Friday, November 5, 2010

Dream A Dream

Last night I got the opportunity to hear Vishal Ralreja who is executive director of at the College of Wooster.  First I want to thank the Center for Entreprenuership and their sponsors for hosting Vishal here in our community. I appreciate being invited to come hear Vishal.

Vishal shared with the group his own journey of social entrepreneurship from a volunteer to an agent of social change. The main takeaway for me was his final question posed to all in attendance at the end of his speaking time:

"What potential do you have to impact another human being in this life?"

Vishal offered several tips or principles for those seeking to embark on becoming a social change agent.

  • To accelerate social change you must have compassion, creativity, and collaboration because solving any social ill is greater than one person.
  • At the outset expect a lot of worries where you have no answers and many questions unanswered as well as heartache.
  • Your response to the first heartache or discouragement is a litmus test for your commitment to solving social problems.  If you are willing to get hurt over and over again in this same manner, then you affirm you are on the road to social change.
  • Gather volunteers around something bigger than yourselves while rehearsing why you do what you do and fanning into flame why you believe your work is important. Say, "I want to bring change. I believe this is possible!"
  • Instill volunteerism in children. Model it. Involve them. Show them how to help someone else.
  • Engage critics by getting them to come observe what you are doing and allowing them to ask more questions. You may find that they become a fan and eventually start volunteering for your cause.
  • Help others! Vishal offers assistance to people via Skype or visit for what he calls, "I think I have a solution" coffees.  He offers brainstorm ideas and critical thinking about strategy.  Great idea!
I again reiterate how I got to come to this lecture. Thanks College of Wooster! I wonder if anyone else went to the lecture or heard about it. Please post your comments and things that I missed.  Thanks.  

Dream A Dream: Vishal Talreja, Founder & Director
Vishal Talreja is founder and director of Dream a Dream, an organization committed to promoting "lifeskills" education for vulnerable children in Bangalore, India, through innovative programs and strategic partnerships with other social sector organizations, private sector groups, and volunteers. Recongnised as an Ashoka Fellow in 2005, Vishal's organization Dream A dream today works with over 500 children from vulnerable communities and does this through an extensive, active volunteer network of 500 volunteers.


Glenn said...

Thanks for the take aways from the talk. Would have loved to have heard it. Now we definitely need to have our next lunch so I can hear more about it.

Pastor Daron said...

@Glenn thanks for posting a comment. I am so fortunate to have COW so close offering free lectures from amazing people in the world.