A lot of the attention is directed towards Ripple but very few know of Ripple’s charitable arm. RippleWorks Foundation. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, the foundation strives to take advantage of blockchain technology to drive social impact. As is entrenched in its mission, the foundation matches expertise with purpose to drive the pace of impact. It does this by pairing top blockchain experts and other top professionals with rapidly growing social ventures around the world to help these ventures grow and serve even more people. RippleWorks also works directly with these ventures by volunteering their experts to help these social ventures grow and to solve critical scaling challenges.
Recognizing access to expertise as a bigger challenge than access to funds, the foundation seeks to connect Silicon Valley tech and business experts with social ventures that are making a difference around the world. It provides these top professionals with high-impact opportunities that redefine the idea of volunteering, all this while they get to keep their day jobs.
RippleWorks has worked with ventures in the mobile money adoption sector such as Kopo Kopo in Kenya. Kopo Kopo is the largest independent merchant network in the mobile money industry and offers a full suite of payment, credit and marketing tools. The foundation also works to promote clean energy adoption as is the case with its partnership with Off:Grid:Electric, a scalable solar leasing company based in Dodoma, Tanzania that offers solar-as-a-service to the millions of people who are not connected to electricity.
To work with RippleWorks, one has to apply first, whether as a venture or as an expert. The foundation then vets the applicants to determine who is most deserving. Those who are selected are then paired based on the venture’s most pressing needs and the expert’s domain expertise. The foundation then works with the ventures to identify the most pressing needs and then works with the experts to solve them. The success of the mission is measured against the milestones that were set at the beginning of the venture.
The foundation is headed by Doug Galen who is both a co-founder and the CEO. He has served in various positions in the tech world and also doubles up as a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Ripple’s executive chairman and former CEO, Chris Larsen is the other co-founder. Other notable members of the team include Jay Lee, a former digital strategist and editor for Major League Baseball, Michelle Munoz, an executive recruiter for the Omidyar Network and Rick Levenson, a tech expert who has served in various positions including at Microsoft, Polycom and Tellme, with his most recent position being at Kiva.org, a crowd-lending platform.