What's Your Cause?

Last week, I attended the TED Conference. If you don’t know about TED, I’ve written several posts in the past (here’s the most recent). While making my way home, I reviewed my notes from over 100 speakers and was struck by the diversity of causes addressed over the course of the conference.

Here’s a sampling…

  • Sugata Mitra wants education reform. He says, “Schools are not broken, they are obsolete.” His ideas won him the 2013 TED Prize of $1 million.
  • Alastair Parvin shared his vision for open source architecture as a way of serving the world.
  • Bono talked about eliminating extreme poverty from the planet in our lifetime.
  • Taylor Wilson – the kid who built a nuclear reactor in his garage at age 14, now 18 and about to graduate high school, shared his plans for American energy independence.
  • Stewart Brand wants to bring extinct animals back to life. The Woolly Mammoth is on his list – think Jurassic Park.
  • Allan Savory has found a way to stop global erosion – he calls the process desertification.
  • Alex Laskey has discovered an ultra-low cost way to cut consumer energy consumption by 20% - peer pressure.
  • Ben Affleck gave a challenge to assist the people in the Congo.

Not all causes were philanthropic, but they were causes nonetheless…

  • Elon Musk dreams of interplanetary communities – one of his companies is working to build the rockets to take us there.
  • Peter Gabriel and friends, want to create an interspecies Internet. Yes – Internet for animals.
  • There were scores of scientists there too. I had dinner with Dr. Jimmy Lin – his mission is simple... eradicate all 7,000 known rare diseases!

What’s the point of this recap? As I looked back over the presentations, I began to think about what each of these causes had in common. My answer - a passionate champion.
What idea are you passionate about? What cause are you championing? Your answer may be found in your career and maybe not. Howard Hendricks said:
“Your career is what you’re paid to do, your calling is what you were made to do.”
What is your calling? What were you made to do? What's stopping you from doing it? Where are you investing your leadership horsepower? When you and I are gone, what cause do we want to have advanced?[GLS_Shield]
What’s your cause?


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