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Michael Sheldrick with Paulin Basinga

From Ideas to Impact — Harnessing Pop Culture for Social Justice

Monday, April 15
7:30 pm PDT
$5 – $25 Sliding Scale
Learn more about Sliding Scale tickets.


The Wyncote NW Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, 98101 United States
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Note: Town Hall events are approximately 75 minutes long.

"From Ideas to Impact" book cover
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From Ideas to Impact: A Playbook for Influencing and Implementing Change in a Divided World

The Elliott Bay Book Company

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Headshots of Michael Sheldrick and Dr. Paulin Basinga

In April 2020, when the world was in the early months of COVID-19, you may remember the televised concert that Lady Gaga hosted called “One World: Together At Home.”

This star-studded show was put together by Global Citizen, an international social justice organization that used the program to promote and support healthcare workers and the World Health Organization. The program was remarkable in harnessing pop culture to promote social justice issues. Michael Sheldrick, a co-founder of Global Citizen, believes leaders must adopt concepts like this to tackle the challenges in today’s fractionalized culture.

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Drawing from real-life examples, Sheldrick shares this strategy in his book, From Ideas to Impact: A Playbook for Influencing and Implementing Change in a Divided World. Sheldrick identifies key characteristics of successful change makers: they are leaders who are practical implementers, connectors, and networkers. Sheldrick also has concrete advice, such as avoiding demands for unwavering loyalty and winning arguments at all costs. He outlines step-by-step tools to foster connections and cooperation and examines past and current movements that have made lasting impacts.

Sheldrick believes that it’ll take huge social changes to make an impact on today’s biggest challenges. Lady Gaga’s online concert in April 2020 was one example of how Sheldrick puts this into action. Now, he wants to share his toolkit with individual changemakers, philanthropists, professionals, corporate foundations, and students. These are the people, Sheldrick argues, who can drive the real solutions in our tumultuous world.

Michael Sheldrick is a policy entrepreneur and Co-Founder and Chief Policy, Impact, and Government Affairs Officer at Global Citizen, where he spearheads campaigns to eradicate extreme poverty by rallying support from governments, businesses, and foundations. With a unique career bridging pop culture and policy, he has collaborated with renowned artists like Beyoncé, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, and political figures including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Sheldrick has co-produced influential social campaigns and events like the Global Citizen Festival in New York and the Guinness World Record-winning virtual concert One World: Together At Home, reaching millions worldwide and securing over forty billion in commitments.

Dr. Paulin Basinga leads the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s work in Africa. Previously, as the foundation’s director of health for Africa, Paulin led a team that developed and implemented country plans to advance the foundation’s health priorities in Africa. Earlier, he was the foundation’s country director in Nigeria, where he re-established critical partnerships and advanced the foundation’s health, nutrition, agriculture, gender, and financial inclusion priorities and aligned them with the Nigerian government’s Human Capital Development Agenda.

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