Jonathan C.W. Jones is one member of the sizeable contingent of Minnesota-based changemakers that will be joining us in Los Angeles in just a few weeks. For those who are uninitiated (as we were before reading Jonathan’s responses) in the Minnesota ritual of “going up north,” we guarantee you’ll learn something new from this short Q&A! Levity aside, Jonathan has serious passion and expertise for serious issues, and we’re delighted that he sees Upswell as an opportunity to glean inspiration and ideas to better serve his community.
Q: Who are you, what drives you, what are you working on, and why are you inspired to make the world a better place?
JJ: I am a seasoned educator and aspiring small business owner passionate about ideas and the development of ideas for social good. It is inspiring and empowering to help others realize that we have the ability to take an idea from our mind and make it a reality.
Q: What’s your favorite way to relax?
JJ: In Minnesota, we have the saying, “We’re going up north for the weekend.” It means we’re likely going camping or to a cabin. I love going “up north” with my wife and sons and relaxing at our cabin and rejuvenating in front of a fire.
Q: If there were one social issue you could solve today, what would it be – and why?
JJ: Deconstructing the idea of racism. Racism is an idea that is not real despite its ugly reality in our world. It is my firm belief that this idea can be deconstructed through the development and empowerment of ideas to begin to systematically break it apart.
Q: Upswell is about breaking the mold. What’s one thing you’d like to see in the conversation that doesn’t get enough national attention?
JJ: I am very interested in learning how to bridge the intersection of education, business, and philanthropy. There are so many needs and concerns in the field of education today, from low teacher salaries to lack of equitable school funding, from recruitment and retention of teachers of color to out of pocket expenses for classroom teachers. I would love to connect with other changemakers to discuss ways that philanthropy, business, and education can mutually benefit in working together for the good of communities.