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On 25 August 2011 - 5:59pm

Today I headed out for work passing my 15 year old son, Joe waiting at the bus stop to travel in, on his own, to collect his GCSE results. He is in Year 10 so the results he was picking up today were for the elements of course work and exams he was allowed to do a year early. He was nervous even though his Dad and I kept telling him he had worked hard enough to be proud of the results, whatever happened. As it is, he did outstandingly well with 5 A stars and a B.

I have heard a lot today about the dumbing down of exams and how more kids are getting higher grades because things are easier for them. I have to say this is not my experience. Having observed Joe's course work, ...more

On 25 August 2011 - 4:05pm

We can live consciously and thoughtfully about how we use paper.  When you write a note, could you also reuse it again, and use the other side?  When you receive a card, is there a portion of it that’s not written on, that could be used for a casual note to a roommate, spouse or friend?  Or perhaps you could even use it for a to-do list.  When you receive a box of a recent book or item of clothing, you can save it for holiday gifts.  Let’s think creatively about our trees…


Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 25 August 2011 - 10:47am

Micro finance was once held out as the new big idea for rural development and poverty eradication. Helping poor people stand on their own 2 feet. But the model has been widely seen as having flaws and the reason why was clear when I went to visit Hapinoy; a micro finance social enterprise that has got it right.

They work to support " sari-sari" shops ( it means many-many as in a corner shop ). These are very small shops out in rural areas which will provide basic necessities to the local community. They could be as small as a front window or hut.

They realised simply giving even small ( by our standards) sums of money as a loan to people who have never had such larger sums often led to a failure to use it effectively for the growth of the business. So for Erika Tatad, the Director of Hapinoy, they are clear they will only provide a loan if it is coupled with involvement in their training courses. And the genius of what they do is they combine practical skills ...more

Posted By Changemakers blogs
On 24 August 2011 - 5:11pm

 [Editor's note: This post was written by Zack Brisson, co-founder and principal at Reboot.] What is citizen media? This may seem like a silly question, given the context of the Citizen Media Global Innovation competition. But the concept is worth defining because it’s rapidly expanding. Our media have been the fluid that connects our ideas since our earliest days as an articulate species. “Media” are any tools, mediums, or channels through which an individual or group creates and shares ideas. This is the process through which we form our conceptions of culture, power, justice, and community.  Our media were predominantly “citizen,” or individual, during the vast arc of human culture, extending over tens of thousands ...more

Posted By Changemakers blogs
On 24 August 2011 - 4:07pm

 Organic and fair trade agricultural SMEs are expanding their markets despite the global economic downturn, and are getting a boost in the developing world through organizations like Root Capital.

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On 24 August 2011 - 4:05pm

There are so many things that are packaged within paper, and the waste can be enormous.  I think about the time, manufacturing costs, the transport, the packaging, when we look at individual salt packets.  My guess is, forty granules of salt are contained within a tiny salt packet.  And we’ve got to enclose it with paper, and then put it in another big package to transport it.  There are so many ways that we use paper that are not allowing us to be effective stewards of our environment.

There was an interesting write-up of editorial letters in the San Francisco Chronicle the other day.  In it, one might think people were against plastic bags, and they were.  But they were also against paper bags.  All of the letters pointed towards using canvas.  And many of them even stated that we should feel guilty for using trees to transport our lunches, groceries, or other sundries.  We’re facing quite a revolution here in being thoughtful about how and when we use our ...more

Posted By Changemakers blogs
On 24 August 2011 - 2:09pm

Camila Batmanghelidjh at TED Salon London Nov 2010 | via With a record number of early entries to the Making More Health competition, answering this question is going to be key for determining the winners. While new medical insights and technologies are being discovered and developed continuously, a truly innovative health project is one that uses new strategies beyond those used by traditional health systems. Through sector research and conversations with experts from the field, the Changemakers Knowledge and Learning Team has uncovered some preliminary trends around innovation in health and well-being. Here’s a closer look with some real-life examples ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 24 August 2011 - 8:26am

If you want to see what a city is like when there is no good public transport come to Manila! I have spent more time than I care to mention sitting in cars that are stationery in jams for as much as they are actually driving!

Stuart Etherington, who told me he has been to the Philippines twice said, " avoid Manila" which is somewhat difficult when said city is the venue for the Conference!

But it is fascinating in its own way. A massive urban sprawl of over 11 million people. Tower blocks and slums. Glaring evidence of inequality. In fact Manila was a fine and attractive Asian city but , along with Warsaw and Hiroshima , it was the city most damaged in the War when American troops fought street by street to clear out the Japanese. Huge civilian casualties and the historic Spanish old city obliterated.

But first stop on arrival here was the Embassy. A meeting with the Ambassador ; though as it turns out the Deputy, Trevor Lewis, as he has been called away ...more

Posted By Adrian Ashton
On 24 August 2011 - 8:01am

This year, I shall be mostly spending my birthday on a train - travelling to a client to support them resolve some partnership issues. I'll get to see my 2 boys for a few minutes in the morning (when they're usually only interested in breakfast and morning TV than anything else).

So maybe I'll be celebrating over the weekend instead? No. I'll be travelling back from working with an emerging co-operative enterprise on friday evening, and then over the rest of the weekend my wife is running market stalls and I'll be pitching in with our adopted town of Todmorden's launch of a new pilgrimage.

Why am I sharing ...more

On 23 August 2011 - 4:05pm

In many emerging nations, children are starving and dying due to lack of clean water.  As a “developed” nation, it certainly doesn’t seem that advanced for us to be getting water for free when there appears to be a plenitude of it.  Meanwhile, two million people in the developing world are dying every year because they can’t access clean water.

Maybe we won’t have water fountains in the future.  Maybe that just doesn’t make sense—and people might be forced to buy bottled water, because it is a cherished, expensive and rare commodity. Quite soon, and even by certain nations, water already is the new diamond.  And the only challenge here is that diamonds are optional.  This “high-end commodity” is not something we can go without.

It’s where our society is now realizing that the most expensive, prized and honored possessions in our world are things that we actually cannot possess…water must be used and reobtained and used again.  Unlike diamonds, it can’ ...more