All posts tagged Inspiration:

April 09, 2009 | Comment


For immediate release: The 2009 Gamechangers Special Award

Ashoka’s Changemakers is thrilled to announce the “2009 Gamechangers Special Award” made possible by Kevin Carroll, founder of Katalyst for Social Change, a division of Kevin Carroll Katalyst, LLC. Kevin Carroll is a Changemakers Featured Commentator and sports for social change leader. The “2009 Gamechangers Special Award” recognizes the Gamechangers competition entrant that reflects a dedication to advancing sports and play as a vehicle for social change.
The award is $1,500.00US.

Kevin Carroll and the Ashoka’s Changemakers team are excited to announce the winner of the 2009 Gamechangers Special Award: Inspired by their direction and intention Kevin Carroll has selected “Women Swimming into the Future” submitted by Women Without Borders (India)

April 06, 2009 | Comment

If you’re in NYC…The NBA Store will be hosting a special promotion in conjunction with the NBA’s first-ever Green Week April 2nd thru 10th - Recycling Dreams.

The NBA + Hoops 4 Hope Footwear Drive - During Green Week, NBA Store customers have the option of bringing in a gently worn pair of sneakers to donate to NBA Cares charity Hoops 4 Hope and receive 20% off a same day footwear purchase.  Hoops 4 Hope supports youth and community development in South Africa by combining the joy of playing basketball with an effective HIV/AIDS-prevention and life-skills curriculum.
Got Sneaks?!

SneakerNote: Two time NBA MVP + perennial All-Star Steve Nash has been a leader in his hoops community to increase awareness and opportunities for his team to be “all about” energy conservation - Steve Nash’s video

March 30, 2009 | 1 comment


Dr. Stuart Brown’s shares the wisdom and necessity of play in his book PLAY+ KaBOOM!‘s 100,000 play destinations + YOU = DREAM Big destinations for the “kid-within-us-all”!

Dr. Brown shares a powerful “why PLAY?!” message in his book - read it + heed it!

KaBOOM! is an organization that acts as the purveyor of play constantly creating and resurrecting safe destinations for our next Gen of leaders to play and imagine BIG possibilities - KaBOOM! Masnifesto

PLAY serendipity has occurred in the past few weeks with KaBOOM!‘s initiative and Dr. Brown’s book release that should not be ignored.  Discussions on the role and value of PLAY are gaining tremendous momentum and attention - the PLAY movement needs YOU.

We need to recruit PLAY Operatives - individuals with keen, discerning and diabolically playful eyes that can spot great play locales. We need YOU to identify and share the locales of great playspaces that deserve to be listed as a play destination of choice guaranteed to enhance the imagination, ingenuity, and the innovative spirit of young people (and the young-at-heart!). Got PLAY?! Here’s how you can help…

In a unique partnership, KaBOOM! has teamed up with six national non-profits who are concerned about the well-being of children—YMCA of the USA, National Wildlife Federation, Shaping America’s Health, Jumpstart, America’s Promise Alliance, and First Book—to create an online map of more than 100,000 places to play in America.  Two-time “Dancing with the Stars” champion and Mercury Nashville recording artist Julianne Hough will be the public spokesperson for the campaign. 

From March 23 until June 30, Julianne will give these select charities $1 for each valid playspace their members load to the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder , up to $100,000.  Thanks to capital support from the Omidyar Network, KaBOOM! is using online technology to activate and engage individuals, alert communities of the importance of play, and motivate individuals to start taking action. Once this comprehensive user-generated playground audit is complete, KaBOOM! and communities will know which areas of the country have a great place for kids to play every day and which areas fall short.

The people who use their playspaces everyday are the folks who will know whether or not they are any fun for their kids.  From playgrounds to skate parks, ice rinks to basketball courts, the more we know about playspaces from those use them, the more we learn.  Take that first step. Make a small contribution to the greater good.

Your actions build individual and community momentum to take the next step towards KaBOOM!‘s vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child.

March 26, 2009 | Comment

March. Madness. Bracketology. Panthers. Wildcats. Tigers. Vols. Cardinal. Terrapins. Boilermakers. Blue Devils. Cardinals. Tar Heels. Zags. Huskies. Pac 10. Big 10. SEC. ACC. Big East. Nooooo! YES! Nickel-Dimer. 64 + a play-in-game.

It’s seems fitting to share the Wizard of Westwood’s wisdom while the “madness” of this month’s NCAA Men’s + Women’s Basketball Tourneys are ongoing. Legendary UCLA hoops Coach John Wooden shares some simple and profound truths in this TED talk - Winning vs. Success
Note: one of my favorite John Wooden phrases, “Hurry…but don’t go fast!”

It’s GOOD!!!!

March 24, 2009 | Comment


I’m heading to Denver for a quick trip to meet with Nick Keller, Founder of Beyond Sport. He’s attending the 2009 sportaccord Conference and he will holding a press conference pertaining to the Beyond Sport Summit taking place in London July 7-9, 2009 - I will be acting as the Beyond Sport Summit MC/Master of Catalyzing!

About sportaccord: it’s a 5-day gathering of 1500 leading representatives from international sport. The annual convention is held in a different country each year and encompasses the Congress and General Assemblies of over 100 international sports federations and their related associations. Its mission is to offer the sports community a powerful opportunity to come together on a global scale, in an exclusive and authoritative networking environment, to build relationships, share knowledge and develop ideas.

A Ball Can Change Your Life!

March 22, 2009 | Comment

Photo Courtesy of Eric Howell

I met Eric Howell last year in Phoenix at an event and he shared his passion for his film project with me backstage. He followed up with an email and I quickly became a member of his creative support network.

From: Eric Howell
Date: July 14, 2008 12:39:10 PM CDT
To: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Subject: Ana’s Playground (Jostens Mtg.)

Hello Kevin.

Thank you for taking a few moments with me back stage at the Josten’s meeting.  Ana’s Playground has been a dream I’ve been working on for 7 years, and if you’ve had a chance to look at the information packet, you will see why I was excited to share it with you. Serendipity.

Eric Howell

2,000 Children are killed or injured in war everyday.
Help Make a Movie.
Help Make a Difference.

Mission Statement
Our intent is to produce an Oscar-worthy short film that will raise the maximum amount of awareness about war affected children by screening to the broadest audience possible. As well, we will use the film to highlight and promote those organizations working to improve the lives of children who have experienced political violence.

About Ana/Story Synopsis

“Ana’s Playground” reveals a tragic moment when children are brought to the brink of destruction and connection, ideology and humanity.

When 13 year-old Ana is chosen to retrieve the children’s soccer ball within the kill zone of a sniper, she finds a fleeting bond with her enemy despite the deadly cat-and-mouse game they must play.

In a moment of humanity, the sniper reveals the connection between children - even when caught in warfare. However, war wins this game with the ultimate loss of innocence that cannot be avoided in violent conflict.

See the film’s trailer
See More Pics
Visit the website


March 20, 2009 | Comment
                                Marian Wright Edelman + Dr. Gary W. Harper + Trudee Abel-Peterson + Ernie Allen + Larry Wooldridge + Passion + Action = National Safe Place Community Catalysts and HEROES for Youth! Read more about these Heroes/Sheroes of NSP.
March 17, 2009 | 1 comment

Photog: Jesse Jordan/ Artist: Caitlin Beidler

National Safe Place/NSP is truly a catalyst in the movement to better the lives of young people in difficult situations. I had the opportunity to speak at the 2008 NSP Conference that coincided with the 25th anniversary -
the NSP team and leadership truly inspired me!

Check out more pics of the NSP Community Catalysts: NSP 2008 Conference

March 08, 2009 | Comment

Photo courtesy of The Oregonian

This past weekend the Rose City played host to 62 skilled, passion-filled, java artisans in the U.S. at the 2009 Barista Championships . The 62 competitors hailed from around the country and put their latte luv and espresso expertise on display for the chance to represent the USA at the Bartista World Championship later this year in Atlanta.

I must admit that this wonderfully, playful story, from the Saturday edition of The Oregonian, was exuberantly brought to my attention by my coffee-lovin’ wife - Kim!

Enjoy the readâ?¦preferably over a nicely prepared cup o’ your favorite coffee concoction! 

March 01, 2009 | Comment


I had just finished the first of two personal development sessions that I was leading, Scoring Your DREAM Goal, with a group of participating teams at the 6th Homeless World Cup tournament in early December 2008 in Melbourne Australia. The cacophony of the team’s voices and the diversity of the languages being spoken at the break of the session reverberated beautifully throughout the lecture space that unquestionably qualifies as a “design marvel”—the BMW Edge Center at Federation Square.

Amid the din of the excited voices of the players still getting familiar with their surroundings in-the-land-downundah, I was having a conversation with Kat Byles, Media Director for the HWC about the next session. A man approached me and greeted me with a broad confident smile, “Hello, I’m Alex!” I politely said hello back to him and then he said his greeting once more to be certain that I heard him correctly, “Hello, I’m Alex!” As I studied him closely, I realized that he looked quite familiar to me but, I couldn’t figure out how I knew him—each year at the HWC there are over 500 players present and it’s easy to not recognize a face.

He must have noticed my effort to place his name and face so, he provided me with some very clear context when he asked, “Have you seen the film Kicking It?” I have seen the documentary, Kicking It, dozens of times and I’m quite familiar with how it chronicles the journey of five aspiring soccer hopefuls from around the globe, each facing disparate situations such as, kicking a drug addiction, surviving in a war-torn nation, facing abject poverty or dealing with abandonment. Each of them shares their story of how they hope to score the chance to make-the-cut and wear their nation’s uniform/kit at the 3rd annual Homeless World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa. Just like one of those TV crime scene investigation programsâ?¦I quickly pieced together how I knew this man standing proudly in front of me. I exclaimed, “you’re Alex from Kenya!” He beamed and nodded his head affirming my response.

Continue reading A WDH? story...enjoy!

February 23, 2009 | Comment

In this episode of The Katalyst, Kevin is joined by his friend and colleague Meg Daly, who has worked with Kevin as an editor on several books and a creative collaborator on projects. Kevin will allow the listener to “eavesdrop” on his thoughts and conversations about inspiration, life and his work as an author, speaker and human catalyst.

Download Podcast
February 16, 2009 | Comment

In this episode of The Katalyst, Kevin is joined by his friend and colleague Meg Daly, who has worked with Kevin as an editor on several books and a creative collaborator on projects. Kevin will allow the listener to “eavesdrop” on his thoughts and conversations about inspiration, life and his work as an author, speaker and human catalyst.

Download Podcast
January 15, 2009 | Comment

Building on the success of the first “Sport for a Better World Competition”, Nike and Ashoka’s Changemakers join forces once again to launch “GameChangers: Change the Game for Women in Sport”.



January 02, 2009 | Comment

We made it! 

I wanted to share Kurt Perschke’s new Red Ball Project: Chicago page.  Aside from its excellent design, there are videos of the Red Ball’s long stay in Chi-town this summer, as well as its travels to Sydney, Australia and, er, Portland.  Check it out.


What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

December 19, 2008 | 2 comments

The cough had rattled my chest for two months.  I’d been working part-time at a family homeless shelter, interacting with struggling single mothers and two parent families with runny nosed kids in tow.  Meth, crack and alcohol habits were common, bad luck was universal, it’d have to be to end up on the floor, on a pad, in a cold, tiled church gym. 

My shift was four in the afternoon until ten at night.  I’d call volunteers to make sure that we’d have a hot meal for that night’s guests.  I’d call volunteers who would come and play with and supervise the children while their parents rested. The adults needed to unwind from a hard day of walking, panhandling, or just staying warm on the streets.  I’d call volunteers to make sure we had two overnight monitors who would sleep in the gym with the shelter guests.  When we didn’t have, couldn’t find a monitor, I would spend the night. 

The winter of 2004-05 was tough; the numerous sub-freezing nights, with ice storms and late night departures for tardy public transportation did me in.  I was constantly working on or getting over a raging cold or fever.  And then, it really hit me.  The gentle sound of maracas fluttering in my lungs when I would hack and cough refused to go away.  One month turned into two then three.  Finally, I went to the doctor.  Bronchitis.  Meds.  Late night, sheet soaking sweats and insomnia.  I was terrified I had something else, something fatal. 

The other backdrop to that winter was finances.  Portland had always been stingy for me when it came to work.  Too few jobs and too much competition spelled hard financial times.  As my body shuddered and crumbled that winter, so did my spirits. 

A friend of mine mentioned a few months before this particular day, that she did public relations work for some guy she thought I should meet, thought I had something in common with.  He was an author and a public speaker.  So what?  Okay, fine, maybe I should meet him one day, but one day wasn’t soon enough for me.  And it was the farthest thing from my mind in late January/early February of 2005.  I was broke.  I was a train wreck.  I couldn’t pay the rent and I thought I was dying.  Little did I know, I was.

I woke up one morning dead.  I was done.  On fire, the last blaze before the complete flame out.  Rage, at my lot in life and at God poured out of me like kerosene. I began speaking to God like I would a cab driver who had run me back up on the curb, cursing, defaming, demanding that God show me a sign.  SHOW ME A SIGN.  NOW!!!  This was at nine in the morning.

At noon, my phone rang. It was my friend, Nikki.  “Do you remember that guy I was telling you about, Kevin?  Well, he needs a personal assistant…” The rest of the call was a blur.  God answers fast, I thought.

I met the Katalyst a week or two later, as his travel schedule kept him very busy.  We began our work together, first mundane tasks like shipping out “dream bands” to people who’d seen him speak.  Later, because he’d remembered my interest in video, he granted me the opportunity of a lifetime: to travel with him, to Philly and San Francisco, later, to Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tokyo and Paris, observing, shooting and editing video, experiencing the life of a Katalyst. Experiencing the finest kind of life, a life that I wanted.

There’s a great line that I read somewhere: “once you’ve lived in Paris, you’re unable to live anywhere else, including Paris…”  I think there’s a lot of truth in that about Paris and about working with Kevin as well.  How can you ever get used to the life mundane, the nine-to-five, after you’ve been transported to another dimension? 

Dreaming helps.  Actually, dreaming is essential and perhaps that is why it can be difficult to maintain in circumstances that actually deliver what you are looking for: they require LOTS of dreaming and faith and nurturing and dreaming and faith and… 

If there’s one thing that I can take to the bank from my time with Kevin, its that dreaming -  outrageously, outlandishly - can create reality.  All you have to do is continue to bring your attention to your desire - with great discipline, dedication, responsibility and motivation.  And whose life sums that bit of insight up better?!

Thanks KC and all the best to you & the Fam in ‘09!!

Lubangakene aka Julian J.


What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

December 08, 2008 | Comment

Victorious Afghanistan, won 5 goals to 4 over defending champion Russia at the 2008 Homeless World Cup in Melbourne, Australia.

Photo courtesy of ABC

The Women’s Champions of the World: Zambia.  They defeated Liberia, 7-1.

Photo courtesy of AFP/Getty

Congratulations as well to the Ugandan women’s team which finished in 5th Place.  Angel Taka of Team Gomo Tong “was awarded the Nike Fair Play Award, given to the player who best embodies the spirit of the 2008 Homeless World Cup.”

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

December 01, 2008 | Comment

Team Gomo Tong of Uganda is fielding a women’s team for this year’s first ever “Women’s Homeless World Cup” tournament.  Here are several of the team members in candid shots provided by Ms. Anna Phillips of Girls Kick It! and Global Youth Partnership for Africa.


The games have begun; follow the link above (Women’s HWC) for up to the minute info and stay tuned here for updates on the team’s progress.

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

November 24, 2008 | Comment

It was just last February that I made my first venture to Harlem’s House of Hoops, a retail homage to NYC’s tremendous basketball legacy.  Photos of local playground legends and NBA superstars adorn the walls as well as vintage shoes set on elaborate displays, all surrounded by a few real basketball hoops and tons of the latest popular shoes and apparel.

Today’s pics are from my stop at Chicago’s version of House of Hoops...

House of Hoops
House of HoopsHouse of HoopsIMG_1336

Photos by Mr. Raymond Boyd

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

November 21, 2008 | Comment


One of the sponsors of this year’s Homeless World Cup - which features the first ever “Women’s World Cup” - is an organization called Women Win.

Women Win is the first ever international women’s fund that supports sport and physical activities as instruments for social change and women’s empowerment…Women Win believes that sport is the way for women and girls to learn leadership skills, develop character, self-esteem and a sense of belonging, while at the same time discover the fun, support and power of being together.

Sport provides a social network that women often lack.

It’s by joining a team, learning to lose, win, and achieve under pressure, that she can cultivate the necessary skills to be a future leader of her community.

Be sure to track the results of the women competing in Melbourne, Australia at this year’s Homeless World Cup right here at the KCK blog. 

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

November 13, 2008 | Comment

From the “Tea With McNair” Blog

” i know a place

{ Preface to an exciting new series! }

...One day, on my way to recess, I found it. The magical place—my own private Narnia. It was an accident. I had been drawing in my sketch pad—having completed the filling in of the ten blanks in my Think and Do workbook calculated to drum into my brain the role of the adverb in modern culture. I was never allowed to go to recess early—no one was. Hence I drew. On this day, not having completed a particular drawing, and the story that went with it, I took my sketch pad with me as we headed for recess. No tether ball for me that day. I sketched and wrote all through recess.

  “Are you alright?” Asked the officer of the day in the noisy, frenetic playground. It was uncharacteristic of me not to join in any reindeer games.
  “I’m fine. I just need to finish this.” And then it hit me. That I said “need” instead of want. That there was something started in the classroom, a place of reason and learning, and continued to completion during our recess from reason—the mindless pursuit of play, for no real reason.
  This was my new favorite place, but could it, I wondered, be a better place than either the classroom for reason and the clash-ground for recess. Is there a place I can go, anyone can go, to do what they love and that what they love has purpose? Is there a place like that? I’d like that.
  Welcome to the place Between Reason and Recess!

So, today, I am launching a new series of exercise, playful projects, designed to push your personal creativity ever-closer to the surface, out into the light of day. It is also intended to develop tools and skills usually thought to be only for artistic expression and integrate these skills into all areas.”

And introduce new creativity exercises McNair Wilson does!  Get your camera, sketchpad, lead pencils and pad of paper warmed up and ready to follow his easy steps.

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!


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