I’m always amazed by the unexpected ways that the Internet can introduce me to someone new. Today I discovered a very inspirational man – Michael Norton, OBE – and this is how he came to my attention.
Email from one of the alumni special interest groups at my business school (LBS) >> MyBnk.org (a great organization for youth banking and financial education, with one of the most funky website designs I’ve ever seen) >> selected a section called Hotseats, from where I watched some of the video clips.
There I saw and heard Michael talking about some of the projects he has started and helped others start to change the world. One wonderful idea that inspired me is the way he invites others to dinner, called the Hunger banquet. The 10 guests draw straws and 2 get a posh meal, 3 sit on cushions on the floor and have rice and lentils, and the remainder get rice and water only. What an ingenious way to personally draw attention to the plight of the poor around the world. I’m already thinking about how I can organize one of these banquets ….. perhaps I could use this format for my birthday party next weekend?
Michael Norton definitely is a man intent on changing the world – and enlisting others to do so on a daily basis. He has written a book called 365 ways to Change the World to inspire others to take action rather than sit on the sidelines. His own projects include: a banking system for South Asian street children; village publishing and libraries in India; the unLTD foundation for social entrepreneurs; the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action (CIVA) to promote innovation and new ideas for voluntary action; the Youthbank scheme to give young people the chance to donate money to local causes; and an international summer school for young activists from over 40 countries, Young People Change the World!
What an inspiration!