This is a photograph of the wall in front of my desk at home. It’s full of little messages to myself to motivate, calm and inspire. One of them says, in a sad little voice, the question of our time: How do I make a difference? ie. How do I change the world in a positive way? Looking at this wall makes me sad and embarrassed, but hopefully other people have sad, embarrassing walls at home too.
Some jobs are pretty self explanatory. You can change the world by becoming a doctor (go and study medicine.) Or by becoming a teacher (you probably need a PGCE qualification or try TeachFirst.) Or by going into politics (check out w4mpjobs for meaningful work experience with MPs to get you started.) Or you might want to change the way we see the world through art and writing (more on that later.)
If you have an idea for a project that can change the world, either on a national or international scale, you might be talking about ‘social enterprise.’ This seems to be job speak for working in industries that try to bring about social (and environmental) change. An example of ‘social enterprise’ that springs to mind is Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fifteen,’ which focuses on training young unemployed people – specifically those who had fallen out of mainstream education- to become chefs in one of the country’s top restaurants. That’s just a popular, well-known example but there are so many projects out there which I’d imagine share the same motto: ‘Business is driven primarily by social ambition rather than financial gain.’
If this sounds right, then read this: Breaking into social enterprise
It’s 1 bitter pill and 6 strategies for success by a man called Jack Graham who seems to be very successful and has started lots of cool projects. Also check out his venture called Year Here. They run a PRACTICAL (ie. not theoretical) postgraduate ‘degree’ (which isn’t yet accredited) but which is FREE. You work in charity/social enterprise, get training and mentoring and start your own venture. Applications end Monday 3rd Feb for 2014 and in 2015 it will cost, but hopefully not too much.
This menu will have links to other social enterprise stuff I find which might interest you.
Again if you have links or resources to suggest (they should be free and easily available) then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org