Next City isn’t just a news website, we are a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities. Part of how we do that is by connecting our readers to urban changemakers and holding an annual Vanguard conference bringing together 40 top young urban leaders.
Name: Christopher Bradshaw
Current Occupation: Founder and Executive Director, Dreaming Out Loud
Hometown: Morristown, Tennessee
Current City: Washington, D.C.
Twitter Tag: @doldc
I get to work by: Subway/Car
What was your first job? My first job was washing dishes at Pizza Hut at 14 or 15 years old.
What is your favorite city and why? I think that Toronto is my new favorite city. It’s a big city that feels welcoming, stays really clean and is really diverse.
Did you always want to be a social entrepreneur? Looking back at the arc of my life thus far, it seems that I was destined to be a social entrepreneur and a social change maker. I just didn’t know how I would get here. When I was in third grade (that’s nine years old), I helped to organize a boycott of recess among my classmates due to a teacher-imposed ban on tag. So you can say it’s always been in my blood!
What do you like most about your current job? I love working outside, being creative and growing food. I’m always astonished by the miracle of growing food, seeing a small seed that grows to a plant that provides nourishment (and tastes good). All of these aspects of my job are applied in my community, which makes it even more fulfilling.
What is the coolest project you worked on? The coolest project that I’ve worked on is at our urban garden space in Washington, D.C. It has a beautiful backdrop, a brilliant work of public art that covers an entire historic church. We are working to make it into a model of a highly productive, community-centered hub of agriculture.