Freelancing Gods 2015

14 Oct 2008

Link: Relevance Blog : Greening Relevance

"those of us in the business sector have a responsibility to use our energies in ways that don’t just prevent negative consequences, but actually foster positive ones"

02 Oct 2008

Link: WorldChanging: Commentary: Reconciling Poverty, Sustainability, and the Financial Crisis

"The human economy is wholly contained within the global biosphere-and if the biosphere's productivity is undermined, the human economy will suffer." This gets said so often, but rarely do politicians get it.

08 Jun 2008

The End of Charity

As I’m travelling, I’m reading more – so that means it’s time for another impromptu book-review/idea-sharing post.

The book in question this time around is Nic Frances’ ominously titled The End of Charity. The points of the book aren’t that scary though – I find them to be pretty spot-on with what’s needed.

A quick overview:

  • Society’s siloed approach isn’t working: Leaving businesses to focus on making money, and charities to making the world better isn’t really getting anywhere.
  • Value needs to represent more than financial worth: Goods and services need to be given more accurate values which incorporate social and environmental worth.
  • Businesses need to incorporate social and environmental mindsets into their operations: Remove the silos. Don’t leave the ‘doing good’ to a separate organisation (examples: Google Inc and, Microsoft and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, McDonalds and Ronald McDonald House Charities).
  • The market will make it all work: Okay, that’s a little simplistic, but the market does a decent job at helping the best value goods and services come to the fore.

Now the book itself is far more detailed – Frances draws a lot from his own experiences, both in charities and in socially-minded businesses, so there’s no end of real world examples. It’s also extremely easy to digest, so I highly recommend reading it, even if you don’t have much of a business-focused mind.

Granted, some of these ideas can take some getting used to, especially on the left side of politics where broad strokes paint businesses (particularly corporations) as Bad, and charities and other non-profits as Good. A lot of what’s discussed in this book isn’t particularly new to me – I was introduced to the concepts while working at MBO (now Ergo Consulting) (which, perhaps not so surprisingly, had an awesome culture non unlike what Frances outlines for his own Cool nrg). I remember bristling at the idea put forward by our then CEO Paul Steele (who is currently COO at World Vision Australia) that business is the best way to enact social improvement.

A few years have passed since then, though, and I’ve come around to agreeing that the combined approach is far more likely to succeed than the old, siloed way.

Now, this hasn’t led to any dramatic chances in my freelancing lifestyle – but it’s got my brain ticking away, so you’ll just have to wait and see what comes of it. That said, what do you you think about all this? Do you agree? Disagree? Do you have some suggestions on how to make the organisation you work for take a more holistic approach?

24 Apr 2008

Link: Simple Shoes

"Shoes for a happy planet"

06 Apr 2008

Link: WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Don't Just Be the Change, Mass-Produce It

"We don't need more people living marginally greener lifestyles. We need thousands of people, millions of people, swarming out of their lifestyles and leading worldchanging lives..." (READ THIS)

06 Apr 2008

Link: WorldChanging: Chocolate Can Save the Planet -- Hurrah!

"in eastern Brazil, there's a cacao plantation that's being maintained as a multi-canopied rainforest, creating a valuable agricultural crop while also maintaining the rainforest's ability to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."

29 Mar 2008

Link: Stay Another Day

"Our goal is to promote "destination friendly" tourism, by connecting travellers with organisations that are in some way helping to conserve local culture and heritage, support community projects benefitting local people or initiatives to lessen negative

13 Dec 2007

Link: TED | Talks | Amory Lovins: We must win the oil endgame (video)

"Energy guru Amory Lovins lays out his plan for weaning the US off oil -- and revitalizing the economy in the process."

03 Dec 2007

Link: The party's over and Liberals will soon be history - Opinion -

"By 2014, we will have a struggle between a new left and right - Labor and Green - and the issue will be simply how green, how to balance the need for a much simpler and more communal kind of life, with the need to give people comfort and amenity now."

17 Mar 2007

Link: O'Reilly Radar > Bag the Schwag

14 Mar 2007

Link: A Note To Employers: 8 Things Intelligent People, Geeks and Nerds Need To Work Happily

14 Oct 2006

Link: Al Gore in Melbourne - FREE event

29 Sep 2006

Link: Personal Kyoto: Achieve Your Own Personal Kyoto Protocol!

Pity something like this doesn't exist for Melbourne

21 Sep 2006

Link: Neco - Australia's Eco Hardware Store.

Australian group that has the option to assist people with getting to a carbon neutral point.

28 Aug 2006

Link: Greening Burning Man

05 Dec 2004

Link: Houses of the Future: Cardboard House

A house built out of carboard - completely recyclable. Interesting design.

16 Nov 2004

Link: Marine park ban on gas, oil searches - National -

Bracks Government show they're not all bad when it comes to intelligent policies

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About Freelancing Gods

Freelancing Gods is written by , who works on the web as a web developer in Melbourne, Australia, specialising in Ruby on Rails.

In case you're wondering what the likely content here will be about (besides code), keep in mind that Pat is passionate about the internet, music, politics, comedy, bringing people together, and making a difference. And pancakes.

His ego isn't as bad as you may think. Honest.

Here's more than you ever wanted to know.

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