Jun
10

How Can Society Best Deal With Violent Offenders?

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Garth McVicar started a non-profit organization in New Zealand to help change the way violent offenders are being sentenced.

By Alex Cequea

Garth McVicar started Sensible Sentencing Trust after seeing a steady spike in crime and sexual violence in New Zealand. The first part of the project consisted of a national register that would track violent offenders across the country. Sensible Sentencing Trust now advocates for tougher prison sentences, as a response to what McVicar sees as lax legislation that lets repeat offenders of violent crime walk away and continue to put the public safety at risk.

His program has sparked an important debate around when and how to rehabilitate people who commit serious crimes, and how to deal with repeat offenders who don’t seem to respond to rehabilitation efforts.

In this interview, Garth McVicar talks about:

  • How he started Sensible Sentencing Trust
  • What it’s like to go against current cultural norms and beliefs
  • How the political climate of New Zealand affects his efforts
  • What he thinks is the best way to rehabilitate young offenders
  • How connecting the stories of victims can be a catalyst for healing

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Jun
08

Do Small-Town Entrepreneurs Hold the Answer to Our Nation’s Woes?

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Michael Glauser is embarking on a country-wide bike tour where he will interview small-town entrepreneurs about how to succeed in a global economy.

By Alex Cequea

Why do some small-town economies thrive while others struggle? Michael Glauser, Executive Director of the Clark Center for Entrepreneurship at Utah State University, believes he has the answer. After interviewing social entrepreneurs in small towns over the last few decades, he’s certain that the key to our economic future lies in the lessons we can learn from our nation’s small-town entrepreneurs. This summer he’s embarking on a biking journey from coast to coast along with a team of intrepid documentarians, interviewing entrepreneurs along the way. You can read about his journey (and follow along!) on his website: MyNewEnterprise.com.

In this interview, Michael Glauser talks about:

  • How we can adapt to the shifting employment landscape
  • What small-town entrepreneurs can team us about succeeding on a global market
  • Why he thinks some cities thrive while others shrink
  • The most amazing social entrepreneurs he’s met so far

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Jun
07

How Can Changemakers Use LinkedIn?

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Jeff Zelaya shares useful LinkedIn tips and tricks that every activist can use to increase their network and influence.

By Alex Cequea

LinkedIn is one of those social networks that everyone is familiar with, but no one really knows how to use. In this interview I chat with Jeff Zelaya, a LinkedIn expert and professional speaker, about how changemakers and social entrepreneurs can make the most of the complex social network. He shares tips that can help you grow your network, connect with influencers in your field, and ultimately increase the amount of impact you can have in the world.

In this interview, Jeff talks about:

  • Using LinkedIn to fundraise, connect, and grow your network of peers
  • How to add people to your network even if you’ve never met in person
  • Participating in groups in a constructive way
  • The benefits of a LinkedIn Premium account
  • Best practices for building online relationships

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Jun
06

From MMA Fighter to Poet and Social Justice Advocate

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Cameron Conaway talks about going from mixed martial arts to poetry and social justice, and shares key lessons about manhood that he learned along the way.

By Alex Cequea

As an Executive Editor at The Good Men Project, Cameron Conaway is no stranger to questioning what it means to be a male figure in society. After getting into and even competing in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) while still in his teens, he eventually made a life shift that gave him a unique insight into the cultural expectations around what it means to be a man. I got a chance to interview him about his incredible journey from professional MMA fighter to poet and social justice advocate. He shares his insights, challenges growing up with an abusive father, and tries to answer the question at the heart of The Good Men Project, “What does it mean to be a good man?”

In this interview Cameron shares:

  • How the adult section of a video store introduced him to MMA fighting
  • What it was like to fight professionally
  • How he transitioned to poetry and social justice
  • How reporting on child labor and human trafficking started his journalism career
  • What he thinks young males need most today

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Jun
05

How Do We Become More Aware of Our Own Cultural Biases?

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Tom Morgan helps organizations and executives adjust to new cultures around the world, and he learns compassion and non-judgment in the process.

By Alex Cequea

With our increasingly global world, it’s not unusual to see culture clashes happening at every level of society. Tom Morgan, an Intercultural Communication Consultant, has helped hundreds of people from different organizations adjust to the culture shock that comes with relocating and working in another part of the world. Here he talks about the subtle effects of cultural bias, which includes managerial challenges between low power distance and high power distance cultures. He also touches on the globalization of IT and other industries, and ways that the Indian economy is growing and changing.

In this interview, he covers:
• How to question your own cultural values
• Why cultural shock is often like returning to an infant state
• The assessment tools he uses to gauge people’s cultural dimensions
• The subtle effects of our own ethnocentric perception and evaluation

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Jun
04

Developing the Next Generation of Social Entrepreneurs

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Cheryl Heller created the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation, and the first batch of alumni are already changing the world.

By Alex Cequea

Cheryl Heller has had a long and distinguished career as a designer and brand strategist helping to launch national brands for Fortune 100 companies such as Seventh Generation, Ford, American Express, Reebok, and Gap. Last year, she became the Founding Chair of the USA’s first MFA in Design for Social Innovation, at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. With classes such as, “How to Start a Social Movement” and “Games for Social Impact,” the two-year program is an activist’s dream. I got a chance to chat with her about her career, how to create change within systems, and why she thinks paradigm shifts are inevitable.

In this interview, Cheryl Heller talks about:
• Incorporating sustainability into communication design
• The power of humility and being able to listen to your opposition
• Why the world isn’t here just for us
• The MFA in Design for Social Innovation
• Engaging with living systems that are ever-changing
• Why companies with social missions need to be financially sustainable

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Jun
03

What Does the Media Get Wrong about Millennials?

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Andrew Tint grew tired of non-millennials getting featured as experts in the media, so he decided to start his own show.

Andrew Tint is the host of Generation WhY, a radio show that features guest talking about issues that affect millennials. He started the show after seeing a cover story from Time magazine that depicted millennials (those born between 1980 and the early 2000s) as lazy and entitled narcissists that still live with their parents.

In this interview, he talks about:
• How the media gets millennials wrong
• The effect of high student loan debt and rising college tuition
• How he started his radio show
• How his interviewing style has evolved
• The most amazing millennial stories he’s heard

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Jun
02

Tiny Home, Big Dreams

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With no background in construction, Alek Lisefski fulfilled a dream for himself and his girlfriend by building their dream home: a 240 square foot house.

By Alex Cequea

Alek Lisefski, a graphic designer from Iowa, wanted to live a more sustainable life with a smaller carbon footprint. Last year, he embarked on a quest to build his own dream home: a 240 square foot tiny house. Since he had no background in construction and had to learn pretty much everything from scratch, he documented his journey on his blog, the appropriately titled www.tiny-project.com. After 6 months of construction, his dream home was up and ready, and pictures of it started circulating the web. His $30,000 project got featured on Treehugger.com, MSN, The Huffington Post, and many other online outlets. I got a chance to chat with him about the whole journey, and even got a (tiny) tour of the house itself!

In this interview, Alek talks about:
• What it was like building a tiny home from scratch
• What he learned in the process
• The legal complexities of tiny homes
• Why the small living space isn’t the biggest challenge

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Jun
01

How to Market to the Deep Greens, Lazy Greens, and Not-So-Greens

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Shel Horowitz talks about how to market green and sustainable practices to every type of person.

By Alex Cequea

Shel Horowitz has spent many years as a green marketing consultant and environmental activist. His experience as a copywriter has given him a unique perspective into how to communicate with not only the most passionate and devoted environmentalist—“deep greens”—but also the laziest among us, who would happily make small sacrifices for the sake of sustainability, as long as the sacrifices are, well, small.

In this interview, Shel talks about staying away from guilt tripping (which is a terrible motivator), and instead seeking to understand the mentality of the audience you’re trying to reach.

Shel shares:

  • How he would communicate with people who don’t care about sustainability
  • What cities, like Houston, should do to become more sustainable
  • How to systematize sustainability to ease cultural transitions
  • The biggest trends he sees and how they’ll affect our near future
  • What he thinks the role of technology will be

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May
31

Rags to Riches to Rags: Achieving Fame, Losing it, and Finding Yourself

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After appearing on MTV’s True Life and finding early fame and wealth, Apollo Poetry lost it all, only to find true success and stumble onto his own happiness.

By Alex Cequea

After appearing as an up-and-coming hip-hop artist on MTV’s True Life, Apollo Poetry found more fame and wealth than he could ever imagine. He got to perform with acts such as Pitbull and the Pussycat Dolls, and at venues like Madison Square Garden and the Billboard Awards. However, when the housing market came crashing down, so did all his investments. Back at square one, he rebuilt himself as an artist with a new kind of insight and a higher level of consciousness. In this interview, he talks about the spiritual experience that helped him turn his life around, how wealth affected his ego, and what he hopes to see in the world.

Apollo Poetry talks about

  • How he got his start in hip-hop and poetry
  • How losing everything is the best way to check your ego
  • What the meaning of life (and everything) is
  • What he’s learned from Gary Vaynerchuk

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