This week's gratitude is for the do-ers - those people who take the time, energy, and risk required to get things done. This appreciation was provoked by learning more about the evolution of High Water Women at their first annual Impact Investing Conference yesterday. I had only met a few of their members in preparation to speak on the Financial Innovations roundtable at the conference, but didn't know the backstory of the organization. Turns out, they've been in the trenches here in New York and globally, promoting financial literacy and access to those who need it, starting with underprivileged New York City kids, moving to their parents, and now also working with clients of smaller microfinance institutions that get ignored by larger donors and bilateral agencies. Sandra Poe, President and co-founder of HWW, humbly mentioned the curriculum that they created for Bankers without Borders, which has now trained over 4,000 financial professionals to support microfinance operations in the developing world. And this, all by an entirely volunteer team of professional women who give their time, expertise, connections, and money to drive High Water Women's efforts. Congrats, ladies!
Of course, we are blessed to regularly interact with many other standout do-ers: finally connected live with Stephen Ritz of Green Bronx Machine at the Columbia Social Enterprise conference today; strategized with the ultimate do-er Leanne Pittsford on our Lean Impact event; and had another insightful and productive conversation with Steve Lee of Robin Hood, whose strategic, pragmatic approach to impact we admire hugely.