Ep #10: Insight into Social Entrepreneurship with Jessica Shortall

Jessica Shortall, Director of Sight Giving for TOMS and speaker at the 2013 Texas Conference for WomenWhen Jessica Shortall was 10 years old, she told her parents she would join the Peace Corps when she grew up. After college she did exactly that, serving in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan, where she taught English and created a 4,000-book English language library in less than two years. A little more than a decade later she serves as the Director of Sight Giving for TOMS, the company known for its international one-for-one shoe giving program that has provided more than 10 million shoes for children in need around the globe.

In this episode Jessica talks about the evolution of her career from Peace Corps volunteer to leading giving and innovation for a fast-growing company with a strong social mission. She also discusses the key piece of technology that has made her work possible: a breast pump. With a lot of humor Jessica describes her first business trip away from her children and the challenges she faced while trying to pump on the road in rural Nepal. And for each one of us who wishes technology was less daunting and more practical, Jessica helps us see tech in a different light, through the eyes of women half a world away.

Don’t miss Jessica at the Texas Conference for Women on November 19. A discount on the conference fee is available for TBW members. Email membership@tbwconnect.com for more information.

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Powerful Insights Include:

  • Why even the most revered organizations can benefit from reconsidering how they implement their missions
  • How even low-tech solutions can make a huge difference in our ability to achieve both career and family goals
  • Why a hard first-time experience with anything provides useful and important perspective for future endeavors
  • How we define technology can help us redefine our relationship with it
  • “Technology is the application of inventive thinking to a practical end”
  • Why businesses that incorporate social impact in the business model are appealing to millenials


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