TED Talk Takeaway: Taylor Conroy – How to Build a School in 3 Hours

Taylor was so amazed by the beautiful sight in Uganda when he first reached the place, and said “This is so cool, we’re so bad-ass. There’s stuff going I don’t know what it is, I’ve heard bad things about it. It’s so beautiful, and there are so many kids!”

“Taylor, 50% of this village has AIDS. Their parents are dead.”

“At that moment, that trip turned from being an adventure into a transformational experience of my life, because it was for the first time I saw the world, instead of just my world. So we went to Kenya, where kids would walk 11km each way to collect dirty water that their families would use to clean with, bathe in, and drink. The schools they were learning in were made of mud, dung, and sticks. There’s no headlights, no electricity, small window, dirt floors, and just keeping children to come to this environment, let alone getting teachers coming in to teach, was a massive challenge.”

As much as he was excited about spreading the cause to his friends, he realised that by shoving information down their throats hoping to cough up cash, was not only exhausting, but also pissing his friends off. He came up with 5 ways

  1. Group Mentality
    People like to be part of a group.
  2. Tangible Outcome
    People want to know where the money went.
  3. Micro-giving
    Give a little bit each day, becomes a big amount over time.
  4. Personal Connection
  5. Recognition
    Everyone loves recognition; it co-relates a good emotion with  the act of giving, make people more apt to give and continue giving in the future. Recognising other people for giving inspires others to give.

Using this, he created a message to all of his friends, comprising all the above five elements.

You, me, and a bunch of our friends are going to build a school in Kenya for hundreds of deserving kids. We are all giving $3.33 a day for 3 quick months (I know you spend more than that on your hair product every month). There is a site being made with your picture on it – your mom is going to be so proud of you!

Apart from putting their face on the website, he also gave them certificates, and web signatures so they can show people they were giving. There was a link to the site with their picture, giving him the recognition.
He made a personal video to each of his 33 friends with their names in it, lead them to a 4-minute video, send them to a website where they can fill in their information to take action.

Best thing is, anyone can do it. Just visit his site on http://teninthree.com.

“Never doubt that a group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

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