Hi! It’s me, Spiffy the interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth with the latest scoop on entrepreneurial ecosystem builders making an impact in the world! Today’s rockstar is PJ Mistry, co-organizer of Action Accelerator, and a passionate supporter of social entrepreneurs. Are you ready to be inspired?
Spiffy: Welcome PJ! So tell me, what challenges are you addressing in your work with Action Accelerator?
PJ: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! So, the biggest challenge I want to address is accelerating action behind the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs). More specifically I work to help people with existing innovative ideas or initiatives overcome the challenges they face to scaling their impact. Many people require access to diverse feedback, experienced mentors and guides, or tools to structure their thoughts into tangible action plans. Others need coaching to craft persuasive pitches.
Spiffy: It sounds like you provide some good resources to rising entrepreneurs. What motivated you to do this?
PJ: After years of attending inspiring events such as the Enactus World Cup and One Young World Summit, I felt that there were already so many solutions out there to achieving the SDGs. However, there was not enough partnership and support to scale these solutions and create the largest impact possible. That’s the impact we urgently need now!
Spiffy: Agreed! Can you tell me how Action Accelerator is working to create a more equitable world?
PJ: At this point, it would be nice to share what Action Accelerator is. We bring those with ideas (innovators) together with those who want to contribute and mentor. As one team, during our events, they solve challenges to scaling ideas into action and help our innovators get going. By the end of the event, the innovators also craft an "elevator pitch" for customers and investors. We've run three years in a row (two in-person and one virtual), accelerating 45 initiatives with over 250 diverse participants from both the private and public sectors including government officials, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, and senior leaders at LinkedIn, Google, KPMG, Unilever, and more. All are welcome! All you have to do is want to change the world with us!
Participants of Action Accelerator's virtual event in 2020. (Photo courtesy of PJ Mistry)
Spiffy: Do you have any recent milestones you could tell me about?
PJ: One very exciting milestone has been shifting our framework from an annual six-hour event to a repeatable and dynamic model. This has allowed us to scale our impact as we co-create varied formats of our events with sustainability-driven organizations. For instance, we are currently working with the Women Ambassadors Forum to plan a six-week mastermind program following their annual event to help their inspired community design an action-oriented way forward.
Spiffy: Can you tell me about a startup or project you’ve worked with that exemplifies the impact you’re striving to make?
PJ: I've had the opportunity to see quite a few initiatives thrive from their experience at Action Accelerator. One, particularly close to my heart, is “period”. “period” was started by Natalia Fernandez, a fellow alumnus from my university, and addresses SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing and 5: Gender Equality. The purpose is to improve the livelihoods of persons suffering from PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). It achieves this by spreading awareness, inspiring others to create open dialogues, and connecting people and their stories of PMDD through art. This is a topic I have learned a lot about in the past years, and it’s been so touching to see Natalia grow her following and impact since attending Action Accelerator in 2020.
Spiffy: I’m curious if you’ve learned anything surprising from someone recently?
PJ: The seven chakras! I can't believe I have gone this long without understanding this fundamental element of my own mind and body. Ingrid Harb from the Women Ambassadors Forum exposed me to them for the first time and now we are working on designing the six mastermind sessions I mentioned earlier around the chakras—connecting the mind and body with Action Accelerator's teachings and models.
Spiffy: Before we sign off, is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
PJ: Action Accelerator is "organization agnostic"—meaning we don't work with only specific organizations (i.e. One Young World, Enactus, Young Impactmakers) and we are not an organization. We are a framework that creates moments in time where any and all existing organizations can bring their collective communities together to create partnerships around the SDGs (#SDG17). That means all are welcome! And we hope to see you at one of our events or programs soon!
PJ Mistry is a choreographer of connection, collaboration, and compassion for each other and Mother Nature. She works at Unilever as a Global Brand Transformation Manager and has lived across three continents, working for the last eight years across brand management and community-building roles. As her "side hustle" she co-organizes the Action Accelerator in partnership with One Young World, Enactus Alumni, and the Circle of Intrapreneurs. (First published on the Ladderworks website on April 21, 2021)
© 2021 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jill Landis Jha. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s interviews of founders building a more equitable world here.