Visionary Videos: Sam Polk @ Chicago Ideas Week

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.

Black History Month with Clint Smith & PBS NewsHour

Oppression doesn’t disappear just because you decided not to teach us that chapter.
— Clint Smith

"When you sing that this country was founded on freedom, don't forget the duet of shackles dragging against the ground my entire life." This is how poet Clint Smith begins his letter to past presidents who owned slaves. In honor of Black History Month, Smith offers his Brief But Spectacular take on the history of racial inequality in the U.S.

Visionary Videos: Samantha Nutt at TED

In some parts of the world, it's easier to get an automatic rifle than a glass of clean drinking water. Is this just the way it is? Samantha Nutt, doctor and founder of the international humanitarian organization War Child, explores the global arms trade—and suggests a bold, common sense solution for ending the cycle of violence. With close to 1 million views, this insightful TED talk is a must-see.

Visionary Videos: Dan Pallotta at TED

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.


Life is Good Playmakers: Inspiration from Bert & John Jacobs

Life is Good Co-founders Bert Jacobs and John Jacobs are on a mission to spread the power of optimism. It's inherent in everything they do. But some people don't know how far their work goes to support their cause. The Life is Good Kids Foundation partners with leading childcare organizations to positively impact the quality of care delivered to the most vulnerable children. Through their "Playmaker Initiative", the Foundation supports men and women who dedicate their careers to helping children heal from the devastating impact of early childhood trauma. Adverse childhood experiences can create possible risk outcomes affecting behavior, physical & mental health.

With our focus on the fundamental health issues championed for by the Movember campaign this month, it's important to think about the effects of mental health issues, such as depression and suicide attempts, at an early age—no matter the gender. Bert and John not only donate 10% of Life is Good's net profits to their Foundation, but also donate all net speaking fees to their Foundation as well. They put their money where their mouth is for the power of optimism and the power of positive mental health.

Learn more about the power of the Playmakers in this short, inspiring video: