How did you get involved with social entrepreneurship? I had toyed around with launching a couple different social ventures earlier in my career, but this most recent leg of the journey started while I was in grad school for City Planning at MIT. The School of Architecture and Planning launched their own startup accelerator program, and a classmate and I decided to apply. We threw around ideas for a month or two before seizing upon the one we decided to pursue. Everything essentially snowballed from there; we ended up being accepted into the accelerator, and went on to win multiple other competitions and accolades while still in school. We went full-time immediately after graduation, and the company is still thriving today. We were extremely lucky to receive international attention and press as we were focused on the two hot button issues of housing and aging, and that really boosted our progress. It was really hard in a lot of ways but ultimately it was a great experience. I think I learned more lessons about myself in those couple of years than I had during the entire rest of my life up to that point.
My Goal of the Day: To practice what we teach at Global Citizen Year: leaving our comfort zones, putting curiosity before judgement, and taking risks that advance equity and inclusion.
My Tip of the Day: Work-life alignment matters more than work-life balance, and self-care is key to productivity and happiness.
Where do you enjoy getting lost? I love getting lost in good books, joyful moments with my boys, and the Berkeley hills. In 2000, I stopped out of college and moved to Salvador, Brazil with a backpack, a book of Portuguese verbs and the name of an NGO I hoped to work for (which, it turned out, didn’t exist). The experience of getting lost repeatedly and of forging my way in a new city stretched me in ways that changed who I was, and shaped who I am.
My Goal of the Day: Maximize the opportunities in front of us to make one more day of progress to ensure more kids in our city have access to a great school.
My Tip of the Day: Assume the best in others. It makes for a more joyful and hopeful existence.
What do you love most about Your City? Indianapolis is a city that consistently punches above its weight class. A few decades ago, we made up our mind that we were going to be the Sports Capital of the World… and we did it. We have a long track record of incredible mayors who tackled big ideas and consistently built off of each other’s success. We are a burgeoning tech hub, a place where public-private partnerships are part of our DNA, and a city where people truly embody “Midwestern Nice.” Most importantly, though, we are the best positioned city in the country to transform our education system so that every student has access to a great public school.