There is a persistent challenge of the common interest. Some critical work is no one person’s job, with no obvious personal reward.
We wanted to engage with the question: how we can mobilize real community gratitude, make ourselves happier, while helping people who are doing good so they…and all of us…can do more good?
Our idea is a community of radical gratitude – a human gratitude engine. A way to gather with others to crowdthank in creative ways – from your desk, from the palm of your hand – even in person. Like crowdfunding, but where you appreciate and promote other people’s work. Like micro-genius grants. Not a grant saying “so you can fulfill the following obligation,” but saying “because you did great stuff” Like an upvoting website, but with action. For acts of kindness that aren’t entirely random. Creative community gratitude — for stuff that matters.
So, we began organizing “SuperThank” events. First, a flash thank for an activist couple that built a friendship network to save lives at the local suicide bridge. Then a crowdfunding campaign for an NGO in Liberia arming youth in his war-torn country with books and democracy instead of AK-47s.
People are out there going above and beyond for all of us. From education, to healthy communities, clean streets, a working democracy, care for people who really need it…. We know we should feel grateful, but whose job is it to act on that gratitude? Who deserves a thank you from more than just you?
In civic advocacy, politics, media, business — folks say “please” a lot. Sometimes “you’d better.” Even “why the heck did you do that?” What if there were more “thank you”?
We call it radical community gratitude. And it just might just make a difference.
Michelle is a rock star organizer who some even say can work magic. She is the lead organizer behind the most successful TEDx event in Portland, a professor of organizational behavior and leadership, and a mentor to many. We are grateful to have her talents and soul on the SuperThank founding team.
Tim is an itinerant student of human behavior. After returning from France with his (adorable) French wife, he became interested in studying how gratitude could make the world a better place, and how he could help bring more gratitude into the world. Tim has recently left the glamorous life of a cheese monger behind him to pursue a career in helping good people do more good things. Tim makes games, dances, and is kind of a foodie.
Paul is a public servant working for change from all sides of the system, by being an avid information hunter and gatherer. He can usually figure out how to push the right buttons, with his guiding philosophy being “if you’re not breaking anything, you’re not trying hard enough.” In his spare time he takes pictures, pulls weeds, and races small sailboats.
Michael is an energy professional and recent MBA graduate who hails from the Frozen North. His journey towards gratitude began after studying how business can be motivated by more than just profit. It was at this time that co-founder Timothy Marcroft asked him to join SuperThank. Michael is also a political advocate, avid baseball player, and collector of obscure facts.
Har Rai is a visual artist who works to promote an adventurous life filled with gratitude. When he’s not creating media for SuperThank, he can be found volunteering as an avalanche educator for the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol, or carrying camera gear to remote locations for some of the best commercial photographers in Oregon and beyond.