Introducing Mardi Brown and Cat Harding
Why we give a damn
We are all entitled to basic needs, yet some of us spend our days fighting for food, shelter, safety, water, medication, sanitation, education, care, connection – and sometimes even fighting for our lives.
Having travelled extensively in developing countries and working to build, run and fund an outreach school in Cambodia over the past 12 years – the team at PonyUp understand the senseless gap between those who have it all and those who dig through the dirt to find their next meal. It’s impossible to ignore. It changes you.
Knowing all too well the pain point of donor fatigue, we found a way to provide individuals and businesses with a simple and non-monetary opportunity to contribute beyond themselves via unwanted, second-hand technology, knowing that this action will better the future of those who need it most.
What we do
PonyUp for Good is a new social enterprise. Our mission is to provide a simple process for socially minded companies and individuals to turn unwanted, second-hand technology (phones, iPods, laptops and tablets) into charitable currency. We collect unwanted technology, provide a free and secure data cleansing service, sell the technology to wholesale partners and donate 50% of the profits to annual charity partners. We are making it easy to be nice when you upgrade your device.
By-product benefits of this process include; the reduction of e-waste, the clearing of cupboards and drawers across Australia, the provision of much required second-hand technology to those not in a position to afford it new and a warm fuzzy feeling for all those who PonyUp for Good!
Why it matters
Each year more than 5 million Australians upgrade their phones – 48% put the ‘old’ technology into drawers, just in case. Most of them are never used again and eventually become toxic landfill. More than 4 million computers are sold in Australia each year, 88% of these also end up in landfill.
We’re PonyingUp for Good because we have the opportunity to build a business that gives to others compassionately and ethically and has a bi-product of reusing technology and reducing the 18 billion tonnes of e-waste contributing to Australia’s landfill. It’s about conscious capitalism at its root.
We asked ourselves, ‘how can we use our education, knowledge, networks and resources to build a company that directly benefits others with meaning and environmental impact?
Who are the Founders? Cat Harding & Mardi Brown
Cat is a communications and project management professional with over 20 years experience across a multitude of industries. She has launched music careers, dressed 20,000 people for the Commonwealth Games and managed communications projects for London Underground, Pacific Brands and CitiPower and Powercor.
Cat has two beautiful girls and wants to come home every day proud of the impact she has made in the world so she can teach her children that one person with the right attitude can make a difference.
Her dream is to make ‘PonyUp’ as much the common vernacular for what you do with redundant technology as Googling has become the term for how you search for information.
Mardi is motivated by a need to contribute positively, helping drive meaningful change for those who need it most. You will often hear her asking, ‘for what purpose are we doing this?’
Mardi is a trained Behavioural Specialist and has worked as Head of People & Culture with TEDxMelbourne, and in her own consultancy has helped businesses develop strategies and standards for their own workplace cultures. With a degree in Business/Marketing and 15+ years experience leading teams as a senior marketer across HR, Tourism & Hospitality in both Australia and North America.
Since 2009, Mardi has held the role of Co-President of Act, Change, Educate (ACE), who manage the Happy School project in Cambodia. ACE provides primary education, secondary school scholarships, vocational training and pathways to employment for some of the country’s most disadvantaged young people.
Mardi loves getting her hands dirty in every part of PonyUp’s growth. Her mission: To get everyone in Australia PonyingUp their old devices when they upgrade, to help those in need!
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