Two Year Anniversay

January marked the two year anniversary of the blog. Its seen an interesting period in my personal and professional career, as I’ve transitioned so much. Here are some of my reflections from the last period:

  1. Building a nonprofit organization is hard. There is a particular skill set, level of energy and commitment that it takes to start something from scratch, and if those requirements aren’t in place it is difficult to succeed. Acquiring those skills, that energy and commitment while your running (e.g. “building the plane in flight”) is nearly impossible, too.
  2. Moving entrenched systems cannot be done alone. The nature of systems is that there are multiple people and structures in place whose job it is to ensure that that structure remains intact. One individual striving for change throughout that system will have a difficult time fostering transformation.
  3. Take nothing for granted. I know this cliche is thrown around, but its true – nothing is constant but change. Communities constantly change. Young people constantly change. The ways we work with young people should constantly change. We should constantly change. Relying on sameness will only disappoint us, and the young people we want to engage in changing the world, and the communities that are dependent on the change we may create.
  4. The puzzle is made of pieces. While it seems obvious, I have only recently recognized that a large component of my work requires those pieces in order to work. We must foster long term visions, but make them inseparable from current day-to-day practice.

That’s all for now. Look for the book soon.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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