Dreamnow.org is a non-profit organization that helps people follow through with good ideas. And they really do! I was able to talk with Dev Aujla about how and why he started what could be, in my opinion, one of the most inspiring and touching organizations around. It’s a sure reminder that we are surrounded by everything we could ever want and need. We just have to dream now to make things happen!
Love and Water- What exactly does dreamnow.org do?
Dev Aujla- dreamnow.org is an organization that produces ideas that do good. We do a number of different programs, including research programs, social enterprises, and art-based projects aimed at getting people together and talking about ideas. Our biggest project is called Continuum, which is a service we offer to conferences to make sure that the people they reach actually follow through with the material they’re given at the conferences. Another project we’ve done was a research project on how to make money and change the world, which was called Occupation Change the World. I spent a year with a staff looking at how to do this-how to find a career with purpose, how to build a life and a career with meaning- because I felt like no one was providing a practical way to implement such a concept into occupations. It resulted in an ebook that has been downloaded thousands of times. You can find it at myoccupation.org. Now we’re working on a book as a result, which we’re excited about. We did a project called Secret Correspondence with the Canadian Network, where we built forts across Canada in 14 different cities. The idea was to bring people together and connect them in a place that is comfortable and builds trust. We came up with the idea to build forts, and we had the people in the forts write letters to someone they didn’t yet know. They would give us the letters and we would take them and give them to people in other forts. Thousands of letters were exchanged. It was a great project.
L&W- How did you come up with the idea for the organization?
DA- It started with me going to a number of different social change conferences, and wondering what if the people who attended these conferences actually went home and implemented the tools they learned. What would the world be like then? So I started asking questions like that and ended up building this organization where we put the questions to the test. And it has snowballed from there.
L&W- What is the most moving experience you’ve had so far with your organization?
DA- We put an event together a few weeks ago called Bar Philanthropy. It came out of the question I had after a conference- what if everyone in the room was a funder? So for this event we charged everybody $30.00 and they each got a chip that is worth $25.00 and a chip worth three hours of their time. The one rule we had was that no one was allowed to cash in their own chip. So all night people talked and came up with ideas, and if you could convince someone to give you their chip at the end of the night you could cash out. So we had 70 people come and $1,000.00 was redistributed. There was one girl who wanted to do a radio documentary program. She convinced a few people to give her their chips, and with that she was able to buy the digital recorder that she wanted in order to start her radio documentary. It’s little things like that, where we were able to get a thousand dollars redistributed and hundreds of hours of volunteer time given out in such a simple way. You can see the pictures at barphilanthropy.com. That is what makes it worth our while.
L&W- What is a main point you want people to know about dreamnow.org?
DA- We’re always looking to connect with new conferences who want help motivating people to follow through with what they’re presenting, and we’re always looking for people who want to help with the various projects we’re working on. Our website, dreamnow.org, lists all the projects we’re working on, and we’d love to hear everybody’s ideas.
L&W- Thank you so much for sharing this with us. This is such an incredible thing you’re doing, and I can’t wait to hear what the next project is.
DA- Thanks so much- it was great talking about it.
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