Some Fun & Good News!

We interrupt this nail biting election season for some good news!

Selena had her baby!

We would like to welcome our newest member of the extended Billions Institute Family!

Eliya Tomis Liu Raphael
Born at 10:41AM, October 28th 2020
6lb 15oz & 19.5 inches long


We also realize you might have Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” stuck in your head



Hi Friends,

If you’re not up on TikTok or this viral sensation you might be wondering “Why am I hearing this song?” Well, the whole world is hearing this song right now. And while I’ve been humming along, I had some thoughts about how something like this can happen.

This is Nathan Apodaca aka @420Dogface208 and on September 25th he made this 20 second video of himself riding his longboard drinking some ocean spray and listening to Dreams by Fleetwood Mac. This video got more than 65 million likes in the middle of a heated election and debilitating pandemic. In this time of huge division we can all agree that for some reason we really like this video.

The neat thing about the TikTok platform is that it enables adaptation. All you have to do is push one button on the app and you can be making your own TikTok with the exact same song – but your way. There are literally thousands of TikToks that are a variation on Nathan’s theme. I even saw one of a kitten being pulled on a skateboard with some ocean spray. Stevie Nicks even joined in, lacking up some old school roller skates. We don’t know why this took off, but it definitely did and the repercussions extend beyond TikTok.

Today, the record label’s catalog division reported that in the past two weeks, “Dreams” has been streamed 36 million times, a 212 percent increase from the pervious two-week period. Meanwhile, downloads were up 1,188 percent. They estimate that across social media. streaming apps, and radio that the song has been heard more than 230 million times, thanks to the “Dreams Challenge” Apodaca’s video spawned.  – LA Times


Here is another example impressive impact – Ocean Spray Stock.
On the 29th of September, the stock value doubled in price from $12-$13 to $25 – and held.

Also, stores are out of Ocean Spray.
Forget the toilet paper –  it’s cranberry juice that’s hard to find.

The whole world is in on this one great big joke. Has it ever happened before that a song hits the charts twice, but separated by 43 years? It was top of the charts in 1977 and now again in 2020. So what’s going on here? I’m going to give Nathan credit, what he did was awesome, but what that have to do with you – someone who is working to advance social justice and make the world a better place? What can we learn about spread and scale? Here are a few lessons for you to have in your brain next time you hear ‘Dreams’.


There’s something about making it really easy for people to adapt your thing. The fact that any TikTok user can easily make adaptations – effortlessly, really – is a factor that enables rapid spread/scale. Contrast that with the social sectors where we sometimes see people being kind of precious about fidelity. Nathan doesn’t care if you copy him – he wants you to. And he wants you to make it your own. To the extent that you can make it easy and fun for people to adapt your innovation, you enhance the odds of achieving spread/scale.

Fan The Flames

When OceanSpray saw this was happening they showed up at Nathan’s house with a truck – filled with Cran-Grape Juice – and encouraged him to keep going. So how can we acknowledge and appreciate the people who are trying to do our thing?


2020 has kind of been a shit storm right? Here is something fun and light that can bring people together. It’s a small thing but it’s a big thing. Is there some small way you can inject a little fun, joy, light-heartedness, and music into whatever it is you’re doing?

If you’ve been thinking about this too I’d love to hear your thoughts! Hit me up, write me back on why you think the Dreams Challenge went so viral. I’m fascinated when this type of thing happens and just really appreciative towards human beings – how much it is in our nature to create and play and find joy in the small things. So I wish this for you and I hope this was a fun interruption in a very serious, very important week in United States history. I’ll be thinking of all of you!

– Becky

Guest Writer, Selena Liu Raphael: How “Nesting” Looks Different for Me in 2020

hi friends –

Selena will be starting her parental leave sometime between now and November 6th at the latest. On a recent team call she reflected on how “nesting” looks completely different for her  now versus when she had her first child. I suggested she write a blog about it she graciously agreed (on top of everything else she’s doing!)  Please join me in wishing Selena a safe and love and bonding filled parental leave.

Also please join me in welcoming Jen and Jenna to our growing team.

Oh and please VOTE!

– Becky

How “Nesting” Looks Different for Me in 2020

Dear Readers,

During my first pregnancy 8 years ago, I remember proudly holding up a drill, getting my room in NYC ready for my son’s arrival. For a non-handy person, it made me feel productive and fierce to be getting the house ready, however fumbling I was with a tool I had rarely used in my lifetime. I loved feeling like I was becoming part of a community of mothers who experience this nesting instinct. The year was also 2012. I had recently become a US citizen and a few months after my son was born, I was pretty relaxed as I pushed him in a stroller to the polls to cast my very first vote to re-elect President Barack Obama.

I am now at most 2 weeks from giving birth to my daughter and we are a couple days short of that facing another election day. At the time of this writing, we are already 49,313,897 ballots in with early voting. Like many who may be reading this, I have family members and friends who do not share my political views. For quite some time, I refrained from trying to get too involved, struggled with how to navigate this, almost quietly holding up my “Asians for Black Lives” sign and trying to find windows to build bridges, to plead for civility, to do what I could without upsetting too many people. And then in the last weeks, my instinct to fight kicked in.

It was only yesterday morning that I realized this instinct was my new “nesting” for my daughter. That I had to get this “house” ready for her, this world she is going to grow up in, and could not just idly stand by and hope for the best. As so many have said, this election could be the most important of our lifetime.

While this year has been full of so much grieving for lives lost, this little girl coming so improbably into this world for me at 46 years old is a bright spot I cannot let be dimmed by complacency. And so I faced into both my privilege and my fears and started to speak up.

Even though I thought I committed to humility and decency in the fight, there has been ugliness unspeakable. Here is a quote from Joe Biden to Evan Osnos in the New Yorker that sums it up well:

“I’m embarrassed to say, I thought you could defeat hate. You can’t. It only hides. It crawls under the rocks, and, when given oxygen by any person in authority, it comes roaring back out. And what I realized is, the words of a President, even a lousy President, matter. They can take you to war, they can bring peace. They can make the market rise, they can make it fall. But they can also give hate oxygen.”

As much as perhaps I am fumbling like someone unfamiliar with how to use a drill, the drive to snuff out this oxygen of hate by this momma is a force to be reckoned with now. With days to go that could define our next 4 years and beyond, and the future of our children, let’s do this together! When there is no more oxygen for this fire, maybe someday we can have hope still that hate can be defeated. #vote

With much love as I sign off soon to nest with this baby! (And many thanks to Becky for giving me the opportunity to guest write this week! So much appreciation…)







We wish Selena the best as she nests into the end of 2020. We can’t wait to meet her baby!

In the meantime, we’d love to introduce you to two new members of our team. Jen will be covering for Selena can be reached at Jenna has joined our team to head up our marketing efforts as we believe there are literally millions more change leaders who could benefit from adopting our approach. Click on their mugs to get better acquainted. 


Jen Green, Interm Operations Manager


Jenna Culotti, Marketing Manager 


More again soon!

– Becky