You are dreamers, artisans, and difference-makers. You are creatives, entrepreneurs, and adventurers. You are believers in the world’s best future. Welcome to our community blog.
When we sat down with our coworking member Grace Kim, we were reminded of the importance of empowering others to pursue their dreams even in the midst of tragedy and hardship. That’s the mission of the Dragon Kim Foundation– they fund and create programs that enable children to explore and pursue their passions within academics, athletics, and the arts. This idea, however, was not Grace Kim’s. It was Dragon’s – her son who tragically passed away in a camping accident. Grace and her husband, Daniel, took their grief and honored their son by forming the The Dragon Kim Foundation.
We love hearing how women are actively engaging in their communities, so when we heard of Empower HerFuture and the work the organization has been doing, we knew we had share their story. Madeline and Marie-Nicole started Empower HerFuture in the Fall of 2016 to help young women identify their unique value and abilities as leaders in their communities. We asked them to share the heart behind the vision and why they got started.
“My home, Syria, once a beautiful, beautiful woman…now ruined…destroyed…,” the woman across from me laments amidst a chaotic and bustling refugee resettlement camp. White dust is rising in the Greek heat from thousands of scuffing feet. Hazardous barbed wire lines the camp’s limits. We are a long way from her home.
I don’t get this exact question a lot. It’s more subtle than that. I get it as an assumption. Whether I’m working with a new startup or a more established organization, I regularly hear the following reactions as we draft mission statements:
“We’re not describing everything we do or telling our customers what to expect.”
“It doesn’t say anything about how we’re different.”
“It’s not catchy enough.”
All those things are important, but they are not your mission. Here’s the fundamental shift…
When we changed our name to FLDWRK, one of the reasons we loved it was because it represents being out in the world, observing and interacting with people and creating solutions that meet their needs.
We know this doesn’t just happen where we are in California…so we’re going global. We’ve developed a program that can be accessed from anywhere to give you the resources you need to take purposeful action on your meaningful idea and implement solutions that meet the needs of people wherever you are.
This story begins on January 6th, 2017. My husband and I had just returned from visiting family and friends back in Chicago for the holidays. With the warm sun on my face and palm trees in view, I was happy to be home. But more than that, I was excited to get back to work. It’s true, I really was!
It was the Friday morning staff meeting and, per usual, the team exchanged general pleasantries. As I talked with our faithful leader, Brandon, he shares the news that “Hey, we are changing the company name.”
We recently hosted our fourth Pitch Night (thank you to all who came!) where we got to hear pitches from our current startup programs members about the movements they’ve been working on.
These founders embody what it looks like to live into the fullness of who they are, take risks for the sake of the common good, and build movements that disrupt our cities and world for the better. Their movements are compelling and their dreams give us hope. We couldn’t be more excited to share these founder’s stories with you and invite you to be a part of their work!
What does it mean to learn from your community? Theoretically, this sounds great. Practically…it can be tough to know how to do this! Community can be spread out, diverse, fractured, connected; often it looks a little different for each person.
At FLDWRK we talk a lot about MVP and we don’t mean Most Valuable Player (although we do believe you all are the real MVPs – seriously). But as we use it in our startup programs, MVP means Minimum Viable Product, Program, or Service. So let’s dive a bit deeper to understand what this really means and why it is important.
On a Sunday in Pasadena, California, two humans sat facing each other on tufted leather couches: a 50-something male, Founder and CEO of a 16-year-old, multi-million-dollar financial technology company, in his pajamas, and me, a then 20-something female Founder and CEO of a personal and organizational development start-up, The Glow Effect.