The 3/11 disaster in Tohoku changed the entire way I look at disaster recovery, because it exposed me to this concept of people inspire people. It’s more than having the best product—or building houses for everybody or bringing toys for the kids. What really supported recovery was the people just showing up.
Angela Ortiz is the CEO of Place To Grow, a volunteer-led nonprofit that strives to connect and inspire a rising generation of leaders in disaster-stricken Tohoku communities. Angela believes that by embracing fear, we empower ourselves so that we may empower others.
After seeing the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear meltdown in Tohuku, Japan (known as 3/11), it was only by overcoming the trauma of her experience that Angela was able to take on the monumental responsibility of a social impact career.
In today’s episode, Angela shares the wellness rituals, mindset approaches, and leadership skills that help her stay grounded while moving forward with her purpose. As someone who works in a vulnerable, heartbreaking, and demanding space, she shares thoughtful ways to care for causes and communities without sacrificing ourselves.
Social impact achieves its aim when we choose to lead with empowerment. Angela will show you how to pull yourself out of a place of fear so you can empower yourself and those around you.
In this episode, Angela shares:
- What she witnessed after the 2011 Tohuku disaster and where her passion for social impact originated.
- How her background in education, “third culture” status, and interest in societal interaction feeds into her passion
- Productivity tips and how to overcome overwhelm by having a clear “why.
- A lesson learned through a social impact experience that taught her the dangers of ignorance.
- The emotional strain of social impact work and how family time helps her cope.
- The need to move past celebrating busyness and spend more time on introspection.
- How valuable being present is and how parents can instill this skill in their kids.
- How NPOs need to change and often perpetuate what they aim to resolve.
- Resources and advice for people who are looking to get into social impact work.
Angela Ortiz is a multicultural entrepreneur, CSR professional, author, and fitness enthusiast. She is CEO of Place To Grow, a community-building non-profit—as well as CSR Senior Manager at Adidas Japan. She lives in Tokyo with her daughter.
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