April 4, 2022Comments are off for this post.

Using ‘Yes, and’ to Make the World a Better Place

I first started working with Keep The Change right after graduating college in 2021. On top of learning Keep The Change’s small team dynamics and fast paced processes, the transition from school to work was a huge learning curve for me. As I was navigating this new professional workspace and its challenges, I found myself thinking back to improv lessons I learned from my college professor, Dan Klein, at Stanford. 

'Yes, and' Principle

In the pyramid of improv principles, the very foundational blocks are two words: “Yes and”. “Yes, and” is the defining essence of improv. Without it, the scene would remain stagnant. In improv, we build our scenes off random suggestions from the audience. If the suggestion is “umbrella”, I may start off the scene by saying “Wow! It’s raining super hard today.” Now I have given my partner information about the world I have just established. My partner can now accept this world with rain in it (the “yes”) and add to it, or elevate it, (the “and”). They can say “Yeah it is (yes) - which is super weird since we live in a desert. (and)” We are now slowly building up an accepted reality where a story can unfold. This is the fun of improv; both the audience and the players are learning about and imagining this world as they go. 

Now, imagine I had said “Wow! It’s raining super hard today” and my scene partner responded, “No it’s not”. By saying no to the reality I am offering, my partner breaks the illusion I offered, preventing progress in the scene and leaving no accepted world our characters can live in.  By saying “Yes, and” we accept the reality or idea given to us by our partner or team and in turn, try to add and elevate this idea to make it better and move forward. “Yes, and” at its core, is the most accepting and collaborative mindset. “Yes, and” is a guiding principle that leads to success in the improv world, and the real world. 

Social Impact & Improv

During my time at Keep The Change, I have definitely had “Yes, and” moments where I had to accept this new reality my work was presenting to me and try to elevate it in whatever ways I could think of. Funny enough, our team is fond of the phrase “Yes, and” as we use it in brainstorming sessions all the time as a response to someone’s input before adding our own. Not only do we use the phrase “Yes, and” in a literal sense; we also embody that mindset in our team culture.

Our mission at Keep The Change is to shape a more sustainable and equitable world by amplifying the potential of people and systems. Whether that be by improving access to education for Afghani women, building the infrastructure for Black generational wealth creation in Tulsa, OK, or establishing partnerships between household name brands to remove plastic from our oceans, our agency has worked with many different organizations; each with their own ideas on how to improve the world.  If we had said “no,” more than “Yes, and”, we wouldn’t have pushed these projects forward in the way we did, or achieved the level of impact we were able to have in these communities. Just like accepting the world an improv partner may offer us, we say “Yes, and '', to discover what we can build in the world our clients are unfolding in front of us. 

Never would I have thought that from my higher education, improv 101 principles would be the class I referenced the most in my professional career. In the short time I’ve spent in the world of social impact, I’ve seen how “Yes, and” can lead to greater outcomes than we first think are possible. As I dive deeper into my career, I’ve learned to say “Yes and” to whatever may come next.

December 22, 2021Comments are off for this post.

We are Keep The Change

We’re a team of strategists, makers, doers and dreamers who believe in a better right now.

At Keep The Change, our core mission is to shape a more sustainable and equitable world by amplifying the potential of people and systems. As a team, we have a range of expertise, but it is this mission that brought us together and continues to inspire our work every day. 

We know that real, sustainable change is complicated, but we believe that it is possible. 

We bring change to life through our proprietary Theory of Change framework which maps out actionable 3-5 year plans to connect today’s business activities to impactful, measurable and lasting outcomes in the future. We build bridges where most other agencies stop; going beyond traditional marketing and communications to achieve sustainable and transformative growth for our clients and the communities they impact.

We helped 43,250 people get access to clean water by transforming Absolut Elyx into the first social impact brand in the liquor category. 

We took an iconic part of the Budweiser brand, the America can, and transformed it into a symbol of action relevant to their core consumer base by donating a portion of the proceeds to provide scholarships for the families of fallen heroes. 

In 2020, we helped restore voting rights to 80,000 Floridians who were formerly incarcerated for nonviolent felony convictions through a nationwide campaign. Alongside other pro-bono agencies, Keep The Change orchestrated a star-studded strategic communications and fundraising campaign that raised over $27 million. (Check out the Trevor Noah: Daily Show spot here!)

Last year the world came to a halt, the consequences from which are still reverberating. As we begin to rebuild our systems and structures, it’s important that we also take the time to reimagine what is possible. As we saw over the past eighteen months, America is ready to evolve the cultural status quo. Inspired by the waves of collective action across the US, we’re coming out of this global crisis determined and inspired to fight for a better future. We’re ready to build back better— and the time for action is now.

We are relentless in pursuing our clients’ quests for good, because we know that everyone— businesses, nonprofits, governments, and individuals— must play a part in building a better future. We’ve made it our job to make doing good accessible and actionable. 

As Allan Watts said, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

We believe that we are on the brink of a new era; one defined by empathy, sustainability, and justice for all communities and our planet. So we are leaning into the change— and we hope you and your organization will join us in doing the same.

Are you ready for change? Let’s dance.

120 Walker Street
New York, NY 10013
Email: hello@morechange.co
Twitter: @morechangeco
Instagram: @morechange.co


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© Keep the Change 2021