How can I change the lives of 40 people in 1 hour?

Not bad, show them how great being good feels.

Another idea would be something like outward bound, give them challenges that they don’t think they can overcome.

Show them that they underestimate their eventual capacity to do things, even if they may have a habit of over estimating their initial capacity.

Sit in complete darkness together with strangers.

I assume you’re talking about Draper University of Heroes. If so, I doubt the advice you get here is going to be very useful. I assume what they’re looking for is something high impact and high leverage. IMHO, doing something anyone could do is not likely to be the most profitable path. Instead, look at your team and figure out what unique skills and assets you have that enable you to do things few other people in the world could do.

Get 40 puppies and give them out at a puppy booth for free? I dunno, I got nothin

Tour a prison…then go to the zoo.

Sign people up to be organ donors - you might even have some recipients come in and talk. My uncle died suddenly a few years ago, and it was shocking how many people were effected by donation. His heart and lungs were unusable, but his corneas, kidneys, and veins were fine, plus they were able to make skin grafts, which had the biggest impact. Over the next six months, our family received several letters along the lines of, “Because of his donation, I am able to see again…” "Because of this, I was able to attend my daughter’s wedding… "

This won’t make a big impact today - in fact, most likely, most of those 40 people will die at a ripe old age and won’t be able to donate anything. However, some of them might die in a way that will allow for donation, and that will impact much more than those 40 people.

I am thinking along the same lines. A successful event reinforced by acceptance and admiration of your peers can leave a lasting imprint.

Meet with a group of elderly folks willing to reflect on their lives…


  1. What are your biggest regrets?
  2. What are you most proud of?
  3. What has brought you the most peace?
  4. What has brought you the most anxiety/angst?
  5. What advice would your older self give your younger (21 y/o) self?
    If you really LISTEN they will be grateful and so will you.

This one gets my vote! Maybe cherry pick the seniors to some extent.

This is what I was thinking. Logistically it is much easier to make a life-long impact on a large number of people in a negative way than a positive. I just thought I would mention that in case you want to re-think your whole strategy.

Of course, what changes the way the participants think about the world depends on how the participants think about the world in the first place. I checked out Draper University and it looks very business/capitalism oriented.

I would therefore suggest studying the Icelandic reaction to the crash of 2008. They put their bankers in jail, refused to pay the debts other nations said they owed, and came out of it, if not smelling like roses,arguably much better than most other European nations. Teach them there are REAL alternatives to the business models they are learning.

Post a good joke, an inspiring tale, a story of grace here … perhaps 40 people’s spirits may be lifted.

Everyone in the team donates blood. Blood donation takes an hour at most for new donors.

Blood gets split into red cells, platelets and plasma. Every donation helps three people.

Everyone in the team brings a friend or better still, friends that have never donated blood before. Each friends donation helps another three people.

Not knowing how large your team is, I can’t say how many friends you need to bring. I will leave you to do the maths.

You will never know who you have helped, but your donation will help change someone’s life.

Yeah… my first thought was to shoot up a mall, so I hear you.