Bringing Attention to Climate Change, Extreme Poverty, and Global Health Issues; with Devin Thorpe

Cassi Lowe
Nov 11, 2019 · 4 min read
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Devin’s organization, Your Mark on the World Center, covers the world’s biggest issues through insightful articles, interviews, books, videos, and more. His biggest areas of focus are climate change, poverty, and global health issues.

Although these issues are enormous, Devin’s optimism shines through. Read the interview below for his view on where the world is headed and how we can help.

Tell me more about your organization and the work that you do.

Your Mark on the World Center is a new media journalism business. We publish a YouTube show. I write for Forbes as a contributor. I do a podcast, basically just the simulcast of the YouTube show. I travel around, and I speak.

The interesting thing about it is — we are winding it up after eight years, and I’m working on a completely new business. I’m hoping that it’s going to be like Your Mark on the World Center 2.0, but way, way better.

What’s going to be the focus of the new business?

I can’t say yet, but we’re going to be focusing on the same kinds of issues, but the rest is still, let’s just say, stealth mode, shall we?

Can you go into a little bit more about the types of issues that you cover currently?

I like to focus on three areas, although I look at this largely through the lens of social entrepreneurship and impact investing. I also have a real passion for and believe wholeheartedly in the work of nonprofits and philanthropy. I know there are some in the social enterprise space, the impact investing space, that see those as fundamentally flawed. I view those as fundamentally, profoundly good and an inherently required part of the success of solving the world’s big problems. But it is those world’s big problems that I focus on. When I talk about the world’s big problems, I’m talking about climate change, extreme poverty and global health issues.

How did you get started in doing this?

I wrote a book called Your Mark on the World while I was living in China, teaching at South China University of Technology. In the process of promoting that book, I was invited to start contributing to Forbes, and those together have shaped my career. I’ve written a number of books and thousands of articles and built up an audience of millions of people.

Was your background teaching originally, or were you doing something before that?

I was most recently before that, the chief financial officer of a global food and beverage business. Before that, I ran a little investment banking firm. I’m a finance guy. I’ve always been passionate about writing, but I’ve discovered the thing that I enjoy most is doing what you’re doing now, and that is to talk to interesting people. I’m not sure how interesting I am, but I like to talk to interesting people, and that has brought me the most joy over the last eight years. I have had the opportunity to interview 1200 amazing people for my show.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far throughout your career?

I’m still trying to figure that out. I ask that question to people all the time, and they always give me a much better answer than that. But it also convinces me that I’m still learning, and maybe that’s the lesson, that there is so much more to learn than we know, at least that I know. I feel absolutely like there’s so much more to learn than I know, that I’m afraid to draw too many conclusions.

What advice would you give to social entrepreneurs?

I think the real power for success may lie in finding the intersection of three things, things you love to do and are good at, problems you’re really passionate about solving, and thirdly, something the world will pay you for. If you can find the intersection of those things, I think you can actually have a tremendous impact on the world and never work a day in your life.

What is your vision for the future, either for your organization or the world or both?

I am really optimistic about where we’re headed in the world. The trendlines on poverty and global health are especially good, notwithstanding some problems here in the United States. The global trend is really positive on both of those fronts.

On the climate change front, things of course right now are horrible, and much of the dialogue suggests things will just get horribler. And that’s right. The reason that people say they’re going to get horribler is that they will. There is no way for us to remove carbon from the atmosphere quickly enough for us to avoid continuing to see increasing effects of climate change.

That said, I am really convinced that we will in fact not only reduce our emissions, but bring the world into a falling carbon concentration in the atmosphere quickly enough that we will avoid exceeding the two degree cap on climate change that the climate change scientists talk about. I think we will collectively, globally get our hands around that.

What action do you want readers to take?

We’ve got to get serious about climate change right now. I don’t care what you do with my content. What I want you to do is eat less meat, buy an electric car, put solar panels on your house. All of those things will save you money in the short to medium term and will have a huge impact on the climate as well.

Find Devin Online:

Your Mark on the World:


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