Daianna Karaian is co-founder of Today Do This, which aims to empower everyone, every day (Today) to take action on (Do) what matters to them (This) (LinkedIn, personal website, Twitter).
The theme was people being able to take meaningful action in their work. REasons:
First, “The scale of the change that’s needed is only going to happen if social and environmental considerations are woven into the daily decisions and responsibilities of everyone in the company at every level in every department.”
Second, “I think there’s this really common misconception that action is reserved for those in power, that sort of only a few people, in powerful positions can do anything that makes any difference in the world. And I think that’s nonsense. I think power is accumulated by those who take action.”
Third, taking meaningful action also makes people happier and more productive.
With that in mind, some things you can do after listening to this interview:
–Subscribe to the Today Do This newsletter, which “revisits one major headline each week and suggests a simple, practical action you can take that day to make a difference”.
-Contact Daianna through this link.
Powerful Times Podcasts referred to in to interview: Ed Gillespie (the very first!) and Rowan Conway.
Dr Martin Luther King’s Six Steps for Non Violent Social Change:
- Information Gathering
- Personal Commitment
- Direct Action
UN Sustainable Development Goals
0:50 – Q1 What are you doing now? And how did you get there?
10:57 – BONUS QUESTION: How do you support people so social and environmental considerations are woven into the daily decisions?
16:32 – Q2. What is the future you are trying to create, and why?
21:00 – Q3. What are your priorities for the next few years, and why?
22:37 – BONUS QUESTION: Can you unpack what you meant when you said you don’t like the word purpose compared to impact on?
24:40 – Q4. If someone was inspired to follow those priorities, what should they do next?
29:16 – Q5. If your younger self was starting their career now, what advice would you give them?
31;45 – Q6. Who would you nominate to answer these questions, because you admire their approach?
32:33 – Q7. Is there anything else important you feel you have to say?
-“So I sort of spent a couple of years experimenting, and listening and learning and kind of trying to find my way into a business model that, that I guess, would do three things. One, that would make a real impact two that would make some money. And three, that made me happy, that was something you know, I actually really wanted to do with my life. And that’s what today do this has turned out to be.”
-At Today Do This “we make sure that companies live up to the commitments that they are increasingly making around social and environmental issues. And we do that by enabling employees to take action as part of their day to day work.”
-“The scale of the change that’s needed is only going to happen if social and environmental considerations are woven into the daily decisions and responsibilities of everyone in the company at every level in every department.”
-“The core of our mission [at Today Do This] is to make it everybody’s business to change the world for the better.”
-“The process that we have, you can kind of split it broadly into into two parts.
“The first part is kind of asking them three questions. (1) What are the skills, the responsibilities, the areas of influence associated with your work? (2) What are the issues that you care most deeply about? (3) How can you use the skills of your day to day job to make a difference on the issues that you care about?
“The second part is: take people through sort of six steps. Those are inspired by Martin Luther King’s six steps of social change.”
-“Our vision is that everyone who wants a better world is doing something about it.”
-“I think there’s this really common misconception that action is reserved for those in power, that sort of only a few people, in powerful positions can do anything that makes any difference in the world. And I think that’s nonsense. I think power is accumulated by those who take action.”
-“What I feel really passionate about is giving more people more power, and meaning and purpose. And that part of their lives that often makes up you know, half of their waking hours, which is which is work. Because when people find a better alignment between their day to day work and their values, theirs, they’re happier, like that’s been proven over and over again, in lots of research over decades, and, you know, ultimately happy people don’t destroy themselves, or the planet or each other. And they’re also much more motivated to contribute to their company’s success.”
-“Weaving social and environmental impact into employees’ daily responsibilities is really the only way I think that business can truly become a driver of positive change. Going back to the beginning that’s that’s what I always wanted to do. And after 20 years of searching for it, I feel like I’ve finally sort of found the best path toward doing that there’s a sense of bringing more democracy to business by empowering employees to contribute to their company’s social and environmental goals in the ways that they best see fit. That’s what’s going to enable companies to make a more positive impact, I think.”
-“We have a goal of enabling millions, if not billions, of people to take action on the issues that they care about, we’re still a very young company. So we’re a long way off that goal, still, but our priority is basically working with more companies to reach more of their employees, because we think that’s how we can make the biggest impact.”
-If your younger self was starting their career now, what advice would you give them? “I think that would be to not be afraid to make mistakes.”
-Summary of Daianna’s philosophy: “when people talk about travelling to the past, they worry about radically changing the present by doing something small. But barely anyone in the present really thinks that they can radically change the future by doing something small.”
-“It’s our small individual actions today that lead to big collective change tomorrow. Because everything that we do or don’t do, the way we treat people around us the things we buy all the little sort of choices we make every day, how and whether we vote, all those things have an impact on the world and across all of us. And across a lifetime, those things add up to make things better, or worse. So let’s go make things better.’