A Peak into the Hero Round Table


In his 2008 landmark TED Talk , Dr. Zimbardo announced HIP’s inception to thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Last week on April 21st and 22nd, over two dozen other talks at the Hero Round Table San Francisco were given the same praise by over 200 attendees from four continents and a dozen countries, eager to understand how they could practice heroism in their daily lives to make the world a better place. Laughter, tears, and gasps accompanied talks from Daniel Ellsberg, the Edward Snowden of the seventies; Edith Eger, active clinical psychologist and Holocaust survivor; Anthony Sadler, hero from the 15:17 Paris train terrorist attack; international parkour guru, Dan Edwardes; Anthony Blackowl, Native American storyteller and teacher; and heroism educators from all over America.

Helping ordinary people recognize their power to act heroically has been a dream of Dr. Zimbardo’s for over two decades. But that goal wasn’t always so clear. A recent SF Chronicle article documents his earlier career, during which he focused on understanding how people come to do evil things. Through the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment he came to realize that his question needed a crucial pivot: evil was to be stopped not by understanding why people do bad - but why they do good. HIP’s partnership with the Hero Round Table facilitated just that understanding, bringing it to an everyday audience of students, educators, non-profit workers, and researchers.


Here is just some of what was shared by our amazing speakers: 

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"Say it to yourselves! ‘Yes I can, yes I will, yes I am’!"

~Edith Eger, Holocaust survivor


"I was probably the only person working in the State Department during the Vietnam War that ever actually met a draft resister."

~Daniel Ellsberg, American activist

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"The thing you fear holds the thing you need. Fear is a signpost for what you can or are on the verge of being able to do."

~Dan Edwardes, Parkour guru

"We must shift our perspective from I to we. When it comes to mental health, this means shifting our focus from mental illness to mental wellness. It’s shifting from the “I” at the center of mental Illness, to the “we”, at the center of mental WEllness."

~Sylvia Gray, Suicide prevention and mental health first aid trainer

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"You don’t need anything special to be a hero. What’s heroic is your choice, not your action. Heroic moments don’t ask what you you can do, they just as that you do."

~Anthony Sadler, 15:17 Train to Paris hero

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"An everyday hero steps into their own power and empowers others to do the same.”

~Marie Applegate, using art to encourage heroism


"My whole life I was criticized and punished for the very thing that as an adult I am rewarded for. When we’re willing to turn up the volume on our uniqueness, when we’re willing to see the upside of our weakness - it can totally transform the way we live our lives - when we amplify the very things that people have been trying to moderate in us for our entire lives."

~Dave Rendall, weakness and uniqueness expert


***stay tuned in to our social media to find out when videos of these free talks are released!***

Hero in Residence

At the conference, we also unveiled our new Hero in Residence program, and honored Rudy Corpuz and Keenia Williams as the first two Residents. Rudy has been doing impactful work in San Francisco with United Playaz, empowering young people to make positive choices. Keenia took courageous action on multiple occasions to save lives, and has continued to positively impact her community.

Hero stories are vital to the health and happiness of society: they help us grow and develop, get us through tough times, and inspire us to act. Is there a hero in your community whose story should be told? Nominations for the next Hero in Resident cohort open May 18th. Follow us on social media for updates 

The HIR program recognizes heroes and provides them with psychological support in the aftermath of their heroic actions as well as mentorship to help multiply the impact of their acts through story-sharing and continued activism. 

To learn more about the program, click here.

What's next on the horizon for HIP?

New hero training programs!

Nearly 100,000 people worldwide have begun their hero training with HIP’s “Combatting the Bystander Effect” and “Developing a Growth Mindset” workshops. This summer, we’re releasing “Combating Stereotype, Prejudice, and Discrimination” to facilitate difficult yet timely discussions about how we can reduce our implicit and explicit biases. At the end of 2018 we will release “Heroism 101”, a crash course in who heroes are, why we need them, and how we can use them for navigating growth, crisis, and challenge. Learn more about our programs here.

Keynote speakers

Looking for a speaker for an assembly, retreat, or professional development? Visit our “Keynotes” page to check out various talks and workshops our trainers and board members can conduct at your school, organization, or business.

Call to action

If you missed the conference, there are plenty of upcoming opportunities to engage with other heroes in training and learn how to take heroic action. Sign up for an upcoming live HIP Educator training or workshop on the West Coast or a virtual session where you can interact with trainees from all over the world from the comfort of your own home

Photos from our HIP Workshop at the Hero Round Table Conference and a peak into a virtual training!

Be an everyday hero through sponsorship!

YOU can eliminate financial barriers by sponsoring adults and youth to partake in HIP trainings or workshops, allowing us to train everyday heroes regardless of financial need. Click here to donate.


photo credit: Joel Schooler and Erik Smith