Pain is a Super-Power (If You Master It)

Pain Creates Empathy With Others’ Suffering Painful personal experiences often bring people into the fields of nonprofit work, activism, and volunteerism.  This is because our own pain causes us to empathize with others’ suffering. For many activists, their pain became their purpose.  We see this when the parent of a gun violence victim becomes an anti-gun advocate. Even in less dramatic cases, there is often… Read more →


President Obama on How to #DoBigGood

President Obama believes that massive social change occurs in three steps: Propose a change Make it happen Make it last As commentator Adam Gopnik noted recently in The New Yorker, Obama believe in “radical change made through practical measures.”  Obama believes that great change must be undertaken slowly and with attentiveness to the concerns of opponents. As Obama said in a recent interview… Read more →

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Teaching a Nation to Fish: The Story of Emanu

“Only the Dying Ones Attended Hospital” When Dr. Emanu Georwell was working at the Tororo District General Hospital, one in three children he saw were malnourished.  The reason was lack of protein.  There was an effective treatment: peanut butter and fish meal.  He would prescribe it and the children would get better. One day a woman from his home village of… Read more →


Believe in Your Greatness

The great boxer and activist Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) made himself the master of his own destiny. Of his many eloquent and witty words, this phase is particularly telling: “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” Though he was born with incredible athleticism, it was his will to be great that made him so. He also… Read more →


NEW! Weekly Meetup for Visionaries

I’m so excited! Last Friday I started a weekly meetup for people with big ideas about how to make social change. It’s called Hey, Visionary! Here are the logistics, so you can come to the next one: Time 5:00pm – 6:00pm Dates every Friday Location 2nd floor triangle of The Impact Hub at 220 2nd Ave. S (map) RSVP: via Meetup.com Here’s what to expect when… Read more →

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Visionary Spotlight: A New Voice in Education

Speech by M. Ed. graduate Donovan Livingston at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s commencement ceremony today: Donovan is a Senior Research Assistant at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) and was a field organizer for President Obama’s 2012 campaign. It’s people like him who will transform education in America: fully aware of history, unwilling to accept the inequalities of the present, filled with… Read more →

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Client Success: Thriving in a New Leadership Role

Client Vision Alix Dunn sees a future in which activists receive relevant support for technology use, when they need it most. Client Result Starting Point:  Alix, a social entrepreneur in the data and tech space, was transitioning from working as co-director of her NGO, the engine room, to being a solo executive director. Consultation:  Through a series of phone calls, I helped… Read more →

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The Visionary’s Path

Sometimes I’m too wordy by half. Here’s a quick visual summary of how I take my clients from vision to practical next steps.  It’s a one-on-one consultative process that often takes as little as an hour. More details on this process are available here. First Comes Vision Picture of the Future that you want to achieve Motivation that lights an enduring fire… Read more →

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How to Move from Vision to Action

Your vision for social change is big and bold and beautiful. It isn’t rational or logical, it’s emotional.  It’s a picture of the future that lights a fire in your heart and inspires you to move forward. How do you get from that big vision to practical action? My coaching method involves two core elements to move clients from vision to… Read more →