As I was burrowing my way through learned texts, I came across the Jewish "8 degrees of charity". This is drawn from the Mishneh Torah of 1178.
It rates the importance of charitable actions ranging from the most selfish - charity given ostentatiously so people can see how wonderful you are to no8, what is seen as the top most important charitable action. This is:
“Helping a needy person become self supporting by a gift, loan or entering into partnership with or promoting work for him or her".
What a great thought from the 12th century backing our 21st century notions of social finance.
The G8 meeting in June is having social finance as one of the themes of the meeting. And later in July a group of social finance experts from and practitioners from across the Globe will be debating the issue.
Called the “Policy Innovation in Impact Investing 2013 Conference” it will mark the 3rd annual meeting of the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative. It comes at ...more
“The soul is the core of your being. Your body is in your soul. Your mind is in your soul. The whole universe is in your soul, and your soul is part of the universal consciousness.”
– Deepak Chopra, in an interview with Oprah
Deepak Chopra is an India-born, American author and lecturer, focusing on spirituality and mind-body health. He began his career as a doctor, before moving into alternative medicine. He focuses on meditation and spiritual practices, and the effect of one’s thoughts and emotions on one’s physical health. He is a prominent figure in the New Age movement, and the author of more than 65 books, including 19 New York Times bestsellers. He has sold more than 20 million copies. His books include The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment, and Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment. Deepak and his wife, Rita, have been married for over 30 years, and they have two children. ...more
It’s like being a student again! I turned up at the Bodleian Library in Oxford on Monday brandishing a somewhat moth eaten Library card, “well, we've not seen one of those for some time", was the amused response. “I’m afraid we have gone digital now". Well, my card was dated 1972 and not used since well back. Still, they issued me with a new plastic thing and I didn't need to take my oath again (which I did in 1972) promising not to “bring into the Library or kindle therein any fire or flame".
The Bodleian was founded in 1602 and is housed in the most magnificent buildings. I'm sitting in the Old Bodleian looking out over to the Radcliffe Camera, built by Wren and one of the Library reading rooms. I wanted to get a seat in there but it was jam packed with proper students hastily trying to cram 3 years work into a few weeks before they submit to their examiners.
Still, I had a splendid view of same from my seat- as you can see
The threat from a growing market for global organised crime. ...more
I think one key point in life is to maintain balance–balance between time for work, time for loved ones, time for oneself, time for interests outside of one’s business. It’s so important to keep that balance, or we’ll simply burn-out.
I remember once when I was young in my career, and meeting with a fairly older, single woman. She was a successful venture capitalist. I don’t know that I would consider her life successful. She traveled the world incessantly and was on every important board. But she seemed tired and joy was scarce. She told me to “Pack it all in.”
I didn’t. I kept my balance. I started a nonprofit and I did creative improv. I took care of my very young nephews and niece. I loved life and I loved the people in my life.
We need to be renewed. We need to feel honored as whole, functioning people with families, outside interests, balanced lives, as well as our commitment to achieving the goals and vision of the organizations we run. ...more
Well, we know when dealing with Government that rhetoric can outrun reality. Whether it's Blair or Cameron they are eloquent on the need for an expansion of the third sector in health . And, let's face it, given the challenges of long term conditions and the preponderance of the elderly in hospital beds we know a major expansion of charity and social enterprise provision is the bedrock of reform.
So it was interesting to read recent evidence from the Foundation Trust Network on the strains on casualty show a looming crisis in secondary care provision unless we act to move resources into primary and community care.
The Nuffield Foundation has produced a report this week on the independent's sector involvement in secondary care. See here for link to the study.
It has the following startling conclusion:
"despite policy interest in social enterprises and the voluntary sector, spending on ...more
Like the Queen, social investment wholesale finance institution Big Society Capital (BSC) has at least two birthdays. So, while I wished them many happy returns in April, the celebrations have continued well into May.
The outward facing side of things is going pretty well with the Prime Minister, David Cameron, preparing to spend some of the next year telling his G8 colleagues about what, in political terms at least, seems like the proverbial silver bullet. And given that the rest of the meetings will mostly be ...more
Early education wins. If we want our world to succeed, and our businesses, let’s invest in it. Children can follow their dreams…the world will be stronger.
That’s the larger picture. For our businesses, too, we want to invest. A recent article in The Christian Science Monitor points to increased “executive functioning,” such as continued attention and expanded memory, among children who attend preschool. The children who went to school earlier develop needed business skills more readily. We can commit to higher teacher education, educating children of different backgrounds, and providing adequate food to ensure that our programs are holistic and successful.
Here are some projects on UniversalGiving to help children learn:
A critical report from the Work and Pensions Committee says the Work Programme is not working well for people furthest from the labour market. The report finds that, while the programme is more effective for mainstream job seekers, members of vulnerable groups are being “parked”- i.e. the providers commissioned to run the payment-by-results schemes are choosing to focus on those most likely to get a job anyway, rather than devoting resources to the harder-to-help client groups. Work Programme providers are only paid once they get people into sustainable jobs lasting six months or more, and higher payments are made for more difficult clients. However, the report suggests that these differential payments are not sufficient to incentivise providers to focus their resources on those with complex needs.
According to the report, during the first 14 months of the scheme, 3.6 per cent of claimants moved off benefits into a job lasting over six months. But people in the most ...more