LEARN FROM CUTTING EDGE BEST CASES
We are happy to not have learned from the best ourselves but also could convince most of them to partner up with us to share their knowledge, wisdom and practical tools with them who want to become social changemakers themselves. Having totally different approaches and inheriting the most diverse business models our best case models and we join for the bigger cause: We are committed to creating a world where all people are one. Where we live in peace with each other, mother earth and all species. Where people know to seek solutions within themselves. And where we take responsibility for ourselves and others, sharing knowledge and supporting everyone to live up to their full potential.
We are constantly reaching out for more role models, pioneers and innovative projects to become our best case partners. If you have one in mind we should definitely have partner up with the Academy for Social Change, please shout to us: hello@wearetheones.
VIVA CON AGUA
Since founded in Germany back in 2005 Viva con Agua has become a cultural movement with a continuously growing network and an increasing impact on society. More than 10.000 volunteers support the organisation at almost daily occurring cultural events, individual actions and campaigns to raise awareness for one of the biggest challenges of our century – access to clean water for all people. Today, there are Viva con Agua crews in 50 cities across Europe, operating independently but always following one collective vision and purpose. Viva con Agua is more than a fund raising tool for water projects – it is an open network that invites everybody to participate and to add their individual potential to the collective flow. It would need a book to tell everything that is going on every year in the network.
What stands out is the innovative culture and business model Viva con Agua has developed:
In 2010 Viva con Agua launched its own bottled water, which is available all over Germany and in Switzerland so far. The business model is very innovative: The association and the foundation of Viva con Agua together hold 60% of the shares, and 40% are being hold by an investor company. This means that 60% of the income of the bottled water go to drinking water projects. In 2018 Viva con Agua sold more than 30 million bottles which led to around 750.000 Euro donations for 75 drinking dwells in Ethiopia and Uganda, where now more than approximately 75.000 more people have access to clean drinking water. But there is more: The shareholders of the investor company decided to reinvest their income in new social projects developing out of the growing network. This is how the second social business of Viva con Agua, a compost toilet developing and distributing company named Goldeimer, was invested and in 2016 launched it’s own toilet paper – available online and at selected drug stores and supermarkets around Germany. Ironically Goldeimer runs its campaign under the claim ”making shit great again.”
Viva con Agua is expanding its network and impact everyday on different levels all over the world and everybody is invited to join.
Family-owned and run, Dr. Bronner’s honors the vision of its founder Dr. E.H. Bronner by making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, while dedicating its profits to help make a better world. Now the top-selling brand of organic & fair trade bodycare in the U.S., Dr. Bronner’s was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third-generation master soapmaker from a German-Jewish soapmaking family. He used the labels on his superb ecological soaps to spread his message that we must realize our transcendent unity across religious & ethnic divides or perish: “We are All-One or None!”
Today, Dr. Bronner’s continues its commitment to building an engine for promoting and advancing positive social change – from pioneering USDA certified organic personal care products, to creating fair trade projects across the world that ensure fair and just treatment of farmers and workers, to sustaining a socially responsible workplace at its manufacturing plant in San Diego County. All-One!
The Bronner’s call their business approach “Constructive Capitalism” and practice it in every aspect of their business—from the products they make, throughout their supply chains, to their relationships with employees, customers and suppliers, to their dedicated activism and charitable giving. At least one third of the company profits go to philanthropy every year: In 2017 the social benefit contribution was 36% of the profits and a total sum of more than 8 Million Dollar. Not only do they treat every employee like their own family, they offer every employee a fully paid health plan, the company contributions to an employee’s retirement fund at 15 percent of the employee’s salary, and a 25 percent annual bonus for all full-time employees. And talking about their products and its ressources: When they couldn’t find any organic and fair trade sources for the ingredients of the soap, Dr. Bronner’s started their own farms in Ghana, Sri Lanka and Israel.
Although it is listed as a For Profit company, one can truly say that Dr. Bronner’s is as All Profit as a company can be. All-One or Nothing!
In the summer of 2015 on the premises of the Hamburg trade fair, where 1200 refugees found temporary accommodation, Germany´s largest clothing bank developed from a spontaneous, grass root movement. Initially just a couple of neighbors bringing spare clothes and helping to sort and distribute them, „Kleiderkammer Messehallen“ quickly became a phenomenon. The charitable Hanseatic Help e.V. was founded in October 2015.
Voluntary engagement was and still is the foundation of Hanseatic Help up to today. People from all walks of life work together and share their time and their skills. From several hundred supporters every week in the beginning in 2015 to now around 100 volunteers and 2-3 corporate volunteer groups come every week to help out at the base at the Hamburg harbour every week. All aid goods for refugees, homeless people, women´s shelters, children´s homes or hospices are donated or purchased with the help of monetary donations.
These amounts of items and also volunteers need very good logistics and volunteering management. Even more: Hanseatic Help e.V. developed their own IT-based storage system, which helps to process donations, storage and deliveries. Up to 50.000 donated items per week, and up to 10 deliveries per day. As of the end of 2017, the Non Profit Organization rolled out more than 6 Mio items and could support more than 80.000 people in need. About 150 organizations in the larger Hamburg area receive deliveries from Hanseatic Help. More than 150 truckloads of donations reached people in need elsewhere: What is not currently needed in and around Hamburg is used to help in other parts of Germany as well as in global crisis regions, such as Northern Iraq, Syria, Haiti, or Greece.
The story behind: Whilst spending a lot of time in Marrakesh, founder Andrea Bury fell in love with not only the people but also the traditional handcrafted purses. She started collecting old bags and brought them back to Berlin where her friends quickly got curious and bought her purses from her. Out of this – some might call it coincidence – she had an idea: Could it be possible that she could link the willingness to buy these purses with the ability to bring people into work and through this enable them to care for a better future for their children? Her vision was created: Making it fashionable to care.
Today ABURY is a fair-trade lifestyle brand and platform bringing together modern design and traditional crafts to create and sell high-end handmade products with a story and social impact. With the proceeds of selling products the ABURY foundation is able to provide education in the same amount of time the production takes to create the products. Not only is ABURY giving work to the community the traditional crafts are coming from but also eduction for their children. They have succeeded to make it fashionable to care and are an inspiration for many designers, labels and the fashion industry all over the world.