My recent article: “First Power CEO Donna Morton launches program to teach marginalized youth social entrepreneurship”

Here’s a link to my recent article in the Observer that covers an interview I had with Donna Morton — a BC-based social entrepreneur, CEO, Ashoka Fellow, Unreasonable Fellow, Ogunte Fellow, and, most of all, an artist. I talked with Donna about her new alternative education program she launched called SunDrum, which teaches marginalized youth about social entrepreneurship through art, culture, and games.

It really was an inspiring interview, and I may post the audio to the interview after I edit it down a bit (the interview lasted an hour and twenty minutes). We talked about influences, inspirations, life, work, family — everything. She’s an incredibly inspiring person. Here’s an excerpt from the piece about the relationship between art and social entrepreneurship:

Art is an antidote to the travails of the human heart, and when we create or witness true art we achieve a brief respite from our individual struggles, and instead feel, for an instant, connected to something greater than ourselves. As I spoke with Morton, it started to make more sense to me that she so quickly labeled her chief characteristic as “Artist.” Social entrepreneurs are artists. They create entities – businesses – that do not merely seek individual gratification through profits, but have at their core the mission to better the station of their brothers and sisters – of humanity. And in so doing, they, like artists, make us feel connected to something greater than ourselves.

I thank Donna Morton – the artist-social entrepreneur – for making me realize this.

Here’s a quote from Donna Morton on failure:

“[F]ailure is one of the things we talk a lot about in the SunDrum program.  We say, ‘if you do really hard things, you will fail.’ Our society teaches that failing is falling down…and that’s actually messed up.” When I asked Morton about her greatest failure she replied, “I think I failed the worst when I didn’t think of failure as lessons, and that failure is a gift if you use it…. Nobody – none of the people I’ve met who have done extraordinary things – they’ve never done any of those big things without monumental failure, as society defines it.”

I hope you read it, enjoy it, and share it!

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Links I liked…

1) Amazing and soul-stirring dance that is also part social commentary from Britain’s Got Talent

2) Where are the Atheists from Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish

3) This is why Millenials will change the world from The Washington Post’s Wonkblog (If you haven’t read Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Saveyou should)

4) Why Facebook CoFounder and Google are Giving Cash Directly to the Poor from Forbes (Oh, how I miss M-Pesa from my time in Kenya.)

5) List of new studies on access to financial services for the poor and list of new studies on whether entrepreneurship can improve the lives of the poor from Chris Blattman (these lists of studies are for my inner nerd.)