The Classy Podcast
Summary: The Classy Podcast tells the stories of the leaders shaping our future in the biggest and smallest ways. They are developing new tools, methods, products, and movements that will define the future of humanity. Each week we realize the catalysts that defined their path, extract their thoughts and ideas, and share them with you to inform and inspire a generation that is mobilized to move forward and drive change.
Erica Williams Simon grew up watching her father transform people’s lives through stories. It didn’t take long to realize that she had a similar calling. Today, after a stint in politics, dozens of TV appearances, numerous conferences, advising the White House and several Fortune 500 companies, and serving as Creative Director for Upworthy.com, Erica has honed her voice and built a platform that uses storytelling to affect change across generations, with a particular focus on millennials.
The managing director of Tipping Point’s research and development engine, T Lab, Renuka Kher is a passionate problem solver with a refreshing take on the social sector. In this episode, Renuka shares how her background in science and design informed her approach to funding and experimentation at nonprofits.
Jackie and Pencils of Promise are leading the way toward new heights of impact evaluation and transparency in the sector. Intent on identifying and optimizing programs that change lives, she and her team are using the power of data and accountability to unlock the potential of more than 33,000 students.
In the latest episode of the Classy Podcast, we chat with Charina Lumley, COO of the rapidly growing nonprofit, Movemeant Foundation. She also manages to straddle a second role as Head of Growth at a SaaS company in San Francisco. As a decision-maker in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds, Charina offers us some big time advice in just 40 minutes. Her commitment to ongoing learning and development, conscious mindfulness, and dedication to simply 'doing good' make her a strong leader whose lessons learned may help you move forward in your own personal or professional journey.
Sarah Storey decided to leave a 19-year career in the for-profit world because of her personal experiences as the daughter of a breast cancer survivor. In 2014, she officially signed on as the President of Bright Pink. One of Sarah’s top priorities at Bright Pink is making bold, measurable changes in the world of breast and ovarian cancer. Bright Pink is known for their innovative self-assessment tool, assessyourrisk.org, which launched in 2015. Since then, over 500,000 women have taken the comprehensive, 19-question risk assessment for both breast and ovarian cancer.
“I believe we all have a role to play, not only in our own successes, but in the successes of others, and I believe we must come together to make these changes.” As the President of the Caterpillar Foundation and Director of Corporate Social Innovation for Caterpillar, this sense of responsibility motivates and inspires Michele Sullivan on a daily basis.
As the president of the GE Foundation and the Chief Diversity Officer of GE, Deborah Elam is responsible for answering this question for one of the largest companies in the world. In her 30 years of work at GE, she identified an overlap between her efforts to provide employees with equal opportunity and the foundation’s philanthropic areas of focus.
Before Stacy Bare became the director of Sierra Club Outdoors, he served in Iraq. His transition out of the army was marked by drug and alcohol addictions and depression. But the more he got outside, the more his experiences in the wilderness helped him to see the healing power of the outdoors.
Brett Hagler is not your typical Silicon Valley CEO. While he is a CEO based in San Francisco, Brett is focused on growing a different type of business—his nonprofit, New Story. New Story uses crowdfunding to raise money to build homes for those who’ve lost theirs due to a natural disaster, first in Haiti and now El Salvador in Central America and Bolivia in South America. Despite his young age, Brett’s experience in moving from the for-profit to the nonprofit world, growing a team, and raising capital make him a powerful mentor for other up-and-coming social entrepreneurs.
Jacob’s founding story is one of grit, perseverance, and personal development. His journey of growing Ubuntu into a world-renowned leader in education is marked with many monumental challenges and milestones—including a pivot that completely changed the organization’s funding model, seven years into its operations.
Dirk takes us on his journey from stepping into prison in 1999 to pursuing education for himself and others during his experience. After his release in May 2015, Dirk faced new challenges in building the infrastructure and sustainability of the Prison Scholar Fund, but he continues to apply his lessons learned from years past.
As the VP of education, strategy, and innovation at Girls Who Code, Leah Gilliam is on the forefront of building a movement of future female engineers. In this episode, she takes us on a personal journey that covers everything from her avant-garde parents to her thoughts on why human-centered design is critical for social change.
Cindy Jones-Nyland, the former CMO of Heifer International, joins us for a personal conversation about following your gut and running the marketing team of one of the largest nonprofits in the world.
Iconic female entrepreneur Lauren Bush Lauren speaks openly about her early days founding FEED and the challenges and milestones that have carved her path since. PLUS she reveals her hacks on finding balance in a busy world.
Soon after More Than Me opened their academy for girls in Liberia, the Ebola crisis erupted and schools were shut down. Katie and the More Than Me team turned their academy into an Ebola outreach center working alongside the community on the frontlines. Today, they're leveraging powerful storytelling and community empowerment to achieve success.