24May/110

I Can’t Wait Until I Grow Up

Posted by Emily

Amnesty International discovered that children's rights were substantially lacking in Ireland and a referendum to fortify them is perpetually delayed. In response, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children created a provocative ad that aims to rouse viewers into supporting the fight for children's rights. The spot, by Ogilvy Dublin, portrays a young boy being abused while he articulates a manifesto for what all children deserve in life and the future he dreams for himself. The ad is difficult to watch but extremely powerful – some say the ad is bleak while others find it moving. Read the article from AdWeek before you watch the spot. It helps with context, background and thought process. Do you think this spot crosses the line?

3May/110

Take THAT, Fannie Mae

Posted by Emily

If a company offered to pay your mortgage in exchange for permission to paint the entire front of your house in a loud, colorful advertisement, would you do it? That’s what hundreds of people across the country are resorting to in these tough economic times. Adzookie, a mobile advertising company, offers to pay your mortgage if you allow them to use your home as a giant billboard. The company’s website warns applicants that they must be ready for the obnoxious colors and annoyed stares they will receive from neighbors but, in the end, it might be worth the embarrassment. After only one day, more than 300,000 people applied for an Adzookie ad for their house - the rules are easy: you must keep the ad up for a minimum of three months and you must actually own the home.Would you be willing to turn your home into visual pollution if it meant your mortgage would be paid?

 

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13Apr/110

Ideas at Home

Posted by Roger

I just completed Bill Bryson’s latest book: At Home: A Short History of Private Life.

I have read most of his work and enjoy his whit and humor. His attention to detail and fact finding is terrific. I recommend Baby Boomers start with The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. I laughed out loud in portions remembering doing some of the exact things he references in the book.

In At Home, he takes us through his house and describes the history of each room with great detail and in unexpected ways. He touches on those things that impact the life we live and enjoy today.

I am fascinated with the inventions, ideas and people who changed the world. He offers up many things I didn’t know or even think about. So, for the next few months, I'm going to highlight some of the most fascinating things I took away from this book. In no way will it replace reading it...you should still do that. But, I hope these little tidbits will interest you just like they did me...

Lets start with corn. That’s right, corn.

Without this staple we would have no corn dogs, popcorn balls, corn fritters, creamed corn or corn on the cob. Not to mention soft drinks, chewing gum, ice cream, peanut butter, paint, gunpowder, insecticides or bio-fuels.

The amazing thing about corn is that it was engineered by the Mesoamericans. They created the first engineered plant. Corn depends on us for survival. Had people not been continually caring for it, it would be extinct.

So when we think of big ideas, not many are more important than an ear of corn. There is no more significant plant on earth. Pretty good idea.

More to come.

9Feb/110

Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one. ~ Mary Kay Ash

5Jan/110

Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

I got an idea, an idea so smart my head would explode if I even began to know what I was talking about. ~Peter Griffin

1Dec/100

Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death. ~John F. Kennedy

17Nov/100

Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

One of my favorite Matisse paintings, The Dessert Harmony in Red

Drawing is putting a line round an idea. ~Henri Matisse

30Oct/100

Xoe’s Giraffe

Posted by Jennifer

In today's San Antonio Express-News, eight year old Xoe Cano made a plea to the residents of San Antonio to help her get a new giraffe for the San Antonio Zoo. She sent four quarters to the Zoo, and is asking the rest of us to do the same.

The background and history of many well-known causes is chock-full of individuals - many times children - taking a stand on a particular issue to draw attention to a need or raise funds.

Jason O'Neill started Pencil Bugs when he was nine as a way to make homework more interesting for himself and other kids. Once he started making money off the venture, he started donating money to different causes. He got on Twitter back before it exploded, and got a pretty nice following out of it! Now he's even got a new book out, titled Bitten By the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur. You can check out the book - and purchase it - on his site or at Amazon.

Locally, Eliza Rosenbloom has been raising money for the San Antonio Red Cross through hot chocolate sales at her school. This year, she made a $2,200 donation to the organization! Her efforts have even earned her the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award from the San Antonio Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals this year at its annual National Philanthropy Day Event.

I love the idea of getting kids involved in fundraising early in their lives. Helping them to understand there are things in this world outside themselves - and helping to develop compassion and a sense of philanthropy - is a lesson they'll carry with them throughout their lives.

Make your donation today for a new giraffe at the San Antonio Zoo and help Xoe's great idea become a reality. She's only asking for a dollar, but donate more if you can.

San Antonio Zoo
3903 N. St. Mary's St.
San Antonio, TX 78212

28Oct/102

Creativity: The Brightest Spot in the Economy

Posted by Terry

An article by Linda Naiman entitled “Reports on The Creative Economy” concludes that, according to recent reports from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the “Creative Economy” is undergoing unprecedented growth compared with traditional services and manufacturing.

The Creative Economy: How People make Money from Ideas (2001) by John Howkins defines creative industries as “the sum total of four sectors: the copyright, the patent, trademark, and design industries – together constitute the creative industries and the creative economy.”

Economist Richard Florida suggests that America’s (and Canada’s) workforce advantage lies in our ability to solve problems, forge new frontiers and quickly adjust to changing economic forces. The creative economy recognizes everyone is inherently creative and that creativity is a driving force of innovation.

Here is what got my attention about the creative global market:

  • It’s forecast to grow by 10%
  • It’s the leading sector in advanced countries
  • It’s stimulating the urban regeneration of cities
  • New ventures for developing countries leap frog into value-added areas

And from the Conference Board of Canada, July 2008:

“Not only does the arts and cultural industry make a valuable economic contribution in its own right, it also stimulates creative activity in other sectors of the economy,” said Michael Bloom, vice-president of organizational effectiveness and learning. “A dynamic culture sector plays a key role as a magnet for talent, enhances economic output, and acts as a catalyst for prosperity.”

Our future depends on our ability to cultivate imagination, creativity and innovation, to foster social and economic growth, and improve our quality of life.  Yet our current government has cut 60 million in funding for arts and culture programs by citing the need for good governance and the need for fiscal responsibility. This isn’t an either or proposition. We need both. Clearly, in this economic climate, the same it even truer for the U.S!

Just two years after these sentiments were spoken, and in current light of the economic and political issues we are all faced with today, it is good to note that America’s strength still lies in its creativity and innovation. And those traits, which have distinguished the American spirit for so many generations, may still guide us toward a brighter economy.

27Oct/100

Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a French writer and aviator. He is best remembered for his novella The Little Prince.

A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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