I hope this note finds you and your loved ones healthy and well.

I want to share a short video I made about how to ask for something in a way that makes it much more likely that you’ll get what you want. How you ask can make a huge difference on whether or not you will get it, so please don’t make the big mistakes that we see all. the. time. 

We’re delighted that some of you have taken us up on our offer to be a pro bono sounding board or thought partner. Our offer still stands. Just email info@billionsinstitute.com and we’ll make that happen. 

And just so you know you’re not alone, we’ve identified a couple of concerns that seem to be widely shared by non-profit and social change leaders: 

  1. How can I cope with this much uncertainty? 
  2. How can I balance family and work now that we’re all on top of one another at home?
  3. How can my organization align itself to be most relevant now and going forward? 

We will be writing and zooming about these questions – and others – in the days and weeks ahead. 

We’re asking ourselves the very same questions. 

Here’s my hunch: cultivating our ability to get fully present with ourselves and others through this period of heightened uncertainty and loss is a good start. That’s something we can definitely help you do. 

Please drop me a note and let me know if you’ve make a request using the formula in the video and if you do, how it went. ** fingers crossed ** And let us know what’s keeping you up at night as a social change leader. We’ll all get through this together. 

With tremendous love and affection,

COVID-19 Solutions from Solutions Journalism

People are helping each other fight coronavirus, one Google spreadsheet at a time.
Sigal Samuel, Vox. United States
Healthy citizens desperate to find a way to help those at risk of developing severe coronavirus symptoms are creating spreadsheets detailing what services they can offer to their neighbors, whether it’s grocery shopping or check-in calls. The mutual aid model is complementing the ongoing work of established nonprofits.

In The Age of Coronavirus, Libraries Are Getting Books Into People’s Hands — Without Touching
Elizabeth Pandolfi, Next City. United States
As public libraries in the United States are forced to close their doors in response to the coronavirus outbreak, librarians are trying new methods of (safely) getting books in the hands of community members. From organizing curbside pickups to books-by-mail services, librarians are adjusting and improvising.

How to Save Elections From a Pandemic
Eric Cortellessa, Washington Monthly. Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
The coronavirus pandemic swept the nation at a time when many would be going to polling stations to cast their votes in primary elections, but vote-at-home practices are providing a solution for this civic inconvenience. Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and now Utah have all implemented statewide all-mail election campaigns that not only improve voter turnout, but also cost less to taxpayers than only relying on in-person polling booths.

These stories were selected from the Solutions Story Tracker®, a database of over 8,000 solutions stories from over 1,000 newsrooms around the world. Interested in receiving a weekly round-up of COVID-19 solutions stories that you can easily cut and paste into your newsletter? Click here to sign up.


Unleashing Social Change Podcast Season 2 is Out!

  • Christine Margiotta, my wife and Executive Director of Social Venture Partners Los Angeles, on shifting their model from charity to justice. 
  • Dimitry Anselme with Facing History and Ourselves about teaching history as a way of bolstering our fragile democracy. 
  • Jason Marsh with the Greater Good Science Center on spreading research-based practices that advance happiness and well-being.
  • Kate Hilton with the Institute for Health Care Improvement on getting out of your own way as a leader.
  • Helen Smith, Forensic Psychiatrist with the National Health Service about taking the fear out of the system to unleash massive creativity.
  • Gerry Balcazar and Hugo Ramirez from Vision y Compromiso on building movements of love and support around children
  • Sasha Rabkin from Equal Opportunity Schools on bringing equity to AP/IB classes. 
  • Jake Maguire from Community Solutions on what happened after the 100k Homes Campaign ended.  If you stick around til the very end you will get to hear him tell me a hilarious story that cracks me up to this day.
  • Chris Chatmon from Kingmakers of Oakland on transforming schools to work for black and brown boys.
  • Bruce Nilles from the Rocky Mountain Institute on climate change as an equity issue and why your natural gas appliances are no good.
  • Peter O’Driscoll from the Equitable Food Initiative about how they’ve worked with the entire food production cycle to get healthy produce and fair wages for everyone.
  • Arfon Williamsa General Practitioner in Rural Wales about how he responded to the crisis of being the only doctor around for hundreds of miles.
  • Parvathi Santhoosh-Kumar, Vice-President of Equitable Results at StriveTogether, about how they’re working with dozens of communities to go from proof points to systems transformation on behalf of children everywhere.
  • Tema Okun, Duke University, Facing into your own Racism with Courage and Love. 

Share This