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Social Innovations Focus of White House Forum

By Stan Friedman

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 12, 2012) – Eugene Cho, pastor of Quest Covenant Church, was one of several speakers participating in an invitation-only White House forum on Wednesday where social innovators shared ideas.

Sponsors included the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.

“We are hosting a forum to discuss the important role that faith-based social innovators play in expanding opportunity and addressing social issues,” the formal invitation reads. “Part of the program will include ‘TED-style’ sessions where we will highlight the work of several leaders and organizations who are finding innovative ways to make a positive impact on our society and economy.”

Cho spoke about the One Day’s Wages (ODW) initiative, which has garnered international attention because of its call for people to contribute the equivalent of one day’s wages to programs and organizations that serve the poor. Money contributed to ODW is distributed to various independent projects around the world.

“I shared the vision of ODW and that one of its unique visions is to empower everyone to see themselves as philanthropists – as lovers of humanity,” Cho said afterwards. “This, in my opinion, is the area that allows us to truly partner and collaborate with others.”

He also shared how his faith compelled him to start the nonprofit, as well as examples of how everyday people have partnered with ODW to fight global poverty.

Ten people were invited to speak for five minutes each with time for several questions. Cho said before the gathering that holding to the time frame would be difficult.

“Anyone that knows me knows I lean towards verbosity and not succinct, concise, and compact statements,” he wrote on his blog.

Following the meeting, Cho said he was pleased that he was able to keep his talk to seven minutes.

About the Author

  • Marianne Peters is a freelance writer, master gardener, and environmental educator. She lives in Plymouth, Indiana with her husband, two teenage daughters, and two mischievous ginger cats called Fred and George (after the Weasley twins of Harry Potter fame). From 2008-2013 she wrote the Creation Care column for Covenant Companion magazine. In 2011, her family decided to downsize by half, a decision that led to the publication of her book Declutter for Good: Share Your Life and Reclaim Your Life. She blogs about green living and gardening at www.freshwordswriting.com.

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