When the market collapsed in 2007, Sam Polk had money, power and prestige—the three attributes he had craved most. But Polk found himself dissatisfied, and he left his lucrative position at a hedge fund to pursue a more grounded life. Hear how Sam learned to embrace the extraordinary wonder of an ordinary life, now co-founder and CEO of Everytable, a social enterprise for meals and founder and Executive Director of Groceryships, a nonprofit that helps low-income families struggling with food-related illnesses like obesity and diabetes.
For our first of the monthly Candid Conversations series, we asked Movember co-founder Adam Garone to answers some questions about what he's Outspoken about and how that translates to his keynote speeches.
OA: What are you Outspoken about?
AG: Leadership, entrepreneurship, and men's health
OA: How has your recent work [or campaigns with Movember] transformed the focus of your content when delivering a speech?
AG: I think more and more about [my] legacy. When you're 90 years old sitting in a chair looking back on your life, what will you be most proud of? What did you create that had an impact? What will by your legacy?
OA: How do speaking events help your organization’s growth?
AG: One of the starting aims of Movember back in 2004 was to inspire a new generation of social entrepreneurs. Back then, no one except the uber rich started a charity. Now it's common and having an amazing impact. In my speeches, I aim to inspire others to think big, create something that matters, and make this world a happier, healthier, safer place.
OA: What would you like to see happen more often at events to engage with the audience?
AG: Being present and engaged during the talk is key. It's tough when everyone has their heads down on their devices. I vibe off the audience which creates a better atmosphere for learning and dialogue. Let's save the tweets and posts until after the talk.
OA: What has been one of the most fulfilling audience experiences at speaking events?
AG: Recently, I spoke at Melbourne Business School in Australia on workplace culture and the impact of happiness on profits, productivity and creativity. There were 80 people in the room. I set up the conversation as a 20 minute talk with the next hour to jam on different ideas and experiences. The conversation just flowed. The energy was amazing because we were living the topic—we were happy and, because of that, the creativity flowed.
OA: How can people become more involved with your organization?
AG: Men are still dying too young. We need your support to grow a moustache, take the move challenge or host a fundraising event at Movember.com.
OA: If you could hear someone give a speech alive or dead, who would it be and why?
AG: Lady Diana because she broke the rules and changed the world.
As a champion for charity fundraising like Movember's annual campaign in the month of November, activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta helped pave the way for the multi-day charitable event industry. He created the Breast Cancer 3-Day walks and the multi-day AIDS Rides, which raised in excess of half a billion dollars in nine years.
Dan calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for their big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). In this bold TED talk with over 4 million views to date, he says: Let's change the way we think about changing the world.
This month, we’re all about men’s health. In honor of Movember and Adam Garone, we want to talk about the topics men avoid—checking for testicular cancer in the shower, suicidal thoughts, scheduling a prostate exam.
In particular, we want to share more about Adam. Adam recently left his role as CEO of the Movember Foundation, as he begins to focus on creating and building new fundraising products and becomes the chief advocate for men’s health.
Adam is particularly interested in combating the suicide rates that plague men at a younger age. Earlier this year, he wrote a piece for Huffington Post and created a Facebook campaign for #itsokaytotalk to encourage men to join the conversation. Adam has had mates succumb to mental health issues and suicide, and it’s one of his main goals to engage in meaningful conversation to stop this problem with men around the world.
As women, we may get annoyed with the scruff they're growing, but we’re proud of the ribbon they wear on their upper lips in the name of men’s health. Outspoken will feature multiple blog posts, social media updates, and more exciting things regarding men’s health this month. We hope it’ll lead to thoughtful conversation and even save some lives.