Hidden area achievement unlocked!

Dan Palotta: Rethinking charity

In a moment of supreme serendipity, this talk appeared on my radar. I had been pondering a new business model that was to benefit businesses, consumers AND charitable causes for quite some time and the video that you’re about to see further encouraged me to do so – to create Change Giving.

The things we’ve been taught to think about giving, charity and the nonprofit sector are undermining the causes we love and our profound yearning to change the world. [Dan Palotta]

There are many good things to say about this timely presentation by Dan Palotta – indeed, it’s hard to know where to start. How about that, under the heading of personal motivation, the 20 minutes I invested in watching this talk are right up there with hearing Steve Jobs asking us to put a “dent in the universe” and Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” speech.

Dan wants us to change the way we think about changing the world. He believes that society’s antiquated belief system discriminates against the nonprofit sector and that we are generally guilty of confusing morality with frugality. His video on TED has amassed almost 2 million views in three months as it continues to strike a chord with audiences around the world.

There are so many quotable quotes though perhaps this passage is the one that resonated the most:

So in the for-profit sector, the more value you produce, the more money you can make. But we don’t like nonprofits to use money to incentivise people to produce more in social service. We have a visceral reaction to the idea that anyone would make very much money helping other people. Interesting that we don’t have a visceral reaction to the notion that people would make a lot of money not helping other people. You know, you want to make 50 million dollars selling violent video games to kids, go for it. We’ll put you on the cover of Wired magazine. But you want to make half a million dollars trying to cure kids of malaria, and you’re considered a parasite yourself. [Dan Palotta]

Whilst we haven’t been at it as long as Mr Palotta and friends, all signs seem to be pointing to a momentum shift in terms of how we are all seeking to change the world, and the means by which we will achieve these ends.  The outtake is that if we can help to inspire business to participate in the process by making it an appropriate and commercially viable option, the rest is simply a matter of time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>