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Anatomy of a Change-Maker: Part 3

“True innovation does not exist without sharing. If you do not open up and share, it is not innovative because innovation is something that changes, it is a living thing. Citizen innovation is about creating a network between individuals, ideas and infrastructure. Innovation is not about institutions, it is about creativity in scarcity, in poverty, based on people’s needs. If people have the right infrastructure, ideas and individuals, then they can do citizen innovation. It happens at a grass roots level.” Georgia Haddad Nicolau, Director of the Procomum Insitute in Sao Paolo and a leader in the citizen innovation movement. Georgia is one of 200 change-makers worldwide that I have interview

Anatomy of a Change-Maker: Part Two

“Wanting to change the world was not common in Egyptian culture. I went into the poorest areas, where the women ‘waste pickers’ were collecting garbage. I wanted to work with them as they have nothing. If their husband dies, leaves them, or disappears, they either have to get remarried or become a prostitute and the kids become destitute. They have no choice. I wanted to help them have a choice.” Iman Bibars, creator of the first micro-credit programme in the Arab world, to upskill women and provide them with ID cards. Iman Bibars is one of 200 change-makers worldwide that I have interviewed for my forthcoming coffee-table book, Generation Share co-created with visual storyteller, Sophie She

Can Businesses Change the World?

I was heartened to hear last week that Nestlé are reducing its use of plastics and have finally pledged to phase out plastic Smarties tops. As the world’s largest food and drink company with more than 2,000 brands in 191 countries, making this all important step-change could have significant social impact. Given that the world only has until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, I wonder, can business change the world? According to a survey by Globescan and SustainAbility, Unilever are leading the charge, planning to eliminate single use plastic packaging in the UK by 2025 and becoming carbon positive by 2030. The State of Sustainable Business Report 2018 shows that companies are increas

Anatomy of a Change-Maker: Part 1

“Sharing means saving future generations, if we offer better education, children can grow up to be good human beings, making a positive contribution to the world." Ashok Rathod, Founder, Oscar Foundation (Organisation for Social Change, Awareness and Responsibility). When slum-born Ashok Rathod decided to change the poverty- fuelled, crime-filled future that life had in store for him, his first instinct was to share. How could he change the future for himself, his peers and for future generations? The result was to persuade 22 slum kids to club together (a sort of street-style-crowdfund) to buy one 400-rupee football, the equivalent of £4 or $5. With one football, Ashok realised, he could ch

What Makes a Change-Maker?

“Our big vision is to connect everyone, so that we are all well fed. If we could displace 5-10% of new purchases at supermarkets, the downstream impact would be phenomenal for the environment. 25% of the world’s water supply is used for food that is never eaten. If we free these resources to do something productive for humanity, we could end world hunger.” Saasha Celestial-One, Co-Founder Olio. Saasha is one of 200 change-makers I interviewed for my forthcoming book, Generation Share. Three years in the making, Generation Share is a coffee table book co-created with visual storyteller Sophie Sheinwald that brings the powerful stories of the change-makers behind the Sharing Economy to world a

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United Kingdom | benita@benitamatofska.com