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Well-being, Community, Education

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  • The THING

    Community, Communication Design


    I have recently found The THING. Their site explains that: THE THING is a quarterly periodical in the form of an object. Each year, four artists, writers, musicians or filmmakers are invited by the editors to create an everyday object that somehow incorporates text. This object will be reproduced and hand wrapped by the editors and then mailed to the homes of the subscribers with the help of the United States Postal Service.

    Very curious and unusual and I think that Issue 1 is really interesting.

    BUT . . . what I like best about this concept is how when you start doing imaginative and fun things.... people follow you, participate, help, get enthusiastic. How this happened here:

    "Wednesday August 15th, THE THING had its first ever wrapping party at Southern Exposure. We weren’t sure what to expect in terms of participation, but we were completely blown away by the end of the evening. About 250 amazing people from around the Bay Area (and one person from Thailand) came to help wrap Issue 1 of THE THING by Miranda July. But the amazing thing about the wrapping party on Wed. night was that it took on a life of its own and suddenly become a sort of force that now seems to be driving the future of THE THING.Not only did we witness incredible innovation in the assembly line, but the entire night’s wrapping was completed in the course of an hour."

  • Marbles_177_

    A new research report by the DfES into Social Capital" in two inner-city Secondary Schools has recently been published.

    Social Capital as defined by this study: "Social capital refers to networks between people and the relationships of trust and reciprocity they develop. It is seen as a desirable characteristic of communities and societies and as a valuable asset for individuals, enabling access through social networks to employment, skills, health and other individual benefits.

    The key findings of the report which are fascinating to read in full: • Types of social capital are inter-related. • Young people’s social capital is related to healthy socio-psychological resources. • Social capital and socio-psychological resources are unevenly distributed. • Schools have an important role in developing social capital Schools can develop social capital through different channels. For example, a feeling of safety, acceptance and support, and being treated fairly by staff and students all helped to build a sense of school belonging. • School ethos can make a difference to students’ access to support. • Neighbourhood context and family support are important influences. Strong family ties are linked to more positive orientations to school and less stress for young people.

  • Pip_teens_social_media_final_177_

    In a new report on teenagers and social media by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that there is a subset of teens who are 'super-communicators' -- teens who have a host of technology options for dealing with family and friends, including traditional landline phones, cell phones, texting, social network sites, instant messaging, and email. They represent about 28% of the entire teen population and they are more likely to be older girls.

    Very striking is the percentages of teenagers who prefer telephone and face-to-face contact over email. The level of sophistication of using multimedia methods of communication is one that many adults are enjoying too! Lots of time juggling required.

  • Endangered Species in the British Isles

    Environment, Communication Design


    Gorgeous poster to order from Present and Correct

  • Social Change through Photography

    Peace, Communication Design


    Collective Lens is a wonderful organisation which promotes social change with your photos. Upload a photo and help bring awareness to important issues around the world. The website aims to create opportunties to bring causes to the attention of others, and inspire people to get involved. If you're looking for a way to make a difference, your photos can help spread the word.

    Collective Lens also serves as a networking site for nonprofits. Through a variety of tools, organizations may interact, learn, and discuss projects, funding sources, and best practices.

  • Non-Pompous, Non-preachy Guide to . . .

    Environment, Communication Design


    Grist has just brought out a new book called Wake Up and Smell the Planet. The team at Grist run a really lively website filled with environmental news and commentary. Their blog is great.

    I like their approach. A lot. Their website reads:

    "Let's face it: reading environmental journalism too often feels like eating your vegetables. Boiled. With no butter.

    But at Grist, we believe that news about green issues and sustainable living doesn't have to be predictable, demoralizing, or dull. We butter the vegetables! And add salt! And strain metaphors!

    We exist to tell the untold stories, spotlight trends before they become trendy, and engage the apathetic. We're fiercely independent in our coverage; we throw brickbats when they're needed and bestow kudos when they're warranted. And while we take our work seriously, we don't take ourselves seriously, because of the many things this planet is running out of, sanctimonious tree-huggers ain't one of them."

  • V_1_177_

    V is an independent charity championing youth volunteering in England. Their aim is to inspire a new generation of young volunteers (aged 16-25) and enable a lasting change in the quality, quantity and diversity of youth volunteering.

    The match fund is particularly interesting. If you are part of the private sector (company, charitable trust or wealthy individual) who is - or would be interested in - supporting youth volunteering, then the match fund could double the impact of your support. And if you are a voluntary or community organisation who would like to deliver youth volunteering programmes - or expand existing programmes, then this is for you too.

    Originating from the Russell Commission, the role of the Match Fund is to inspire the private sector to support youth volunteering through a process where government money matches up to 100% of any new private sector investment in youth volunteering.

    There is currently an incredible £42.6 million available for Strand One and £30 million available for Strand Two.

    Better get your thinking caps on!

  • Of course it does!



    A sign for Puccino's coffee shop in England with some unusual packaging.

  • Work Empowerment



    The Work Empowerment Foundation is a non-profit making social enterprise founded to make a difference to as many people as possible. Their aim is to help people create fun, freedom and fulfilment at work through their website, conferences and workshops.

    The Empowerment Website is a portal of work issues. As the foundation develops, the number of work issues covered on the website will increase. By participating, you can help identify work issues and prioritise them. You will be able to interact with other members facing similar problems and with organisations and individuals with experience in the field.

    For a happier workplace please contact Hina Patel, the Director and Founder.

  • Public Achievement



    A fantastic opportunity to take a two day course in Belfast arranged by Public Achievement (Directed by Paul Smyth) in association with the Horizon Project. The course will be taught by Dr Jerry Stein, of the University of Minnesota. The course will be ran as 2 day residential from Monday 12 - Wednesday 14 November, 2007 at the Old Inn, Crawfordsburn.

    The module builds on Dr Stein's ‘Learning Dreams’ project, which has led to the creation of a similar initiative due to be piloted shortly in North Belfast. The work is predicated on the idea that one key to increasing commitment to learning amongst young people is to construct learning communities beginning with the learning aspirations of adults in these communities.

    If you are interested in applying for this short course, please contact Sean Pettis, Training Officer with Public Achievement on 028 90 666948 or email

    Public Achievement does great work in helping support and develop communities!

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