A do-over

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The real people behind the cause

women labourers, Bagan, Burma

One of the first challenges in communications for nonprofits is how to relay the often complex issues organizations are dealing with. But in talking about these issues, the key is figuring out how to tell stories that will engage audiences and help them relate to situations outside their usual space. (more…)

The false sense of “knowing” a country as an international traveler

When people asked what I did in Thailand, after realizing I was not a tourist, I was astonished how many times they responded with surprise that women’s rights were even an issue in the country. “Well I thought women in Thailand had it pretty good,” they would say, nodding their heads to smiling waitresses nearby or women preparing dishes at roadside food stalls. “They have jobs and look happy.”

Perhaps these beach tourists took the “Thailand- Land of Smiles” promotional signs at immigration to heart, burying their heads, along with their toes, in the sand. (more…)

Make mine a double (double)

Bustling floating market outside of Bangkok

In talking about social change, across cultures and borders, we often get stuck on rules. The “either”/ “or” rule”. The “Yes, but…” barrier. And social enterprise seems to get boxed up too. Non-profit driven or for-profit inclusive? Mission-focused or corporate creative?

Social enterprise seems to be pushed to choose sides. It gets confusing and complicated. So, I like to think of it like this: Social enterprises understand that profit and social change are not mutually exclusive; you can generate income by selling a product or service in the marketplace and create positive social, environmental or cultural impact.

(more…)

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