A Vision of Impact

What makes someone a Champion of Change?  A heart to make a difference in the lives of those experiencing any form of human insecurity…and a compelling vision for just how to do that.  A multi-dimensional, compelling vision of impact is needed.  Such a vision is what we see through Robert Egger’s blog post on the mission and values of L.A. Kitchen where they live and work by the motto that “neither food nor people should ever go to waste”!  You will see more posts from Robert in the next few months showing the backstory for such a vision – and the results achieved by a laser-focus on this vision.


A Vision of Multi-Dimensional Impact
By Robert Egger

L.A. Kitchen believes that neither food nor people should ever go to waste. By reclaiming healthy, local food that would otherwise be discarded, training men and women who are unemployed for jobs, and providing healthy meals to fellow citizens, L.A. Kitchen empowers, nourishes, and engages the community.

L.A. Kitchen believes that:

1. Neither food nor people should ever go to waste. We recognize the potential of the community’s existing resources and are dedicated to revealing their power to nourish and uplift.

2. All people have potential, and every person has a role in strengthening the community. We will engage all volunteers, staff, and students in meaningful, impactful work.

3. Hunger isn’t about food. We will work to address the root causes of poverty, employing a variety of dynamic approaches to nourish the community.

4. Programs should empower individuals and inspire independence. We will only partner with organizations that share these values, providing them with nutritious meals to help achieve their mission, strengthen their clients, and uplift the community.

5. Our impact will not be measured in pounds moved or meals served. We will employ nuanced metrics to provoke deeper dialogue about food, hunger and poverty.

6. Wealth derived from the community should be reinvested locally. We use our resources to strengthen the local economy and invest in the future of our employees.

7. We will not apply shallow overhead practices. We will challenge status quo, providing all employees a living wage and opportunities to invest in their future retirement.

8. Investments should be made in both the present and the future. We will promote intergenerational programming that empowers all individuals, young and old alike.

9. Action should be paired with advocacy. We will use our resources to educate and promote policy ideas that elevate issues and mitigate future need.

10. Transparency is an essential part of improving programs. We will operate and make decisions in full view of the community we serve.

11. Smart solutions should be shared. We will be open-source, sharing our model and welcoming all visitors.


Robert Egger is the founder of D.C. Central Kitchen, L.A. Kitchen and other “impact” enterprises.  He is a frequent speaker at TEDx conferences and has received numerous awards and designations including being named an “Oprah Angel”.  Additionally, Robert’s impact enterprises have received numerous awards including the Eisner Prize for Intergenerational Excellence recently bestowed upon L.A. Kitchen for Innovation in Intergenerational Solutions.  Please read more about Champion of Change Robert Egger at www.robertegger.org/about/.  You may find some of his talks under the Videos tab on the main ChangeU menu.

3 Essential Steps to Uncover Your Purpose & Become Unstoppable

3 Essential Steps to Uncover Your Purpose & Become Unstoppable
by Adam Braun

Years ago, I asked a young boy begging on the streets of India what he wanted most in the world. His answer was simple: “a pencil.” I reached into my backpack and handed him one of my own, and immediately saw his eyes light up with possibility. In that moment, I felt a sense of purpose that has driven my actions ever since.

Here are three essential steps to unlock your sense of purpose and become unstoppable.

1. Get out of your comfort zone.
Go beyond the places that make you feel safe. When you do this, you’ll discover who you are and what makes you feel most alive. When I left the comforts of home to travel through the developing world as a college student, I soon began to immerse myself only in the experiences that spoke to a sense of meaning. It was through creating separation from my normal life that I found a connection to what I was most passionate about. Giving up normalcy and complacency is sometimes difficult, but the rewards greatly outweigh the costs.

2. Never take no from someone who can’t say yes.
Most people believe that in order to get things done they have to find a friend at a company that can offer them help. But the truth is, even if that friends wants to support you, they often don’t have the authority to move mountains on your behalf. For anything you aspire to achieve, there’s someone that can unlock the resources to make it happen. But you have to find who that decision-maker is before making the ask. Get in front of them, because if you have to hear “No”, you might as well make sure it’s from someone who at least could have said “Yes”.

3. Choose to make your life a story worth telling.
As humans, we are natural storytellers, and the tales of our experiences are ones that we should be excited to tell. Although most great stories require overwhelming odds of failure, it’s within the contours of uncertainty that life’s magic is discovered. Fight for what you believe in and surround yourself with people who help you grow. Because one day all of your possessions will fade away, but the strength of your legacy and the story of your life will remain. Make it a beautiful one.

Adam Braun is the founder of Pencils of Promise (www.pencilsofpromise.org) and author of the award winning book The Promise of a Pencil.  Adam gave approval to re-purpose this post which was first published on his website www.adambraun.com. Be sure to watch Adam’s TEDx talks under the Videos tab on the main menu.

Be the Change!

When I was 8 years old I watched my grandfather make a stand in a soccer stadium, while all around him were screaming at him – he courageously did what he knew was right.  One by one, others realized he was right and stood with him. Eventually the whole stadium, maybe 18,000 people, joined him.  I learned a key lesson that day: “If someone will take courage to do what needs to be done – others will follow”.

Over the last 25 years this image has kept me going. Whether working with orphans in African villages, street kids in Brazilian favelas or crazy English football fans – we must do what is right if we want to see the world around us transformed.

Changing the world starts where you live – the city, college, neighborhood or club in which you find yourself every day.  Speak up.  Act.  Care.  Stand up.  Go.  When you see what is wrong – put it right.  You can; people like you always have.  All of the people that have inspired you – and those that will inspire you – with stories of change started with things that look like small stuff – long before you heard about their big stuff.

So who needs help?  Who around you is being marginalized, judged or mistreated?  What can you do today that will assist or empower that person’s life or situation?

I am delighted that Change University has been created to help inspire and resource you to be the change you want to see.  Feed yourself with stories that inspire you.  But more importantly, build your own stories by starting now.

To create sustainable change that lasts and multiplies, it is best to take people with you. Share your vision with friends and the people you meet. Invite them to work with you. Start a little movement right where you are. I find that people are looking to be invited in. Lots of people have a great heart & want to do something. But they don’t know where to start. Invite them to start with you. Tell your story – and share your heart – and watch them dive in.

Go for it!  Don’t fear!!  It’s a real adventure that will change your life while you try to change the lives of others.

With Passion & Belief,

Jon Burns, B.E.M.

Jon is the Founder @ Lionsraw (www.Lionsraw.org).  Lionsraw is a movement that mobilizes passionate global football (soccer) fans who believe they can make a difference in the lives of others locally and globally.  Jon is currently serving as President @ GEM (www.gemission.org).  Jon was named a 2014 CNN Top Ten Hero.  Please check out his tribute @ the following link: http://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/02/05/cnnheroes-burns-2014-tribute-excerpt.cnn.

Welcome to Change University!

Recently I heard a story about a 15 year-old girl with a life-long physical ailment. She had been awarded a special wish by the Make a Wish Foundation. When her initial wish did not work out, instead of coming up with another wish, she told her mother that she already had everything that she really wanted and wished to give her wish to someone less fortunate. And she did. She changed the life of another young girl by granting that young girl’s wish!

Young people, especially the current generation of young people, increasingly desire to make the world around them a better place – to change the world for the better – to make a positive difference in the lives of the less fortunate. And the really exciting thing is that they really think – even know – that they can make a difference – that they can change the world. A lot of not-so-young people also want to change the world. And sometimes they are able to do so; sometimes they are not able. Too often they jump in without having the “tools” that education and experience provide. And many more times life gets in the way, and those passionate desires fade into memories of dreams.

Change University if for the young people and everyone else with those dreams of changing the world. Change University is designed as a portal for the exchange of information about human insecurities like poverty, hunger and homelessness AND about existing attempts to address those human insecurities through education, healthcare, economic development and other realms of impact. The role of ChangeU is to provide in one place, through a variety of methods, information for anyone and everyone that wants to make a difference – that wants to change the world.

ChangeU brings to you Champions of Change from around the world, and from around the corner. Our Champions will share via blog posts their understanding of the causes of human insecurities, manifestations of human insecurities and the variety of solutions used to address human insecurities. And maybe more importantly, our Champions are going to challenge future global difference makers to use everything that they learn at ChangeU to create new solutions, better solutions and potentially collaborative solutions with other future global difference makers. Be sure to read their blog posts each week!

We also invite you to jump into the videos of our Champions of Change as they share via recorded talks all of the knowledge that they have acquired over the years. And don’t forget to read the media reports of the ways our Champions and others have changed the world; more specifically, how they have changed the lives of millions of less fortunate people around the world – just like the 15 year-old girl did with her wish.

On Saturday, Feb. 13, Jon Burns, 2014 CNN Top 10 Hero, will drop the “Change University Challenge” on you via the first blog post by one of Champions of Change.

WARNING: Do not read the Challenge unless you mean business about changing the world!  You will be challenged!!

Will you accept the challenge? Whether you are in college, high school or the retirement home, you can make a difference with the right tools. Engage Change U and find the right tools to become the Champions of Change for the next generation.

Welcome to Change University!

Dr. Jim King, President
Change University

Doc, our author, has traveled around the world with university students studying difference makers, working with difference makers, and serving to make a difference in the lives of slum dwellers, human trafficking victims, outcasts and others less fortunate.  You can read more about him on the About Us page.