Toan Lam has always been a communicator. He began his career as a TV reporter, but wasn’t satisfied with the stories he was telling: “I didn’t want to do car chases and murders and political scandals anymore,” Lam says. What he wanted was to tell inspiring stories of ordinary people doing great things, hoping that it might influence others to do the same. That’s why he founded GoInspireGo.com, his nonprofit social-activism site.
In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, we talked to Lam about his early days in TV, how his past influenced his decision to create the site and the power of social media:
Something magical happens when you make that human connection and you’re no longer a stranger. And I was like, ‘Let me think of this algorithm: Tell authentic stories plus leverage social media equals people taking action.’ And I realized that there was a huge need for that. Because when you can tell a good story, any industry that you’re in, you can convince people that ‘Hey, you know what? You matter.’ [We] launched in March of 2009 as Go Inspire Go. Four years later, we have over 90 volunteers from around the world. A lot of them from different tech companies, too — LinkedIn, YouTube, Yahoo, Google.
To hear more from Lam, including details on some of the most inspiring stories he’s covered, read: So What Do You Do, Toan Lam, ‘Chief Inspirator’ for Social Activism Site GoInspireGo.com?