Over the past year there’s been a lot of hype around Medium, the new publishing platform set up by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone. Like most people, I too was a bit dubious at the start. Just what the world needs – another blogging platform. But then I started reading stories on it. I started speaking about stories I read on it like I knew the writer and like their stories were my stories. I became a Medium addict. Totally hooked.
This month Do The Green Thing in collaboration with WWF UK and Pentagram have launched 29 Posters for a Planet, a collection of inspiring posters made by world class creatives in support of Earth Hour. Earth Hour is the world’s largest mass participation event, where people switch their lights off between 8:30-9:30pm on March 29th to show their commitment to the planet.
This year’s contributor list is impressive. Supporters include Roald Dahl childrens’ book illustrator Sir Quentin Blake, Obama’s 2012 Design Director Josh Higgins, fashion designer Paul Smith, Google Labs Creative Director Tom Uglow and many more.
The Banff Mountain Film Festival world tour is currently making its rounds in the UK. Each year the World Tour curates the best mountain films to show – films that inspire and amaze in equal measure. My favourite by far was North of the Sun, a film about two friends who spend nine months surfing near the arctic circle, living off the land, free from technology, enjoying their own little piece of paradise.
1. This beautiful piece of writing by Charles Warnke on why you should date a girl who can’t read.
2. Jenny Simmon’s website ‘Team Manon’, featuring stunning football photography.
3. Ada’s List, a growing online community of inspiring women in tech.
4. These lovely accessories made by women in Mozambique from scrap metal.
5. The book What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self. 40 kick ass women offering timeless, tangible wisdom.
This rather beautiful video tells a story of craft and entrepreneurship in Hackney.
Football and type are two very wonderful things. This limited edition book designed by Rick Banks looks at football and fonts and the ways they have connected over time, from the numbers and fonts used on the back to shirts to the meanings people prescribe to typography used in the game. And, to make it an even cooler project, it comes with a choice of five different colours, each numbered like a premier league shirt and all proceeds go directly to the Football Foundation – a brilliant organisation that supports grassroots football in the UK. I’m so stoked for mine to arrive.
John Grant is one of my heroes. He is a brilliant brand strategist, ideas generator and in the words of my boss Naresh, he’s a “one man think tank”. He is truly inspiring.
When I did my masters, John’s book The New Marketing Manifesto was on my required reading list at London School of Economics. Through various work projects at SI Camp I got the chance to meet John and work with him. And for the past six years our paths have always crossed. The past year in particular I’ve had the privilege of working with him at Pentagram where he helps out with various clients.
British philosopher and Alan Watts kind of has a point. What if money were no object? What would you do?
We made this video at Pentagram to showcase some of the work that the partners do. This one features William Russell, an architect who is a very inspiring, very talented man. My eyes well up every time I watch this.
Recently I came across the most heartbreaking and moving blog post I’ve ever seen. A man called Derek Miller, wrote and published his last blog post, ever.
I suppose one should expect more online legacies and tributes in the increasingly connected digital space but this was the first post-mordem post I’ve ever come across.
Derek was suffering from prostate cancer for a few years now. I’d never come across his blog before he died, despite him being from Vancouver, where I used to live. When I read his last post I was moved beyond words. In addition to sending wishes of love and hope to his family, friends and supporters, he shared this truth:
“I’ve also been lucky. I’ve never had to wonder where my next meal will come from. I’ve never feared that a foreign army will come in the night with machetes or machine guns to kill or injure my family. I’ve never had to run for my life (something I could never do now anyway). Sadly, these are things some people have to do every day right now.
And he couldn’t be more right.
After thinking about all of the places I’ve lived and where I call home (Canada) I started looking online to see if there was a way for me to qualify or quantity the quality of life I’ve experienced living in Canada and the UK.
Low and behold, I found an excellent website: If It Were My Home. IIWMH is a comparison tool between countries based on an index of various factors. So I can find out things like if Colombia were my home instead of Canada, I’d die 6.8 years sooner. Or if I lived in Haiti instead of the UK, the chances of me having HIV/AIDS is 90.91%.
The service can also tell you the impact that disasters have on areas such as the BP oil spill and the damage experienced by populations in and around the Gulf of Mexico.
Many of us are so lucky to have the lives, freedom, mobility and education that we have. Yet every day we get so stressed about pretty unimportant stuff in the grand scheme of things.
Derek Miller will have many legacies, least not, being the stranger who reminded me of just how lucky I am compared to most people in this world.