Doing great corporate social responsibility: where do we go from here?


What does Tandemic do, and how has it been an advocate of social responsibility?

We help companies build innovative an more impactful ways of addressing social challenges. For example, we’re working with a pharmaceutical company to rethink diabetes prevention. We’re moving away from just telling people which foods and activities are good or bad towards actually helping people form lasting habits. We worked with a major international bank to rethink … Continue reading

How to kickstart a social enterprise ecosystem: lessons from Malaysia


The approach many countries take to building social enterprise ecosystems borrows heavily from startup ecosystems — accelerators, investment facilitation, and training. However, the startup approach doesn’t fit for social enterprise because these are communities at different stages of development.

My colleague Sue Yian and I started writing about social enterprise in the The Edge business newspaper in 2009. At the time, it was a term few people had heard of … Continue reading

Can social entrepreneurs make government collaboration work?

By Kal Joffres (originally appeared on

“I always tell people that what Malaysia needs is a brand new narrative. There is a lot of cynicism and skepticism. We need to create a new movement to overwrite the current story that’s being told.” — Ehon Chan


Grace Sai, Ehon Chan, and Harvey Koh

Not many Malaysians know who Ehon Chan is but his message has special resonance with many … Continue reading

Corporate responsibility and impact: How we can do better

Can companies contribute effectively to solving global problems? In a blog post about frog design’s work in HIV prevention in Africa, Jon Kolko suggests there are some big limitations in the way that businesses can contribute to solving social issues:

After frog launched Project M, I started wondering why more of our work wasn’t focused on efforts like this; this was just one small project in a sea of otherwise

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How to launch a social venture in a day: the story of SimplyGood


In early November, we launched a social business at the Global Social Business Summit called SimplyGood. It was launched with Nobel Laureate Mohammad Yunus and it all happened in less than 24 hours.

This is the story of how it happened and much of it, I think, serves as a reminder of how launching a startup is more about doing and seizing the moment rather than planning to do.… Continue reading

Seven design thinking principles for rethinking social sector needs assessment


By Kal Joffres

The needs assessment is one of the most critical tools to design interventions in the social sector but it is long due for an overhaul. When it comes to understanding the technology needs of social organisations, we’ve been asking the wrong questions for too long. Many assessments still focus on questions such as; the percentage of NGOs that use cloud services or customer relationship management tools.

In … Continue reading

Design & Thinking: Is Malaysia ready for it?


One of the most common questions Malaysians ask about some trend or other that’s making waves is whether Malaysia is ready for it.

After our second screening of Design & Thinking, the movie about design thinking, this was one of the focal points of discussion. Yong Kian, a furniture designer talked about how working across disciplines was a non-negotiable requirement for design thinking to happen:

“Design thinking doesn’t work

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The meaning of plurality

In a time when it religious plurality is becoming less and less acceptable, I felt I had to share this from a note one of my dearest professors sent following the recent tragic death of his parents — a Christian mother and Muslim father. While this happened in the United States without a fuss, there are many countries where this would be unimaginable.

“They were buried side by side and

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