Janine Firpo


“I’ve been a social innovator for 20 plus years. I’ve been working at the intersection of technology and international development problems. I currently work with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. I got connected with Hive because they sent me an email saying they thought I would be a good fit. I ignored the first couple but by the third one I thought, ‘This keeps showing up and it seems pretty interesting. Social entrepreneurship and bay area culture. I wonder what I’m supposed to learn from that’.”janinefirpo-1

“So do you live based on your intuition?”

“I think it’s been a process. It certainly was not the way I started, it was not the way I raised. Part of it came because I’ve been on a spiritual journey for a very long time and I’ve always asked myself questions about why we’re all here and what is the underlying truth that pervades all things. If you look at that stuff the mystics, regardless of the religious background from which they come, they all say the same thing. There’s something about tapping into something deeper. So I read all this stuff and started putting it into practice. At first I didn’t believe it but over time I have built real trust around intuition and paying attention, and being receptive to what’s showing up in my space. I think there’s always more to learn though.”


“What’s one of your greatest challenges with the spiritual path you’re on?”

“I think the greatest challenge for me is finding the time in my busy day to stay tapped into that and really come from that anchor all the time. That’s a deep practice I want to do for the rest of my life. When I was in my 20’s I used to say ‘when I’m 60 I’m going to become a Buddhist monk and spend the next 30 years reaching nirvana because 30 years should be enough time.’ Buddhism is not my thing, but I am 60, just turned 60 in July, and it’s like ‘Okay, I’m here now.’ I’m probably not going to become a monk  but I definitely want to go deeper with certain things I have been involved in for the last 40 years.”

“What’s one thing you want to change about your life?”

“My job, I’m going to quit my job. I am going to quit working as hard as I’ve worked to make more space for things that aren’t to do list. I need space for being.”janinefirpo-7

“So if you’re not going to do the Buddhist thing, what’s your new dream?”

“So I have a few that I’ve honed in on. First of all, I don’t completely know. Part of what I plan to do is what you’re doing. I’ve created lists of people and I’m going to start talking to them. I want ask them what they’re doing, what’s inspiring them, what’s the craziest thing they’re seeing in the world today, what’s scaring them. I want to start having those conversations so I can get reconnected with what it is I want to do. Another thing is helping women feel safe enough to put their investments in social businesses. How can we take money out of Wall st and put it in local communities? And the other thing is figuring out how to take my 60 years of life experience and put that to service for people who are trying to build the new world order.”

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November 29, 2016