Relay Member Profile: Laura Fuller of EcoRise

For this week’s Relay Member Profile, we spoke with Laura Fuller of EcoRise, an organization dedicated to inspiring a new generation of leaders to design a sustainable future for all. Their school-based program empowers youth to tackle real-world challenges in their schools and communities by teaching sustainability, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship.

The Relay Member Profile series spotlights socially responsible organizations that will call Relay Coworking at Springdale General home. Each month we profile all the good things our members are doing in the community, best practices on engaging in social impact, and lessons learned on pursuing purpose and profit.

 
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Why did you choose Relay Coworking as your organization's new home?

We chose Relay Coworking as our new home because it means we are also joining a spectacular community of mission-driven organizations and enterprises who care about social change and innovation! It will also be a relief to have a proper office space where we have access to conference spaces and luxurious amenities.

How will the unique and diverse community within Relay Coworking and The Center for Social Innovation benefit your organization?

We are excited to have direct access to and become a part of the community at CSI. We appreciate the opportunity to network, collaborate, and learn from like-minded individuals who are committed to social change.

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Your organization is focused on a particular community. Can you share how you’ve been successful in gearing your efforts towards that community?

We train and support teachers in sustainability education, design thinking, project-based learning, and social entrepreneurship. We provide them with the resources they need to make their students successful in these areas. The main reason we are successful is because the majority of our staff are former educators—so we know first hand the tools our teachers need, and the challenges and roadblocks they may face.

Can you share how your organization has been pursuing innovation and some of the challenges for an organization of your size and scale?

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EcoRise empowers K–12 students across the nation to think critically and in new ways to find innovative answers to real-world problems. We are a group of 8 staff members, and during the 2017–18 school year we engaged over 68,000 students! Time and bandwidth is always a constraint for our team—we are small but MIGHTY!

What is your approach to achieving the most impact and scale?

We train and equip people who will be able to go out and scale our impact a million times over.

What is your number one piece of advice to other social impact leaders?

The community need for a service or solution is important; and scalability is KEY.