This week I went along to The Change Game in London. Such a title suggests we would emerge from the event in some new form – like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. In reality the event was a response to a recent article published in the Financial Times that Social Enterprise was ‘fluffy’. As those of you who support Shared Interest know, our work, and that of those we support, could not be described as fluffy. There are REAL changes being made to REAL people.
The event offered fifteen new social enterprises the opportunity to talk, for two minutes – strictly overseen by the ‘Time Lord’ armed with a set of traffic lights, about their work. Again, our customers Zaytoun were present and Atif engaged the audience with his eloquent speech about the work of the Palestinian farmers who are the REAL people behind the bottles of fairtrade organic olive oil and other olive products they sell. His words went down so well he was among the four speakers invited back to talk for longer, four minutes, about their work.
Far from having stories of ‘fluff’, Atif told us of the real change in the lives of the farmers and their families as a result of their work. He was keen to point out that although we are currently hearing a lot about the situation in Palestine the reality is there have been ongoing issues for a considerable time. He finishes by making the comment that the olive oil is of exceptional quality, a point well made as they surely sold out the stocks they had taken along to the event.
The Change Game shows that social enterprise does effect change, REAL change. The stories from those Shared Interest has worked with illustrate this so well and further encourage me towards telling more and more people these stories and of how they can become part of the force behind real change for real people.
Click here to learn how you can invest in fair trade.
Click here to donate to the Shared Interest Foundation