Nexus heralded an exodus of innovative minds to help change the world through philanthropy and impact investment


  

It was such a magical week of stimulating debates at the Nexus Global summit for innovators, entrepreneurs. Nexus heralded an exodus of innovative minds to help change the world through philanthropy and impact investment. 


I boarded the train to DC last week from Baltimore, with an exclusive opportunity to engage in the debates at the 4th annual NEXUS USA Summit which was convened on January 31 – February 2, 2018, in Washington, DC.

What I saw was that Nexus has a special knack for weaving together some of the finest and remarkable change agents from all across the globe in equally an ideal environment such as the USIP in DC.


But why are 'influencers', CEO's of fortune companies, multi-million dollar Foundation founders, entrepreneurs and investors, young philanthropists, impact investors, and allies – including family business members, successful entrepreneurs, and inspiring social change leaders drawn to NEXUS at this time? The answers can be found in the participants who nurture genuine hopes and dreams for a safe, cleaner, and more peaceful and prosperous world. This may seem the magic wand that may have attracted the diverse range of business leaders and nonprofit leaders.


Along the line of Nexus' philanthropy was the heartbeat of a unique sense of camaraderie.



As a first-time Nexus attendee, you learn what you may have left behind over time, the impact of hugging as a way to redefine who we are, our humanity as our 'heartbeat each to each'. During the 'Lifestyle Perfected Workshop: Nadav Wilf takes our breath away with his notion of love and passion,  (and even compassion), as he leads us as Nexus first-timers, figuratively 'blindfolded' through exercises leading us through ways we can make the most out of our Nexus Experiences. Then after the spirited hugging exercises, the joy of that unique sense of belonging that is peculiar to Nexus, and being loved and cared for, the laughter and the smiles, the highly engaged discussions on national and global issues, we were left on a frolic of our own to go out hugging and sharing our love for humanity for one another and to care for the world. Nedav admonishes us however that seeking consent before hugging was one of the greatest rules.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.
From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.

From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.



From that passion, we adopted these compassionate selfies as an extension of the hugging and joy that demonstrates the true spirit at Nexus.



The topics discussed were as diverse as the speakers who often enthralled the audiences with sharp and brilliant insights. There were debates on issues about culture and integration, native Americans, refugees and immigrants, juvenile justice and incarceration

The speakers, presenters, conference participants re-invoke the notion that the strategies to solve the world's problems were not a one-sided approach or one that is assumed to be curbed with a view from a one-sighted prism. Participants shared perspectives that demonstrated that the approaches to combating the problems of our world are as diverse and different as the problems we seek solutions for. 


       

During the 'Profiles in Courage' Plenary Session, it was in Caitlin Crosby that we experienced how love was redefined through her 'the giving keys;. She believes that love uplifts and re-echoes this in her presentation and song 'Love is the Key'. Love Believe Create Dream Faith Fearless Hope Inspire Strength, reminding me of another of my favourite poems and piece of arts that spur me on to keep going and 'passing it on and on and on...
In her song, she encourages all to pass it on and on, referring to these keys of
Hold high the torch!
You did not light its glow -
'Twas given you by other hands, you know.
'Tis yours to keep it burning bright,
Yours to pass on when you no more need light;
For there are other feet that we must guide,
And other forms go marching by our side;
Their eyes are watching every smile and tear
And efforts which we think are not worthwhile,
Are sometimes just the very helps they need,
Actions to which their souls would give most heed"...


By just being a part of this Nexus family, one gets a feeling of joining folks with a culture that is beaming with positivism. The atmosphere that Nexus provides conjures that sense of belonging that heralds hope, a sense of freedom that reignites ones aspirations that we are not alone in the fight to help bring justice, equality, ending slavery and light in our often troubled and dark world.
Take for instance Patrick McCarthy from the Annie E. Casey Foundation highlighted and lamented the skyrocketing cost of incarceration of young people.  he says 'the cost is unbelievable' as the cost of "One child, for instance, cost anywhere from $100,000 to 250,000 per year'.  He feels that there is no way the existing incarceration program for young people works. It does not turn the lives of the young ones around as it is claimed.. He and his foundation are advocating for 'safer communities,  safer kids, bringing kids back on track as opposed to the documented abuse of kids undergoing incarceration and a life-long failure and missed opportunities that kids will have to endure.    It's time to replace adult-like institutions with community-based, treatment-focused programs and facilities for youth. And finally, let's reinvest resources in community services.



During the Affinity Dinner and concert for Nexus Summit 2018 DC, the Dinner night and entertainment at Hamilton- DC was made possible thanks to the live performances of following talented artists, Christen Lien, Maimouna Youssef, Elena y Los Fulanos, Fly by Light Youth Ambassadors, Anjelica. The creative talents of the artist also helped to showcase what can be done when opportunities are granted to youth and young talents.
















As many speakers spoke about the challenges that confront our world today, it was at NEXUS that we see a daring passion for an opportunity to help change the future through impact investment and giving. Where the warm embrace and hugs sowing seeds of peace, love, hope for refugees and immigrant children was akin to that of my notion of 'a  journey of hope'.
There were ‘Stories Of Impact and Resilience” with the incredible Danielle, Farhoud, Will, and Amanda.  



For the closing performance Christen Lien invoked the Hindu goddess Kali with a didactic note (he  who destroys what is no longer needed in order to make room for the new)’, and presented the world debut of her new song "The Turn."  

At the end, I can safely say that NEXUS truly lives by its mantra: 'Connecting the financial, interlectual, creative and social capital of our generation in action-oriented, solutions-focused and safe space, the Nexus USA Summit aims to inspire learning and collaboration between a uniquely powerful network of peers'.

Want to feel the transformation, here are some memorable Nexus Quotes  

"Only when showing up can change really happen." -Josè Andrès

“Get started and begin the journey in Impact investing to create the change we all are passionate about” - Rachel Nexus Co-Founder

“I’m here today to invite you to join this movement, to tell our young people that we will invest in you; that we have high expectations of you,” Patrick McCarthy. Annie E. Casey Foundation

“With where we are today in Impact investing you really have a chance as family foundations, personal investors and impact firms to shape the future of the space. Don’t let the major institutions enter and shape it for you.” Robert Kim
“We might not all sing kumbaya at the end but we can at least listen to each other, hear each other and find commonalities with each other” Susan Bro, Heather Hyer Foundation

“Don't underestimate the power of one small act- Love” Corey Booker
“We need more early-stage capital and more investors to take early risks to support promising solutions” - Cheryl Dorsey, President at Echoing Green

“We’re talking how to go from idea generation, piloting and prototyping to diffusion and scale with executives of Echoing Green and Tides Community

“We each don’t need to go save the world individually, we need to focus on one area where we can add expertise and work with the leading organizations to add value and build a theory of change.” - John Arnold, Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Theory of Change

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