After a nutty week of travel to Florida, Illinois and Indiana, yesterday I took a crack ‘o dawn flight back to Denver to attend some important conferences. Yesterday was the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (@YNPN) conference, which brought together social entrepreneurs from across the USA to talk about strategy, progress and change. There were some awesome workshops, and I was especially moved by the lunchtime keynote given by Robert Eggers, founder of DC Central Kitchen. He was so smart, so excited, so fond of young people. He believes we can – no we MUST – lead the charge for social enterprise in the U.S. and abroad. Robert’s awesome non-profit combines several major areas of social innovation into one kick-ass organization including helping the homeless, food recycling, job training and empowering young people. (Read more about DC Central Kitchen here.) After he was done speaking, I kinda wanted to kidnap him for the weekend and ask him ten million questions, because his fresh take on banding together and working efficiently spoke volumes to me. (Don’t worry – he’s not in my trunk.)
Last night I could barely sleep with all these new and innovative ideas swirling about. Today at 7am I awoke bright-eyed (or more like puffy-eyed) and ready to volunteer at the Women’s Funding Network conference. Women from all over the WORLD came to this weekend gathering to discuss necessary measures to get money into projects and non-profits that will advance women’s safety, economic stability and overall gender equality. Being in a room with so many people from around the globe is intoxicating in it’s ability to make you think bigger and wider…
For me, the highlight of today was listening to one of my personal heroines speak, named Zainab Salbi (@zainabsalbi). She is the Founder/CEO of Women for Women International which is a non-profit that helps women who have been affected by war, in rebuilding their lives. They have programs active in Iraq, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Afghanistan just to name a few. Zainab was incredibly inspiring, and spoke of the need to affect a woman’s economic status, the imperative of working with MEN to help women and collaborating with others to make change. Afterward I bought one of her books, and met Zainab during the book signing. She was kind enough to answer some of my questions about teaching self-defense to women in war-torn regions of the world. I asked her if she believed it was something we should investigate as Girls Fight Back begins talking to major funders about expanding outside the USA. Smiling energetically, she responded, “Why not?!”
Do you have a big idea that could change the world? What’s holding you back? I say do it.
After all…why not?