3p Contributor: Brian Back

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Corporate Donations Catch Fire at Burning Man

| Sunday April 1st, 2012 | 2 Comments

Just kidding!  Happy April Fools 2012 :-)

American corporate icon General Electric (NYSE: GE) said this week it plans to donate and distribute 1,000 eco-efficient black and day-glo lights at this year’s annual Burning Man festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

The surprise donation was announced at a press conference March 30 by GE chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt, after he was peppered by aggressive questions from press representatives tackling issues ranging from Earth Day to Occupy Wall Street.

“I think you’ll find that a new style of GE is emerging,” Immelt said, referencing the way the company’s uses a lowercase “e” for its ecomagination business unit, as well as new corporate social responsibility and philanthropy efforts landing in unexpected places. Immelt simultaneously pulled an iPhone 4 from his suit jacket pocket and said he was Tweeting the announcement at the same time he was verbally announcing it.

The black and day-glo light campaign, which GE is dubbing ‘1,000 Points of Light,’ is part of a larger outreach campaign to progressive Americans, who Immelt said felt disenfranchised upon learning GE paid no federal taxes in 2010. Immelt said he is hand-picking and sending a team of 12 top GE executives to the Black Rock Desert in late summer to hand out the lights and also participate in many of the Burning Man festival’s ritual annual fire dances.

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Entrepreneurial Austin: Steve Case, Tim O’Shaughnessy Talk Shop at SXSW

| Sunday March 18th, 2012 | 0 Comments

Steve Case

By Brian Back

To capture the mix of hope and hype at South by South West last week, one needed look no further than a turntable interview between Steve Case and Tim O’Shaughnessy.

Case, AOL co-founder turned sustainability focused investor with Revolution, and O’Shaughnessy, founder of LivingSocial, took to an Austin Convention Center stage March 11 as ambitious entrepreneurs who’ve achieved a level of success many of the 20,000 SXSW attendees are hungry for, but few will achieve.

Last week’s SXSW attendees – entrepreneurs, hipsters, gamers, creatives, corporate geeks, and financiers – strolled among sessions and parties with eyes focused downward on mobile devices. Only two decades ago, Case’s AOL was faced with the branding challenge: What is the internet? It was a different time, serving Case a seven-year slog of growth and hiccups for AOL before the company went public. His was the first internet company to do so.

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