Each one of us has 86,400 seconds per day to live, work, love, play and/or fritter away. Indeed time is the nonrenewable resource. Threaded through the last weeks, I have reached out to colleagues in the foundation sector to be sure that my time at the Council of Foundations Annual Conference is leveraged to build connective tissue. At The Patterson Foundation we strive to learn from the best and brightest to “build connective tissue to create new realities.” My dance card is full (yes, I am showing my age with that analogy) with opportunities to immerse with other “passionaries” as we toil to make positive change in the world.
The word passionaries (coined by author Barbara Metzler) is an apt descriptor for folks in the philanthropy sector, because it is in our DNA to use our 86,400 seconds in ways that change the world for the positive. Ponder the possibilities. More than 1,000 folks are traveling over the weekend to participate in conversations, sessions, and site visits so we can learn from others, plant seeds of ideas for change, and take ideas back to our foundations that will affirm and spark our work.
Roxanne Joffe, who leads our strategic communications work, and I shared a ride from the airport with Ann Cramer, the “Queen of Connecting,” who exudes passion 24/7. As director of IBM corporate citizenship and corporate affairs for the Americas, Ann’s energy propels positives at every turn. By the way, kudos for Roxanne’s work with Jeff Stanger of the Center for Digital Information on tomorrow’s session “Philanthropy and Digital Public Dialog: Challenges and Opportunities” (live streaming at http://digitalinfo.org/cof).
Within an hour of arriving at the conference, we were networking with passionaries at the global philanthropy gathering. Asif Saleh, director of communications at BRAC, is a perfect example of someone who demonstrates that his work is more than a job, position, or career…it is a calling. His homeland Bangladesh, with about 50 percent of the population of the United States in a country the size of New York, is benefiting from his passion.
For the next few days, the passionaries are each maxing their 86,400 daily seconds! Follow us at #COFLA.
Debra Jacobs is president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation.