The Lean Volunteer:  

How to Travel The World And Do Good With Your Business Expertise


The book is coming along very nicely….here’s the opening  paragraph.

Chapter 1

What Is A Lean Volunteer?

THE FORD PICKUP TRUCK LURCHED OVER ANOTHER POTHOLE, swung off the red dirt road, and came to a stop in the shade of a big Umbrella tree. The dry season in north central Uganda was just ending, so the dust from our ride billowed up, drifted over and settled on the sparse fields of millet.   David, my local driver, and I got out of the truck and we started the walk up the path to the village.   As I looked around, I thought of the tragic recent history of this land, at least what little I knew. Farmers here made, on average, US$600 a year, and as recently as 10 years earlier, Joseph Kony and his “Lord’s Resistance Army” had ravaged villages like these, taking away young boys to serve as soldiers and young girls as wives.   We had gone just a few steps when a group of colorfully dressed women came bustling towards us with broad smiles on their faces and leafy branches in their hands. David greeted them with a soft but firm voice, his 6’3” body slightly bowed in respect as he spoke. The women listened, and then spoke a few words. Then David, then the women, then David, then the women. I had no idea what they were saying, but since my visit was expected and planned, I assumed all was well.   And those branches didn’t seem too menacing.

The women in the front of the group, who weren’t talking, peered at me. I didn’t feel uncomfortable, but I did feel . . . inspected. When the greetings were done, the women in unison turned back to the thatch-roofed village, raised their voices and branches, and as they walked David and me back to the village, sang and danced with a joyous energy that I had never associated with a normal Tuesday work day morning. I was astonished. I had only seen these sorts of things on television shows, or on auditorium stages back in the US. And, I thought, I was only coming to help them figure out what kind of small business training they wanted, hardly—in my mind—something that called for song and dance. But there I was on a sunny morning in March, in eastern Africa, an honored guest of a village of farmers, who spoke no English, eager to work with me to see how I could help them improve the lives of their families and of their fellow villagers. Singing and dancing is their way of welcoming a friendly stranger to their village, and I was their friendly stranger at the moment. It felt a long way from a putty colored cubicle in Silicon Valley.

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And for more, here’s the table of contents.

The Lean Volunteer

How to Travel The World And Do Good With Your Business Expertise

By David K. Meader, Ph.D.


Part I: The Lean Volunteer Experience

Chapter 01: What Is a Lean Volunteer?

Chapter 02: Social Enterprises—The New Organizational Opportunity

Chapter 03: Challenges Facing Small Social Enterprises in Lower Income Countries


Part II: The Nine Step Lean Volunteer Process

Chapter 04: Step 1 – Decide to Go

Chapter 05: Step 2 – Find a Good Social Enterprise Partner

Chapter 06: Step 3 – Contact Your Social Enterprise and Negotiate the Deal

Chapter 07: Step 4 – Do The Research to Prepare Yourself

Chapter 08: Step 5 – Choose a Project Approach

Chapter 09: Step 6 – Set Up The Project For Success Before You Go

Chapter 10: Step 7 – Prepare Your Personal Technology Tools

Chapter 11: Step 8 – Get Oriented Upon Arrival

Chapter 12: Step 9 – Do the Project



Part III: The Lean Volunteer Transformation

Chapter 13: Wrap Up the Project

Chapter 14: Virtual Follow Up and Virtual Projects

Chapter 15: Personal Growth and New Leadership Skills

Chapter 16: Conclusion

Appendix: Lean Volunteer Resources

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