Which Individual Leader Do You Want To Work For?

July 12, 2013 § 1 Comment

For fun, I started making a list of people I would actively want to work for. Not organisations, but individual leaders I admire and want to learn from. Who would you add?

So far I have –

Jacqueline Novogratz
Seth Godin
Marianne Williamson
Brene Brown
John Elkington
Krista Tippett

How Single Issue Campaigns Miss Something Vital

July 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

“Today there are many groups of people. There are clubs, there are political parties. There are many forms and types of issue-oriented groups: against nuclear armament, against racism, against this or that. There is a danger, in issue-oriented groups not based on community, that the enemy is seen as being the one outside of the group. The world gets divided between the “good” and “the bad”. In issue-oriented groups, the enemy is always outside. We must struggle against all those who are outside of our group. All those who are of the other party.

True community is different because of the realization that the evil is inside – not just inside the community, but inside me.”

Jean Vanier

Campaign Bootcamp: Thank You!

June 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

A year ago, five friends and I gathered in a London pub and committed to setting up a first-rate training program for the next generation of campaigners. With the generosity and encouragement of many of you, we set up Campaign Bootcamp.

Watch this short video to get a taste for what happened –

On the final day, the Bootcampers themselves presented us a with a cheque for four hundred pounds and told us we had to do this again. So – we are!

We have ambitious plans for Campaign Bootcamp to strengthen the NGO sector – and hope you will be part of it.


Thank you so much,


Einstein On Gratitute

May 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

Albert Einstein

If Giving To Charity Is Today’s Indulgence, Is It Time For Another Great Reformation?

April 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

“If we have no peace, it is because we forget we belong to each other.” Mother Theresa

While listening to this interview with Greg Boyle about his work with gang members in LA, an audience member asked a question which made me say ‘oooah!’ out loud while cycling through downtown Boston.

She starts by asking the simple question which so many of us carry – “So what can I do? I mean, what can I do beyond writing a cheque?” But then she says – “once I have bought the indulgence – what next?”

I love that comparison. The sale of indulgences was one of the most prominent aspects of early modern religion that Martin Luther so decried, and that ultimately led to the Reformation. The idea that you could buy salvation revealed the empty, bankrupt soul of the Church. It was no longer purpose-driven.

So many of us want to help – truly, we want to make it better. Donating money is mostly is what we’re asked to do. Largely, because it is easy.

If justice is living alongside one another and being joined together in mutual liberation and transformation –  this is so uncomfortable! It goes against everything else in our lives – our jobs, our social circles, our ambitions. We have to let go of the easy, planned lives we lead to do this. And that is precisely what religious institutions are supposed to help us with. A place, a time, a process – led by people who know what they are doing, to re-enter our human family. Doing this is what religion is – a practice.

So if we aren’t living alongside one another and buying indulgences to assuage the guilt – why has it happened, and what can we do? From what I can see, the church as an institution is failing to meet these needs of most human beings today. It has failed to provide the necessary counter-balance to modern life’s demands and pressures. An unrestrained capitalist system, exploitational advertising, time poverty etc etc needs a strong, rigorous institution which keeps those impulses in balance with our intrinsic values.

Does that mean it is time for another Reformation? And are we already seeing it happen?

Campaign Bootcamp Launched

April 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

When I was 18, I went to my first campaign training. It was magical – for the first time, I realised that I could turn my sense of injustice into practical action that could change things. I practiced skills that I would use over and over again in my activism, made friends who are with me still, and learned that I could earn a living doing this work. Without these trainings in my first few years out of school – I would never be doing what I am  today.

So, as NGO budgets are cut and youth trainings disappear, some friends and I have come together to launch Campaign Bootcamp – a five day campaign training for young people. Applications have just opened – can you pass this on to 18-28 year olds that you think might be interested? The deadline in April 26th.

We have specific scholarships for marginalised youth, so we are excited to help build leadership from across society.

Please post on Facebook, twitter and forward the short email below. Thank you so much – I really appreciate your support,


PS. We’re documenting the learning we’ve done and mistakes we’ve made. Feels great to be honest and open about this : )

A Question On Economics

March 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

If efficiency is doing things right, and effectiveness is doing the right thing – why don’t we ever talk about ‘economic effectiveness’ but only ‘economic efficiency’? Is it because we have not had a proper conversation about what our economy is for?

Anarchists In The Boardroom

March 1, 2013 § 1 Comment

My pal has started a neat little project – Anarchists in the Boardroom to help NGOs move beyond the industrial model of work. Sits very much in line with my previous work with Common Cause. I’ve chipped in : ) 

Fantastic Video Explaining Systems-Approach To Social Innovation

February 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

NGOs, Social Change and the Transformation of Human Relationships: A 21st-Century Civic Agenda

February 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

If you haven’t yet read Michael Edwards and Gita Sen’s essay on the need for personal transformation in the work of systemic transformation – you are doing yourself a disservice.

Great example of a holistic Theory of Change.