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Inspiring Change

by Max Mershon, 2 Degrees Campus Director | University of Illinois

In my free time when I’m not doing school work or participating in extracurricular activities, I enjoy watching TEDTalks for fun and inspiration. For those of you who aren’t familiar with TED, it is a non-profit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” TED.com hosts videos of some of the brightest minds and most inspirational thinkers speaking at various TED conferences around the world.

One of the top viewed TEDTalks is “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” by Simon Sinek, which relates to what 2 Degrees is trying to accomplish through its buy one, give one business approach to fighting childhood malnutrition. In Sinek’s talk, he describes how great innovators are able to lead successful social movements by inspiring change. Using Apple, the Wright Brothers, and MLK Jr. as examples, Sinek illustrates his concept of “The Golden Circle,” describing how great leaders inspire others to take action by starting with why, then how, and concluding with what. At 2 Degrees we are fighting childhood malnutrition, which affects over 200 million children, by translating everyday purchases into donations. We are empowering consumers to make a difference through conscious purchasing decisions. Here I have applied Sinek’s “Golden Circle” concept to 2 Degrees:

  1. Why: Over 200 million children worldwide suffer from chronic hunger, which is the result of a lack of nutrients. Undernourishment causes children’s bodies to slow down, inhibits learning, can permanently stunt both physical and mental growth, and weakens the immune system, increasing the vulnerability to disease and infection. Every year six million children die from malnutrition related diseases, making it the number one killer of children under five in the developing world.
  2. How: 2 Degrees donates nutrient-dense meals and medically formulated nutrition packs to malnourished children through production and distribution partnerships with NGOs and non-profits, such as Partners in Health, Valid Nutrition, Relief International and Action Against Hunger. 2 Degrees distributes locally produced meals whenever possible to help stimulate local economies.
  3. What: 2 Degrees makes all-natural, gluten free, vegan, nutrition bars in four different flavors: chocolate banana, chocolate peanut, cherry almond and apple pecan. We are a one-for-one food company, so for every bar YOU BUY, WE DONATE a meal to a hungry child. There are only 2 degrees of separation between you and a hungry child.

Hunger is the number one health risk worldwide. Its effects can be devastating, especially on a growing child. Our goal at 2 Degrees is to feed 200 million hungry children by donating one meal to a hungry child for every one nutrition bar we sell. Join us in our movement.


3 Responses to Inspiring Change

  1. Julie Lamberti says: 

    I love your mission and hope you reach your goal. It’s a win-win. We will continue to support you by purchasing the bars!

  2. Brandon G says: 

    Great article and great tie-in with Sinek’s talk. That golden circle is something I’ve never heard of but definitely puts history and the Two Degrees business model in perspective.

  3. Savannah @ Penn State says: 

    Another great TEDTalk on leadership and movement building – http://blog.ted.com/2010/04/01/how_to_start_a/

    It’s ‘followers’ like college students that are really going to inspire and create change….and dance like fools while doing it.

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