Unleashing Social Change-logo

Unleashing Social Change


Each episode we interview a badass social change leader and learn the ins and outs of what they're doing to make the world a better place. This podcast will help you feel optimistic that we can make a difference and give you practical tips about how to go about doing so in a big way.

Each episode we interview a badass social change leader and learn the ins and outs of what they're doing to make the world a better place. This podcast will help you feel optimistic that we can make a difference and give you practical tips about how to go about doing so in a big way.


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Each episode we interview a badass social change leader and learn the ins and outs of what they're doing to make the world a better place. This podcast will help you feel optimistic that we can make a difference and give you practical tips about how to go about doing so in a big way.






56: Sharon Kanis: A Profile in Interconnectedness of Communion

My last mentor of the season is one who has known me since before I was born, my Aunt and Godmother, Sharon Kanis of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Taking her vows at the age of 19, Sharon has since gotten a degree in chemistry, a masters in applying Jungian theory to biblical archetypes, and a PhD in how people experience their spirituality in their bodies. When asked if I could introduce her as Doctor Sharon Kanis SSND she scoffed and said the phd was just a thing she did a while...


55: Noah Winnick and Josue Barnes: A Profile in Fearless Community Activism

Description: A few years ago I received advice that every leader should have a mentor who is 20 years younger than them. In the reckoning of June 2020, I found mine in Noah Winnick and Josue Barnes. The duo founded Claremont Change and have been representing the voices of marginalized people in the community since the inception of the organization. They are fearless advocates who are relentless in their commitment and vision in creating an antiracist Claremont and I will follow them, quite...


54: Mark Lipton - A Profile in Vision, Genius, and Feeling Feelings

This week I sat down with Mark Lipton who I met when he was the Department Chair of my graduate program in Organizational Change Management at The New School. He has since moved on to Professor Emeritus status, which has freed him up to consult with Fortune 500 companies and write awesome books, so be sure to check out Guiding Growth: How Vision Keeps Companies on Course and the award-winning Mean Men: The Perversion of America’s Self-Made Man. I learned that Mark and I had all kinds of...


53: Rosanne Haggerty: A Profile in Disruption and Active Listening

In this episode, you’ll meet Rosanne Haggerty, winner of the 2001 MacArthur “Genius Award.” Having worked for her for 11 years I can say with no doubt: she really is a genius, although she’d never tell you that herself. Super humble and one of the most relentless leaders I’ve ever known, Rosanne’s work speaks for itself. Last year the organization she founded, Community Solutions, was awarded the prestigious $100 & Change grant from the MacArthur Foundation, a global competition for a $100...


52: Holly Craig Silkman: A Profile in Candor

Holly Craig Silkman, aka Adele Adler, aka my college roomie, joins us from her horse ranch in Montana to talk about her experience narrating the audio version of my book, Impact with Integrity, and her experience as a leader for more than three decades. Our time as roommates at West Point was much like this episode, a hoot and a half with tons of laughter. Holly was one of the first people I ever came out to and her compassion in that moment forged a friendship that changed both of our...


51: Howie Cohen - A Profile in Becoming a Leader's leader

Join me this episode as I sit down with my mentor and friend, retired Colonel Howie Cohen, to discuss leadership, community, standards, and perseverance. We reminisce on the unconventional methods Howie used to instill cohesion in every one of the dozens of organizations he led, from being one of the first officers ever to sign into the Third Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment to commanding the White House Communications Agency. Woven throughout our conversation you will notice the...


50: Jan Hicks: A Profile in Authenticity and Kindness

Today Jan Hicks is living her best life as a farmer, mother, and doting grandmother. When she retired as a two-star Major General in 2005, she was serving as the Commanding General of the United States Army Signal Corps. I had the tremendous good fortune of serving under Jan when she was the Battalion Commander of the 125th Signal Battalion in Helemano, Hawaii. Leokani Okauwila - a Hawaiian phrase that translates into Voice of Lightning - was the motto of our unit that provided tactical...


49: Jane Holl Lute: A Profile in Never Moving Backwards

Thirty years ago I met Jane Hall Lute while she was my professor at West Point. Since our time together she has gone on to be the Assistant Secretary General for Peacebuilding Support at the United Nations, the former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security for the United States, and is now the Director at SIPCA. As she mentions,” Jane Hall does not move backward”. Her illustrious career is cornerstonesd with humility,curiosity, and a commitment to learn something new from every...


48: Jay Parker: A Profile in Empathy and Unconditional Support

If you’re a frequent listener of this podcast you’ve probably heard the name Jay Parker. Jay is currently the distinguished professor and Major General Fox Conner Chair of International Security Studies in the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University. We met back in the 90’s when I was at West Point and he has been a trusted confidant ever since. When Jay Parker says to do something – you do it. From an impromptu trip around the world to working for...


47: Mimi Finch: A Profile in Becoming the Leader You Never Had

Join Becky as she interviews her Tactical Officer from West Point, Retired Army Officer and Defense Contractor Mimi Finch, and listen to their conversation about the seminal moments that molded Mimi into the leader and person she is today. A champion of the underdog in her decades-long career, Mimi Finch has consistently stood up to misogyny, racism, and homophobia in situations that required a whole heap of courage. Even when the backlash was harsh and jeopardized her personal safety,...


Note About Veterans



46: Brenda Sue Fulton, A Profile of Personal Courage

Like many of Becky’s mentors, Army Veteran Brenda Sue Fulton’s list of accomplishments is longer than a CVS receipt and chock full of lasting impact. Weaving her activism with community building, she has been a key player in ending the military’s discriminatory “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and ending the military’s ban on openly serving transgender people. A graduate of West Point’s first class to admit women, Sue shares her insights on how to muster the personal courage to keep going in...


45: Marie Connor-Glenfield, A Profile in the Healing Power of Presence

In this episode, I sat down with one of my first mentors, Marie Connor-Glenfield, who I met when I was sixteen. In our first encounter, she held space for me to process profound loss. She identified my pain and didn’t try to push me through it, but rather sat with me as I sat with it. Since that first meeting, she has continued to be there for me in seminal moments of my life. When I was lost, when I was celebrating, and when I wasn't sure what my next move would be, Marie accompanied me. I...


44: Susan Rivers Interviews Becky Margiotta

Mentorship is often thought of as unidirectional - flowing from the mentor to mentee. In this upcoming season, I interviewed a baker’s dozen of my mentors - people who were there to guide me through some of my biggest leadership challenges - to find out about their biggest leadership challenges. If my military mentors taught me anything, it was this: leaders don’t ask the people to do anything they aren’t willing to do themselves. That goes for cleaning toilets, answering the phones, or...


Season 4 Teaser



Episode 43: Elizabeth Cushing "Shift Aims to Scale Joy"

Anyone who has attended our workshops on how to design large-scale change is familiar with Playworks, a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, CA. With their permission, we present a case study of their plans to go to scale as a way to teach people how to set compelling aims for spread/scale. So we thought we should check in on Playworks and their progress toward their truly ambitious aims. In this episode, we sit down with the CEO of Playworks, Elizabeth Cushing, and dive into the...


Episode 42: Nicole Hockley "Mission Doesn't Happen Without People"

On this episode we welcome back Nicole Hockley, a dear friend and force of nature, for a conversation about how Sandy Hook Promise scaled their proven prevention programs through a pandemic. Nicole generously talks us through SHP's focus on scale, equity, and adaptating their programs and internal practices. We are deeply honored to get to spend some more time with this brilliant human and grateful for her insights as CEO of an immensely impactful organization. Enjoy the show and please...


Episode 41: Chris Lubbe - On Activism, Grief, and What He Learned from Nelson Mandela

We did something a little different this time. We’re giving you an almost completely unedited podcast recording because you need to hear every single word Chris said, including those before and after the official "podcast" part of the podcast. This episode is everything to us. Chris has a profound ability to convey meaning and heart through story. We literally cried through half the interview. We learned. We grieved. We grew. We are better humans for listening to his story. And we want to...


40: Dr. Christine Ortiz, “Equity is a Verb, not a Noun.”

40: Dr. Christine Ortiz, “Equity is a Verb, not a Noun.” Listen in on this episode for an insightful and deeply personal conversation about why equity is a verb with our friend, Dr. Christine Ortiz, Founder of Equity Meets Design. Christine invites us to get curious about the ways philanthropy and the nonprofit sector can be overly focused on spreading solutions at the expense of actually solving problems. We at the Billions Institute are proud to be partnering with her and Equity Meets...


Episode 39: Dr. Julia Colwell, “Shifting from Reactive Brain to Creative Brain”

39: Dr. Julia Colwell, “Shifting from Reactive Brain to Creative Brain” In this episode, we talk with our friend, the brilliant and insightful psychologist Dr. Julia Colwell, about the physiological experience of shame and why it’s so important that we learn how to shift out of our reactive brains - and the hierarchy that comes with it - back into our creative brains where collaboration, connection, and creativity are possible. Join us for this fascinating conversation about how our...