Welcoming 2011—with a little eye towards 2051

With every new year comes an awareness that the next 365 days offer us a big wide empty canvas. We welcome it with open arms because it gives each of us a chance at rebirth, to bury the mistakes and foibles of the past year, exchanging them for unbridled potential in the new. And while we must move on from our successes of 2010, we carry the optimism that those to come may be even greater. Ah I love the new year!

This year, I’d like to challenge each of us to choose to do one small thing differently on a daily basis.

Why? Every day, we do things (whether we realize it or not) that damage the world around us for the entirety of our lives and the lives of our children. Whether it’s using a disposable diaper, which won’t even begin to biodegrade within our lifetime, or throwing away a water bottle, which might be around to see the next generation of dinosaurs in a few million years, each of us contributes to the degradation of our world on a daily basis.

While there’s not much each of us as individuals can do to directly address this global issue (except perhaps Barack…hey old-buddy if you’re reading my blog again, get back to work man!), we can each make our own destiny and decisions at the margin. My challenge to you is to spend an extra 25 minutes this week, as we’re contemplating our vision for 2011, to consider your goals from the perspective of this simple question: How can I achieve each of my goals while having a better impact on my planet for the sake of my children?

At RichRelevance, we’ll be making community service a centerpiece of our culture for 2011. From recycling, to food scrap and organics composting to volunteering, we’ll be stepping up our programs to be better citizens of our communities and of our families. We’ll be volunteering together as a company because the {rr} employees have requested this. It’s not just the right thing to do, we all value and enjoy it.

Taking yet another step, we’ve invited Nate York, the Executive Director of Solace International (www.solaceinternational.org) to come to our offices to talk with us a little bit about the impact he and his organization are having on the world—and how we can help his organizations and those similar to be more effective. He’ll be joining us for lunch on February 3 to discuss his experience with global issues such as education in Africa and building schools in Afghanistan and the importance of economic sustainability in the world of NGO’s. It’s a great way to learn from someone in the field how we can broaden our own personal impact, even if we aren’t tackling the big problems head-on, and how we can help those who are.

In 2011, let’s blow our personal and professional goals out of the water. If we can simultaneously make the world a better place, I’ll bet after achieving our goals, we’ll like the world we find a whole lot more.

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This post was written by David Selinger

ABOUT David Selinger
David is CEO and founder of RichRelevance. He first garnered international recognition as an expert in the field of eCommerce data analytics and personalization with his groundbreaking work leading the research and development arm of Amazon’s Data Mining and Personalization team. In that role, David increased Amazon’s annual profit by over $50 million (25% of US profit, 2003) setting the industry standard for recommendation services. To view David's full profile, click here.
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