Friday 20 November 2009

Adventures in Sao Paolo Part 3: Gravatars and Charity Champs

It’s another beautiful balmy night in Sao Paolo, and I’m sitting out on the patio in my hostel, winding down after a long day of discussing concepts and issues and potential futures, followed by more birthday beers.  Two nights in a row. Fun, but tiring, because the 7 very conservative university kids in my room all keep waking up at about 6.30 – it makes no sense; they’re on holiday!!


Turns out Brazilians are proud about the openness of their culture in that anyone can be Brazilian, regardless of colour or background; but they lament the fact that there is an envy and revenge side aspect that isn’t so pleasant. Apparently everyone’s out for themselves and want to show each other up. I can’t confirm this because everyone I’ve met has been fantastic, but then I’m mostly meeting people involved in social change, so it’s a bit skewed.

Been learning all about Hybrid Value Chains and Ashoka’s Full Economic Citizenship, which is about trying to design and prove replicable models of symbiotic partnerships between private and social organisations in the areas of Housing, Health and Agriculture. Fascinating but complicated.

Also had a interesting conversation with Kevin Wong from Charity Champs, who is developing a platform to support micro-philanthropy using gravatars as part of a strategy to return social kudos back to people who get involved. If you don’t know what gravatars are go click the link :) As usual the conversation threw up a whole host of ideas in my head and I started to picture awesome opportunities to use virtual worlds like Wii World, which is probably going to be massive in the next 5 years. Very fun conversation, and hopefully I’ll be able to help with their long-term strategy in some way.

Finally, had some great advice from Neal from, around blogging in the moment. He had a great observation that trips like mine are part of a new culture that is emerging where contribution to the common good is the priority, and that appreciating diversity is essential to our ability to change as a people. What I’d add is that in understanding diversity we also understand how similar we all are underneath it all, and how connected we all are in the things that are important to us. And in that lies the recognition that we do not exist alone and that we are fundamentally responsible for each other, far beyond the reach of our own families and immediate societies.

On which inclusive note, here’s something very cool I came across – The Homeless World Cup. Check it out and be amazed!
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