Now blogging over at ColaLife

ColaLife pods in place

Given that there are only 24 hours in a day, I have had to stop blogging here. I am now spending all my spare time on the ColaLife Campaign and I am now blogging over on the ColaLife blog. See you there!

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The Best of 2008

I have just learned that this blog has been listed by Business Week who want to identify 'the voice of innovation'. This is a great honour especially since most of my online activity hasn't taken place here.

So I thought I'd sum-up 2008 here to provide a link through to where the action really is!

Blog post of the year

17/2/08 – Calling Jack Thursdon
This post was a real-time experiment in social networking set-up to demonstrate how social networking works for the benefit of the sceptics. It worked better than I could have wished.

David and Goliath where David is armed with social media

From 6/5/08 – Using Coca-Cola's Distribution Muscle
This post was the start of the ColaLife campaign. This took a 20-year-old idea which had never achieved traction and applied the power of social networks to turn the head, engage and influence the behaviour of a global brand. The story got too big for this blog and now has its own blog here: colalife.org/blog.
We can distribute Coca-Cola to all corners of the World and yet 1 in 5 children die before the age of 5 in developing countries, that's 4 a minute in Africa alone, 5,500 a day. They die from very simple causes like dehydration from diarrhoea. ColaLife wants to get Oral Rehydration Salts, and other social products, out to all the places you can buy a coke by putting them in Coke crates.
The progress made to the end 0f 2008 was nicely summarised in a BBC Interview broadcast on 27/12/08.

Soapbox post of the year

21/2/08 – Why I believe in Open Innovation
The
motivation for this post came from a social event where I introduced my
father to someone with power over me. This someone responded by saying
I was mad in my belief in open innovation. Embarrassing but also
inspiring!

Coolest use of a flip video

16/12/08 Why are you here? ColaLife face-to-face
This post appeared on the ColaLife blog for the benefit of all those who couldn't make the first ColaLife face-to-face meeting in London, UK. It was posted on the same night as the event itself. I gave my son a flip video and asked him to go around and ask people why they were there. This post includes nine mini videos hosted on YouTube . . . . click all the play buttons at once to get an idea of the atmosphere!

ruralnet|online co-design

10/1/08 Planning for the next generation ruralnet|online
Using open innovation principles we set about re-designing ruralnet|uk's online community, in the open and online. On 22/1/08 a new Drupal site was launched where the co-design process took place: ruralnetonline.org.uk. The culmination of the process was summed up here: Pulling insights together.

Insight of the year #1

2/1/08 – Turning the telescope the other way around
Before Web 2.0, online portals and 'one-stop-shops' seemed like a good idea. Now they look like you've got all your eggs in one basket. Now you can (and should) have your content everywhere eg your images on Flickr, your video on YouTube and Vimeo as so on. Then your website becomes an aggregator of all your stuff not the only place people can find you. So your website becomes the end point, not the starting point, of your web presence. This means that many more people will find you through the different content channels you are using and it also means you can re-use and re-mix your content in different places for different audiences. A hat tip goes to my friend Julian of Georgia Wonder for opening my eyes to this.

Insight of the year #2

21/6/08 – Government should be the wholesaler not the retailer of information and services
This is not mine, it belongs to Stephen Dale but I reported it on the blog I kept while on secondment the British Government's Department of Communities and local Government. This post built on an earlier one which suggested that the Government's 'one stop shop' approach to online service delivery (aka Directgov) should be turned on its head – Directgov or Govdirect? Spot the difference (28/5/08).
I would like to see the BBC develop a similar strategy to reach the small percentage of people in the UK that never use BBC services.

An interesting year. Thanks to everyone who has supported me over the years and been happy for me to build on their ideas.

Posted in Coca Cola Campaign, Homepage, Innovation, Online services, Technology | 1 Comment

All change, all change

Simon Berry
This is the photo on my new Defra ID card. Ah well. I'm stuck with it now!

Defra ID card? What's all that about? Well, on Friday, 24/10/08 I gave up the post of Chief Executive of ruralnet|uk to take up a secondment at Defra. I will be working on two things: the implementation of Defra's Third Sector Strategy launched this Monday (3/11/08); and the new Greener Living Fund. The secondment is part-time until Christmas and becomes full time from the New Year. It will be a one-way arrangement. When the secondment finishes I will not return to ruralnet|uk.

This is a real bitter-sweet affair for me. On the one hand I am really looking forward to the Defra secondment which is right up my street: liaison with the Third Sector where I have lots of friends,plus the chance to change people's behaviour in ways that have a positive impact on the environment. Work that will make me feel good.

On the other hand, I did set-up ruralnet|uk and I have really enjoyed working with all the people that make up ruralnet, so moving away is a terrible wrench. However, although the funding environment is really tough, ruralnet|uk is in good shape to cope. It has a great team of people with leading edge skills and ideas and Web 2.0 based services to back this up. I have invested too much to drop my support and enthusiasm for what ruralnet|uk is and what it does.  So, I want to be available to continue to offer encouragement and ideas, but on request only and in a non-interfering sort of way!

Thanks are due a whole load of people – too numerous to mention – but let me mention one or two who have allowed me to make this move. My wife and colleague, Jane, who has not been well this year, but has continued to support me in whatever I end up doing; the Trustees of ruralnet|uk who could have made me feel very uncomfortable at my decision to move but have been incredibly supportive; Simon Bland, the founding chairman of ruralnet|uk who has taken on the role of interim CEO while the recruitment of a new CEO gets underway; my colleagues at ruralnet|uk – it's been an honour to work with you (and I've enjoyed it too!).

An official press release will go out from ruralnet|uk on Monday through xPRESS Digest.

Onwards and upwards!

PS: Have you joined the ColaLife Facebook Group yet?

Posted in Current Affairs, Homepage | 6 Comments

ColaLife Video for Google’s Project 10^100 Goes Live

Sorry, I know the Coca-Cola campaign (ColaLife) has supposed to have moved on but I just have to show you this. If you have a YouTube account, when the video ends please go to YouTube and ‘favourite it’ and give in 5 stars. And, if you have time please leave a comment too. Thanks.

Oh, and if you haven’t already joined the ColaLife Facebook Group please do so (and invite your friends). we must keep the pressure on!

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The Coca-Cola Campaign moves on

Coca Cola
Image by grzegorzkomar

The Coca-Cola Campaign has out-grown this personal blog (I am very pleased to say) and thanks to the work of a member of the Coca-Cola Facebook Group, Dave Briggs, we now have a dedicated website (colalife.org) and blog. All the past postings from this blog have been placed there and that’s where all future updates will be posted. Please join in – there are now lots of options.

Continue reading

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ColaLife Video for Google’s Project 10^100 Goes Live

Here it is, the 30 sec video to support the ColaLife submission to Goggle’s Project 10^100 (10 to the 100th). Please go and look at it on YouTube. It’s a thing of beauty! Please can I also ask you to comment on it on YouTube and rate it (highly?). It’s worth clicking the ‘watch in high quality’ link to appreciate the detail.
After watching, commenting and rating – that should only take 2 minutes – can I ask you to do one more thing? Please send a link to this page to 10 of your friends and ask them to do the same? Very many thanks.
I want to thank the following people who have dedicated a significant part of their lives over the last 3 days to pull this together: Luke Berry (artist); Sam Berry (Animator); Julian Moore (Sound); Simon Cohen and Howard Lake for creative suggestions.
There’s still time to comment on the text of the application if you can.
Onwards and upwards!

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Coca-Cola research leads to the Viagra Inn

Cola Life Campaign, water distribution, medical supply distribution, Simon Berry, Simon Berry Cola Life Campaign, Cola Life Campaign, Coca Cola medicine distribution, Coca Cola saving lives, Simon Berry ruralnet, Simon Berry Cola Life, coke.jpg
Image: Tielmann

Here’s the latest from Adrian who is carrying out research into Coca-Cola’s distribution networks in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Previous stories are here.

OK, I confess, after just a week or so in ‘Dar’, I’m looking
forward to being taken out on a visit to the ‘Viagra Inn’. Now, don’t go
jumping to conclusions. The Viagra Inn is actually a small retail outlet
serviced by one of our Coca-Cola distributors, and I’m not expecting see any
little blue pills on the shelves. And yes, of course, I asked about the name.
It’s part of my job to identify great examples of local enterprise and get a
feel for what works. I think what I’m seeing here is a very canny understanding
of the marketing ‘hook’, and yet another example of the great sense of humour
and creativity you see in Tanzania. Many of our distributors are real wits,
they’re full of ideas and find lots to laugh about, despite the apparent
difficulty of their lives. People here are consistently friendly and welcoming
where-ever we go.

So, of course, I’m keen to analyse this powerful marketing
message they’ve chosen, to raise their sales, fix their modest business in
everyone’s mind (well, it certainly worked for me!) But, no, I’m told (was that
a little coyly?):  it’s actually the
combination of the two owner’s names. I’m not sure if I’m being taken for
another ride here, but it certainly attracts attention and for me is yet
another reminder that not everything I see is exactly what it seems at first!

Posted in Coca Cola Campaign, Coca-Cola Research, Homepage | Leave a comment

The latest from Tanzania

MDC Photos

I’ve just found this fantastic set of photos by tielmann on Flickr with images of Coca-Cola’s ‘Manual Distribution’ from around the world.

Meanwhile, here’s the latest note from Adrian Bristow, who’s now working with
Coca-Cola in Tanzania, where he’s collecting local opinions and ideas.
On the way, he’s been in the USA, talking to experienced development
agencies to learn about what they’re doing. The local research in
Africa will lay the groundwork to take forward some ideas on using
Coca-Cola’s local distribution networks. Our group’s proposal to
distribute rehydration salts and related educational materials will be
part of the mix that local Coca-Cola distributors will look at.


"It’s been pretty hectic since I left Ethiopia: I have had some
interesting travels and met a lot of really helpful people. In
particular, I spent some time in New York speaking to people in the
development community, where I found an incredible passion for work in
Africa.  There are a lot of really good initiatives on the go, although
the one thing that struck me was how we could potentially be working
more closely together for an even bigger impact.

 

"On the way back out into the field I grabbed a bit of time at home in
South Africa. Then this week it’s off to Tanzania. Here I’ll complete
the initial data gathering from more local Coca-cola distributors – the
Manual Distribution Centre owners. We are really trying to get a good
understanding of their key needs as well as their views on how they
could be part of the solution as a partner of Coca-Cola to address what
they view as key community needs. 

 

"I’m looking forward to Dar-es-Salaam: a great place to visit, a hive
of activity and being on the coast adds a special relaxed feel to the
place. That’s where I’ll be when I send you the next update and
hopefully – if I can just make some time to sit down at the computer -
a bit more detail and some pictures!"

 

Further information:
    All of the Coca Cola campaign posts

Posted in Coca Cola Campaign, Coca-Cola Research, Homepage | 1 Comment

Text of the Coca-Cola Newsletters

Coca-Cola Group Growth 1

Note: There is an error in this graph – there was no 2nd Newsletter. Ignore that label.

Here is the text of the newsletters sent.

17/7/08 – 6th Newsletter

Simon Berry sent a message to the members of Let’s talk to Coca Cola about saving the World’s children.

——————–
Subject: 6th Newsletter – Coca-Cola Rehydration Campaign


Dear All

Well it’s been another exciting couple of weeks: a slot on the BBC
World Service; interest from the makers of the Life Straw; an update
from Coca-Cola’s man in Tanzania, and over 3,350 supporters and
growing! Thank you all for your continued support to the campaign.

Here is a summary of progress since the 5th Newsletter update on 6 July.

Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested in joining the Facebook Group:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18947780476

1. BBC World Service Interview
I went to Bush House last Sunday at 5:45am to be part of The World Today programme. You can listen to the interview here:
http://beamends.typepad.com/simons_blog/2008/07/bbc-world-servi.html

2. Ethiopia and Tanzania Research
The story of the frontline research into Coca-Cola’s distribution
network is slowly developing. Have you got any questions? Please
comment on the blog posts here:
http://beamends.typepad.com/simons_blog/cocacola_research/index.html

3. Are Life Straws part of the answer?
Through the Facebook Group contact has been made with
Vestergaard-Frandsen who manufacture the amazing ‘LifeStraw’ – a
personal water filter that you carry around your neck!
http://www.vestergaard-frandsen.com/

4. WaterAid Report
WaterAid released a report on 8 July to coincide with the G8 Summit
which highlighted the issues we are concerned about here. A key point
is that the most cost-effective activity that we can engage in is
awareness raising in the areas of hygiene and sanitation. This
highlights the importance of the educational aspects of what we are
trying to achieve. You can read more about it here:
http://beamends.typepad.com/simons_blog/2008/07/one-reason-why.html

5. Aims, objectives and activities of this group
A smaller sub-group has been set up using Google Groups to enable
discussions, file sharing etc. It is open to everyone to look at or
join. We’ve been discussing our aims and objectives with a view to
different people taking on different activities. You can join or view
here:
http://groups.google.com/group/colalife

Finally, please do forward this email to your friends and ask them,
please, to join the Facebook group (and invite their friends):
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18947780476

The continued growth of the group means people are taking notice and offering help: we continue to make amazing progress.

Onwards and upwards

Simon
——————–

To reply to this message, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?inbox/readmessage.php&t=1011416849584

___
Want to control which emails you receive from Facebook? Go to:
http://www.facebook.com/editaccount.php?notifications&md=bXNnO2Zyb209NjA3NzQxNjMwO3Q9MTAxMTQxNjg0OTU4NDt0bz02MDc3NDE2MzA=

==

6/7/08 – 5th Newsletter

Simon Berry sent a message to the members of Let’s talk to Coca Cola about saving the World’s children.

——————–
Subject: 5th Newsletter – Coca-Cola Rehydration Campaign

Dear All

Thank you all for your continued support to the campaign. Here is a summary of progress since the 4th Newsletter update.

1. NGO Support
Contact has been made with WaterAid and Oxfam, however neither are yet
to agree to engage with the campaign. It is going to be a challenge to
get an international NGO on board. However, through the Facebook Group
we have contact with some very senior people in both the aforementioned
organisations and these links are being followed. In the meantime NGO
research continues.

2. BBC iPM Interview
The BBC’s iPM Team contacted me for a follow-up interview. A video of the interview can be seen here: http://beamends.typepad.com/simons_blog/2008/07/a-video-of-the.html

3. Ethiopia and Tanzania Research
The research in Ethiopia and Tanzania has started and we have contact
with the frontline. A regular blog on this has been started here.
Please comment with any questions/clarifications you have:
http://beamends.typepad.com/simons_blog/cocacola_research/index.html

4. 2gether08 Festival
I gave a presentation at the 2gether08 event and this can be viewed here:
http://beamends.typepad.com/simons _blog/2008/07/workshop-presen.html

5. ColaLife Google Group
We have set up a Google Group to enable email-based discussions between members who want this. You can join the group here:
http://groups.google.com/group/colalife?hl=en

6. Facebook – Kate Andrews
Kate Andrews has volunteered to help with the management of the Facebook Group. Thanks Kate.

Finally, please do forward this email to your friends and ask them, please, to join the Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18947780476 The continued growth of the group means we continue to make amazing progress.

Onwards and upwards

Simon
——————–

To reply to this message, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?inbox/readmessage.php&t=1007589068484

___
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http://www.facebook.com/editaccount.php?notifications&md=bXNnO2Zyb209NjA3NzQxNjMwO3Q9MTAwNzU4OTA2ODQ4NDt0bz02MDc3NDE2MzA=

==

27/6/08 – 4th Newsletter

Simon Berry sent a message to the members of Let’s talk to Coca Cola about saving the World’s children.

——————–
Subject: Coca-Cola Group Update – 27/6/08

Dear Group Member

We are now nearly 2,500! Please consider forwarding this email to all your friends and ask them to join here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18947780476.
Numbers are everything! Before this group formed we made no progress at
all. The list below shows what we have achieved in just 6 weeks. Quite
remarkable.

We now have Coca-Cola’s attention. We are now trying to engage with an
international NGO. The full story of the campaign is here: http://beamends.typepad.com/simons_blog/

5,500 children under 5 die every day in Africa. This initiative could
save thousands and thousands of children’s lives through collaboration
between the private, NGO and Government sectors. And now we are talking.

Our progress to date:
    * 18/5/08 facebook group formed
    * 21/5/08 interviewed by Eddie Mair for the iPM Programme
    * 23/5/08 written statement received from Coca-Cola – ‘willing to talk’
    * 24/5/08 Featured on iPM (Radio 4)
    * 24/5/08 Eve Graham (ex lead singer – The New Seekers) sang supporting lyrics to "I’d like to teach the world to sing"
    * 1/6/08 Campaign nominated for the New Media Awards
    * 5/6/08 Telephone conference with Coca Cola’s Global Head of Stakeholder Relations and UK counterpart
    * 16/6/08 Face to face meeting with Coca-Cola in Brussels
    * 23/6/08 Contact made with WaterAid
    * 27/6/08 Contact made with Oxfam
    * Membership includes a ‘frontline’ Rehydration Project in India
    * Members of the group have posted: 7 videos; 35 links; 9 photos
    * There have been 7 discussion threads started and 85 Wall Posts

Onwards and upwards

Simon
——————–

To reply to this message, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?inbox/readmessage.php&t=1015190778110

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==

29/5/08 – 3rd Newsletter

Simon Berry sent a message to the members of Let’s talk to Coca Cola about saving the World’s children.

——————–
Subject: Coca-Cola Group Update – 27/6/08

Dear Group Member

We are now nearly 2,500! Please consider forwarding this email to all your friends and ask them to join here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18947780476.
Numbers are everything! Before this group formed we made no progress at
all. The list below shows what we have achieved in just 6 weeks. Quite
remarkable.

We now have Coca-Cola’s attention. We are now trying to engage with an
international NGO. The full story of the campaign is here: http://beamends.typepad.com/simons_blog/

5,500 children under 5 die every day in Africa. This initiative could
save thousands and thousands of children’s lives through collaboration
between the private, NGO and Government sectors. And now we are talking.

Our progress to date:
    * 18/5/08 facebook group formed
    * 21/5/08 interviewed by Eddie Mair for the iPM Programme
    * 23/5/08 written statement received from Coca-Cola – ‘willing to talk’
    * 24/5/08 Featured on iPM (Radio 4)
    * 24/5/08 Eve Graham (ex lead singer – The New Seekers) sang supporting lyrics to "I’d like to teach the world to sing"
    * 1/6/08 Campaign nominated for the New Media Awards
    * 5/6/08 Telephone conference with Coca Cola’s Global Head of Stakeholder Relations and UK counterpart
    * 16/6/08 Face to face meeting with Coca-Cola in Brussels
    * 23/6/08 Contact made with WaterAid
    * 27/6/08 Contact made with Oxfam
    * Membership includes a ‘frontline’ Rehydration Project in India
    * Members of the group have posted: 7 videos; 35 links; 9 photos
    * There have been 7 discussion threads started and 85 Wall Posts

Onwards and upwards

Simon
——————–

To reply to this message, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?inbox/readmessage.php&t=1015190778110

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==

There was no  2nd Newsletter!

==

23/5/07 – 1st Newsletter

Simon Berry sent a message to the members of Let’s talk to Coca Cola about saving the World’s children.

——————–
Subject: 1st Newsletter – Day 5

Dear All

* 345 members/1,606 invited – but we need an extra effort to move into accelerated growth.
* We have the support of experts inc a frontline org in India.
* We are the top story on the BBC’s Radio 4 iPM programme on Saturday at 5pm.
* No one has said this is a flawed idea.
Please, please  continue spreadigng the word.
Thanks
Simon
PS: We also need celebrity support – any contacts anyone?
——————–

To reply to this message, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?inbox/readmessage.php&t=19193989866

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=END=

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Ethiopia – innovation against the odds

Adrian Ristow

This message comes to us from Adrian in Addis Ababa, where he
recently spent a day meeting some of the independent local distributors
working on the Manual Distribution Centre (MDC) model that Coca-Cola has promoted. Although their main focus for analysis is Tanzania,
they were guided to gather some comparative data from Ethiopia where
the distribution model seems to be working best. Hence Adrian’s trip.

"Mubarek is an MDC owner and his team in Addis Ababa were all
previously unemployed. I met them at their distribution centre and
heard all about their successes, the issues they face and their opinion
on how we could improve their lives and the lives of the communities
they serve. It may come as some surprise that Ethiopia is where this
distribution model was conceptualised: really exciting, as it breaks
some stereotypes about where models usually get developed. Ethiopia is
one of the toughest markets to operate in, but our Ethiopian Coke
Bottler colleagues have shown that it’s possible to rise above the
challenges!

"You get to meet so many interesting people when you are out in these
countries. The harsh realities of what faces people living in areas
decimated by poverty hits you hard. However, I also get so inspired by
the resilience of the people and the lengths that they will go to to
try and better their lives and the lives of their families. I am also
really motivated by the positive intent of most employees at corporates
to play a constructive role. They often just don’t have the necessary
channel to do this and their lives are so busy that they don’t have the
time to create this themselves. That’s why projects like this are
really important.

"We know that this system is creating many new entrepreneurs and many
new jobs, but we also feel that there is a lot of untapped potential in
this means of distribution. One of the aspects which I know has created
the interest in Simon’s Facebook group is around how the distribution
system could be used for ‘greater good’. I am discovering that it’s a
bit more complicated than I initially anticipated as we are dealing
with independently-owned businesses. Local needs and conditions vary
quite a lot. However, the ‘in-principle’ commitment and level of
support  is fantastic both from the Coca-Cola bottler side and the
entrepreneurs. It will take a bit of time to find a workable model
but we are exploring far and wide, and I’ll bring you more news as
possibilities unfold."


Posted in Coca Cola Campaign, Coca-Cola Research, Homepage | Leave a comment