"How can we think about telling stories that are more solutions based and uplifting?”
As a result of her investigations, she’s made beer healthier, exposed sweatshops in the shoe and soccer industries, uncovered pediatric dental abuses, and succeeded in banning dangerous products.
Roberta Baskin is a recovering investigative journalist, whose extensive broadcast experience reporting on corporate misconduct quickly earned her the nickname “Bad News Baskin.”
After reevaluating her purpose as a journalist, she decided to set out on a radical new career path, to find and showcase “good companies” across the globe.
Today, she’s wildly enthusiastic about promoting socially responsible, innovative businesses, that are positively impacting the world.
During this eye-opening discussion, Jon Berghoff digs into Roberta’s uplifting story. You’ll find out why she completely changed the trajectory of her career, from investigative journalism, to the AIM2Flourish initiative that’s inspiring entrepreneurs and innovators to achieve global goals together.
You’ll also get to hear all about the Fourth Global Forum Conference which is taking place June 14-16, in Cleveland, OH. The conference is held once every three years and is being facilitated by Jon Berghoff! Business leaders from over 40 countries will come together under one roof, to discover, dream and design solutions for global issues and high priority initiatives. Find out how you can participate by clicking here.
As a an appreciative inquiry leader, Jon believes this may be one of the most important conversations for anyone who wants to elevate their purpose and find deeper fulfillment and meaning in life.
- [03:14] Roberta shares scandalous stories and the dark side of investigative journalism that earned her the nickname “Bad News Baskin.”
- [08:51] How to fuel your success when you’re repeatedly told “No!”
- [09:53] The art of the follow up and being tenacious about uncovering the truth.
- [11:37] Find out how AIM2Flourish is inspiring entrepreneurs and innovators to tap into a 12 trillion dollar opportunity to solve 17 of the world’s toughest challenges.
- [26:09] Roberta shares some of the innovative global solutions being uncovered through AIM2Flourish, including how one company’s simple idea is helping iron deficient Cambodian families get 90% of their daily iron intake!
- [33:35] The power of media and how “restorative narratives” are creating meaningful, positive change in the world.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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[00:00:31] Jon: Jon Berghoff here standing in for Hal Elrod. If you’re new to this podcast, the Achieve Your Goals podcast, and you’re wondering, “Where’s Hal? And who’s Jon?” you can always go back to Episode 152 where Hal passed the torch over to me while he is spending some time healing as he is battling a rare form of cancer. And now while that might sound like bad news and of course it is, in a sense, there’s also some good news which is as you may have heard me last week and the week before to tell you, I talked to Hal almost every day and he has an incredible support group around him, his family, his children, his friends and Hal’s doing well. He’s in good spirits. His cancer is in remission. He just happens to be going through a very aggressive chemo plan. So, I am more than happy to stand in for my dear friend Hal and bring to you some fantastic guests like our guest today, Roberta Baskin.
[00:01:31] Jon: First of all, Roberta, how are you doing today?
[00:01:34] Roberta: I’m great. Thank you. And I’ll bet that Hal is finding that every day is more precious than he ever could have imagined.
[00:01:43] Jon: That’s well put. That is well put. Yeah. And actually, you and I were just chatting a minute ago and I was introducing you, Roberta, to the SAVERS and your question I thought was fascinating which was, is it SAVERS with an E or with an O? I’d love that.
[00:01:58] Roberta: Yeah. Well, my day is with an O for outstanding. I savor every day.
[00:02:04] Jon: I love that. That’s awesome. Well, let me set up for everybody why it is that I’m so pumped to bringing you into this community. I first met you, it was several years ago at this point, through some shared mutual relationships through Case Western Reserve University where we both have connections and I met you and learned that you were leading a project at Case Western which I want you to share with everybody today. I want them to hear the whole story about this initiative which the name of it is AIM2Flourish and I don’t want to take anything away from you hearing about it from Roberta. But let me just put it this way, if you are an entrepreneur or an aspiring entrepreneur, I believe that this conversation today could be the most important conversation that you could be a part of when you think about the question, what is the purpose of being in business or being an entrepreneur? And even if you’re not an entrepreneur, I believe that the story that you’re going to hear right now and today from Roberta is the kind of story that all of us can help to create more of just in our communities and in our homes. So, super excited and, Roberta, when I first met you and I got to know just a little bit about your background, I was fascinated because you have a celebrated awarded career as an investigative reporter. Is that the appropriate title, by the way, investigative reporter? Is that right?
[00:03:33] Roberta: Yeah. I mean that’s the common title. I mean, I think of it just as reporting. Also, it’s sort of digging a little more deeply and often telling stories that people don’t want you to tell.
[00:03:44] Jon: Well, okay, so when you say that, what are some of the stories that you told that somebody didn’t want you to tell?
[00:03:50] Roberta: Well, I had a particular focus on corporate misconduct. For whatever reasons, I was passionate about finding out about companies that were marketing themselves one way and not walking the talk. So, back in the 90s, I broke the story about Nike sweatshops in Vietnam. I wrote the story about, this was when I was at CBS News as the Chief Investigative Correspondent at 48 Hours, and I did stories on child labor in Pakistan making soccer balls for the whole soccer industry, about the most commonly used pesticide in America in schools that was causing all sorts of terrible reactions that were not been reported to the Environmental Protection Agency. I actually broke the story on radon. There is no company to blame for that. That’s something that God put in the earth but people didn’t know about radon and that launched an industry around radon. The last time I looked, there were 4,000 companies that were doing radon testing across America.
[00:04:50] Jon: Wow.
[00:04:51] Roberta: The last story that I did actually was one of the more evil ones really. It was about a company that was handling pediatric dentistry for some 600,000 children across the nation and they were doing unnecessary baby root canals on children for the Medicaid money. They told the clinics on a daily basis how many baby root canals to do and if the dentist exceeded them then they got very big bonuses like $9,000 and $10,000 a month and they had trophies and contests among the clinics for who could do the most baby root canals. So, that was a, yeah, really scandalous story that led to a $24 million settlement and the company was thrown out of Medicaid.
[00:05:36] Jon: Wow. So, that’s fascinating. That is really fascinating. Now did you mention just now, did you share the story also about the beer industry?
[00:05:43] Roberta: No, I didn’t.
[00:05:44] Jon: The story you broke on that? Could you share that? Because that’s really interesting.
[00:05:47] Roberta: Everybody can reach for their beer. It’s perfectly safe now but when I did the story back in I think 1980 because I’m really old now, it was one of my early stories, it was about cancer-causing agents in beer. And in a year that the US Department of Agriculture had shut down three bacon plants for having nitrosamines levels considered a health hazard, I found that one bottle of Heineken was equivalent to 175 slices of bacon at the maximum legal level. In all of the beer, it was very high and these very well-studied cancer-causing agents that were regulated in other things that we consumed and consumers just didn’t know that they were getting these high levels of nitrosamines. I mean, 175 slices, equivalent to 175 slices of bacon, if you imagine having two beers, it was really a big problem. Very quickly because part of the story was I showed how you fix it, that you needed to change your malting process. If you direct fired your malt, you got nitrosamines. So, if you indirect fired it, you didn’t. So, the brewing industry had to switch its malting process which they did within six months. The FDA set a standard. Yeah. It was a really sort of fast-acting solution to a very big problem.
[00:07:03] Jon: Wow. So, I’d love to know when you…
[00:07:07] Roberta: So, Cheers.
[00:07:08] Jon: Cheers.
[00:07:09] Roberta: Not a beer. This is some sort of Apricot juice I think.
[00:07:12] Jon: This is a bottle of olive oil because it’s the only thing I had nearby. There you go. If you’re watching the live stream this all makes more sense than if you’re listening afterward. So, Roberta, that’s incredible, incredible stories and how fascinating.
[00:07:27] Roberta: I love doing those stories. It’s kind of like being on the dark side. I have to say the crew’s called me Bad News Baskin at the first part. So, my husband once said that I could end every story of mine saying, “I’m Roberta Baskin and then you die.”
[00:07:46] Jon: So, Bad News Baskin.
[00:07:47] Roberta: There definitely was a theme of like a tragedy and whatever I was going to tell you about.
[00:07:53] Jon: What kind of affected that have or did it? Did it have an impact on you constantly searching for stories of things that were going wrong?
[00:08:02] Roberta: No. I felt like the purpose of it was to fix it. My goal was, well, if you shine a bright light on it, companies will change their ways or laws will be passed or people will be locked up or fines will be paid and good things will emerge. I now realize that a lot of my stories must have left people feeling a sense of despair and maybe even worse, apathy. I think apathy is like the worst. It’s the most evil thing when people just kind of throw up their hands and say, “Well, what am I supposed to do about that?” So, on a good day, I think it did change things and I can point to many examples of that that I’m very proud of. It wasn’t always a good day and sometimes I think you just kind of added to this steady drumbeat of, “Oh my God, the world is such a mess. What am I supposed to do about it?”
[00:08:53] Jon: So, I’d be curious to know, whenever I hear a story like this, I’m always curious for someone like myself who’s not lived in the shoes of a reporter and probably many of our listeners right now, is there anything about that type of work that for the rest of us who have never done it we might be surprised by, that might surprise us in terms of just what it’s like to uncover these stories? Anything that jumps out?
[00:09:21] Roberta: Well, I would say that the harder the story was to do, the more inspiring I found it. If I really thought there was something there, when people said, “No, you can’t have the documents,” or, “No, I’m not going to do an interview,” no really inspired me that there is something there that I really want to – I mean, it wasn’t a negative. It was a positive and I felt like the harder it was, the more important it might be in terms of finding a creative way to tell that story. I think the other thing that is a surprising thing, and this is sort of an insider thing professionally so I don’t know if anybody else would be interested in this, but I was surprised that going from local news to the network, I spent like half my career in local news and half my career on the networks of CBS and ABC and PBS working with Bill Moyers there, I found it much more fulfilling to work in local news actually which may be counterintuitive, it was for me, but it was to me the way that you got things done was the art of the follow-up.
It wasn’t the original story which when I was at the network, it’s like you would do the original story and then it would be like, “Well, what have you got for me next?” and then it would evaporate into the ether. Whereas in local news, you could continue on the story and what made things happen and what changed laws, regulations or how people behave was coming back to the public and say, “Here’s what happened. Here’s what didn’t happen,” and sort of keeping it in front of them and being tenacious about that. And the other thing is as a community when you’re in local news people call you. They’ll call you up and they say, “You think that’s bad. Wait until you hear my story,” or, “You said this but what about that?” People they feel like they can’t reach you in some ivory tower at the network which is not really true but there’s just it seems like there’s this façade of I’m not going to get through to this person. So, I felt much more involved in the community in local news and I really loved that and I got so many story ideas that way where people would call me up and say, “Hey, I’m pissed off about something. Look into it.”
[00:11:35] Jon: Yeah. Well, so I want to transition and ask a little bit about how did you go from that career to how did you get connected with the project that you’re working on now, AIM2Flourish, which I really want to introduce to everybody today.
[00:11:52] Roberta: Yay. All right. Well, that opens my heart. I would want to begin with the word synchronicity just so that I can use that word. It’s my favorite word and I use it every day and there are some really beautiful synchronicities to this. So, I want to tell you just a little story and that is David Cooperrider who is the father of Appreciative Inquiry somehow or other invited me to take his certification class on Appreciative Inquiry and it was the first one that they were doing at Case Western Reserve University. Don’t remember the year but I was working at 2020 at the time and I’ve been to Cambodia and I read this book called First They Killed My Father by this woman, Loung Ung, and I was interested in doing a story about her. I found it fascinating.
I read the book in Ohio and I said, “Loung, I was reading your book until 4 o’clock in the morning. I couldn’t put it down except to cry. You were 10 years old in the book after growing up under the Khmer Rouge as a child soldier and all of a sudden at 10 you’re moving to Burlington, Vermont and you left me cliff hanging. What happened to you? Are you okay?” And she said, “Yes, I’m getting married in a few weeks,” and we hit it off over the phone and she said, “Next time I’m in DC let’s get together and have brunch.” So, we did that and at the end of this incredible two-hour brunch that we had where we shared all kinds of stories and I was thinking of pitching a story about Loung to go to Cambodia and tell her story because her sister had been left behind. And I’m hugging her at the end of the brunch outside the restaurant and I said, “Oh my God, Loung, I just realized something. You live in Shaker Heights. I’m going to Cleveland tomorrow to take this class on something called Appreciative Inquiry.” And she said, “Oh yeah, David Cooperrider.” I said, “Yeah, that’s right. He’s the professor.” She said, “I’m in class.” So, that was like the most amazing example of synchronicity.
[00:13:50] Roberta: So, Loung and I were in this class that was mostly CEOs like Bob Stiller, the CEO of Green Mountain coffee, and all these amazing business coaches and there was Loung, the author and landmine activist in Cambodia and me, the investigative reporter. That class transformational impact on my life because I’m so attracted to problems. The class really transformed my this kind of attraction to problem-solving that I have of like really being interested in problems and talking about problems and looking for problems. It took me a while because I’m kind of a slow learner and I actually am the only person on planet Earth who has taken David Cooperrider’s Appreciative Inquiry class twice and then years later I felt like I needed a tune up so I did it again.
But what it did is it made my synapses connect in new ways to think about what about telling people what’s working and who’s doing it right? Where are those stories? Especially in terms of your audience of entrepreneurs, what are these entrepreneurs doing all over the planet that the rest of us need to know about that would be uplifting and interesting and satisfy our curiosity that the world is really a better place than we even imagine? So, David invited me to the Third Global Forum back in 2014 at Case Western Reserve University to do a so-called mini-design summit with him to look at this idea of where are the businesses out there that are doing really cool stuff across the world and how do we find those stories and amplify them through an award? And at first, he was thinking about it as like a Nobel prize in David’s parlance, better than a Nobel prize for business.
[00:15:45] Roberta: But in the mini-design summit what happened is the people in the room really thought about, “We don’t want to just give a so-called Nobel prize or whatever. We want to give it to the mini out there. How can we find the mini companies that are doing radical innovations across the world? How can we find them and uplift them, amplify them? And what emerged out of that and I asked for a show of hands because I realize this could be really big because we were invited. One of the people in the room was the secretary of the something called Principles FOR Responsible Management Education of the UN under the UN Global Compact and he said, “Come to the UN, June 2015, and do a workshop about this. Show us what you’ve come up with.” So, we needed to find professors all over the world who would be willing to send their students out there, business students, out as a kind of like detectives to find cool innovations. What’s going on in the wild that we don’t know about and that we can talk about and write about?
So, amazingly some professors stepped forward and some volunteers stepped forward. There was a show of hands of like 20 people in the room who said, “Let me help you.” We created a website and in the first year of what became AIM2Flourish and secretly we think of the AIM part of it as Appreciative Inquiry Method to flourish because we are also teaching Appreciative Inquiry. We’re not certifying students but we’re giving them an experience of appreciative inquiry and teaching them how to ask appreciative questions. Don’t talk to these business leaders about what’s wrong and what their challenges are so much. Talk about their dreams and what inspired them to go into this particular type of business or innovation. And the other thing and for those of you who can see this, these are the global goals and the global goals were passed unanimously at the United Nations in June 2015.
[00:17:50] Roberta: Basically, the whole world for the first time ever unanimously decided this is what has to happen by 2030. So, it’s about ending poverty and hunger and having good health and well-being for the world and having gender equality and clean water and climate action and peace, just 17 beautiful global goals that’s a compact that the world has made. And for your entrepreneurs, the listeners to this podcast, what’s really beautiful about it is that your kind of in the business realm able to be sort of first adopters of this global goals. It is the UN and others at Davos it was said it’s a $12 trillion opportunity to advance these global goals to try to solve global poverty, to solve climate change. These are business innovations that need to happen and so it’s not just about making the world a better place. It’s like you can do good and do well. As our friend, Chuck Fowler, always says, “Do good and do well is really the model.”
So, the first year we were looking for 200 stories. We just thought, “Oh my God, if we could just have 200 stories that would be amazing on our website.” At the end of the year last year, we had 422 stories and actually today we have 568 and just looked at the website. It’s growing. It’s kind of exponentially growing and I think a lot of your listeners have stories about things that are aligned with one or more of the sustainable development goals. So, let’s just call them the global goals that we should be writing about and that we should be sending these business school students out to interview them about what they’re doing and write it up for our website. Then the next chapter is next month we’re doing the Fourth Global Forum, June 14 through 16, and we’re lucky to have you as our facilitator emcee extraordinaire, Jon Berghoff.
[00:19:52] Roberta: And we have 17 winners out of the 422 stories that we have at the end of the year. We have 17, one for each global goal like which business in the world, and I think it’s in Mozambique, is trying to end poverty? Which one is ending hunger? Which one is quality education? They’re just these awesome stories that I never would’ve known about if it weren’t for this army of students. And I notice that the best thing of all from my perspective is that the feedback that we’re getting from these business students from learning appreciative inquiry, finding an entrepreneur or innovator that they admire and doing appreciative inquiry interview with and writing it up, transforms how they think about the trajectory of their careers as they want to do something that has a social impact or invent something that has a social impact in terms of companies that will be invented. It’s just transformational.
[00:20:50] Jon: Wow. It’s so inspiring, Roberta, to hear you share the story of how it started and where it’s gone and where it could be going and I am honored to play a small role in helping us to celebrate the first inaugural 17 Flourish Prizes. In fact, let’s extend an invitation right now. Anyone in the Achieve Your Goals and Miracle Morning community, if you are available or interested or curious, come join us at the Global Forum and the URL to join us if you want to explore and it’s June 14, 15, 16, the URL is GlobalForum.case.edu. Man, you could see a little bit more about what it’s about there and if you want to show up and hang out, we would love that.
[00:21:30] Roberta: That would be so wonderful. We want to meet each and every one of you. And we have some really cool presenters who are going to be on video like who are also very excited about the global goals and excited about the winners. And so, we’ve got Arianna Huffington; and we’ve got Bart Houlahan, the founder of the B Corp Movement; and Vint Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist; and Raj Sisodia; and Unilever’s CEO, Paul Polman, and just some really cool presentations. Even the President of the UN General Assembly, I mean there’s just…
[00:22:05] Jon: Wow.
[00:22:06] Roberta: It’s a party.
[00:22:07] Jon: Yeah.
[00:22:08] Roberta: And we have people coming from as far away as Nepal and Mozambique and Argentina and Colombia and Mexico and our neighbors to the north in Canada. So, it’s going to be a great place. It’s going to be a lovefest and the more entrepreneurs that we can get in the room for this experience, who knows what can come out of it?
[00:22:31] Jon: Yeah. You’re getting me excited. I’m supposed to already be the most excited person.
[00:22:37] Roberta: Me too.
[00:22:39] Jon: This is going to be so great, just coming up in less than a month. So, I want to go back here and for the benefit of all of our listeners, first of all, I’d love if you could share maybe a couple of your favorite stories that have been uncovered through AIM2Flourish. And as Roberta is sharing these, I want to invite everyone to stop for a second and I think there are a few great lessons that we could take out of really the story of this whole initiative AIM2Flourish and I just want to call attention to these. One of them is, first of all, the power of asking questions that allow us to search for what is good, to search for what is working especially as an entrepreneur, and this applies to anybody. But when you think about what you do when you go to work every day, for many of us we’re trying to add value, create value, solve problems and in that process, it’s always there are challenges and there are obstacles and there are struggles.
And I just want to invite all of you to remember and to connect to the essence of appreciative inquiry which is where all of this was born which is that when we ask a new question like, well, what is working? Or when have I been at my best? Or what strengths or skills do I have that I can call upon or drop on? Or what kind of images of my future do cause me to come alive and how can I combine my strengths and skills with those images to take even better action in the present that we become a lot more effective as entrepreneurs? That was the first point I just wanted to remind all of you to visit. In hearing the story, it’s a great reminder for all of us to stay connected to the best of what we’ve been, who we are and where we could be or where we could end up.
[00:24:25] Jon: And then lastly is if you look at this whole initiative in what’s happening here through partnerships with business schools where students are going into communities and they’re finding innovations that are solving these incredible opportunities, what’s happening is we are really lifting up on a macro level how people view what is the purpose of going into business. Well, as an individual listening right now, I would hope that you leave this conversation and continue to ask, how could you elevate your own purpose for why it is that you do what you do every day? You could be a mom listening and this could apply as well. What is it that is motivating you? And there’s a great reminder that we all need and that is that in that moment when we ask why are we doing what we’re doing, I want to make sure we remember that we all have the freedom in that moment to answer that question however we want. Right? That answer doesn’t have to be dictated by anybody or anything or any circumstance outside of us. It’s our own little voices in our heads and I have many of them and then just trying to listen to the right one at the right time.
But it’s our own little voices and that we have total freedom over how we answer that question, “Why am I doing what we’re doing?” and my invitation is to invite all of you to consider, can you keep playing with your answer to that question? Can you keep molding it and shaping it and evolving it? Keep asking why and then ask again and why does that matter? And that’s how we can enable our purpose to maybe elevate or evolve in ways that might give us even more meaning or even maybe even deeper fulfillment when we go to work every day. So, just think about that. And, Roberta, I’d love to hear maybe a couple of your favorite stories of some of these innovations.
[00:26:13] Roberta: I love to talk about a couple of my favorite stories and I want to share one of my favorite quotes that kind of involved from what you’re saying. It’s I finally, finally got around to reading Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, and there’s this beautiful quote that I’m sure many of your listeners know which is, “Between stimulus and response there is a space and in that space is there a power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom,” and I think about that in terms of how we react. And I think in terms of like having my first part of my life being so much on the dark side really but I don’t feel apologetic about it because I do think it got things done and I do feel that we need that. We need both. But I love this chapter in my life of letting the light in and but also reminds me that Leonard Cohen song, Anthem, about the cracks and that that’s what lets the light in. So, let me tell you about a couple of favorites. These are winners.
So, one of them, it’s from Cambodia and it’s called Lucky Iron Fish and I’m just going to hold it up for those people who can see. I do not need a Lucky Iron Fish but I just was so inspired by the idea of it that I just bought one. It’s an iron fish and here’s the beautiful thing that it’s solving. The challenge and I thought I knew a lot about Cambodia. I’ve read books. I’ve been there a few times. I did a documentary there with Loung. Never knew one in four Cambodians suffer from iron deficiency which is a really serious health problem. One in four. That touches every family. They’re not going to buy pharmaceuticals or pills and so someone at the University of Guelph came up with this lucky iconic lucky fish that you put in your rice pot or in your soup and your family gets 90% of the iron that they need.
[00:28:13] Roberta: So, the whole family gets iron just from sticking that in the rice pot. I guess it’s kind of like your grandma’s iron skillet. So, it’s a very cool, very simple solution to a problem that could be scaled up for other countries that have a similar issue. Another one that I love was one of the first ones we’ve got and it’s a winner. It’s called Green Hope. This was a company that was – it’s in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was making plastic bags for the supermarkets there and these bags would pile up in a landfill for 500 years. They switched to making them biodegradable in just two weeks making them out of tapioca. Basically, what they’re doing is they’re supporting the cassava farmers with a co-op, with a living wage and the students showed on video that within a two-week period these tapioca bags just disintegrate. What beautiful simple solution that’s employing people in a different way, the farmers and giving them a living wage and making something that was a terrible challenge to the environment into solving the problem. Why don’t we have them in Cleveland or Washington DC or Boston or, you know?
[00:29:29] Jon: Yeah. I have a and I won’t say the name of the supermarket that I go to because I’m embarrassed and ashamed by this but there is a supermarket in our town here where they don’t even offer paper. They only have these plastic bags and I noticed that when I walk through, I could buy one item and all of their employees are trained to throw it in a bag and it’s like, oh, it’s crazy how many bags they’re putting out?
[00:29:55] Roberta: They need those tapioca-made bags.
[00:29:58] Jon: Yeah. I know.
[00:29:59] Roberta: So, that’s beautiful. And here’s a really cool thing that happened out of it. One of my other dreams for this, so talking to your entrepreneurs, is how can we reach out to social impact investors in terms of scaling up these 568 stories on our website? While I was talking about these Green Hope example when I was at a workshop in San Francisco and this man walked by and said, “I really like that idea. I’m going to check it out.” I didn’t know who he was. I was asking other people, “Who was that that just walked by?” And a few months ago, he contacted me. His name is Ted Limpard. He said that he’s investing in this company.
[00:30:41] Jon: Wow. How great.
[00:30:42] Roberta: Pretty cool. So, I need to find a way on AIM2Flourish to get social impact investors to pay attention because they can just sit in the comfort of their armchairs and tour the world of really cool innovations that are going on in the wild that they may want to scale up. And the other dream that I have is just like I bought this Lucky Iron Fish that I don’t even need. I find myself buying things because I want to support these really cool ideas. These are innovators that are startups for the most part. They seem to be small to medium-sized businesses. So, I want it to be a place where consumers can see, “Wow this is cool. I want my wallet to support that.” I wanted to replace for social impact investors to invest and get more of the same and I want it to be a place for the media because I think now more than ever people are so sick of hearing that the world is so messed up and there are lots of stories to tell about the world being messed up but there’s this other news story out there. There are entrepreneurs who are solving big, hairy problems out there and who are creating wonderful workspaces and improving communities and the environment and creating the world we all want. And so, I think people are really hungry for those stories.
[00:32:04] Jon: Well as you point out, Roberta, that there are other stories that we can find and tell, I feel like that’s such a great reminder for all of us that in our work and in our homes, that if we’re not conscious of it, the stories that get told might not be the ones that could be most empowering. I personally see this in my work all the time working with organizations or communities where the work we’re doing is we’re coming in using appreciative inquiry and when people ask what do we do and I’m always trying to find a simpler way to explain it, the simplest explanation is, “We’re just changing the story that that community is telling themselves,” because if we’re not conscious of it, it’s just too easy in our homes and in our workplaces to allow the stories that we’re telling ourselves and others about what’s happening in the world, what’s happening in my business, what’s happening in my life, what’s happening in our community to not be the ones that are empowering this.
And so, I would just want to invite everybody who’s listening to be inspired by the stories that we just heard from Roberta and the story of this whole initiative and to ask yourself in your lives and in your work what are the kinds of stories that if you were to tell and share and spread or find or lift up, that would cause the kind of upward spiral that we really want to create in our workplaces and at the dinner table and anywhere else where we’re connecting with other people. Something to think about.
[00:33:35] Roberta: Well, there’s actually a media movement in this direction as well and it’s taken a long time to rub up. I’ve been involved with it for 16 years now and David Cooperrider was one of the founders of it as well and I’ve been deeply involved in it for 16 years. We use appreciative inquiry. It’s called Images & Voices of Hope. So, I want to invite listeners to also go there. It’s IVOH.org and we’re also having a summit the week after the Global Forum. The Global Forum is June 14 through 16 and Images & Voices of Hope Summit in the Catskill is on June 22 through June 25. And these are media makers who are interested in media as an agent of world benefits.
So, it’s about how can we tell stories that don’t leave a community in despair after some terrible like a tsunami or an earthquake or something awful where journalists kind of parachute in with their live trucks and just like leave people even more shaken. Instead, how can you – what we call it is restorative narratives. Journalists that we’re supporting as fellows, restorative narrative fellows in newsrooms who are working in this inquiry about where are those stories and how can we tell them in a way that creates opportunity, resilience, helps restore a community that is shaken. And there is another group called Solutions Journalism Network that is doing training in newsrooms across the country and then there’s another group called the Constructive Journalism and this is somebody who took Marty Seligman’s positive psychology class at the University of Pennsylvania and then moved back to Denmark and has created this movement. And so, all these people are going to be there. Then exploring how can we as journalists, as musicians, as artists, as advertisers, how can we think about telling stories that are more solutions-based, more uplifting.
[00:35:48] Jon: Wow. Yeah. I’m so glad you shared that with us because we happen to live in a time in our history where we’re captivated by unfortunately a lot of stories that create or based in a place of fear. And I think the current ratio if you turn on any of the traditional media outlets of positive to negative, it’s got to be at least 10 to 1 on the negative side.
[00:36:15] Roberta: I have heard that and I think that now more than ever I mean there’s certainly, yeah, we have our work cut out for us in terms of issues and problems to sort out and the politics of the world is pretty messy right now but there is and especially I think with business. Business has the resources and the creativity and the nimbleness in a way that government just doesn’t seem to have where business can be very constructive in solving global goals and achieving the global goals in, what is it, 13 short years left in terms of solving poverty and hunger and the chasm between rich and poor, fixing climate change. We’re at a tipping point where we can go one way or the other and I know which direction I’d like to head in.
[00:37:09] Jon: Yeah. Roberta, this has been awesome. I am so grateful that we got to introduce you to the Miracle Morning and the Achieve Your Goals community today. Before I let you go, is there anything else that you’d like to say or share?
[00:37:22] Roberta: Well, I want to invite everybody to come to the Global Forum, June 14 through 16. We want entrepreneurs and innovators and celebrators. It’s going to be a lot of fun. There’s going to be people coming from all corners of the world in celebration of these amazing innovations. And you also will get to learn a lot about the global goals and how you can help achieve them and this is what the world has decided needs to happen. So, be an early adopter to getting it done. I’ve got my sleeves rolled up and I’m really looking forward to seeing you, Jon.
[00:37:57] Jon: It’s going to be great. It’s going to be great. And for anyone who is interested in joining us in just a few weeks, while we’re celebrating these global goals, participants are also going to be over two-and-a-half days.
[00:38:08] Roberta: Great. But, Jon, before we go away, I want to give everybody a discount, a special discount.
[00:38:13] Jon: Oh, how about that?
[00:38:14] Roberta: For Hal. Okay?
[00:38:16] Jon: Yeah. On behalf of Hal.
[00:38:17] Roberta: And I’m looking for it even while we speak so let’s give everybody a special code to get them because this is exactly who we want. It’s flourish25.
[00:38:29] Jon: Flourish25. Does that mean 25% off?
[00:38:31] Roberta: Yes. Yeah. If they go to the Global Forum so, yeah, I have to say God bless, Hal, also and may have a speedy remission and recovery and just be better than ever.
[00:38:43] Jon: Yeah. Awesome. Roberta, thank you, thank you and I will talk to you very soon. Thank you.
[00:38:50] Roberta: Looking forward to it. Take care. Bye, everybody.