Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We can take them with us but what good do they do us?

My friend and fellow traveler, Joel Solomon is well-known in the social entrepreneurial world.
Joel has been a supporter (in all sense of the word) of many social entrepreneurs, especially in Canada and extra-especially in BC.

Joel has been in search of a kidney for quite a while and a dear friend of his, Shivon Robinsong (also a tremendous force) has agreed to donate one of her kidneys in what can only be described as the most generous act of friendship I've ever known.

Joel recently wrote an email to friends and colleaguesabout the challenges of organ donation
To Colleagues and Friends

The following is an excerpt from that letter:

"The point of this letter is to emphasize both the general and specific importance of all of us making the effort to sign up so that our organs may be used after our death, by others for whom they can be the gift of life. And for the extra courageous and hearty, there are organ and bodily donations that can happen while we are alive. Many people wait on lists desperately hoping for this miracle, and any of us may find ourselves or a close loved one in need at some point in ourlives...

...The sad fact is that a small fraction of the population has signed up to make such donations possible. At least by the laws in BC, without that few moments of paperwork, our body parts will simply go to the grave or crematorium.

Please go to the web site link that follows and sign up ASAP. If you live in another jurisdiction, take a few minutes and find out how you can do the same.

Consider forwarding this email to your friends, your facebook site, your network, post on your blog, or however you prefer. Let's create a wave of donors."

As the title of this blog entry says, we can take our organs with us, but what good do they do for us in the ground?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Changemakers in London, UK?

I'm putting this out on the Blog. I'm going to be in London late in the afternoon on Sunday, November 4th through till early morning of November 6th on my way to Prague to speak at a conference.

Please email me privately any cool, interesting people I should be meeting that you know of.

If anyone is hanging out with Branson these days, I wouldn't mind going on a Hot Air balloon ride up and down the Thames with the guy.

Labels: , , , ,

Stamps / Sodacan update - Video complete

This note is directed at everyone who sent stamps and soda-can tabs in support of my Blog appeal that I posted back in the summer.

My Gramma had just moved into a long-term care home and was understandably depressed. One of the aspects of freedom that she lost in moving to this new care-home was the ability to collect used stamps and soda-can tabs to send to the BC Guide Dogs Society

I didn't think there was a financial benefit to the charity that could be derived from soda-can tabs and stamps but upon further investigation, found out that BC Guide Dogs Society receives more than $1000 a year from this simple act. That's a lot of dog food!

So, given that my Gramma couldn't collect these stamps and soda-can tabs, I decided to take up a collection through this blog and made an appeal to the readers to "Send me their junk." Within days, stamps and soda-can tabs started arriving from post-marks around the World!

Unfortunately, before I could complete the project, my Gramma passed away but a few days before she died, I showed her a picture of a collage of some of the soda-can tabs and stamps that had been collected. She was very moved.

Shortly after her death in September, I finished the product and this Podcast is a must-watch for anyone who participated.

Many thanks to all who honored my Grandmother with their participation in this project.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cineplex Odeon - Worth the ticket price at least this time.

Jess and I saw the movie Rendition
This is a note about Scotiabank Theater where we saw the movie. At the top of the escalator, we were greeted by a young man in a wheelchair employed to greet people as they entered the theater. I don't know what it was about this young man but Jess and I were really moved by the fact that he was employed as a greeter.

I think we're all prone to griping about the cost of a movie ticket these days (not to mention paying $12 to sit and be advertised to for a good 5 minutes before even the trailers begin) but here is Cineplex Odeon employing people who have to overcome significant barriers to do their jobs.

I decided to learn more about how this program came to be.

I found out that a program called Gordon House Youth SEARCh (Seeking Employment and Resources for Change) provides training and resources for "at-risk" youth. Typically, I think of "at-risk" as being drug-addicted street youth, but in speaking to Julio Bello who is the Program Manager for this initiative, he informed me that "at-risk" covers a far wider spectrum.

Julio told me that when he began speaking with Jason De Courcy, the Operations Department Director of BC for Cineplex Odeon that Jason was very enthusiastic about being able to participate in placing Julio's at-risk clients at Cineplex theaters.

The program involves 8-weeks of on-site training which gives an opportunity for the young person to gain tangible, resume-building skills and make an impression on their employer. Julio told me that most of the people who enter the on-site training become employed by the sponsoring employer.

In speaking with a Manager at the Scotiabank Theater (where we saw Rendition), I'm told that there are six employees currently employed at that one theater who have participated in this type of job-training program.

I'm a big fan of this type of program and encouraged that Cineplex understands the community benefit (both to their employees and to its customers) of supporting this type of initiative.

I asked Julio what the program needs in terms of support and computers are in great demand. He needs to find 12 computers of similar make, model, OS etc that his clients can use for developing resumes, conducting online job searches etc. At present time, there is such a hodge-podge of old equipment that it's completely unmanageable. Any local computer merchant or company upgrading their computers want to donate 12 computers?

I'll give the donor tons of profile if they do.

Next time you're seeing a movie at Cineplex and see one of these greeters, please be sure to tell them and their managers what a great job they're doing!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Don't forget to pee

I'm now back from Toronto. I have so many friends and interesting people I know in Toronto that any trip out there starts early in the morning and ends early in the morning the next day for every day I'm out there.

One of my favorite meetings was with my friend Salimah, an activist and journalist. Thanks only to Facebook status updates, Salimah messaged me to let me know that she was headed to Toronto for a few days and our schedules would overlap.

We got together at the Park Hyatt's rooftop bar on Thursday afternoon and started to catch-up. Our conversation traveled the world from Afghanistan, Iraq, India, New York and Vancouver. Salimah and I are cut from the same cloth. We're passionate extroverts who never miss an opportunity to evangelize our beliefs and passions. The conversation ran a million miles a minute and we both lost track of time. We realized we were both late for our next meetings and shared a cab back downtown.

As we continued to gab and snake through rush-hour traffic, we both realized we had to pee. Of course, the verbal acknowledgment only put more pressure on our respective bladders... The snails pace of our cab became more worrisome. At that pace, there was no way either of us would, well, make it. So we ran out of the cab in frantic search of a public washroom - which despite the fact we were smack dab in the financial district - seemed a fruitless search.

We left each other promising one another that next time, we would remember to pee.

The moral of the story? When running around the world pursuing your passion, we run ourselves ragged. It's impossible to take care of the world's work when we forget our own basic needs. So don't forget to pee.

Off to see Rendition.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I'm very thankful for the kind words and messages of support I've received from people watching the Hour last night. Overnight, we've received dozens of new "proposals" for fundraising ideas at GiveMeaning.

Before we accept fundraising for a new proposal, we first require the proposal to collect 100 votes of support within 30 days of it being posted on the site.

This process of collecting votes helps us ensure that there is enough support for a new proposal.

It's up to the person who submitted the proposal to recruit those votes amongst their own social network of potential supporters.

So if you've submitted a proposal, thank you! Now it's time to start recruiting support for your idea. By simply emailing a link to your proposal, and asking them to vote, you can get the ball rolling.

Lastly, a lot of people have asked what they can do to help GiveMeaning. In all honesty, the best way to help us is to make a tax-deductible donation in support of our operating costs. You can donate online through GiveMeaning by clicking here

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thoughts after the hour

Taped the Hour this evening and now back at the hotel watching it online. The link I posted below in an earlier blog entry has the entire interview on their website.

I really enjoyed meeting George. He's a great guy, great mind.

If you're reading this blog entry having watched the show and have questions for me, don't hesitate to post them here on the blog or email me at tom [@] givemeaning [dot] com.

Thanks for watching.

Labels: , , ,

The Hour - CBC tonight!

I'm in Toronto rushing to a meeting but wanted to share that I'm going to be interviewed on the Hour tonight. It airs at 11pm on CBC.

Here's the promo clip which apparently doesn't work on a Mac.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Jess' album is out today

Jess' CD, Nothing Fancy is in stores today!

You can buy it on iTunes by clicking here and is in major retail chains across the Country!

To think that Jess was in the studio 3 YEARS ago recording the album and that it's just come out today!

I'm very proud of Jess. She's incredibly talented, hard-working and grounded.

I'm an incredibly lucky guy!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 06, 2007

What GiveMeaning was built for

Saw new proposal on GiveMeaning today.
Click on the founder (Jen's) name on the left-hand side.

This kind of energy is what keeps us all motivated.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My day so far

Fly in to Nanaimo, BC last night after a long day. Had to stay the night because there were no flights that would get me in this morning in time to deliver a talk to a local Rotary Club.

Woke up at 630am to be at the Rotary Club at 7am. Only there was no Rotary Club. The doors were locked, the lights were off. No one home. They had changed their location two weeks ago but forgot to inform us of the change. Schlep back to the hotel and answer emails for two hours.

Drive a fair distance to a small school. Cab is late, stressed out that I'll be late... Out of energy. Nothing to say. Convinced *this* is the time where I just totally bomb. Feeling a cold coming on.

Have no idea what I'm going to say. And then I start.

And I know exactly what to say, and I roll on. Half an hour of my history and half an hour of "the bullshitter's guide to bullshit" which is an honest-to-goodness instructional session in using the commercial skills of persuasion in changing the world.

Everytime I speak to youth groups, I offer my brain to address any problem they are faced with in trying to change the world. The response to the offer varies place to place. This was the best interaction I've ever had. It was AMAZING!

We covered so much ground and it was very interactive.

My only regret was that I had a flight to catch and I had to hurry out of the school and didn't have enough time to talk with the students one-on-one.

These speaking sessions are quite selfish. No matter how tired I am, no matter what leads up to my getting there, I leave feeling totally energized.

I'm a horrible blogger. I'm making peace with this reality.

Labels: , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]