MEET Becca Posey: social enterprise supporter and destroyer of robots
Have you ever noticed someone around town who seems to “do it all”? Well, meet Becca Posey. Becca can be found leading the Atlanta chapter of Acumen Fund, hanging out with the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, working as a nonprofit consultant and helping her husband fend off world-destroying robots who have a weakness for ice cream. We managed to get a few minutes of her time for a FEED interview.
Tell us about your project:
I have two projects that are doing interesting things this month. First, I lead Atlanta for Acumen- a local chapter for the global Acumen Fund based in New York. We are hosting a patient capital/social enterprise round table dinner party on July 27th at Malaya restaurant. We are seeing great response from young professionals in many different backgrounds- nonprofit, for profit, public health, finance, economic development-who are coming together to learn more about the Acumen Fund. We will be discussing social enterprise, social capital and opportunities for Atlantans to be involved in the global movement to end poverty through market oriented means.
The other project is an indie game for the iPad called Robots Love Ice Cream that my husband Burton and I are developing through our studio, Addo Games. We’re running a Kickstarter campaign through the end of July to raise $18,000 to pay for the development tools and creative support we need to finish the game and bring it to market. We are excited. Its going to be innovative, fresh and enjoyable for all ages.
How did you get started on both of these?
With Atlanta for Acumen, I started working with the global Acumen office initially to create a presence in Atlanta. I’d observed a lot of interest in global development and social enterprise, a lot of passion. We wanted to bring people together who were interested. We wanted to show them what had been done already and see what they could do.
The project on Kickstarter was culmination of year-long dream to do something original and innovative with Burton’s and my business, Addo Games. This was the chance to create something for ourselves that we could control and call the shots on. An opportunity to be independent and do something unexpected and creative.
What inspires you to do this type of work?
With Acumen Fund I feel blessed to have the opportunities I have had in this world- from an economic standpoint and from a societal standpoint. Living in a society that allows me the freedom and prosperity to choose what I do with my life is amazing, and I want to take advantage of it. I also wanted to be involved with Acumen because I appreciate their approach to global development. They see people not as passive recipients of aid but as an intrigal voice in their own development. They treat people with dignity. That is how I would want to be treated in that situation.
Robots Love Ice Cream inspires me with its creativity. We are working with artists from around the world. They are the best at what they do but also, they are funny, humble and excited about being a part of our project. Its very inspiring.
What challenges are you facing?
Funding. I think that is something most people can relate to. We have had great responses to both campaigns. I would say the challenge is internal. The burden is on us to spread the message and make both of these things compelling to get people involved. For the game it is making sure it comes to fruition on the market, making it available for all the players who now want to experience it. With Atlanta For Acumen it is more about coming up with opportunities to spread the message and engage interested parties in a meaningful way.
Who are you collaborating with?
Atlanta For Acumen we have had several great collaborations. The Executive Entrepreneurs Society hosted our screening of “The New Recruits”, a PBS documentary about 3 Acumen Fund Fellows working with Acumen Fund investees in India, Pakistan and Kenya. We had a speaker from First Light Ventures (a subsidiary of GrayGhost), Ross Baird, who shared about his organization’s investments in India. It was great to show members what people are doing on the ground, especially from someone base in Atlanta. Alpharetta-based Better World Books will be featuring The Blue Sweater, Jacqueline Novogratz’s memoir, as their book of the month for August. We’re planning a book party at Park Tavern on August 25th to celebrate.
With Robots Love Ice Cream we are collaborating with talented musicians like Disasterpeace and MisfitChris- they are some of the best in the gaming music industry. We also have some great traditional and digital artists on our team and they are able to use their work for Addo Games as a creative outlet. They can be free to explore ideas and approaches they couldn’t do with a corporate sponsored project. We’ve also received support from IDGA and Jesse Lindsley who heads the Atlanta chapter of that organization. Kickstarter is a silent partner making it all possible.
Outlets like Scoutmob have featured us- they are a great local company.
What kinds of impact are you having on the community?
Atlanta for Acumen can empower people who would like to move the global development conversation forward to learn and engage locally with each other by introducing topics like patient capital, dignity-driven development programs, economically sustainable philanthropy, and impact investing to Atlanta in the hope that they’ll be inspired. The first Acumen Fund Fellow from Atlanta is preparing to train in New York for a placement at an Acumen Fund investee in India, Pakistan, or East Africa. He was a Georgia Tech graduate working for a consulting firm but he wanted to make a bigger social impact.
With Robots Love Ice Cream, we want to encourage developers who are exploring their own creativity. We also want to bring attention to Atlanta as a hub for both entrepreneurism and creative expression because of the broad availability of both creative talent and technical expertise.
Would you like these projects to be replicated?
Yes! Both projects came out of individuals with passion and some basic expertise looking for opportunities to grow and stretch themselves by doing what they love, and hoping that what they love will make world better place. I think that is easily replicated. And it should be.
What kind of help do these projects need to grow?
Please visit Kickstarter and check out Robots Love Ice Cream.
At Atlanta for Acumen we are currently recruiting all types of volunteer leadership positions. We want professionals, students entrepreneurs, academics, artists, designers–people with a vast range of interests and talents.
What issues do you see as big problems for Atlanta?
The persistence of underperforming schools as the only option available to many Atlantans. I was really saddened to see many Georgia charter schools, which are trying to turn the tide by offering new options to parents, threatened by the recent state supreme court decision. We need more competition in primary education, or the injustices that persist because of inequality of access to good education are only going to get worse.
What are your favorite projects around Atlanta?
I have enjoyed Plywood People. It is one of those organizations that excites me and provides an innovative way form people to meet. I liked getting to know Haley Kilpatrick who founded Girl Talk. 10 years ago she founded this organization where high school girls mentor middle school girls. The older girls teach the younger girls skills like supporting each other, choosing good role models, and implementing conflict resolution. We hear a lot about human trafficking right now- Atlanta is a hub for it. Girl Talk is an organization that can help keep girls safe from that by helping them grow into leaders, not victims, in their communities. It is a very positive thing happening here, and because of Haley’s leadership it is being replicated across the country.
The Foundation Center. Anyone who hasn’t visited should go. Also, anyone who wants to be connected should be on Twitter. It isn’t just a local or regional resource, but you will find your local leaders on there since they will be part of the global conversation.
Where can interested readers find you?
What FEED’s your soul?