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A home for the entrepreneurs the world needs

Does that resonate with you?

Creating positive social and environmental outcomes should be the default approach to doing business.

Positive outcomes can be realised in both the operations of an organisation, and the product or service being delivered. Not only that, but it should be rewarding and rewarded. Entrepreneurs have an opportunity to be part of creating a thriving society at the same time as building an exciting and successful enterprise. These things should not be mutually exclusive, but instead be mutually beneficial.

There are many of us thinking about these ideas, and often Brighton is cited as an obvious natural epicentre where there is a high concentration of us.

A proposal for Brighton

I propose we take advantage of the perception people have of Brighton. That its entrepreneurial, progressive, and big-thinking.

Let’s make Brighton the destination and the gathering place for people creating the organisations that will be the model for how business should be done in 2020 and beyond.

Let’s make Brighton the home of progressive entrepreneurs.

One of Brighton’s many advantages is the sheer number of communities that already exist to do good things in the world. As part of turning Brighton into a destination we’ll create a physical space these communities can call home. It’ll be their base of operations, and where their communities meet. Where as a broader community, we can manufacture serendipity, incubate new ideas, share our knowledge and experience with each other, and ultimately scale up our collective impact.

You’re invited

We’ll be hosting an informal open space gathering when you can be part of shaping the physical space with us, and have an opportunity to meet some new colleagues.

Tue, February 25, 2020
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Venue in Brighton TBA (RSVP to be notified)

RSVP – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brighton-impact-hub-roundtable-consultation-tickets-89979654569

Follow along

Newsletter – https://tinyletter.com/benefactory
Twitter – https://twitter.com/benefactoryclub

Thanks for getting this far. I would love to hear your thoughts about this initiative, so even if you can’t make it to the meetup, give me a shout and lets grab some time to catchup.

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How to be an activist

Getting involved is easier than you think, your effort means a lot, and there are often opportunities to do things that you didn’t realise.

1. Use your clicks and ticks

Numbers matter. They show that you are not the only person caring about an issue. It may _feel_ pointless, but the effort-to-impact ratio is in your favour when the impact is to show that actually the world hasn’t gone mad and the majority of people are against the terrible things happening.

So sign petitions, share messages you believe in, and most importantly vote at every opportunity.

The dismissal and narrative-owning branding of “armchair activists” or “clickivists” is designed specifically to make it feel stupid or pointless. But the very fact that those dismissals exist prove that the activity can work.

In between the ‘big’ votes there are local elections and referendums that have just as big an impact on your life.

2. Use your feet and your hands

So what else can you do? Volunteer.

Volunteer for local organisations and initiatives that are trying to improve peoples lives, or political parties you agree with or want to help tactically.

They desperately need people to do simple things that help them to be more impactful, often tasks that don’t require any experience or specific skillset, but that just require extra people.

3. Use your skills and experience

You have so much more to offer, and you might not realise it. Organisations that rely on donations and volunteers often don’t have the money to spend on things that would help them raise their game or completely transform how they operate.

When we founded Techfugees it was a simple premise: most people can drive a van of food and supplies to Calais –and should!– but as technologists we have other skills, let’s explore how they can be useful and enable other technologists to get involved too.

So offer yourself to an organisation that needs what you uniquely have to offer. Or, if that organisation doesn’t exist, find some allies and start that campaign.

Your community and network

Lastly (for now), you have a community and network that may be of use too. These communities are connected around common bond, but sometimes common goals or geography as well. And over time more bonds and commonalities appear. Formalities change as a communities gets to know itself and the people get to know each other, and you may discover other things that the community cares about.

Surfacing and exposing those things might feel risky, but in my experience people are people, and are either forgiving or more often glad someone else is saying something out loud that they’ve been feeling themselves.

In summary

(I’ll revisit this post and elaborate more)

If you feel the urge to try and fix things, DO IT. Your risk profile is lower than you might think, and you’ll find allies quickly.

And as always, give me a nudge if you want to throw an idea around.

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Real US News

There is a clear bias in the majority of news outlets. A bias toward the status quo and simple answers. Anything that challenges the norm, or is hard to understand, is at best dismissed, and at worst demonised. Alternatives to the mainstream US news outlets exist, here’s a list to start from..

The Young Turks

The Largest Online News Show in the World. Hosted by Cenk Uygur & Ana Kasparian. LIVE weekdays 6-8pm ET. Young Turk (n), 1. Young progressive or insurgent me…

David Pakman Show

The David Pakman Show, a nationally syndicated progressive talk show on TV and radio. New clips posted every day! Support TDPS on Patreon! patreon.com/davidp…

Secular Talk

Home of news & politics commentary from the libertarian-left; populist; social democratic; agnostic-atheist perspective.

The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder

The Majority Report is a daily, political talk show at majority.fm live at 12PM ET. Call the show after 12:30PM ET 646-257-3920. Available on Itunes or the s…

RebelHQ

Rebel Head Quarters

The Humanist Report

The Humanist Report is a video + audio podcast. This channel disseminates sociopolitical and religious news stories that is supplemented with progressive com…

The Rational National

Support The Rational National! http://www.patreon.com/therationalnational paypal.me/daviddoel Independent political commentary, media criticism, news and ent…

Brian Tyler Cohen

Brian Tyler Cohen is a progressive political host known for finding the best breaking political content online. Every video is followed by in-depth commentar…

Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! is an independent, global weekday news hour anchored by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. The show is broadcast on near…

Krystal Ball’s Radar – YouTube

Krystal Ball: Joe Biden holdouts are THE ONLY reason left still has power

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Coffee Hours

Simple, informal, peer-to-peer advice for people working on ‘good’ initiatives, whether that be a business or not.

Come and talk about anything that might be challenging you right now, an idea you have, or just to meet others.

All of us have expertise to give, and we all need advice.

No money changes hands, no commitments are made. Only good useful, focused conversation, and new connections and community.

Attending

Just turn up.

Coffee Hours runs every Friday morning, 8.30am to 10.30am.
At Baker Street Coffee, 23b Baker Street, Brighton, BN1 4JN


It’s been a while since I ran any events, and this is a great easy way to get something regular off the ground.

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A Home For Good Business(es) In Brighton

In April 2018 I moved back to Brighton after six and a half years in London. First running my startup out of White Bear Yard, then joining a sea of familiar faces fixing government technology at GDS, and later moving into Newspeak House in the first cohort of residential fellows, founding Citizen Beta, and helping to get Techfugees up and running (join us in Paris!)

It was a busy few years!

While in London I started to discover more about how business can be better. In the same way we as people can be better. In fact, now I think about it, exactly like that.

James Smith presents Something New at Citizen Beta

I won’t talk too much about that in this post, but please check out these organisations and frameworks to get an idea of what that means:

Incorporating a bcorporation.uk
Triple Bottom Line accounting
Integrated Value

Last year, Blaine and I started inviting people that cared about positive impact in business to monthly breakfasts, to meet and share, perchance to collaborate. I quickly realised, as is almost cliche, that I wasn’t alone in trying to work out how a new default way of doing business could exist.

So now to Brighton.

Brighton has always had potential to become a leading example… because we do things differently here.

It has an incredibly active technology community. A creative culture. Tons of students. Progressive politics. More pubs than days in the year. And importantly, people here have ambition to have a positive effect in the world. They start co-ops, bands, festivals, meet-ups, businesses, better supermarkets, Christmas day swim clubs!

We have the only Green Party MP in the country, Caroline Lucas, an important voice in Parliament. We recently completed Rampion, one of the largest wind farms in Europe. We host conferences such as Meaning and The Good Tech Conf. Brighton is home to East Sussex Credit Union, and one of the largest and longest running Pride festivals…. the list goes on and on. As the Brighton tourism slogan used to say, “it’s the place to be”.

For my American friends, imagine what Boulder is to San Francisco, that’s Brighton to London.

Inheriting the Brightoneers

When I knew I was moving back I started reconnecting to people, trying to find out what I’d missed, and what opportunities there were.

Tom Nixon started Brightoneers in 2013. When we met up I laid out my ideas, and my vision, that maybe Brighton could be a destination for people wanting to start impactful businesses. Where they could find their people, learn and grow, and we could together put Brighton on the global stage as the place to be, but this time for the emerging businesses the world needs.

Brightoneers is a community of over 500 change-makers in Brighton. Perfect! We agreed that I would take over from Tom, present my vision, and get a feel for the appetite from the people that are here already and doing this.

Join us, we meet every last Thursday of the month.

Getting to the point

Last week The Platform closed its doors.

The Platform is a social enterprise hub creating, inspiring and supporting the growth of business for good for a better world.

That sounds familiar!

While this is not the kind of serendipity anyone would hope for, there is an opportunity. What if we dive in and attempt to support that community while prototyping a new home. We have an immediate user need, and potentially an immediate first cohort of tenants.

The ask!

There are enough coworking spaces in Brighton, and my vision is not simply to rent desks out (while those are of course needed), but to create a destination — a club house maybe. Somewhere people can gather, work, meet, learn, and collaborate.

So the hunt is on for a suitable host venue. Maybe short term while we learn ourselves, prototyping a space, working with our members. But also, at the lowest possible cost. In the true agile spirit, I want to be flexible, move fast, iterate, throw away and start again when needed. I want to move in on Monday, but make sure we can be out in short notice. Think of it as a pop-up, that you could host. Do you have space? Know of space? Know of people that might know of space?

Message me today, let’s see if we can home our ready made community.

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Use your space for good

photo borrowed from Browser London

There are ‘tech for good’ project teams springing up more and more, tackling difficult problems, and trying to have a positive impact. But they’re often voluntary, unfunded groups, and they usually don’t have anywhere to meet and work.

This is where you come in.

If you have a space, this could be one of the easiest ways to add value to a worthwhile project. It could be a meeting room, or just some desks, and it won’t cost you anything.

I’m offering to play matchmaker, all you need to do is tell me a little about your space and I’ll connect you to teams as they get in touch with me.

Fill in this form. And thank you so much!

Need a space for your team? Say hello by email, tell me where you are, and what you need a space for and I’ll try and find you somewhere.

If this goes well I’ll formalise some of the process, but for now, all volunteers of space appreciated and I owe you one :)