30 April 2010

#1millionshirts Phone Conf Running Blog

This is just based on my notes as the call went on. A podcast and transcript of the whole thing will be up soon and I will post that soon.

Update: Please also check out Linda Raftree's running twitter post from the event

Update 2: Katrin's notes

Update 3: Audio of the conference is now up

Update 4: Rachel adds her advice for Jason

Hosted by Lina Srivastiva.

Moderated by Katrin

  • Introductions
  • Jason
    • Jason intros self and explains intent of using marketing skills to create change for good
    • Expresses understanding that Africa is not an entire place to be categorized as a singular place
    • Thanks those who did call him and engage in discussions about his project
    • Intentions are to take his talents and translate them to good
    • Ideas not based entirely without contacting other organizations
    • wants to get people motivated
    • take in shirts and money to then use
    • where do shirts go next?
    • confrontational when points are clarified and accusing that he is being cut short
    • continues to call people against ‘cynical'
    • Must operate from current status - people are sending shirts already
  • @TalesFromthHood: #1millionshirts@iwearyourshirt raise the $. Give it to reputable NGO. Let them decide what/how/where. Easy.
  • Teddy Project Diaspora
    • no dialogue when introducing projects like 1 million t shirts
    • good intentions can have an extremely bad impact
    • solutions and programs already exist that are not as well known
    • had constructive convo with Jason last night
    • future of Africa belongs in Africa and should be engaged in new movement
    • “it is time for the world to take off the training wheels'”
    • success would have been possible if partnerships were found
    • stop thinking aid first
  • Marieme
    • Spoke to Jason yesterday
    • he just doesnt know how to do things and there are millions in America like him
    • ‘I was very angry yesterday’
    • Partner with Africans, not interested in top down projects
    • we will support in this working for you but do not wake up and think that your have the solutions for Africa
  • Christopher
    • first stop collecting shirts
    • Chance for a dynamic program
    • Suggestion: make shirts in conjunction with local campaigns by engaging communities to be sold abroad and in the US
    • Use the resources on this call as a way to grow a new and more effective idea
  • African Shirt company
    • Business lifts people out of poverty
    • local entrepreneurs need capacity to develop their ideas
    • stop collecting shirts
  • Tales From the Hood
    • Thanks to Tim and Marieme for their comments
    • need to discuss good aid and aid effectiveness
    • aid is a profession and not a hobby, can’t just decide to do it on a whim
    • the point is this is a profession with standards and norms that must be followed and applied
    • Raise money for a reputable NGO
  • Teddy follow up
    • We have about had it with NGOs and charities
    • people have turned the aid industry into a profession that is more interested in sustaining itself
    • to be effective you need to have an exit strategy in place
    • the more aid the less capable Africans are at doing what they can for themselves
    • “just rip the damn bandage off” and let us do it ourselves
    • Partner with private sector
    • We need to learn from this experience
  • Marieme
    • We are trying to say LISTEN up to Africans
  • Texas In Africa
    • What/Who is aid about?
      • broad consensus is that it is about the recipients, not always followed, but it needs to be about them and listening to expressed need (investment)
    • Media – Africa needs saving and the West must do it
    • Move to a model of empowerment
    • Jason, how are you picking your partners?
    • Look for:
      • long term presence in community
      • grounded in community (native staffed and run)
      • moving to self sustainability
      • look where Africans are making decisions
      • have an exit strategy
  • Saundra (Good Intentions are Not Enough)
    • Personal goal is to inform Americans
    • Use social media to prevent this from happening again
  • Teddy
    • Aid does have a place in development
    • The call should be about a paradigm shift in how do view aid/development
    • This begins a new conversation and partnership for the aid industry
    • Willing to offer advice and time to create this shift

Topic Change: The use and leveraging of social media towards development.

  • Christopher
    • This is a new and exciting
    • Where can it be leveraged best?
  • Danielle
    • The root of the problem is that most people that come onto a good idea do not peruse the ideas of those who have the most experience
    • This is not about cynicism, this is about passionate people and a real problem
    • how do we harness the media outlets to move in a positive direction?
  • Jason’s reactions and comments
    • thank you to everyone who has taken the time to discuss the issue
    • “i need to be able to say to people that I learned a valuable lesson” – need to reach out and communicate with people
    • I am a marketer, this is my strength and hard to pull back once started
    • If I can use my marketing connections in a positive way I can mobilize for good
    • Invited Teddy and Marieam to join his board of advisors moving forward
    • Re-engage charities to learn more from them
    • Marketing is my strength
  • Kofi
    • I am an African marketer
    • Had issues with the ways you characterize peoples lack of understanding
    • Can maintain marketing mindset and implement strategies that have been suggested
  • Marieme
    • You have learned and we will work with you on your board
    • please take away that you have learned something from this today
    • if you are not reaching out to the right people you will not be effective
  • Cynan
    • Jason you have more options on the table but you seem committed to collecting the shirts without a plan
    • UK NGOs have the same business model that uses shirt collecting to raise money for projects
    • if you are committed to the shirts find a model that will raise money, if not sure please stop
  • Erica UNICEF
    • Greatest value that can be given is an individual’s skills
    • partner with existing groups to help grown their PR
    • view this is a way to create business not start a charity or give charity

If you have more thoughts please use the #1millionshirt tag to continue the discussion. Thank you for everyone’s thoughts and we hope to continue this conversation.

Call on people on the call to find ways to continue this conference and discussion.