This is one of the great questions of our time, a question often better answered by still deeper questions than by traditional “answers.” And sometimes, that is exactly the point.
Submit an idea before December 12th for how you would spend $500 to explore the question “What does the world need from you?” Would you attend a conference on an issue you care about such as poverty or injustice? Would you buy a train ticket to a city you feel called to serve and interview people about their needs? Or perhaps you would go to a monastery and learn how monks live the question in their daily lives?
Then rally your friends and colleagues to give your
submission a "thumbs up." The individual with the most thumbs-up will
receive a $500 mini-grant to follow through on their submission. A second $500
mini-grant will be presented to an individual selected by a panel of judges
from the top ten highest voted ideas.
Winners will be announced the week of December 19th.
The challenge is running in conjunction with Ask Big Questions.
Panel of Judges:
Rabbi Josh Feigelson, Educational Director of Ask Big Questions
Sheila Katz, Associate Director of Ask Big Questions
Linda Kay Klein, Director of Work on Purpose for Echoing Green
This challenge is CLOSED.
To be a medium.
Is a vote as good as a voice in the democracy of a poverty-stricken country? If you were a person surviving on less than $2 a day, would you be willing to vote for a person who offered your family food for a week? There’s a high chance that you would. There’s an even higher chance that you would be forced to ignore the fact that in every election you found yourself voting for a candidate in exchange for a week of food but never in exchange for the long-term change that was promised to you many times.
In countries like India, votes can be bought with a meal or a day’s wages. Are these votes an adequate representation of what the average person demands from their democratic system of government? I think not.
While $500 can't change an entire democratic system, $500 can make heard the voices that are usually repressed by poverty. With $500, I plan
to ask people at the bottom of the income pyramid this question: If you could
be Prime Minister for a day, what are the top three things you would do to ensure
that your daily life would be easier afterwards? I plan to interview people
belonging to various age groups in at least 3 different states in India. I also
plan to make it a point to interview people in agricultural and fishing
communities, as well as people living in urban slums. Afterwards, I’d like to
upload the video on a website like YouTube, where it can be viewed by the
world. People living in poverty should have the right to make their voices
heard, even if they can’t do so through a vote.
The world needs me to be a medium, because right now that may be the best thing I can be. Since I don't yet know the answers I will get to my question, I don't know where they will lead me. But even just the process of being a medium should help me figure out where I should go next.