Research moves to foreign fields

28 November 2006

The mammoth task that is writing a business plan still continues, but on the horizon are more exciting subjects. But let me please first linger on the business plan, because it is so vital to Performers Without Borders’ (PWB) success. Basically, we have decided that we don’t want to be a charity; the bureaucracy can be stifling to innovation and making clear, quick decisions. Rather we want to be, using the current political buzz word, a social enterprise. This means, however, to ensure that the integrity of the project continues we need to draft our governing document carefully to ensure the stakeholders (those who we want to help and those who want to help us) get the maximum benefit. For example, a social enterprise invests all profit back in the community. But all this needs to be done in legal talk, its therefore hard to get advice. However I’m meeting a top consultant soon who should be able to point me in the right direction. So back to the exciting stuff…

On the 11th of December Jonny flies out to India to visit potential communities for our forthcoming project. For two months he’ll be riding one of the world’s largest and busiest rail networks taking journeys of up to 40 hours in cramped dirty conditions, eating greasy train food. So I wouldn’t feel too jealous that he is missing the worst of the London winter and replacing it with the majestic scenery and glorious colours of the Indian countryside. And, and, he’ll probably be the first proper juggler the kids will have seen – a fantastic thing. His work is really important because it is decides who needs the most help and who we can help the best. So hopefully he’ll send some updates and I can let you know.

But I can’t be too jealous of Jonny cause I’m going to Palestine in January! Its a real shock for me as I thought I’d never go, then two weeks ago I meet Ruth from Circus2Iraq. She talked about their latest project in Palestine and said ‘why don’t you come?’ That little sentence played on my mind, sure it would be fantastic to spread a little fun and laughter in the troubled land but what about PWB? Until I realised the value of me working teaching kids in Palestine to the success of PWB – to make the work of PWB the best we can. It seemed to fit perfectly with The Plan, and the question was now ‘why shouldn’t I go?’


The Rope Walk

3 November 2006

Today I was off sick from work with a nasty cold. So I thought I’d use my time productively and came up with this first little video of my house mate Bob.
One very exciting aspect of the PWB project is to have a weekly video blog – here I’m just training for my future epics. Enjoy!

Awarded, but now the hard work starts

1 November 2006

Yesterday Jonny and I attended the Guardian Social Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony. The order of the day was to congratulate, inspire and to network, darling, all the UnLtd award winners. There were a whole bunch of winners there bubbling with their new ideas and champagne (that came out towards the end of the day). It was certainly interesting to find out what others are up to, and fantastic to find out that loads of them were excited about OUR idea! Speeches came from a previous winner – who has made a high production schools video about recycling, an introduction to creative behaviour – so us entrepreneurs have the tools to continue to innovate, and an amusing ramble from John Bird, the founder of The Big Issue, about failure and the will to succeed.

This is just one of the events that UnLtd are going to be arranging to give us the maximum opportunity to benefit from other’s experiences. Another service they have for us is providing a Project Manager. I’m not entirely sure what the Project Manager will do, but I do already have a bunch of questions for her so I think it will prove useful.

On a more personal note, I am now settled (back) in New Cross, South East London, in wonderfully bohemian housing cooperative called Sanford Housing Cooperative. The cooperative is currently in the process of reducing it’s carbon emissions by 60% by improving efficiency and using sustainable fuels (including the installation of biomass boilers). To make sure I’m contributing to the community I put myself forward, and have been elected, as Secretary.

As the seasons change (eventually) it feels great to be settled back into London, and for so much exciting stuff to look forward to. I’ll be sure to keep you posted…