LOADING POSTS . . .
Audacious Megatrends

Great to read this and really does help to keep things in perspective.  

The potential of business to change the world propelled by the power of the people all made possible by social media as a force for good.

Sharing because I believe a few minutes spent reading the full article not just the snippet below and you'll be feeling Happy Friday Vibes.

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“If you go back 10 years, people were just interested in 'stuff' – which is a gross simplification, but a defining factor,” Howard said. “Now, people are more defined by experience and by purpose, meaning that peoples’ relationships with brands have fundamentally changed. People will look to each other and to their communities to validate the brands, and brands are aware that nobody owns the customer.”

Howard noted that the trend towards purpose-led business was driven by digitisation, making sustainability information publicly, enabling consumers to hold companies to account in new ways.

“Nobody owns the customer – you have a constantly-earned relationship with the customer in today’s world which is fundamentally different than 10 years ago,” he added. “Reputations are hard-won and hard-earned based on the real experience of society, and they’re gone like that if you’re not careful.”
During #iwillweek we are celebrating young trusteeship!

The average age of trustees is now over 60 years old, and with charities struggling to recruit board members, we need to explore ways of engaging more young people in charity governance. 

Young trusteeship is a great opportunity for boards to become more diverse too - hear new perspectives, access new knowledge, insight and skills. 

However, there are still lots of barriers for young people taking part - from meeting times that suit predominantly those who are retired, to lack of capacity for boards to carry out enough outreach and develop skills amongst new trustees. 

The young trustee programme at Oxford Hub works to address all of those barriers, adding capacity to charity boards - we manage the recruitment of young trustees, place them in boards aligned with their interests, train them up, and support them to contribute to the boards they join. Participants tell us they benefit enormously from the programme - developing skills and making their voices heard

The programme was seed funded by a donor at Oxfordshire Community Foundation, and is now heading into its fourth cohort of young trustee recruitment. 

This week we're celebrating young people's contribution to social change with #iwillweek as well as #TrusteesWeek - if you are involved on a charity board, we'd like to encourage you to have a conversation with fellow trustees about how you can increase your diversity and help train the new generation of charity leaders! 

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During #iwillweek we are celebrating the contributions of young trustees on charity boards across #Oxfordshire - bringing new perspectives and increasing diversity, while developing future charity leaders!
People and places

Reading this article reminds me of the potential that we are hoping for in Banbury as more local people get involved to make it the first Age Friendly place in Oxfordshire.

Most definitely the best way to ensure places work for the local people who live there is to involve them whatever and whenever any changes are being considered. 

That's why we can't wait for the feedback and ideas to hear what local people believe would make Banbury a great place to grow older. 

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Lately I’ve found myself imagining what the world might look like if the people who designed it – politicians, planners, developers and architects – were more diverse. I don’t believe that men and women design differently, or that poverty and ethnicity inform architecture, but lived experience is a great teacher. The regeneration projects of the past decade are more about planters and cappuccinos than access to free drinking water, public toilets, cheap groceries and a post office. They appear to solve only the first-world problems of the monocultural illuminati who created them.

What would our cities be like if mothers had more of a role in designing them? There would be ramps everywhere, for a start. Schlepping a pushchair around makes you think differently about stairs. I cried when my nearest station was revamped without the inclusion of a lift
Young people have the power to shape a better Oxfordshire

In my role as Director of Oxford Hub I’d like to share our experience of youth social action with other charities in Oxfordshire. I hope this can support #iwill fund grant applicants to learn more about how young people can make a difference in their communities!

In simple terms, youth social action is about 'practical action in the service of others'. It involves young people making a difference through volunteering, fundraising or campaigning. Social action has a double benefit - it delivers community impact and also benefits the young people who get involved through increasing wellbeing and developing their skills. 

Our flagship social action programme is Schools Plus, where university students tutor local school pupils to achieve their academic potential. This initiative was funded by the #iwill fund at Oxfordshire Community Foundation in 2017 and 2018. Over the last academic year, we placed 236 student volunteers in tutoring placements across 13 schools in Oxford City. Schools Plus follows the double benefit model of youth social action - local pupils improve their academic attainment in different subjects; while young volunteers develop new skills in team work, communication, tutoring and leadership. 

For youth social action to have impact, it needs to follow the six quality principles set out by the Step Up to Serve Campaign. Depending on the different social action activities, some of the principles may be more important than others. Schools Plus focuses on providing a progressive experience, where you can start by tutoring and increasingly take up more responsibility, coordinating other volunteers in your school, organising training for tutors or fundraising events. In order to make sure the project is making an impact, it needs to be reflective, so tutors need to reflect on what is working and what they can improve in their interactions with pupils. 

In 2017 we received #iwill funding to improve the principle of embeddedness, making opportunities accessible to all. In particular, our equal opportunities data highlighted that we were not reaching enough disabled volunteers. With the help from OCF, we carried out outreach work across the disability community, with existing disabled volunteers leading this work, in line with the youth-led principle. Following this successful outreach project, we are now using the #iwill fund to reach out to more male students, who are a minority of volunteers in Schools Plus. This can help us be more socially impactful, as we respond to community need by placing more male role models in schools. 

If you are interested in helping young people shape a better world, you will find lots of interesting resources and background information about youth social action in the #iwill Campaign website and you can apply for #iwill funding in Oxfordshire through OCF. 

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The #iwill campaign promotes social action among 10-20 year-olds. This includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which create a double-benefit – to communities and young people themselves.
From greed to good

Changing the face of business for good.  Delighted to read this morning that Innocent have just joined the ranks of  2,500 fellow B Corp certified companies from all over the world who are now leading the charge to change the face of business for good. 

Great that this also means opening their doors to competitors so we can all learn from each other - for me this is a powerful sign that collaboration has to be the future.

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We are joining and adding momentum to an important movement of
companies and their employees – one that wants to shift the image of business
from greed to good.. And it’s an apt time to be doing this. Our business has a
duty to step forward and prove that it can act truly responsibly, not just with
the narrow mindset of profit above all else, but with a genuine commitment to
all of the people we set out to serve – the people who work here, the
people who drink our drinks, and the planet upon which we live and do business in. We will happily open the doors of our business to, to share best practice, and from whom we hope to learn how to make innocent a better company to work for and work with.
In Britain, Austerity Is Changing Everything

Well written article in the New York Times and whilst its focus is not on Oxfordshire but Liverpool the argument and reality still strikes a familiar chord.    Further evidence of the pressing need to collaborate for Our Common Good.

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After eight years of budget cutting, Britain is looking less like the rest of Europe and more like the United States, with a shrinking welfare state and spreading poverty.
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