Got a feeling 21
Is going to be a good year
Especially if you and me
See it in together…

I had no reason to be over optimistic
But somehow when you smiled
I could brave bad weather

Pete Townshend

There’s no sugar-coating it. 2017 was a weird year. From “alternative facts” to presidential Tweets, social communication seems more and more absurd and we get increasingly disconnected from a functioning democracy every day. In the midst of the hubbub, though – and probably because of it – I find a renewed sense of purpose while taking time to slow down, reflect and regroup for my own ongoing work as a creative activist.

July 2017 also marked the 21st year of Social Impact, which is something to celebrate! The symbolism of this classic “coming-of-age” year is fitting. For more than two decades, we’ve been refining our approach, honing our skills and adapting with the times (is that what they mean by #adulting?). We’ve tried to stay true to our core purpose, while making sure that we are relevant and helpful for our compatriots who are always striving to build a better world.

This year we felt an urgency to share our core identity through a refined public story which you can glean from our new website. It’s a virtual version of the creative vision we hope to achieve in the world. We need more than an update of the same old structures. Our new site puts the navigation in the hands of the viewer, rather than prescriptive structure, making it a personalized experience. It’s symbolic of what we need most right now: the freedom to find our way around and the responsibility to make the most of what is available. These times can either feel chaotic or full of opportunity (or both!), but the really important question is what are we going to do about it. It’s time to build anew – working with the strengths we already have.

People have always been the biggest strength at the heart of Social Impact. Over the years, scores of talented and dedicated people have made it work. But this anniversary celebration is an opportunity to publicly celebrate one person who has been quietly behind-the-scenes every step of the way. As a creative force (and my life partner for 31 years), Phil Carter has often been our moral compass while nailing artful turns of phrase and reminding us of the absurdity of it all – and we wouldn’t be here without him.

For the past year, Phil and I have spent a lot of time unpacking the last 21 years of Social Impact. We’re exploring how we can continue to pursue creative passions and make a positive impact, all while sustaining a family enterprise. It’s an ongoing process that will undoubtedly change and grow as we move ahead, but the core values remain the same: thoughtful, beautiful and meaningful creative work is always worth it.

I’m excited that we have a new platform to tell the story of our work and the work of so many people who believe in a happy, healthy and peaceful world. I’m grateful for a collaborative partner as we move beyond this 21st year. As weird as these times may be now, we are facing a new era filled with opportunity to make positive, creative change and real social impact – especially if we see it in together.