3 Questions with Kevin Carroll


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With his parents out of the picture, Kevin Carroll took his life lessons from those around him.  He spent endless hours at the neighborhood playground, school and library. Those destinations proved to be important locales in his journey from a hardscrabble upbringing filled with dysfunction, upheaval and uncertainty to becoming an author, a speaker and a global change agent. Kevin speaks Friday, August 14 at The Armory for CreativeMornings Portland. Tickets here.

This month’s CreativeMornings theme is ‘Action’ and your professional title is Katalyst. Can you illuminate the role that catalytic experiences play in activating your work and your life?

A catalyst is a person or thing that “sparks” an event or activity – my personal + professional endeavors are filled with many memorable catalytic moments. At my upcoming Creative Mornings/PDX event, I will get an opportunity to share inspiring, enlightening & playful thoughts from my personal narrative + three “unexpected” creative projects that support my belief that having a “#GSD attitude” is necessary to turn ideas into reality.

From your time as an Air Force translator to professional athletic trainer, how did you recognize your passion for being an organizational change agent? How did it feel to recognize this in your self-made position at Nike?

My time in the Air Force & with the Sixers was where the “idea” of being a creative change agent got its start but it was stifled numerous times – many “non-believers” kept me from advancing the idea. At Nike, my creative potential was nurtured, developed, realized & celebrated – I was given permission to… Fly My Freak Flag at the Swoosh!

You might be the only person in history to address the United Nations on the importance of play. Nice work. Did you receive any high fives from dignitaries?

After sharing my power of sport story to dignitaries from more than 30 countries at the United Nations, no high fives were bestowed upon me – I did receive a plethora of polite congratulations sprinkled with hearty handshakes!