When I first read about the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship two years ago, I was quickly drawn to its awesomeness. Never had I thought about the world’s most distinguished social entrepreneurs deliberating on issues under one roof. The Forum has made this a reality. As a young person, my major point of interest was whether young people had an opportunity to take part in such a prestigious conference of more experienced individuals. Through my work with The MasterCard Foundation Youth Think Tank, it had become apparent to me that a lot of organizations are detached from young people and are unaware of the energy and fresh ideas they can contribute within the organization. My experience at the Skoll World Forum was different. Through the support of The MasterCard ...more
One small ray of hope can lead to the light ...more
(Photo credit: GirlForward)
WHO? Blair Brettschneider, the executive director of the 501(c)(3) non-profit GirlForward.
WHAT? GirlForward is a Chicago-based organization that's empowering adolescent refugee girls to be strong, confident and independent.
HOW? Glad you asked.
It sounds very cheesy, but I really feel that this (work) chose me.
Her name was Domi. I became her tutor and then really evolved into a mentor. She was 18 years old at the time. She had been in Chicago for about two and a half years and her family was originally from Burundi. She’d grown up in a refugee camp in Tanzania.
Domi was responsible for everything in her household ...more
A recent article by fellow Fast Company blogger, Alicia Morga, advised: “Adopt the Cindy Crawford motto: no flaws…stick with the beauty of loving yourself and others.”
As Cindy Crawford says, “Never point out your flaws but do admit to your mistakes.”
What a powerful distinction. Cindy is an accomplished wife, mother, businesswoman, spokesperson and model. She’s demonstrated beauty in so many ways, specifically through her acumen, well spoken manner, desire to make a beautiful life and home ...more
This past year, I went to England to attend the Skoll World Forum. My experience at the Forum can be summed up as a rare, life changing experience. The first day I arrived, together with my fellow young leaders, we were taken around Oxford University. I couldn’t have been inspired more as I saw the rooms where famous economists like Adam Smith studied and lived.
As though that was not enough, there I was, in one of the Forum workshops, when I looked to the right and saw a managing director of a very large, global organization I had never dreamt of ever meeting. To my left, I noticed more executives from organizations that I had been excited to know more about. They were all around me!
I quickly realized this was a serious place, where high profile people come to exchange ideas. This challenged me to embrace the fear and reality ...more
The best ideas are sometimes the oldest ones. They just take their time to mature. The concept of the common good, or the common weal in traditional parlance, is as old as the hills, as British as driving rain. And in economics, it is making a come back.
Today an extraordinary best-seller across continental Europe is published in English by Zed Books. ‘Change Everything: creating an economy for the common good’ written by Christian Felber has helped to encourage a rapidly spreading and international grass-roots movement, organized around the idea of returning business and economic life to the measuring stick of common good.
I have posted a longer blog this week on the patient emergence of ideas around an economy for the common good on the site of COVI, dubbed the first visual think tank.
This week's video ...more
It is so amazing to me that when we communicate, the words really ‘come in third place.’
What’s first and second? First is the tone. If we are abrasive, affrontive, sarcastic then it doesn’t open up the conversation and action for change.
Calm, proactive, inclusive, even — “slow” — conversations help provide dynamic change.
It sounds as if it is an oxymoron. But allowing the participants to breathe in the interaction helps bring about the best and most inclusive solutions for all parties.
Second then is body language and what we communicate; third come the words.
You, me, the night building manager, the cleaners and homeless people all have something in common: We need to be nourished.
The other night, I was helping lead a Full Circle Fund meeting, which is working to provide economic opportunities for people across our world. It’s a wonderful group, focused on providing financial support and volunteer time to help serve the community.
That evening, we had leftover sandwiches from dinner. While I usually take any leftovers from the meetings I attend to homeless people, I thought perhaps I would give myself a rest from it this evening. It was a huge tray I would have to balance, carrying my many bags as well. Yet ...more