We have already come SO far in regard to healthcare and treating diseases. As time goes on we will only get better at treating these health issues. As technology improves, and as more companies and charities dive into creating solutions and medicines, our global community should live healthier, happier lives.
Reading the news can be so demoralizing: climate change, war, fires, epidemics, rogue AI, mental health challenges, authoritarianism, extreme partisanship. But humans need hope. In order for us to create a positive future, we need to be able to have hope that there can be a positive future. What is the “Case for Optimism” over the next decades? What can we look forward to and hope for to help us strive for a more positive future?
While it’s true that the daily news cycle can be demoralizing, I find that it’s important to recognize that there are a number of reasons to be optimistic about our collective future. First and foremost, the younger generation has a new, refreshingly optimistic perspective on money and giving. I have faith that people of all ages — but especially younger folks — are recognizing the impact that nonprofits and charities have for those who are less fortunate, or otherwise in need. Data shows that younger generations are already giving more to nonprofits — and I expect that to continue. That’s especially true in the cryptocurrency space, where my company, the Global Investment Crypto Exchange (GIE), operates. In 2021, 45% of crypto investors donated at least one thousand dollars to charity.
In this series, we aim to explore and highlight the positive aspects, potential breakthroughs, and reasons for optimism that lie ahead in the coming decade and beyond. We are talking to authors, researchers, entrepreneurs, scientists, futurists, and other experts who can shed light on the exciting advancements, innovations, and opportunities that await us. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Octavio Gallego III.
Octavio “Tavi” Gallego is an entrepreneur on a mission to make the global marketplace a more compassionate place. As the founder and CEO of global cryptocurrency exchange platform GIE, Tavi and his team are building a community of conscious consumers around the globe to set a new standard for businesses by donating a percentage of their profits to non-profit organizations. Tavi launched GIE with the goal of creating a decentralized crypto exchange platform — suitable for crypto newcomers and experts — dedicated to making a positive impact on the planet.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
My father is Colombian and my mother is from the US — so I grew up in a home that emphasized the importance of understanding a diverse set of cultures. As a result of this, I am bilingual; I speak both English and Spanish having grown up in both countries.
Growing up, my parents and my faith also instilled in me the value of giving back. This is something that has stuck with me to this day — and is the base from which I built my business and career.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
After years of working a number of different jobs across a wide range of industries, I eventually set out to start my own business in the insurance industry. While launching my own business, I wanted to ensure that the values that guided my life were reflected in the way we ran our business. With this in mind, I made it a routine practice for my business to give back to the community that supported it. As I began to regularly give back, I found that the impact was incredible not only for those who we gave to, but for my business as well. Seeing this happen in real time, I realized that I was made for something bigger — and decided to make a leap of faith.
Last year, I sold my insurance agency with the goal of moving on to an even larger, values-based project. I founded GIE in March of 2022, with the goal of creating a cryptocurrency exchange that gave back to the community and the planet. With this project, I hope that we can inspire other businesses and organizations to make philanthropy a key component of their business.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
My fiance helped me change my life. When I met her I was working at a tire recycling plant. She encouraged me to change jobs and to better myself. It was really because of her that I was able to start and sell my insurance agency. She also is so understanding; she has allowed me to put everything I’ve worked for my whole life into this GIE project. I know many partners would have a problem putting everything into a work project but she believes in me.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
My entire life’s work has led to the creation of GIE, so this project is my baby right now. At the heart of the project is a central mission: to convince ALL companies large and small to give a percentage of their profits back to the community and/or the planet. Imagine the possibilities if every company donated even a single percent of their profits to organizations making a difference in the world!
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
- Honesty is a crucial character trait for my success. I have been lied to by bosses and I’ve been ripped off before. I’ve made it a goal of mine to ensure that nothing like this happens at a business I run. I practiced being brutally honest with my customers in my insurance agency and am still treating people with honesty and respect with the GIE Crypto project.
- Hard work ethic — This is something that my parents instilled in me as a child. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. There have been many times that I’ve wanted to give up, but I can’t. We have to keep moving forward. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taking that first step.
- Compassion — I’ve tried my best to always keep the best interest of the person in front of me in mind, especially while conducting business. I tell my employees the same thing. If you are good to people, they feel that. Compassion makes people want to come back to you.
Ok, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about the case for optimism. Let’s begin with a basic definition so that all of us are on the same page. When we refer to being optimistic about the future, what exactly do we mean?
Optimism is a simple idea to me: It’s all about having a general sense of peace about your future and those around you.
Why is it important to have an optimistic outlook about the future?
There are SO many things that we can worry about. The distractions in this life can leave us feeling overwhelmed with anxiety and rob us of our general sense of peace about the future. It’s important to be positive about the future because if you don’t feel good about it you will constantly be robbed of peace.
What are some reasons people might feel pessimistic about the future, and how do you suggest we address these concerns?
Global warming, nuclear war, and future pandemics are all reasons to be uncertain about the future. But one thing I’ve learned from my own experience, and from my faith, is to control what we can control — and let go of the things that we can’t.
Additionally, playing a part in the solution can help you feel better about the future. As a few examples, at GIE, we’ve made it a priority to donate to nonprofits who are working to sustain and rehabilitate the environment, as well as organizations who are doing critical work to help fight disease. By playing a role in creating a better future — even a small role — your eyes will open to the possibilities that exist if we work together.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share with our readers your “5 Reasons To Be Optimistic About The Next Ten and Twenty Years?” (Please share a story or an example for each.)
1 . The younger generation is giving more. In 2022, millennial households gave 40 percent more, on average, to charity than they did in 2016 — bumping their average annual contribution up from $942 to $1,323. We can feel good about the next generation giving and improving communities on a local and global scale.
2 . As technology is growing and improving, we are improving lives around the world. In every industry — from transportation, to health and wellness, to communication — technology is making a difference. For those older readers, remember when we didn’t have Google maps or cell phones? As time goes on technology can keep improving lives and making the world a better place.
3 . Increased global cooperation is another reason to be optimistic about our collective future. From a political, economic, and environmental standpoint, the world is working together at an unprecedented rate. As a few examples, the Paris Climate Accords have led to increased international cooperation to address climate change. Meanwhile, the rise of cryptocurrency has allowed individual citizens to make a global impact. Take a look at Ukraine, which has raised more than $212 million worth of cryptocurrency — largely from international donors — to support its defense against Russia.
4 . We should all be proud of the achievements we have made as a human race. We have survived pandemics, wars, food shortages, and more — and yet we’ve always found a way to keep moving forward. The human race as a whole is resilient. We can find solace in the future by looking into our past.
5 . We have already come SO far in regard to healthcare and treating diseases. As time goes on we will only get better at treating these health issues. As technology improves, and as more companies and charities dive into creating solutions and medicines, our global community should live healthier, happier lives.
In what specific areas do you see technology having the most positive impact over the next 10 to 20 years?
Blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. Blockchain technology is the future of how we perform business transactions. It is transparent and trustworthy. Meanwhile, AI has a seemingly endless list of use cases for business, health, and more. I believe that both of these technologies can drive lasting, positive impacts for generations to come.
While technology holds immense potential, it can also present challenges. How can we ensure that the progress we make in technology contributes to a more optimistic future and doesn’t exacerbate societal problems?
I believe our biggest risk and the most potential lies within AI technology. We as a society need to make sure we are very careful about the parameters we set for AI growth and sustainability. AI could become a huge problem for us if used incorrectly. But, if we approach it with the correct mindset, AI could become one of the biggest advancements in human history.
How do you maintain your optimism during challenging times?
I maintain optimism during challenging times by going back to two things that have always driven me: my family and my faith. When I look back to the support my family and faith have given me over the years, I understand that anything in my future is possible.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Inspiring a wider movement is exactly what we hope to accomplish at GIE. We are trying to change the world, leading by example and giving a percentage of our business to nonprofit partners. We hope that our mission will inspire others to incorporate philanthropy directly into their business.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 😊
Warren Buffet! I would love to speak with him about his path to success, and about his vision for the future of philanthropy.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
www.GIEcrypto.com has all of the information you need about our project, our mission, and what we hope to accomplish.
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!
Tavi Gallego of GIE On The Case For Optimism About The Next Ten & Twenty Years was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.