Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]
By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]
Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]
Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]
Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]
Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]
Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]
Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]
Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]
Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]
Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com
My childhood was very diverse. I was raised in the United States, England, and Italy. Those different cultures and my interactions with diverse people planted a seed of great appreciation for diversity. I would hang out with the rugby team, the science nerds, the theater crowd, and everyone in between. In some ways, that made it complicated for me to find my own identity. Now I find great comfort in being a little bit outside my comfort zone and I love to seek out connections with diverse people. I find great value in them.
In 2005, I attended the TED Conference as a volunteer and my mind was completely blown by the diversity and unique qualities of the attendees. When I shared a large loft in Los Angeles with a friend who’d also attended TED, our boredom of the typical bar scene prompted us to create our own forum of diverse friends in an informal party environment.
To add value to those events and to cover our costs, we sold tickets. We started attracting very interesting characters through the diversity of our networks. We called these events Mindshare. We never knew what was going to transpire. Nothing was planned, but the fertile structure created serendipity, a rich synergy of connections and interactions. Suddenly, scientists were talking with artists, artists were talking with spiritual gurus, gurus were talking with musicians … and back and forth. Engineers became convinced they were artsy. Designers became convinced they could do anything technical.
I loved those connections and wanted to pursue them even more. As a result, we’ve developed a company, Syyn Labs. We do crazy, creative, techy projects that people aren’t expecting, showing people that science and technology can be fun.
Because of the incredible energy I have for connecting and being social, I can stretch myself thin sometimes. To keep my energy sustainable, I’ve worked out the well-defined art of how to keep myself productive. I take at least a week off every month. Sometimes I do a silent meditation retreat to quiet my mind and re-center myself, but most often I go to a cottage on an organic farm hours away from Los Angeles. I’m still connected by email there, but being that far away gives me the distance I need to heal and re-energize.
By taking good care of myself, I can continue to explore what I love – the synergy and serendipity that happens when diverse people are brought together.
– Douglas Campbell