In honor of the 20th anniversary of our founding, the Case Foundation dedicated 2017 to “Getting in the Arena.” Inspired by Teddy Roosevelt’s call to civic participation in his 1910 “Man in the Arena” speech, we focused on bringing forward ideas, stories and events that highlighted people and ideas that can change the world and encouraged others to do so too. To kick off the year, Steve and I wrote about how, over the initial 20 years of work, we had challenged ourselves and others to get off the sidelines and “Get in the Arena” to address our most pressing challenges. We also recommitted to this ethos moving forward and called on others to share how they were Getting in the Arena. As the year wraps up, we are using the last 20 days of our 20th year to shine the light on 20 people, groups and ideas that inspired us this year.
As part of this celebration, we highlighted many action-oriented change makers tackling issues from entrepreneurship, to the digital divide, to innovation in communities across the US and beyond, to citizen-centered civic engagement.
We also wanted people to share how they were getting in the arena and created a venue to inspire attendees at SXSW in Austin. In addition to creating an environment where SXSW aficionados could learn about how they could make an impact in the Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing spaces, see how VR could be used for good and use a ribbon wall to pledge how they were going to Get In The Arena, the Case Foundation hosted a 360° OrcaVue video that attendees could hop into to “Get In the Arena.” We loved seeing people like Loic Le Meur and Leila Janah and Jeremiah Owyang share their excitement for jumping off the sidelines and getting in the arena—Steve and I joined in too.
In June, we helped bring together young leaders from across the country who want to turn their interest into action at MCON, the marquee event on Millennial cause engagement that we helped found. We partnered with NBCUniversal to host a #GetInTheArena lounge where Millennial attendees shared how they’re turning interest into action. We were so inspired by the hundreds of stories we recorded that we are sharing a few—including Angela Richardson of BUILD, Elizabeth Lindsey of Byte Back and Dan Thiede of CERTS—as part of this 20 day campaign.
While our 20th year may be coming to an end, our commitment to shining the spotlight on those who are changing the world continues. This fall, I announced that I’m writing a book about the Be Fearless principles the Case Foundation have been promoting since 2012. The book will feature stories of fearless people and organizations—big and small, historical and modern—making big bets, experimenting, building unlikely alliances of changemakers, confronting and living through failure and letting urgency conquer fear. And to build on the legacy of work we’ve done on Be Fearless, we launched Finding Fearless where you can post short descriptions of what inspires you—whether it’s from your own journey or that of another individual, nonprofit, corporation or startup—and how they put Be Fearless to work.
Finally, we launched the Be Fearless show on Facebook Watch, featuring profiles of fearless changemakers who embody the Be Fearless principles and are making a difference across the globe. As part of the end of the year celebration, we will highlight some of the many inspiring stories we created, like the story of Pristine Seas, the Special Olympics and the Okavango Delta. Get ready to see those pop back up on our social media channels and stay tuned for even more new episodes in the coming months.
Kicking off tomorrow, we’re excited to spend our last 20 days of 2017 shining the spotlight on the people, groups and ideas that truly embody what it means to #GetInTheArena on the most pressing issues. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tell us how you got in the arena in 2017 using #GetInTheArena.