brands can be an aspirational force for good

let us show you how

Human Ingenuity and Business Acumen
can solve the most pressing social problems

Spark new ideas to grow your business and create sustainable social innovations

Innovation for the greater good

"The world's biggest problems are also the world's biggest opportunities."

Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler
Makewaves helps you to express the heart and humanity of your brand through social impact. Social impact is the new standard for how businesses and organizations address society’s toughest challenges to drive sustainable change.
When you choose us to help you make a difference in the world, we in turn invest in local social enterprise. Our aim is to inspire and equip entrepreneurs, business and organizational leaders, and brand teams to improve lives and build healthier communities through innovation.
Karen Patterson

Quote I love

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Karen Patterson
Founder and Chief Catalyst

Quote I love

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

Diane Horton
Child Well-Being & Education Advisor

Quote I love

"Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein

Marisela Ramos
Hispanic and Latino Advisor Immersive Experiences & Events

Quote I love

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ― Maya Angelou

Karen Van Wagenen
Innovation Catalyst

Social Impact + Strategy + Innovation

“Unilever is the largest NGO in the world. We have helped 303 million improve their health with hand washing campaigns. Our goal is 1 billion.”

(Paul Polman, Unilever CEO, August 2014)
Makewaves looks through a cultural lens to help you define the level of social impact that is right for you. It starts with a bold purpose that aligns with a social mission of which employees, clients, and customers believe in. We work with you to create a social impact strategy that is unique to your benefits and capabilities and positions you for success in the culture.
For social innovations and ventures we guide you through a process of articulating the need and framing the problem you want to solve – uncovering why it is important to you and visioning the ideal world in the absence of the problem.

"It’s easy to get excited about an idea—one that you think is going to change the world. Yet seemingly great ideas are often received with indifference, if not outright rejection, by their intended beneficiaries."

(The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook, Ian C. MacMillan and James D. Thompson)
Makewaves uses ethnography, trends, and behavioral research to help you understand the problems and realities, behaviors and motivations of your target. We help you to quickly uncover profound insights that will inspire your solutions. In social innovation, you are designing offerings for beneficiaries who also may be your customers.
We challenge you to take an integrative approach that combines the best of both social sector and for-profit sector strategies to deliver sustainable change. We help you to identify what your beneficiaries will have to do differently in order for your proposed solution to work. In this stage we also identify key stakeholders and those who are already addressing the problem effectively.

"There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all."

Edward de Bono
Makewaves integrates beneficiary, market, and technology insights with inspirational and relevant case studies to guide teams in the ideation of novel ideas to solve both societal problems and business challenges. We use the same process to facilitate the exploration of new revenue streams for non-profits to fund their social missions.
Additionally we consult with you applying key processes and principles used by social entrepreneurs who have been successful in the developing world to advance your venture into the planning stages.

"Seventy-three percent of millennials don’t believe government can solve today’s issues alone, and eighty-three percent want business to get more involved."

(MSLGROUP, September 2014).
Makewaves reframes the proposition of why we work, starting with the individual and realizing the significance corporately. When social mission becomes part of your DNA your employees realize their work is meaningful and you realize the benefits of combining purpose and profits.
Makewaves helps you to get clear on how to navigate in the social impact space. We provide the tools to help you measure the benefits of your initiatives in terms of the number of lives improved and return on investment. We help you align with the right partners to deliver targeted and long term positive impacts. In so doing, top talent will be attracted to you and the value of your brand increases.

"It is the work that serves the community; the business of the worker is to serve the work."

Dorothy Sayers
Your social impact creates waves of opportunities beyond your initiatives. When you choose Makewaves, we are able to invest into the lives of individuals who have a vision for a better life. We help to fund ventures and co-ops that empower individuals to use their talents and gifts to realize the richness that comes from working, not just to earn a living, but that their work benefits others.
As we practice true community, we are walking alongside those who are willing to work hard at building sustainable ventures. Through a network of mentors, training, and resources, we facilitate the development of the person and the business plan. The net effect is improved neighborhoods and communities. Your talent, passion, thinking, and your time are needed.


Makewaves is a movement to unleash the creativity of the entrepreneurial and business communities to solve societal problems in the United States. We integrate the principles and ideas of social sector with private sector, vocation with work, and purpose with profit to help you innovate for the greater good.
We formed out of a vision to radically reduce poverty and its effects on individuals and cities. By equipping businesses and organizations across the U.S. with strategy, inspiration, and opportunity, we can cause a surge of positive change to impact generations.
Changing the world requires a collection of The Passionate willing to contribute their time and their minds to work they truly believe in.

Beliefs & Values

The Poor

Human beings are made in God's image. Everyone deserves respect, not pity.

Good Work

Productive, meaningful employment affirms human dignity.

Cities and Communities

Vibrant communities produce healthy citizens.


Freedom from fear unleashes the powerful force of creativity.


Innovation is the key to economic growth and job creation.


Effective problem solving combines resources, talent, and technology across sectors.

As I see it, there are two great forces of human nature: self-interest and caring for others. Capitalism harnesses self-interest in helpful and sustainable ways, but only on behalf of those who can pay. Philanthropy and government aid channel our caring for those who can’t pay but the resources run out before they meet the need. To provide for the poor we need a system that draws in innovators and businesses in a far better way … I like to call this system creative capitalism…

Bill Gates, Microsoft
Makewaves calls this Social Innovation

Position yourself and wait for the wave to come to you. So then you ask, Position myself where? Position yourself with something that captures your curiosity, something that you’re missionary about.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Why are we here? Many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists solely to make money. People get together and exist as a company so that they are able to accomplish something collectively that they could not accomplish separately – they make a contribution to society.

David Packard, Hewett-Packard

Ideas More inspiration and strategies

Creativity can Change the World
Economics, teaches us about scarcity. Creativity is about abundance.
Read More
Betterment vs. Development
“Cities are our greatest invention. They generate wealth and improve living standards while providing the density, interaction, and networks that make us more creative and productive."
Read More
Make Money and Meaning
According to the 2015 Deloitte Millenial Survey, Millennials believe (75 percent) that businesses are focused on their own agendas rather than helping to improve society. They believe companies should generate profits and improve society at the same time.
Read More


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