Producing a podcast series about people as pillars of society

Sound waves in abstract art representing podcasting and the pursuit of a higher purpose.
Sound waves in abstract art representing podcasting and the pursuit of a higher purpose.
Graphic design by the author via Canva

This is the story of two social entrepreneurs who set out to produce a new podcast series in 2020. The Track Two podcast is our response to two driving questions: What does it take for a society to thrive? Who and what contributes to this intricate and complex system needed for human flourishing? The first season of the series offers listeners stories highlighting entrepreneurial values and hope for a better future for people everywhere.

The early months of 2020 crystalized the world’s shared fate. The initial shock of the first shelter-in-place order sparked confusion and served as a reminder of…


Silicon Valley Nonprofit My New Red Shoes Offers Cash Grants to Families

Young girl sitting, smiling at the San Francisco 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto
Young girl sitting, smiling at the San Francisco 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto
Student photo with permission from the San Francisco 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto, California

If fortune is an island, inequality is the ocean.

The rising tide of inequality affects all regions — including Silicon Valley. Schools in East Palo Alto estimate nearly ninety percent of students live in poverty. Financial insecurity significantly impacts students’ school attendance, educational attainment, and ability to graduate from high school, ultimately limiting their lifelong social and economic mobility. It does not have to be this way.

Community leaders across the country have been calling for the regular delivery of direct cash payments to families to help weather the economic effects of a trio of simultaneous crises: financial insecurity, civil…


Artists deliver the vision for a dramatically different tomorrow

Illustration by Joanne Gouaux | Now Showing: Your Future to Flourish

Margarette Mead’s infamous words have long served as a guidepost and inspiration to creators and philanthropists.

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’ — Margarette Mead

Steering the future of humanity

Today, groups with a passion for humanity and the greater good are equipped with powerful tools: imagination and science. Philanthropists, social innovators, and artists can lead cross-sector collaboration for better outcomes than what was possible in the past. They can tackle ambitious goals that previous generations could only have dreamt of achieving. …


How conversations can create a hopeful future fit for everyone

Illustration by Joanne Gouaux | Future MindSync

Too many meaningful conversations never take place because people are afraid to share their thoughts.

I met my creative partner, award-winning documentary filmmaker Sarah Gerber, through a mutual connection. Neither one of us knew what might emerge from our first conversation or if it would lead to any tangible collaboration. It did.

We started having regular conversations. In time, a pattern arose. We were searching for something — a new lens to see the wonders of our modern age and ways to forge a path forward toward an inspired and hopeful future.

Over the last few years, digital interconnections have…


How vision, mission-focus, mentorship, and collaborative decision-making create social impact.

Abstract illustration with golden heart shape fingerprint, starburst and wheel.
Abstract illustration with golden heart shape fingerprint, starburst and wheel.
Image by author

Philanthropy is undergoing a series of transformational changes. Exponential technologies are revolutionizing how people give their time and money, how goals are set for social impact, how service and delivery are organized, and how people share and connect with others in their community in the digital age.

Everyone has a role to play in leading philanthropic organizations through this transition. Still, the lion’s share of responsibility for a successful philanthropic transformation rests on the shoulders of board leaders who act as stewards with a fiduciary duty to charitable organizations. …


Good nonprofit board leaders have a strong personal connection to the mission, are driven to serve, and create impact

The Eye of Providence surrounded by olive branches — symbolic of a higher power watching over humanity
The Eye of Providence surrounded by olive branches — symbolic of a higher power watching over humanity
Mixed Media Image from Canva | Design by Joanne Gouaux

It feels good to do good by others.

If only feeling good were enough to generate the community change needed to sustain the vital work of nonprofits.

Charities, also known as nonprofits, often create spaces for volunteer service experiences — a way to feel good by giving time to the community. These organizations begin with an idea, combined with a founder’s passion and vision. Programs require management and oversight, which means charities come with an operational cost to sustain the work of the organization. …


Gwen Jessup and “Legend” | 1982 Harley-Davidson FXR

In the summer of 2019, a father and daughter set out to rebuild a 1982 Harley-Davidson FXR. Their project led to a prized industry award and once-in-a-lifetime experience, strengthening their bond, building confidence in her own two hands, and passing on the passion, art, and expertise that lives on in America’s iconic motorcycle culture.

Gwen Jessup’s love of motorcycles began in childhood.

I was six years old the first time I took a long motorcycle ride with my dad. I remember how putting on the helmet changed me instantly. Sitting on the back of the bike, holding on tight, feeling…


Though she carries no torch and leads no marches, Sarah Gerber is leading a movement — a conversation among a network of influential people who seek her counsel and insight

The silhouette of a tall woman stands at a large portrait window facing a clock
The silhouette of a tall woman stands at a large portrait window facing a clock
Sarah Gerber convenes conversations on gender equity. Image on Canva.

Sarah Gerber had big plans for 2020. She had planned to launch a 50 States tour as part of her latest initiative, 50/50 Table. When the world’s agenda changed, she didn’t lose focus. She simply changed the menu of options to match the reality of the circumstances.

Sarah’s new digital dinner experience focuses on curating conversation in small online gatherings, something she’s been doing for quite some time as a social entrepreneur with a specialty in gender equity. Last April, U.S. News & World Report interviewed Sarah in her role as CEO of Zero Gap, on-site at the World Economic…


See things as they are — not as they were — without fear or favor, regardless of money, wealth, or power.

Newton’s laws of motion state that objects in motion stay in motion with the same speed, in the same direction, unless acted upon by an external force. The pandemic’s force has brought renewed focus and interest in realigning policies with priorities, addressing obstructions, and resolving contradictory systems.

Complexity comes at a premium
Society’s complex problems can serve as a catalyst for change. “It was fiscal weakness, not war, that did the [Roman] Empire in,” wrote Rachel Nuwer in a prophetic compilation of forecasts about how Western Civilization could potentially collapse. The series won BBC Future’s Best of 2017. …


Boldly imagine the future you want to be part of after coronavirus (A.C) 2020

Reflecting on core values broadens the way we see and understand our own culture, where we come from, where we feel we belong, the things that make us feel purposeful and whole, and how these forces merge to shape our future.

Things that once seemed impossible are now possible.

There are moments in life when our future swings on a hinge of fate — forces beyond our control shatter familiar patterns. Shards of insecurity pierce our thoughts in waves. Visions of our mortality, the consequences of civil disruption, and a loss of control ripple in the wake. …

Joanne Gouaux

Social Entrepreneur. Advocate. Doer. Fan of all things neuroscience. Promoter of thoughtful reflection. Believer in synchronicity.

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