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Facilitating Prosperity, Peace and Planetary Sustainability by Providing Expanded Access to Successful Life, Work & Entrepreneurship Skills!

We help Expand the Circle of Success Education & Empowerment by providing greater access to Successful Life, Work & Entrepreneurship Skills!

Photo of Charles Betterton, MSCED

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Our Expanding the Circle of Success program is designed to "Bridge the access to creative-thinking, problem-solving & other successful life, work & Entrepreneurship skills divide." We help reach and serve the other 90% of the population that is underserved by the world's leading providers of training products for personal, professional and organizational development that target the top 10% of the market. We seek to provide greater access to proven programs, publications and "Successful Life, Work & Entrepreneurship Skills" that can help generate greater individual and collective capacities to address social, economic and environmental challenges. As a result, individuals, organizations and communities can learn how to use state-of-the-art resources that help them A.R.K.-- Awaken to their ultimate possible future; Realize more of their inherent potential; and Know how to fulfill their vision, mission, dreams, and or goals. We agree with the experts who say that most individuals only use 5% to 10% of their potential. We also know from personal experience that many if not most of the world's leading providers of training products for personal, professional & organizational development target their marketing to the top 10% of the population. They focus on professionals who already appreciate the value of having access to Successful Living Skills training AND they have the financial resources to pay for these types of programs and services. Our Expanding the Circle of Success Campaign is designed to help reach and serve the other 90% of the population. We agree with Mark Twain who said: " Each one of us has the substance within to achieve whatever our goals and dreams define. What is missing from each of us is the training, education, knowledge and insight to utilize what we already have." The foundation of our organization, publications and programs includes Community Economic Development (CED) principles and practices of Self-Help, Empowerment & Capacity-Building.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are individuals (especially youth & low-income residents), nonprofits that serve their members & clients, companies that seek productivity & profitability, and communities that seek to provide greater access for their residents, businesses and non-profits to resources for realizing and actualizing more of their potential. In the past, we developed award-winning prototypes for locally initiated Community Economic Development Resource Centers that provided successful life, work & entrepreneurship skills training. For example the Success Center Partnership that we created for the Muncie, Indiana Public Housing Authority served hundreds of youth as young as 7 years old. The Community Resource Center we helped the Kankakee County, IL Community Development Corporation establish in an abandoned 22,000 square foot National Guard Armory Building served tens of thousands of residents primarily youth. For this idea, our beneficiaries will be those served by our local partners.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The unique advantages of our idea include years of cocreating successful prototypes for engaging stakeholders in identifying needs designing & implementing programs that enhanced the quality of life for participants & residents wherever they happen to be on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. We are adapting Maslow's description of a "fully actualized individual" to help establish more "fully actualizing" programs, organization & communities. Our core competencies include organizational & community development and empowerment, expertise in helping build successful multi-sector collaborative partnerships, experience repurposing and adapting state-of-the-art training content to reach and serve underserved populations, & strategic alliances with individuals, non-profits & cause-oriented companies including some of the world's top development training companies & 101 recipients of our Ultimate Destiny Hall of Fame Award. Our programs are successful because they are based upon Success Principles!

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

University for Successful Living is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established to help individuals, organizations, businesses & communities achieve greater levels of success and achievement. USL is based on 20+ years of successful award-winning programs featuring world-class authors, trainers & other experts on Successful Life, Work and Entrepreneurship Skills. Our faculty includes recipients of the Ultimate Destiny Hall of Fame Awards created by 1 of our affiliated "cause-oriented" Benefit Corporations

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.
  • Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.
  • Other

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

My disaster relief/community development experiences in some of the poorest communities in the US & my discovery that development training companies target the top 10% of the population even though experts state that most individuals only use a small % of their potential led me on a journey of seeking ways to help Expand the Circle of Success Education & Empowerment. I learned from Paul J. Meyer there are 5 Success Principles & I was shocked to realize I had only had 1 hour of relevant training.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

We chose to incorporate Peace, Prosperity & Planet in our idea as we have been working in all 3 areas for years AND we have discovered the power of synergy! When we responded to the MacArthur Foundation's $100 million dollar RFP to "address problems that affect people, places and planet" we (1) built a web site at and invited other organizations to join us in a collaborative response and (2) we presented our Expanding the Circle of Success Campaign as our strategy. We described that as "Bridging the access to creative-thinking, problem-solving and other successful living skills divide." Given that experts say most people only use a small percentage of our potential, we believe that the most valuable contribution to solve social, economic & environmental challenges is to generate greater individual & collective capacities to do so. We already have access to some of the world's best resource providers for prosperity, peace & global sustainability

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

While we have 2 communities in mind where we have previously served our idea can be implemented with any sponsor anywhere such as public housing authorities, community development agencies, chambers of commerce, youth & other social service agencies, institutions of higher learning, civic organizations, churches, companies, communities, non-profit organizations, etc. We have developed An Interest Survey and Request for Proposals designed to enable us to solicit applications to participate as partners and local sponsors of the successful life, work and entrepreneurship skills training we and our strategic alliance partners can provide. That includes recipients of our Ultimate Destiny Hall of Fame Award that include some of the top experts in personal, professional, organizational & community development. PS. I just added a PDF of Comments on a book The PeaceFinder- Riley McFee's Quest for World Peace that includes The Eight Steps to World Peace and a free Becoming a PeaceMaster Course

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

We have 2 specific communities and partner organizations with existing facilities, staff & funding to provide space for classes, non-profit & entrepreneurial enterprises and they are already funded to provide job & life skills training for hundreds of low income residents primarily youth. The RFP & invitation we will use to invite local sponsors includes evaluation factors such as the level of community support, demonstrated needs & proven capacities to deliver & manage related programs, etc

Geographic Focus

We have identified 500,000 potential sponsors in the US and our programs can be applied anywhere!

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Given the fact that we are open to collaboration with 1 or more host sponsors or communities to implement our project, and the details including time frames and budgets will be determined by the scope of the actual agreement, I have not addressed the question. However I will state for the record "up to 36 months." Our team does have substantial prior experience developing, implementing and operating program plans and successfully managing budgets and meeting established benchmarks.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No
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Attachments (3)

Comments on Peace Posted to OpenIDEO Bridgebuilder Campaign.pdf

PDF of Comments on Peace including a book, The PeaceFinder- Riley McFee's Quest for World Peace that includes The Eight Steps to World Peace and the free Becoming a PeaceMaster Course by Scott and Shannon Peck of The Love Center

OPEN ID Page 2 Les Brown MHA.jpg

Page 2 of a newspaper article about the successful programs to modify state-of-the-art development training content to be able to help individuals who had not previosuly been exposed to self-development training learn how to acquire and implement successful life, work and entrepreneurship skills. Among many reasons the Success Center Partnership we established received awards was the substantial levels of partnership participation by some of the world's top development training companies

OPEN ID Page 1 Les Brown MHA.jpg

This is an example of our award-winning prototypes for Expanding the Circle of Success. The Success Center Partnership we designed, obtained a $250,000 Drug Elimination Grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for and implemented won state and national recognition from HUD & the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials. Training expert Les Brown repurposed a 100 page, $100 product to 12 pages for youth as young as 7 years old living in public housing.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Paul Ennis

Good Day Charles,

Building upon my earlier correspondence and interest in your idea can you share with me how you plan to actually accomplish the successful implementation of your project and with what specific populations? There are many facets to this jewel and I am curious to know some practical info about how these ideas might become manifest. Have you created any User Experience Maps/UEM's to define or lay-out potential scenarios of engagement with your planned constituents? UEM's are an excellent tool to utilize when doing design thinking development work, as we are.



Photo of Charles Betterton, MSCED

Thank YOU Paul for your follow up inquiry! I apologize for the delay responding as I am away on a family medical emergency. The project we have shared here is based on a few years of experimentation and preparations to be able to implement the delivery of Successful Life, Work and Entrepreneurship Skills training to substantial numbers of participants, primarily through strategic alliances. For example, in our previous award-winning programs we developed with and for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) in Illinois and Indiana, we have already developed (and or acquired) a comprehensive inventory of tested and proven training programs on successful life and work skills including topics such as: having a positive attitude; goal-setting; motivation; time management; effective decision making; creative thinking and problem solving; effective communication skills; leadership and team building; prosperity consciousness and financial management skills, etc. In addition we collaborated with a Public Housing Authority Residents Organization to develop and conduct an interest survey that allowed us to design and deliver specific training programs based on the level of interest expressed by participants.

The success of those training programs on basic life and work success skills, we were asked by the City of Kankakee, Illinois to accept a HUD Community Development Block Grant to design and deliver a Microenterprise Development program which was quite successful. Our primary participants were primarily single head of household women living in low income public housing.

Similarly the award-winning Success Center Partnership we developed and implemented with and for the Muncie, Indiana Public Housing Authority that received state and national recognition from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials included proprietary programs, publications and training-of-trainers facilitation manuals on successful life and work skills.

We are contacting those and other major HUD funded Public Housing Authorities inviting them to explore collaboration in developing a response to the Jobs Plus Program funds available for PHAs. In the United States, we have found that the several thousand Indian and Public Housing Authorities to be ideal strategic alliance partners. They serve low income residents especially youth and women, they have training facilities, equipment and staff responsible for helping address the residents' housing, educational, social and economic needs to help them transition from public to private housing when and as they are able to do so. And perhaps most significantly, the PHAs have access every year to major funding available from HUD and other Federal Agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services, the Labor Department, Commerce Department, etc. In addition we have identified several major private foundations that support and fund programs for successful life and work skills training, empowerment, entrepreneurship development, etc. Once one (or perhaps) more of the PHAs accept our invitation to collaborate and help them successfully apply for and obtain funding from HUD (or other funding sources) for the implementation of our programs as revised and refined based on their residents' needs and local situations, we will work with their key staff to created User Experience Maps specific to the relevant local circumstances. Thank you again Paul for your supportive interest and this question!

Photo of Charles Betterton, MSCED

I am amazed at the ultimate blockchain opportunities that I have only recently been introduced to for facilitating Planetary Peace and Prosperity! As a community economic development specialist who resonates with Bucky Fuller's vision of "betterment for 100% of humanity", I especially appreciate how this initiative is dedicated "For the good of all humanity."

The founders and the organization are guided by and committed to the 17 Sustainable Development (SDG) goals that were established to bring peace and prosperity to all humans by 2030 by the United Nations and signed by 193 World Leaders in 2015. See the Unify Earth: Harmonizing the Blockchain Official White Paper and other introductory information at There is also a beautiful free mini-ebook created by Christopher Lee Van Buren of Launch Moxie that was developed for Earth Day available at #unifyearth

Photo of Charles Betterton, MSCED

Congratulations to the 600+ contributors to this BridgeBuilding Challenge! Our nonprofit (and affiliated sponsoring cause-oriented Benefit Corporations) are deeply grateful for the opportunity to participate. As a community economic development specialist and former disaster relief expert for decades in the US, I am humbled and impressed by the quality of positive and productive ideas that address the crucial question: How might we come together to address urgent global challenges at the intersections of peace, prosperity, and planet in radically new ways?

As I have scanned through many of your ideas I realized how we could share this rich "treasure chest" of positive, practical projects and publish the content under one of the scores of forthcoming publications my team and I are preparing to publish through our collaborative publishing, marketing and training company. It's purpose is to Publish, Produce and Market Meaningful Resources for the Betterment of Humanity!

The tentative publication I have in mind is one that we have been developing that is simply titled Solving Personal, Community and Global "Ultimate Success Puzzles" - - Generating Expanded Individual and Collective Capacities to Address Global Social, Economic and Environmental Challenges. If we added the phrase "to Facilitate Planetary Peace and Prosperity", that Super Title would encompass the collection of most valuable and timely contributions we have shared here together! It is an honor to be part of our global "Intentional Community for Peace and Prosperity!"

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer

Dear Charles,

We have in our Nexus 7 team read through all the 690 contributions now, and we are catching up with those which seem to be more of managerial / organisational nature, which yours too seem to be one of.

Just like Peter Senge in his books "The Learning Organisation" and the other "The Dance of Change" writes, we are discussing learning organisations here.

What Peter Senge forgot to write, was how to IMPLEMENT the learning. He has plenty of ideas as to what can be done, but he has not written much about how you make an organisation learn.

Having worked in management for more than 20 years, Thomas and I have worked out a simple solution on that pretty complex problem, which is a cross breed between the popular but way too technological Capability Maturity Management model and what Mr. Senge wants to achieve.

We had to level it up to a certain abstract level, such that it was workable, could be communicated and also implemented.

And just as simple as it is, similarly powerful it is: When you want an organisation to learn, you build systems reflecting what you want the organisation to do according to what it has learned. And to ensure ownership and not top-down management, one need to delegate that creation of systems downwards to the place where the learning is to be anchored and then executed.

So, as an example - if you have riders / motorbike couriers working for your organisation, and if these are not checking on Google Maps before they go to either pick up a parcel or deliver a parcel, then they may need to learn how to use Google Maps. It is also possible that they know Google Maps, as such, but did not know that it is smart to use it to avoid traffic jams. Or, they know that it exists, all of it, but, as it is not part of their "Set of instructions", then they never thought it in this context. Finally, such riders, in Kenya for instance, do not all of them have a smart phone. And even if they have - the Google Maps are "Eating their bundles" - that is - it consumes considerable amounts of data, and what is the incentive to switch on the databundles and see USD 1 be consumed by Google Maps, if it is not being covered? And furthermore - there may have been a policy for paying/compensating for this, but, maybe fraud has brought this to a stop.

As can be deducted from such a scenario of "Riders not using Google Map", the lack of using a very smart and cheap or free tool to execute your daily duties, can have many causes, and depending on the cause, various methods should be taken into consideration.

In the above model - in order to have the riders take ownership of their own methods, instead of now in a top-down model, make Standard Operational Procedures (which is so so so typical), and then squeeze these SOP's down over the heads of the people, and order them to do so, it is way better to spend some time with them, listening to their problems, and then based on a team work, propose that they work with various tools, take them through education, and then discuss how to apply, in ways which works for the improvement of efficiency, lowering of stress, and easing work.

Now, you are mentioning that you want to work for the 90% underprivileged. We are in our project doing so on a very particular note - namely concentrating solar energy for many purposes - heat, cooling, power to mention a few - what do you have up your sleeves in terms of particular action? How could we in Nexus 7 come in and do something together with your team?

Have a good day, and thanks for an inspiring introduction.

David Svarrer / Thomas Høyer
Rational Intuitive IVS
Nexus 7 Solar Concentrator 

Photo of Charles Betterton, MSCED

As I shared in response to your earlier message and invitation to collaborate, a serious family medical situation has come up, I have to fly to Chicago tomorrow to help a couple of loved ones. It may be a few days before I am able to respond to this and your more recent (and also most welcome) message! Thank you for sharing your solutions re learning organizations. There are also a few components of Peter Reding's Foundation for Inspired Learning that I believe you and your team may also appreciate and resonate with. They are in transition and the previous home page isn't presently accessible, but here is a link to some key FIL resources and their Facebook page (with my recent 5 Star review)

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer

Dear Charles,

(This is now from David Svarrer)

Thanks a lot for sharing the FIL resource (Inspired Learning). I am likely to be engaged in how to bring change to a huge organisation by heading innovation, and when tasked turning around an organisation of 2,000+ staff, it always starts with us in management :-)... Such resources like the FIL, together with Problem Based Learning, training of mindsets, and then the modified version of Peter Senge's learning organisation are invaluable for such tasks.

It is not a surprise though to get such valuable insights from you, as a very senior person. I have many, close, senior friends, (am becoming a senior myself too...), and one of them, said with a sigh:

"There is enough of experience, and in fact it is available for free, up for grabs, for anyone - but very few are willing to listen".

I have worked with him since 1993, in various capacities on both sides - and he is the same like you - and I have copied this too - to share what we come across of wisdom, advice and experience.

Thanks, Charles, for sharing. I will study the FIL with eager and happiness and share it further with Thomas. If some of it works out, either directly or indirectly, I will let you know.

Are you sometimes in Scandinavia or Africa? We should have coffee one day. If not, then we can have coffee and do a Skype session one fine day.

For now, our blessings to you and your loved ones, we are sure that when you land in Chicago, they are already much better.

David Svarrer

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer

Dear Charles,

I Have now been through the FIL system, superficially, and while it is indeed inspiring, it appears to me that it needs quite some tweaking, as it is pinning out too many nitty gritty's of how the learning should take place, in ways which I find are a bit too low level instructive.

Maybe it was entered out of context, how an observer should enter a class, however, it appears disconnected from the overall good impression I got from the FIL method.

Anyways, it is a good inspiration, especially the positive mindset thinking which I read between then lines.

Thanks again for sharing this with me.

David Svarrer

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer

Dear Charles,

Parts of the FIL link could also be in a way in the same direction as this Goal Cast video:

(You may have to sign up for goalcast to view it - am not always sure how these complex links work - it is for free, and a great source, by the way).

One of the interesting and positive-thinking points which is really being hammered on by the FIL approach is this thing that we humans never listen, never "try it on", and that we often judge others before we have actually tried properly.

In this above video, she explains how she had problems with her self esteem (afraid of being judged).

David Svarrer

Photo of Macheru Karuku

Charles, your idea is so inspiring. I am already your acolyte. All the best.

Photo of Charles Betterton, MSCED

And I am so inspired by your vision and accomplishments that I just posted a comment on your project: Thank you Macheru Karuku for sharing your most worthwhile and practical vision here. And thank you for your positive comment on our project! While I am not quite sure exactly how we might best be able to support your project, we MIGHT be able to have 1 or more Structured Water devices donated for you to experiment with. One of our sponsor organizations has been helping market thousands of those devices world-wide and there have been some amazing success stories with agricultural applications. For example, plants grown in Structured Water are healthier, require less water, fertilizer, pesticide and the nutritional value of food is higher (and that can be easily measured with an inexpensive refractometer.)

If you might be interested, please take a look at the information provided at and if you think your organization would be interested in experimenting with 1 or more Structured Water units IF we are able to get them donated, pelase let me know. You could reach me at

Photo of Binla Lambert

Great updates.

Photo of Binla Lambert

This idea is beautiful and could scale-up with more executors who share in the vision and have passion for nation building and community development with the goal being to make the society a better place.

I'm glad to be added on the team.

Thanks very much Charles Betterton.

Photo of Paul Ennis


What a vision you possess.

What practical steps you have taken to-date.

What bridges you've already built and plan to continue building.

Congratulations on all.

What there is for us to collaborate upon will be enlightening and invigorating to say the least.

Reading skills and literacy growth go hand-in-hand, which is why RTMN exists in the manner that it does.

Life skills mastery requires the ability to read for meaning and an interest in learning and growing that is deeply connected to one's sense of self-worth and awareness of our place in the greater scheme of things.

I look forward to learning more about practical steps that can be taken by RTMN within the universe of your 'Expanding the Circle of Success' program.

Glad to meet you am I.

Toward the future...

- Paul

Photo of Charles Betterton, MSCED

Thank you Paul for your positive words AND for the opportunity to connect with you and your huge and successful continuing vision/mission and legacy works!

Yes, I have been called a visionary most of my life and occasionally that was meant as a compliment! As I have studied the works of Robert Steven Kramarz on I realize that while I might qualify as what he describes as a VISION MASTER, what my team and I need is to attract 1 or more EXECUTION MASTERS! That is partly what led us to create a web page to introduce and invite cocreative collaboration in the publications, programs and organizations we have cofounded and refer to as "works in progress" at I too am looking forward to exploring the many apparent possible opportunities for us to collaborate and am so grateful that we decided to share our Expanding the Circle of Success Campaign here.

Photo of Paul Ennis

Yep, it's all good. I'm heading outside into the sunshine and my gardens, orchard and greenhouse for some outdoor therapy. Gotta keep my energies balanced with some sandy-loam soils under my fingernails. Talk more soon... - PWE

Photo of Charles Betterton, MSCED

Hi again Paul, If you're back indoors from what sounds like some lovely "outdoor therapy", please do let me know if you did in fact accept my invitation to add you to our team. I thought you had, but was just checking to make sure I had not been mistaken. Unlike you and all your previous experience here, I am new to the platform and still trying to learn the process and protocol.