John Burns – 2014 CNN Hero Award Video


Over time we at Change University have been accumulating links to presentations given by our Champions of ChangeU.  The locales vary; the message is always the same.  “We must be the change we wish to see; do something about ‘it’ – whatever ‘it’ might be!”

We have decided to start highlighting some of these videos through our blog.  This first video is actually not “by” our very first Champion of ChangeU, Jon Burns.  It is “about” Jon.  Jon is the founder of Lionsraw, an organization bringing about change throughout the world through that common athletic (and rabid fan) thread: football (a.k.a. soccer in the U.S.A.).


This video is from when Jon received a 2014 CNN Hero Award!  Enjoy!!


Note: if you missed our very first post, written by Jon, please click on this link.  It is a great piece.


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 (  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 (  Jon was named a 2014 CNN Top Ten Hero.  Please check out his tribute @ the following link: