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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Accelerating Progress Toward Global Solutions Requires Collaboration, Says Nonprofit Founder


Rick Ulfik, the founder and board chair of We, The World, says the impact of organizations acting independently is limited. He argues for active collaboration among the world’s leading NGOs so they can have greater impact.

He says organizations working alone have “horizontal impact” but when they work together they have “vertical impact.” He observes too much of the former and not enough of the latter.

Coming up in September, We, the World is leading an event it calls 11 Days of Global Unity, part of an ongoing series, focused on bringing organizations together to tackle the world’s big problems collaboratively and strategically.

Interview with Rick Ulfik, the Founder and Board Chairman of We, The World.

The following is the pre-interview with Rick Ulfik. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

We, The World has identified a major gap in global organizing efforts that are attempting to address  the core issues facing humanity: Poverty, Rising Inequality, Militarism, Intolerance, Environmental Pollution, and Climate Disruption.

While there are thousands of groups and millions of people committed to creating a better world, most of them generally don’t work together on a regular organized basis.

We call this Horizontal Impact – meaning that their impact is spread thin. The environmental people are working over here, the human rights people are over there, the economic justice people are in another place, and the peace and spiritual people are often reaching to the choir!

Their impact is reduced and up till now it hasn’t been sufficient to address systemic obstacles, and end the preventable crises that cause millions of people and other forms of life to die prematurely each year.

We believe that humanity will continue to only see incremental progress (at best) until a majority of these groups begin to intentionally work together with what we call Vertical Impact: synchronizing calls to action on a large scale, issuing joint Press Releases, collectively supporting solutions that benefit all members of society, not just those with the most wealth and power.

We, The World has already started to make this happen through our WE Strategy!

We, The World is creating the WE Change Agent Network (WE CAN) that has begun to do two things that are crucial for a sustainable future:

#1) Build the mass public support and political will needed to implement social, political, economic and environmental solutions (like making the transition to Renewable Non-Polluting Energy Systems as the primary energy source in the USA and around the world) benefiting all of society and the whole web of life on Earth.
#2) Consciously make a shift in our culture to value and prioritize the idea of “WE” and the Common Good, so that the basic health and well-being of all comes first – for people and the planet.

It’s All About WE: WE is a Consciousness, a Collaboration and a Campaign.

11 Days of Global Unity:  11DaysOfGlobalUnity.org

More about We, The World:

Twitter: @TheWeCampaign

Facebook: facebook.com/TheWeCampaign

Website: WE.net

We, The World (at WE.net) is a global coalition-building non-profit organization founded by Rick Ulfik. Our mission is to maximize social change globally – until we have a world that works for all. We, The World annually connects and promotes thousands of socially conscious organizations and businesses, representing millions of people, to amplify their efforts and generate public awareness and action.

In 2004 We, The World brought together global partners to launch 11 Days of Global Unity September 11 -21 linking local awareness and action campaigns into an inspiring international movement for the promotion of peace, justice, sustainability and transformation. Annually 11 Days includes as many as 700 associated events in over 60 countries around the world. It culminates on September 21st, the U.N. International Day of Peace.

Participants in 11 Days of Global Unity have included: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, Daniel Ellsberg, Amy Goodman, Bill McKibben, Eve Ensler, Ralph Nader, Arun Gandhi, Marianne Williamson, Patch Adams, Neale Donald Walsch, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Robert Thurman, Hazel Henderson, and many other visionary leaders from around the world.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: We, The World generates revenue mostly through individual contributions. We also have a “Project Incubator” through which changemakers with inspiring and important programs aligned with our Mission can receive funding as part of We, The World. We, The World has received many foundation grants over the years as well.

Scale: We, The World has touched the lives of more than 6 million people through our Programs, Events, Websites, TV Shows, Newsletters, Video Festivals, Partner Collaborations, Tele-Summits, Broadcasts and Webcasts. We are reaching more than 850,000 people each year and our network of more than 40,000 leaders and members of socially conscious organizations and businesses represents millions of constituents. Our most recent Non-Profit Tax Filing shows our total revenue to be about $170,000.

Rick Ulfik
Photo Credit: Andrew Kaen

Rick Ulfik’s bio:

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/rick-ulfik-1755aa2a

Rick Ulfik is the Founder and Board Chair of We, The World, Founder and a Principal Coordinator of the WE Campaign, and Co-Founder and Principal Organizer of 11 Days of Global Unity September 11-21, a worldwide platform for the promotion of peace, justice, sustainability and transformation that annually includes as many as 700 associated events in over 60 countries around the world. Rick also co-produces Visual Voices a TV Series Sponsored by We, The World which was featured on the Dish Network and available in 15 million homes.

Rick has been a Nonviolent Communication (NVC) workshop facilitator and leader working with the New York Center for Nonviolent Communication, and has participated in many workshops led by internationally acclaimed mediator and creator of NVC Marshall Rosenberg who joined the Advisory Board of We, The World.

Rick Ulfik is also an award-winning composer, musician (keyboards), songwriter and sound design specialist who, over the last 30 years, has written, produced, arranged and performed music for ABC TV, NBC, CBS, the Olympics, feature films, commercials, and records. Rick has performed with major recording artists including Queen Latifah, Phoebe Snow, Carlos Santana, Judy Collins, and Bernadette Peters.

Rick serves each year as a judge for the Emmy Awards in the areas of News, Documentaries, and Music.


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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

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