Inspire Friday Issue No. 9

A musical stop in Chicago, Kenya’s elephant baby boom, in awe of our flying friends, the newest national park, and more…

Musical art in the Windy City. In episode two of our short-form series America’s Treasures – Musical Cities, we travel to Chicago, everyone’s favorite Midwestern cultural hub.  Meet jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis and Chicago footwork pioneers Eddie Martin Jr. and Donetta Jackson who show us it really is possible to dance to 160 beats per minute.  Watch here.

In awe of our flying friends. This year’s winning images from the Bird Photographer of the Year contest have left us in awe of the beauty of our avian neighbors. Hosted by the charity organization Birds on the Brink, all contest profits go directly towards conservation efforts. We love art that helps a good cause. See the photos.

The USA’s newest national park. There are only 62 official national parks in the U.S., and the very latest to receive this designation is New Mexico’s White Sands. Curious to see the other 10 most recent national parks? Check out this list and get ready for some major travel inspo. Read more.

It’s a baby boom!  Here’s some good news.  The Amboseli National Park near Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya is experiencing a surge in elephant births.  More than 170 baby elephants have been born so far this year, with more on the way. Compared to 117 calves born in 2018, that’s a huge jump for the elephant population. Congratulations, elephant mamas and papas. Read more.


Every week, MFF president Shaun MacGillivray will share what is inspiring him now, his favorite book recommendations, podcasts, articles, short films, docs, quotes, trends, innovative companies, people, and entrepreneurial stories.

Innovations in online learning. Chip Paucek is the CEO of 2U, one of the leading online education companies powering incredible innovations in online learning.  In a fascinating interview with the podcast FYI – For Your Innovation, Paucek talks about how schools and universities are transitioning from the classroom to online education, how online learning can make classes more engaging and how it can help bring down the staggering amount of student debt by making higher education more affordable. Listen here.

And…for some inspiring book recommendations….
Visit Shaun’s “Never Stop Learning” reading list.

Two of a kind. In one of our favorite photos of all time, high school sweethearts Greg MacGillivray and Barbara Smith attend the Huntington Beach Surfing Championship (then called the West Coast Surfing Championship) in Southern California in September 1963.  This was the most important U.S. surf contest outside of the MacArthur Hawaiian championship, and was not to be missed. A few weeks later, the two would both leave for college. Barb was headed to Cornell University while Greg had his heart set on the University of California, Santa Barbara.  More than 50 years later, the two are still just a couple of young kids in love.

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