According to Brandon Stanton of the Humans of New York, it all began as a photography project to create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants. Over the years, it started featuring stories from over twenty different countries. I think I would find very few people not touched by these stories. You can see 17 “Humans of” Facebook Pages.
Every city has stories. Every face in the crowd has a story to tell. Every face not in the crowd has a story to tell. We learn so much from each other by trying to know each other. That’s true engagement. How well do we know people in our own community? How well do we know our neighbours? How do we affect each other? How can we help each other? What’s keeping us from doing this?
Practice what you preach. Doing so is tough. Admitting this is not just humbling but also reassuring.
To obsess over perfection stalls us to take those steps we need to take to do what aligns with our values.
So, pick a challenge, take a pledge. Take your time. Learn and apply. Take inspiration if you are stuck. Take the no-straw challenge for instance. Watch Pooja Navale take the challenge and inspire others.
It’s alright, we are not perfect. Someone wise once said perfection is the enemy of good.
If you forget, remind yourself again and pick up where you left.
Find out what environmental issues we are facing today. Prioritize. Prioritizing can be difficult. I for one have my hands in many pots: reducing consumption, not wasting food, buying ethical and eco-friendly products, reducing my waste footprint, recycle, plant more, conserve water and energy, conserve and reuse paper, support local community initiatives, buy organic, share inspiring stories, etc.
I had an amazing week curating for Safecity on Twitter. Time flies when we do things that really matter to us. In the past week, I think we all agreed that Collective Social Responsibility brings us all together – Government, Corporates, NGOs, individuals, and communities. We must all take the ownership and work towards making this world a better, more compassionate place to live. Our decisions affect not only us, but also how the world around us at large takes shape and functions. In case you missed this week’s discussions, here’s a brief overview of a few key items and takeaways to note.
We discussed several things surrounding social responsibility. We shared examples, asked questions, shared views on: Socially responsible fashion; Social responsible investing (SRI); Socially responsible tourism; Leadership in the social responsibility space; and Socially responsible businesses.
Vritti founded a company that focuses on keeping Indian textile art alive in the purest form possible by supporting and encouraging local artisans and weavers to find the right value for their product which will enable their basic survival especially the women of rural India.
Susmita founded Alpaviram with two of her friends to create India’s first responsible travel platform. Alpaviram aims to create responsible travellers by keeping the conversation around responsible initiatives active, through articles, workshops, talks and walks!
Vasu is many things. She is a standup comedian, professor, triathlete, and- a somatic therapist. She has received over a dozen international awards for her work, her latest being the highest award given by the president of India to a woman – the Nari Shakti award. She specializes in preventing rape, the authentic self, and does somatic therapy for survivors and rapists alike.
Be it fashion, tourism, or financial decisions, we have the power to decide how our part in any of these things would affect the world around us. We can dare to lead and be a force for good if we wanted to.
It isn’t possible to trace how each person’s actions produce specific effects on others. There are too many mediating actions and events. But we all can do our bit, agree?
It’s a two-way street. An individual has as much effect on the society as the society has on the individual.
We dug deep into our thoughts and asked ourselves – Who is completely responsible for social injustice? Victim or perpetrator? You? Me? The society? Everyone? No one? Can we forgive a social offender? Do they deserve a second chance? What determines whether or not a social offender can be forgiven? Do offenders lack empathy for their victims? Do we lack empathy for offenders? What’s the effect of vigilantism on people’s empathy? What do we need in order to make our social system – more humane, more compassionate towards both the victims and the perpetrators? What does collective social responsibility mean to you? How can we achieve it? Here’s a recap of our discussion surrounding these questions: Safecity chat on Social Responsibility. I was delighted to be among bright minds that discussed this topic with honesty and courage. They amazed me with their clarity of thoughts and awesome communication skills – @27nainajha @pointponder @ADelhiDame @greencomedian. I learnt a lot and I hope you did too.
Safecity takes social responsibility to another level by providing a platform that helps make cities safer by encouraging equal access to public spaces for everyone especially women, through use of crowdsourced data & technology. Participate, share, encourage people to use it.
If social responsibility and women empowerment interests you, I’d like to welcome you to join me in a week long Twitter curation with Safecity @pinthecreepfrom January 28 to February 3. If you are involved in this field or know any organizations related to this field, please share and we will spread the word! Don’t forget to follow the host @pinthecreep.
Featured topics for the week:
Jan 28th: Socially responsible fashion
Jan 29th: Social responsible investing (SRI)
Jan 30th: Socially responsible tourism
Jan 31st: Leadership in the social responsibility space
Feb 1st: Socially responsible businesses
Feb 2nd: Twitter chat
Feb 3rd: Closing the week
Twitter chat – 2nd Feb – Mark your calendar!
The week will end in a Twitter chat focusing of Social Responsibility & Women Empowerment. Our guest of honor will be Vasu Primlani. Vasu Primlani is many things. She is a standup comedian, professor, triathlete, and- a somatic therapist. She has received over a dozen international awards for her work, her latest being the highest award given by the president of India to a woman – the Nari Shakti award. She specializes in preventing rape, the authentic self, and does somatic therapy for survivors and rapists alike. Follow hashtag #Safecitychat on Twitter to participate in the chat on February 2nd 9PM-10PM IST.
If you have never participated in a chat on Twitter.com before, you must know that on Twitter chats you can share ideas and also make new connections. Follow the steps below if you are newbie to not just Twitter chats:
In the past, with Safecity, I’ve engaged people on the intersection of Environment, Women’s Safety, Human Rights and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Twitter on:
Women’s role in Environmental Education
Achieving SDG11 targets for Safe and Sustainable Cities
Rethinking urban transportation systems
Omission of women in urban planning
Anti street harassment
Safety in 100 smart cities of India
Safe cycling in Indian cities
I’ve also developed educational material for Safecity on sanitation and hygiene for girls of age group 12-15 years.
Safecity(registered under Red Dot Foundation) is a platform, founded in 2012, that crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. This data which maybe anonymous, gets aggregated as hot spots on a map indicating trends at a local level. The idea is to make this data useful for individuals, local communities and local administration to identify factors that causes behavior that leads to violence and work on strategies for solutions.
Last edited: January 23 2018. Date for SRI and Tourism swapped.