Getting to SOCAP ’16.

Before the jump: please consider voting for my session proposal, “Meeting 1 New Person Everyday: Using Everyday Inclusion to Build a Stellar Village Around You” at SOCAP’s 2016 conference in San Francisco this September! Read more about why you should below :) …

Social capital. A noun. Definition: the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.

The 1 thing I am most passionate about is meeting 1 new person every single day of my life. It’s a mission that I’ve accomplished for years, save for just a handful of days. The stories and knowledge you can gain from someone, through their stories and perspectives, through their identity, and through what they believe “makes them awesome” are legitimately limitless. That is why I meet 1 new person everyday. It’s not about networking in the traditional business sense. It’s about connecting.

When you connect with people, they immediately feel included. Asking “what makes you awesome?” is a 1 way street to connection, really. And when you meet 1 new person each day, you may develop a lot of social capital. Which is why I shared that definition with you to start. Meeting and connecting with folks not only “enable that society to function effectively” but it can also create a stellar village of folks around you and enable society to function extremely well, not just effectively. These are going to be people who care about the same things you do, share your values, see the meaning in your mission, and maybe even do the same great work that you do (in a social context). The goal of meeting 1 new person everyday is not social capital, but it’s a very, very nice side effect in my opinion.

Now that we’ve set the ground rules, here’s the story. Years ago I was doing some research on this idea of social capital and it adding meaning to the world around you. I discovered a conference named “SOCAP.” Their call was for social entrepreneurs around the world to mobilize, connect, and accelerate the economy. While my vision of social capital has more to do with people and less to do with money, I was still intrigued. That’s why I’m working toward getting to that conference this year.

SOCAP is an organization that is dedicated to increasing the flow of all kinds of capital toward social good. This includes my passion of social capital. I’m intrigued by their unique approach that focuses on cross-sector convening and gathers voices across many fields to form impactful connections. That’s exactly what I practiced in my graduate school days, for example. You were more likely to find me at a conference for entrepreneurs working in unique ways to disrupt higher education than you would at a traditional student affairs conference. And I found great value in that – connecting with others outside of my field to work toward our seemingly uncommon goals. But our goals were common. Cross-convening can find goals that are common.

SOCAP ’16 hopes to provide three full days of information, inspiration and connection with like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, collaborators and thought-leaders. I hope to add my session proposal to those days. The title of my session is Meeting 1 New Person Everyday: Using Everyday Inclusion to Build a Stellar Village Around You and you can find more information about it here. I’ve already written half the presentation and all of the learning outcomes – I hope I’m not jinxing it! But it’s a prezo that I’ve been meaning to develop for a long time, because it’s one of the most impactful I’ve ever conceived. I think. :)

I hope you’ll take some time to check out the description and maybe even “vote up” for my presentation proposal. We’ll all find out later this month which ones are accepted – fingers crossed!

Cheers to Moby.

I’ve had a ridiculous amount of free time on my hands lately. I am also a person who really likes getting things done. So … it’s been interesting …

I am also a person who keeps a lot of their to do lists electronic. Sometimes those to do lists get sort of “lost in the shuffle.” You know, it’s those e-mails at the bottom of your inbox that you KNOW you are going to reply to someday…but the day you finally get to it, it’s irrelevant?

Yes, I’m guilty of procrastinating. But on the flip side, I’m also guilty of developing some really intense marathon list-clear-out sessions, as I like to call them. These sessions are times when I log out of Facebook, put my phone in airplane mode, and turn off most notifications that could distract me. My only focus is my to do lists and what’s on them. Crossing items off, one by one. It’s quite liberating.

When I take a break from these sessions, I time them. And I don’t get on Facebook, I get on my Feedly (my love for which has been discussed at length on HESONWHEELS). I’ll read the news, headlines, and other interests for 10-20 minutes, then it’s back to it. Yesterday, though, I discovered something great on my Feedly that has really helped me spruce up these list-clear-out/productivity sessions.

It can be found here.

Thanks to music artist Moby, I now have a really interesting, new, calming, and focusing playlist of ambient music, unlike stuff that I’ve really heard before. I’ll admit, I know for a fact that I’m late to the Moby show, but nonetheless – I’m happy at it now. This is music I would even listen to driving down the road (as long as I wasn’t sleepy at the time)  – and let me tell ya, that playlist is exclusive. :)

Check it out if you’d like. I’ve read that it’s also great for sleeping and meditating, too. Or panicking. Whichever you prefer.

YES! Open letter from VA to DC.

Just discovered this today. And my life is better for it. And yours should be, too. It’s going to be my go-to thing to send to friends from/based out of D.C. who complain about NOVA life or going to NOVA for some adventures.

From Taco Bamba to Marumen to the Mosaic District to Captain Gregory’s (look up and try something from every single one of those if you haven’t)…the author clearly did their work in eating through our region. There are so many references to amazing restaurants and affirmations of some of the greatest qualities of Northern Virginia.

No matter how often folks may knock the traffic and the congestion and the time it takes to get from point A to point B…this article’s facts can NOT be denied. If you’re a NOVA lover, check it out. If you’re a DC-ite and you’ve been trying to come around, then check it out too.

As the kids say nowadays … the letter may “give you life“.


Coolest TEDx letters, ever. 

Obviously I’m a bit of a TED enthusiast, just by the reading of the title of the blog. 

TEDxTwinFalls took place a little more than a month ago, back in mid-April. But it wasn’t until today that I found this really cool display of TEDx letters from their event! The big red letters are a huge staple of and ubiquitous for any TED event, TED or TEDx, so seeing such an interesting play on them on Instagram earlier this evening definitely caught my eye! 

Very cool #TEDx display. #tedxtwinfalls #twinfalls #red

A photo posted by TEDx (@tedx_official) on

Seems like the theme for the event was “Unconventional Connection.” The wheels in my mind definitely started turning when I thought of the great ideas folks shared guided by that theme! Someone put me in touch with their art director! :)

The Spoon Theory.

This blog post is inspired by the following two quotes, that I’ve received many, many times in my life:

“You know, Justin, just sometimes I forget that you’re even in a wheelchair. It’s like you’re completely normal! I don’t even think about it!”

or, maybe…

“You know, when you can’t do some things I get a little surprised because you don’t act like you’re sick. You do a good job of hiding it.”

To be clear, these two quotes do not offend me at all. In fact, with the first one, I guess I’d say I kind of prefer it that this friend is no longer generally hung up on the fact that I use a wheelchair to get around. Yeah, it may be a little awkward if they forget to retrieve my wheelchair that’s stowed away in the trunk of the car that we’re getting out of (and, yes, that’s happened a few times!), but it’s okay. I’d rather them feel a little silly for just a moment than make a huge deal out of the potential chore of stowing and retrieving my chair for me.

So, a good friend, Kate N., recently shared this article with me, and I wanted to share it all with you, too (you can download a PDF version of the story here).

If you have the time to read the whole thing, that’d be great, but I understand that you might not and instead are reading this. :) So I’ll give you the Cliff Notes version, if you will.

Read more after the jump …