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GO! Camp // IDEA LAB

We’ve been busy.

In just a matter of days we’ll be helping put real life world-changers in a room full of students from all over the world.

On June 3-8 we’ll be partnering with an experience for students called GO! Camp in the small but magical town Henderson, TN.

Check out who will be there:

Katie Spotz rowed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, becoming the youngest person ever to do so. Her mission wasn’t just to break a record – she used it to help raise thousands of dollars to provide clean water to people in great need.

What does it look like to love your enemies? Jeremy Courtney is the founder of Preemptive Love Coallition. He and his team provide lifesaving heart surgeries to Iraqi children and facilitate hands-on training for local doctors in pursuit of peace between communities at odds.

Al Andrews is the creative soul behind The Boy, The Kite and The Wind, a beautiful story for kids of all ages. His mission is to use this book to make great things happen all over the world – making himself an improbable philanthropist along the way.

David Bowden is a poet and also the founder of Give A Goat. David uses poetry to challenge and inspire individuals and groups to give a voice to the voiceless, promote social justice, and care for the needy throughout the world.

Beth Haley is the founder of Exile International, a team of passionate individuals who help provide expressive trauma therapy to former child soldiers and war-affected children. Her dream for these children is not only that they survive war, but that they would become future leaders of peace in their communities.

Ty Clark is an artist and social entrepreneur from Austin, TX. He’s lent his creativity and compassion to countless brands and projects over the years helping to spread love and tell stories that matter.

GO! CAMP JUNE 3-8, 2012 HENDERSON, TN

Find out more:
website
Facebook

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The Leapyear Project

2012 is a Leap Year. What risk will you take to change your life, your community, or your world for the better? This is the question that Victor Saad asked himself and is now asking the world!

We’re taking part and hope you will too.

Step 1: Choose your Leap (leapyearproject.org/leap)

Step 2: Tell your story online (cowbird.com + tag all social media updates with #lyproject)

Step 3: Invite a friend to join you.

Allow whatever inhibitions, fears or doubts that have kept you from asking these questions completely disappear. Let’s take leaps. We love Victor and we love what is happening with his project. People all over the world are taking action. When it’s all said and done there will be some beautiful stories to be shared.

Twitter: @lyproject
Facebook: /leapyearproject
Website: leapyearproject.org

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The Love Competition

Ever wondered what love looks like?

The brainy geniuses at Stanford’s MRI Lab decided to find out. Their team put together the world’s first love competition. Contestants are given five minutes to focus on loving someone and they recorded the results.

This is fascinating.

The Love Competition is featured on the DVD series Wholphin No. 15. Wholphin is an endlessly fascinating collection released by the good people at McSweeney’s. Find it here.

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Real Beauty

I’ve seen Mean Girls several times.

I also attended and survived 4 years of high school. This qualifies me to say: some teenagers can be mean. This we know.

In high school I wasn’t the mean kid, but you wouldn’t exactly file me under “productive” or “useful” or “has ability to do anything”. Again and again you people keep sending us stories of teenagers who are changing the world. Here’s one girl. Her name is Madison. She’s in high school. She should be obsessed with herself, overly concerned with appearances and working on her SLAM book . . . but that’s not how Madison rolls.

Madison organized a beauty pageant for young girls with special needs. Her mission was simply to give them a chance to dress up, wear crowns, be told they are beautiful and make sure they had the best day ever. That’s exactly what happened – and then some. She enlisted the help of her friends from school, her entire church youth group and a whole community gathered together to celebrate some beautiful girls.

Today we just wanted to take a moment and celebrate this beautiful moment that happened because of a young girl who went against the norm. May that happen more and may our society grow to celebrate the true beauty.

-Brad

Want to help a group of special needs athletes? Pick up our album ONE FOR THE TEAM. All proceeds go to helping create a unique field just for these kids in Jackson, TN! http://loveinstereo.com/onefortheteam/

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PERSIST

Just a few days ago I found two random files I had saved to a folder I keep on my desktop labeled: Inspirado.

This folder generally includes photos, images and other documents I love and that .. well.. inspire. It’s my own weird little version of Pinterest. (I’m not on the site simply because my manly pride won’t let me plus I have an addictive personality plus this way I can make fun of my wife for spending so much time on that site. I know. Sad, right?).

I clicked on the two images because I couldn’t recall why I had placed them there.

Then I remembered why I placed them there.

Pixar animator Austin Madison composed the above letter of inspiration to aspiring creatives as part of The Animator Letters Project.

When I rediscovered this little gem hidden within the depths of my overstuffed desktop it was like unearthing a note from an old pal. Though I’ve never met the guy and I’m not an animator and it is just a file I saved myself so I could read it later – his words struck a chord and arrived at just the right time. PERSIST.

There is nothing quite like a lovingly crafted hand-written letter – even if it’s from someone you’ve never met.

-BRAD

You may recall our friends Alex and Mark from a post just a few weeks ago here.

Well, they’ve had a bit of a plot twist in their nationwide journey. It seems the Manabago is … well… just please watch this video all the way through.

Today as we give thanks for so many things and as many of us sit down at tables to eat large meals with loved ones – let’s not forget that there are many across the world who are without. Alex and Mark are working with MANA Nutrition to help bring starving children back to health. Let’s help them out!

Howabout a song for you on this fine November Tuesday? You may know Birdy from her stunning piano version of Bon Iver’s Skinny Love that’s been passed around over the past several months. She is an English musician whose debut album just released last week. The above track is a cover of Cherry Ghost’s People Help The People. We’re loving this song (and this voice). Enjoy.

We are excited to announce that Love In Stereo will be part of TEDxYouthDay!

This Saturday November 19, Brad Montague, part of the team behind Love In Stereo, will be speaking at TEDxYouthNashville.

TEDxYouthDay is a series of TEDx events that will happen all around the world on the weekend around Universal Children’s Day, from November 19 – 21. Brad will be speaking on the magic that happens when you combine compassion, creativity and collaboration.

You can purchase tickets to the event here.
You can follow along on Twitter here.
You can keep up with Brad and his TEDx journey here.

This year for your birthday you are asking for goats. Please explain.

My friends and I at Give a Goat have started a new way of enabling people to get involved with our work. It’s called “Go”, and it lets anyone create a project around an event, goal, or idea and raise support to buy goats for needy families. It’s launch fell right around my birthday, so I decided to lend my special day to its inauguration. Basically what I’m asking people to do is to give $24 for my 24 birthday instead of giving me a present. This money will go to buy goats for needy families. I’m hoping to raise $2,400 which will give about 20 goats and start an entire village on the path to self-sufficiency.

How does a guy living in Oklahoma become connected to work happening in the Philippines?

Man our world has shrunk. I actually went to college with a native Filipino whose family had been working to help the poor from their native country get out of poverty. We spent a ton of time together dreaming, praying, brainstorming. He kept talking about how his Dad was giving goats to people in the Philippines and it was lifting them out of poverty. It wasn’t long before I was on board with him and we formed the non-profit Give a Goat around an organic idea born in the Philippines.

Do you have a favorite success story?

There are so many to choose from and I heard about four more just today. But my favorite would have to be about my friend Ronald. Ronald worked at a roadside stand selling food in the metropolitan area of Cebu. His family lived about three hours away from his work so he only came home once a month to visit his wife and child, as well as drop off the $1 a day he was making. One night after midnight he was working his stand, and there was a shooting. The man who was shot came and crouched behind Ronald’s booth for safety. This was a giant wake up call to Ronald. He came home and decided he was going to find a better way to provide for his family. Around that time, Give a Goat was looking for new raisers in his area and he decided he wanted to try his hand at goat raising. That was three years ago. Today Ronald has 80 goats, a thriving vegetable garden, a water filtration system, and happy children who are attending school. He has been so successful that he is now passing his knowledge and goats to his neighbors, telling them how to get out of poverty and start a new life. Ronald also moonlights as Give a Goat’s key veterinarian.

In addition to your work with Give a Goat you are also a poet. What role do you feel artists play in bringing about change?

Artists don’t just play a role in bringing about change, they are the most vital conduit for change. Artists teach us to dream in color, reimagine our world, and ask questions with new words. As French author Albert Camus put it, “In a world such as this, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.” Artists, poets, musicians, and the like stand on the opposite side of corruption, oppression, and greed. It is hard to imagine myself among these ranks, but I’m trying my best. As a artist, in particular as a poet, I try to reclaim truth by showing it in a foreign light. We get so used to our paradigms and routines that even words like war, famine, and murder loose their bite. I try to grab overlooked ideas, peoples, and causes and pull them into new light where people can see their truth. And any time I can be a voice for the voiceless and give noise to previously deaf ears, I consider it an honor.

What advice would you give to anyone reading this who might be a ‘recovering slacktivist’? What steps can they take to actively pursue creating real change and not just being a consumer?

They can do just that. Stop being a consumer and go create real change. Look at your life. What are you good at, passionate about, connected to? What makes you cry, yell, or giggle? Those are the things you were created to meld yourself to. Find that cause or that mission. And once you know what you want to do, even if it is just a small inkling of a feeling, start engaging in conversations. That is how change takes place. Over cups of coffee and plates of food. Talk to your friends and family about what you are wanting to do, find people who are already working in those fields and render your services, find people effected by the problem and hear their stories and find out how they want and need to be helped. What we often misunderstand is that we don’t need an organization, non-profit, or mission trip to change our world. There are people, living, struggling, dying people across our streets and around our world. I spoke with a struggling family that I met here in the Philippines on Facebook today. They can’t feed their children, but a family in their village has internet and we are plotting a change for her community. Talk to people. Dream. And then go do it!

In addition to getting you goats for your birthday, how else can we get involved with Give a Goat?

I would encourage everyone, if giving goats to needy families sounds even a bit interesting, to go to www.go.giveagoatnow.com and start a project that can change a person’s life.

Want to give Dave a goat for his birthday? Go!
Experience his poetry and more: here

Yesterday we launched a conversation: “Slacktivist No More”. What does real change look like? Join us as we wrestle with that question and attempt to discover people who are answering it. Today’s post comes from our friend Kathryn:

I went to a fancy-ish party tonight.

My dress was fab and so was the company. I wrangled Faith into coming and she happily accompanied me in a mustard-colored dress that I want in my closet now. I was excited to go to this fancy-ish party. Going to fancy-ish parties was something I wanted to do for my entire childhood. (Skip the princess fantasies, I literally wanted to go to fundraiser things as a child. So weird.) The cause for the fundraiser was something I completely support. I wanted to know more about a particular local rehab facility, except the whole event was approached in a totally weird way.

Donning a cocktail dress to celebrate/promote human trafficking awareness, does in fact, feel just as awkward as it sounds. Because it doesn’t correlate in my brain.

And now I can’t sleep.

Because I realize that as an adult, I’d rather be a do-er and not an aware-er.


(click the above image to be taken directly to Kathryn’s blog.)

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