Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's Your Sentence?


We all have something in common, whether we know it or not. We all live our lives with some kind of purpose. Some of us know that purpose and some of us (an awful lot of us) spend our entire lives trying to figure out what it is.

It is really hard to put something to words that has not yet been defined for us with a Eureka moment—that moment of truth when like a lightening bolt, we suddenly know what our mission is. Well, just because some of us have not been struck by a lightening bolt, or received a message from God, or a sign from the tea leaves, does not mean that we can not choose a mission or a purpose that helps us define if only for a moment (even if another, better purpose comes along) why we have been put on this planet and how we should dedicate our time, passion, enthusiasm and energy.

Daniel Pink, an author, big picture thinker, motivator and public speaker, has come up with an innovative idea that challenges us all to stop sitting around wondering who we are and what our life's purpose might be, and instead, forces us to stop, think and put it to a few words. Just one sentence to be exact. I think it is an excellent idea because nothing clarifies your purpose more than putting it to words and nothing makes people commit to something more than doing so in a public way. Here's what he is doing and it won't be hard to see why I think it is such a great idea...

Back in July he launched the "What's your sentence?" video project.

Drawing on an exercise in his book Drive, (The surprising truth about what motivates us) (see p. 154), he asked all of us to contribute a short video in which you are supposed to come up with and tell us all your sentence -- a single sentence that distills who you are and what you're about. He then proposed that he and his crew were going to make a short film compiling sentences that were submitted from around the world.

What an awesome idea. He received lots and lots of outstanding submissions -- some pretty extraordinary ones, actually. But as he looked them over, he realized that he could make this project even bigger and cooler -- and in the process create an ideavirus that could really spread.

So he has decided to extend the deadline for submissions until the end of this month to give you a chance to get in on the action. It really is a great opportunity and I hope that you give it a shot.

All you need to do is video yourself for about 15 seconds. Say your name, where you're from, and your sentence. This is an excellent opportunity to let the creative in you flow and a great chance to really let your passion and creativity shine. Break out the props, play some music, find an amazing setting, there is no right or wrong—whatever works for you. The more fun you have with it, the better (and more inspiring for the rest of us) the final result will be. Email the videoclip to Dan at (Alternatively, you can upload your video to YouTube and tag it with "mysentence". To make it easy, you can even record your video straight to YouTube with your webcam by clicking here.)

Everyone who sends in a clip will be entered into a random drawing to win a free book. Dan has purchased a few dozen copies of mhis favorite business books from the last year -- everything from Seth Godin's Linchpin to David Shenk's The Genius in All of Us to Tony Hsieh's Delivering Happiness.

Here is your big chance to not only to make a contribution to the world, but also to win a mind-altering book. If nothing else, you'll finally have a good answer when your friends ask you what you have been up to lately or when your parents ask "what are you going to do with your life?".

You can find a fuller explanation of what Daniel Pink is seeking and what he's doing in this this 2-minute video. And if you've forgotten what the whole sentence thing is, here's a video excerpt of Drive that can remind you.

Again, the project is all explained in this video. If you have questions, email Dan at

Good Luck. Now go find your sentence.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Get Involved : The social network for the socially conscious

Want to make an impact in your community?

Then GET Involved and make a commitment to making a difference in 2010.

Set a goal. Track your progress. Count your hours, or the hours of all the volunteers in your organization or group. Engage, motivate and inform your volunteers, staff, friends and family about all the ways you make a difference. Encourage others to add their hours by sharing your actions and progress with our community.

Power of the Hour is a fun, engaging tool for:

* Individuals & Families
* Businesses
* Charities and Non-profits
* Schools
* Community Groups

Create a Get Involved profile to find like-minded, passionate people & organizations that are changing the world.

Watch and hear about some some inspiring stories. Get acquainted with the organization and then make an offer or volunteer your time to the benefit of some amazing organizations like these listed below (and many more featured non profit organizations) who are committed to making a difference in the lives of others.

Founded in 1969 by a group of educators and artists responding to a need for arts resource for inner city children, Inner City Angels is an arts education charity that engages Toronto's inner city and priority neighbourhood children in innovative and affordable creative arts experience guided by professional artists. We are inspired by the belief that the arts play an integral role in our personal growth and creative potential and that we all share in the responsibility of ensuring arts and learning for all children.

Kids Up Front Foundation
Kids Up Front is a Toronto-based organization that provides at-risk children and youth with access to sports, entertainment and cultural events through the distribution of unused tickets.

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is a not-for-profit, professional theatre company dedicated to the promotion of Queer Canadian Culture. We are dedicated to producing, developing, and supporting queer theatrical works.

Manifesto Community Projects
Manifesto Community Projects is a youth-led organization devoted to fostering collaboration in Toronto's artist community in order to provide powerful platforms and resources for growth and exposure. The focal point of its activities is the annual city-wide Manifesto Festival of Urban Music & Art, in addition to a variety of community initiatives including workshop programs, art exhibitions, and fundraising events.

Go ahead, Make a difference this year. GET Involved!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Time Raiser: A revolutionary way to have fun, get engaged, and make a difference in your community

Without a lot of cash in their coffers, Volunteers are one of the most important resources that local community service agencies, non profit organizations and NGO's can tap into to deliver their vital programs services. By donating their time and getting involved, volunteers can make a huge difference in the lives of people both in their local communities and on the other side of the globe. Anyone who has volunteered can tell you, that volunteering in your community has to be one of the most profoundly rewarding experiences anyone can have.

If volunteering is so important, and so helpful and so rewarding then why don't more people do it?

• We aren't asked
• We feel like we don't have the time
• We don't know where to find meaningful opportunities

Introducing Timeraiser: 
The single most innovative social purpose venture we have seen in a while.

Attend a lively and entertaining event, socialize with your friends, bid on original art—and if you win, you pay with your time. The struggling artist gets paid real money and you, commit to spend a little quality time with a local community support organization. Everyone wins.

After the Timeraiser:
Create a plan and track hours at

The Timeraiser supports emerging and mid-career artists like few other community events do: artists are paid fair market value for their work instead of being asked to donate their creativity. The art is then auctioned off at the Timeraiser to raise volunteer hours for the community. To date, the Timeraiser has invested over $310,000 in the careers of more than 450 artists across the country.

Timeraiser was conceptualized in 2002 in response to a group of friends wondering how it could be easier to find meaningful, relevant volunteer opportunities.  Now, 7 years and 10 Timeraisers later, it is amazing that this grass-roots initiative has flourished into a well-known, annual event that operates in 6 cities across Canada.

The Timeraiser helps nonprofit and voluntary organizations, large and small, connect with potential volunteers. Canadians in their 20s and 30s are one of the hardest demographics to reach. Timeraiser is an easy way to connect these organizations with skilled and energetic volunteers. Check out the timeraiser video:

The three main objectives of the Timeraiser are to:

•   Connect your organization to skilled and energetic volunteers
•   Raise awareness about your organization in the community
•   Bring together the arts and not-for-profit sectors to create community connections

To date the Timeraiser has worked with over 250 charitable organizations.

By the end of 2009 the Timeraiser will have:
  1. Generated over 51,000 volunteer hours
  2. Invested $300,000 in the careers of emerging artists
  3. Engaged 5,000 Canadians to pick up a cause
  4. Worked with 250+ charitable organizations.
Taking the total financial and social community impact into account, the program’s return on investment is estimated to approach 220%, generating nearly $2.20 in ‘social good’ for each dollar invested in programming.

Check out this brief Timeraiser agency workshop video to understand what is involved in becoming a Timeraiser agency. If you depend on volunteers to deliver your programs and services, maybe you should consider giving them a call.

If you have thought about or always wanted to volunteer some of your time to a worthy cause in your community, but were not sure how or where to begin, maybe you should check out the Timeraiser website: Find relevant and meaningful volunteer opportunities with Timeraiser, the single most innovative social purpose propagation idea we have seen in a while. Better still, attend a Timeraiser event near you.