Recently, 85 nonprofit leaders representing more than 35 Austin, Texas, nonprofits took part in the fourth annual Advancement Academy, supported by the Applied Materials Foundation. In an effort to maximize community impact, the Academy works with nonprofits to improve capacity and operational efficiency. Applied partners with Greenlights for Nonprofit Success to host the Academy and provide workshops and consulting services for Applied Materials Foundation grantees.
This was my third year attending the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting (CGI). It seems to get better every year. Between the world leaders, superstar nonprofit organizations, social entrepreneurs, foundations and corporations, former President Clinton has created a movement that is changing the world in sustainable ways. At my first meeting, I was learning about environmental philanthropy and investigating potential partners. Today it is all about our commitment to action, the amazing results of our first CGI commitment, and the announcement of our second. In the video below I discuss our commitment in a bit more detail.
In today’s pop culture, the term strategic alliances often refers to players working together in a calculated manner to pick-off their opponents and remain the last survivor on the island. In this case, forging a strategic alliance is an effective survival strategy – and this strategy may be just as effective for nonprofit survival as well.
To explore the strengths of strategic alliances/collaborations for the nonprofit sector, Applied Materials brought together 48 nonprofit grantees in Austin, Texas for the Advancement Academy. The Academy is an annual training organized to increase efficiencies and community impact of the Applied Materials Foundation’s grants recipients.
It was a sweltering 110 degrees on the roof, but that didn’t deter the Applied Materials employees who volunteered to install solar panels on two homes in a modest San Jose neighborhood recently. Gallons of water, ample sunscreen, and plenty of breaks under highly-coveted shade trees fortified the volunteers who worked alongside students from local solar job training programs.
Below is the excellent video titled: “Enlightenment 2.0: A Revolution in Learning” that won 1st prize in a “Future of Electronics Innovations” video competition as part of the Young Talent Outreach Program, which aims to inspire students in Singapore to pursue a career in Engineering.
You can watch all the winning videos (which are seriously worth your time) here.
The languages were different but the lessons learned were similar. Finding innovative solutions to complex problems requires creatively, experimentation, and teamwork. And, the process of converting a concept – as clever, timely, and intriguing as it may be – to a prototype for public display can be overwhelming. Sometimes a brilliant idea is helped by a ready supply of duct tape, late night calls to mentors, last minute tweaks to wiring systems, and a presentation that includes a bit of theatrical magic!
The H20asis project, a solar-powered reverse osmosis water supplier system, from Cupertino High School won first place in the San Francisco Clean Tech Competition.
The presentations were first-rate and the innovations were ingenious, but what impressed me most at the recent judging of Clean Tech Competition projects in Silicon Valley, Calif. was the focus on how technology can improve the way people live.
In this inaugural year of the Competition, presented by Applied Materials, student ages 13-18 worked in teams both in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Xi’an, China to design a solar solution to a humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of a real or imagined natural disaster. At the California judging recently held at Santa Clara University, students described earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions and then...
Recently, women from some of the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley left their cleanrooms, computers, and cubes to immerse themselves in the world of art … and discovered that inspiration and creativity are traits shared across sectors, industries, and disciplines. The reps from Yahoo! Women in Tech had an amazing time as stated in a recent post.
Visiting the San Jose Museum of Art exhibit by Joan Brown, guests were challenged to examine how an artist – or any innovator – grapples with the complexities of a problem. They explored the results of bold experimentation and risk-taking leadership. The art prompted conversations on authenticity, cross-cultural communication, and opportunities that bring people of diverse backgrounds together in shared experiences – at work and in the...
As I sat through a three-hour session of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors meeting recently and waited for my agenda item to be discussed, I realized – once again – that sometimes the wait is worth it.
I have been working on solving the issue of chronic homelessness for years and, backed by the Applied Materials Foundation, have been involved as a steward of Destination: Home, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing permanent housing solutions and support services to some of the most difficult people to house in our community.
I was pleased to see that 13 of the 16 schools being honored for academic improvement at the annual meeting of SJ2020, a community-wide collaboration to eliminate the academic achievement gap are part of the Applied Materials Foundation Education Initiative effort. In fact, The Applied Materials Foundation was a founding member of SJ2020 because of its 10-year Education Initiative, dedicated to improve educational outcomes for students in San Jose, Calif. The event provided credibility that our education contributions were paying nice dividends. Although we know much work remains.
Special Blog Post By: Alisa Tantraphol, Corporate & Foundation Relations Manager, Second Harvest Food Bank.
Anyone else stepping into the role of Food & Fund Drive Coordinator at Applied Materials would have found it daunting to inherit a drive that raised more than $850,000 for Second Harvest last year. Luckily, Nancy Nielsen is no stranger to corporate philanthropy. In addition to a wealth of experience from places like Harvard, the New York Times, and McKinsey & Co., her impressive resume includes seven years as the Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility at Pfizer.
Last August, Applied Materials hired Nancy to manage community involvement activities for Global Community Affairs. Less than six months into her role at Applied, Nancy has already proven herself as one of the hardest working food & fund drive coordinators toiling on behalf of the nearly quarter of a million clients relying on Second Harvest for food every month.