Sponsor me a Private Jet and an Unlimited Credit Card

Sponsor me a Private Jet and an Unlimited Credit Card

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Do you have a private jet and an unlimited credit card that you can give me?

Or – do you know somebody who has?

Why do I mischievously ask this question? Three reasons:

Firstly, because it is such a crazy request that it might just be mad enough to work.

Secondly, I have the time and ability to make really effective use of these resources, to deliver a huge legacy for someone in return.

Thirdly, my time, energy and resources are far better used in serving humanity today than building resources to serve humanity at some point in the future.

Acquiring these resources is not the entire purpose of my post, though. It is a provocation and a reflection of something I am seeing more in the world. It highlights a big issue for me.

In my work trying to make the small Channel Island of Guernsey the best place to live on earth by 2020, I am meeting a lot of other people who are making an impact, yet are underserved by the communities they live in.

I call these people Social Catalysts, and they exist within every community. They give huge amounts of time and dedication to improving where we live, without asking anything in return. They are the people who switch off their televisions, get out there, and spend their time, energy and resources on solving the problems they see in their communities. As I travel the world, I see more and more of them. I see lots of them in my own community, as I focus on moving my own life towards this role.

What the majority of them have in common is the struggle to find revenue streams that can enable them to dedicate most of their time to serving others. They also lack the resources to improve their skills and connections to make more impact than they currently achieve. And more disturbingly, they often lack the resources to live in good health.

Like many other societies in the West, our welfare system supports many people who do not contribute to the community at all. Yet there is very little financial support for those who do. Personally, I am not sure that sends the right message about contribution. The tragedy is that people who spend their entire lives helping and serving others tend to be in greater financial strife than those doing nothing for themselves or their community. A serious systemic issue is holding back our ability to solve our own problems.

Another issue is that we give to charities, rather than supporting people who give their own time and expertise to those charities. Of course, charities have value – but I have met many an innovative person stuck in a charity, surviving on a small income from that charity and constrained by their limited role, when they could be working several levels higher, developing the next levels of impact. Funding and developing the individual could make a bigger difference in the world.

Thankfully, this idea is starting to gain traction. The support and development of Impact Leadership is a high-leverage approach to increasing impact. If you look at organisations such as Ashoka, Acumen, Leaders Quest, Pioneers for Change and The Thiel Fellowship, you start to see the emergence of a model that can be effectively used in every community.

Hopefully, we will start to realise that sponsoring high-impact individuals to thrive in communities is a hugely effective way to deliver long term impact. Then we will have the change we want to see in the world.

My wish is for the role of the Social Catalyst to be recognised and rewarded by the communities they serve. I would much rather see taxpayers’ resources and philanthropy shifted in that direction than where those resources are being spent now. To my mind, it would make a bigger difference.

So who are the top changemakers in your community?

What are you doing to help them thrive and to increase their impact?

If you want to build a better world – it starts with them.


P.S. Remember – if you do have – or know of anyone with – a private jet and unlimited credit card, then be sure to send them my way. I have a very interesting proposition for them…

P.P.S. Even if you don’t personally know anyone with those resources – please share this post. Through the ever-decreasing degrees of separation, I am certain that you are connected to someone who does. The world needs your contribution!

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add a comment
  1. Marc,

    I think this is one of the maddest requests I have ever received……it says much and yet actually very little.

    It is so audacious that no doubt you will be inundated with offers, wave good-bye to Air Miles!


  2. Great post Marc. I’ve shared this concept with many folks in our community since our conversation. If you happen to get two private jets, I’d be happy to put the second one to good use. Continuing the journey … 🙂

  3. Jonathan Bean says

    Agree 100%. I meet so many amazing people who are acting as social catalysts and social entrepreneurs.

    It would be great to hear from people their views on how well the many organisations set up to support social entrepreneurs are achieving their aims. Are they getting the support they need to turbo-charge their impact whilst avoiding burn out and bankruptcy?

  4. …fabulous…and dont forget lead international, create, unlimited & the funding network from your list of organisations building impact as community catalysts…

  5. Another interesting article.

    But I wonder whether offering resources, training, support, tools, best practice models, etc to encourage/create more “high-impact individuals” could create an even bigger splash than just a few guys carrying limitless credit cards in their private jets?!

    Just a thought!

  6. Dyrke Schaefer says

    Hi Marc,

    Love this idea. Who knows… you may indeed just get the support you’re looking for. I certainly hope so. I’ve shared the message with my LinkedIn network. I’ll get it out to my FB network, as well.

    I’d like to think that I would definitely help you, or others like you, with this request if I had the means, myself. Not the case, though.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  7. Tristan Wegner says

    I observed a weird judgemental phenomenon in people:
    Imagine you learn that the CEO of a good charity for helping the poor earns 500k/a. A bit outrageous? How can he help the poor and keep so much for himself?
    Imagine you learn that the CEO of a random marketing company earns 500k/a. Is that outrageous? Or did he “earn” it by building up the company?

    I noticed that many people find it more immoral that the first person earns that much money,although the first person is helping improve society way more.
    Somehow people demand a higher personal sacrific, if you want to improve the world!
    Basically they find it fair to pay people to not help the world!

    How do you or people you met see this?

  8. Marc, So soo true. Social policy in Europe rewards financially those who contribute least. Financial support is needed for those energetic, Social Catalysts. Philip Wollen of http://www.kindnesstrust.com is doing just that. And making great changes happen.

  9. Excellent to meet you yesterday. Informed knowledge is the key. Shame you weren’t around in the early 1990s when so much attempted to be kicked off. But you are here now. And that is the important thing. Good luck in your quest, ours move in parallel lines – just don’t fancy a jet!

  10. Charlotte Hartwell says

    Yes, that whole pesky earn a living thing…! I am still struggling to achieve that, and also have failed to make a valid contribution to society of any great magnitude. Am I going about things the wrong way? Originally this was called religion – leaders who didn’t earn much/anything, but relied on the giving of their followers, who believed. (Although in some cases, the leaders earned an awful lot from this process.) Charlotte

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