When Life Gives You Lemons, Change The World: LinkedIn Speaker Series with Vivienne Harr

September 5, 2014

Vivienne Harr Speaker Series

“No offense to you adults, sometimes you just make things too complicated. Just do it.” ~Vivienne Harr

In our latest LinkedIn Speaker Series, 10-year-old Vivienne Harr captured our hearts. She is the youngest speaker we’ve had at LinkedIn - her bubbly personality combined with her passion for putting an end to child slavery left everyone feeling incredibly inspired (and wondering what the heck we were all doing with our lives when we were 10?!?).

So what’s her story? After seeing a picture of two child slaves, Vivienne was compelled to act against injustice. She used the only business experience she had to create a lemonade stand to raise money in the fight against child slavery. In just 173 days, she raised $100,000, but she wasn’t satisfied just reaching her goal. She decided since child slavery wasn’t done, she wasn’t done. So she continued every single day (even when she was sick on her 9th birthday) to sell lemonade for 365 days. Two years later, this has now become a business called Make A Stand. Her father even quit his day job to help figure out how to bottle and sell the lemonade (aka “lemon-aid”) so they could scale this operation to help end child slavery.

Vivienne’s presentation was packed with wisdom - many simple reminders of very powerful ideas. On her crazy journey, she’s learned five not-so crazy things:

  1. Compassion is not compassion without action.
  2. Stand firm.
  3. If you can dream it, you can do it.
  4. Dream big.
  5. You don’t have to be big or powerful to change the world.

These learnings apply well beyond the movement to end child slavery and are really about encouraging people to make a stand for whatever you are truly passionate about.

I am so incredibly grateful that my job allows me to meet inspiring people like Vivienne, her family and the Make A Stand team. She’s inspired me to say “yes”, not make things too complicated, and make a difference by making a stand.

Now that you’ve heard Vivienne’s story….what’s your story? What will you make a stand for?