Innovation Investments: Who is Gen We?

I got an invite from a friend to join Gen We’s group of facebook.  I decided to check them out.  Their website seems relatively new and progressive-focused.  Being a web-geek, I decided to run a whois query:

Registrant Organization:Innovation Investments
Registrant Street1:One Montgomery St. Suite 3700
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:San Francsico
Registrant State/Province:CA
Registrant Postal Code:94104
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.4156337900
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:+1.4156337901
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:dns@innovationinvestments.com

Hmmm.  Who is Innovation Investments?  Their domain is registered, but empty.

In addition to the .org address, Gen We has a .com address has a blog, where the first post is titled The Millennials—America’s First Post-Ideological, Post-Partisan, and Post-Political Generation:

Yet though the Millennials lean Democratic, our research demonstrates that they’re far more wedded to progressive political and social views than to any party. More Millennials in our study described themselves as independents (39 percent) than either Democrats (34 percent) or Republicans (24 percent). And on issue after issue, from the economy to global warming to the war in Iraq, the young people we surveyed favored progressive solutions even as they rejected both “conservative” and “liberal” labels.

It seems to be the work of two men primarily.  Karl Weber:

Weber has advised and assisted authors in a wide range of non-fiction areas, including, for example, former president Jimmy Carter, author of several New York Times bestsellers, including An Hour Before Daylight (2000), which Weber edited; business guru Adrian Slywotzky, a director at the consulting firm of Oliver Wyman and author of The Upside (2007), How To Grow When Markets Don’t (2003) and How Digital Is Your Business? (2000), all of which Weber co-authored; executive Jonathan M. Tisch, who wrote Chocolates on the Pillow Aren’t Enough (2007) and  The Power of We: Succeeding Through Partnerships (2004) in collaboration with Weber; former Representative Richard Gephardt, author of An Even Better Place (2001), which Weber edited; Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and author of two books edited by Weber; and the Honorable Richard Butler, former Executive Chairman of UNSCOM and author of The Greatest Threat: Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destructions, and the Crisis of Global Security (2001), also edited by Weber.

He has a blog here.

Eric Greenberg is an entreprenuer:

Eric Greenberg is the president and chief executive officer of Innovation Investments LLC, a diversified investment holding company and merchant bank.

Here’s some insight into his motivations:

Q. What was driving your recent philanthropic efforts?

In philanthropy, my belief is that you invest in society the same way you invest in business — to maximize returns. I’ve focused on health care, education and victim assistance. In health care, I’ve focused on such areas as cardiovascular and breast cancer research. I recently funded the genetics lab at UCSF’s new campus.

Which brings us back to Gen We‘s .org website:

In early 2009, Gen-We will release a site that will allow you to connect, organize, develop campaigns, and launch actions that influence the political process and enable your collective voice to be heard and heeded.

It will be interesting to see how this site is implemented, and where it is going.  I’ve got this nagging skepticism that this is in some way a method of tapping into a very lucrative demographic.  But what I’ve read so far, about the on the surface goals and the people behind it, seems on the up and up.  A website geared towards taking action would be rather nifty.  Especially if they get the workflow correct.  You make connections and organize them into groups.  You develop direct actions and organize them under campaigns.  If executed well it could be Facebook for activists.  Perhaps make it easier to help turn “interested” into “involved”.

Something to keep an eye on.

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