Saturday, 30 May 2009

Press & Media for the NLS Environmental Innovation Award.

The press wagon has been laggard getting moving on this one but over the last week, slowly and surely, the releases and announcements have been made.

Firstly, the NLS have issued a statement of congratulations and uploaded their Official Press Release announcing us as the winners of the Innovation Award for Environmental Technology.

NLS commercial director Ian Rippin issued the following comment:
“We are delighted to present this award to Red Button Design. Science innovation is at the heart of what we do at NLS and our support of this award underlines our passion for developing new ways of doing things. Congratulations to our worthy winners, Red Button Design.”

In addition there's a little voxpop below which was taken on the night (and demonstrably, by my near-laughter, fairly late on in the night, well after the bar opened!)

A full list of winners from the night can be found alongside the official press release on the Sustainability Live website.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Red Button Design win NLS Environmental Innovation Award.

Having been as pleased as I was to announce that our water sanitation device "ROSS" made it into the finals of "The 2009 NLS Innovation Awards for Environmental Technology" I am now very excited to announce that, at a black tie event on Tuesday night, we went on to win the award!

While it is true to say that we have been fortunate enough to receive ... a fair few awards in the last 2 years it is also correct that (with the exception of perhaps the 'Wall Street Journal Innovation Award' some 18 months ago) these have not often been in recognition of the scientific and technical achievements we have made.

The National Laboratory Service (NLS) Awards, however, are judged using a strict set of scientifically demanding criteria and we are thrilled that the technical progress we have made has been recognised by winning an award from such a reputable and influential organisation with such an unrivalled reputation for scientific excellence.

I will be following up this post with a collection of some of the press and media surrounding the event, very soon!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Shine 09 & Web 2.0

Well I have just about come down from the high of "Shine", the Unconference for Social Entrepreneurs, which ran Friday & Saturday last week. As I briefly blogged on the Friday, Shine represented a thoroughly enjoyable, inspiring, buzz of ideas, enthusiasm and (critically) caffeine.

According to The School for Social Entrepreneurs:
"The four partners started the event because they felt there was a need for an accessible, affordable, practical, well-networked, dynamic event that was less about long powerpoints and plenary speeches, and more about one-to-one support and moving your business on."
And I have to say I agree with both the premise and the execution of the idea.

I was particularly interested in how well this event translated itself to Twitter. You only need to browse through the Hashtag #shine09 to see how actively the event was reported by UnConference delegates and followed by those unable to attend. Increasingly I am coming to the conclusion that a good Twitter following can make or break an (un)conference and I had similar discussions at the highly Twittered Engage Invest Exploit Conference in Edinburgh last month (Hashtag #eie09).

For example, on the Saturday of Shine I hosted a scheduled, round table, discussion bearing the rather grand title "'Real & Perceived Barriers to UK Investment for Global Projects". I was asked to do so after a conversation which sprung up around my Tweet "Fed up of the misguided & labored notion that a social enterprise worth UK funding has to have beneficiaries within the UK"

It was advertised (optimistically in my nervous opinion!) as being an opportunity for 'provocative conversation' though I need not have worried. A brilliant hour or so was spent exploring common problems and barriers to investment, not only by the 15 or so people present in the room but, as some of us were Twittering, we had followers and contributors from the global Twittersphere! Most notably @cliffprior and @jameselliot chatting with me and @davedawes.

Furthermore it looks as if the roundtable discussion produced an idea that is going to translate to a longer, larger discussion on Ning and result in a sort of democratic, crowd sourced, crowd funded, international, endowment investment fund (!) inspired by the likes of Kiva, Zopa and MyFootballClub

....Oh I feel a web 2.0 / Social Entrepreneurship Blog post coming on! :)

It'll have to wait though, I'm off to the NLS Awards tonight. Wish me luck!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Social Enterprise - Powered By Coffee!

In the run up to the NLS Awards on Tuesday I am in London having a crazy-busy few days networking, chatting, collaborating, debating, generally drinking loads of coffee with young, cool, like minded social entrepreneur / innovator types :)

I can only hope that my enthusiasm comes across loud and clear as I will find it difficult to expressly articulate just how much fun I am having and how much great business is being done!

The fun started yesterday when I had the absolute pleasure of chatting to Ian Wallis head of Entrepreneur TV for over a coffee in Adam Street and continues in full force today at "Shine" the Unconference for Social Entrepreneurs.

There is far too much of interest going on just now for me to blog about it all but check out the action on Twitter! (Hashtag #shine09 !)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Shortlisted for Scientific Award by The NLS.

I am thrilled to announce that our water transport, sanitation and storage device "ROSS" (due for commercial launch Feb 2010) has made it through multiple rigorous judging stages in order to be named one of 7 finalists for "The 2009 NLS Innovation Awards for Environmental Technology".

The National Laboratory Service (NLS) Awards are judged using a strict set of scientifically demanding criteria and we are thrilled that the significant technical progress we have made in the last 9 months is being recognised by such a reputable and influential organisation with such an unrivalled reputation for scientific excellence.

The winner of the NLS Innovation Award for Environmental Technology will be announced at a black tie dinner on May 19th at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, as part of Sustainabilitylive! 2009.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Kofi Annan's Astonishing Facts

"4% of the 225 richest men's wealth could provide for entire globe: basic education, basic health care, adequate food, clean water and safe sewers. "

"Kofi Annan's Astonishing Facts"

(Courtsey of the New York Times News Service and taken from the United Nations Human Development Report)

Every year the United Nations Human Development Report looks for a new way to measure the lives of people. Putting aside faceless statistics like per capita gross domestic product, the report burrows into the facts about what children eat, who goes to school, whether there is clean water to drink, and so on. This year, the report takes its first look at what people have--from simple toilets to family cars--and what proportion of the world's goods and services are consumed, comparatively, by the rich and the poor. The pie is huge--the world's consumption bill is $24 trillion a year--but some servings are very small indeed.

The haves. The richest fifth of the world's people consumes 86% of all goods and services while the poorest fifth consumes just 1.3%. Indeed, the richest fifth consumes 45% of all meat and fish, 58% of all energy used and 84% of all paper, has 74% of all telephone lines and owns 87% of all vehicles.

Natural resources. Since 1970, the world's forests have declined from 4.4 square miles per 1,000 people to 2.8 square miles per 1,000 people. In addition, a quarter of the world's fish stocks have been depleted or are in danger of being depleted and another 44% are being fished at their biological limit.

The ultra rich. The three richest people in the world have assets that exceed the combined gross domestic product of the 48 least developed countries.

Africa. The average African household today consumes 20% less than it did 25 years ago.

The super rich. The world's 225 richest individuals, of whom 60 are Americans, have a combined wealth of over $1 trillion--equal to the annual income of the poorest 47% of the entire world's population.

Cosmetics and education. Americans spend $8 billion a year on cosmetics--$2 billion more than the estimated total needed to provide basic education for everyone in the world.

The have-nots. Of the 4.4 billion people in developing countries, nearly three-fifths lack access to safe sewers, a third have no access to clean water, a quarter do not have adequate housing, and a fifth have no access to modern health services of any kind.

Meat. Americans each consume an average of 260 pounds of meat a year. In Bangladesh, the average is six and a half pounds.

Telephone lines. Sweden and the U.S. have 681 and 626 telephone lines per 1,000 people, respectively. Afghanistan, Cambodia, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have one line per 1,000 people.

Ice cream and water. Europeans spend $11 billion a year on ice cream--$2 billion more than the estimated annual total needed to provide clean water and safe sewers for the world's population.

Land mines. More than 110 million active land mines are scattered in 68 countries, with an equal number stockpiled around the world. Every month more than 2,000 people are killed or maimed by mine explosions.

Pet food and health. Americans and Europeans spend $17 billion a year on pet food--$4 billion more than the estimated annual additional total needed to provide basic health and nutrition for everyone in the world.

$40 billion a year. It is estimated that the additional cost of achieving and maintaining universal access to basic education for all, basic health care for all, reproductive health care for all women, adequate food for all and clean water and safe sewers for all is roughly $40 billion a year--or less than 4% of the combined wealth of the 225 richest people in the world.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Maker Faire Africa 2009!

Q: What happens when you put the drivers of ingenious concepts from Mali with those from Ghana and Kenya, and add resources to the mix?

A: Maker Faire Africa.

"The aim of a Maker Faire-like event is to create a space on the continent where Afrigadget-type innovations, inventions and initiatives can be sought, identified, brought to life, supported, amplified and propagated"
- Emeka Okafor of Timbuktu Chronicles and the Director of TED Africa

We, at Red Button Design, are excitedly planning our visit to Ghana for Maker Faire Africa (#MFA09 on Twitter!)

MFA is new this year. We are very much hoping not only to support the event but to get RBD involved in promoting and harnessing African innovation as part of our ambitious new development plan to establish an alliance of manufacturing cooperatives, constructed to harness the country's extraordinary spirit of entrepreneurialism and innovation.