On August 26th 2022, Candid and The International Social Impact Institute held Part 3 of The Inaugural Youth Giving Summit, the final discussion in the three-part series. Two prominent speakers, with practical organizational and entrepreneurial experience, came together for a moderated conversation on how to put ideas into action, taking inspiration from the words of Nelson Mandela – “vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, and vision with action can change the world.”
This discussion brings the three-part series to a conclusion, with a focus on going from inspiration to action, while also keeping generosity and love at the core of what we do. The speakers highlighted the importance of building ecosystems to drive impact and sustain future endeavors, as well as valuable practical advice on getting started, scaling existing focus, and joining efforts that are already underway.
Cesar Del Valle, Director of Global Partnerships at Candid, hosted the session, highlighting Candid’s youth initiative and recognizing today’s youth as today’s leaders. Elizabeth Ngonzi moderated the session, which included speakers Chinedu Echeruo, a serial entrepreneur and founder of HopStop.com, and recent co-founder of the Love & Magic Company, and Kathleen Murphy Toms, the Director of Digital Strategy for GivingTuesday, the biggest philanthropic movement in history. Both speakers, and their respective organizations, have a proven ability to catalyze movements, with broad experience ranging from finding ideas to practical implementation.
Speaker Contributions: Kathleen Murphy Toms
Kathleen Murphy Toms, Director of Digital Strategy for GivingTuesday and Adjunct Faculty member at the NYU Center for Global Affairs, has helped to drive and catalyze movements. When asked how she got started, and why, Kathleen shared that while her “why” is constantly changing, her current why is heavily centered on youth, “being inspired by young people and helping them grow.” Kathleen shared that GivingTuesday started in 2012, with the intention of creating a day that celebrates generosity, solidarity, and humanity. It is a group of people who value “radical generosity,” the notion that another person’s suffering should be as intolerable to us as our own. GivingTuesday exists to create the world that we all imagine to be possible.
Kathleen shared that she is a huge fan of building on existing work, but when that is not possible to do, then it is time to go the entrepreneurial route. Kathleen explained that GivingTuesday has built ecosystems that foster these efforts, elevating change-makers of all different age groups, and serving as a catalyst for change.
When asked how today’s youth should get started, identify their own talents, and apply them, Kathleen acknowledged that this can be very hard for any age group, especially in today’s challenging world. Kathleen suggests asking yourself the following three very important questions:
- What resources exist so I can better educate myself?
- Who is already doing work around the initiative?
- What capacity do I have within my being to offer concrete support, and how can I be constructive?
When asked to leave one final piece of advice on how to get started, Kathleen urged visiting GivingTuesdaySpark.org, a global movement that inspires youth to take action around the causes they care about most, enabling today’s youth to create and foster positive change.
Speaker Contributions: Chinedu Echeruo
Chinedu Echeruo is a serial entrepreneur who founded HopStop.com in 2005 and recently co-founded the Love & Magic Company, an award winning “solution studio.” Chinedu believes that individuals are powered by imagination and that information can solve virtually any problem.
When sharing his “why” and what drives him, Chinedu said he has long been obsessed with wanting to solve humanity’s resource challenges; to create a world of abundance. As a child, he focused on Africa’s hunger issues, using his own personal savings to create a rabbit farm that he could use to feed the hungry. According to Chinedu, you need to have a clear understanding of who it is you want to help, and understand what it is they need, outside of your own perspective; this is the only way you will be able to truly help them.
When sharing his thoughts on where to begin and how to take action, Chinedu offered the following advice for today’s youth:
- It starts with empathy. Empathy allows us to have a clear call to action. It is one thing to see an injustice, and it is another to ground that injustice in another human being’s experience.
- We need to ground our action. We need to understand what the people we want to help truly need.
- Don’t let the lack of resources hold you back. Knowledge is unlimited on the internet, and sites like YouTube can become indispensable resources for learning across many different and valuable disciplines.
- “It takes a village. If you want to go fast go alone, If you want to go far, go together.”
Chinedu believes the ecosystems we create can serve as the practical and modern depiction of the village. In building these ecosystems, we need to organize ourselves to bring about the change we need. Chinedu refers to imagination as the set point, or anchor for our action. Imagination is a critical ingredient, and everyone has it. By truly imagining our possibilities, we can crystallize what we want to create, then take the actions necessary to bring it to life!
When asked to leave one last piece of advice for how to take action, he shared Startup School of Alchemy (startupschoolofalchemy.com) for valuable knowledge on how to move forward with new ideas, from inception to action.
Elizabeth Ngonzi closed the discussion, reiterating the importance of coming together, and growing the global youth giving ecosystem in order to catalyze the impact of young people in today’s world. The speakers for this session provided critical advice, with salient examples to show the impact that today’s youth can have through organizing their efforts and working together. It clearly takes a village, and that village is comprised of people from all regions and disciplines, as shown in this session, from entrepreneurs to the non-profit sector, and everything in between. Having a tribe, and leveraging the ecosystem, will help provide the resources to turn ideas into action!
Click Here to Watch the Part 3 – ACTIVATION
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