Dan Cullum had an idea in 2007: if a person can wear the same t-shirt for a whole year, they can change the world; and for the past 1200 days he has only worn ‘I Am Dan’ t-shirts. Changing our little part of the world for good is welcome right now, especially after an unwelcome and unwanted change for bad on February 22nd.
Director of the ‘I Am Challenge’, Cullum currently dares young people in 10 countries around the world to complete the ‘One Year T-shirt Challenge’. Each Challenger receives 10 shirts, with ‘I Am’ and their name on it, they wear it for one whole year in order to raise funds and volunteer for an organisation that they are passionate about. The shirt stands for ‘I am who I am, and I am making a difference’, it aims to connect youth around the world under one banner of positive social change, and to break down the walls of materialism found in present day society. Dan was selected as a British Council Global Changemaker in 2010, one of 60 young social activists from around the world to attend a leadership summit in London for his work with the I Am Challenge. He was then invited to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2011 along with 4 other Global Changemakers to present on the I Am Challenge.
I Am Challenge New Zealand in 2011 is committed to the ‘Rebuilding of the Human Spirit of Christchurch’. Challengers around New Zealand will raise funds and awareness for the projects that Challengers in Christchurch will be running. Music, dance, theatre, art and sports programs are running in 2011 in Christchurch schools in areas that have been affected. In terms of the part TEDxEQChCh plays in that process, as Dan Cullum says it helps in;
Transforming the brilliance of the collaborative effort of the human mind at TEDxEQCHCH, into rebuilding on the streets, of not just buildings and roads, but hearts and lives.
Young people in New Zealand, coming together to put smiles on faces, and hope in the hearts of the young people of the Garden City – that is the dream. A dream that TEDxEQChCh is right behind.