A Good Week that was…
It started with a Tweet. “Landed safe and sound, looking forward to getting to the launch of @AGoodWeek where I am speaking on ‘good as a choice‘”, wrote @amishaghadiali (Amisha Ghadiali) as she battled through the jet lag as a result of her flight from New York to London. Amisha’s excitement was shared by everyone involved at the launch because, as tweeted by @The_DoNation (The DoNation) on the same morning, “what nicer start to the week could you ask for than a celebration of all things Good?”
The bar was set incredibly high by the launch event and the task was now to ensure that we – and I mean “we” as in everyone involved in A Good Week – kept the momentum going. And that task began even before the launch event itself had wound to a close. At 11am Spark+Mettle ran an Online Coffee Break Class, where people were invited to grab a drink, a snack and a pencil and paper then sit down in front of their computer for five minutes to learn a little something from someone who loves what they do. These coffee break classes ran every day at 11am. Monday also saw The School of Life present ‘A Good Day for Work’, an evening session exploring the different ways we can improve the quality of our work life, break old patterns and become more innovative, allowing people to use their talents and creativity to the fullest.
Tuesday was the first of FoodCycle’s A Good Meal events, where a team of volunteers cooked and served three course pop-up dinners for up to 50 guests using surplus food thrown away by local food retailers. This was one of A Good Week’s most successful events and it didn’t take long for both days to sell out! Also, the School of Life presented ‘A Good Day for Connecting’ whilst in a small pub in Islington, All Ears Storytelling hosted an evening of inspiring life stories. A Good Week’s Nina Ryöppönen described the event as ‘clear proof that there’s a lot of Good happening in the world.’
Day three and it was time to embrace the local-global theme of A Good Week! TEDx Montevideo ran a live webcast of their event and they, like us, believe that the exchange of ideas has the power to change lives and attitudes. Meanwhile, back in London, A Good Meal was enjoying another hugely successful event that prompted @hiSbe_Food to tweet the next day, “Ooh, they fed us well!! Thanks to @foodcycle for last night’s #agoodmeal for @AGoodWeek These guys rescue food!”
While all this great stuff was going on courtesy of some rather fabulously Good people, our very own Nat and Hannah were filmed talking to Richard Branson about what ‘A Good Day’ meant to him. And there was plenty of action on our Facebook page as Virgin Unite, Action for Happiness and many more put out some calls to action for people to log their Good acts on our Good-O-Meter (by this time we were beginning to realise the modest-ness of the Good British people had spread to the rest of the world as the Good-O-Meter crept up at an agonisingly slow pace).
Thursday was ‘A Good Day for the World’ on the School of Life calendar, as Roman Krznaric revealed how empathy can not only enrich your own life but also help create radical social change. And it was a particularly good Online Coffee Break Class with Spark+Mettle as the topic was ‘How to ask good questions’ with BBC3 presenter, Cherry Healey.
Thursday evening welcomed the most glamorous of all A Good Week events – Good Fashion Perspectives! Well, it looked glamorous from behind the bar which is where my girlfriend and I were for the first part of the evening, serving drinks to London’s ‘Gooderati’. But it wasn’t long before we were mixing it with the likes of Christian Smith of ASOS and TRAID’s Lyla Patel, talking about how each of us can be more responsible with our shopping habits and help make a big difference to an industry which has an impact on societies and the environment, the scale of which goes largely under-reported by mainstream media. Fun was had by all, but a serious and profound message prevailed.
As we neared the end of A Good Week we witnessed a hive of activity among some of our larger partners as Virgin Media took part in ‘A Good Day at Work’ by setting up a Friday Marketplace for Virgin Media Pioneers to sell their wares, and Good Energy backed its team to take part in a bike ride fundraiser for The DoNation.
Day five of A Good Week also saw some members of the A Good Week team take part in Give and Gain Day. Partners for the day, Business in the Community run this initiative to inspire new people to volunteer during work time. A survey of individuals who took part last year showed that, 87% had an improved perception of their employer, 87% felt more pride in their employer and 82% felt more committed to their employer! To see what Mel, Nina and Sumayya got up to, visit the A Good Week blog.
And so to the final two days of A Good Week. Days six and seven gave people the chance to email the interesting people they met, sign up to that course they’ve been thinking about doing and start to make some positive changes, big or small.
All week we were encouraging people that didn’t get the chance to attend any of the events to take a moment in their day at some point to do something Good for themselves or someone else, and share it with us through our Good-O-Meter – all Good Acts are registered on our Facebook page. People can also join us on Twitter @AGoodWeek or use the hashtag #AGoodWeek to join the discussion about what Good means to you.
A Good Week is just the start and even though the initiative ‘officially’ ended on June 26th, the plan is to make Good last all year round – we will not rest until every week is A Good Week. :)
– Dan Jones