Alex Budak on helping people become changemakers - Kathy Varol
Alex Budak
February 15, 2023   |   Episode #: 049

Alex Budak on helping people become changemakers

Show Notes:

Alex Budak is a social entrepreneur, author, and faculty member at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. His new book is called Becoming a Changemaker: An Actionable, Inclusive Guide to Leading Positive Change at Any Level, and is based on the transformative course (of the same name) Alex created and teaches.

Previously, Alex co-founded the social impact platform StartSomeGood, ran Sweden’s leading social innovation incubator, Reach for Change, and worked at  Alex teaches, speaks, consults, and advises organizations around the world, with the mission of helping people from all walks of life become changemakers.

In this episode we discuss:
✅ The magic that sparks movements
✅ What elephants can teach us about daunting goals
✅ Why giving yourself permission is the first step to change


3 episode takeaways (listen to the full episode for a lot more gems!): 

1️⃣ Alex tells his Changemaking students that they don’t need to know yet the change they want to make, they just need to believe that change is possible. This is an important message. The truth is, throughout our lives each of us will gravitate toward changes someone else has already started. The biggest challenges our world faces—like climate change and inequality—will take lifetimes to fix. These challenges require countless people to step into the same arena to help out, support each other, provide different perspectives, and solve from different angles.

You do not need to be the originator of a change idea to have a significant impact. What you need is the belief that change is possible and the bravery to step into the arena to create a better future.

2️⃣ Change can be a mixed bag. Sometimes change is good, and sometimes it’s not. What change always does though, regardless of impact, is it disrupts. It pushes us out of our comfort zone. If change were to never happen, we’d all live our lives mindlessly on autopilot. The blessing of change is that it can wake us up, and with eyes wide open we can look under the hood of the status quo and decide if we like what we see. By doing this, change creates the opportunity for something better.

3️⃣ There’s a lot of power in reframing failure. The fear of failure can mean not trying and, in many situations, not trying is the worst failure of all. While many things in life are out of your control, trying is one of the few things that is in your control. Don’t close the door on your dreams because you’re afraid someone else might close the door on you. Give yourself permission to try. You might just discover what’s possible is way bigger than you ever imagined.



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