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The Tech Museum Honors World of Good Development Organization for Applying Technology to Benefit Humanity

Organization's Fair Wage Guide Awarded Cash Prize for Being Best in Category

Submitted by: eBay Inc.

Categories: Fair Trade & Supply Chain, Community Development

Posted: Dec 09, 2009 – 11:51 AM EST


World of Good Development Organization, a nonprofit focused on improving the lives of low-income women in the developing world, today announced that it has been honored by The Tech Museum of Innovation with The Katherine M. Swanson Equality Award and with a $50,000 cash prize from the Swanson Family Foundation for its Fair Wage Guide, a free, open-source platform that calculates fair wages for artisans around the world and specific to their locations.

World of Good Development Organization's Fair Wage Guide has been adopted into the buying practices of more than 700 businesses around the world. At the click of a button, the Fair Wage Guide generates a localized price analysis of wages paid to artisans in comparison to international poverty levels. Since 2005, the wages of more than 25,000 artisans throughout the developing world have increased from 5% to 200% after using the Fair Wage Guide.

"There are 250 million artisans, primarily women, living in poverty world-wide. Because of the lack of a common methodology and artisans’ relative isolation, they do not know their legal rights and have little chance to earn pay for their work," said Ella Silverman, executive director of the World of Good Development Organization. "Not only is this award a great honor, but it gives us the impetus to build out a critical feature of the Fair Wage Guide-an SMS application-that will make the Guide accessible to artisans all over the globe and help teach them how to assign appropriate monetary values to their products."

Presented by Applied Materials, The Tech Awards annually celebrates the power of technology to address global challenges in the environment, economic development, education, equality and health. Al Gore was the recipient of this year's James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award.

"The winners' awe-inspiring innovations are a powerful incentive for us to consider our individual responsibility to contribute to positive change around the world," said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum. "This awards program highlights the social and economic progress that can be made when we harness the very best of ourselves with the express purpose of developing innovative ideas for a more promising future."

The award was presented on November 19, 2009 at a formal awards gala at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Fifteen innovators from around the world were recognized for applying technology in practical ways to benefit humanity. Five were awarded $50,000 cash prizes during the ceremony, which was attended by more than 1,500 people, including Silicon Valley venture capitalists, technologists, philanthropists and political leaders.

Non-profit World of Good Development Organization was co-founded in 2005 by Priya Haji, CEO of World of Good, a company that connects artisans from developing communities with mainstream retail markets. World of Good fair trade gift sections can be found in Whole Foods stores and in about 1,000 other retail locations. In 2008, World of Good and eBay launched WorldofGood.com, an online marketplace that offers consumers thousands of socially and environmentally responsible gifts from all over the world. The marketplace currently offers 32,000 items from nearly 200 sellers.

World of Good Development Organization Supporter Testimonials:
"The work that World of Good and the World of Good Development Organization have done on behalf of entrepreneurs in the developing world has shown true leadership and innovation," said Lauren Moore, executive director of the eBay Foundation. "We are proud to have been an early supporter of the Development Organization and the Fair Wage Guide, and continue to support our organizations' shared visions through our new online marketplace, WorldofGood.com by eBay."

"World of Good Development Organization has effectively used technology to connect poor people to information that improves their lives and secures their futures," said Jim Bunch, director of investments at Omidyar Network. "As one of its early supporters, we look forward to the organization's continued innovation, such as using text messaging to ensure fair wages."

About World of Good Development Organization:
World of Good Development Organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on building strategies to substantially improve economic and social conditions for millions of women and adolescent girls in the developing world living on less than $2 a day. Founded in 2005, the organization has increased the income of more than 25,000 workers, primarily women in more than 60 countries throughout the developing world. For more information about World of Good Development Organization, visit www.worldofgood.org.

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Phone: (510) 528-9400


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