Filed under: Get Activist
It’s very easy to forget how privileged I am.
Recently I sat in my father’s kitchen in Mexico defending against the idea that the world is a darker and crueller place.
I had to laugh. I’d travelled across continents alone to be there, stopping along the way to have my voice heard and opinions sought. For me it isn’t dark. I have economic, intellectual, sexual and social freedoms not afforded to almost the entirety of womankind ’till now. But that only means that I have the responsibility to share a bit of the light to those that need it most.
I vividly remember my mother having to get my Dad to co-sign the loan on her first business. As a result every Kiva loan I have supports a woman in the developing world trying to support her family by her skills brought to fruition through having access to a sewing machine.
‘Because I am a Girl’ is Plan’s global campaign designed to fight gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls out of poverty. Across the globe, girls are at the bottom of the social ladder, deprived of the same opportunities as boys. For example,research has shown that girls are more likely to suffer from malnutrition; be forced into an early marriage; be subjected to violence or intimidation; be trafficked, sold or coerced into the sex trade; or become infected with HIV.
The campaign is based on a series of reports titled Because I am a Girl: The State Of The World’s Girls. To be published between2007–2015 from Plan International, these reports examine the rights and needs of girls throughout their childhood, adolescence and as young women – and how they are uniquely placed to break the cycles of intergenerational poverty gripping many people in developing countries.
Six of the eight Millennium Development Goals – the goals set by the world’s governments in 2000 to halve world poverty by 2015 – are unlikely to be achieved unless there is a greater international commitment to the fight against gender discrimination.Plan recognises that we have to address gender discrimination as a priority if we want to tackle the root causes of child poverty.Therefore we have made the commitment to ‘address gender inequality and the numerous ways in which the rights of girls and women are particularly denied and violated’ (Plan Program Framework, 2009–2013). This is the focus of the ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign and will better enable Plan to achieve our overall mandate as a child-centred community development organisation, committed to child poverty eradication and all children accessing their rights.
You can download the 2010 Because I am a Girl report, ‘Digital and Urban Frontiers: Girls in a Changing Landscape’
You can find out how to support Because I’m a Girl here
And you can remember. You can be aware that the ease and access you enjoy now was built by the strength and sacrifice of generations before you. You can’t repay them but you can acknowledge your debt by lighting bridges of hope, access and equality for others. Shiny.
Austin Kleon’s TEDxPennQuarter talk is centered around a flowchart that compares his own publishing journey with what he was taught in college was the traditional route of becoming a published author. Looking at the chart, it strikes you that no matter what route you take, everything always comes back to the simplest beginning:
Write something good.
I’m the hugest fan…as he says: Keep making things.
Jack Thompson- could your delivery or timing be any better?
the future I might aspire to- the past I remember with pleasure
life’s crowning glory is the here and now
Developed by Sophie Weldon, the founder of Youth for UNHCR and one of two Special Youth Representatives for Australia. She’s also a resident at the Vibewire Enterprise Hub.
Recently Wired had Clay Shirky and Daniel Pink sit down for a conversation about motivation and media, social networking, sitcoms, and why the hell people spend their free time editing Wikipedia.
I’m a huge Shirky fan, but of particular interest to me was the Wired contributing editor and the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. I love Pink’s thinking about the power of the three drives that can be utilised in the workplace : Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose, and I’m also pretty sweet on the RSA Animate series that has brought it to life in the presentation above
Here’s a bit of the interview transcript:
Pink: We have a biological drive. We eat when we’re hungry, drink when we’re thirsty, have sex to satisfy our carnal urges. We also have a second drive—we respond to rewards and punishments in our environment. But what we’ve forgotten—and what the science shows—is that we also have a third drive. We do things because they’re interesting, because they’re engaging, because they’re the right things to do, because they contribute to the world. The problem is that, especially in our organizations, we stop at that second drive. We think the only reason people do productive things is to snag a carrot or avoid a stick. But that’s just not true. Our third drive—our intrinsic motivation—can be even more powerful.
Pink: Both of us cite research from University of Rochester psychologist Edward Deci showing that if you give people a contingent reward—as in “if you do this, then you’ll get that”—for something they find interesting, they can become less interested in the task. When Deci took people who enjoyed solving complicated puzzles for fun and began paying them if they did the puzzles, they no longer wanted to play with those puzzles during their free time. And the science is overwhelming that for creative, conceptual tasks, those if-then rewards rarely work and often do harm.
Shirky: You talk about the laws of behavioral physics working differently in practice from what we believe in theory.
Pink: Yes, often these outside motivators can give us less of what we want and more of what we don’t want. Think about that study of Israeli day care centers, which we both write about. When day care centers fined parents for being late to pick up their kids, the result was that more parents ended up coming late. People no longer felt a social obligation to behave well.
I think that the fundamental premise that organisations that link purpose and profit motives are more innovative and have greater long-term financial sustainability is a powerful one. Everybody needs to win when we’re designing what business goals looks like. Customers, employees and shareholders. And not a token ribbon for participation either. Everyone needs to feel like a winner, feel like they’ve backed one and are part of a winning team.
Time for some Seth Godin and his Simple five step plan for just about everyone and everything:
1. Go, make something happen.
2. Do work you’re proud of.
3. Treat people with respect.
4. Make big promises and keep them.
5. Ship it out the door.
When in doubt, see #1
I wrote a piece a while back, ‘user pays’, that explored how artists can now use technology to directly pay for their work. This would seem to be a good thing and an example where you can put ‘good business’ into practice. You are the client when you consume art/content/stuff that someone else/an artist/musician has made. You expect to be paid for your work why shouldn’t artists?
It cause quite a bit of commentary:
How many artists have kids and a mortgage?? If it is an ‘artist’ – truly – then demographic stereotypes are shifty and illusory
Comment by lucy November 24, 2009
artists aren’t demographic stereotypes they’re people
I think the point might be: why shouldn’t artists have kids and mortgages? Why shouldn’t productive, creative, innovative people producing work that people want be able to have an income that provides a sustainable lifestyle?
Comment by katiechatfield November 25, 2009
Love micropayments – but nanopayments? LastFM pays $0.005 per play. As music lovers: where are our boundaries for this new kind of serfdom to music distributors?
I was on the phone with a dealer who’d reached out to me about some kind of business proposal. At the end of the conversation I thanked him and said that it was a nice change of pace to have someone reach out to me, because most dealers haven’t exactly been receptive to what we’re doing. And he said, “Are you kidding? I fucking hated what you were doing when I first heard about it. I thought it was horrible and bad for the art world. But the more I looked at what you were doing and how, I realized that it’s the future of the business.” That was awesome.
I want everyone to collect art. I want people to be embarrassed if they don’t have a collection that they’re proud of and can talk about. Because that means that their homes will be happier, and that artists are being supported on a grand scale which will make for a better society. And I believe it’s the first time in history that it’s possible.
I’m looking forward to seeing how projects like Fundbreak might seed a little change here. It’s a crowdfunding platform developed for artists, musicians, filmmakers, journalists, designers, entrepreneurs, inventors to raise funds and give the project creators the break they need to realise their goals and aspirations.
Again it will mean that artists will be asking you to fund art. Until then: maybe it’s time for a boundary check. How much does art contribute to your life? And how much are you willing to pay to keep it?
Filed under: Get Activist
The ad is written by Richard Curtis and stars Bill Nighy.
A British coalition of charities and unions has launched a campaign The Robin Hood tax for a tax on speculative banking transactions.
The ‘Robin Hood Tax’ targets financial institutions who were bailed out using public money during the global financial crisis.
The idea is to direct the money to public services, poverty relief and addressing climate change.
For an Australian perspective you can listen to ABC’s Life Matters program which interviewed Max Lawson, Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam U.K and Professor Neil Warren from the Australian School of Taxation, University of New South Wales. They have a chat about it here.
I’d have to agree: Not complicated. Just brilliant.
We just forget how much we mean to people.
We forget how vulnerable and precious we are.
And yet I love how much this notion moves us and how powerfully we can express this without a word.
Take care out there everyone.
I was out with some friends the other night and we were having a chat about licensing – and I was being pretty vigorous about supporting copyright holders in their efforts to make sure they got paid.
My thought is basically this:
When it’s your IP that someone else is making money off, you’ll understand
artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art.
artists used to rely on middlemen to collect their money on their behalf, thereby rendering themselves innocent of cash-handling in the public eye.
artists will now be coming straight to you (yes YOU, you who want their music, their films, their books) for their paychecks.
please welcome them. please help them. please do not make them feel badly about asking you directly for money.
dead serious: this is the way shit is going to work from now on and it will work best if we all embrace it and don’t fight it.
Filed under: Get Activist
I’m riding my bike to work. Usually in a frock and heels. It’s great.
And I just wanted to share it- the great feeling of getting the wind in your face every morning, the comradery and casual chats with other cyclists at the lights, the ‘good on yous’ from people in my apartment complex…but most of all I’ve felt a big hug from pretty much all my co-workers, my friends and my family who have gone out of their way to make sure that I’m safe- that I have lights, that I wear a helmet, that I stick to the bike paths.
We’re all in it together.
Filed under: Get Activist
At the 2009 PSFK Conference NYC, Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger shared a selection of his favorite environmentally positive, high-impact products, services, and people. Hyper Pecha Kucha style, with 60 powerful ideas helping to make the world a better place.
Filed under: Get Activist
Armed with $500 worth of beans, two women founded a non-profit group in Denver in 1989 to empower impoverished women by teaching them workplace skills and providing jobs to the chronically homeless and unemployed. Their training opportunities have expanded dramatically over the years, and their annual operating budget has grown from $6,100 to over $1.5 million.
The Women’s Bean Project is a nonprofit organization that teaches job readiness and life skills for entry-level jobs through employment in a gourmet food production business. Women come with the goal of transforming their lives and moving toward self sufficiency.
SPENCER MICHELS: Now in its 20th year, the program employs 40 women each year who have been chronically unemployed and living in poverty. They make and package products such as soup, brownie mix, jelly beans, and salsas that are available in grocery stores in 40 states and over the Internet. But it’s not the food that makes this program a complete package, says executive director Tamara Ryan.
TAMARA RYAN: We’re not trying to make the best bean soup makers of America. What we’re trying to do is create an environment where we can teach basic job readiness skills, the idea that you have to come to work every day, and on time, and manage conflict in the workplace, and dress appropriately, and take direction.
But then also we find that that alone isn’t what helps women become successful. They’re lacking basic life skills — problem-solving, goal-setting, the ability to, when your child care falls apart, to fix that and then continue to go to work.
There’s a transcript and a streaming video micro documentary from Spencer Michels from PBS here.
Filed under: Get Activist
My friend Scott Drummond has being having serendipitous book adventures quite recently. Books have come to him, found on the street, tucked into his frame of reference with notes saying: ‘please take me, please read me, please pass me on’. This has inspired a number of very invigorating conversations and interactions which I need to spend a little more time unpacking before I can still life them for you.
In the meantime I want to share a lovely example of compassion in action- Sarah Garnett’s “Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library”. Started in 2003, it now it puts books on the footpaths in the city and Manly and distributes to hostels and 15 shelters- about 1200 a week. This library wants nothing from it’s borrowers- the books are there for the taking and would seem to spread light where ever they go.
Here’s a story from their website from a fan:
I found the footpath librarywhile queueing up for dinner at JEF’s food van across the road on a wintery Tuesday night in 2007. I’d been a regular since 2004 when I was living in a shitty boarding house in Redfern with my son who’d just been released from Rozelle hospital.
A little while before I was living & working as a professional artist in a cosy mud brick studio on the outskirts of Melbourne. Things were looking up, I was starting to sell paintings, was in with a leading gallery & my health was good. I’d given up the part time teaching job that I’d done for over ten years & was determined to make my living as an artist. But that was then. In 2007 I was sneaking into my studio at night to sleep when I could. I was evicted from the studio for dossing there. In between I slept out or stayed in a shelter.
Throughout this time when I couldn’t paint I’d read & I’m grateful for the footpath library for sustaining me. Reading took my mind off my troubles & gave me a respite from the constant motion that that kind of life demands. The footpath library has been a saving grace. Apart from being down & out in Sydney I’ve been down and out in Paris and London with George Orwell, read about the homeless in Victorian London in Peter Ackroyd’s “London: A Biography”‘, discovered Proust in the Edward Eager Lodge, hung around seedy ports in the South Pacific with Conrad’s Lord Jim & reread one of my favorite books; Joyce Cary’s “The Horses Mouth” with its patron saint of destitute artists Gully Jimson. I read a book on the Lives of the Saints & felt both inspired & humbled. ” The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats” gave me the background on those writers , some of whom I’d read & vowed to read again one day. I wandered through Europe in the 50′s through the eyes of Lloyd Rees & his wonderful drawings and was glad I was sober after reading a biography of Charles Bukowski. Patrick Whites “Tree Of Man” made my troubles look pretty small & I learnt a little humility from reading the life of the Australian poet John Shaw Neilson. Things have picked up since then. I’ve got a cosy little room in Glebe & am painting the grounds of the old asylum my son was a patient in . I’ve got in with another gallery & even sold some work, there’s a survey show coming up in Melbourne later in the year & I’ll take a trip down for that. I’ve got a belly full of cabbage and ham soup & you can guess where I found the recipe for that old chestnut!
* Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes
Filed under: Get Activist
In Australia, compulsory voting means that every Australian citizen (18 years or older) is required by law to enrol and vote.
Proponents of compulsory voting argue that voting is a civic duty comparable to other duties citizens perform, such as taxation, compulsory education and jury duty.
Our Electoral Commission puts the case like this:
• Opponents argue that it is an infringement of liberty to force people to vote, and that the ill informed and those with little interest in politics are forced to the polls.
• One argument against compulsory voting is that voting can be an onerous imposition on some citizens. Against this it has been stated that: ”All our voting system requires is for a voter to attend a polling booth and mark some papers as they wish, approximately once every three years. This does not seem to be an insurmountable burden to be part of a democracy”.
• Another argument is that both the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights refer to people’s rights to “freely chosen representatives”. It is then claimed that a “right” is something that a person posses and chooses to use, not something produced on demand.
• Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, however, states that “rights and freedoms” are subject to “duties to the community”, including the “just requirements of of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society”.
So my friends in the States, I may be preaching to the converted but: Please vote. maps.google.com/vote
UPDATE: I’m being interviewed on ABC radio tomorrow (6/11) about compulsory voting. What do you think about it? A good thing? A bad thing? What do you think Australia would be like without it?
Filed under: Get Activist
A brilliant piece of information design. A Good project
Filed under: Get Activist
The Idea Village, a non-profit created for innovators in New Orleans, is launching 504ward’s $100,000 Business Competition for entrepreneurs with ideas to retain young talent in New Orleans.
As some of you may remember, The Idea Village was Planning for Good’s first client. One of the ideas coming out of that experience was engaging national corporations and organizations in driving innovation to New Orleans. The Idea Village is now proud to report that Worldwide Partners and two teams Google employees have joined them to help launch this competition.
Check out this YouTube video for more info and please help spread the word:
Don’t forget The Idea Village mantra: “Trust Your Crazy Ideas.”
Heroism is an ideal as old as humanity. Who will be the heroes of the 21st Century? What is heroism in the digital age? These are a few of the questions that a new group of researchers are seeking to understand.
Everyday Heroism is designed to bring together the general public and scholars interested in this topic to explore what heroism is, who performs heroic acts, and why.
Asks people to help better understand what heroism is.
The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete.
If you are interested in participating, please click here.
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. Dr. Zimbardo’s new book and website by the same title.
For Goodness’ Sake. Essay for O Magazine, Dr. Zimbardo, April 2007. (.doc)
“Is Lei Feng (雷锋) Still a Modern Hero?: A Consideration of Heroic Action in the Context of Culture” Paper. Franco, Z.E., Pamlin, D., Langdon, M., Blau, K. & Zimbardo, P. For the 4th International Conference on Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology and Psychotherapy, Guangzhou, China
Interview with Sophie Peer , Amnesty International, about human rights in China, with a special focus on the Great Firewall of China. By Stilgherrian.
Other great tips from him:
- Empirical Analysis of Internet Filtering in China | Harvard Law School: An analysis of China’s Great Firewall which concludes that the blocking systems are becoming more refined even as they are likely more labor- and technology-intensive to maintain than cruder predecessors.
- Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents | Reporters sans frontières: Tips and technical advice on how to to remain anonymous and to get round censorship, by choosing the most suitable method for each situation.
- The Great Firewall of China: how it works, how to bypass it
Filed under: Digital Strategy, Get Activist, Get Friendly, Great Stuff, Zeitgeist
Let’s get things straight here. They live on an island in Fiji. They (spear) fish, grow fruit and veg, compost their crap and drink a muddy narcotic and play guitars under the stars. That’s what they like to do.
And they won a big shiney silver wedge of a trophy. One that declares that Tribewanted is a more innovative and impactful social networking site than Skins on E4, and hold your breath…MySpace. Yes, MySpace, the world’s biggest online network, in a social networking competition. Bloody hell – how did that happen?
The team try to explain it here:
I think its hard to see it from the inside looking out – but here are the reasons the tribe members gave when we entered . I think it happened because we’re trying something different. And its starting to work. Very simply its about using a new and exciting way of communicating to make life better. And we’re not the only ones doing it either.
Not everyone can work on a project that is about building a sustainable island paradise. But we can all take inspiration in this vigorous enlistment of a community, the cleverness of building context in the clear signposts of their distributed messaging and consistently compelling stories.
John Dodds shared the American Marketing Association new definition of marketing:
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
It’s a big ask to educate our clients on the ever changing world, but if Apenisa Bogiso (Tui Mali) the Chief of Vorovoro can understand it I’m pretty sure I can help my clients get it too.
Filed under: Get Activist
My chapter for the second edition of the Age of Conversation is titled “The price of conversation is eternal vigilance” for the “My Marketing Disasters” section and is reproduced here through the powers of the very nifty wordle:
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.
But back to AoC2…here are the 237 authors who have committed their time and creativity for the edition’s good cause (after all, all proceeds go to Variety, the Children’s Charity) which is planned to launch in August:
Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Chris Brown, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Schawbel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Dave Davison, David Armano, David Berkowitz, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne & Todd Cabral, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, John Herrington, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kristin Gorski, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tim Brunelle, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem