Up Close with Team… Sustainability Incubator & Trace Register

This post is part of a special “Up Close with Team…” series, featuring Q&As with the five finalists of the Rethink Supply Chains Challenge.
TR Logo (1)




Sustainability Incubator and Trace Register’s solution centers on traceability software that enables seafood suppliers to voluntarily report on the origins of their catches and vessel working conditions. The team is one of five Rethink Supply Chains finalists competing for a $250,000 grand prize. Stay tuned for the winner announcement in April!

Why is this Challenge important to you? What do you hope your solution will achieve?
This challenge is important to us as developers of business-to-business applications for a high quality standard in seafood. Our clients are trying to source quality seafood, and we offer a combined solution for ethical and sustainable sourcing that otherwise does not yet exist in the seafood sector. Seafood is sourced by people and includes the seafarers handling 90% of the world’s trade. Most crew and most fish have origins in developing countries, and there is a very real slavery hazard today despite widespread claims of seafood sustainability. Buyers also have the hazard of importing illegally fished products. Our expertise and technology, with support for further development through this challenge, can help companies directly address these problems.

What inspired your solution?
Trace Register believes that digital traceability and analytics begin and end with people. Our solutions have been created to help companies in the complex seafood supply chain deal with the many business challenges they face, such as food waste, product rejection due to non-conformities, inefficient product recalls, difficulty meeting regulations on labeling, as well as difficulty in confirming a product is sustainable. In developing our enhanced traceability technology, we recognized the need to digitally prove that product data meets a set of requirements, whilst maintaining confidential business information, called digital certificates. This is a powerful tool that is adaptable and includes algorithms that can help pinpoint supply chain issues, including slavery. The Labor Safe Screen algorithm is a powerful algorithm for identifying slavery and illegal fishing in seafood production, and we are plugging it into the Trace Register system. Working together with Sustainability Incubator, we are combining evidence-based research with real world practices and supply chain data to identify human rights conditions in the seafood industry.

Your team has entered the Finalist Accelerator phase, which includes expert mentorship and participation in a live boot camp. What do you hope to learn through the process?
Our goal is to provide expertise and tools that will enable the seafood sector to improve conditions for people and oceans as they deliver consistently good food. We are hoping for fresh ideas to include in a product that will be well received by supply chain participants as both a way to reduce slavery in supply chains as well as being a valuable tool to drive supply chain efficiencies. Different types of evidence are available from different people at different places in production. We need to understand the user as an information provider and as a consumer, and we hope to learn how to speak to and engage users better. If the boot camp gives us the pathway to help turn perceptions of voluntary corporate efforts against slavery into a value-add – where it is still a scary proposition in the seafood sector – then this will be a key learning benefit.

Announcing the Judges of the Rethink Supply Chains Challenge

We’re excited to announce the Judges of the Rethink Supply Chains Challenge. The Judges will select up to five Finalist teams to receive cash prizes of $20,000, and will ultimately select a Grand Prize Winner who will receive $250,000 to build their proposed solution.

We’ve assembled a diverse panel from the fields of business, tech, philanthropy, and human rights. The Judges for the Rethink Supply Chains Challenge are:

Randy Newcomb_1Randy Newcomb
CEO, Humanity United
As President and CEO, Randy Newcomb leads all aspects of Humanity United’s strategic planning, development, and operations. He works closely with the organization’s founders and Board of Trustees to ensure that Humanity United achieves its long-term mission and strategic objectives. Prior to joining Humanity United, Randy was a Vice President of Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, where he focused on developing global partnerships and investments across a variety of sectors. Prior to Omidyar Network, Randy served for 14 years as Executive Director of Golden Gate Community Inc., a community based organization in San Francisco.

Pascal Levensohn_1Pascal Levensohn
Managing Director, Dolby Family Ventures, L.P.
Pascal joined Dolby Family Ventures, L.P. as a Managing Director in 2014 after advising the Dolby family on its direct technology investment portfolio since 2012. Since 1996, Pascal has been the Managing Partner of Levensohn Venture Partners LLC (LVP) and the CEO of Generation Strategic Advisors LLC (GSA) and its predecessor entities. While he continues to serve in both of these positions, Pascal has transitioned his new technology venture capital investing activities to the Dolby family organization. LVP invested over $200 million in early and development stage emerging companies, emphasizing semiconductor, security, digital media, and enterprise software sectors across three funds.

Natasha Dolby_1Natasha Dolby
Research Fellow, WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice
Natasha Dolby has spent over a decade in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C., specializing in financial and programmatic analysis, marketing and communications, volunteer engagement, and corporate development, in several organizations including The Robin Hood Foundation, Education Sector (now American Institutes for Research), and Pacific Foundation Services. Dolby is currently a Board Member of Beyond 12 and Asha Rising, and has worked as a Program Officer for a number of Bay Area foundations. As a Research Fellow at the Handa Center, Dolby is currently focusing on the “re-integration” of child and adolescent survivors of trafficking in Brazil.

Kindley Walsh Lawlor_1Kindley Walsh Lawlor
Vice President, Environmental and Social Responsibility, Gap Inc.
Kindley Walsh Lawlor is Gap Inc.’s Vice President of Global Sustainability. In this role, Kindley leads the company’s global team responsible for seeking to ensure that workers making the company’s products in more than 40 countries are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect. She is also responsible for leading innovation work within Global Sustainability, where new ideas are designed and incubated for the broader Global Sustainability team. Kindley has been with Gap Inc. for over 17 years, having worked in garment production and sourcing within the business. Currently, Kindley is the U.S. buyer representative on the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Better Work Advisory Committee. She has held advisory and board roles with academic partners and collaborative initiatives focused on creating broader supply chain solutions. Kindley also prioritizes advisor roles with smaller companies focused on worker rights and the creation of decent work.

Ai-Jen PooAi-Jen Poo
Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Ai-jen Poo is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign. She co-founded NDWA in 2007 and was instrumental in securing New York’s historic Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010. In 2011, she worked to launch Caring Across Generations to ensure access to affordable care for the aging population and to quality jobs for the caregiving workforce. One of TIME’s 100 “Most Influential People in the World” in 2012 and a recent recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” fellowship, Ai-jen is author of The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America. Follow her on twitter @aijenpoo.

Winners Announced for the Partnership For Freedom’s “Reimagine: Opportunity” Innovation Challenge

Massachusetts General Hospital Freedom Clinic and Safe Shelter Collaborative to Receive $1.77 Million for Innovative Solutions to Strengthen Anti-Trafficking Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Partnership for Freedom (PFF), a public-private partnership led by Humanity United, U.S. government agencies and private donors to spur innovative solutions to confront the difficulties faced by survivors of modern-day slavery, today announced the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Freedom Clinic and the Safe Shelter Collaborative as the winners of its first innovation challenge, Reimagine: Opportunity. The challenge sought proposals for new ideas, partnerships and fresh approaches to dramatically improve services and support for human trafficking survivors.

The winners will receive a total of $1.77 million in funding to begin piloting their solutions. The two winning projects will strengthen critical services for human trafficking survivors in their local communities while generating new information that can be used to develop effective approaches to combating modern slavery. Grants for the PFF winners are funded entirely by private donors, including Humanity United, Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women Initiative and Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation.

The MGH Freedom Clinic, a project of the MGH Human Trafficking Initiative from the Department of Emergency Medicine’s Division of Global Health & Human Rights, will receive $600,000 to establish a pioneering model of comprehensive primary and preventative health care services for trafficking survivors. Massachusetts General Hospital, the oldest and largest of the Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals, will provide best-in-class, trauma-informed care to survivors. Lessons learned will be shared with healthcare providers across the nation to inform new policies and protocols that will improve the ability of our health care system to identify and assist trafficking survivors.

The Safe Shelter Collaborative will receive $1.17 million to dramatically increase access to appropriate, supportive shelters for survivors of human trafficking. A collaboration between Polaris Project,New Jersey Department of Children and Families, and Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup Global, this project uses technology to locate and provide immediate shelter services for survivors and will increase the amount of shelter available by broadening the base of organizations who can support trafficking survivors.

“These two projects represent creative and bold solutions that will ultimately change the way survivors access the support they need – not only in their local communities, but across the country,” said Catherine Chen, director of investments at Humanity United, the foundation leading the initiative. “We built this challenge with the belief that human trafficking survivors deserve more, and we are thrilled to support the MGH Freedom Clinic and the Safe Shelter Collaborative in their quest to dramatically improve services for these survivors.”

“We need our health care system to contribute positively to the well-being and healing of trafficking survivors, by providing comprehensive trauma-sensitive, culturally-appropriate and survivor-informed care. Our project will develop a better understanding of the specific health outcomes and health needs of trafficking survivors, and develop best-evidence screening and patient care practices that can be widely disseminated throughout the country,” said Wendy Macias Konstantopoulos, MD, MPH, and Roy Ahn, ScD, leaders of the MGH Freedom Clinic.

“The lack of available shelter for human trafficking survivors is appalling. We are glad to be working with Polaris Project to develop a comprehensive system to change that,” said Marnie Webb, CEO of Caravan Studios.

“The survivors we serve have experienced ongoing hardship when trying to secure a safe place to stay after they exit their trafficking situations. Polaris Project is honored to be part of a collaboration that will increase appropriate shelter options in New Jersey for survivors of all forms of human trafficking, so that they can successfully rebuild lives of their choosing,” said Kate Keisel, Director of Polaris Project New Jersey.

The Reimagine: Opportunity challenge is the first of a series of three innovation challenges from the Partnership for Freedom to encourage organizations and communities across the country to develop new ideas to address human trafficking. This first challenge sought creative ideas to address three critical issues faced by human trafficking survivors: sustainable housing; economic empowerment; and stronger social services. More than 160 entries from more than 260 community organizations, service providers, hospitals, corporations, universities, government agencies and community coalitions were submitted. The MGH Freedom Clinic and the Safe Shelter Collaborative were chosen from among 12 finalists to receive pilot funding.

The second challenge will explore the use of technology to improve data. More information about the second challenge will be available later this year.

Learn more at www.partnershipforfreedom.org or follow #P4F on Facebook and Twitter.

About Partnership for Freedom

The Partnership for Freedom is a public-private partnership that was first announced by President Obama during his landmark speech on human trafficking in September 2012. It is led by Humanity United, a foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom, and the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative and Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation.

About Humanity United

Established in 2005, Humanity United is a U.S.-based foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom. At home and in the corners of the globe where these ideals are challenged most, we lead, support, and collaborate with a broad network of efforts, ideas, and organizations that share our vision of a world free of conflict and injustice. Humanity United is part of the Omidyar Group, which represents the philanthropic, personal, and professional interests of Pierre and Pam Omidyar. Learn more at www.humanityunited.org, @HumanityUnited and Facebook.com/humanityunited.

Checking in with the Reimagine: Opportunity Challenge

It’s been an exciting few months for the Partnership for Freedom’s Reimagine: Opportunity challenge.  At our launch in September, the challenge sought creative ideas to address three critical issues faced by human trafficking survivors: sustainable housing; economic empowerment; and social services. By the close of the competition period, we received more than 160 entries from over 260 community organizations, service providers, hospitals, corporations, universities, government agencies and community coalitions.

In December, the Partnership for Freedom announced our finalist teams and their exciting new ideas. The following month, we pulled the teams together in Washington D.C. for our Innovation Workshop – an intensive three-day event designed to further develop each team’s idea. Our finalist teams consulted with ‘coaches’ in a wide range of fields – from design to architecture to public health. They worked closely with each other to refine and hone their plans, and consulted with survivors of trafficking from a wide range of personal and professional backgrounds.

Since the end of the Innovation Workshop, the finalist teams have been preparing their final proposals, which they’ll submit on March 17th. We’re looking forward to seeing how their ideas have developed since the Workshop.

Today, we’re pleased to announce our panel of Judges who will review the finalist submissions:

  • Nick Grono is the CEO of The Freedom Fund, the world’s first private donor fund designed to end modern-day slavery. In the past, he served as the inaugural CEO of the Walk Free Foundation, a leading international actor in the fight against modern slavery.
  • Bruce McNamer is the Head of Global Philanthropy and CEO of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. He brings a broad range of experience in the public, private and philanthropic sectors.
  • JaMel Perkins heads the JaMel & Tom Perkins Foundation and is an activist focused on public education and women’s empowerment.
  • Pamela Shifman directs the NoVo Foundation’s work to promote the human rights of girls and women globally. In the past she served as the Co-Executive Director of Equality Now, where she focused extensively on trafficking of girls and women.
  • Ambassador Melanne Verveer most recently served as the first US Ambassador for Global women’s issues. Today, she is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

We’re thrilled to be working with such a distinguished panel of individuals, and we’re looking forward to receiving the final proposals from each team in just a few weeks!

Meet the Reimagine: Opportunity Challenge Finalists


In September we launched Reimagine: Opportunity, the first innovation challenge in the Partnership for Freedom competition series. Reimagine: Opportunity solicited new solutions to sustainable housing, economic empowerment, and social services for survivors of human trafficking.

We are inspired and thankful for the number of innovative submissions we received. More than 260 organizations representing 39 states submitted 162 applications to the Reimagine: Opportunity challenge.

Today, we are thrilled to announce the Finalists of the Reimagine: Opportunity challenge:

  • Accelerated Pathways to Recovery: International Rescue Committee, Inc.
  • Article 25 Project: Heartland Human Care Services, International Institute of Buffalo, International Institute of Connecticut, International Institute of Minnesota, International Institute of Boston, Inc., Safe Horizon, Heartland Alliance – Social IMPACT Research Center, Milk Products Media; and Corporate Disk Company
  • Collaboration for a Safe Way Home: Covenant House in partnership with LifeWay Network
  • The Empowerment Project: District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) in partnership with Courtney’s House and Wider Opportunities for Women
  • Homes for a New Horizon: Pacific Gateway Center
  • MGH Freedom Clinic: Massachusetts General Hospital, Division of Global Health and Human Rights
  • The Networked Survivor: Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking
  • New Jersey Human Trafficking Housing Locator: Polaris Project in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Children & Families
  • SafeNight: Providing on-demand shelter for human trafficking survivors: Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup Global in partnership with Aidmatrix Foundation, Inc.
  • THRIVE Partnership: Araminta Freedom Initiative in partnership with TurnAround, Inc.
  • The Medical-Legal Partnership for Trafficking Survivors: The Medical – Legal Partnership Clinic at the University of Kansas School of Law in partnership with the Institute for Policy & Social Research at the University of Kansas, University of Kansas Medical Center, Rose Brooks Center, National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership
  • Value Added Opportunity: GreenHouse17


Learn more about each Finalist’s selected idea by visiting: www.partnershipforfreedom.org/finalists

In January, all Finalists will attend an Innovation Workshop where they’ll meet with coaches from complementary fields who will help them refine and sharpen their ideas to submit final proposals to win up to $1.8 million in funding.

We invite you to stay informed by following #P4F on Twitter or Facebook.

Applications Closed

Applications are now closed for the first Partnership for Freedom challenge—Reimagine: Opportunity.

In this challenge, we asked participants to submit innovative ideas that would increase the availability, reach and/or quality for survivors of human trafficking in at least one of the following areas: sustainable housing, economic empowerment, or social services.

We are thrilled with the number of applications we’ve received and look forward to evaluating the innovative ideas submitted.

Judges and finalists will be announced in December. To stay informed, please sign-up to our email list here.

Reimagine: Opportunity Applicants’ Call

We invite you to join the Partnership for Freedom for an informational applicants’ conference call on the Reimagine: Opportunity innovation competition on Thursday, October 24th at 1 PM EST.

Call Details:
Reimagine: Opportunity Applicants’ Call
Thursday, October 24th, 1-2:00 PM EST
RSVP to: info@partnershipforfreedom.org for dial-in details with subject line “RSVP”
Submit questions to: info@partnershipforfreedom.org

This call is intended for potential applicants to the Reimagine: Opportunity innovation competition, and will focus on specific questions submitted to info@partnershipforfreedom.org about the application process. If you have a question that you would like answered during the call, please submit it by COB Tuesday, 10/22 to info@partnershipforfreedom.org. Questions may be submitted anonymously; we will not cite your name or affiliation unless specifically given permission to do so. This call is not open to media.

The application process is now open; applications are due November 17th. Download your application here.

SFGate: Human trafficking victims get chance at new lives

Original SFGate Article, 9/24

A year ago, I had the privilege of being in the room when President Obama delivered a landmark speech at the Clinton Global Initiative. He spoke before an audience of U.S. and international leaders not about U.S. economic interests, our military objectives or even the upcoming election. Rather, he talked about a crime that is almost unthinkable in the 21st century. In his words, an “injustice – the outrage of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name – modern slavery.”

This was the longest speech by a U.S. president on the issue of slavery since Abraham Lincoln.

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are an estimated 21 million people living in bondage around the world, and trafficking in persons is estimated to be one of the top-grossing criminal industries in the world, with traffickers profiting an estimated $32 billion every year.

At Humanity United, our founders Pam and Pierre Omidyar set forth a vision that we work toward every day – a world free of conflict and injustice. We do this in our work to combat the crime against humanity that the president so appropriately labeled “modern slavery.”

We hear about cases of trafficking abroad, but the sad fact is modern-day slavery is happening right here at home in the United States. Tens of thousands of people across this country are living in some type of modern-day slavery. And while human rights organizations work to combat this crime, survivors face a plethora of obstacles as they enter a system that is not equipped to support and help them.

During his speech, President Obama announced a public-private initiative between the federal government and Humanity United to spur innovation in social services for survivors. Last week, we officially launched the Partnership for Freedom, a series of three innovation challenges to confront some of the deepest difficulties facing victims of modern-day slavery. This partnership is led by Humanity United, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with support from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation and a growing list of private donors.

In our first challenge, “Reimagine: Opportunity,” we are seeking new ways to help survivors in three areas of need – sustainable housing, economic empowerment and social services. We want to find new partners and groundbreaking ideas that increase the availability, reach or quality of these services. Winners will receive funding -a total of $1.8 million altogether – to bring their ideas to life.

To the survivors, President Obama said, “We see you. We hear you. We insist on your dignity. And we share your belief that if just given the chance, you will forge a life equal to your talents and worthy of your dreams.”

We are committed to helping survivors find the dignity they deserve.

Randy Newcomb is president and chief executive officer of Humanity United, a foundation in San Francisco committed to building peace and advancing human freedom. To learn more, go to the Partnership for Freedom website. Proposals are due Nov. 17. 

Announcing the Partnership for Freedom Reimagine: Opportunity Challenge

Reimagine: Opportunity Cropped

Yesterday, at the White House, Humanity United, the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Housing and Urban Development launched the Partnership for Freedom – a public-private partnership to spur innovative solutions to human trafficking challenges. Today, we are opening the first of three innovation competitions  – Reimagine: Opportunity – dedicated to improving the infrastructure of support for survivors of modern day slavery.

Our goal is to inspire experts in the anti-trafficking field to connect with new partners and generate new ideas for sustainable housing, economic empowerment and stronger social services for survivors. For the best ideas that are innovative, attainable, and sustainable, we will provide the needed support and funds to bring them to life.

We invite you to participate in this competition by putting together your team, formulating your idea and submitting your application by November 17, 2013. We’ve made the application very easy to download and complete in the hopes of generating as many great ideas as possible. Simply visit our homepage and submit your information to receive an application.

Together, we can turn our ideas into opportunity.

Watch President Obama’s Landmark Speech on Slavery

In the first speech on slavery by a sitting president since Abraham Lincoln, President Obama called on communities, businesses and nations to come together to combat modern-day slavery.

“It ought to concern every person, because it’s a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime,” he said.

During his speech the President announced an executive order to strengthen protections against trafficking in federal contracts and promised to provide the necessary tools and training for relevant officials and agencies.

“Our fight against trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it in partnership with you, ” he concluded.

Watch President Obama’s speech and get involved today.