Filed under: Community, social entrepreneurialism, social entrepreneurs | Tags: hands on learning, John Elkington, social entrepreneurs, SustainAbility, Will Marre
Recently my father-in-law and I had some ongoing discussions about what makes an entrepreneurial organisation (or even a social entrepreneurial organisation) different to a mainstream corporate one. We were discussing it because he himself founded and still runs a fantastic social entrepreneurial organisation called Hands on Learning and the question has emerged, how is the nature of their organisation different to a corporate? How is the leader of one organisation different to the leader of another type of organisation? I’m particularly interested also because our organisation differs greatly both in management style and strategic development / approach to a traditional corporate. In fact, many people start their own businesses because they don’t fit the corporate mould or don’t wish to work in that kind of environment. When we’re young and unsophisticated we think having our own business is all about not having to work for the man, not having to be in the office by 9am or having to answer to anyone. As we reach a riper professional age, we realise that working in our businesses makes us more productive and more creative because we can work in a way that suits us. We can really understand what things affect us and remove all of the unimportant obstacles so that we can lead fulfilling and productive professional lives. One of the greatest challenges we face in our business, is how to continue to share that entrepreneurial spirit through the business as it gets larger (and more structured). How do you grow without losing the magic? (more…)
Filed under: Lifestyle trends, Community, Innovative stimulus, happiness | Tags: Bhutan, GDP, GNH, wellbeing
Gross National Happiness (GNH) is an attempt to define quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than Gross National Product.
The term was coined by Bhutan’s King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 1972. It signalled his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. Like many worthy moral goals it is somewhat easier to state than to achieve, nonetheless, it serves as a unifying vision for the Five Year planning process and all the derived planning documents that guide the economic and development plans to the country.
While conventional development models stress economic growth as the ultimate objective, the concept of GNH is based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other. The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.
Measuring our Progress
On the 16th of November Bhutan hold their annual forum on Gross National Happiness A country that has facinated many of us for decades since the King of Bhutan refocused the country’s vision to include and more importantly measure, the country’s happiness in an effort to start to manage that as effectively as it would traditionally seek to manage economic growth. Below is an article from The Australian suggesting that Bhutan’s goal of happiness could be a lesson for us all. I’ve also posted some additional research reports from the global wellbeing studies from the nef in the UK that you might also find interesting.
Filed under: Community, Politics, Social commentators, social entrepreneurs | Tags: tumblr campaign, we are the 1 percent, we are the 99 percent
Rich people cop a lot of flak, sometimes for good reason but right now there’s a bunch of rich kids who are standing up for the unwashed masses in the Occupy Wall St peanut gallery and wait for it, they’re blogging about it.
Their blog is called We are the 1 percent and it extends the idea of We are the 99 percent which basically presents the many and varied human faces that have been touched by the US economic situation. It is pointedly directed at the financial industry and government in light of the more difficult situations post- GFC, recession and housing crash that occurred as a result. The main campaign idea is focused around the redistribution of wealth to support income equality to enable ordinary everyday Americans access to food, housing, education and healthcare. It’s a great pictorial campaign, the phrase “We are the 99 percent” was coined by Tumblr, and it’s growing fast.
Conversely, the 1 percenter blog is made up of posts from the super rich. Those rich kids who inherited money, did nothing for it and basically live the life that many Americans could barely imagine. They’ve banded together to show their support for the rest of the country and ask the government to tax them more. The site hosts a number of images and stories from these super rich kids asking the government to take the lead with a more radical distribution of wealth by implementing more progressive tax policies.
As unlikely as it may seem at time when everyone is struggling, it looks like the younger generation of rich kids might just use their wealth for something good. I wonder what it will take to bring these idea campaigns out of the blogosphere and into the government arena.
Filed under: Brain stuff, Community, content communities, Digital culture, Future of Media, Geek stuff, Innovative stimulus, Looking for insights, memes, Mind candy, Social, Social media | Tags: Gavin Heaton, memes, Servant of Chaos, thinking blogger, thinking blogging
- If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think
- Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme
- Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote
So here are my nominations:
Filed under: beta, Brand, Community, content communities, creativity, Digital culture, Emergent media, FMCG innovation, Future of Media, geek, Geek stuff, Innovation, Innovative marketing, Lifestyle trends, Macro trends, neophiliac, new product, Nice Design, Social, Social media, Thinking, Work Futures | Tags: beta, Beta-culture, Facebook, Forrester Consumer Forum, Google, Innovation, MySpace, Radiohead, social networking, trends, Twitter
The idea of being in beta has become a broad cultural phenomenon. Many new products never make it beyond trial stage, and the trial and error beta-approach that helps Google and other alpha innovators to out-fail and thereby out-innovate the competition, is as much an attribute of successful organizations as it is a sign of our time.
But it’s not only analysts and conference organizers who are switching instantly from micro to macro, picking up nascent trends and elevating them to a must-deal-with core competence that transcends the current fad (just see all the Facebook conferences that are mushrooming right now). What I find even more interesting is how the media and blogosphere deal with it. If everything’s in beta, the public doesn’t have the patience anymore to wait for the alpha. As the media are increasingly forced to immediately widen the scope and view every innovation in a larger context as it occurs, the boundaries between reporters and commentators, bloggers and industry analysts are fading.
Some examples: Not too long ago, Twitter was all the rage, and it was stunning to see that just shortly after the initial coverage during SXSW in March, reporters were already elaborating on the concept of micro-blogging, wondering what the new “radical transparency” meant for business. Nowadays, there is a great chance that you will stumble upon a Facebook story when you open just about any publication: It’s Facebook vs. MySpace, the implications of social networking on the borders between work and personal life, reflections on the “Facebook economy,” Facebook vs. iTunes, and maybe a philosophical piece on Facebook “as a post-modern book” or the future of social networking, which, for TIME, equals the future of the Internet. It is only a small step from MySpace to the “MySpace generation,” and from Facebook to the “Facebook generation” and then to the “Fakebook generation.” Similarly, the recent buzz around Radiohead’s “pay what you want” online release has instantly led to the coining of a “Radiohead Generation” and praise for the band “as a pioneer of the digital revolution.” And there are hundreds of articles discussing if Radiohead’s decision ushers in the definite end of the record industry. The stories about the radical distribution model appear to eclipse the actual music on the album–in this case, too, the reviews are in before the story is told.
Evidently, the media need to cope with the current while also putting forward a vision for the up and coming. The time between observation and conclusion, between description and prediction, however, has shrunk to almost zero. There are no more lapses between news, analysis, background story, industry trend story, and intellectual dissection; they have become one and the same, at the same time. Not only is beta the new alpha–beta has gone meta.
Filed under: Community, content communities, creativity, Future of Media, Geek stuff, Innovative stimulus, Looking for insights, memes, Research Methods, Social, Social media, unbusiness | Tags: 5 blogs that make me think, meme, my media week, thinking blogger awards
I have one red paperclip on my night table which a friend loaned me. It has been there for quite some time (sorry Kes) but doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. i.e. It’s certainly no closer to getting in bed with me & a cup of tea than you are. I love the idea of someone who swaps a red paperclip for something else, then swaps that for something else, yada yada, you get the picture. Eventually this guy gets a house. I like the idea of the story, I’m just not loving the story so much.
So what I’m actually reading is “How would you move Mount Fuji : How the smartest companies select the world’s most creative thinkers” by William Poundstone. It’s basically a commentary on Microsoft’s notorious grueling interview process which has been copied by companies everywhere who are seeking to separate the most creative thinkers from those who are merely brilliant. It’s got a bunch of puzzles & riddles throughout which are generally making me feel reasonably uncreative, let alone brilliant. Lucky I’m not trying to get a job in the valley I suppose.
I flicked through my usual monthly Futures magazine yesterday but I don’t think you could call that ‘reading’ with any integrity. They come in the mail, I flick through them & then make them at home in my bottom drawer. You see, I don’t have to actually read them, just knowing they’re close is enough. Oh and I read Who Weekly to get the update on Britney Spears’ fight for child custody. Are we supposed to omit the trash consumption?
TV / Video
The other night I watched a documentary on Australia’s most feared creatures, followed by an episode of “shark attack : I shouldn’t be alive”, both served to reinforce the threat of swimming at any beach in Sydney as one could be taken by an animal of the sea at any time. I’ve also been following the US election coverage with interest together with my usual diet of cable news & Sunset Tan when it’s on. (Sunset Tan is a top quality show on cable which follows the lives of people who manage a chain of tanning salons in L.A. It’s no West Wing but gee it’s close). Again, should I have omitted that?
On iTunes play during the last week was Joan as Policewoman, Josh Rouse, James Blunt & a bit Pink for the angry woman moments. There have been plenty of those this week for no particular reason other than my computer has been rather temperamental.
Next up I tag Erin aka Dora the Explorer who is on my daily Google Reader , Amanthaville to encourage you to start posting again!, Coolz0r whose blog is always jam packed with great examples & analysis, Katie whose site I love reading regularly for a brain top up, Weird from Slacker Nation whose blog is always an incredibly good read & Greg at Grassroots Innovation which I also check out regularly.
Filed under: Community, content communities, Digital culture, Emergent media, Future of Media, Geek stuff, moblogging, new product, Social, Social media | Tags: beta, mobile blogging communities, mobile gaming communities, mobile social communities, moblogging, playyoo, spotblogging, technorati, youtube
Playyoo a brand new site based out of England has just launched in beta this week. Billed as a ‘YouTube for mobile games’ by Technorati, the site offers users the chance to create, share & download games & game content for their mobile. It allows users to create their own content, interact with others and even get recommendations based on their user preferences.
This is an interesting space, especially beyond just mobile gaming. Mobile social communities and mobile blogging communities are increasing in numbers. According to the Wireless Federation Research there are currently over 45 million members engaged in ‘mobile social communities’ worldwide (including mobile gamers gamers), a number that is expected to reach 175 million in 2012.
These communities also have the potential to generate big revenue. A new study by Jupiter Research states that revenue from user generated content is projected to increase from $572 million this year to $5.7 billion by 2012, about half of which will be coming from social networking. Moreover, membership of social networking sites is projected to grow from 14 million this year to about 600 million by 2012. Perhaps mobile content management & social software will be the next killer apps.
So what is “moblogging” exactly? Well, mo-blogging is blogging via a mobile phone, or a PDA via a mobile connection with a real IP – GPRS or 3G. It’s friendly cousin “Spot-blogging” is mobile also, just not via a mobile phone. “Spotblogging” refers to blogging via a PC through WiFi. It’s called SpotBlogging because you need to be tied to a hotspot of some sort, whereas real moblogging can be just about anywhere.
Anyhoo, Playyoo is an interesting site – check it out here
Filed under: Community, Gypsy, Innovative marketing, Innovative restaurants, Lifestyle trends, Social
MELBOURNE’S hottest restaurant isn’t in The Age Good Food Guide, it changes location weekly, and with a waiting list of 4000, it’s booked out for the next year.
Zingara Cucina — Italian for “Gypsy Kitchen” — is Australia’s first “underground” restaurant. It is unlicensed, illegal and transient, but has won the kind of word-of-mouth accolades most legitimate establishments only dream about.
And with the identity of the people behind it a secret, it’s also the city’s biggest culinary mystery.
It began almost three years ago when dinner parties held for friends by the operator and chef developed a cult following. Now, Zingara has developed into a weekly dining experience, roaming inner-city locations from car parks to lanes, rooftops, bridges, beaches and galleries.
The chef will not reveal his identity except to say he is not a professional, was taught to cook by his Italian grandmother and mother, and works in an advertising agency during the day. He says that “fine dining has become boring”.
“The whole concept is around conviviality and creating that feeling you get when you have a nice meal with like-minded people. It’s not about making money, but about enjoying good food and good wine,” he says.
Entry is by invitation only — each guest gets two referrals to pass on to friends — and diners are told the location via email or SMS the night before.
A diner who has experienced Zingara Cucina — he asked to remain anonymous, although he will reveal he is a chef at a well-regarded CBD restaurant — described the experience as “phenomenal”.
“I’d go once a week if I could, to be frank, because it’s an incredible experience … the presentation, the food, which was as good as any two or three-chef’s-hat restaurant in Melbourne.”
At this particular dinner, held several months ago in an obscure city lane, guests were fed rustic Italian fare including handmade ravioli in sage butter with crushed pinenuts, and whole suckling pig — “all really simple flavours that were extrapolated in a beautiful way” — and serenaded between courses by an opera singer.
The diner estimates the meal would have cost $150 in any other restaurant, although Zingara diners are asked to pay what they see fit.
Story taken from The Age
There is also a gypsy kitchen in the US which does a similar thing – Gypsy Dinners
Filed under: Community, Digital culture, Emergent media, FMCG innovation, Geek stuff, Innovation, open source, Social, technorati, unbusiness, Z-list
I’ve just come across the Z-List which was originally started by Mack Collier from A Viral Garden as a way of changing the world order by challenging two concepts — the A-list of bloggers and the Technorati approach to ranking authority.
Essentially you take the list that you find and you add any other blogs that you read & find interesting. The idea being that it’s a way for blogs with less love links to gain more exposure online. To remain on the list you have to have a decent quality blog but it’s basically a user created helping hand for smaller blogs starting out. It’s always good to see a bunch of users helping eachother out & whilst it does have a feel good sort of community aspect to it, it also pointed me in the direction of a bunch of blogs I hadn’t come across before.
So click & enjoy! Check it out here :: Z-list
There’s also a wiki if you want more…
Image from Chaosscenario
Filed under: australia, Community, creativity, Futures, Innovation, Innovative co., Innovative marketing, Innovative promotions, Lifestyle trends, Macro trends, Social, social entrepreneurs, Social ventures, Urban lifestyles
In Surry Hills one guy is reinventing the idea of the evening meal by opening his space for a weekly gathering of friends & strangers. So grab yourself a seat, pass the wine & pitch in because this is neighbourhood dining at it’s very best.
There are thousands of normal restaurants in Sydney.
This is not one of them.
This innovative restaurant is run by a friend of mine locally in Surry Hills. The project is called Table for 20. The idea behind this project is to create a completely new experience in the dining market. Bucking the trend fancy restaurants & one hat wonders, this is family-orientated communal neighbourhood dining at its best. The restaurant is housed at 182 Campbell St in Surry Hills, in a building owned by Hope St, a local Surry Hills charity. 10% of the takings each night go to Hope St to support them in the work that they do with less fortunate people in the Surry Hills area.
The experience plays out as a neighbourhood supper where local people come & pay a modest set fee to dine at the communal tables.
As is Michael Fantuz’s specialty, the food is festive Italian with a twist. Fantuz is a man who clearly loves his food and can constantly be seen
running up and down tables dishing out a vintage olive oil or rare Buffalo Mozzarella or even a plum mustard which we enjoyed on the night we were
there. The food is undoubtedly exceptional, but unlike other restaurants, Fantuz shuns the idea of food reviewers and would instead prefer them to
come & make a contribution to the mission. “I have no need for fancy hats or stars” Fantuz says, “I’ve finally found an opportunity to do what I love and
help out people along the way.”
The $40 – $50 meal includes three courses – a starter, main and dessert. If you’re lucky, you’ll arrive on one of the nights where Michael’s mother has been
commissioned to create her famous homemade Tirimisu. It’s certainly worth the wait!
Anyone who lives in Sydney will agree there’s no shortage of good restaurants but the one thing the 2010 area was really lacking was somewhere low key where you can just come and have a feed, open a bottle of wine, meet a few people and have a laugh. Sometimes people get so caught up in their day-to-day lives that they just stick to their immediate groups because that they have time for. Social isolation or social poverty is a symptom of the times we live in.
So Table for 20 is a weekly gathering of friends and strangers, locals in your hood. It also throws open the doors for a few of the Hope Street guys who would not normally have the opportunity for a night out at a restaurant. It gives them a chance to interact with other locals from the neighbourhood, and feel part of the wider community. It’s nice to see an innovative self sustaining social ventures rather than just a new brand of salty snacks isn’t it…
Check out the blog & join us for dinner :: http://www.tablefor20.blogspot.com