Collaboration Will Launch the Center for Social Innovation
DALLAS (November 19, 2015) - Transformance, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, has welcomed Walter Bender, founder of the nonprofit educational software provider Sugar Labs, to the steering committee of the Center for Social Innovation. Bender is a noted computer scientist, media specialist and educational champion and will serve as the founding member of the technology advisory group at the newly established Center for Social Innovation. He will also serve as the managing editor of the Center’s quarterly Social Innovation Journal. He was a founding member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, where he served as the executive director from 2000 to 2006. Bender's book, Learning to Change the World, on technology, learning and social entrepreneurship, was published in 2012.
The Center for Social Innovation leverages the 30,000-square-foot headquarters of Transformance (a nonprofit financial education and crisis counseling organization) as a community hub and a vital resource for collaboration. The Center will host a nonprofit co-working center, nonprofit and technology accelerator resources, and special community events – plus a number of economic empowerment programs focused on low-to-moderate income families, consistent with the “Earn It, Keep It, Grow It” initiatives outlined by leading social innovation pioneers such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Center will also support the development and delivery of integrated social services offerings by Transformance and its community partners.
Transformance President and CEO Ken Goodgames said, “In launching the Center for Social Innovation, we hope to attract the specific top thinkers, problem solvers and social entrepreneurs such as Walter Bender. His globally recognized thought leadership in both the digital media and nonprofit sectors will be paramount to shaping our growth and direction at this early stage. Walter has been extremely gracious in donating his time and talents to supporting the launch of the center, and we look forward to a long-term collaboration.”
Sugar Labs founder Walter Bender said, “Transformance and other innovative nonprofits that I have served have the common vision of using both collaboration and innovation to solve social problems. I hope to serve as a mentor and technology adviser for the emerging nonprofits based at the Center for Social Innovation. Additionally, my work at the center will allow me to launch a number of youth-oriented technology design programs in the DFW area. My personal passion is the use of technology to help youth in communicating their ideas while stimulating creativity. I am also passionate about giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the empowering world of programming.”
The Center for Social Innovation is located at 8737 King George Drive in Dallas, Texas. Renovation plans are under development for the Center and a grand opening celebration will be announced in January 2016.
About Transformance, Inc.
In 2015, the agency will have delivered more than 125,000 consumer interactions through financial counseling, outreach and education. In 2016, the agency expects to serve up to 1 million low and moderate income families with transformative financial learning solutions accessible online and through a new mobile app.
Since its founding in 1974 as Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas, the agency has empowered clients to overcome adversity and attain their financial goals. Services include credit/budget counseling, financial education, housing counseling, individual debt management and bankruptcy counseling. Transformance will:
• Provide a national nonprofit resource dedicated to confidential and professional counseling to assist financially distressed or economically vulnerable families
• Develop and foster community educational programs on family money management, budgeting and the wise use of money and credit
• Develop and maintain a positive working relationship with the credit community, employee assistance programs, professional counselors and community-based social service agencies
• Provide opportunities for economic empowerment of low and moderate income families and with a particular focus on at-risk communities such as seniors, military families, veterans, communities of color and single, female-headed households
• Enable good financial knowledge early in life through its focus on education of students (K -12) and their parents through agency strategic partnerships
Transformance, Inc., is a 501c (3) nonprofit founded in 1974, and is a United Way Service Provider as well as a HUD-approved multistate housing counseling and education organization. The agency is formally accredited every four years by the Council on Accreditation for Children and Families (COA) to ensure compliance with top industry standards and best practices. The agency has its headquarters in Dallas, Texas, with satellite offices in Arlington; Amarillo; Ardmore, Oklahoma; and Colorado Springs, Colorado.
To read more about Transformance, Inc., or for an annual report, visit http://www.transformanceusa.org.
About Walter Bender, Founder – Sugar Labs
Walter Bender is the founder of Sugar Labs (a member project of the nonprofit foundation Software Freedom Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in New York) that develops educational software used by almost 4 million children in more than 40 countries. In 2006, Bender co-founded the One Laptop per Child, a nonprofit association with Nicholas Negroponte and Seymour Papert.
He is a globally recognized technologist and researcher who works in the field of electronic publishing, media and technology for learning. Bender received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1977 and a master’s degree from MIT in 1980, where he built the Electronic Publishing research group. He was a founding member of the MIT Media Lab, where he was a Senior Scientist and holder of the Alexander W Dreyfoos Chair.
As executive director of the MIT Media Laboratory from 2000 to 2006, Bender oversaw a budget of approximately $40 million per year and led a team of researchers in fields as varied as tangible media to affective computing to lifelong kindergarten. In 1992, Bender founded the MIT News in the Future consortium, which launched the era of digital news. Currently, he is launching a new initiative at MIT, the Open Leaning Lab, a forum for collaborative research among universities globally.
Bender serves or has served on numerous boards and committees, including IBM's mobile computing advisory board and the GNOME technical advisory board. He is on the advisory board of the Squeak Foundation, the Center for Educational Technology (CET) in Israel and Libre Corps, a new program at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) that builds long-term, on-going relationships between university students and humanitarian organizations. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Technology, Society and Knowledge.
He has held visiting faculty appointments at international universities, including the University of Tampere, and continues to serve on university research advisory boards and on occasion teaches at Hult and MIT Sloan business schools. Bender is a frequent keynote speaker, most recently at SLUSH, the largest startup conference in Northern Europe.
For more information regarding Sugar Labs, please visit www.sugarlabs.org.
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