INSPO #1 // TOMS
Most of us know of TOMS, the social shoe enterprise started by Blake Mycoskie in 2006, with the initial purpose to donate a pair of shoes for every pair that was sold (One-for-One). Nine years on and he's now given away almost 50 million shoes!
It was recently announced that Toms launched a new fund for Social Good Start Ups, TOMS Social Entrepreneurship Fund. They have already invested in 11 small socially minded start ups, all fulfilling the criteria of an 'innovative business model that creates a meaningful change'. This includes Change.org, an online petition site and Artlifting.com, which sells art on behalf of the homeless. He mentions that now, it's not about selling shoes, "It's ultimately about inspiring other companies to bring purpose into their business models". Wow.
It's so inspiring to see an individual (Blake) be inspired by a trip to South America and start something that has such a huge impact and that matters – which is incidentally the name of his book (A must read!).
TOMS has now expanded their One-for-One portfolio of offerings to include Eyewear (restoring eyesight for every pair of glasses sold), TOMS Roasting Co. Coffee (supplying safe drinking water in 7 countries), Bags (provide training for skilled birth attendants and the vital materials needed to help a woman safely give birth) and Backpacks (to support victims of bullying). Shouldn’t more companies work this way?
Christian, Guest Dreamer
INSPO #2 // A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle
This may sound like a bit of a bold statement but... I’m currently reading the best book of my life (so far).
A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle claims to be an 'awakening to your life’s purpose’, which is exactly what it is, and more. In fact, I’d say it’s actually a complete revolution of your mind and soul but unfortunately I didn't get to write the official book review. It makes you re-assess yourself, your life and the world as you know it. It also forces you to evaluate your behaviour and that of those around you.
The main focus is on the ego, something that we all have, but obviously each to a different extent. Once you have been awakened to this way of thinking, its pretty much impossible to go back. Almost like being told the great secret of life - it just becomes frustrating that no-one else around you knows it, and you desperately want them to!
If money was no object, I would buy 300 copies of A New Earth and send it to all the world leaders. I believe that if they were to read it, there could potentially be world peace or we’d at least be a few steps closer.
Within the book, it states that there are enough resources in this world for everyone - money, food, water. It’s only because of the ego that people become greedy and want for more - a bigger house, an expensive car, a designer hand-bag. If we all recognised our ego and took control of it, rather than letting it control us, we could live as equals and there would be no more suffering or starvation. Without egos, there would also be an end to wars, as countries and leaders would no longer seek money and power and they would no longer feel the need to be ‘better’ than others.
This is only one small aspect of an overall amazing book that truly enlightens its reader to a life of contentment and sincerity. Since reading this book I’ve realised that I’ve actually spent more money this year on helping homeless people than buying clothes for myself. And now that I’ve had my eyes opened by Eckhart Tolle, I doubt this fact will ever change.
I don’t want to say any more about it or give away any more details. Just please please please read it for yourself and be prepared for an inner world-wind of enlightenment!
Jo, Creative Co-ordinator
INSPO #3 // Ji Lee
Ji Lee is a communications designer and to me he's a genius at creative thinking. He is well known for his personal projects and one famous one was the Bubble Project which was launched in 2002. He basically printed out 50,000 blank comic strip speech bubble stickers went to New York streets to stick onto outdoor advertising and posters, giving the public a voice to write whatever they wish in the speech bubbles. The public dialogue ranged from humous, sarcastic to empathetic. Touching on some delicate issues of our society. This social experiment resulted in mass media attention and the project continues to be replicated internationally. Ji Lee still continues his personal project ventures such as Mysterabbit , Clownify sticker project and most recently "Word as Image" which flexes his right brain to come up with some quirky word images that suggests the subject.
Ji Lee is a perfect example of creating personal projects that matters and speaks to the audience. It is also the result of his projects that attract companies to seek for his creative advice. Currently, he is the communications designer at Facebook and former creative director at Google creative lab. Personal projects attracts the work you want to do and I would encourage anyone to do this.