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Dennis Whittle has worked for the past 30 years in philanthropy and aid. He is the co-founder and CEO* at Feedback Labs a consortium which aims to change the norms in development, aid, and philanthropic policy to be more responsive to the people that those policies aim to help.  Dennis also co-founded and was the CEO of GlobalGiving, a global crowdfunding platform for grassroots charitable projects. Forbes magazine called GlobalGiving “one of the 10 startups changing the world.”  Before those ventures, Dennis worked for 14 years at the World Bank where he worked in Indonesia, Russia, Papua New Guinea, and Niger on projects and issues including: agriculture housing reform, structural adjustments, innovation, and energy efficiency.  Dennis Whittle has an incredible breadth of experience within the world of nonprofits, philanthropies, as well as the startup world. He hopes to encourage Java Junkies to push themselves outside their comfort zones and learn how to embrace failures as the key to unlocking their true potentials.

*Dennis stepped down from his CEO role in January 2020 and is now the Co-Founder of Normal>Next.


  • What is an intrapreneur?
  • What are ‘feedback loops’ and why they’re so important in doing good aid programming
  • Why building identify, community, belonging and self-esteem will be key to resolving many big development challenges in the years to come
  • What to study while you’re still in college to prepare for the world of philanthropy and aid (Hint: Philosophy, Sociology and Political Organization as well as Quantitative Disciplines)
  • Why it’s important to take risk in your professional life
  • Why it’s important to give back  

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