I want to thank you for the warm messages I have received from so many of you during this, my first full week as Executive Director of The Pollination Project. It goes without saying that I am deeply humbled and honored to have the immense privilege of serving this global community of heartivists.
Already this new adventure has been revelatory and inspirational. On Sunday, I attended the global pitch event for The Changemaker Project. Led by AnnaLise Hoopes, The Changemaker Project helps young people apply design thinking to social issues close to their hearts. Then, they present their ideas for the chance to win funding to scale and expand their projects. Pollination Project support was the first seed grant AnnaLise received for this work.
This year, the projects ranged quite widely. One team designed work that addressed dolphin slaughter in Japan, another focused on support for sexual assault survivors, and several proposed solutions to help inspire plant-based food choices within their schools, among many others. Each shared one thing in common, which was the enthusiasm and passion behind their presentations. It was so clear that, no matter the project-related outcomes that will happen through their work, each student would be forever changed just by the very fact of their participation. Not only that, their friends and classmates will be impacted by witnessing this work unfold. Teachers and parents might even be inspired to remember their own agency to create a kinder, more compassionate world. Experiencing this event and reflecting on it was such a beautiful way to begin this new role.
We often say that the process matters as much or more than the outcome; yet that is a slight misnomer. Truthfully, the process IS an outcome; the way in which your work changes you is impactful, even as it is immeasurable. This is true for the young visionaries at The Changemaker Project, it is true for our grantees with The Pollination Project community, and it is also true for the advisors, volunteers, team members, board members, and anyone else lucky enough to intersect with this beautiful mission.
The journey is as important as the destination. I feel lucky and grateful to walk along beside you, and eager to carry our shared mission to new places together.
In your service,