Adrienne | Week 11: Montara Circle

Two weeks ago we held our third Montara Circle – an open discussion inviting fifty of the most brilliant minds in business, academia, technology, and popular culture to discuss tangible and actionable steps in ending modern-day slavery.  Here David Batstone presented sixty-five percent of a solution to a problem, with the topic being the Free2Work app.  The guests were asked to come up with the remaining thirty-five percent, over the course of 24 hours, by working together, collaborating, and juggling ideas through small working groups.  This meeting of minds was created to be a catalyst for innovative and sustainable solutions.  The ultimate goal was to create ideas that haven’t been thought of yet, and implement solutions with the hope of seeing the Free2Work app expand, grow, and be consciously used by every consumer out there.

It was invigorating to be surrounded by a room beaming with expertise.  I had attendees say to me “I have been to conferences before, but never one where every person in the room cares so passionately about the same cause.”  These people, all bringing their own skills and talents to the table, embodied the ethos of what Not For Sale is all about – everyone has a role to play in this movement, and everyone can be a part of the solution to end modern-day slavery.

This year’s Montara Circle encountered some very characteristic Half Moon Bay winter weather.  Grey skies loomed as spatters of drizzle rained down on the area intermittently.  As fellows, we acted as support for the event in any way we could, even if it meant shuttling attendees in under the safety of a single umbrella.  Standing in the rain, I relished in how incredibly privileged I felt being able to be part of this day.

As I met one guest at his car, and we walked towards La Costanera together, it dawned on me; here I am walking under the same umbrella, talking to one of the best doctors in the world, a leader and a pioneer in the medical industry.  This person has directly and indirectly helped me, and several people I care about, and he doesn’t even know it.  He did what he did because he was passionate about it, and wanted to help people have a second lease on life.  For that, I will be forever grateful.

That’s when I realized, that the way I feel towards this person, even though I was meeting him for the first time, is likely the way that thousands of people around the world feel about David Batstone and Not For Sale.  It is incredibly empowering to realize how you may have directly or indirectly helped someone recreate his or her own future through a collective passion and wanting to bring justice to this world.  Solutions to answers come in many forms, but the collective passion of people is what empowers this movement.  I know every attendee, staff and fellow got to be part of that at Montara Circle and I’m excited to see the ideas produced become actual results in the near future.


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