Welcome Seth Bindernagel

July 10th, 2006

In early June I noted that we had found a great person to lead development of a grants and donations program and that we would turn to this topic in mid-July. That person is Seth Bindernagel, we’re coming up on mid-July, and Seth joins us at the Mozilla Corporation today.

The goals of the program are to help strengthen the Mozilla community. They are not to turn volunteers into employees or to reduce the number of employees. We’re not looking to be an all-purpose grant–making organization, or to be gigantic. The point is to use all the different kinds of resources available to strengthen our community, and that currently includes some financial resources.

Seth will join us for an initial 6 months to flesh out how this might be done, to try an initial set of programs and develop a clearer view of our path before joining us permanently. The focus is not on making a big bang, but on doing useful things. Seth and I spent some time articulating this work more clearly. I’ll post this separately, since this welcome is long enough already.

This is an unusual role. We are lucky to have found Seth, whose background in business and social entrepreneurship matches remarkably well. Seth comes to us from the Haas School of Business at the University of California. While there, he focused on socially responsible business, co-leading the school’s Net Impact Club and serving as co-chair of Judging for the Global Social Venture Competition. He was also a member of the winning team for the Global Ethics Challenge. Before business school Seth spent three years working with Ashoka, a global nonprofit organization focusing on advancing the profession of social entrepreneurship.

At Ashoka Seth served as the Program Manager for the U.S. and Canada programs. With the team, Seth helped search for and select leading entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Canada who were creating new ideas to solve critical social problems. He helped launch Ashoka’s Accelerator for Social Entrepreneurship, which brought together Ashoka’s corporate partners Hill & Knowlton, McKinsey & Co., and the International Senior Lawyers Project with Ashoka Fellows in need of pro bono professional support. These partners donated their time and industry expertise to Fellows who were starting new organizations with strategic development needs. Seth helped organize all orientation and induction programs for the new social entrepreneurs entering the Ashoka Fellowship. Seth has consulted many different social ventures during his time at Berkeley, including the Omidyar Network, Ashoka, World of Good, and the San Francisco Giants Community Fund.

Please help make Seth feel at home. Feel free to ask him about his experiences, about why he switched his undergraduate degree from engineering to “Agriculture, Resource, and Managerial Economics,” about sports in general and baseball in particular. Please make some time to help Seth get to understand the Mozilla project so he can do more sooner. Seth will have a Mozilla related blog up and running shortly, I’ll point to it.

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