Today's Tuesday Tidbits features Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen and author of The Blue Sweater, which happens to be one of my favorite books. Jacqueline opens The Blue Sweater with a story. As a kid, she had a (you guessed it) blue sweater handed down to her. It was old, ratty, and piling, but that didn't matter. Jacqueline wore it everywhere. Eventually though, kids in her class started to make fun of her for it. Mortified, she donated the sweater to GoodWill. Fast-forward 10+ years, Jacqueline was out for a run while volunteering in Rwanda, and spotted a young boy wearing the blue sweater. She dashed up to him, checked the tag, and sure enough—it was hers. In that moment, Jacqueline realized the interconnectedness of this world. Shortly thereafter, she founded Acumen, an organization that "raises charitable donations to invest in companies, leaders, and ideas that are changing the way the world tackles poverty." In this TED Talk, Jacqueline tells stories of her travels, her encounters, and most notably, her change makers. You'll have to watch the talk to hear the stories, but here are a few key take aways:
"Your job is not to be perfect. Your only job is to be human."
"What is the cost of not daring? What is the cost of not trying?"
"Sometimes, the most important things we do and that we spend our time on are those things that we cannot measure."
"Sometimes very small investments can release enormous, infinite potential that exists in all of us."
"We invest what we call 'patient capital' — money that we'll invest in entrepreneurs who see the poor not as passive recipients of charity, but as full-bodied agents of change who want to solve their own problems and make their own decisions."
"Every day, we have a choice. We can take the easier road, the more cynical road, which is a road based on – sometimes a dream of the past that never really was, a fear of each other, distancing and blame – or, we can take the much more difficult path, of transformation, transcendence, compassion, and love, but also accountability and justice."
"We need leaders. We ourselves need to lead, from a place that has the audacity to believe we can ourselves extend the fundamental assumption that all men are created equal to every man, woman, and child on this planet. And we need to have the humility to recognize that we cannot do it alone."
"All we have is each other, so may each of you live lives of immersion. They won't necessarily be easy lives, but in the end, it is all that will sustain us."
Jacqueline also shares this quote, from Robert Kennedy:
"Few of us have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And it is in the total of all those acts that the history of the generation will be written."