Good‘s Convo Series Launch Promotes Education Reform, Itself

Photos by: Adam Auriemma
From left: 826 National Founder/CEO Nínive Calegari, Room to Read Founder/CEO John Wood, Teach For America Founder/CEO Wendy Kopp, Good EIC and moderator Zach Frechette

On the heels of announcing their pay-what-you-want subscription model (it all goes to charity) and nationwide Starbucks tie-in, social activism magazine Good debuted its conversation series last night, a bimonthly endeavor that will double as a philanthropic discussion forum and promotion for each of the pub’s issues. Though the first event took place in SoHo’s Housing Works bookstore, the series will travel to multiple cities — next up is LA in December. Editor-in-chief Zach Frechette called it a “fun opportunity” for fans of the magazine to “meet in real life, which happens too infrequently.” Indeed, more than 200 do-gooders, all paid subscribers, gathered to hear a panel discussion entitled “Educational Mavericks.” Frechette was pleased by the turnout, deeming the crowd “smart and effective.”

They’re not the only ones. CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has his company generating enough press to keep his PR people very busy. With some flattering New York Times coverage, a redesigned Web site, and four of Folio’s Ozzie awards for the flagship publication, things are adding up to what looks like a refreshingly rosy future for the media group.

Choice quotes from the panel, featuring the founders and CEOs of Teach For America, Room to Read, and 826 National concocting some devious fiscal planning, plus pictures, after the jump.

Good‘s managing editor Morgan Clendaniel (L) and Frechette

Events assistant Alexandra Hoefinger (L) and volunteer Megan Cassidy display a graphic of Good‘s subscription model.

Headlining the discussion and ensuing Q&A were Wendy Kopp, John Wood, and Nínive Calegari, founders/CEOs of Teach For America, Room to Read, and 826 National, respectively. Each shared their own story of entrepreneurial education reform, calling on the audience to get involved and setting a tone of realistic optimism, even as they fantasized about skimming the national defense budget for their own causes (“Just one percent,” Kopp pleaded). Wood, though, was perhaps the most eloquent, telling the audience at one point: “Get off your ass and do something!”

Adam Auriemma