….to think they can change the world

“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

“A Dream” from the step’s of the Lincoln Memorial 1963

On 28 August, 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his magnificent “I have a dream speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Below is the full text of his speech.

Written excerpt from Dr. King’s speech from the BBC:

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

The dream

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning: “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California.
But not only that.
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

God Bless America

God-Bless-America

THE AMERICAN FLAG, 2001

Designed and fabricated in Chicago by Khaim Pinkhasik (born 1940)

30” H x 40” W SM 626

The American Flag window honors the principles of American liberty and the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The American Flag is a symbol of freedom, justice and the rule of law. The September 11 attacks evoked a global response in support of these universal principles. The international scope of the tragedy was manifest, with citizens of dozens of countries being among the several thousand victims.

It is significant that The American Flag window was designed by a Russian who immigrated to the United States and became a U.S. citizen. Khaim Pinkhasik was born in Minsk, Russia in 1040 and emigrated to the United States in 1980 to pursue artistic freedom. Before coming to the United States, he received much acclaim in Russia for his state-sponsored mosaic portraits of Soviet leaders. Desiring more freedom for artistic expression, however, Pinkhasik came to the United States and settled in Chicago in 1982, where he currently lives with his wife Valentina.

————-

From the Smith Stained glass museum in Chicago

TED 2013 Starts Today! Some of our Favorite TED Videos

We at Schipul love sharing knowledge and inspiration – especially the fantastic free videos that come out of the annual TED Conference! In honor of the 2013 TED Conference (which starts TODAY), we’ve put together a few of our favorite TED videos to share.

A few ways to follow along with the TED Conference:

What is your favorite TED video? Let us know in the comments!

Some of our Favorite TED Videos!

Simon Sinek – How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Quote: “People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it”

Talk Details on TED.com

Loved by Sarah Worthy

Benjamin Zander – The Transformative Power of Classical Music

Quote: “The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. My picture appears on the front of the CD — but the conductor doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful. And that changed everything for me.”

Talk Details on TED.com

Loved by Caitlin Kaluza

Brené Brown – The Power of Vulnerability

Quote: “When we work from a place, I believe, that says, ‘I’m enough,’ then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

Talk Details on TED.com

Loved by Benjamin Floyd

Ken Robinson – Schools Kill Creativity

Quote:  “I believe our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity.”

Talk Details on TED.com

Loved by Eloy Zuniga Jr.

Amy Cuddy – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Quote: “Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes.”

Talk Details on TED.com

Loved by Erica Bogdan

What Did We Leave Out?

Have a favorite TED video we didn’t include here? Let us know in the comments!

30 Days of Thanks: Thankful for – Body of Work

I am thankful for so many small things this year. Small acts, added together can make a much larger impact over the individual contributions. Being reminded of this, has allowed me to understand the random and planned acts of kindness, charity, faith, forgiveness and brilliance can change someone’s life. Sometimes it even changes a lot of lives.

An Artist’s Body of Work is made up a collection of pieces developed over time and often in a series of repetitive themes. I had a great Architecture professor, fellow professor, friend and fishing buddy that was also an artist. We lost Richard Ferrier to cancer way too early in his life. At his memorial, countless students, friends and colleagues commented on the special moment or gift that Richard (RB) left with them. There were stories of a kind act at one of the Universities we taught at, a personal reference to some needed help, or even an encouraging pep talk. He provided behind the scenes help and encouragement to several generations of artists and Architects. As I heard one story after the other, it was clear that no one person really knew ALL the good deeds RB had provided.

Thankful for a Theme of Art and Kindness

Driving home from that weekend, the stories began to overlap and the theme was clear. There was  a recurring study in kindness that characterized his true “Body of Work.” Sure, there was a legacy of paintings, awards and even archives in the Library of Congress to preserve his artistic work. But, small uncelebrated acts of humanity and friendship were the real collection. He had influenced and changed more people than we ever expected. Richards work was changing people’s lives.

I am thankful the ability to appreciate good design, to spell Winsor Newton watercolour with a ‘u’, to catch a trout in the cold tailwaters of New Mexico, to see someone fly in a WWII fighter plane. I am thankful for the lesson – To change the world, all it takes is small acts in recurring themes.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Slowly creating my Body of Work.

Gary Hoover On How to “Think Like an Entrepreneur” and Succeed in Your Business

This week, I had the distinct honor of hearing Gary Hoover present at the Houston Technology Center on how to “Think Like an Entrepreneur”.  Gary Hoover is a successful entrepreneur having founded companies including Bookstop and Hoovers.com and he’s spent the last year as the “Entrepreneur in Residence” at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Austin.

Gary’s presentation was described as an “intense, information and idea packed presentation… [that] will be like drinking from a fire hydrant.”  That description was spot-on.

I took over 5 pages of notes, mostly trying to type as fast as I could and catch the great and inspiring quotes of wisdom plus the recommendations for books and specific, actionable items Gary said we could do to change the way we thought and be more successful and innovative in business.  

Gary began his presentation by personally handing everyone in the audience his business card and shaking our hands.  On the back of Hoover’s card are the top 8 things he believes are keys to making great enterprises.  Download a larger photograph of his business card with the 8 tips to keep and view more photos from the evening presentation in the Tendenci Photo Album I’ve created.

If you are interested in a  full copy of my notes, leave a comment below or send me an email at sworthy@schipul.com and I’ll gladly send them to you.

I was inspired by how much of what Gary recommended for being a more successful entrepreneur also applied to the work we do at Schipul for our clients in web development, website design, and web marketing.  In learning to think more like an entrepreneur, you also learn to see different perspectives, understand the ‘bigger picture’ of your business, and receive lifelong benefits personally and professionally.

Probably the most profound statement of the evening from Gary was when he said:

“I define entrepreneurship as getting great personal satisfaction from serving others… you have to love it and others have to love [what you are giving them].  

The people who are most happy with their lives at my stage are the people who have spent their whole lives working to make the world a better place.”

Here are Gary’s recommendations for learning how to “Think Like an Entrepreneur”.  My goal is for you to find the same inspiration and ways to relate them to your daily life as I found.

Practice the Habit of Wisdom

“These are people who just cannot be anything but an entrepreneur.  They may fail a lot – because it’s hard to get them to sit still, hard to get them to focus… but ultimately they are going to succeed because they just don’t stop.”

As Gary states, some people are born fundamentally entrepreneurial and others are born to be bureaucrats, while the rest of us fall someplace in between the 2 extremes. If you want to become more entrepreneurial, then you will need to change by developing better thinking habits.

To develop these habits, you’ll first need to master the 3 things Gary calls his working definition of wisdom :

  1. Knowing what matters and what doesn’t matter.
  2. Knowing what changes and what doesn’t change.
  3. Knowing what you can change and what you can’t change.

These are three easy concepts to understand and yet, very difficult to master. As Gary put it, “There’s no rocket science here, but you’ll spend your whole life trying to figure out what matters and what doesn’t.”

Be Curious

“Study the great entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell and so on, and you’ll find an intense curiosity.”

Gary explains the importance of doing your research before starting a new business venture.  The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who ask the most questions and really understand the marketplace, the customers and competitors, and gain insight into the future of the business environment.

Ask the managers and owners of similar businesses questions like:

  • What do you like about your job, and what don’t you like?
  • What is the best day you’ve ever had… describe your worst day?
  • What do you look for in an employee and how do you hire and train new people?

By asking questions and being curious, you can begin to gain perspectives from other people and understand the why’s and the how’s and the what’s…

When you begin to understand these different perspectives beyond your own, you can make better decisions and you are more equipped to solve problems as they are thrown randomly at you.

Read Every Day

“The key question is do you see yourself in a box or not in box?”

The greatest thought leaders in the world are also the most avid readers.  Read daily, Gary recommends, books and business journals… the beauty of the internet is the availability of so much free and great reading material.

Here are 2 books Gary recommended Tuesday night:

The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators” by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton M. Christensen

The Innovators DNA describes 4 skills required for innovation:

  1. Observing
  2. Networking
  3. Experimenting
  4. Questioning

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck

Mindset describes the importance of not locking your children or yourself into a set way of thinking.  Gary recommended this book and said “It’s not about being smart or being stupid: people who think they’re smart are locking themselves in a box just like people who think they’re stupid.”

Entrepreneurship is not About the Technology

“Entrepreneurship is a lifelong process of self-understanding: learning about yourself .”

As I listened to Gary’s presentation, I found myself mentally replacing the word “entrepreneurship” with “Marketer” and “Schipulite”. We’re passionate about providing great service to our clients.  We’re constantly asking questions and inviting our clients to come hang out with us so we can get to know you.  We never stop trying to innovate and find better ways to help your business increase online and offline revenues through your website and web marketing.

These quotes from Gary’s presentation were my favorite because they gave me new perspectives on creating a better user experience through our Tendenci CMS for you, your staff, and your website visitors:

“When I use the word technology, I mean any way of doing better things… Technology is only relevant to the extent that it makes people’s lives better!”

“Step back and look at the big pattern – and the big pattern here is that ALL MEDIA has been digitalized, it’s all been turned into 0’s and 1’s.”

Be obsessed with your customer and making great products for them and you will succeed – be passionate about it. It is about making it good for the user!”

I would love to hear how we can make our products and services better for You and anything else you want to add!  Please tell us below in our comments or Come Hang Out With Us and get to know us.  (And I promise to ask you lots of questions!)

TEDxHouston 2011

TEDx Houston 2011 at Wortham Theatre University of Houston

This past Saturday, members of the Schipul team (Alex, Jonti and Ed) and I (Sarah) had the privilege of attending TEDx Houston 2011 at the University of Houston Wortham Theatre.  This was my first TEDx conference to attend in person – having been a longtime TED video watcher and fan.

The conference asked all of us the question “Where do we go from here?”

First, all of us at Schipul want to give huge props to the Culture Pilot team and the amazing volunteers and sponsors that enabled TEDxHouston to run smoothly Saturday. Running a conference for a bunch of smart out-of-the-box thinkers is a challenge, and they were incredibly successful.

All of the speakers were amazing, and their speeches sparked new ideas that I scrawled alongside my notes from their presentations, including:

  • Dr. Robert Ness’s speech on Innovative Thinking in education – I wondered to myself if evolution and creationism had to be two distinct concepts or if perhaps, life does have a plan to it and the diversity and struggles within “survival of the fittest” is part of the intent?
  • Micki Fine asked the audience the question “Where are we now?” and talked about mindful living.  As someone who falls asleep the moment I sit down on a yoga mat, (really – ask me to sit still and 5 minutes later I’m dreaming), I loved that she didn’t just talk about how to meditate and slow down – she gave me questions to ask myself like what matters to me most and how do I act from true intentions?

Here are three TEDxHouston presentations that struck a chord with me – read on for other Schipulite feedback on this great event and check out all the TEDx Houston photos taken by Ed Schipul:

Kurt Podeszwa, Director of Camp for All

(Disclosure:  Camp For All is a Schipul client) Kurt spoke brilliantly on “How do we promote service above self?”  With an emotionally moving, or as Kurt would say “creates contact problems” presentation,  heshared his viewpoint that the work he does is “selfish selflessness” and that those who volunteer their time and energy “do not promote service above self, rather it is service because of what we get back from it.”

This discussion brought light to the notion that when we volunteer, we are helping those who make the real sacrifices – the ones who take the real risks.  For Kurt, he was helping those children who had to deal with their scars, diseases, disabilities and keep living life joyfully.

Michael Holthouse, Founder of Lemonade Day

Michael Holthouse, a tech entrepreneur and founder of Lemonade Day, presented on “Entitlement: now what?”.  Entitlement and generation Y seem to go together nowadays and in a lot of ways, I suffer this plight.  Michael began by talking about economics and the great depression and welfare.  He used the parable of giving a man a fish versus teaching a man to fish to transition to how our society in America has created this sense of entitlement in our culture by not teaching our children how to do the work needed to succeed.

Lemonade Stands held at TEDx Houston 2011 raised over $600 that was donated to TEDxHouston!

Aimee Mullins and her 12 pairs of legs

After lunch, TEDx Houston presented a video of Aimee Mullins that was from TED 2009 entitled “Aimee Mullins and her 12 pairs of legs.”  It is difficult to believe that I not only had never seen this presentation, I had never heard of Aimee Mullins until Saturday.  Aimee Mullins had both legs amputated below the knee when she was an infant.  She has had to learn from the beginning of life to walk on prosthetic legs and she told the stories of 12 pairs of prosthetic legs she owns, including a pair that look like glass and a pair that adds 6 inches to her height.  Aimee ends her speech with a story about an evening out with friends. As Aimee walks into the restaurant wearing her extra-tall legs right after they were made, one of her girlfriends remarks “But you’re so tall!” and then “But Aimee, that’s not fair.”  Hearing how the conversation has now gone in reverse where the disadvantage doesn’t necessarily go to the disabled person anymore really changed the way I will think.

Some of the Amazing Women @TEDxHouston from Alex

The day started with a talk by Dr. Roberta Ness about the hot topic innovative thinking. Steven Johnson’s recent book brought this issue to the front of a lot of people’s minds last year, right after a Newsweek cover story told us that we are in the middle of a “creativity crisis” in America. As an issue that seems to pop up all over the place, this was a great way to start the day and get people thinking differently about how to answer the conference’s theme question: where do we go from here? Dr. Ness spoke about the desperate need for innovation and creation to solve the most pressing problems in our world (many of which we delved into deeper later into Saturday) and encouraged us all to break the frames that we use to see the world. It couldn’t have been a better way to set the tone for the day, as many of the subsequent speakers challenged us to “frame break” with them.

Angela Blanchard of the hugely successful Houston non-profit Neighborhood Centers challenged us to think differently about underprivileged areas in our city and throughout the world. Although we typically associate negative, broken images with these areas, Angela encouraged us to figure out what is working and build on these assets to make improvements. Like she said, nobody ever got into college by listing all their flaws on their application. The personal touch that Angela brought to her story is, I think, a hallmark of TED talks that makes these videos and conferences different and even more inspirational than those from many other events. The work that Angela and the Neighborhood Centers crew is doing in Houston, along with her story, had many of us close to tears – sometimes also a hallmark of TED talks.

Super-smart businesswoman Nina Godiwalla spoke in the afternoon about the topic of her book Suits, being a minority woman on Wall Street. Nina has a very specific and unique story, but her experience’s are common to many fringe and minority groups who find themselves in unwelcoming environments. The current that ran throughout her talk was that the small picture of her story was not the important part. What is important to Nina is clearly that men, women, old, young, all ethnic groups, etc. were able to read her book and relate to her experiences. Nina’s call to action at the end of her talk was to stand up and speak up whenever groups become exclusive of people for the wrong reasons.

I so wish that I could write about each and every talk I heard on Saturday; they were amazing and inspirational. Be sure to follow @TEDxHouston and check them out yourselves as they get posted. I think the conference’s theme speaks to the takeaway I heard from most of the attendees: Come to TED to get inspired, and then go somewhere from here.

Some TEDxHouston tidbits from Jonti

I enjoyed a series of off the agenda surprises, like speakers such as Hear our Houston audio Walking Tours and  Laura Spanjian from Mayor’s office for Green Houston. Laura outlined the success and future of Houston becoming one of the most green and sustainable cities in the United States. Previewing plug-in vehicle stations and Green Office challenges, she also has her sights set the goal of 100% curb recycling and increased renewable energy solutions for Houston.

Another surprise speaker and chef Justin Yu encouraged a stronger relationship between your food, humble exploration and culture to rediscover what is great about your own culture. Each surprise was part of a Hidden Gem theme building on the hidden gems of Houston.

Volunteers and Emcee Chris Johnson at TEDx Houston 2011 take a bow

Friday Fun: Get Up,Get Moving!

When did the word “athlete” become a label? Or maybe its just always been and we had not taken a moment to notice.

What does it take to be considered an athlete? Running in a marathon? Competing in the Olympics?  Winning a medal?

Maybe its none of the above. Maybe it is all.

In my opinion, anyone who gets out, is active AND especially has passion, can be considered an athlete.

People exercise for various reasons: weight loss, healthier lifestyle, feeling/looking better..
Whatever the reason, those people have a passion to be able to succeed in something they have set their mind too.

And guess what?!? Yes, some people exercise just for fun!

I recently started getting into workout regimes such as Insanity and P90x. These are the programs that everyone sees on infomercials and usually thinks “HAHAHA, yeah right, NO way!” And Guilty as Charged, I was one of those people.

Which brings me to my next and last point: The 2011 Metro Dash

A 30 element obstacle course that tests physical and mental limits.

Never have I ever ran a marathon, much less a triathlon…and much less even thought about doing the MS150 (props to the fearless Rodney) so this will be something new, challenging, and fun!

Trying something new is scary, thoughts of failing can be even more daunting but in the end, accomplishment really is a warm, fuzzy feeling. You never know what you can do until you try. Don’t knock it ’till you try it!