What is the key to creating sustainable social impact? Social change pioneer Bill Novelli and Washington DC restaurateur and chef Erik Bruner-Yang (Maketto, Brothers and Sisters, Spoken English) sit down with Debbie and Billy Shore to discuss cultural identity, community engagement and lasting social impact. As the former architect of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Novelli built a social marketing program that successfully challenged big tobacco’s overwhelming political and cultural influence. “One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life is that we can move the mountain… but we’ve got to start by saying, ‘we can do it,’” says Novelli. “We need to change social norms and expectations,” he continues. Bruner-Yang thinks the solutions to intractable social issues like gun violence require long-term inter-generational thinking. “If you’re 40-plus, your mind is made up. America can be and has been at the forefront of social change. Some of these big issues you have to just skip a generation,” he observes.
As a professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, Novelli sees the promise of the next generation of leaders. “I go home every night with a song in my heart because they understand that there’s more than one bottom line. They want purpose. They want to work in an organization that doesn’t just have a profit, but also cares about people and the planet,” he says. Long-time No Kid Hungry supporter Bruner-Yang describes how his former passion for music translated into owning restaurants. “It’s a lot of the same tangibles. You get to be creative, you’re entertaining people, you’re using a lot of the same thought processes,” he notes.
Listen in as these two guests discuss talk about how their values have motivated them to lead purpose-driven lives.