Ty Diringer, Project Unbound

project unboundTy is a social innovator and Dalai Lama Fellow from Oberlin, Ohio who uses his experience in business, non-profits, and political campaigns to aid him in his mission to end human trafficking. While often overlooked by the public, trafficking has grown to become the second-largest organized criminal enterprise in the world, taking more than 27 million victims annually. Last year, Ty, along with co-founder Alyssa Phelps, created Project Unbound to help fight human trafficking and inspire young social entrepreneurs by raising money for organizations that work on the ground and changing the national conversation regarding human trafficking.

Project Unbound raises money for anti-trafficking organizations by challenging teams of college students to start small for-profit ventures that help brand the organization to draw more people into the movement against modern day slavery. Project Unbound provides $30 of seed funding, guidance, and inspiration for the students, in addition to educating students about human trafficking and business models. All the students’ profit is donated to local anti-trafficking organization within the schools’ community, while the cost of running the challenge is recycled into Project Unbound to ensure sustainability to seed the next round of ventures.

Ty hopes to relaunch and expand Project Unbound to create more competition between participating colleges and universities, thus generating more attention and profit for anti-trafficking efforts.

Funding from the Pollination Project will cover startup costs for about 25 groups of college students to launch Project Unbound chapters.