Be a Part of Something Bigger than Yourself

by Kristen Growney Yamamoto, GLIDE Co-Executive Director

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Last week, GLIDE hosted A GLIDE Talk with Ben Horowitz and Lars Dalgaard as two venture capitalists from Andreessen Horowitz discussed Horowitz’s best-selling book The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers and explored the intersection of tech and community. Felicia Horowitz, a leader, generous supporter and frequent volunteer at GLIDE, inspired the event to bring awareness in tech to our work and create more connections. She opened the event with her personal story of opportunity, which immediately set the tone that this is a place where vulnerability is powerful, belief in the potential of everyone, and we are all together here, despite our perceived differences.

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I read Ben Horowitz’s book several months ago. What’s stuck with me is how impressed I am/was with Ben’s belief in people—inclusive and accepting of the gifts inside of everyone. I also like the style of how he communicates, in a crisp way, the toughness it takes to run a startup organization. It also was very validating to see the ups and downs of startups in print. I’m married to a 4-time entrepreneur in the medical device industry, and ride the roller coaster as a spouse. I know it’s not easy, and takes an incredible amount of fortitude and persistence. Entrepreneurs never give up and it’s not always pretty. Ben’s book shows this –what a breath of fresh air!

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Lars and Ben, obviously, comfortable with each other, brought out a unique conversation, one far more personal than I expected. It shed insight into the ‘whys’ of their career, and life—family, slavery, dignity. Several times, they brought those lessons back to the work we do at GLIDE, bridging the worlds of tech and non-tech (which GLIDE most certainly falls into) and relating to our common humanity, dignity, and the role of each of us in doing something bigger than ourselves.   WOW!

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Their talk felt like the perfect alignment of their trust and relationship with each other, our mission, and their experiences. I wondered if Lars and Ben would have that same conversation with tech audience (which it predominately was) at a tech conference or other gathering where they are regularly interviewed. Or was it the conversation being held here at GLIDE, which creates a je ne sais quoi that opens up people to act most freely and personally?

Both Ben and Lars challenged attendees to be a part of something bigger than themselves, in their work and in relation with others. Lars asked attendees to come to the corner of Ellis and Taylor in SF and ask themselves how they feel about what they see? James Beshara, CEO of Crowdtilt invited attendees, followers and supporters of GLIDE Talk to help via #poweredbyLOVE campaign on Crowdtilt. With 59 ’tilters, we’ve raised over $22,000! With three days left, we are inviting the community to help us raise $30,000 to benefit GLIDE’s programs serving the most vulnerable communities in San Francisco. Top contributors will be rewarded a few unique experiences, check it out and get ’tilted.

You can get involved here by volunteering your time, expertise, and resources. We rely on volunteers and supporters to make our work possible! Start with our website to learn more.

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