We are about ONE thing:
Making a significant difference to difference makers.
…with the very heart being the power unleashed when exceptional trust and community are present.
The Community For Change is Coburn Venture’s version of philanthropy and making lasting change. The activity takes many many forms.
is of student-mindedness, deep listening, creative problem solving and contribution with easy on ramps and easy off ramps.
is of zero-obligation, passion-matching and joy. We think joy is way too often overlooked.
One Base Observation:
Deep trust is transitive, scalable and can be instantaneously established contrary to common thinking. And when present deep trust leads to the richest social fabric from which nearly and change is possible.
Read Insights from the Community:
Community: it is a process, a practice and everyone's job (where I work)
When it is siloed, when it is trapped in marketing or only in product or only interns, it does not go well
Opinion: community can be a book club where 10 people get together once a month to discuss a book, or a kung fu class that meets 2x a week or an open source project with 10k contributors (firefox).
Each is different, each serves a different need, none of those examples is more valuable than the others.
What matters is the impact it has on the participants, which drives growth or makes it sustainable
Fact: community is a critical need for open source projects which are dependent on code contributions, bug reports, participation
Its Thanksgiving season in America this week.
I finished the New York City marathon a couple weeks ago! I have run a bunch but this one may have been my favorite (so far).
In running the New York City Marathon for the fifth time a HUGE element for me of the experience is the joy of experiencing high fives all along the route. And I make eye contact with my many partners in this. I want to connect for that fraction of a second to see the person actively. I was able to enjoy 16 high fives with police officers all who moved from somewhat stoic to smiling and in on it with me. Very encouraging to experience that with them.
One man stood out.
About mile six.
He was YELLING to us all:
“Don’t be afraid to be GREAT! Don’t be afraid to be GREAT! Don’t be afraid to be GREAT!………………………”
Earlier this fall, Pip and I got to video chat with Lan from India to catch up and connect together from different continents. Some of you may know Lan from CFC and Crosby events, and he's cc'd here.
During our conversation, I stopped Lan mid-stream to ask permission to write a few paragraphs on what he had just told us. Below is my best attempt to encapsulate the power of the work he is doing with the Azim Premji Foundation specifically on education for girls. The goal of the program is to help their families and communities see the value in their education instead of arranged marriage, which is often seen as the lesser of two evils.
Written by Pip Coburn
The day of the New York City Marathon I experience as the greatest widest most joyful annual expression of community that New York City generates. I experience it as this amazing day when every thing GREAT about a melting pot emerges. I think 10-12 people in our family have run across a gazillion years and as such we have plenty of personal experiences of New Yorkers going way out of their way to be kind to runners from all over the world. My FIRST New York City Marathon was exactly 10 days after I met Kelly in 1985. (As you can see from the photo below, years later Kelly was foolish enough to run with me, was smiling at the end and our marriage has thrived EVEN THOUGH on that day she decided to nip me at the wire! Aye ye ye… I did get to wear my Ohio State shirt however.)
Written by Brinton Johns
We just got back from a summer spent with our kids. I had a greater capacity to be present than I can remember. Although all of that family time surfaced difficulties, it also proved wonderful. A few nights before school started, I walked upstairs to find our kids all in one room — and here’s the great part — just talking with each other. No screens. No parental mandates to clean rooms. They were just sitting there, of their own volition, enjoying each other’s company. The moment caught me by surprise and brought a smile to my face. I backed down the stairs quietly, not wanting to disturb them.
Written by Amanda Posa
As human beings, I believe we have many nested identities. There are roles we play in our local community, our country, and on a much larger scale, the world. Globalization is just one form of community. I don’t think there is necessarily a threshold to cross in order to achieve the title of being a true global citizen. We can’t exactly measure how much or how long it takes to become globalized. Instead, we can use diversity as a strength consistently moving us forward. For me, this means hanging paintings from Central America in my room, laying my coffee cup down on a coaster made in Australia, spending time with my friends of all different backgrounds and cultures and listening to their unique philosophies and beliefs, wearing jewelry made in Costa Rica... It is by partaking in circumstances like these, or being active in these ways that allow us to take responsibility in the world. What’s beautiful is we live in a world of many choices, and we have control over how we make them. We can create our own definition of what it means to be a global citizen, and this is by deciding what role we play, where we play it, with who we do it, and how.
Written by Sasha Dichter
Our food system is broken. While we have solved the problem of how to produce lots of calories for a low direct cost, this same food system has resulted in an obesity epidemic; it is why nearly 10% of the U.S. population has Type 2 diabetes; and, most recently, it likely is playing a role in the huge spike in colon cancer for people in their 30s and 40s.
What do we do about it?
I recently read Dan Barber’s The Third Plate. Dan is a famous chef, the co-owner of the acclaimed restaurants Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The book’s title is Dan’s answer to the question, “what will the typical American dinner plate look like in 35 years?”
Written by Pip Coburn
I have heard people say that to be a great investor it requires incredible “humility”.
But I don’t THINK that means walking around with head down, nearly ashamed at one’s own incompetence and how they might mess up at any minute and aren’t worthy of the responsibility of managing other people’s money.
I have heard that “great” people have tremendous “humility”.
For starters, I DO tend to like the idea that “humility” might just be the opposite of arrogant and filled with oneself and annoyingly “bad role models” for how I want the world to be.
Whatever all that is in my head I am not sure, but if I think of “humble” as merely a way of carrying oneself (e.g. tennis star Roger Federer) I get excited about human’s ability to both be OFF-THE-CHART successful and not having to rub it in to the rest of us. But I THINK I am mis- using the word when I use it THAT way.
Written by Amanda Posa
Today during our zoom call, Irwin Kula, president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, had us dive into what it means to truly listen, and why often times we have trouble doing so. Many times when someone is talking to us, we want to speak before they have finished getting their words out. It requires some form of discipline to refrain from interrupting as our thoughts and notions are constantly flowing and these idea waves drown us from truly understanding what the person is saying to us. Indeed listening requires a tremendous amount of self-awareness and emotion control, even if we do not naturally see/notice that.
Written by Pip Coburn
"The talks I had with Brad were not easy for me. They brought back a lot of old, hard emotions of personal and collective loss and failure we all went through as we gave up control of the company and struggled for years afterward..."... Jeff Furman... the #3 in the Ben + Jerry's partnership about the process in helping author Brad Edmondson write this book.
On most Saturday mornings for the past 22 years now I wake up early and I immerse myself in learning and studying and thinking. It has been a joy. This morning has been all that. I walked into Dunkin Donuts in Pleasantville at about 6:30am after dropping my son Tucker off nearby at the farmers market.