I’m Dr. Lynda Ulrich, a dentist in Northern Vermont as well as the founder of Ever Widening Circles (EWC). I’m aiming to create The Nicest Place on the Internet. If you’ve made it this deep in the site, you’re probably curious about who we are and about our story.
Whenever I stumble across a site that catches my eye, I immediately look to find out more about the person behind the project. So, I thought I would put together a letter detailing our background and the bigger purpose behind our vision.
Here’s the story:
In the winter of 2014, I was becoming more and more discouraged about the relentless barrage of bad news coming from every corner of the global media and I’d started to notice that my patients seemed more downtrodden too. Then one crisp January morning my clock radio alarm went off at 6:23 am, and I awoke to one of the first beheading stories discussed at length in the morning news.
I remember diving for the “off” button on the clock radio and then sitting, breathless, on the edge of my bed, face in hands.
The moment triggered an avalanche of fierce compassion in me, and my response was something like, “For gaud sakes, no one should be starting their day in this way!” I said to myself, “There has got to be a place on the web for an antidote to all this negativity; somewhere one can find news of all the amazingly generous, ingenious and creative thought leaders in the world.”
And I set out to find it.
Fortunately, I had lived and traveled all over the world myself, so I knew the growing negative dialogue about our times did not represent the whole story. Over the past two decades, I’ve had adventures in many off-the-beaten-path places, and I had found people seemed more ingenious and generous than ever. Yet we don’t hear about that aspect of life too much.
Unfortunately, after several weeks, my search of the internet turned up nothing credible.
Sure there were “good news” websites of all sorts, but all of them were heavily biased by some sort of political and advertising agenda. When I could find no place to trust for newsworthy insights without an agenda, I resolved to create it. (I’m like that: a sort of fearless, impulsive problem-solver, with a love for the world.)
That was a winning recipe, for I have needed every ounce of courage, love, and perseverance I had for the journey. It has been a bit of a wild ride for almost 5 years but we’ve come out into the sunshine!
Here was my “elevator pitch” from day one:
Our goal is to publish one article each day – on any subject under the sun – to demonstrate this is still an amazing world.
Most importantly, we’ll have no politics and no commercial agenda. We’ll cite our sources impeccably, and our visitors will come away feeling like they have had coffee with a really smart, nice friend.
The initial version of Ever Widening Circles (EWC) was a standard blog, created in March of 2014 by a young, local guy who had a knack with technology. I took a year to test various aspects of getting my posts out to places around the world that no one seemed to care about; places like Nepal, Afghanistan, Algeria, etc.. I figured they might need some insight and innovation too, and no one was helping them find it. At the end of that journey, we had 45,000 views of our articles each month from over 190 countries and almost 20% of the people who visited came back!
Not bad! It was an exciting time!
All of that interest in possibility told me that people all over the world were ready for a better worldview.
In the summer of 2015, my daughter, Liesl, then a recent Harvard grad, joined me to change my initial “pet project” into a serious movement to change the negative dialogue about our world.
We started off together into an unfamiliar landscape of digital publishing with no knowledge of its key players or rules, and it seems we’ve been schooled by hard knocks at every turn.
In short order, we learned that on the internet we could play by our own rules and we committed to finding a way forward based purely on common sense, good intention and the kindness of strangers.
And that is exactly what we have found in great supply.
(If you are curious, you can read our complete bios, and I think you’ll find we are people you could identify with on many levels.)
There were stretches when we were being joined by over 1000 new Facebook fans per day. We now have over 170,000 Facebook fans and they come from some very interesting corners of the globe: more than 9,000 are from Afghanistan; more than 20,000 from Nepal, and the same in Cambodia; 23,000 in India; 11,000 from Algeria, and the list goes on.
We took 2 years to test various parts of our completely new concept our concept on the world stage (part blog, part news magazine, part resource) and in April of 2018, we launched the beautiful site you are enjoying now.
At the time of this writing, we are already starting a version of Ever Widening Circles for the classroom and several projects for global connections.
Here are three promises:
- We will never impose any political or commercial agenda on you.
- We will never complicate our beautiful, image-rich content with bizarre advertising ploys.
- We will only use sources from and include outbound links to, long-trusted places on the web.
What you will find daily:
We think the world is ready for a fundamental change in the scope of “news” they are getting. We know the news needs to keep us informed about the “outliers”, usually negative, that threaten peace and progress. True journalism is a valuable calling and we consider our work “the rest of the story”.
We encourage people to find the most unbiased source for news they can find and stay informed. Then, head to Ever Widening Circles to end up with a more balanced worldview.
Here at EWC, you will find a sense of refreshment; your optimism restored by thought-leaders in new innovations, technology, sports, science, the arts, philosophy, business, conservation, education, and every other field. We feature the inspirational stories of great people from well known motivational speakers, to individuals like you or me.
You can join our unique community of connection around this idea that the world is still an amazing place.
Share content ideas with us (It’s so easy to send us a quick link.)
Dr. Lynda M. Ulrich, DMD, Founder