Jo Trizila
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Collaboration Will Launch the Center for Social Innovation

Transformance, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, has welcomed Walter Bender, founder of the nonprofit educational software provider Sugar Labs, to the steering committee of the Center for Social Innovation. Bender is a noted computer scientist, media specialist and educational champion and will serve as the founding member of the technology advisory group at the newly established Center for Social Innovation. He will also serve as the managing editor of the Center’s quarterly Social Innovation Journal. He was a founding member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, where he served as the executive director from 2000 to 2006. Bender's book, Learning to Change the World, on technology, learning and social entrepreneurship, was published in 2012.

The Center for Social Innovation leverages the 30,000-square-foot headquarters of Transformance (a nonprofit financial education and crisis counseling organization) as a community hub and a vital resource for collaboration. The Center will host a nonprofit co-working center, nonprofit and technology accelerator resources, and special community events – plus a number of economic empowerment programs focused on low-to-moderate income families, consistent with the “Earn It, Keep It, Grow It” initiatives outlined by leading social innovation pioneers such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Center will also support the development and delivery of integrated social services offerings by Transformance and its community partners.

Transformance President and CEO Ken Goodgames said, “In launching the Center for Social Innovation, we hope to attract the specific top thinkers, problem solvers and social entrepreneurs such as Walter Bender. His globally recognized thought leadership in both the digital media and nonprofit sectors will be paramount to shaping our growth and direction at this early stage. Walter has been extremely gracious in donating his time and talents to supporting the launch of the center, and we look forward to a long-term collaboration.”

Sugar Labs founder Walter Bender said, “Transformance and other innovative nonprofits that I have served have the common vision of using both collaboration and innovation to solve social problems. I hope to serve as a mentor and technology adviser for the emerging nonprofits based at the Center for Social Innovation. Additionally, my work at the center will allow me to launch a number of youth-oriented technology design programs in the DFW area. My personal passion is the use of technology to help youth in communicating their ideas while stimulating creativity. I am also passionate about giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the empowering world of programming.”

The Center for Social Innovation is located at 8737 King George Drive in Dallas, Texas. Renovation plans are under development for the Center and a grand opening celebration will be announced in January 2016.

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