College students can make a career out of changing the world if they pay attention both to their passions and talents, and to a need that exists in the world, according to social entrepreneur Sam Davidson.
“Where you find those three things intersect, that’s where you find a chance to make a difference as a living,” Davidson said.
Davidson is the president of Cool People Care, an organization that helps people who want to make a difference get started in that process. He’s also the author of several books, and a frequent guest speaker at colleges across the country.
“It’s always fun to do, students are interested,” Davidson said.
When he gives this particular speech, Davidson provides students with a framework that they can use should they want to become a social entrepreneur.
A social entrepreneur, according to Davidson, is “someone who meets a need of the world as a core part of their business.” It’s a “hybrid” between nonprofits and for-profit corporations.
The framework that Davidson uses is getting students to really think about their passions and their talents, and how they can be utilized to fill a need.
He also encourages people to stop thinking about “what they do for a living,” and more about what they do “for a life.”
“It’s really, ‘what is your life about?’” Davidson said. “It opens up the conversations. You may be a banker or a restaurateur, but you might really be about social justice, or equality, or education.”
Davidson spoke in the Chesapeake rooms, to a crowd of about 60 students and members of the Towson University community.
Throughout his talk, he was able to connect with students by sharing his own story about how he got to where he is now after his time in college.
“I never thought that right out of college I was going to be an entrepreneur,” Davidson said. “I didn’t take a business class in college, I was a history major. But with Cool People Care, I sort of saw the opportunity and really wanted to jump on it.”
Davidson also got members of the audience to connect with each other. As he started explaining his three-part framework, he encouraged members of the audience to share their ideas with each other.
“I think it was very different, I wasn’t expecting it,” senior Hrisoula Mavrophilipos said. “But it was cool.”
Coordinator for Civic Engagement Scott Hackett said that bringing Davidson to campus had been in the works since last year’s environmental conference got canceled.
Even though the environmental conference was now being pushed to April, Hackett said that they wanted to go ahead and bring Davidson to campus.
“We really wanted his ideas of social action and finding your passions,” Hackett said.
Davidson said that, for some people, the kind of self-reflection involved in discovering could be scary.
“Because of that, we can miss out on the chance to live fully and maybe do some good in the process,” Davidson said.
Not everyone is prone to the potential scare-factor of self-reflection, however. Mavrophilipos said that listening to Davidson was “very inspriring.”
“I just need to start,” she said. “Stop wasting time, and start figuring out what I need to do.”