I was born in Dapto to two school teachers. From a young age I was taught the value of education, and also importance of giving back to the community. My life journey has really been about me figuring out how to best do that. In high school, I did a lot of traditional fundraising (to rebuild a school in Mozambique and build an orphanage in Thailand).
Then, while at Sydney University, I realised that doing good is as much an intellectual endeavour as an emotional endeavour, and that how you approach problems is as important (if not more important) than how much money you throw at it. I also wanted to provide a way for students to donate with their minds not just with their money. So in 2007 I started 180 Degrees Consulting with the two-fold aim of (a) helping non-profits and social enterprises overcome challenges they're facing and expand their impact, and (b) developing the next generation of social impact leaders. Over the past decade, 180 Degrees has grown into the world's largest social impact consultancy with 160 branches across 40 countries and over 4 million hours of services provided to over 5,000 organizations (including Nike Foundation, Red Cross and UNICEF).
Through this work, I became aware of the massive global challenge of how to finance high-quality education and healthcare to disadvantaged populations. So I did a PhD at Oxford on that very topic. As part of this research, I developed a way to finance education and healthcare at no cost to either individuals or governments, and without needing philanthropy. I called this approach FORTE (which stands for Financing Of Return To Employment). I became so convinced that this new approach should exist, that I setup a new social venture by the same name (Forte) to implement that model worldwide. Given the pandemic and associated job losses and retraining needs, the FORTE approach is needed now more than ever.
Skills & Expertise
- Social impact
- Social Finance / Impact Investing
- Development economics
- Public speaking
"Forte is a new way to finance education and healthcare to disadvantaged individuals around the world, at no cost to individuals or governments, and without relying on philanthropy."
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