Your Purpose is the Solution, A Recap of BREAD’s Startup Classroom featuring CEO of Intersect Studios and host of Behind the Brilliance Lisa Nicole Bell Pt I

Sep 1, 2016 · 5 min read

“Pettiness, drama, we don’t have the time for it. We are actively losing time. How do you want to live your life?” Lisa Nicole Bell

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The impetus to launch BREAD came from a place of deep belief that every individual has a purpose, that they have a unique and meaningful contribution to make that can fundamentally impact the trajectory of the world.

Yet, so often, in communities such as Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, the perception is that these neighborhoods, and their residents, are in need of services. We often view these places, and people, from a problem lens. These neighborhoods are inundated with non-profits, who see themselves as the solution. Well intentioned non-profits see constituents as objects, rather than citizens who are agents of change.

On Thursday, June 23rd #makeBREAD @breadboston hosted another conversation, attracting an audience of entrepreneurs at various stages of their journey at the Roxbury Innovation Center to hear Lisa Nicole Bell share her “Blueprint for Making Bread”.

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Those who were familiar with Lisa’s weekly podcast, Behind the Brilliance, were not surprised by her candor and humor as she engaged with the audience. She emphasized and encouraged the audience that the first step in the Blueprint was to define their why, stating that the why is more important than the what. Lisa can often be heard saying, “If you don’t know your purpose, your purpose is to figure out your purpose.”

In Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl writes,

“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he or she cannot be replaced, nor can his or her life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as is his or her specific opportunity to implement it.”

At BREAD we see ourselves creating a space of like-minded purpose driven or purpose seeking individuals who believe in the philosophical concept of meliorism, which is the belief that the world can be made better by human effort. Where others might ask if we see the glass as half full or half empty, those who are oriented around meliorism are asking, how can we get more in the glass?

Searching for purpose and meaning is not futile. In fact, it is imperative to our wellbeing. We each need to feel that we matter, which means feeling seen and recognized, while simultaneously feel we are having an impact in the word. When people are purpose-driven not only does the individual feel a sense of worth, but also provides prosocial value for their community as a whole. Research supports this.

Can you recall a public event where the conversation encouraged thinking about your purpose, dreams and passions? Is it possible to view someone as having a purpose, if the perception of them is solely of someone in need? BREAD is working to actively reorient both the perception and the conversation.

One of the most powerful components of all #makeBREAD Startup Classroom talks is the Dream Cypher, where audience members courageously volunteer to stand up in front of the room and share not only their dream, their purpose, their why with others, but what they have been working towards and the actual impact they are having.

Lisa reminded the room that when you share your projects and ideas you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We wanted to be able to highlight some of our inspiring BREAD audience members who participated in the Dream Cypher on June 23rd who embody #makeBREAD’s why, our purpose. We believe that entrepreneurs, creatives, and millennials are central to dreaming, designing and implementing systems that serve and benefit the whole of our community. In the next two posts we will be sharing the stories of BREAD participants Veronica Chapman and Lindsay Little.

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Here’s what our audience said they took away from our Startup Classroom featuring Lisa Nicole Bell:

Lastly, the fan favorite of the evening

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Thank you to our partners and sponsors who made this event possible!

@bostonfdn @PressPassTV @RoxburyInno @OTBAgency @bb_bananabread @BYSN_Info @epicentercom @U_revolution

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