrated citizens because they need a car to get everywhere (cough, Mid America, cough).

Further, there is a tireless “pursuit of happiness” even though happiness isn’t something you pursue - it’s your journey and your being satisfied with where you are now and the significance of your existence. It has nothing to do with a shiny red Ferrari and everything to do with your understanding of your true self, life, inner happiness, and your neighbor.

How will we decide which organization to help this year?

First, apply by filling the form in this page.
In your application, upload a report of your organization that explains: what it does, for whom, what has been the performance of the organization in prior years (explain how it was measured), and what are the goals for the next 3 years.

Apply Here

We’ll check your organization’s profile out. Final selections will be done during the month of December.
We’ll not share your email with anybody, period.