Inspiration. Quick and Dirty. That is what the Ignite series is all about. You have 5 minutes to share your ideas while your 20 (yes, only 20) slides whiz by every 15 seconds. So, you better be on your game. Sounds like fun, right? Well, it was a blast.
I had the pleasure of presenting “How to Create a Revolution” a few weeks back. I wanted to focus on the initiatives we found while on the Our Revolution road trip last year. See what we found while on the road.
If you would prefer the transcript: here you go:
Today I am here to talk to you about how to start a revolution. The mere mention of the word revolution is incendiary and thought provoking.
When we think about revolutions, our minds quickly go to the history books and events like the American Revolution, The Protestant Reformation, Ghandi’s Peace Protests and The Civil Rights Movement to name a few examples.
Even today we see amazing ground shifting events like the Arab Spring and Occupy. All revolutions spurred by groups of people dissatisfied with the current status quo. So, they organized. Individuals bonded by one core belief.
But what exactly is a revolution? Does it mean an uprising; to overthrow an organization? The definition may surprise you. The actual definition of a revolution is to create a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something. To do a complete rotation; and create a paradigm shift.
In 2010, I was speaking in Detroit on this same topic and at the time, the idea of creating a revolution seemed so removed from our day to day. Ironically enough, that trip introduced me to a whole slew of people like you and me creating their own revolutions.
So I began wondering, “who else is out there creating revolutions?” That question inspired a 23 city road trip in search of those game changers creating a positive social impact. We found a member of commonalities.
Many of the cities had community gardens like this one. Their great because they donate thousands of pounds of food and are an effective crime prevention strategy.
Hackathons provide the forum for individuals and teams to come together to make innovation happen. Creatively building new ideas out of nothing and tackling problems to create fun and revolutionary things is what this is all about.
The way we work is changing. Within every city we visited, there was a coworking space, With coworking, you can share your expertise with the next to you. You’ll collaborate new ideas, have creative ways to problem solve.
Many cities offer incentives for rehabbing buildings and spaces. It was great to see train cars in Nashville turned into artist studios and ship building factories are turned into studios and artist housing, like Midway Studios in Boston.
We found art. Art demonstrates our power to innovate by providing visceral examples of how imagination is transformed into creation. It teaches us how to think beyond boundaries and overcome obstacles.
Amazing initiatives are being conceived of and orchestrated by every day heroes. All of them doing it for no other reason other they are compelled to do it. As I interviewed dozens of people common three themes began to emerge.
No one I spoke to knew how they were going to accomplish their revolution. They just knew failure was not an option. So, they each focused on their goal, trusted that they would accomplish it and kept moving forward.
Everyone I met said that their most powerful tool was social media. Social allows for people to connect with others; to find like minded individuals and to be heard. No matter what your revolution there is a social tool that can help.
I asked individuals why were they creating change and leaving it for someone else. And they all said that, “No one was coming to save them. So, they knew that it was up to them to do something.
What kind of revolution do you want to spark? When you look back on your life, what do you want to be remembered for? What social good footprint to you want to leave behind. What would motivate you and keep you motivated?
Once you’re ready, realize that you are not alone. There are others out there who want the same thing. Find them and Create Your Revolutionary Team. Remember, everyone has a role to play. Know your strengths and play to them.
Small changes make a huge difference in a community. These individuals know that. So are you ready to create a revolution; inspire people to be the change we all wish to see in the world? If you are, then we will be right beside you.
So what are you waiting for?
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