While in college, Franklin Leonard was convinced he was going to change the world. “I went to college debating between pursuing the sciences, where I was sure that I was going to cure cancer,” he says. “And going into politics where I was sure I was going to find, nurture, help elect, and run policy for the next great liberal president.” The stint in politics didn’t work out, and Leonard was left adrift before eventually moving to Hollywood.
He soon realized once more how difficult it can be to enact global change. That’s when, almost accidentally, he founded The Black List, a collection of the industries top-unproduced scripts. Today, films on the list have been seen by millions of people around the globe, earned over $25 billion dollars, and have been nominated for 223 Academy Awards (and have won 43). In his 99u talk, Leonard explains a shift in his perspective on what it really means to change the world, and why it’s better to start small.