The Elevating Impact Story Project
Leading up to the Elevating Impact Summit on Friday, June 21 in Portland, Oregon, we’ve invited event speakers, award nominees, and panelists to engage in a storytelling project. We believe that storytelling is an essential part of effective social innovation. How can we tell stories in a way that generates interest and creates connections? How can we listen to the stories of others with the empathy needed to achieve true understanding? Here you can listen to each story from the project and learn more about our speakers, their journeys, and the promise and challenge of social innovation.
Timothy O’Brien, Founder of Tropical Salvage, provides a powerful meditation on our relationship with the natural world and future generations. Timothy is a nominee for the Impact Entrepreneur Award. Length: 2:45
Nothing delivers more impact to my motivation than the trust, hope and happiness expressed in my children’s eyes. Their eyes are my powerful mandate to act, to guide them thoughtfully into this world and to prove I am an able and honorable intermediary between them and their future.
Evan Thomas, PSU professor, Co-founder of Manna Energy and SWEETsense, answers the question, “What lessons has your work taught you?” with advice on the importance of a multidisciplinary approach. Evan is a nominee for the Impact Entrepreneur Award. Length: 2:11
Andy Giegerich, Editor of Sustainable Business Oregon, answers the question, “What’s my source of personal motivation?” with a story about how to succeed as the underdog (accompanied by music). Andy is a Media for Impact panelist at Elevating Impact. Length: 1:14
Jacob Sherman, URECA Program Coordinator at Portland State University, explains why we should all dare to fail (it’s even tattooed on his arm). Jacob will moderate the Re-entry Redefined panel at Elevating Impact. Length: 2:12
“One of the other important life lessons I learned comes out of a William Carlos Williams poem where he talks about no defeat being made up entirely of defeat, because it always opens a place formerly unsuspected.”
Eric Dawson, Ashoka Fellow and Founder of Peace First, answers the question “What are your hopes for the future?” with a story about the importance of combining service with advocacy and the power of small choices. Eric will give the keynote address at the Elevating Impact. Length: 5:37
Carolynn Duncan, Founder of TenX and the NW Social Venture Fund, answers the question, “What is a hardship you overcame that shaped who you are today?” with a moving story about her ten siblings. Carolynn is an Impact Funding panelist at Elevating Impact. Length: 3:26
Ed Blackburn, Executive Director at Central City Concern, answers the question, “What lessons has your work taught you?” with a story about the importance of compassion applied (an approach that led to him receiving an award from the Dalai Llama). Ed is a Re-entry Redefined panelist at Elevating Impact. Length: 5:57
“Compassion wasn’t just about feeling sorry for people; it was developing the skills to be able to actually do something about a situation.”
Sona Andrews, Provost at Portland State University, answers the question, “What lessons has your work taught you?” with a reflection on her experiences in academia and why power should not lead to privilege. Sona is a Pioneering Education panelist at Elevating Impact. Length: 4:35
Kazi Huque, Founder of Grameen Intel, answers the question, “What lessons has your work taught you?” with a story of design thinking and creating effective technology services for the poor in Bangladesh. Length: 1:59.
John Shepherd, founder of M25 Ventures, talks about the true value that business should focus on creating and the path he took to this realization. John is a Re-entry Redefined panelist at Elevating Impact. Length: 4:45
It’s not about the money that’s made, or the cool gadgets that are created—it’s about, Does it make a difference in someone’s life? Does it make this world a better place to live in?