Inspiration

Falk Harrison Supports Project Hope

Project Hope and Falk Harrison

For several years, Falk Harrison staffers have drawn names to exchange Christmas ornaments during the holiday season. This year we wanted to do something more meaningful by finding a way to help others. We decided to collect hats, gloves, scarves and shoes to donate to Project Hope.

Project Hope is an effort of the Early Childhood Special Education Program (ECSE) of Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD). ECSE serves approximately 1,250 students each year, and about 12 percent of them come from low-income families. The severity of disabilities ranges from difficulty articulating certain sounds to multiple disabilities and developmental disorders. Teachers and staff help the families who are having financial difficulties, not only during the holidays, but also throughout the year, often using money out of their own pockets.

ECSE staff began raising money in an organized way in 2009 and has raised over $50,000 and served hundreds of families. They provide basic needs such as clothing, coats, shoes, socks, diapers and food; they also provide for some medical expenses that are not fully covered by insurance, such as leg braces and orthotics, as well as adaptive equipment for specialized needs.

What touched us at Falk Harrison is that the teachers and staff began by addressing these needs on their own, and then went further by organizing an annual trivia fundraiser in their spare time so they could do even more for the students and families. We’re both proud and humbled to help in our small way. We have gathered a large bag full of brand-new goodies and plan to collect some gently used clothing items for staff to have on hand in the classrooms for the preschoolers in 2013. We hope our gifts of clothing bring a little joy and warmth to the recipients.

If you’d like to help, let me know and we’ll collect what you have to donate, or I’d be happy to put you in touch with the appropriate SSD personnel. Contact me at msteinau@falkharrison.com.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Saving Nikola Tesla’s Lab The New-Fashioned Way

Matthew Inman

I enjoyed this NPR story on the effort to save Nikola Tesla’s lab, Wardenclyffe. I especially appreciated the New Media approach to accomplishing one’s goals. Just read that headline! “Web Cartoonist Raises $1 Million for Tesla Museum.” Unbelievable. There are compelling stories of Kickstarter campaigns and the like, but this is different.

First, as far as I can tell, this miscarriage of history should not be happening. Tesla was one of the most brilliant human beings to have ever lived. Second, Matthew Inman’s comic The Oatmeal is genius, but approaching him for help in this case is completely genius. The need for quick fundraising here was acute, and Inman delivered!

Take a listen to the 4+ minute story and enjoy a tale of the new-fashioned way to raise a quick $1.2 million.

NOTE: Inman’s comic does contain profanity. Please do not read the comic if this is set to bother or offend you.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Egypt: A Social Media Revolution

Wael Ghonim

Google executive Wael Ghonim is rather humble about his role in 2010′s Arab Spring. This was a leaderless revolution, one in which people could believe in an idea and not a particular person. That being said, Wael Ghonim played a critical role.

Recently on NPR’s Morning Edition, Ghonim spoke with Steve Inskeep about his role in the toppling of Egypt’s long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak, and I took notice of a few items from the interview:

1. When Inskeep asks about the slow pace of reforms, Ghonim leads with the positive. I found it refreshing that he chose to begin with achievements, and that is a great way to keep supporters engaged in a campaign.

2. When Ghonim stated that the revolution had no leader, Inskeep pushed back. Paraphrasing, “You organized protests, you sent out dramatic, well-written statements. You did things that leaders do.” Ghonim’s response was that “This is not leadership. A leader directs a revolution. We worked to increase awareness and called people to action. Protests do not equal leadership.” Ghonim was obviously wise for using new media to increase awareness and visibility.

3. Ghonim’s views on cyberspace are noteworthy: “I am not a people person in the typical sense. I would rather communicate with people online than spend alot of time visiting them or going out to places in a group. I much prefer using email to the telephone. In short, I’m a real-life introvert yet an Internet extrovert.” I know people (like my dad) that feel we’re a lost generation, that we prefer to cower behind a keyboard because we’re unwilling or unable to interact with each other. Well, you can believe Ghonim’s words about being an introvert, or you can check out the picture above. He might not be comfortable in that public role, but he certainly tolerated the moment! That’s because he knew the stakes. We’re using new media because of its power and ease, but those of us moving the needle are doing “in-person” too.

It’s a great interview. Read the story and listen to NPR’s audio broadcast here. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Blue Marble Images

Thanks to NPR’s Science Friday host Ira Flatow and multimedia editor Flora Lichtman for a fascinating look at how those inspiring and iconic images of the earth as seen from space are made. The segment discussed the history of these images since the first “earth rise” photo in 1968; there’s technical information about how the modern images are compiled from datasets, not photographs; and there are even little secrets about how the gaps are filled in. That will appeal to my designer friends! My favorite is the “pale blue dot” segment in the video, in which my hero, Carl Sagan, identified the earth as a “mote of dust in a sunbeam.”

 

Audio of the story on NPR can be found here, and is embedded below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Three January 2012 Blog Posts Worth Reading

Falk Harrison Internet DJ

Playing the role of Internet DJ, here are three blog posts worth reading and understanding.

1.) Scott Stratten presents us the early leader for 2012 Worst Use of Social Media. Just read … yikes. I don’t mention the name of the restaurant here because … you know … I don’t need the word “boners” to appear on the Falk Harrison blog. [ WARNING: the contents of Scott's blog post contain profanity. Do not click if such things offend you ]

2.) John Morgan offers us the 10 Triggers of Brand Influence. John has written an excellent book entitled “Brand Against The Machine,” and has now taken to blogging. (John, it’s much less writing than a book!). Of his list, number 4 is resonating most with me lately.

3.) To know and understand Simon Sinek is to understand people, and to understand people is to understand business. This video is a must-watch.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,