JOIN MISSION on Facebook on Twitter on Instagram on Pinterest on Tumblr on YouTube


Search by Cause

Search by Country


MEET: Mark Horoszowski, Co-Founder of MovingWorlds

Mark has a Master's in Accounting, but his true call is with MovingWorlds, a social impact organization addressing the global talent gap. Their online platform and community connects people who want to travel and volunteer their expertise directly, or "experteer," with social impact organizations around the world.

What motivated you to quit everything to travel and volunteer?

I was looking to grow my career into a role that made an impact. I knew that global exposure would be beneficial regardless of direction, and figured the only way to really learn how my skills could be used to create an impact was to get real experience. I looked at the Peace Corps, fellowships, and more, but nothing had the right combination of time and skills... so I decided to created my own "fellowship" by traveling and volunteering for a year.

What inspired you to start MovingWorlds? Was there a specific moment that motivated its creation? 

It's interesting... it actually took me a long time recognize the market here. In fact, I can't even take credit for it. I was keeping a simple blog documenting my experience and people started asking me for tips how to find free, skills-based volunteering opportunities. But the idea of trying to support a movement came at a serendipitous meeting with my now co-founder, Derk Norde. We connected over our passion to help address the "talent gap", one of the leading barriers to progress, and both saw first-hand how the application of the right skills at the right time could really catalyze the growth of smaller organizations. And that, at any given moments, thousands of people were volunteering their skills overseas, but primarily in manual projects that they were paying to engage in.

How do you define “experteering,” and why is it important to social impact?

Experteering = Volunteering your skills. The "talent gap" has been identified as one of the leading barriers to progress. By Experteering, you can help the right organization access the right skills at the right time to scale, create an impact, and create jobs. As it turns out, lots of people are going abroad to volunteer, but they're working on manual projects and many times even doing more harm than good. By educating people to only engage in locally-driven, skills-based projects we can truly make a difference.

How is the MovingWorlds experience different from the experience at other social impact organizations?

We're a curated marketplace. We find, verify, and prepare organizations from around the world that are looking to host skilled volunteers. We then work like a matching site connecting people that want to go Experteering with these organizations. Since we measure long-term impact of engagements, we also provide Experteering resources, training, and personal support to increase the quality of every match. Different than a set program, you decide what project you want to support, how much time you can give, and when you go... It's like a "choose your own adventure", but backed by a global support team.

What has been the greatest challenge in creating MovingWorlds?

Creating a sustainable impact is what we measure against, and supporting that while we scale is our biggest challenge. Going Experteering is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for a lot of people and we want to ensure that people have a great experience AND create a sustainable impact. So far, everyone that has followed our matching and planning process has become a huge champion, so we're becoming more and more confident in our model. But as we go from 100's of matches to 1,000 's, we're looking to keep innovating to support high-impact matches.

How has starting MovingWorlds changed you personally? 

Every week, we here incredible stories of people that are putting their greatest asset - their mind - to work for common good. It's an endless source of inspiration, and powerful reminder that, as Harvey Firestone puts it "You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself". 

What advice can you offer to others trying to start their own company? 

Realize that your initial idea is probably wrong, but the passion fueling it is your biggest asset. Use a human-centered design and/or Lean Startup approach to validate your ideas and build your business, but keep your mission front and center when encountering difficult decisions. For us, every time we've taken the time to better connect and understand our users, and used that information to make decisions that are in the benefit of our Experteers and Hosting Organizations, not our bottom-line, we've been rewarded. 




Samantha is a junior at Columbia University studying Art History & Visual Arts. She is currently interning at and Tribeca Film Center.


Give the Gift of Giving This Holiday

Looking for the perfect gift for a friend or family member? Want it to also promote social good? That's a tough combination, but look no more! Our holiday gift guide is finally here!


1. Charcoal Alpaca Beanie from Zady ~ $95

This winter is going to be cold, so why not get your loved one something practical? This beanie is naturally and indulgently soft and warm, and Zady is committed to products with solid construction, the best materials, the lowest environmental footprint, and the highest labor standards.


2. Holiday 4-Bar Collection by Theo Chocolate ~ $16

This delicious chocolate, known more affectionately as the "snowman" bar, comes in a pack of four and has a unique coconut mint flavor. Theo Chocolate brings out the best in the cocoa bean by celebrating and strengthening connections with Congo.


3. Off-the-shoulder Sweater by Le Dessein ~ $75

After a long day at work, your friends are ready to curl up in something like this. This cozy sweater helps girls attend school in Liberia. Le Dessein believes that women have an irrevocable right to be educated.


4. Food Life Hope Men's Baseball Tee from Sevenly ~ $32

This poly blend tee is handdrawn and a reminder that food is a blessing that nurtures life. At Sevenly, $7 from each purchases goes to a charity. This tee helps restore the lives of sex trafficking survivors. 


5. Find Your Mission Trip ~ prices vary

This is the gift that keeps giving. Fund a volunteer trip for a loved one and have a permanent impact his or her or her life! From surfing with kids in Cape Town to working on an alpaca ranch, there's a trip for everyone. Help your friend or family member make a lasting impact on the world.




Samantha is a junior at Columbia University studying Art History & Visual Arts. She is currently interning at and Tribeca Film Center.



On the Socially Minded Industry...

Le Dessein's primary objective is to provide their customers with stunning pieces of clothing, which reflect power, confidence, and compassion. Consistent with their fashion values and vision, it is their company’s social objective to empower girls in developing countries by supporting their access to education. They donate 20% of their profits to girls’ school tuition in Liberia. The following was written by Eric Coly, the founder of Le Dessein.

This essay pertains to the type of life that our girls had and its amelioration once we instituted our program. The second part discusses the current overall state of the Socially Responsible industry and its future growth.

The meaning of our existence in this socially minded industry, vis a vis our company’s ethos comes to fruition when we have succeeded in providing the opportunity of an education for the girls we are working with. The girls who previously were subject to a patriarchally led environment, where their value was discussed, determined and assigned by socially accepted constructs entirely established by men, had developed little notion of self esteem. Domestic violence, female genital cutting and an acute sense of discrimination represented only a fraction of all the ills young girls were exposed to…What our effort is meant to do is not only shield these young girls from those socially, culturally and economically debilitating acts, but also and more importantly plant the seeds of a future empowered life – where the notion of “self-ownership” starts becoming ubiquitous.

The investment into these underprivileged girls’ education through their own artistic participation starts causing a rift in the highly and long held belief that their lives would be subject to the same predictable patterns of an early school dropout, followed by marriage and the bearing of a number of children at still quite a young age. This “unfulfilled” life is an all too common picture that has pervaded the developing world for very long. And our effort is just meant to hand the reins back to them. 

We are fortunate to live in an era characterized by the birth and recent growth of the Socially Responsible Industry – although some would probably argue for a longer tenure. Nevertheless, Toms Shoes, ubiquitously known for the 1 for 1 program where a shoe is given to a person in need for every one bought, helped cement the nascent growth of this movement. Indeed with yearly revenues north of $225M, Toms recently ceded with half of its whole equity to a Private Equity Fund out of Connecticut for over $300 million - after a bidding war that included a number of other financial institutions… Seldom have we seen a shoe company or even retail company achieve this much success in less than 10 years – even less in this type of totally unchartered market space…This type of appetite, along with the emergence of hundreds of companies over the last couple of years (ours included), fortifies the belief that we are heading towards an era where the Socially Minded industry will no longer be the exception in the marketplace but eventually the norm.

One of the main anchors and pillar of this movement will consist of this new millennial generation – by virtue of large numbers, conviction, and purchasing power. This situation will be even more compounded by a similar or even greater growth rate, some would argue, internationally. As with any new industry though, growing pains can be long lasting and sometimes even debilitating.

Fortunately, we have the benefit of having witnessed a number of successes and failed attempts in both the traditional Corporate and Non-Profit worlds. Even though we principally all abide by a number of similar rules and agendas meant to ascertain our existence and survival, I would wish that ”we” did not forget the essential premise of our mission – which in a large sense theoretically has a purpose bigger than ourselves – and let that sentiment fuel and drive our efforts, and integrity.




Eric is the founder and CEO of Le Dessien. Eric grew up in Dakar, Senegal, where he was influenced by his mother's passion, drive, and fashion sense at a young age. His mother would eventually inspire him to start Le Dessein. He attended UCLA Business School and began his career in investment banking.


Education of Girls in the Developing World & How Le Dessein Helps

If women in the developing countries completed secondary education, 3 million children under the age of 5 would be saved every year.

This unfortunate statistic by the I.M.F. is just one the many plights young girls and women in general are facing in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. 

Here are some more startling facts:

1) More than 115 million 6 to 12-year old children are not in school in the developing world; three-fifths of them are girls.

2) When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.

3) A woman with six or more years of education is more likely to seek prenatal care, assisted childbirth, and postnatal care, reducing the risk of maternal and child mortality and illness.

4) When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.

5) Today, the U.S. invests in its future by spending about $6,800 a year per primary student on public education. In Iran the figure is $156 per student per year, in India $64, in Laos $30, and in Rwanda, $30.

6) An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.

Young girls in developing nations have not been given the attention they highly deserve in education. Yet they have the undeniable power to help uplift their communities out of poverty through education and the earning power it will generate. 

Through fashion, art, and socially responsible actions, we’ve designed a way to get involved. Le Dessein is a fashion line aimed at funding the education of underprivileged girls around the world by featuring their designs on our fashion. We then contribute 25% of our proceeds to the girls’ yearly school tuition.

The nature of our effort is not just monetary – our ultimate vision is to create independence and freedom through the empowerment of our girls. A critical component of this whole vision being self esteem – we were adamant on making sure that our girls would be intimately tied to the creation of the designs which would end up on garments. The success of their artistic journey through their participation and engagement would create a profound sense of OWNERSHIP, which is essential in affecting one’s self-esteem. Indeed, we wanted to demark ourselves from the traditional form of aid towards developing countries, which has consisted mainly of charity, and instead have “ownership” be the driving factor in maintaining this self-sustaining endeavor.

Creating an impact in these young girls’ lives will take collective effort from various committed parties. Inculcating the notion of “Ownership” though noble, can be an arduous task and required collaboration. And we’ve had the fortune and pleasure of being aligned with the More Than Me Foundation – “The More Than Me Foundation is on a mission to make sure education and opportunity, not exploitation and poverty, define the lives of the most vulnerable girls from the West Point Slum of Liberia.” Its motto is: “When she graduates, she will decide what comes next for her life.”

Indeed, for our girls, this is about reclaiming and redefining their own sense of self. For far too long, girls and women from the developing world have been subjected to a strongly patriarchal society – a society where their “value” was unilaterally decided by men – So “Ownership” to us is simply the final destination defined by an effort that consists of arming our girls and presenting them with opportunities susceptible to make this journey a worthy one.

Our fashion line is elegant and sophisticated and aims at serving a market that for too long has had to sacrifice quality and design for purpose and mission.


Learn more about Le Dessein.

Learn more about the More Than Me Foundation.

Read about Zady, another clothing company with a conscience.




Eric is the founder and CEO of Le Dessien. Eric grew up in Dakar, Senegal, where he was influenced by his mother's passion, drive, and fashion sense at a young age. His mother would eventually inspire him to start Le Dessein. He attended UCLA Business School and began his career in investment banking.



MEET: Jerri Chou, Founder of The Feast

Jerri ChouJerri was named one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business. In 2008, she started The Feast, a two day summit for remarkable innovators, leaders, and creatives, where brilliant social impact solutions are born from creative collaborations across multiple disciplines. It will take place October 9-11 in Brooklyn this year.

What inspired you to create The Feast? Was there any specific moment that motivated its creation?

We had built a community of highly talented, inspired and passionate people and that community was growing across the country. I quit my day-job to figure out what my role in supporting this community was. We created the conference because there wasn’t yet a place for people like us, a place that could bring together leading thinkers and doers to talk about changing the world, and to do so across multiple disciplines. We all brought different perspective to the table, whether we were in business, philanthropy, creative fields, you name it.

How has creating The Feast changed you personally?

That’s a big question. Creating The Feast has changed me in so many ways; I’ve learned what it takes to start a company, and I’ve developed my business savvy and focus along the way. The Feast has taught me how to define value, as well as what impact can mean (what it takes to create large-scale change, but that you can also create impact through small actions and big ideas). At the same time, focusing too much on the business has also really made me understand the importance of community and true connections, and that having the goal of a well-rounded life is actually a better way to measure success, because it defines the structures that you set into place for your business and yourself. Throughout this change, I’ve also become much more zen about everything. There are so many changes and unexpected hurdles that you encounter when you start something like this; I’ve learned to appreciate my role in this world with grace and faith that it will all happen as it should, all while doing my best to build something great that will impact as many people as possible. I’ve been thinking a lot about power over force in particular lately. Throughout it all, I will continue to evolve as a person, with the best yet to come. 

What do you think separates The Feast from other conferences aimed at creating a better world?

The Feast has been described as an art project, a burlesque show, a populist CGI, and so many other fun things, and it has that feeling more than other conferences. We are about making and doing so there’s an energy in the room that’s truly palpable. At The Feast 2014, there will be an artist creating a boat out of the conference trash that he’s going to row from Red Hook to Battery Park City. There is a hardware hackathon for Red Hook in support of FEMA. There is no shortage of people offering tangible feedback to one another other and creating remarkable scenarios for the future. I don’t know of any other conference that is that action-oriented and brings together so many different viewpoints and stakeholders in order to collaborate for meaningful change. 

Also, I recently really started thinking about the interactions between people at The Feast, and unlike any other conference, that’s really what it’s all about. It’s about the idea that every individual is incredibly powerful and that if we unlock that unique insight, talent, and resources in support of each other, we can really better the world. Our attendees inspire each other to do more, better. 

Has The Feast grown the way you expected it to? Were there any surprises?

Not at all. I had no idea what it would become. When we first started, it was about 100 people in a room where we covered the projector with note-cards while we introduced the next speaker. Over the last few years, we’ve had everyone from the CEO of MTV to Arcade Fire grace our stage and community. Not only that, The Feast Worldwide continues to inspire me. I just got an email from our group in Kuala Lumpur that the Feast in 2012 resulted in the launch of Malaysia's first social incubator in 2013 in partnership with British Council (one of the attendees of the dinner) and the incubation of 6 social innovators. That just inspires me so much. 

The venue: Pioneer Works Center for the Arts in Red Hook, BrooklynThe impact has been organic. The only reason we started the Worldwide program was because when we announced a new format in 2012, people from around the world emailed us, asking how they could get involved. Now we’re in 38 cities. The most important thing we’ve been able to do is act as a catalyst for people and offer them a frame. I would have thought that our impact would have come from the projects that we’ve taken on, but it’s not the top-down stuff that’s driven the most change, it’s the bottom-up.

As far as surprises, I think it’s been interesting to witness our role in starting the “Social Innovation” movement; we can never stop evolving, and we’ve adjusted so many different facets of our conference over the past three years to stay ahead of the curve. In terms of infrastructure, The Feast hasn’t grown as quickly as I would have thought, but I think that’s going to change very soon!  

What is the greatest obstacle you have faced since starting The Feast?

There have been a ton of obstacles -- ranging from the nature of The Feast as well as the business model -- but I think a lot of the obstacles stem from myself, to be honest. I’m a very hard worker, and very strong willed. That can be an immense asset, particularly when you’ve got a big vision, but it can also be a weakness. I’ve had some incredible successes, but I can also be hesitant to accept help and advice. I realize that changing the world isn’t a solo job, and I’m getting better at involving those whose strengths compliment my weaknesses, in order to help drive the kind of change I know The Feast can create.  

What advice can you offer to people trying to make tangible changes in their communities?

Just start. You’ll be really surprised what you’re capable of. I think that people have this fear that they’ll fail, or that it won’t be as great as they expected, or that they’ll lose everything. A good friend of mine once said, “Have you ever failed at something you’ve really put everything you have behind?” The answer is no. If you’re resourceful, open to help, curious, and passionate, chances are that if you start small, you’ll be able to accomplish something. Just start small. Test things out, welcome help and feedback, and build from there. Even if all you do is inspire someone else on your team, a friend, or community member to be a better person, that is a win and something that never would have happened if you hadn’t started.

Attend The Feast.

Watch Jerri Chou's TEDx Talk.




Samantha is an Art History and Visual Arts major at Columbia University. She is currently the Content Intern for and is also interning at Matthew Studios. She has a passion for travel and helping communities.


6 Lessons Travel Teaches You That College Never Will

Travel versus college: the eternal debate rages on with no clear-cut winner. Faced with rising tuition costs and a less than satisfying job market, many would-be college students are ditching their knapsacks and textbooks for rucksacks and guidebooks. But is putting your future on hold for a year of travel the best idea?

Although both sides have their merits, there are simply some things you'll never learn from scribbling notes in a stuffy lecture hall. Struggling to choose between travel and college? Consider these six lessons travel teaches you that college never will:


1. You are capable of more than you've ever imagined.

No one can deny it: Travel is transformative. And I'm not talking about tired clichés like "how backpacking through Europe changed my life", but the ability of travel to affect a tangible and lasting impact on your life.

Travel can turn introverts into extroverts, bring confidence to the meek, and create adrenaline junkies out of thin air; it pushes your physical and mental limits, forcing you to quickly adapt to uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations.

Want to see what you're truly made of? Travel.


2. People are fundamentally good.

Whether you live in New York, Dubai or Karachi, human beings are driven by the same basic desires. We care for our family and friends. We seek to protect our loved ones. We strive to improve our lives day after day. Most importantly, we look out for one another.

Without experiencing the world for ourselves we often lose sight of that, relying instead on cheap stereotypes to guide our thinking. Travel reminds us that we are more bound by similarities than separated through differences.

Good is stronger -- and more prevalent -- than evil. Get out there and see for yourself.


3. You are but a tiny blip on a giant radar.

Our whole lives we're told were special. Starting at home, continuing into our school years, and even into college, parents, teachers, friends, and work colleagues all do their best to remind us just how important we are.

It can be painful at first, but travel will knock that right out of you. Travel humbles you; it makes you truly realize just how small you are in this great big world.

You are a mere speck in an infinite universe. Accept it: You'll see it's not so bad.


4. Stereotypes are ridiculous.

Hollywood can really numb your common sense. If we believed everything we'd ever seen in the movies, we'd think all Russians are villains, all American college kids are alcoholics, and that all Australians do is hunt crocodiles and surf.

Fortunately, travel clears your mind of (most of) that rubbish. Wander around a little and you'll discover that not all Germans are serious, not all Canadians are overly polite, and not all Swedish women are supermodels.

Well, maybe that last one's true.


5. The world is not a dangerous place.

Turn on the news at any given moment: Reports about civil wars, armed struggles or terrorist attacks are never too far away. It's no wonder that announcing travel plans for places like Turkey, Israel or Indonesia can send loved ones into a panic. (I speak from experience.)

Negative news sells, and without venturing beyond your backyard, it's easy to assume that chaos reigns as soon as you step out of your country's borders. Never do we hear those feel-good, heart-warming local news stories from around the world. They're out there. You just need to find them.


6. One person can make a difference.

Grand gestures get all the attention. With philanthropists doling out millions of dollars to charities, it's difficult to see how ordinary people like us can affect positive change.

Travel shows you the other side of the coin: how tiny gestures can add up to something truly meaningful. You'll see that don't need to save a whole village or solve all the world's problems to impact lives. Be the difference for one person at a time. Even the small can become mighty.






Ryan O'Rourke is a travel writer, photographer, and founder of Treksplorer. Connect with Ryan on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to join him as he unearths the earth's quirky & sublime two to three weeks at a time.


MEET: Matt Wilson, Adventurer in Residence & Co-Founder of Under30Experiences

Matt WilsonMatt has the ideal job: he spends his days traveling and helps other people do the same with Under30Experiences. He also co-founded Under30CEO, a site dedicated to helping young entrepreneurs live life to the fullest.

Why did you start Under30Experiences? Was there a specific experience that inspired you?

After spending my first several years of my career sitting in front of a computer working on an internet startup, I decided it was time to get out and see the world.  I took a random trip to Iceland and standing on top of a glacier my perspective on life completely changed.  I simply asked myself, "Why were all of my peers stuck at their desks during the prime of their lives?"

Just two months later, we ran our first Under30Experiences trip to Iceland with huge success.  People had the time of their lives seeing such a unique part of the world and connecting with like minded people.  From there I took off and have been traveling around the world for the last 2.5 years.  Bonjour from Paris today!

Can you explain the difference between a travel company and an experience company?

Travel companies usually specialize in tours, bringing you to see the major landmarks, or stay in westernized resorts where you never actually leave the premises to see the country.

We describe U30X as "an experience company" because we curate itineraries that allow for people to share some of the most meaningful experiences of their lives together. It might sound corny, but when you are standing on a retreating glacier, learning about the effects of climate change in one of the most naturally beautiful areas of the world, you'll remember that setting and the new friends you were standing next to for the rest of your life. 

What do you think youth brings to the travel experience? Why is it important?

Travel to the Green Lifestyle in Costa Rica with U30X

One of the most unique parts about Under30Experiences is that our travelers age 21-35 are usually at a very similar point in their lives.  Their youthful exuberance leads to active trips like zip-lining in Costa Rica, skiing in Alaska, or hiking a volcano at 3am in Bali.  It's not that old people aren't capable of these things, it just makes the experience that much better when the people you spend 5-7 days are like-minded and can easily relate to each other.

Simply put, we have a ton of fun. 

What’s special about having 12-20 people in a group? What does a group of that size add to the experience?

Under30Experiences creates boutique experiences in a way that our groups always end up coming together and getting really close knit.  Sure, you'll have free-time to explore by yourself, but when it's dinner time, we all sit at one big table and recap the day.  

A group of that size means there is always someone there that you will be able to connect with, yet it's not so big so the group can stay inclusive of everyone.  If the group is planning on having a bonfire at the beach in Nicaragua nobody will get left behind in their bungalow that night. 

Explore the Land of Fire and Ice with U30XWhat is your single favorite travel destination and why?

Nicaragua is my favorite destination because of our special relationship with the locals.  Cesar Romero our Community Manager grew up in Nicaragua and puts us in touch with the culture first hand.  We work with a local organization called Communidad Connect to meet with local women entrepreneurs and hear how micro-loans and cooperatives have given resources for them to start businesses and support their families in some of the most impoverished regions of the country.

My favorite part of the trip is playing soccer with the local school kids.  It's very important that these children develop a healthy relationship with foreigners and these types of cultural exchanges allow our groups to understand what life is really like in Nicaragua.

How has Under30Experiences changed you personally?

Travel has allowed me to seek new perspectives and understand the bigger picture when it comes to culture, economics, international affairs, inter-personal relationships, and becoming more in touch with myself.

Humans face challenges across the globe and travel has allowed me to gain a healthy, first hand understanding of many of them, which has opened up my awareness to what we face at home...

In other words, yes, sometimes it does take being welcomed with a smile inside a home with dirt floors in Central America, to realize that these global challenges are happening just a few miles from wherever you call home.

What advice would you offer to people starting their own businesses?

If you want to "take over the world" you should first try to understand it.

Obviously I don't mean actually taking over the world, but if you want to be successful, you should first consider what success means to you.  Budding business owners must assume their responsibility as future world leaders and be conscious of the affects that their decisions make on all of our futures. 


Connect with Matt on Twitter at @mattwilsontv or Under30Experiences at @U30Experiences, or check out some of their trips:

Travel to the Green Lifestyle (Costa Rica)

Microfinance Surf Camp (Nicaragua)

Explore an Undiscovered Tropical Paradise (Belize)

A Skiing Adventure in Whistler (Canada)

Explore the Land of Fire and Ice (Iceland)





Samantha is an Art History and Visual Arts major at Columbia University. She is currently the Content Intern for and is also interning at Matthew Studios. She has a passion for travel and helping communities.