Montana State University

Founder of promise-based viral social movement speaks Nov. 16 at MSU

October 20, 2015 -- MSU News Service

Alex Sheen, founder of because I said I would, an international social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept, will give a free talk at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at MSU’s SUB Ballrooms. Photo courtesy of Alex Sheen.

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Alex Sheen, founder of because I said I would, an international social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at Montana State University’s SUB Ballrooms.

Sheen’s organization launched from the eulogy that Sheen delivered at his father’s funeral and has since spread virally throughout the world through a video disseminated through social media. Sheen’s father was a man known for keeping his promises. So, Sheen inspired members of the audience to make commitments to make the world a better place and fulfill those promises, which are recorded on a small card on which was printed “because I said I would.”

Sheen and his organization sent the "promise cards" to anyone anywhere in the world at no cost. In the meantime, Sheen honored his own commitment to improve the world through public service. What began at the funeral three years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, has grown into an organization that has sent 3.15 million promise cards to more than 150 countries. The promises written on these cards have made headlines around the world.

A gifted public speaker and a nationally respected thought leader, Sheen has spread the word of because I said I would as well as many charitable projects and awareness campaigns during appearances on CNN, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, NPR, Fox News, Los Angeles Times, CBS Nightly News and many other programs. He has been featured on the cover of Spirit Magazine, honored as a Steve Harvey “Harvey’s Hero” and was the closing TED speaker at TEDxUtica and TEDxYouth@Austin. Sheen’s efforts in social media were featured in BuzzFeed’s “Most Important Viral Videos of 2013.” His posts have made the number one spot on the front page of Reddit.com more than 10 times.  His keynotes were attended by as many as 8,500 attendees in a single event and 100 percent of his speaking engagement fees are paid to the nonprofit because I said I would.

Sheen has also dedicated himself to his own promises of public service. He once walked more than 240 miles across Ohio in 10 days to fulfill a promise. Other examples of Sheen’s commitment include volunteering at 52 nonprofit organizations in one year -- one each week -- sponsoring children with cancer trips to Disneyland and volunteering to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy and Ferguson, Mo.

Carmen McSpadden, director of the MSU Leadership Institute, said Sheen is a dynamic young speaker who has gifts to inspire those of all ages to make small but important commitments that together have made a large impact on the world.

“We all understand the importance of a promise – it is basic to humanity and leadership,” McSpadden said. “However, it is the riveting stories that Alex will share at MSU, and the process that he has created, that is supporting positive social change.”

Sheen’s talk is free and open to the public. However, tickets must be obtained in advance to ensure that everyone who attends has a seat. Tickets are available at all Bobcat ticket outlets including the Bobcat Ticket Office, Rosauers, the AskUs Desk at the SUB, by calling 994-CATS (2287) or (800) 325-7328, and online at www.ticketswest.com. There will be a handling charge per ticket for those ordered over the phone, online or at Rosauers.

Sheen’s lecture is sponsored by the MSU Leadership Institute, ASMSU, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, Murdoch's Ranch and Home Supply, Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, MSU’s Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success, Northwestern Mutual, KGLT and the VOICE Center.

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Carmen McSpadden  (406) 994-7667, cmcspadden@montana.edu