Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
The fine folks from Holstee, you may know them already as the people behind some really cool stuff and the Holstee Manifesto, have created a short film called Lifecycle, a quick video version of their manifesto brought to life. The manifesto is one of those things I have posted on my wall near my desk, I see it everyday, and I need to be reminded of it that often. Beautiful reminders of how to live a life with no regrets.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
This post was originally written for the Love In Stereo blog. See that version here.
The title of this post is a Simon Mainwaring quote that has had me thinking since the moment I heard it. And by thinking, I mean squirming. It’s one of those lines that in one way makes you wish that you hadn’t heard it, but in another way makes you want to work harder. I heard it last week when some members of the Love In Stereo crew (Brad, Kristi, and me) were at Plywood Presents: Social Innovation, a one-day conference at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta that I was so grateful to be a part of. Produced by the good folks at Plywood People, the event was all about sharing ideas, inspiration, and bringing a room full of big-picture thinkers and doers together to experience the powerful things people are doing around them.
So many stand-out things were said, but to keep this short, my plan here is to give you the lines that sent me back in my chair and made me think, and just like the quote above, have had me thinking ever since.
“We have the resources in every community to meet the needs of that community.”
- Blake Canterbury, Founder of beremedy, @beremedy
This idea is so true (some call it crowdsourcing or collaborative consumption) and is being achieved in a powerful way by beremedy, an Atlanta-based non-profit that uses social media to announce a need and almost always sees that need met by the end of the day. I love the idea, I love the simplicity, and I’m looking forward to watching beremedy grow. (I’d love to help.) The take-away here: Start looking to your friends and neighbors to share more than just a spot in line at Target and start looking to meet the needs of each other on a community level. Bonus points for using a program like beremedy to get started.
“Throw limitations out the window.”
- Scott Thomas, Designer, @simplescott
Scott said this in relation to the book he created documenting his design work for Barack Obama’s successful presidential campaign. He knew he wanted to compile the book, and in his words, “If I had thought about the amount of work this book would be, I probably would have never started.” Throwing the limitations the book carried with it out the window allowed him to consider the importance of the work, focus on the end goal, and get going on what needed to be done. He reminded me that every project will have limitations, so get used to it, and start building.
“Push big brands to do more.”
- Simon Mainwaring, Author of “We First,” @simonmainwaring
I’m paraphrasing Simon a bit here, but love them or hate them, big brands are here to stay, and they have the capability to do so much more than just make a gigantic profit. What if we, the little consumer, could tell them how we wanted them to act? News flash: We can. Brands have no choice but to listen — and some already are. As he noted, “86% of global consumers believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on business interests.” It’s our job to get them to hear this, and we can do this simply through what we buy. The simple idea here: Start making product decisions with a purpose.
“Who we are is not our circumstances.”
- Esther Havens, Humanitarian Photographer, @estherhavens
Esther led her talk with this idea, mentioning it in relation to the struggles she had seen and photographed in Africa while working with charity:water. Previously, people had seen places in need of clean water as places without hope, but she realized that where these people were was not who they were. They are proud, they are capable, they are strong, and we are all equal.
Well, there you go, four nuggets of brain power to get you thinking. Take some time, give each some thought, then decide that now is the time to get them out of simply being a write-up you read online and start making things happen.
Together we’re louder.
Thursday, November 11th, 2010
This is a little blog post I wrote for the Love In Stereo blog about a simple way to make a big difference, and I thought it was worth a share here as well:
I love simple things. Simple ideas. And it’s even better when those simple things can make a huge impact.
One such awesome simple idea comes from a nonprofit group called 100cameras. Here’s the basics of what they’re all about:
Step 1: They give a donated camera to person living in unjust conditions.
Step 2: They then use that camera, documenting their lives and telling their story.
Step 3: You buy the photo’s print. 100% of your money goes back to them.
Step 4: That person is empowered. And you have something beautiful as a reminder.
The 100cameras staff also works to implement a photography course among the children, including a series of introductory lessons about basic camera fundamentals. Both the course and the resources give children the opportunity to tell the stories their every day lives through these poweful images.
And here’s the simple way that you can help make a difference today:
Buy a print or card from 100cameras.org. With a small amount of money you can make a huge impact in Sudan, and you also get a great looking shot to hang on your wall.
And don’t forget, when someone purchases one of the children’s photos, 100 percent of that money is given back to the partner organization in the child’s community.
These photos are part of a 100cameras project, partnering with IWASSRU (International Widows Association for Southern Sudanese Refugees in Uganda) to benefit the orphans of Sudan. The project was taken to St. Bartholomew’s orphanage in Kajo Keji, Sudan.
The orphanage is home to 80 children in the southern Sudan region who have fallen victim to the 21-year civil war that has ravaged their country. Now their stories are brought to you. Have a glimpse into their reality. See what they see.
Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
Last week I was watching TV, and little did I know, was about to watch something that would alter my perspective on life.
Its the story of Ed Thomas. A man who was much more than just the high school football coach, he was a pillar of strength in the small town of Parkersburg, Iowa. He lived a life of service and leadership and was an inspiration to generations of families.
But this is not just your typical sports story. It is a story of compassion. Community. Faith. Forgiveness. Redemption. Legacy. Courage. And all of it exemplified on an unbelievable scale. This is what loving your neighborhood is truly all about.
Please watch this video. Its a story that needs to be heard.
Thursday, July 1st, 2010
This is a slightly revised version of a blog post from the other wonderful distraction in my life, Love In Stereo, and I wanted to share it here as well. A great group doing awesome things in Chattanooga. Glad to know there are people like this in the world.
You guys are amazing. When Love Your Neighborhood launched we invited you to talk to us. We’re in the discovery phase. We’re trying to find people who are addressing big needs in their towns in unique and creative ways. You’ve sent us some incredible people and places, but we were surprised when someone sent us in the direction of our own backyard just on the other end of the state: Chattanooga, TN.
Meet the good people of CreateHere.
This is a non-profit that has been working to build Chattanooga’s cultural economy through arts, economic and cultural development initiatives. Last year several volunteers from CreateHere set out to survey the entire community with what would become the world’s largest community visioning survey ever: STAND.
This was no small feat. With only 20% of the responses filled out online, this survey took a lot of time and work. These guys had to hit the streets finding out what people wanted to see happen in their community. It invited everyone to pitch in and make their town better and all they had to do was answer 4 questions.
CreateHere also have a great initiative called MakeWork. This serves to provide grants to artists so they can create beautiful things in Chattanooga. Since 2008 the program has awarded $450,000 to 55 artists and artisans. They see it as an investment to the community that will stimulate cultural and economic development across Chattanooga.
Check out this from their website:
We love our city for what it is, has been and could become.
But loving a city is no small task.
They also go on to pose this challenging question: How do you love a city? And what does it mean to work for sustainable progress where you live?
Check out CreateHere and see how they’ve responded to the needs in their community to help make it an inspiring, thriving neighborhood. Chattanooga took a situation of poverty, unemployment, pollution and is working to transform it by empowering people. Get inspired.