MCN Update: 30 March 2020

Transitions and Resilience
Greetings and Salutations.

I hope you are well and safe.

In the past few months, the Mentor Capital Network (formerly known as the William James Foundation) has lost both of our founders. 

Charles “Chuck” Dell had the vision and a passion to identify and support businesses that built stronger communities. His was a world of principles – identify what is important to you, and what is right for the world, and stick to it. One of those principles was that a business should support the community that it is a part of. He reached out to his friend John Nelson in 2002 to turn his principles into the vision of this organization. He passed away last fall at 99 from, well, being 99.

 John Eric Nelson was the most relentlessly optimistic human I’ve ever met. For the 20 years I knew him he looked *exactly* the same. So much so that we used to wonder if there was a picture in his attic doing his aging for him. A more likely explanation was his boundless hope for what was possible to make the world a better place, and his ability to turn that into a vision for others to build on. He passed away last month at 72 from cancer. 

They’re gone, but we’re still here and working at building the world we want to see next.
Our Spring Cohort has 11 companies. Including Doctory, who are making health care more accessible in Pakistan.

Our next peer-to-peer call, on the theme of “Building a Local Supply Chain – Pros and Cons” will be Tuesday, April 7th, at 1:00 PM USA Eastern Time. Email me if you’d like to participate.

These calls are formal and structured. On a more informal note, we’re hosting ongoing open chats for our community via our ZOOM account three times a week — Wednesdays at 4:00 PM, Thursdays at 6:00 AM, and Fridays at Noon.
All times USA Eastern. Just login to at the time of the call to join. Last week we had a conversation about how to do controlled trials for public education projects. Future topics are up to whomever joins the call.  

We’re still building networks — I spent a healthy chunk of last week on ZOOM chats with leading organizers and government members from Pakistan, as part of a global team helping them figure out how to include social entrepreneurs in their work. 

Our best practices in mentoring were summarized in the online magazine Blue Avacado

We welcomed Sohaib Elbebany in February, who will be spending a year with us through the Atlas Corps Fellowship. 

Most importantly, we’re identifying and supporting companies that will shape what we want the world to look like next. As our senior advisor Mitra Ardron told me, now is the time for a global reset. In the past, we’ve supported a number of companies that are making healthcare affordable, accessible, and resilient. Companies like AYZHMaternovaPACE MDAccess AfyaBiosense Technologies, and many, many others. But it’s more than just public health. Our companies have also been leading the way in creating local and ethical supply chains that don’t rely on people or products travelling long distances. Creating clean energy, water, and sanitation solutions that can operate outside of the central grid. Providing education to people without access to traditional schools. 

Last year, these were good ideas for a better future. Today, they’re essential.  While I understand that taking care of our immediate communities comes first, if you have the resources to help us plan for what comes next, we could really use your support
Thank you for the work that you do.
 Ian Fisk