Archive for the ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ Category

2014 Aspen Ideas Fest – Spotlight: Health

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love, once you heard their story.”

“Great programs don’t change the world; great people do.”

“Girls are not property. They aren’t pure. They are real, and they are our future.”

“Be present and receive the gift of amazing stories.”

“Once you see what great design can do, you can’t unsee it. It becomes a part of what is possible.”

“People – whatever their circumstances – just want to live.”

“Ten years from now, we will have a powerful story to tell!”

These are just some of the inspiring comments I heard last week, when I had the joy and privilege of attending the 2014 Aspen Ideas Fest – Spotlight: Health at the Aspen Institute campus in beautiful Aspen, Colorado. What an amazing experience!

Each day was a feast of surprising, provocative conversations with world-changing people, all of it aimed at transforming global public health. From young architects building culturally relevant hospitals to robotic engineers creating exoskeletons, from international scientists to local activists, from courageous African men and women working to expand family planning to American politicians working to expand access to healthy food, from musicians who awaken dementia patients to physicians who are alert to new therapies and from young students to retired professors, everyone involved was united in a shared vision of making health, not just healthcare, a reality for all people.

I was reminded over and over that when creative change-makers come together to share ideas and listen to one another, miracles can happen. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the inspiring stories I heard and some of the astounding people I met during my week in Aspen. For now, know that the world is full of heroes — and we are called to be heroes too!

Find more of Anne’s McCrady’s Ideas for InSpired Living at!

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InSpiritry Question for the Day: Organizations

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

“We Want This Organization to Make a Difference

in the Lives of …”

Our generation has seen a blossoming of groups of people coming together to make the world a better place – so many of us want our lives to matter! (more…)

Rocket Boys

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

It’s quite something, isn’t it? I am terribly excited!

Sir Richard Branson, upon unveiling his new shuttle Spaceship

It flew! It flew!

Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam

This week, as so often magically happens, several events in my life converged to offer a bright message. For me, the result was a reminder of the importance of wonder, of celebration, of exploration and of science. (more…)

The New Generation Gap

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Be the change you wish to see in the world.  Gandhi

With the Republican nominee decided and the Democratics yet to find consensus on a candidate,  the Presidential primaries have offered some interesting revelations:

  • Women are not all voting for the only woman running.
  • Blacks are not all lined up behind the one Black candidate.
  • Experienced Senators are having trouble getting credit for long careers of hard-fought accomplishments.
  • New young voters have turned out in record numbers for a candidate who seems young.
  • The buzzword has been “change.”

What is going on?

I would suggest that we are experiencing the early pangs of a syndrome we, Baby Boomers, should recognize:

A Generation Gap!

Yes, there is growing evidence that the country is divided along generational lines with a disconnect between old and young.  Think about it:


Bookwoman and Others Like Her

Friday, December 7th, 2007

store logo

“I suddenly wanted something to read about women,

but I couldn’t find anything.”

Poet Judy Grahn


In Austin, Texas, on the corner of 12th and Lamar, there is a small shop that, for years, has been one of the sanctuary places in my life. Its bright storefront display promotes a wide variety of items:  feminist biographies, environmental photojournalism, insightful children’s books, progressive political commentary and gifts promoting peace. Entering customers, especially women, are welcomed home. Behind the counter sits owner, Susan Post, an unassuming woman with eyes as soft as her voice. When asked, she will speak of her unwavering dedication to feminism and her heart for writers. The shop I speak of is Book-woman, one of only a handful of independent feminist bookstores in the country and the only one in Texas.  A store devoted to improving women’s lives–what better way to live out a Passion for the Greater Good? (more…)

How to Change the World

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007


In India, where the streets are full of homeless children, a compassionate woman created a 24-hour toll free hotline to connect street children with food, shelter, medical care, safety and access to people who care. Who staffs the phone lines? Other children who have been saved from a life on the streets! 

In South Africa, hundreds of thousands of people every year lie alone in their squallid homes dying of AIDS. Now, thanks to a wonderful nurse, some patients are being given home hospice care. Who would provide that kind of care? Young people once unemployed and hopeless, now trained to ease the pain and suffering of others!

 In the U.S., thousands of low income high school students never make it to college because there is no one to show them how to apply or how to find funding. One man took action. His four-day College Summits  offer help with college applications, essays, scholarship applications and financial aid forms. Of those who attend, 80% get into college!

In his new book,  How to Change the World – Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, noted author David Bornstein, whose first book shared the story of the Grameen Bank and microfinance, offers a look at the inspirational individuals like these who have used their innovative ideas to change the world rather than accept the status quo. Bornstein describes them as “social entrepreneurs”, a term increasingly used interchangabley with “social enterprise” to describe those who combine creative innovation, corporate strategies and social awareness to address persistent problems. (more…)