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Idealist.org founder, Ami Dar, had that very same question. On a backpacking trip in Chile in the mid 1980s, Dar first had the idea of creating a global network to help interested people plug their energy into the organizations and initiatives that needed them. Several years later he was introduced to the internet and its remarkable ability to connect people – and Idealist has not looked back since. Dar took the time to speak with Repair the World about his own inspiration for social justice work, what Idealist might have been like if the internet never came along, and why now is the perfect time to follow your dreams and change the world.
Idealist has grown exponentially since you first launched it in 1996 (read about the organization’s history here). What has surprised you most along the way?
I have been surprised at how much longer things take than I might want them to. The whole idea that Rome was not built in a day applies. As human beings we take our time to sign on to new ideas, even when they completely make sense – so I have learned patience. You just keep doing what you have to do to give people incentives and slowly build a movement.