Season 3 Episode 22
When Clint Borgen was a sophomore in college the war in Kosovo broke out. In 3 months the fighting had killed 10,000 people and displaced 800,000. Borgen decided that he needed to do something so he found a group to volunteer with and went to the region. That experience changed the direction of his life.
Being a witness to war and the impacts that it had on the populace made him aware of how little it actually takes to improve the situation of people living as refugees. He also got to see where the US did and didn't step in to help people in these situations.
He recognized that as the world's global superpower the US has the capacity to direct the conversation about what is happening and from there, funding and support to people and regions in crisis.
He decided that what he would do was essentially act as a lobbyist for poor people and try to get addressing global poverty on the agenda for members of Congress. He came home and founded the Borgen Project and has been working on behalf of the world's poor ever since.
I learned a lot from this conversation including how little it can actually take to get an issue on the radar of a member of Congress and how small actions in this arena can have an outsized impact.
If you think that what you do doesn't have make a difference, listen to Clint and find out how much power you actually have. Then, let's go out and change the world.
Clint Borgen is the founder and president of The Borgen Project, an organization working to bring U.S political attention to global poverty. Borgen works nationally with congressional leaders to build support for legislation that improves conditions for people in developing nations. He's widely regarded as one of the leading poverty reduction campaigners in the United States.
For a written transcript of this conversation click here.
Harmonica music courtesy of a friend