Welcome to the February edition of the Uncharted Insider. The Uncharted Insider is a monthly email from me that provides an inside look into our organization and what we're thinking about.
- Top-Secret revealed: Last month I mentioned we're running an undercover accelerator supporting organizations addressing hate and discrimination. Now I can announce it's a partnership called Erase the Hate with NBC Universal and Civic Nation to support organizations like Athlete Ally. We ran a one-week summit in NYC in early February.
- New Partnership: In January we locked up a major partnership with a wireless carrier to help scale organizations using mobile technology for social impact. Announcement coming March 7th.
- We're hiring: We have four open positions right now: from partnerships to programs to investment to logistics to financial architects. We'd love your help thinking about who would be a good fit: feel free forward this email to them.
Ideas on our mind:
- How can corporations be genuine? We've been working with a few corporations as they design future CSR strategy. Leaders of CSR at major brands are responsible for spearheading initiatives that actually create impact AND for ensuring that the company's impact efforts aren't perceived as thinly veiled attempts at positive PR. For brands with a genuine desire to create impact - in a world where perception is reality - the recurring question seems to be: "Will our customers trust us when we say we're committed to impact?" What companies do you think are genuine in their commitment to social impact? What CSR models do you admire? We're building a list.
- How do we become creators of game-changing moments in our lives? Chip Heath, one of our mentors, just released a new book on how to create extraordinary moments. It’s worth a read if you find yourself stuck in a routine, responsible for ‘building culture' on a team, or eager to create enduring memories for your kids. We’re implementing some of the book's concepts as we think about how to create magical moments for our entrepreneurs, mentors, and team.
We forget about art: As an organization, it's imperative that we are able to quantifiably determine - through measurable impact outcomes - if we have been successful in our work. But it's also easy to get buried in the numbers to the point where we miss the humanity of the impact. So it was refreshing to have a few opportunities recently to appreciate how powerful intangible, unquantifiable impact can be. Specifically, I've been struck by the power of art to influence culture. I visited the Whitney Museum and saw an exhibit on art as a form of protest against wars and oppression. I snagged a ticket to Dear Evan Hansen, a masterful Broadway play, that normalizes teen depression and the idea that we're not alone. I saw Black Panther, a film with sweeping influence to shift narratives around how "the west" perceives the continent of Africa. And I am reading the disquieting novel American War by Omar El Akkad that places readers in a futuristic, ruinous world facing the consequences of global warming. Are we able to measure the impact of a Broadway play or a novel or an anti-Vietnam War poster? And if we can't quantify it, does that make it less-than? Art has the power to transform culture in extraordinary, immeasurable ways, and I sometimes worry that an exclusive loyalty to metrics can blind us to the complexity of more intangible vehicles of impact - like art - in shaping culture.
What I’m reading:
- How one couple got the Chilean government to increase its national parks by 40%.
- Curious about what structural racism actually looks like? This.
- From 2005 to 2015, all net job growth in the American economy was in contingent jobs.
- Loneliness is killing you; how community is the newest healthcare intervention.
Whenever I can, I try to get into the backcountry. Time slows down when I'm five miles into the wilderness and with my pen and journal. Attached is a photo I took from a snowshoe trip to a Colorado hut at 11,600 feet last weekend.
United in the common work,