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Episode 266 - R. Bong Vergara: Running a Social Enterprise as a Professional Social Worker

Monday, June 17, 2019, 9:57:57 AM

Image of Russell Vergara, MSW, MA

In this episode our guest R. Bong Vergara describes how he utilizes innovation and social enterprise to build sustainable social impact and build wealth for impoverished communities. He weaves social and physical sciences perspectives to challenge conventional approaches and invites both social workers and citizens alike to move from being a technology consumer to a technological innovator.

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Average Rating: 5stars  highly inspiring and motivating, Monday, February 08, 2021

By Anonymous :

Professor Vergara’s story and work so far in social enterprise and the nonprofit space as a Professional Social Worker is definitely motivating and inspiring. I appreciate how Professor Vergara pointed out the interrelationship of social factors that contribute to social inequality, and that antipoverty efforts must change the status quo of inequality, provide empowerment to grassroot and marginalized groups, and provide monetary rewards that ideally should be put back into initiatives for further change. This gives a better perspective into social entrepreneurship, especially how it can be used to effect positive social change at all levels of social work practice. Similarly, I find the concept of social stock exchange to be very striking and interesting, and it is something that I definitely look forward to learning more about and getting involved in.
Professor Vergara’s breakdown of the perspectives of climate change from physical sciences and biopsychosocial perspectives provides a detailed and compelling argument why social workers must actively engage and advocate for global and local climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in our communities. That is why I find it very inspiring to learn about what Professor Vergara and his teams do through their business using technology to improve access to food, energy and water to resource poor communities.
Finally, as a UB School of Social Work student, I constantly watch out for ways social work activities and efforts incorporate trauma informed and human rights perspectives. From this interview, I am able to see how, through his experience from the 2009 typhoons that happened in the Philippines leading to his for-profit and not-for-profit ventures in innovatively and collaboratively solving major social and environmental issues in some of the most vulnerable locations and populations, Professor Vergara is definitely trauma informed, and adopts a human rights approach.

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