Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver is determined to transform the way we feed our children!  Such a powerful and needed mission, Oliver was recently awarded the TED prize for his work and gave the above presentation of his ‘One Wish to Change the World.’ What is his wish exactly:

“I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”

Moving to West Virginia to tackle the problem first-hand, Oliver has generated the perfect case study for change.  In the above video he highlights his work to date.  The accounts are eye-opening though I particularly appreciate the steps he has taken towards solving the problem that seem realistic for any school to incorporate: 2- 1hour sessions in classes, demanding better foods in schools.

Oliver also praises a few ‘angels’ that are already pioneering change.  Though he doesn’t mention them all directly, we have been impressed by a few programs:

The Edible School Yard

Tulane City Center Hollygrove Growers Pavillion and Shade Units

Food Inc. partner Hungry for Change

You can learn more about Jamie Oliver’s wish here.


Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba Story

If you are ever stuck thinking that you don’t have the tools or resources to be innovative, think again!   At the age of 14, Malawian William Kamkwamba Malawan created a functioning wind turbine after merely seeing an image of one!  Inspired by the dream of providing his family with electricity and a water pump, William’s story is incredible, inspiring, and has almost brought me to tears this evening.  Enjoy the video, and when you realize you must know more of this fascinating story, buy the book here.

TED- “ideas worth spreading”

Lately, I’ve been completely hooked on watching TED videos.  A good TED clip can give me everything I’m looking for when I have a few moments of free time… information, happiness, tears, confusion, awe, amazement, empathy, and more than anything, inspiration.


TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, the three elements which were the founding premise for this small non-profit back in 1984.  Today TED brings together people from every industry and occupation imaginable, from all over the globe.  It is a platform for individuals to give their story, in 18 minutes or less, about anything, and the topics are all incredible: Biomimicry, water purification, creativity, slowing down in life, happiness, environment, homelessness, intelligence, inventions, ideas, ideas, ideas…. endless, profound ideas.  Not every presenter is poetic, not all presentations are inspiring, but each has something unique and fresh to offer the viewer.

Two of my all time favorite speakers are Jill Bolte Taylor “stroke of insight”, and Elizabeth Gilbert “on nurturing creativity”.  Another fascinating one I just watched tonight, Johnny Lee “demos Wii Remote hacks”.  Check them out, be prepared to open your mind.



Elizabeth Gilbert speaking at TED




Sister Corita’s Rules

sister coritas rules
I just stumbled upon the fabulous Sister Corita’s art department rules.  For me, this one print sums up her inspiring life and determination to thrive daily.  Great ‘rules’ for every designer.

The Kindness Center

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see”   -Mark Twain

Michael J. Chase has made it his mission to teach and spread kindness.  His vision of creating a more peaceful and kind-hearted world manifested itself in his Kindness Center, located in the beautiful state of Maine. Through his inspirational speaking, workshops and events he has influenced the lives of many, including helping the kids at Biddeford Middle School win the title of Kindest School in Maine in 2008.

“The mission of The Kindness Center is to give you the awareness that your own happiness is actually the key to creating a more peaceful and kindhearted world.  Built on the philosophy that ‘World Peace begins with inner peace’ our programs reveal how to achieve life-long happiness…”

"My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness" -Dalai Lama

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness" -Dalai Lama

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless"  -Mother Teresa

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless" -Mother Teresa

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others"  -Gandhi

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" -Gandhi

House Party for Hope



Kids With Cameras, the non-profit inspired by the Academy award-winning documentary ‘Born into Brothels’ has BIG plans!  For the past year Kids With Cameras has been persistently raising money to support their ‘Hope House’ (Asha Niwas).  This beautiful and sustainably designed facility is every bit as life-changing and inspirational as the name implies.  The Hope House will allow Kids With Cameras to go beyond the provision of a creative, encouraging education, to provide the children of Calcutta’s Red Light with a year-round safe haven.  The entire property is designed for the success of these children: innovative, inspiring, and FUN- (check out the rendering with the huge projection of Nemo!)



With plans to break ground in late 2009/early 2010, KWC is close to their $700K goal that will allow them to begin the first of three construction phases on the Hope House. For the final push towards this goal, KWC is encouraging fans to be a part of the first ever world-wide screening of Born Into Brothels and host a ‘House Party for Hope’ on October 2nd!  All they need is your commitment to bringing people together for a fun night that can change the world.




If the party simply doesn’t fit into your fabulously busy schedule (or your abundance of friends don’t quite fit into your NYC apartment), there are several other ways to help.  You can send any size donation directly to Kids With Cameras and specify whether you want the funds to go to the overall organization or directly to the Hope House.  Another option that I went for this past Christmas is the purchase of some great postcards from their online shop.  At a very reasonable price you will get 6 of Avijit’s best pieces, printed on high-quality postcards so you can choose to share the love or frame and admire the images daily.

And the Winner is….


A couple of weeks ago we encouraged you to check out all of the Architecture for Humanity Open Architecture Challenge entries.  Today, AFH announced the winner:

The Teton Valley Community School by the Section Eight design team!!

$50,000 will be awarded to the school in Victor, Idaho, United States  and $5,000 will be awarded to Section Eight for their innovative design.

YOU CAN HELP SPREAD THE WORD!  Cameron Sinclair, the founder of AFH, sent a press release to the Huffing Post thist morning at 8 a.m.  AFH is encouraging everyone to visit the post and comment on press release in order to gain the front page status.  Let’s make it happen for all of these amazing designers that worked so tirelessly on their entries.

After commenting, be sure to check out all of the winners, finalists, and honorable mentions. There is a lot to be learned and to admire from each entry!