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Join the Band: Meditations on Social Change | Jeffrey C. Walker | TEDxWashingtonSquare

Join the Band: Meditations on Social Change | Jeffrey C. Walker | TEDxWashingtonSquare



[Applause] this is not me but it looks a lot like I used to when I was playing sousaphone in junior high school in high school I loved it the band director looked at me and said tall braces sousaphone okay I really liked trumpet but no so there's not a lot to call for tuba solos so we played in ensembles and I played in every single musical group I could find jazz ensemble Wind Ensemble marching band or I don't care because the feeling it gave me was transformational the feeling it gave me was I can play my own sound and play with others that are creating their own sounds and then creates something that none of us could have done by ourselves and to remember that there is an audience that we are playing for as a purpose this was energizing I needed more of this kept looking for ways to connect and said how do I start building this into my life and I did not become a musician but I worked and brought that same philosophy to my business and partnerships that we set up we set up a private equity operation that was the first partnership ever in corporate forum we set up nonprofits that we're focusing on part bringing partners together in collaboration and it's part of my faith practice looking at developing sagas and bringing others together as well co-wrote a book with Jennifer McCray called the generosity Network because working together with others is a transformational experience not a solitary one we created ideas I was chairman to Monticello we create ideas of Jeffersonian dinners bringing people together at a whole table and having a hold conversation not just one-on-one stimulates more ideas and activities so did that in my business life we looked for partners look for CEOs that we could back and scale take their innovations to scale and that worked we did Office Depot we did JetBlue we did Aramark we did a whole bunch we said huh this is a good formula finding people who are good partners and having them develop teams of partners so we did that for quite a while and 25 years into it I said I'd like to have impact more than just on organizations but the larger systems so I was lucky enough to be able to go to Harvard and be an executive residence at the Business School the Kennedy School and says let's bring this to social enterprise let's start bringing the same kind of partnering philosophy I chair a group called new profit we backed organizations like Teach for America and Wendy Kopp year Rob Gerald chat avian Rebecca Oney and health leads great social entrepreneurs really doing good stuff and so we started supporting them and looking for them and saying ah they'll have scaling strategies we'll take those innovations and build them up and we started creating with some call a worship of heroes hero entrepreneurship and so school gave awards for his magazine put people on covers and something was still off because the playgrounds of America were still unrepaired the school systems still weren't working poverty was still on the streets and the environment still had issues so all of these great social entrepreneurs with these great ideas turns out we as Ole venture capitalists were wrong because we kept telling them that they needed to figure out a scaling strategy go get bigger they're really good at innovation let's let them do that maybe that's a different kind of idea so we started to look at saying what does that mean if they just did innovation then who takes the innovation in into the larger system we started to find models for that and I worked over the last nine years with the UN as well got anyway chambers on malaria and we brought as a large collaboration decimal area down from a million to a year to below 300,000 here I worked on community health worker strategies with many other people and we have for the last five years and we've done really good work but it's not as I have the idea to how to do this it's we need to direct attention at a problem and figure out all the different innovations that can go after that idea so we studied it at the Kennedy School last June we brought 30 organizations together that we're systems change organizations focusing on things I'll give you an idea of one we're working on right now which is bringing back music to all kids across America right so being able to say how do we start thinking about that instead of backing one organization or two or three and we've now set up the Grammys music education coalition I'll tell you a little bit more about later we also started seeing that there is this person there's this group of people who are around each of these systems change successful systems change operations or calling them system entrepreneurs different from a social entrepreneur who has to have an organization I got a set up board up I think it's long-lived organization I got a director there's a lot of things you're gonna be doing but the system entrepreneur says I just want to achieve the goal I want to end deaths from malaria I want to bring all kids in America music and figuring out that goal requires different skills requires them to do different things so so we started coming up with framework they have to do a couple different things like what is the problem how many people jump to the answer before they say one do I even know the problem but – does everybody I'm trying to work with know that agree on the problem deaths from malaria took us about a year and a half to get agree that that was the problem and that was the goal seems easy then you have to figure out a systems map nobody does this much but more our who's relevant to the problem before you get to the answer figure out who's relevant who cares in the malaria example who to guess that exelon was going to be one of the biggest supporters of us bring bed nets to Africa turns out that their employees are there their communities are there is this important to them so looking at this map and figuring out how to convene the right people bringing around the objective these are what system entrepreneurs do and they also look at the levers that you can pull to say how do I achieve the goals I'm trying to work on innovations come from great nonprofits or universities gee I need to work on making sure the innovations are the right ones and they're effective or that there's a mix I mean AIDS has three drugs coming together for it to retrovirals not one who figured that out who does that in the social change space the tools that we can come together with to solve the problem communication strategies policy strategies I haven't seen many nonprofits that are good at communicating they're good at doing so let's put resources in the communicator and the data so for music how do we know when the collaborations working so we have somebody that we're now has built for nine states the ability for you to go online and drill down city by city and saying how many kids are taking music what schools have music in which don't we have a bubble map now that says these schools in New York City do not have music we've worked over the last several years to bring music back to 75,000 kids in New York City and they now have it and now we're gonna double that and now we're gonna bring it out to the nation that data is gonna hold us together but there's an organization that just does data who guessed but you're it's a really important thing to do so thinking about the skills of the system entrepreneur how they pulling this together they got to be creative yeah be team players a skill is not knowing everything understanding that they need to ask the questions beginner's mind coming to this zero state where you rebuild with all what you know and everyone knows to a common solution so understanding that there are these key skills how do you teach these we don't all just walk in as these manage ego beings and so I've been meditating for 43 years and I chair the advisory board of the contemplative Science Center at University of Virginia and we're bringing these tools to medicine to education to business and we're going to continue to bring these to the system change space system entrepreneurs can use the skills of concentration and it's mindfulness is not just one practice I think we all hopefully you know one practice is is contemplation around concentration focusing on one thing that helps your listening skills science is all here we've all seen it I hope but if not you can look it up understanding the neurons are changing but a different area of the brain is gonna change when you're working on compassion practice compassion practice is really good for team building understanding what others are thinking and what they're trying to do a different style of practice and lastly open awareness and this is just three of many helps young creativity understanding how to open your mind to other possibilities so this is a nice bridge between system entrepreneurs now who are some system operators I work with two on the committee health worker space Phyllis eight and Claire Qureshi amazing five years they don't raise money for themselves or us they help make sure we're bringing community health workers to Africa the frontline health workers they're working with presidents of Liberia they're working with the USAID they're working with Aspen Institute whatever it takes to solve the problem Trudy Sarah a partner at new profit she's focusing on reimagining learning particularly around personalized learning so ii burg gates is there chan and gates are now supporting her and she's bringing social-emotional learning and working with a group called castle to do that as well ellen aguilar Ellen's gonna end most neglected diseases five of them and particularly they're focusing on river blindness elephantitis we can bring these to near zero and so she's looking at all the levers to say you know Merck has these drugs that we need to distribute it and they'll give it to us for free how do we do that gee there's a great nonprofit in the DRC that if they're successful the rest of the Congo is going to potentially adopt this new system gee we need a communication strategy to figure out how to make people aware of the problems around neglected diseases so they're not neglected she's having huge success so guess what shruti and ellen our meditators we're seeing this nick Rono is the head of the freedom fund 42 million people in slavery they have three major philanthropists who have now come together along with multilaterals working on this issue working on the issue of slavery there's another woman tracy Durning is doing amazing work bringing kill rates and animal shelters down across america the average was around 65 percent kill when you bring a dog or a cat in today in the cities they're working in it's near zero so you can do this you can use these tools and techniques to change the world and make systems better bottom line is find your ensembles to play with find others who can come together and help you achieve the goals you want to achieve to change the system use system entrepreneurs if you're a social entrepreneur partner with a system entrepreneur if you are a philanthropist find a system entrepreneur to partner with and if you are a system arch winner or today just discovered you are one talk to me you know let's figure this one out and lastly I want you to give I want to give you the a feeling of what it's like for me at least to play in collaborations do me a favor and hum loudly when I say three one two three thank you for playing [Applause]

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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