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Think Differently

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think-differently-1.jpgLike probably everyone else this week, I’ve been thinking about Steve Jobs, off and on, quite a bit. The world truly feels like a lesser place without him … it is. Jobs was all about “changing the world” and “thinking differently.” The guy was truly one of the Einstein’s of our generation. I just can’t help but think a little bit about how that kind of thinking is so needed in other parts of our world, in the social sector, in the change-the-world-for-the-better sector.


A few weeks ago, someone scribbled a note in an email about SVP being “more than philanthropy.” It is simple and elegant and really sticks with me. For many years, we’ve searched for a phrase or two that would capture what we do and why we do it, in a simpler, stronger way. I don’t know that it’s a silver bullet, but it really resonates with me (because it’s true). So when I think about a genius / innovator / game-changer like Steve Jobs, I think about going beyond the normal to change the world, about doing “more than …”


Don’t get me wrong … I’m not putting SVP on the same level as a Steve Jobs … though come to think of it, our visionary founder, Paul Brainerd, was one of the true pioneers, working with Steve back in the 80’s, when Paul created the world of “desktop publishing.” Paul B’s favorite poster on his office wall to this day is one about Boris Yeltsin using Aldus’ PageMaker software to get his message out during the coup and revolution in 1991 … When Russian President Boris Yeltsin declared his defiance of a coup in the Soviet Union, Yeltsin’s aides published his call for resistance using PageMaker, Aldus’ desktop-publishing program. Aldus received copies of two publications issued during the 72-hour coup. Coup leaders shut down many newspapers and banned radio and TV broadcasts. Yeltsin told readers to consider the actions of the coup as “nothing other than a state crime.” … I know Paul B worked alongside Steve J many times back in the 80’s and their visionary work helped create the tools to help “change the world” in 1991.


Who are the social and philanthropic leaders that “think differently” AND do “more than philanthropy” today? Billy Shore at Share Our Strength believes we can end childhood hunger by 2015 … Wendy Kopp who has spread Teach for America around the world to Teach for AllJohn Wood has built Rooms To Read around the world … even people like Pat Kuhl and Andy Meltzoff at i-labs, whom SVP Partners had a huge impact on by breaking the rules


Who are YOUR Steve Jobs’ of the social sector today? Seriously, I’d love to hear…


  1. Pingback: How Paul Brainerd’s extraordinary career went from revolutionizing publishing to empowering enviros – GeekWire | Gadget Galiyara

  2. Pingback: How Paul Brainerd’s extraordinary profession went from revolutionizing publishing to empowering enviros – GeekWire – Surfed

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