Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Generation BIG - Bold, Innovative and Generous

Our own Will Austin, founder of the Institute for Affordable Transportation - B.U.V. in Indianapolis is among the people and organizations profiled in financial expert Jeff Smith’s new book. In “GenerationBIG ~ The Rising Tide of Dreams to Action,” Smith, together with co-authors Tom Ruwitch and Mark Patterson, profiles a number of extraordinary 21st century visionaries and philanthropists who have given back in a BIG way.


Profiles include:

  • Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop per Child, whose bold vision is to distribute two billion low-cost laptop computers to children in developing nations.
  • Brian Mullaney, co-founder of Smile Train, which has repaired the cleft lips or palates of more than 500,000 children.
  • Will Austin, Institute of Affordable Transportation with a mission to improve lives and self reliance in impoverished countries by facilitating the spread of simple Basic Utility Vehicles..
  • Bruce Cohn, owner of B.R. Cohn Winery and lifelong manager of the Doobie Brothers, who weaves massive generosity into all his business ventures.
  • Jeremy Courtney, a 29-year-old from central Texas, who has moved to northern Iraq to help Iraqi children receive life-saving heart surgery in Israel.
  • Betsey Beckmann, a stay-at-home mom who, with her young daughters, supplies coats, hats, and gloves to school children in need out of her basement.


Smith’s book goes on to talk about what it takes to be a BIG thinker and to act those ideas. The authors have established a website see their efforts as part of a growing grassroots effort. “BIG is not a demographic.” he noted, “It’s a mindset, and it’s a movement.  Through our GenerationBIG book, website and Big Across America effort, we want to help as many people as possible join this movement.” For more information, visit

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