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The Big Deal of Impact Investing

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We’ve all heard such terms as “social entrepreneurship,” “conscious capitalism,” and “social investment.” Impact investing is part of the same philosophy, meaning that the process provides money for companies and projects meant to benefit the society and the environment — with financial gain.

It’s not cut from the same cloth as other types of investment, but rather serves as an alternative — with its own set of merits, hurdles and how-to guidelines — that is making great strides toward mainstream and has the ability to positively influence human progress. It is also changing the landscape of business practices and philanthropy as we know it.

What is impact investing?

“Impact investing is a spectrum. It means different things to different people,” notes Tony Abraham in his article for Technical.ly Baltimore. The articles praises Brian Trelstad’s (who is partner at Bridges Ventures, a fund manager company specializing in sustainable and impact investing) January 2016 guide in Harvard Business Review on the kinds of impact investing, but still calls it a “wonky breakdown.”

Staunton Media Lab Debuts on Innovators Row at CBIC Awards

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For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 19, 2016

Staunton Media Lab Debuts on Innovators Row at CBIC Awards

New Venture Capitalizes on Unique Capabilities of the Disabled

(Staunton, VA — May 19, 2016)  The Staunton Media Lab, a media arts program for the deaf, blind and uniquely able, is celebrating its regional debut at the annual CBIC Awards Gala at the Boar’s Head Inn, Thursday evening, May 26.

The CBIC Awards honor Central Virginia technology entrepreneurs. The Staunton Media Lab earned a spot on CBIC’s Innovators Row through a competitive jury process. CBIC Innovators Row showcases startup ventures before an audience of the region’s leading technology entrepreneurs, investors, educators, and public officials. The Staunton Media Lab will be recording red carpet interviews with arriving guests at the swanky CBIC Gala.

Audio Recording and Note-Taking Tools for Meetings

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“Meetings suck because we let them,” wrote tech and business writer Christopher Null in his PCWorld piece back in November 2013. Since then, a lot of tech has improved, the note-taking and audio recording apps have multiplied, and global web conferencing is old news.

The importance of meetings, however, remained the same. If “we don’t take our meetings seriously,” wrote Null, “if we ignore what participants ask or say, fail to document the meeting’s takeaways, or forget to follow up afterward — they might as well not have happened.”

Let’s talk about why it’s important to document meetings, how to do it, and how to make the best use of the tech available.

Voice Recognition Apps: The Best in Assistive Tech

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In a Staunton Media Lab (SML) broadcast streamed live on April 27, Audio Director Coley Evans, President Steve O’Keefe, and special guest Max Cross discussed (and demonstrated on a Chromebook) their preferred speech-to-text and screen capture software, with emphasis on their usability by the visually and hearing-impaired. We’ve covered the screen capture part of the broadcast in our previous blog post, and this one will focus on speech-to-text/transcription/voice recognition apps.

Assistive tech tools need improvement

Advancements in artificial Intelligence (AI), and voice- and image-recognition technology are making the world more inclusive for the visually impaired, notes Andrew Williams writing for Alphr, “helping them to interact with their surroundings.” True, but assistive tech still has ways to go, and voice recognition apps are no exception.

In his recent article for the UK-based TechWorld, Terry Hawkins, head of B2B solutions at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), urged businesses to follow suit of the likes of giants like Facebook and Twitter to make online tech more accessible, “to make them better for all users,” and the blind and partially sighted in particular.

How Can You Help?

Volunteer.  We need you! Do you know sign language? Do you know Braille? Do you know English? Do you have language? Then SML needs you! Call us at 540-324-7023, or email

A Wish Goes A Long Way

Amazon logo 8We are a vocational program in the media arts for the deaf, blind and uniquely able. Please support our programs, and check out our Wish List at Amazon.com.

Staunton Media Lab - Copyright 2017