Everyone read this post. How do we inspire others?

“Describe one question you are wrestling with regarding your career/life plan or journey to become a social innovator”

My first thought when I read this prompt was, “how am I going to choose just one? I feel like I have anything but questions!” But then after my 5 second melodramatic meltdown, I remembered that questions aren’t really a bad thing. In fact I remember seeing a Disney Channel original movie once with a quote that went something like this, “life isn’t about finding the right answers, but asking the right questions.” Whether or not anyone actually said that is irrelevant, because I think it’s true! And that is one of my favorite things about this class. It challenges us to discover and ask the right questions.

Coming into this class my main question was one that most of us probably have had at one point or another; where do I go post-graduation? Straight into the social impact space? Or do I gain corporate experience first and then jump over? Thanks to this class and other experiences I feel like I have gained the right insights into this particular question, which has then led to a myriad of other questions.

The one question that I thought would be interesting to hear everyone’s insights on is this: How do we best inspire others to actually get involved?

Some of my favorite things to talk about are social innovation and the crossroads to business and social impact. Like all of you I am sure, I have ended up giving either the 10 second, 1 minute, or sometimes 30 minute definition to dozens of people. However, maybe I am just really boring, but these conversations seems to end up the exact same way every time, and it goes something like this.

Me: Isn’t that the coolest thing you’ve ever heard?!

Other  person: Yeah…that’s pretty neat.

Me: Well, what do you think?

Other person: Well, good for you I’m excited to see what you end up doing.

Maybe I’m just really optimistic, but I’m always expecting to hear something more like this, “That sounds great, how can I get involved?” Now obviously this type of work wasn’t made for everybody, but I sincerely believe that more people would want to be involved if they just knew more about social innovation and its possibilities. At least I know that was the case for me.

What I want to hear from all of you is how have you been successful in helping others to want to be involved? Without using the typical guilt-trip, African-children-are-starving pictures and stories (with all due respect – I love African children, just look at my Facebook.com cover photo),  how do we inspire others to get involved? Basically I’m fishing for “conversion stories.”

Look forward to the ideas!