2020 Vision: Charting the Path

by Jim King

Change University has primarily provided information related to Global Change and Global Change Makers via our website www.ChangeUniversity.org.  We have hoped that this information would be inspirational and educational to future makers of global change.

NOTE: If you missed any of the blog posts about our most recent three Champions of ChangeU, click HERE to check them out.  You DO NOT want to miss the stories of these three Champions!!!

ChangeU has evolved in minor ways over our almost two years of existence.  However, everyone involved. and even those looking in from the outside, wished for ChangeU to take a more “action-oriented” role in making global change.  So for about six months, we have examined where we have been and where we would like to go.  From those examinations, we have developed a “2020 Vision”.

With this current blog, we would like to share the 2020 Vision with each of you.  Please click on the following link and a new window will open with the 2020 Vision.

2020 Vision Document

You will see more about the 2020 Vision in coming months.  But don’t worry.  We are still going to be bringing you information about new Champions of ChangeU and other stories as the 2020 Vision becomes reality.

We really appreciate your continued support…and we hope that each of you will join us in raising up the next generation of global difference makers!


Dr. Jim King is the President of Change University.  You may read more about him at the bottom of the page at this link:  http://www.changeuniversity.org/about/ .


Not For Sale!

by Jim King






Do those statistics make you mad?

They make David Batstone mad!

Do you know how close those numbers live to you???

Our newest Champion of ChangeU David Batstone does!     And he decided to do something – many somethings – about it!

Please read on…


David Batstone has been a Silicon Valley venture capitalist.  He wrote Saving the Corporate Soul.  He is currently a social entrepreneurship professor at the University of San Francisco (www.usfca.edu/management/faculty/david-batstone).

Human slavery became real to David when he learned that many staff members at his favorite restaurant were actually labor slaves.  He learned this when the trafficking ring was exposed due to the death of one of the trafficked young people.  He was determined to learn more about human trafficking and slavery.  He was determined to make a difference.

David’s quest led him around the world where he stared trafficking in the face; where he met those in the fight against trafficking and slavery.  Those experiences led him to join the fight – and to fight in the ways he was most skilled; in ways that allowed him to have the greatest impact.

If you do not do anything else related to this blog post, please watch David’s TEDxTalk about his journey.  It is not a long video.  But it is a GREAT story:



David started “Just Business” (www.justbusiness.is), a social impact investment organization, and a not-for-profit foundation, “Not For Sale” (https://www.notforsalecampaign.org/).  Not For Sale is a network created to grow self-sustaining social projects with purpose-driven business to end exploitation and forced labor.  Through and for these enterprises, the following social impact organizations have either been created or partnered with.  Please visit the websites of Just Business and NFS to see more related enterprises…and please, please, please support each of these efforts.

REBBL – www.rebbl.co

Square Organics – www.squareorganics.com

Z Shoes – www.zshoesorganic.com

Dignita – www.eatwelldogood.nl/en

Boll & Branch – www.bollandbranch.com

St. Clare Coffee – www.stclarecoffee.com

Alex And Ani – www.alexandani.com

All Saints – www.allsaints.com


In 2017, David was awarded the Peace Award by the United Nations Women for Peace Association.  He was also awarded the 2017 Harari Conscious Leadership and Social Innovation prize by the University of San Francisco’s School of Management.  We are so excited to name Dr. David Batstone our newest Champion of ChangeU.


Please join David and Change University in the fight against human exploitation!!!




Dr. Jim King is the President of Change University.  You may read more about him at the bottom of the page at this link:  http://www.changeuniversity.org/about/ .


This is LOVE…This is HOPE


by Jim King w/ contributions by Emily Smith


Economic freedom for more than 1,700 women.

Over 9,200 nights of safe housing for women recovering from life on the street.

$1,000,000 in salaries and wages for women survivors.

20 social enterprise partners from 16 countries on 5 continents.


Welcome to Thistle Farms…and Becca Stevens, the newest Champion of ChangeU.  (www.ChangeUniversity.org)



Thistle Farms’ mission, according to their website, is to HEAL, EMPOWER, AND EMPLOY women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. They do this by providing safe and supportive housing, the opportunity for economic independence, and a strong community of advocates and partners.  At Thistle Farms, they believe that in the end, love is the most powerful force for change in the world.  (https://thistlefarms.org/pages/our-mission)

Here are a couple of links about Thistle Farms (www.thistlefarms.org):

A Survivor’s Story     https://thistlefarms.org/blogs/community-blog/trish-reflects-on-second-chances-and-finally-finding-her-way-home

The Café at Thistle Farms    https://thecafeatthistlefarms.org/


More about Becca and Thistle Farms in a moment.  Becca has something else going on right now that we want to introduce…



The current Syrian refugee crisis has women and their children trading an unsafe home for unknown waters.  With almost nothing but life vests, they arrive in an unfamiliar world in search of a new life.

The magnitude of the situation?  Read on…

In September 2017, over 3,000 people arrived on Lesvos island by boat. Most of the people arriving were women and children. Officials say 6,500 people are now stuck on the island; the Hope Refugees organization believes the numbers to be closer to 7,500 people.

The notorious Moria refugee camp – built with capacity for 1,800 people – is now at its breaking point with around 5,500 residents – more than double its capacity. And with this camp at breaking point, many tired and vulnerable refugees are having to live in flimsy festival tents outside the camp.

Comparing the number of arrivals in September 2017 to August 2017, there has been a 264% increase in the first 10 days of September alone! As winter approaches, children will once again be facing the freezing temperatures of Europe in inadequate tents and behind razor wire.

Women refugees have come together with Thistle Farms to start the first social enterprise in Ritsona, Greece. Women are weaving welcome mats that include the fabric from life vests worn by refugees on their journey to Greece. Thistle Farms has partnered with “I AM YOU” (www.iamyou.se) to help these refugee women gain economic freedom.

The Welcome Project (https://thistlefarms.org/pages/the-welcome-project) is committed to helping women find their path forward.

Here are a few links that will give you more information on The Welcome Project.

Another Survivor’s Story     http://www.beccastevens.org/blog/lovewelcomes

A Sermon by Becca     http://www.beccastevens.org/blog/sacredthread

People Magazine story     http://people.com/human-interest/nashville-priest-teaches-syrian-refugees-to-transform-life-vests-welcome-mats/


Now…More About Becca

The following information is taken from Becca’s website (http://www.beccastevens.org/#aboutbecca):

Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms. After experiencing the death of her father and subsequent child abuse when she was 5, Becca longed to open a sanctuary for survivors offering a loving community. In 1997, five women who had experienced trafficking, violence, and addiction were welcomed home.

Twenty years later, the organization continues to welcome women with free residence that provide housing, medical care, therapy and education for two years. Residents and graduates earn income through one of four social enterprises. The Global Market of Thistle Farms helps employ more than 1,800 women worldwide, and the national network has more than 40 sister communities.

Becca has been featured in the New York Times, on ABC World News and NPR, was recently named a 2016 CNN Hero and a White House “Champion of Change.” She was featured in the PBS documentary, A Path Appears, named Humanitarian of the Year by the Small Business Council of America and inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame. Stevens attended the University of the South and Vanderbilt Divinity School. She has been conferred 2 honorary doctorates.

You can find over 100 articles, videos, pictures and other Becca-related materials at the following link:  https://brandfolder.com/beccastevens .

You can find information about Becca’s new book, Love Heals, at the following link:  http://www.beccastevens.org/loveheals/ .


WOW…Becca Stevens…what a Champion!


Dr. Jim King is the President of Change University.  You may read more about him at the bottom of the page at this link:  http://www.changeuniversity.org/about/ .

Emily Smith is the Public Relations Manager at Thistle Farms.  (http://www.thistlefarms.org)




Fully Alive

by Jim King


“I had to figure out how to navigate the darkness.”

These words ring in each of our ears when we are faced with the destruction of natural disasters; when we are trying to understand deadly attacks on human-kind; when loved ones die; when the helpless and marginalized are taken advantage of; when we are truly lost.

These were also the words of Tyler Gage when he first set out for Amazonia as a teenager. These same words were Tyler’s when he was faced with big decisions related to the company he co-founded to make a difference in the lives of the marginalized indigenous people he grew to respect and admire.

When we face undesired and unnatural circumstances, we cannot just “throw in the towel” according to Tyler, co-founder of Runa, a socially and environmentally focused enterprise with roots in Amazonian Ecuador.  “Runa” is the Kichwa word for “fully alive”.  Fully Alive is also the name of Tyler’s book which shares his journey from an anxious teenager to a successful and impactful social entrepreneur.

It is with excitement that Change University (www.ChangeUniversity.org) announces that Tyler has accepted our request to become a Champion of ChangeU.  Tyler’s invitation was made due to the impact that he has had through Runa (social, environmental, & economic development impacts) as well as his personal impact on other future social entrepreneurs and business leaders through speaking and writing about his experiences and the lessons he has learned through those experiences.

Instead of writing another “book” in this blog post due to all of Tyler’s and Runa’s impacts, I am going to direct you to a few web resources.  First, be sure to check out www.tylergage.com. When you first hit that site, do not fail to sign up for Tyler’s newsletter.  In addition to getting on the mailing list for a very inspirational newsletter, you will be sent the link to the Introduction to Tyler’s book, Fully Alive.   The subtitle of Fully Alive is “Using the Lessons of the Amazon to Live Your Mission in Business and Life”.  Be prepared to tag along on an exciting journey via this book.  Be prepared to have your life’s mission challenged!

In addition to getting access to Fully Alive at www.tylergage.com, you will also be able to access Tyler’s speaking schedule and to look into what he has been up to.  You can read stories that have been printed about Tyler and Runa and you can also watch videos of Tyler’s appearances on a number of T.V. and news programs.  I strongly recommend that you watch and listen to Tyler via the videos.  Nothing beats hearing his own words.  Nothing!

Finally, be sure to go to www.runa.org.  It is not really so much about Tyler…but then again, it is all about Tyler.  Or at least what has helped Tyler “navigate the darkness”.  It is more than the story about a tea company.  It is about using nature’s resources to impact humanity.  It is about the value of all people.  It really is about one person’s journey – a journey from nowhere to somewhere; from taking to giving; from status quo to impactful change; from teenager to a Champion of ChangeU!

Dr. Jim King is the President of Change University.  You may read more about him at the bottom of the page at this link: