Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year (to the Benetech team)

[On New Year's Day, I wrote this to the Benetech team after literally waking up thinking about this, and thought it was worth sharing here.]

I awoke this morning a little later than normal, with NPR on the radio. The first news item was about the latest suicide bomber killing dozens of people: kind of a depressing start to the new year. But then, I remembered that we’re doing something to make the world a better place, and that cheered me up.

It’s easy to forget in the daily grind just how unusual Benetech and our people are. We’re working with groups right now on the front lines of human rights abuses around the world. Environmental activists and organizations are busy saving endangered species (and the planet) with our assistance. And we’re helping schools and teachers and parents and most of all people with disabilities get access to the information they need for school, work and society. We’re working on some of the biggest and toughest problems in the world, and we’re having a significant positive impact on the people we’re helping.

And that’s the true measure of our impact: it’s what our partners and users do with the technology and the knowledge we provide that matters. One of the great rewards of my job is receiving copies of those many emails praising our team or our software or our content for the difference we’ve made. Thank you!

By being part of Benetech, and doing our daily work, we share in the good work done by all of us. We heard loud and clear this past year from the team how much value you place on hearing more about what everybody is doing. I want to encourage more of the team to write guest blogs or host brown-bags or find other ways to share your work and its impact.

As we get started on this new year, and this new decade, I want to celebrate you, the Benetech team. Together, we’re going to figure out how to make a bigger difference for the better for many thousands, if not millions of people. As we face challenges, and see bad things happening in the world, I hope we all can take encouragement from the work we’re doing together at Benetech to make our world a better place.

I hope the new year is kind to you and your families. Thanks for being part of Benetech!

Jim

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