Jon Sutton

Executive Director, Empowering Students
Indianapolis, IN, United States

About Jon

Bio

I've done the normal stuff: Manager at a country club daycare, political campaigns. Stuff like that. Now my job is helping people. My goal is to help students find what they are passionate about and attack it.

An idea worth spreading

My idea is Empowering Students. It's a web-based micro-network to connect students with charities. Think of a LinkedIn for teenagers. In English, we're going to let students and student-led service organizations create profiles to mingle with each other and with charities that sign up on our site. The goal is to create a new generation of service-based leaders who understand charity and will use it to change our world.

I'm passionate about

Helping people help themselves.

Universities

DePauw University

Talk to me about

Not-for-profits and how to make them successful.

People don't know I'm good at

All things internet.

My TED story

A teacher showed me the site and Seth Godin sold me on it.

Comments & conversations

132623
Jon Sutton
Posted over 3 years ago
How long is an ideal business plan?
Thanks, Zdenek. That's what I was thinking too. I had gotten some feedback from an advisor that it was too long and that 10-12 was the ideal length. I thought I covered what I needed to and did so in a fairly concise way, thus my length was appropriate.
132623
Jon Sutton
Posted over 3 years ago
A Constitutional Amendment for "We the People" to vote and overturn this corrupt decision by The US Supreme Court
I think what he is saying is that, quite often, the judicial system has become politicized. You can't disagree with this. Both the left and the right decry judicial activism and regardless of political stripe I think we have to agree it happens. The recent decisions of the Supreme Court have been dubious. One great example is Citizens United but it isn't the only. There is anecdotal evidence, like the "that's not true" and Clarence Thomas' wife and financial disclosure forms. On the other side, there is Justice Kagan not recusing herself in a case where I would argue she is more than a bit biased. We do not need a pure democracy. In many cases, our Republic works. However, that is not to say it is perfect. There is no reasonable check on the Supreme Court. There is impeachment, but the most obvious bias and corruption we have ever seen (Clarence Thomas) goes without even a vote in Congress. The Senate approval (advise & consent) power is almost always on partisan lines, with a few crossing over to sustain a cloture vote/majority. I'm not saying that Congress should be able to overturn the decisions of the Supreme Court. Obviously that isn't what our Founders intended. I don't trust the people more than I trust the Supreme Court. There has to be some better option, though, than what we have. The Supreme Court is so clearly political it isn't even funny any more.
132623
Jon Sutton
Posted over 3 years ago
How do I get employees to do their job? How do I motivate them?
Really good comments all around -- thank you. Stuart, your insight was particularly helpful. At times, I think I get lost in the big picture -- where I want us to be in a year -- and then we get bogged down and miss where I want us to be in a month. Part of that is my inexperience as a manager and part of it is that I'm still a 19 year old kid running a NFP with close to 15 volunteers including 5 full time staff! I'm a bit over my head at times but communities like TED give me the help and advice to keep going. Cheers all. Keep it coming.
132623
Jon Sutton
Posted over 3 years ago
Roughly 52% of the world's population is under 30. What is best way to harness the energy and ideas of youth?
This is completely 100% on the money. You need to find something you're passionate about. Channeling Steve Jobs, but if you're not passionate about what you're doing you will never be happy. I run my own organization, Empowering Students, where we try to find students organizations they can get passionate about and also get involved with. If you find somewhere to volunteer that you're genuinely interested in, you will never regret your time there.
132623
Jon Sutton
Posted almost 4 years ago
How do we engage our youth in volunteerism?
I completely agree with you in both regards. Volunteerism has to be just that, voluntary. That's why a big part of my idea is allowing students to find something they are passionate about. Allowing students to create their own ideas is a great addition, too. Ways we can provide students with resources to create their own charities should be encouraged.
132623
Jon Sutton
Posted almost 4 years ago
How do we engage our youth in volunteerism?
Thanks for the kind words. Do you have any suggestions to make the idea better? I wish I could offer tuition incentives to students to volunteer, but that's something I'd have to lobby the government for, and given our awful state of politics...