Globosocial Adventures: Journeys into the Social Unknown

Over the past few years I've slowly been moving more and more towards a focus on social enterprise. Along the way I've worked on grassroots projects, run initiatives, joined and chaired charity boards and provided advisory help and input to social enterprises; all with the end goal of covering enough ground to be compelling as a consultant in the social space.

However, as I began to understand the UK social sector, I began to develop a curiosity about how things work in other parts of the world. How relevant is UK best practice to other regions? What impacts do different cultures and economies have on social and charitable enterprise? What new and exciting social innovations and approaches are budding in countries outside the western sphere?

Since there's only so much you can grasp from books and blogs, I figured the fastest and most effective way to build a global picture of social endeavour would be to travel through different countries working with social or charitable enterprises, helping address the challenges these organisations face.

So I am now traveling to different countries around the world, working with and understanding social enterprise in different cultures and economies. I'm interested in understanding cultural and economic impacts on the scope and success of social enterprises. My long term goal is to see if it is possible to design better global support systems for small social enterprises, and to improve the connectivity between people working to address similar social issues.

My first leg will be Central and South America, starting in Mexico City on the 12th of October 2009. The overall time-frame is unknown, but is expected to involve about 3 months per region, with 6 regions overall as listed a little further down.

My broad areas of focus will be as follows:
  • Challenges
  • Social innovations
  • Hybrid Business innovations
  • Local (Best) Practices
  • "Health-Check" Toolkits for Social Enterprises (based on
  • Funding mechanisms
  • Governmental Policy and Support
  • Working partnerships
  • Key social entrepreneurial hubs and networks
The basic methodology is simple and for every country visited will involve
  1. Spending a few weeks with 2 or more social enterprises, providing pro-bono generic consulting skills to help them address any organisational or developmental challenge they are facing (see skills profile below)
  2. Connecting with local arms of global SE umbrella organisations (eg. Ashoka) and local Social Enterprise or Third Sector support organisations
  3. Connecting with local Social Entrepreneurs

I am currently looking for
  1. Organisations that might be interested in commissioning comparative outputs
  2. Suggestions for local organisations that might need help in terms of advisory / guidance etc. in the following regions
    • South America
    • Africa
    • India
    • South East Asia
    • China
    • Japan
  3. Potential funding avenues / support with travel and accommodation costs

If you know any organisations that could use strategic help, or you want to be part of the journey, help fund me or simply provide connections, drop me an email at

If you want to follow the journey, visit the blog at or get email updates here.



blog comments powered by Disqus

Creative Commons License

The Urban Survival Project is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.