The world today is full of countless social issues that challenge us daily. However, those charged with finding or funding solutions to these problems -- philanthropy, government, nonprofits -- seem to be using the same tools as the generations before us. If we're going to keep up with the complexities of today's social challenges, we must rethink traditional models of action.
The Case Foundation creates and supports initiatives that leverage new technologies and entrepreneurial approaches to drive innovation in the social sector and encourage individuals to get involved with the communities and causes they care about.
They've identified five key values at the root of every fearless approach to creating change (see to the right). Choose one today - or create your own - and take the pledge to Be Fearless. Declare how you'll cross out fear and join a movement to change the world - #BeFearless.
I pledge to Be Fearless with one of the following key values:
1. Make Big Bets- and Make History
Set audacious, not incremental, goals. History suggests that the most significant cultural transformations occur when one or more people simply decide to try and make big change. Thomas Edison didn't simply try to make a better candle; rather, he proudly proclaimed his audacious goal to "make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles."
2. Experiment Early and Often
Don't be afraid to go first. The world moves more quickly today than ever, and our responses have to keep up. Just when we think a certain intervention is working, that's when we have to look down the road to see what new tools or new dynamics will challenge our assumptions or provide an even better solution. Experimentation can be difficult, but experience shows us that we need to keep looking around the corner to find the next good idea- because today's iPhone is tomorrow's Walkman.
3. Make Failure Matter
Failure teaches. Learn from it. Every great innovator has experienced moments of failure, but the truly great among them wear those failures as badges of honor. It's natural to be afraid to fail. No one seeks it. But if everyone commits to sharing lessons from failure, the society as a whole will be stronger and more prepared to attack the next challenge.
4. Reach Beyond Your Bubble
It's comfortable to go it alone. But innovation happens at intersections. A fearless approach embraces unlikely partnerships that cross sectors and geographies. Reaching beyond your bubble is not collaboration for its own sake; it is a fundamental part of being fearless. It spreads risk, but more importantly, it spreads knowledge and deepens impact.
5. Let Urgency Conquer Fear
Don't overthink and overanalyze. Do. It's natural to want to study a problem and look at it from all angles before taking action. A sense of urgency- what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the "fierce urgency of now"- is the final ingredient that can push all the other principles forward in the face of resistance.
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