Winnipeg isn’t exactly the home of year-round beach weather, however, it is well-known for these four things:
- We will drive an extra 15 minutes to save $.025/litre on gas
- That Simpsons episode where Nelson reaches over and smacks the dad in the other car who then proclaims:
“That’s it. Back to Winnipeg.”
How many times in your life have you either said or heard the words “I hate “insert your city here”. There is nothing to do here. It sucks”?
In fact, I used to be one of the people saying it. I hated my hometown so much that I moved away just to be rid of it. I thought why would anyone choose to live here, yet, here I find myself, after years of being away, once again living in Winnipeg.
Mahatma Gandhi famously said:
“You must be the change that you want to see in the world.”
Recently, I began volunteering to help bring a Ted talk to Winnipeg. I joined it not because I wanted the glory or the fame that might come with being associated with it. No, I joined because I made a pledge to myself when I moved back to Winnipeg that I would create change in my city. The collective vision of myself and everyone involved in the Talk is to create something special that will impact fundamental change at every level imaginable in my city.
If Gandhi is right, and I believe he is, then where are the people who are changing their cities and ultimately, the world?
I searched high and low and came up with a list for you.
Leslie got her idea while studying at MIT. She and a classmate had discovered the molten salt reactor, which was something that her industry had given up long ago. Upon this discovery, she and her partner started Transatomic Power and designed an updated version of the reactor. This updated version burns liquid uranium fuel as opposed to solid fuel. This will results in 3 things:
- A chance of a meltdown is decreased
- It creates 75 times more electricity per ton of uranium
- H0pefully, one day dwindle the use of fossil fuels
Roland G. Fryer
Roland has become an award-winning economics professor at Harvard University. Before this, however, there were doubters that he would even make it out of Daytona Beach, his hometown. Roland grew up in a hotbed of drug activity and this became the norm for him. While many of his friends would end up dead or in prison, he became the youngest African-American economics professor to receive tenure. As he has aged he has written a novel examining racial inequality and education as well as a study on how high-quality charter schools affect a student’s earnings later in life.
Vanessa is a trained critical care physician who founded a nonprofit company entitled Seed Global Health. Its sole mission is to better train health professionals in the developing parts of our world. She has been quoted as saying “I realized that something needed to change; there had to be a way to provide better healthcare in a sustainable way in countries that are resource constrained.” Her organization has trained 7,200 medical professionals in Uganda, Malawi, and Tanzania and continues to grow.
We all know the lovable Ashton Kutcher from television shows like “That 70’s Show” and “Two and a Half Men” but what you may not know is that he has a company called “Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children.” For those of you who don’t know, Ashton Kutcher’s organization set out to abolish “Internet-enabled sexual abuse” while providing support to its victims and has partnered with companies like Facebook, Tumblr and Microsoft to do it. Most recently the organization has opened up a lab that will enable data analysts to think up and create new technologies dedicated to his cause.
Sure, Joel. These are people with big ideas and lots of connections.
How about you show us some normal people?
Are these not normal people? What makes them any different than you or I?
If you actually believe this, then I can’t help you.
If you do believe this, where do you go from here?
Take whatever idea, thought or notion you have and action it. It is there for a reason. Remember, although it may not lead you to the change that you are seeking, it will undoubtedly lead you somewhere better.
You don’t need to be Gandhi, Mandella, or Mother Teresa to change the world. You need to be you, followed by action.
Cheers to your success,