George Clooney's speech at the Emmys was striking. He won the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award and gave a short speech calling for celebrities to use their fame to do good in the world. In his last few lines here is what hit me:
When a disaster happens, everybody wants to help, everybody in this room wants to help, everybody at home wants to help. The hard part is seven months late, five years later, when we're on to a new story. Honestly, we fail at that most of the time. That's the facts.
I fail at that.
So here's hoping that some very bright person right here in the room or at home watching can help find a way to keep the spotlight burning on these heartbreaking situations that continue to be heartbreaking long after the cameras go away. That would be an impressive accomplishment. Thank you.
Of course I was extremely inspired and also thought I am a bright person... let's see what I can come up with. Here is my suggestion. I'm dedicating my idea to the original inspiration and George's speech and calling it:
The HOPE IndexIdea: Highlight the top 10 humanitarian needs in a simple one page document (cheat sheet, if you will) that can be easily distributed to politicians, philanthropists, celebrities, educators, clergy, reporters, etc.
Why: Sure everyone wants to help when something horrible is going on in the world, but as the Pakistani floods just demonstrated, we have no real understanding of the proportion of need and urgency in the world. If there is an America's Most Wanted, why isn't there a World's Most Needed?
Who: There are already experts (ie. Jeffrey Sachs, Samantha Power, Nicholas Kristof...) who know where the greatest need is, so how about the United Nations or in partnership with some of the most well respected organizations (Acumen Fund, Virgin United, Clinton Foundation, Gates Foundation, One Campaign, The Sapling Foundation, The Red Cross...) creating a monthly, or as needed, joint press release highlighting the world's most current crises.
A simple sheet that breaks down the information into an easy format will allow journalists, teachers, politicians, etc. to snack on the info. When information is too overwhelming nothing gets digested or done.
My suggestion for a person to lead this idea is Jacqueline Novogratz. She has the business brilliance and connections (not to mention the perfect partner in Chris Anderson) to assemble the right people. What's in it for her? It would draw even more attention to the amazing work she and her organization, the Acumen Fund, are doing and give her an even bigger megaphone to help the world.
Here >> H.I. << are a few more thoughts on logistics and distribution of the HOPE Index. And below is a quick example of the summary I am talking about:
Again, this is not the start of a new charity or organization it is the spotlight that George Clooney called for in his speech. It is taking what people are unaware of, already working on, or concerned about and providing a simple bite-sized way to communicate the information. Instead of the worst dressed lists, best seller list, America's Most Wanted, or weekly movie box-office stats, lets compile and digest some real information and bring attention to how HOPE can HELP.