Inspiring Kids & Teens to Change the World

Steps for turning your child’s enthusiasm into action

by Steve Silvestro, MD  @zendocsteve

change the world


“It’s not about not getting knocked down. It’s about knowing you absolutely ARE going to get knocked down.”

That’s one of my favorite moments in my conversation with Katie Bowers, my guest in this episode.

Anyone who’s paid attention to the news in the last few years, has been on social media—or has just conversed with other human beings—has probably gotten the sense now and then that the world seems on edge. And I think many of us parents can get so inspired by our own kids that we get the sense that they’re going to change the world—or at least their own corner of it.

And a lot of kids might feel like they want to do exactly that.

But how to start? How to take the desire to do good and turn it into something real, something that can truly help people?

That’s the aim of my guest in this episode and the amazing organization she manages. I got to geek out a bit in this conversation because Katie Bowers is the managing director of The Harry Potter Alliance. No, it’s not some sort of group where people talk about how awesome Harry Potter is. No, the HPA takes the passion that fans of Harry Potter and other books and movies have, and helps them turn that passion into action.

As Katie says in our conversation:

“When people truly become passionate about a book or a character, it’s because they see themselves in that hero.”

And the HPA has turned fans’ passion into amazing results. With hundreds of thousands of members spanning 35 countries and six continents, the HPA has helped kids and adults create meaningful change around the world.

They’re pretty freaking awesome if you ask me!

To learn how to turn your child’s enthusiasm into action, take a listen to our conversation on your favorite podcast app or in the player above!


In This Episode, We Talk About:

  • The work of the HPA and how they “turn fans into heroes”
  • Why Harry Potter and other fictional characters inspire fans to make social change
  • How to decide what to do if you know you want to do something, but don’t know what or how
  • The power of “unironic enthusiasm”—the best way to foster your child’s eagerness to help
  • How to help your kids develop leadership qualities needed to bring about change
  • Why it’s okay to be Neville Longbottom instead of Harry or Hermione
  • Specific projects for preschoolers vs. elementary school aged kids vs. high schoolers
  • Tips for when your child’s project fails
  • The importance of building a good team around you
  • How to help kids handle the risks of the spotlight when they stand up for what they believe
  • Why kids might have a better opportunity to build bridges with those with opposing viewpoints than adults
  • How to teach kids to handle tough conversations with friends and loved ones with opposing views
  • And the value of “time, patience, love, and a willingness to keep at it.”

Guys, I got fired up by this conversation—it’s a great launchpad for you and your kids to make the world a better place.

If you get inspired by this episode, please take a screenshot of your podcast app as you listen, post it to your Instagram Story, and tag me @zendocsteve


Important Resources for You to Use:

The Harry Potter Alliance


  • My “Growth Mindset – the T-shirt” for babies, kids & adults
  • change the world

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Inspiring Kids to Change the World - with Katie Bowers, Managing Director of The Harry Potter Alliance