Chicago Redditors have managed to track down Ronald Davies, the homeless man who’s helping change perceptions about homeleness. Ronald featured in a video in 2012, as part of a series called Big Questions tackling challenging social issues like poverty and inmate rehabilitation. The video has recently re-emerged via Reddit and has since been watched 2million times, shared 117, 237 and has 67, 597 likes.
‘The guy doesn’t need money, he needs an opportunity. As a restaurant manager myself with a homeless shelter only a block away, I know my establishment has given plenty of people opportunities as a dishwasher and they’ve completely turned their lives around.
Sure, some of them turn out to be crackheads that disappear after the first paycheck, but that’s far and away the exception. Many of them have become model employees and even trainers for my staff. And besides, it’s not like you’re investing any significant amount of money on training or education if the guy doesn’t pan out.’
Millwall FC are ‘notorious for being the toughest and most violent set of football fans in England’. Seems scary. I don’t like football so this isn’t my opinion, just research from ‘The foodbankers‘. The concept for their blog is a a very topical idea (content about foodbanks in London), run by postgraduate journalism students at City University; Rachel Bayne, Tom Knowles, Charlotte Rettie and Henry Vane.
In 2009 there were 6 foodbanks feeding 400 people in the capital. Figures from the leading food bank charity, the Trussell Trust, reveal there are 325 foodbanks nationwide now feeding 340,000 (40 in the capital feeding 34,000). Foodbanks were set up to help those who were poorest in the community but they’re not to serve as an extra arm of the government, which it seems they now are.
Peckham foodbank’s co-ordinator Felicia Boshorin feels a change to benefits is the biggest reason for people suddenly needing to rely on food banks, the Foodbankers report. Often people have switched from Employment and Support Allowance to Jobseeker’s allowance, and will have up to four weeks when one set of benefits has stopped and money from the new allowance has yet to come through. They are unlikely to have any savings to get them through that period.
Rising costs of food and fuel combined with static income, high unemployment as well as benefit changes are causing more and more people to come to foodbanks for help.
Millwall are an unlikely supporter of foodbanks with their reputation, however they’re THE only football club foodbank. Their supporters bring food items to matches and it’s then delivered to Peckham foodbank providing extra support amongst a cash strapped local authority. Well done Millwall!
Maybe more public mass scale events should start doing this, the O2 springs to mind.
If you haven’t watched this before, it’s an understated but powerful call to arms. Ray was the founder and chairman of Interface Inc (a very successful carpet company) and ‘recovering plunderer’ (his words). Since the 1990′s he turned Interface’s ‘take, make’ waste’ model on its head, which also lead it to global dominance doubling profits.
His theory, facts and evidence justify his powerful vision for sustainable commerce – which was a ‘Mission Zero’ plan. He used the below impact equation, to transform the way his businesses were run.
His question to us was: can we reframe civilisation itself, to have more happiness with less stuff? To change the whole system of our economics creating a New Civilisation ‘a sustainable species living on a finite earth, ethically, happily and ecologically in balance with nature.’ After all ‘theft is a crime and theft of our children’s future will be a crime’.
Ben Goldhirsh is the co-founder and CEO of GOOD a community you should join and follow if you want to try to make a difference. They’re a global ‘community of, by and for pragmatic idealists working towards individual and collective progress ‘ = good.
Ben’s a judge for CROWDIMPACT the world’s largest Social Enterprise pitch event offering $100million in capital which is up for grabs.
Social Enterprises get to pitch their ideas in front of an audience of entrepreneurs and investors, dragon’s den style, to win a cash prize and also exposure to impact investment professionals.
GOOD feel what brings Social Enterprises to scale is communities coming together to ‘barn raise’ like this. This is why Crowdfunder has teamed up with GOOD, TED Fellows, X PRIZE Foundation, Social Enterprise Alliance, and many other partner communities for CROWD IMPACT.
The judges need help in deciding who the finalists will be and ultimately which ones will get funded. Here’s how GOOD say you can get involved:
Click here to find the social enterprises you believe in and want to support.
Click Follow Company on the top right of each company profile you support.
Click Share Company to spread the word and share to your social network.
I love the advice in this film, I’ve watched it 5 times (so far): What makes you really itch?
What if money was no object?
How would you really like to spend your life?
For the last few years I’d been asking myself ’what do I desire’, really desire.
I’d been lucky to work in some great agencies and meet so many amazing people but I didn’t see it being my career forever.
I’d always, right from the start of my career, felt that business should have social value and give something back. It’s not just for stakeholders to profit from. Suddenly 10 years later everything is starting to piece together.
I started this blog as an exploration and went to a talk Escape the City were running with On Purpose:
‘We believe there is a better way of doing business that can help solve many of society’s most intractable problems. We find and work with the best professionals to develop the next generation of social enterprise leaders who have the commitment to tackle these problems by harnessing the power of business for social and environmental good.’
A few months later, after 4 stages of the rigorous interviews, I got offered a place on the On Purpose leadership programme. I start the placements in April.
I’d been considering doing a Masters but wanted to do something practical still. On Purpose is the perfect blend. You do two placements, at two different companies, for six months each (full time). They’re all leading organisations like Social Enterprise UK, Big Issue Invest, Deloitte CR and you’re given specific projects to run.
Every Friday you have training out of the office, with leading experts. You don’t get a certificate at the end or take exams (thank god) but it has a strong business focus, so it’s like an MBA.
Probably one of the biggest pro’s of the programme is the networking opportunities, meeting people doing so many inspiring things. I can’t wait.
As he advises in the video ‘forget the money…better to have a life full of doing what you want to be doing’.
On Purpose are recruiting for their October cohort at the moment. So if you believe business can be done a different way, maybe the programme’s for you
The Clothes Club, a new garment swapping community, has been launched with a goal of raising £5,000 for local social enterprises, at events held by the group.
I came up with the idea a year-ago and have been working since then to get the right team in place. Lucy Dunleavy and Carmen Ortiz Guillen, two East London women with a passion for social enterprise, will be helping with the operation.
A Facebook page is now live and the blog will be ready in April ahead of the first event. What’s the insight behind The Clothes Club? Often there are items in our wardrobe we still like but just don’t wear anymore or perhaps a gift that’s perfectly fine but not your taste. With this in mind we’re forming a community of clothes swappers for good causes.
The money raised at each event will go to a different social enterprise, a sector that’s close to our hearts. We’ll be supporting Hackney Pirates with the event in April, who help 9-12 year olds.
Hopefully The Clothes Club will be a viable alternative to ebay, gumtree and car boot sales. It works this way: You pay £10 to bring 3 items (decent items rather than tat). You receive tokens and can swap them of other items. If there’s something extra you want you can always buy extra tokens. The money raised goes to a good cause and you go home with three new things and potentially some new friends. Sorry boys but it’s a girl only thing for now.
If you’d like to join the community you can here and we look forward to seeing you at the events.
A musician named Dave Carroll had difficulty with United Airlines in 2009. They damaged his treasured $3500 Taylor guitar during a flight, very annoying. How did they damage it? The United baggage handlers were literally throwing his guitar around.
Dave Carroll spent 9 months trying to get United to pay for damages to fix his guitar, caused by their extreme negligence, seemed only fair. United refused though and Dave let them know he was left with no choice other than to create a music video exposing their lack of cooperation. The manager’s response “Good luck with that one, pal,” so he posted a retaliatory video on You Tube, which has since received over 12 million hits!
United Airlines obviously then contacted the musician and attempted settlement in exchange for pulling the video. Dave’s response “Good luck with that one, pal.” Doh.
Taylor Guitars sent Dave not 1 but 2 new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video, which has led to a sharp increase in orders. United didn’t fully appreciate that Dave Carroll was a travelling musician with opinions plus access to creative people, who would all volunteer to help him with his protest song.
It’s interesting to see the new ventures Dave Carroll has since invested in, with Resolution1 and Grapevine cloud based solutions, to help companies manage customer complaints better and be more #kindaware
Last year I started this blog to up my ‘personal social responsibility’. I’m treating it as an experiment: an exploration of the power of kindness. I volunteered with Spots of Time in the summer and it was amazing to see the difference a pampering day made to the elderly.
Communities can be a powerful entity both destructive and supportive. Living in London often means you don’t know your neighbour. I’ve been thinking about who in our community we know. I used to live in a small town (well village which is now a town) and everyone knew each other.
So…I’ve decided to expand my community and not just where I live. Through my blog I’ve ‘met’ people in the US doing amazing projects on kindness and lots of people in the UK. I’m doing an event in April which will raise money for different communities doing ‘good’ things (social enterprises mainly).
And I’m looking at possessions I don’t really need anymore and am finally doing something productive with them. I’m spreading a little bit of random acts of kindness by giving them away to someone who really needs it, so it will hopefully help them.
I put an ad on Gumtree saying someone could have my bike for free, they just needed to let me know why they wanted it.
The aim was to pick someone who it would make the biggest difference for. I got over 70 responses and stopped the ad, so I could try to get to know a shortlist of people a bit better.
Sheri and some of her family came to pick my bike up this morning, including her gorgeous 1 year old. She looked at my blog and kindly told me about a community project, The Workshop, run in West Norwood that she thought I’d like.
Sheri strongly believes in the power of communities herself and volunteers some of her time to teach beauty & makeup, for people who couldn’t afford it otherwise (I found this out afterwards).
The experiment in ‘personal social responsibility’ is just beginning….
José Alberto Mujica Cordano was elected the Uruguayan president in 2010. He’s not only a vegetarian but he’s a very kind man. He’s known as the ‘world’s poorest president’ quite an accolade, as he donates 90%, yes 90% of his salary to charity and small entrepreneurs. He takes home around £485 and donates £7,500.
He’s described as an ‘anti-politician’ and a man ‘who speaks the language of the people’, no surprise then that he created the Movement of Popular Participation and is a lefty. Some may think he’s an eccentric man but his actions make a lot of sense:
“This is a matter of freedom. If you don’t have many possessions then you don’t need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself” the BBC reported.
The Uruguayan leader made a similar point when he addressed the Rio+20 summit in June this year “We’ve been talking all afternoon about sustainable development. To get the masses out of poverty. But what are we thinking? Do we want the model of development and consumption of the rich countries? I ask you now: what would happen to this planet if Indians would have the same proportion of cars per household than Germans? How much oxygen would we have left? It is this level of hyper-consumption that is harming our planet” – hear hear
Some think he’s mad, I say he’s a hero and understands life. Surely this makes him the richest president.
In 2006 President Bush met Jason McElwain the 17-year-old with autism who played an extraordinary game of basketball (scoring 20 points in 4 minutes).
When I watched the footage of the game, something made me feel a bit uneasy. Jason clearly loved basketball but he had to sit and watch his peers. He clearly had the talent and passion, so why wasn’t he allowed to play before?
It’s the end of the film which is so touching though, when everyone gives Jason the recognition he no doubt deserved. In a more recent interview by CBS News from 2010 Jason said ‘it was the support and acceptance he felt that night that made him the man he is today’. And that the world would be a better place if it could be the way the gym was that night.