Pioneers Post
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Posted By The BSSEC blog
On 3 May 2011 - 2:40pm


Social Enterprise Mentor will be running a very special networking event this month aimed at bringing students and graduates from Birmingham’s university population together with social enterprises and entrepreneurs. The event will provide an opportunity for the social enterprise sector to tap into the talent of local students and graduates.

Birmingham has a student population in excess of 65,000 studying at degree level or higher in subject areas, such as, business, computing, marketing, media, arts, health. As part of their studies many students  will be looking for opportunities to gain work experience, placements opportunities, internships and project work, but there are also a significant number ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 3 May 2011 - 10:13am

Well, that was a weekend!

Ubi Caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.

Where charity and love are to be found, God is there.

One of the many highlights of Friday was the anthem composed by Paul Melor, celebrating the role of " charity". Sometimes the Latin " caritas" is translated in modern editions of the Bible as love. But the combined scholars working on the 1611 translation of the Bible ( my parents have given me a 400th anniversary copy of the original ) decided charity was the correct translation as it demonstrated that love has to have an expression in actions taken to demonstrate it. This was a time when charity was enjoying a renaissance following the 1601 Statute of Elizabeth defining charitable uses.

And the anthem was rather better than that old fogeyish Crown Imperial and the somewhat sugary Rutter.


On 3 May 2011 - 9:28am

2010 wasn’t the easiest time to settle into the job of chief executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition(SEC).

On the plus side, years of lobbying (and some good work by social enterprises) had paid off with ‘social enterprise’ spattered across all the major parties manifestos at the General Election. On the minus side, social enterprise was often portrayed as either a silver bullet solution to the reduction in public spending or a euphemism for privatisation.

Now, over a year into the job, I went to talk to Peter Holbrook at SEC’s office in London – to get his take on some of the big challenges and questions facing the sector.

Firstly on the issue of the role of social enterprise in public sector reform. What does he see as the big opportunities and dangers?:

“I think there’s a huge opportunity in terms of recognising that social enterprise can play a part in ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 3 May 2011 - 8:56am

I get a message from my good friend in Australia about the Alternative Vote. I think I'm allowed to blog it!

"Dear friends in the UK,
with the referendum for the Alternative Vote coming up soon I feel compelled to write to you as that's the system they have here in Australia. And it doesn't work and I would really and strongly warn you against voting for it.
It's not that I like the current first past the post system either - I don't - it's just that changing it to the preferential voting system (or AV as they call it in UK) is a further step AWAY from democracy and transparency, not towards it.
This is the voting reality in Australia: in 2004 a man named Steven Fielding from the Family First party (think American tea party, you know conservative, homophobic, sexist "family value" type agendas) was elected into the Senate (where all laws have to pass through) on 1.88% (yes that's right just under two per cent) of the vote in Victoria! ...more

On 2 May 2011 - 5:05pm

Darren Saravis is the king of power plants: “We take in energy from the sun, and transform it into energy for light.”

Saravis has developed an elegant, 15-foot composition of solar panels, which provide energy for neighboring businesses.  It also has a unique design aesthetic.  It looks like it’s a powering flower, with buds (solar panels) that are just about to open.

We congratulate Darren on his efforts to serve the world and our growing electricity needs through a beautiful and helpful concept.

View Darren’s site, and pictures of his designs:


Posted By The New Pioneers
On 1 May 2011 - 5:59pm

The New Pioneers has made no. 21 on the University of Cambridge’s “Top 40 Sustainability Books of 2010” alongside books by authors such as Al Gore, Muhammad Yunus and Joseph E. Stiglitz. The list, compiled by the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership with input from its Senior Associates, strongly emphazises business response and creating change. Wayne Visser, Senior Associate at the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, says about the process of comprising the list: “We selected those books which we believe are most relevant for today’s leaders.”

On his blog, CSR International, Wayne Visser compares the Top 40 to the ...more

On 30 April 2011 - 10:07am

The dog was not Sparkles but my next door neighbours Retriever, the well named TudorI hope you enjoyed the bank holiday yesterday, I certainly did. The picture above shows me at our nearest street party with my friend Stephen Bubb, ceo at acevo, who invited us all as his brother lives just round the corner from us. It's a small world. Before the party we ...more

On 29 April 2011 - 5:00pm

I used to be a Caffeine-a-holic, even when I wasn’t drinking any.  I still craved it.

So when I was getting off caffeine, it took me three times.  The first two were outwardly successful.  I got my caffeine intake very, very low, and my energy was natural and in line with who I really was.  But I still craved, oh so craved,  desperately, that Diet Coke.  I wanted the feeling of those sparkly bubbles in my tummy.  Somehow, it soothed my soul. 

That craving made me realize I wasn’t fully healed.
Later on I met a very special intern who worked for me at UniversalGiving.  He remains a closest friend today, and his name is Austin Smith.  He was a star runner at Princeton, and he and I were very much aligned with taking care of ourselves, from the vision we had for our lives, to our day-to-day living.
One day we were talking about how I’d never done drugs.  And his response was, “yes, you have, and you do.”
I was shocked and he was ...more

Posted By Changemakers blogs
On 29 April 2011 - 4:48pm

Africa's lions are on the prowl, hails McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). They're not referring to our fuzzy feline friends, but to the progress and potential of African economies based on productivity, competitiveness, consumer demand, and demographics.

"Today, while Asia's tiger economies continue to expand rapidly, we foresee the potential rise of economic lions in Africa's future."

read more ...more

On 29 April 2011 - 12:09pm

To readers outside Suffolk, this is about the CEO of Suffolk County Council. I am writing about her because she has been at the centre of Suffolk County Council's direction in recent years and has, almost from day one, been a controversial figure.

It is fashionable, especially if you're not a Conservative - and possibly now if you are - to publicly denigrate Andrea Hill. Everything she says, does, believes and wears tend to be conflated into a big soup of hostility, to such an extent that some Councillors (who should have known better) have described her as a 'hate figure' on the streets of Suffolk.

The truth, of course, when you separate things out is more more complex. So let's look at that soup - and its ingredients. First let's deal with the simple stuff. There is, without a shred of doubt large slices of misogyny and snobbishness in all of this. I can' honestly imagine a man in her position, earning what she does, getting as much stick. There are ...more