Thursday, May 15, 2008

The takes us to whole new worlds

Many organizations especially Registered Non Profits have a centralized structure of management and control, I think this is primarily due to the fact they have stringent reporting procedures related to tax receipting and accountability back to government. These model tends to keep process and control central and creativity on the edge or out all together. Bicycles for Humanity, is not an NGO, Non Government Organization, it works closely with NGO's for tax receipting , but it is a movement , a collective group scattered across the globe who simply believe that a bicycle can make a difference. There is really no infrastructure or management in the middle, only a website and a group of caring volunteers, the odd email from me and a lot of minds thinking about where this is going. As such, we are light, free and there is a totally creative flow from all in the movement and not from just the top. As a movement the incredible people who step forward and join the B4H family are free to take it in whatever direction they feel makes sense to tell the story, build their teams and raise the funds needed. B4H gives all a portal to share knowledge, tell that story and help partner communities here with communities in Africa. It might sound simply, it might look like we are disorganized, but the effect on Humanity and the value created for helping others, all I can say is wow, wow, wow, the creative energy and incredible talent that is unleashed for the betterment of all is simply mind blowing.

Last week, I received an email from Matt in Australia who is establishing a B4H chapter there. To tell the story, he had his 5 year old daughter draw images of what she thought we did and he then animated it so that it could be uploaded to YouTube and other video sites, to be able to be passed around or move virally as they say in the Web 2.0 world. In all my years in business and in being a part of B4H, I have never seen anything that more clearly tells the story of what we do and why we do it. It blew me away as it has many who have seen it. It's a bit large to sent to a large group, but it is available on our website, top right under Updates, Animation by a 5 year old.

Sometimes the task of telling the story seems hard, we a all wonder if anyone gets what we do, or why we do it or if any one cares at all. Then a 5 year old tells the story through her eyes and wow, wow, wow. If we were a centralized NGO in Canada this story would never have been told, but as a movement the energy flow to Australia touched Matt and his daughter, giving us the best visual yet of what we collectively all are doing in the B4H family globally.

Hope you enjoy the animation,

Humanity Rocks



McKay said...

I am happy you're so excited by your work and movement - there is nothing better than that - but I think your distinction between and NGO and a movement is a bit exaggerated.

An NGO, without or without a hierarchal structure, can be open to collaboration and encouraging of people joining and inputting as members, chapters, branches or webs. Pick a model or metaphor. None define or exclude an NGO and NGOs can operate in many ways. This isn't a knock on your movement or the coolness of your growth to other regions, just on your belief that an NGO couldn't excite or allow such growth to places like Australia too. It is also rather unfair to claim NGOs push out creativity or only dominate from one top person. Come on! There are thousands of extremely creative people and groups working together within the bounds of NGOs and you do yourself a disservice separating your model from theirs.

It is all a big spectrum and all a web of movements in a variety of methods, formal and informal.

Anonymous said...

It is great to find u so thanks for this website. This has been on my mind since I have been recovering bikes from a local city dump where they allow scavanging in the metal recycle area. Large cities don't allow this. But I am wondering about working with our city for a collection container.
I was in Mozambique a year ago and witnessed the huge need. My friend has an orphanage there. However one question is how this affects the local economy and local bike dealers. Does this put local people out of bussiness?
The other question related to your distinction between NGO and grassroots; isn't a certain amount of control beneficial to prevent abuse should that become an issue? Abuse on the recieving end such as corruption from government officials?