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Stories and Beer: Positive Mobile Impact


TriplePundit hosted a Stories and Beer Fireside Chat on Thursday, August 28 at 6:30pm Pacific (9:30 Eastern) at the Impact HUB San Francisco – and online via web cam. 

If you missed the live event, watch it here:

What do deforestation and labor rights have in common? What does your old mobile phone have to do with either? It turns out, a lot.  Three innovative organizations came to August’s “Stories and Beer” to talk about how mobile technologies,  including discarded phones, are being used to address a myriad of social and environmental problems.

Better World Wireless is a one-to-one wireless provider that gives a person in need a free mobile device loaded with content to help break the cycle of poverty and empower his or her life. Rainforest Connection transforms recycled cell phones into solar-powered listening devices that can monitor and pinpoint chainsaw activity at great distance – and contact authorities who can stop illegal logging. LaborVoices provides a warning system for labor violations based on direct feedback from workers by repeatedly polling workers through their mobile phones.

TriplePundit’s Founder, Nick Aster, led a conversation with Better World’s Matt Bauer, Rainforest Connection’s Nishant Bagadia and Labor Voices’ Kohl Gill.  They talked about each of their enterprises but also about the intersection of mobile services and sustainability. Most of the time was spent in an open Q&A with the audience! 


  • 6:30 – 7:00 – beers and networking

  • 7:00 – 8:00 – fireside chat and Q&A

  • 8:00 – 8:30 – networking
Special addition:  In addition to Organic beer by Bison Brewery, we added some fabulous food to the mix this month with grilled cheese sandwiches courtesy of Feel Good, committed to ending hunger, one grilled cheese at a time.

 About Kohl 

Kohl Gill is CEO & Founder, LaborVoices, Inc. A quantum physicist turned social entrepreneur, he founded LaborVoices in 2010 after observing local labor conditions while working in several South Asian countries as an International Labor Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility Officer with the U.S. Department of State.  Prior to that, he was a Senior Policy Analyst with the U.S. Department of Energy.  Before that, he was a Transparency and Anti-Corruption Fellow with Indicorps in the slum areas of Delhi, India.  Dr. Gill has a BS in Physics from Caltech and an MS and a PhD in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He has led LaborVoices to operations in 4 countries on 3 continents, and many honors and awards including inclusion in the Purpose Economy 100, an Echoing Green Fellowship in 2013 and an invitation to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative in 2012.

About Matt

Matt Bauer, CEO and Co-founder, BetterWorld Wireless:  Matt’s major focus has been helping to lead the movement to leverage telecommunications as a force for impact. From his first position with U.S. House Telecom & Finance Subcommittee, he went on to found three companies and three nonprofits over the past 30 years, including the world’s first B2B telco focused on social and environmental impact, BetterWorld Telecom. His latest venture, BetterWorld Wireless, launched earlier this year and seeks to impact 1m people in the coming decade through its mobile service operator platform and Phone for Phone donation program. Prior to BWW, he helped lead a team partnered with the US Dept. of Commerce to co-found a workforce development company based in the U.S. Virgin Islands using broadband technology to create jobs in a distressed economy.   Matt has a BA in Telecommunications from Indiana University, an MBA from George Washington University and lives in SF with his partner Amy and their four hens.

About Nishant

Nishant Bagadia is a successful serial entrepreneur, where he has grown technology startups that are focused on implementing major change and innovation to global problems. His background includes consulting at Deloitte, executive leadership in digital health, and academic research at UC-Berkeley (PhD) and the London School of Economics (MS). At Rainforest Connection, he brings his experience, passion and dedication for creating a sustainable business solution to fight climate change and deforestation.

Marissa Rosen headshotMarissa Rosen

Marissa is the Owner of Climate Social, LLC. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Mizzou and a master's in environmental studies from UPenn. 

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