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Become a Change-Maker Brand: Part 3

The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity.

Dr Robert Anthony

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. The big vision is to build an established secondary market for food. Currently, our consumption takes place in the primary market, in supermarkets. If there is a viable secondary market that eliminates food waste and starts to displace the purchasing of food from the primary market then the demand for food shrinks, less goes to landfill, and it frees up a lot of resources that go into making the food.

Saasha Celestial-One, founder of food sharing app Olio.

Saasha Celestial-One is one of 200 change-makers worldwide that I have interviewed for my forthcoming book, Generation Share. Published by Policy Press for Global Sharing Week 2019 (June 16th-22nd). Co-created with Sophie Sheinwald, through the stories of change-makers worldwide, Generation Share demonstrates how the Sharing Economy is saving and changing lives.

Previously in my blog, I have detailed the 6 character traits that make up the Anatomy of a Change-Maker. Over the next five weeks, I’ll be looking at how these character traits can be applied to businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes in order to become what I call ‘Change-Maker Brands.’ From being a Sharer to the trait of bravery, from adaptability to putting love at the heart of our business decisions; from positivity to being future-conscious, I’ll show how these change-maker characteristics can not only transform your organisation, but are vital for business survival. Last week I wrote about the first characteristic: SHARE and today I’m talking about the second trait: BRAVE.

Become a Change-Maker Brand: BRAVE.

Saasha Celestial-One and Tessa Cook, are founders of Olio, a social business bravely tackling the problem of food waste. And with 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted each year, they’re building a company that is revolutionising the food industry by creating a market for food that would otherwise go to landfill. Like all the change-makers I have met on my journey for Generation Share, Saasha and Tessa are brave because despite the scale of the challenge, they know that only a courageous, audacious, radical solution will bring about the monumental change that’s needed. With over 2 million portions of food shared and over 1 million members worldwide, they’re just getting started.

Often, getting started is where bravery is most needed.

Crowdfunding is not just about funds, it’s about community growth. You have to attract the community, you have to know who the community is, that would be interested in your project. It’s not the crowdfunding platform that reaches them, you reach them. It’s important that you create value for the crowd, you’re not asking, you’re offering value. If your project doesn’t win support, it’s because it doesn’t bring value to people. If you are afraid that someone will steal your idea, then crowdfunding is not for you, that’s the wrong mind-set. You have to be prepared for anything, even to share your failures.

Inés Echevarria is the founder of Uttopy, a social enterprise and sustainable fashion brand that raises awareness of marine pollution. She epitomises the characteristic of bravery, by quite literally swimming against the tide. Challenging the fashion industry which is the second largest pollutant, she crowdfunded her venture and now shares her knowledge of crowdfunding via her blog

Building bravery into your DNA from the start is one advantage of new businesses, but any business, willing to change and adopt a brave mind-set can succeed in the 21st century. Johana Remus Manager of Country Spark, Paris works with corporates to embed a brave mind-set and help incumbents change their ways.

You can’t force change upon a business. You have to engage them and help them to understand why they need to change, to evolve, to be brave. They need to understand what’s in it for them. For a company to become a company of tomorrow, they have to understand that they can’t continue to use yesterday’s approaches. One of the biggest challenges is that people love power and in the new business world, power is shared. Transformation means that senior management will have to bravely learn to share. When this happens, all the hidden value in the company becomes visible, that’s the benefit."

To become a change-maker brand, businesses need to be BRAVE.

Here’s my Change-Maker Checklist Number 2, to help your company take the second step to becoming a Change-Maker Brand by being brave.

  1. How are you being brave?

  2. How are you reinventing the rules?

  3. How are you doing things differently?

  4. How are you taking brave decisions?

  5. What decisions have you taken recently that you consider to be brave?

  6. How are you leading change?

  7. How are you creating a ‘brave’ culture?

  8. What products and services are you creating that are brave?

There has to be a shift in focus to what we call 'tripartite value', with all value being recognised as the wealth underpinning our economy. These values need to be enshrined in the corporate culture of big business. The benefit is survival. This is no longer about the future of work, this is about the future of life and ensuring that in this increasingly populated world, there is space for all to thrive and succeed. Big businesses who can see the opportunity, who can embrace this brave new business world and share the effort to support more than just a bottom line, will survive and thrive. It’s an investment of hope and faith in the future. The payback of sharing and investing now is that you will not only perform well in the future but you will also have built a strong community and contributed to a healthier, more sustained society.

Clare Kandola, Sharing Economy business consultant and trustee, The People Who Share.

Generation Share will be published by Policy Press in June 2019 for Global Sharing Week. You can now pre-order your copy here.

If you are a business who wants to become a change-maker brand email me or join the conversation on Twitter #CHANGE! @benitamatofska

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