Twentynine, The Creative Changemaker, & International Directors



All I really wanted was to be around people I loved. And I got my wish. For like a whole week straight.

Really feeling the love that’s made it a beautiful 29 years. Hope to keep dishing it back out with however many I might have left.

A HUGE thanks to everyone who carved out some time to hang this weekend, out of towners especially. And to Deanna for knowing how to make a guy feel loved.

I hope each trip around the sun does for you what it does for me: reminds you that the days you get here are valuable, that every moment has its place, and that people always matter.


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I have a very, very, very good feeling about the year ahead of me.

With my twenties winding down, I’m amazed at everything this decade has been, all the places its taken me, and the people its put in my life.

The passage of time does a pretty good job of showing us what actually matters. It separates the shiny, attention-grabbing things from the timeless things that stick with us for years.

It’s also made me want to approach the present moment prioritizing those things. To say yes to the things that I’ll still treasure five years later. Ten. Twenty.

Here’s to getting better at that year after year.


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Nicholas Kristoff writes that toothpaste is sold with more sophistication than the life saving efforts of aid groups. And for the most part, he isn’t wrong.

If you want to make a lasting impact on the world, you can’t do it by yourself. You need to move people. You need to show them that the cause you’re all about is a matter of importance for them.

You need media assets that bring your cause to life. You need a style that tells the right people that your cause is their cause. You need to master the art of storytelling, so that the story somebody tells about themself overlaps with the change you wish to see in the world.

At first, I thought my hopes to fuse my love for making things with my passion for international development was an unusual one. But the past few weeks have introduced me to so many people who want to do the same thing.

I figure, the world would be a better place if its creatives became changemakers and it’s changemakers got creative. So I’m gonna share everything I’ve learned.

The blog is finally back. So is the newsletter. Check out my link in profile. And do let me know what topics you might want me to cover.


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An appreciation post for the present moment.

Leaving for work a little early. Taking unpacked moving boxes to the recycle bin. Squeezing in trips to Goodwill, Lowe’s, and the storage unit on my lunch break. Making plans four weekends out, cause that’s how soon I’m free.

Life has been very, very full. And I love it. The busyness. The eventfulness. The creative grind, the new adventures, the people.

It wasn’t long ago that things felt empty. And life does have seasons like that. So here’s to trying and failing but still trying to really be here. It’s a good spot to be.


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This evening was a lot of fun.

All week, our international partners at Plant With Purpose have been in town for a strategy summit. I don’t only get to be coworkers with the people I share an office with, but also these partners representing seven countries.

I’ve gotten to visit about half of them in their countries, seeing them at work. I never fail to learn a ton from them.

The Village Church hosted a panel event to give people a chance to ask questions and to hear from the directors themselves.

I also got the treat of moderating/emceeing the event, which was interesting given the varying degrees of translation taking place. But it was fun and this week continues to be wonderfully full.


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It’s been a hectic month, so I haven’t made my way through as many books lately, but here are some I’ve finished recently.

We Cast A Shadow – Real clever, sort of sci-fi, commentary on race. Had the feel of a Jordan Peele movie, including the dark humor.

To Shake the Sleeping Self – Fun, but mostly made me really miss being in Argentina.

The Power of Proximity – Awareness isn’t enough, you’ve got to move closer to suffering and share it. So thankful for Michelle Warren’s reminders.

Hope Never Dies – Quite the tonal shift but sometimes you just want a Hardy Boys style mystery novel starring Barack and Joe.

Beating Guns – A solid case for rethinking guns. I didn’t really need to be persuaded, though. Loved the gorgeous design of the pages.

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Do you have your record locator?

I as in Ice Cream
C as in Cream
L as in Leprosy
I as in I shouldn’t be the one doing this...

I should be in Bogota right now but since this is tropic travel we’re talking about, I’ll be getting in tomorrow and everything about this trip is bumped a day later.

To be completely honest, taking the day off to unwind from such a packed week wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened. And I made this drawing.

Even more excited for Colombia now. Will I see a toucan? I don’t really think so, but anything can happen and it’ll be quite the adventure.

Philippe Lazaro