Making Money While Making a Difference

In this new series, Dev Aujla and Billy Parish explore opportunities for making money and changing the world-at the same time. A little...

In this new series, Dev Aujla and Billy Parish explore opportunities for making money and changing the world-at the same time.

A little under two years ago, we set out to interview more than 150 people in their twenties and thirties in order to find out how they were faring as they set out to get paid to do good. We found a foundation to support us, we hired staff, we held focus groups, and we read everything we could that was written on the simple question that seemed to be on everyone's mind: How do you make money and change the world?

The results came in and we put them into a free e-book that has been downloaded thousands of times. In doing all this, and in hearing the stories of people that read the e-book, we realized one thing-the e-book was only the beginning. Today we are writing a full-length book on the subject and we are uncovering even more stories, examples, and strategies that are actually helping people get jobs. Below are five trends from our research:
  1. \nThe non-linear career path: No one currently making money and changing the world has a linear career path. Understanding what a non-linear career path looks like and how to embrace the non-linearity leads to the understanding that you can gain both stability and earn a good living without following a traditional path.
  2. \n
  3. \nCareer trade-off illusion: Our research showed that the generation now entering the work force clearly wants to do good but they are unwilling to compromise on the amount of money they want to make. It was easy for people to name the steps in order to either do good or to make money, but when asked about doing both, people had a lack of role models and were unclear on the steps they would need to take.
  4. \n
  5. \nA space to talk: It is important to surround yourself with like-minded, understanding people with whom to discuss this new career direction. In fact, the interviews and focus groups that we held had this effect for hundreds of people. They helped people realize they were not alone, helped them feel comfortable with their career choices, and allowed them to talk about and defend their path to families, colleagues and even themselves.
  6. \n
  7. \nGreen-collar jobs: ?Green jobs, the related training programs and the public stimulus money that has been set aside to enable them are opening up opportunities across lines of race, class and privilege. No longer are the jobs of the "do good" economy just accessible to those with post-graduate degrees and international work experience. Today a wide spectrum of jobs exist in green manufacturing, retrofits and clean technology and they are becoming more available and accessible by the week.
  8. \n
  9. \nNontrepreneurs: Social enterprise, the go-to response to the proclamation that you want to make money and change the world, still requires one thing: an entrepreneur. But what about all the people who don't identify that way, who don't want the risk and uncertainty which that path demands? Fortunately, opportunity can be found working to make change from within large institutions ("intrapreneurs") or working for social entrepreneurs. Often overlooked by the media spotlight, these career pathways offer the chance for meaningful work without the stress of a start-up.
  10. \n

Keep checking back with us in coming weeks as we share the stories, strategies, and opportunities we are uncovering, and read the full e-book at

Billy Parish is the founder of the Energy Action Coalition and Dev Aujla is the founder of DreamNow.

Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less