Sunday, 23 October 2011

What I'm bringing back from Holland

So, it’s Sunday afternoon and I’m sat at the kitchen table reviewing my notes from IFC thinking about what I've seen, learnt and what the key thing that I'm going to take away from conference is. And I'm drawn to AJ Leon’s session on Thursday, it was a brilliant and energetic session called ‘UnFundrasing – the age of raising money by letting others ask for it'.

AJ’s session was focussed on a project he was a part of, that with a limited budget created a movement for change for one small village in Kenya called Ola Nagele.

Using video, Twitter, Facebook, a simple Tumbler blog, mobile posting from the field, the recruitment of a key influencer and a smart fundraising proposition – over $72,000 was raised to transform the village and provide for the community in the areas of water, food, wellness, income and education. All for less than $250.

The story is a great story, really impressive. But for me, the real take out was the energy, commitment and positive thinking from the project team. They never ever thought they were going to fail.

AJ talked at the end of the session about his philosophy and approach to make things happen. I didn’t capture it verbatim, but in my words, not AJ’s, this is what I’ve taken away from the session...

  • The world, especially the digital world is moving far too fast for benchmarking.
  • Don’t wait to find out how something works out for others and try and copy it – do it first.
  • Do it first and expect to fail. Then try again.
  • If you believe in something, go for it, you’re probably better asking for forgiveness if it goes wrong than permission to try in the first place.
  • If you ask for permission you will probably be refused, so don't ask.
  • Writing a 10 year digital strategy is just stupid, think back to what technology we were using 10 years ago.
  • Anyone can do this, you don’t need to be a native, you just need to be willing to learn and change how you do things.
  • There is too much average stuff in the world, be bold, take a risk, follow your instinct and you might actually do something really special.

So that's how it's going to be from Monday!


  1. Paul, I was lucky enough to attend AJ's MasterClass which also featured the Ola Nagele story (among many other things). Quite amazing! This session was one of the highlights of IFC2011 for me.

    Paula Attfield

  2. Paul, I gotta say, you made my day with this post, thank you so much for the kind words. I am *so* glad that the session was helpful for you. :)

  3. Thanks for the comments guys!

    Paula - looks like we both got a lot out of it.

    AJ - it was really useful, something to refer back to.