Briefing No. 15
WHAT WE’RE READING
On the Greenwood Place bedside table
Caroline Criado Perez's extraordinary expose of gender bias highlights - over and over - the ways that women are "forgotten" on a daily basis. Cars are designed around the body of "Reference Man", so although men are more likely to crash, women involved in collisions are nearly 50% more likely to be seriously hurt. Women in Britain are 50% more likely to be misdiagnosed following a hear attack: heart failure trials generally use male participants. Read it.
PLASTIC: IT'S COMPLICATED
Our community member Evi, whose philanthropy focuses on marine pollution, sent us this article. Plastic has a huge carbon footprint, but alternatives are also problematic. It's not a simple fix.
LISTENING TO, AND TELLING, STORIES
Psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz thinks that novelist Karen Blixen had a point when she wrote: "All sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story about them." Over the course of his 25-year career he encouraged his patients to do just that. Read more here.
Melinda Gates’s recently released book, “The Moment of Lift” is a paean to the power of listening to stories. Something powerful happens, she says, when you ask a woman to tell her story. And sometimes, the most powerful statement of support we can offer is the one we make by listening.
Much of our work at Greenwood Place is about listening, trying to uncover the stories that show us what can work. These two books remind us how very difficult it is for us to understand our own stories let alone those of others.
BUSINESS GETTING BETTER
180 of the US’s biggest corporations have recently pledged to focus on increasing ‘stakeholder’ value, including employees, communities and the public good. And thousands of companies are already signed up to this agenda through the B Corporation movement. They include Patagonia, Danone and Lombard Odier.
NORWAY IS PAYING GABON TO PROTECT ITS FORESTS
As part of the Central African Forest Initiative, a 10-year deal announced in September, Norway will pay $150 million to Gabon to battle deforestation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We loved Knife Skills, which documents the journey to build a world class French restaurant in the US staffed almost entirely by men and women just out of prison. It reminded us of the success of the UK’s Clink restaurants - a charity running restaurants staffed by inmates that operate in four UK prisons. Clink graduates have a reoffending rate of 11% (37% of adults released from custody have reoffended within a year).
ROTTERDAM'S ZERO WASTE PLANNING
Rotterdam has mapped out a bold vision to become a fully circular economy by 2050, a move that could create 7,000 jobs within a decade. The city wants to become a ‘living laboratory’ in which to test new ideas for a waste-free future.
GOOD THINGS HAPPENING FOR OUR PARTNERS
Stephen Hale, of Refugee Action, was awarded UK Charity CEO of the Year; Safeena Husain of Educate Girls’ TED Talk went live (watch it here) and CAMFED’s alumnae programme, CAMA won a UN Global Climate Action award.
AND FINALLY... THE DANGER OF A SINGLE STORY
More on the story theme. Our lives, our cultures are composed of overlapping stories. Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country we risk a critical misunderstanding. Watch her TED Talk here.
EVENTS AT GREENWOOD PLACE
Professor Muhammad Yunus is coming to Greenwood Place to discuss what it takes to achieve real change; Jacqueline Novogratz will be joining us in a few weeks time to talk through her vision for a new generation of global leadership; and our January Community Trip to India is getting closer.