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Kathy Calvin Quotes

Kathryn Bushkin Calvin

Kathy Calvin quotes: on leadership, responsibility, tech, global mindset, and more.

“This is an impressive generation.  We can show you quantifiable change.  That’s activism; it’s not slacktivism.”

“There is power in individuals, and now we’re learning there is power in individuals coming together.”

“The importance of building relationships… in fact, this is something that I learned as a child from my dad, who was a General Electric salesman.  He showed me you don’t sell anything if you don’t first sell yourself and build a relationship.  People take things on because they trust you.  I have always sought strong, trusting and mutually-beneficial relationships.”

“Young people aren’t the leaders of tomorrow.  They are the leaders of today and tomorrow.”

“The best thing I have learned from a mentor is to approach work as a marathon, not a sprint.  Not everything can be accomplished quickly.  Investing time and energy in relationships and projects – professional or personal – will always pay greater dividend in the end.”

“It is our responsibility to keep the goals alive.  That calls for proactive and consistent messaging and awareness creation about what they represent.  Because the more they are out there, the more people know and identify with them.”

“Technology is a force multiplier like nothing’s ever been.”

“I think technology will change people’s approach to humanitarian aid in the next decade, and we’ll benefit from having young people helping us.”

“I’m a positive person who likes to see things get done.”

“I think one of the most exciting trends right now is the birth of the global citizen who is interested in not only improving his or her immediate neighborhood, but also helping his or her neighbors across the globe.”

“Global is a unifying bond for people.  Once they get outside their own heads and their own communities and see themselves in a broader framework, it really changes their sense of what they can get done.  It all adds up for us.”

“Operate with a global mindset.  Know that your work to improve a piece of society fits into a broader citizenship, and therefore you must strive to collaborate with others.  Always remember your place as a change-maker in this global community of social entrepreneurs.”

“Collaboration gets me excited.”

“I’m inspired by the resilience of people around the world.”

“Giving is not just about making a donation.  It is about making a difference.”

“Women and girls have been my passion for my whole life.”

“Girls are one of the most powerful forces for change in the world: when their rights are recognized, their needs are met, and their voices heard, they drive positive change in their families, their communities, and the world.”

“If you can get to a girl and make a difference in her life, you’re actually going to have a greater impact on a woman’s life.  If you don’t get to her as a girl, you may not be able ever to help her as a woman.”

“It’s harder to be a poor person than anything else.”

“Being poor is not like being a victim.  Being poor means that you don’t have one resource.”

“One of the things that people aren’t aware of is how much progress is being made in eradicating poverty and providing a healthier life and longevity for people around the world.”

“The resilience and the resourcefulness of people to make a better life, to survive, to give their children something better than they had, is so inspiring.  I look at how hard it must be to get up every day and fight that battle and I think, wow, anything I’m doing just has to be in service.”

“Every person should be able to lead a life of dignity and opportunity.”

“We want to keep building strong relationships with business partners and NGOs and use their expertise to help the UN tackle issues ranging from global health to energy access, and peace and security.  The Foundation – together with supporters from all walks of life – will continue to do our part in helping make a better world.”

“Most admired – Melinda Gates for her forthright and proactive support of family planning.”

“Our idea of perfect happiness?  On the back of our motorcycle, winding on back roads.”

“In 1971, I graduated from Purdue University in Indiana with a degree in speech therapy.  However, I decided I was not patient enough for speech and hearing therapy, in which progress can take months or years.  I wanted a career that provided more immediate feedback.”

“When I came to Washington after college, I became a researcher, which is how a lot of young women at that time seemed to start.  I got involved in Democratic politics on the side.  That led me to the first significant job of my career, which was serving as then Senator Gary Hart’s press secretary.  I was 26 years old and scared to death that someone would find out I didn’t know anything.  But I had the time of my life.”

“Congress was a fun place to be because people were trying to get things done.  As press secretary, I was the person trying to communicate and push this big vision of fixing the economy and changing all kinds of things in the world.”

“The United Nations Foundation was formed in 1998 after Ted Turner announced a $1 billion commitment to help the United Nations address global problems.  I joined in 2003 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and was promoted to CEO in 2009.  We provide a way for companies and other organizations to help the United Nations solve problems around the world.”

“Our work is based on data and research.  One of our members says, ‘Trust in God, but everybody else brings numbers to the table.’  I love that we spend as much time on the details as on the big ideas.  That’s how change occurs.”

“Simply put: a strong UN is the world’s best investment for progress.”

“It really pays off to understand the business, government and nonprofit worlds and how they do their work.  It allows us as an institution to be smart about working with the best parts of all three.”

“I feel lucky about having had the opportunity to work in three different sectors: government, private industry and the nonprofit world.”

“My greatest achievements have been to keep growing and learning, going global, and helping put the issue of girls on the global agenda.”

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