It was a woman I'd never met who finally swung it. As I lay on a plump mattress under a duck down duvet one night in late April, I thought about what she, Liz, had done with her day. While I'd been sitting on my backside, shuffling words around and working my way through a variety of nut-based snacks, she'd been putting out fires, breaking up knife fights and comforting dozens of bewildered children who know her as a second mum.
I want to challenge conventional wisdom that suggests giving is an antidote to consumerism. Not because I want to knock giving, but because my experience of conducting anthropological research into philanthropy suggests we can better understand it by not viewing it as the polar opposite of consumer activity.
While we have to await to measure the real impact of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative on the future generations, I think that we can learn 4 useful lessons from an open letter that look like a manifesto. Four starting points for a reflection that could bring to us more luck than a chain letter in the new year.
Even the quickest google of WWE's charitable endeavours will silence any sceptics seeking to disparage the aforementioned union as a CSR gimmick. Over the course of many years now, WWE appears to have deepened and widened its community engagement and philanthropic commitment with quite remarkable results.
In our sector, we tend to think that tech can solve everything, and many start-ups are making positive societal changes through innovative approaches and business models. But some of the world's most fundamental problems - like poverty, equality, or access to clean water - can't be fixed with an app, or even with a social enterprise or business-led approach.
As much as "social enterprise" is a buzzword these days, there are people who reject this label entirely. 'Reluctant social entrepreneur,' Iqbal Wahhab is one such person. Sitting in Roast Restaurant in Borough Market, London, enjoying a delicious macchiato and the exceptional service of their highly-rated staff, I questioned Iqbal's hesitation to embrace this categorisation of his long-standing work supporting the community.