social legacy emily chang the spare room

Defining Your Social Legacy | Emily Chang

Emily Chang first joined us in Season 1 of The She-Suite Podcast, to share all about her story, role as the CEO of McCann Worldgroup, China, and her journey of authoring her new book, The Spare Room. The book has recently been released, and digs deep into the topic of social legacy and living a more authentic life. 

So what is social legacy… and how can you build your own? Here’s what Emily has to say from the episode…

For me, The Spare Room is a euphemism; it represents the intersection of two important things in everybody’s life. On one side you’ve got the offense. On the other side, you have the offer. The offense is that thing, that social injustice that you just can’t walk by. There’s always that one thing that really captivates us, yet it’s different for each of us. 

So what is your offense? If you can’t define it, the book will walk you through identifying what it might be.

The book also walks through how to define your unique offer; whether it’s your personality, your talents, your capabilities, your assets, gifts or time. When you think about your offense and your unique offer, think of them like a venn diagram. The intersection is what I call your social legacy. 

Your social legacy is the legacy or imprint that you’re leaving behind in your society, however you define it. This could be in your home, neighborhood, workplace, country, or even the world. It’s different for everybody.

My offense for the last 22 years has been vulnerable, hurt or neglected children. The offer has just been our spare bedroom. The idea came to me years ago, as my husband and I were talking, and I said, “What are the chances these kids keep finding us no matter where we’ve lived? We have had 16 kids in our spare rooms over the past 22 years, and we’ve never registered as a foster family, or sought one out.”

My husband said it best with his reply, “I think if we are open to serving a purpose, that purpose finds us.”

We can talk about purpose… but it is in some ways a bit of an overused phrase. So I challenged myself to say, instead of defaulting to the word purpose, what am I really trying to get at? And that’s how the idea of social legacy came to life. 

To learn more about The Spare Room, Emily’s journey, and defining your own social legacy, you can check out her personal website here

Emily Chang

Emily Chang

CEO, China at McCann Worldgroup