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How one startup CEO enlisted millions of people around world to clean up trash

Jeff Kirschner is the founder and CEO of Litterati, the crowdsourcing app that has helped people all over the world clean up more than 6 million pieces of litter to date. Litterati isn’t just cleaning up the streets though: the data collected by the app is actually transforming the way some companies do business.

Jeff has also transformed his own career, from ad exec and screenwriter to green entrepreneur. He’s got a lot of heartfelt insights to offer on how to tackle big problems, how to use data, how to tell the story and bring people on board… and how to navigate the joys and sorrows of a purpose-driven career.

Show episode notes

  • 02:50 – Jeff talks about the challenges of abandoning Instagram to bring an app to the Litterati community.
  • 04:10 – Why the app’s AI capability is essential for driving change.
  • 05:58 – Giving people the power to drive change, and the amazing Taco Bell example.
  • 08:03 – Jeff talks about the “simple and sophisticated” notion of creating “citizen scientists”.
  • 11:06 – Yesh asks Jeff’s approach to litter can be transferred to other issue areas. Jeff brings up being an “aggressive listener”.
  • 12:36 – Jeff points out that he doesn’t follow his passion–he follows the problem.
  • 13:33 – Is is easier to get for a purpose than a paycheck?
  • 15:06 – Jeff goes into a major moment of failure, and the work that it takes to recover… turning disappointment into delight.
  • 19:53 – Yesh and Jeff have along exchange about the power and alchemy of storytelling… and why it’s essential to success.
  • 24:55 – Jeff talks about the amazing people he’s put on his “personal Board of Directors”.

Want to learn more about Litterati, storytelling and the amazing “personal Board of Directors” Jeff spoke about? Follow these links:

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