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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 06.24.22

Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder

“Everything happens to me”

Last Friday, I was on a call with Jill Olson-Crowley. Jill was part of the original Met/Big Picture team that put our internship real-world learning programs on the map. A few years ago she was working for the Girl Scouts in Rhode Island and for this reason, I gave Jill a call about how B-Unbound, BPLiving, Harbor Freight Fellows and Project InSight might be a fit for their new initiatives. It turns out that as I was calling Jill from NYC, I walked right in front of 420 Fifth Ave, the headquarters of the Girl Scouts of The USA where I took this picture. That’s a pretty bizarre coincidence but a few days later Pam Roy sends me a link to an award-winning documentary film called The Need to Grow produced by an organization called the Food Revolution. This film does an excellent job at putting together a set of stories of how hard innovation and change is in the work we are doing around BPLiving as we try to change the agricultural industry, big business, the education system and the USDA. One of the stars of the film is Alicia Serratos. In 2017, Alicia is a 9-year-old environmental activist and Girl Scout trying to get the Girl Scouts to use Non-GMO flour and products for their Girl Scout cookies. Below Alicia publicly presents a petition with 45,000 signatures in front of the Girl Scout HQ in NYC and waits for a meeting with the head of the Girl Scouts. I won’t reveal the rest of the story here but as you can see from the bricks behind her, Alicia is at the Girl Scout building where I was on a call with Jill.

The next day, I googled to see what happened

to Alicia and it turns out that she has had quite a career as an environmental activist starting a seed saving non-profit and more. In the photo below she is trying to get LEGO to promote STEM education for girls by producing LEGO sets around this topic and without knowing it putting even more of the ‘pieces’ together of my TGIF story that connects to the funding we get from LEGO.

One more thing, right before I’m on my call with Jill, I had to spend 5 hours at the Apple Store on 58th and 5th to get my computer fixed. While waiting a vey senior citizen and I struck up a conversation about the old days and how easy it was to fix almost anything by yourself or with a little help from a friend but in today’s she tells me: “Everything that is easy they take away from you.” This is so to the point and so brilliant. That theme re-emerges again and again no matter if it is the tech, medical, education or any other industries. It is a major theme of The Need to Grow. Over the years, companies have taken away how to do the simple things in life that lead to the understanding of complex issues. This is how money is made. You take something away that is easy to do and make it so you are the only one who can do it for everyone at scale.

HFF, BPLiving, B-Unbound and the IBPLC are all about taking back what is easy so we can understand how to lead better lives as a community in ways where everyone owns the knowledge and know-how and not just a few.

"I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community -- and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can."

George Bernard Shaw

Be well!

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