In this special series, we’ll take a brief look at various different fearless inspirations from the past week or so. Whether it’s a fearless young change maker who is taking risks, a new publication that expresses bold and innovative ideas, or an organization that is promoting change and that is not afraid to fail forward—we want to shine a spotlight on them and their work in the hope that it will spark a new movement to Be Fearless.
As Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation wrote in a recent thought piece, “The old way of doing things is simply no longer effective in this new world. It’s time for us all to take risks on new ideas, approaches, and initiatives. It’s time for us to be bold, to act with urgency, and to resist the tendency to let caution be our guide. It’s time for us to Be Fearless.” Will you join us?
We are long-time fans of the organization Donors Choose, which was created by Charles Best and his fellow teachers at a Bronx high school. There, Best and others experienced first-hand the scarcity of learning materials in our public schools. Best had a big idea, dreamed big, and turned his idea into a reality.
“…Best sensed that many people would like to help distressed public schools, but were frustrated by a lack of influence over their donations. He created DonorsChoose.org in 2000 so that individuals could connect directly with classrooms in need… DonorsChoose.org engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity.
We were excited to see a talk by Best on Donors Choose that was recorded at Big Omaha 2012 and highlighted in a recent Silicon Prairie News post. “The organization's growth, Best said, is indicative of a larger shift that's occurring. "There's a big change underway in how long you have to wait and who you have to know and how lucky you have to be to bring a new idea to life," he said. "There's a new kind of marketplace where gatekeepers do not stand in your way.” As Best noted, "This new kind of marketplace pushes intelligence and decision-making out to the edge."
In this inspiring video, Best shares how big ideas are all around us, and how each of us has the ability to turn an idea into a reality. What's your big idea?