A Message from Bob McKinnon

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to send you all a quick note of congratulations after your presentations on Friday.

As I mentioned to many of you after, I saw two things consistently throughout the presentations.

First, I was able to see each of you in your own idea. There was such authenticity in your presentations and it was clear that there were real, heartfelt connections to your work, which is a critical first step to success.

Second, I was able to see so many of the ideas in the world. It is the mark of a great idea when other people can share your vision and take what is abstract and see the real potential it possesses.

When I left the presentation, I immediately wanted to….
– B. American and donate blood
– Find out when Foodstalk was happening and make plans to attend
– Wrap a gift in “heirloom” cloth
– Be a champion for the people and projects in Cincinnati
– See for myself the excitement that grows from a create-athon
– See the stories of children in Manilla who educated their way off the streets and into a better life
– Hear the sounds of “yo, colaboro” ring through Colombia
– Tell my teacher friends about a new “netflix for lesson plans” that’s coming soon
– Tweet to the social change community about a new resource to measure design effects?
– Look for a nifty neighbor on my block who shares my interest in the Red Sox
– Start a business that grows “happily” in Sao Paulo
and … bring a chair outside in Lisbon and sit in it with intention.

And to demonstrate that these ideas do lead to action, let me add this. Last night, I went to fetch milk and diapers at our corner market (which is how I seemingly spend too many evenings these days). There is often a homeless man who sits on the bus bench outside the market begging for change. And while I have said hello from time to time, I never give change for the reasons why we’re told not to. But I was reminded by our class that it doesn’t mean that I can’t give anything. So before walking in I asked him if he’d like something to drink. When I can out with his large coffee with four sugars and half and half, I first handed him the coffee and then extended my own hand. “I don’t believe I’ve ever introduced myself, my name is Bob.” I said. And he replied, “Hi I’m Charles. It’s very nice to meet you. Thanks so much for the coffee.”

So while Charles isn’t a poor boy in Bogota, the principle is the same. An idea gave me pause to think about what “help” means and to remind me that change comes one act at a time.

So thanks to you all for an incredible semester and for sharing “a piece of yourselves” with us. Now I hope you will do the same with the rest of the world. There are plenty of “Charles” out there waiting for you.

Good luck with your efforts and please keep in touch.