I’m not a tree hugger, well I am, but not in the ‘protest and chain myself to a bark for the day’ type of tree hugger. However I do believe in karma of sorts. Allow me to take recruitment down the spiritual path for a sentence or two.

So we are all connected, from the small ant to the great white. Indeed someone told me once that if it weren’t for ants, the human race would not exist (something about the biological ecosystem community, I have no idea, and haven’t got round to wikapedia to see how this assertion works)

Anyhow, knowing that our ecosystem is made of food chains and food webs, lets call them ‘connections’ (familiar word), it is quite easy to export the idea and apply it to the social media explosion. Links, networks and communities. Indeed I’m not offering any new parodies when I say the world has become a smaller place.

Lets take a magnifying glass and hold this up against @billboorman and the fascinating Tru Unconference series he has helped to kick-start.

Without a shadow of doubt, Bill’s ability to set up the infrastructure for Tru, has rested on the power of the links, networks and communities of social media. Like an everlasting Duracell battery, the power of his connections within the digital circus, has literally powered his ability to create the events.

What’s more astonishing, is that during a recent call with Bill, he revealed that following the debut #Trulondon event in Nov 2009, not only is a second follow up event in London happening in Feb 2010 (a mere 3 months later may I point out), but that there are 12 more global Tru events being planned in 2010 alone! That is pretty astonishing stuff. The sheer power of social media (mixed with an oversized spoonful of @billboorman’s energy and superhuman power to survive on 3 hours sleep) means that individuals from across the globe are able to have a coffee and a chat face to face, once a month. Incredible!

So where am I going with this? OK, so back to my ‘I’m not a tree hugger, but I believe in Karma’ notion. So yes, I really do believe in karma. What goes around, comes around, positive breeds positive, rubbish in rubbish out…all that malarkey, I’m a believer.

Allow me to step off track for the period of a few paragraphs only. There is one other initiative which has also benefited from Social Media, and that is called Buy 1 Give 1 (B1G1). B1G1 is the brainchild of possibly 2 of the most incredible people; I have had the pleasure of meeting called Masami Sato and Paul Dunn. The idea of B1G1 is to connect businesses, consumers, customers and suppliers i.e.: everyone connected in a particular business’s network, to the simple idea of sharing.

We already like sharing. We share information, knowledge, our body, jokes, tweets, photos, time, our bed, food (sometimes). Usually when we share or give something away, somewhere down the road we get something back in a tangible or intangible form. Let me give you an example, by sharing my tweets and time on twitter, I have been able to connect with hundreds of other friends, and received a wealth of knowledge, relationships and business opportunities in the process. That is giving and receiving at its truest form on Twitter.

Now back to B1G1. They have managed to connect businesses around the world to over 600 worthy causes globally. By enabling businesses to create powerful ‘sharing stories’ based around transaction based giving. That’s a bit of a mouthful; so let me explain using an example:

1-Imagine going into Starbucks and ordering your usual coffee
2- Now imagine that by buying your usual coffee, a child in Africa receives clean drinking water for the day. You as a consumer have spent no extra money to enable this to happen
3- So whilst you enjoy your usual coffee, someone in Africa enjoys clean water
4- So it is a combination of Starbucks, you the consumer, and all the other people involved with bringing that coffee to you, that enables this shared giving story to take place.
4- That is what B1G1 is all about

Now when I discovered B1G1, I immediately looked at ways to get involved with Redmos (Social Learning project) and 3C Synergy (Recruitment Consultancy). Here’s the stories we created:

3C Synergy- For every placement made, trees are planted in Borneo National Park (we work in Construction, so wanted to support an environmental cause). That means our clients and candidates are directly involved with creating our sharing story. It’s a team effort between the 3C’s , Consultants, Candidates and Clients, and together we impact a fourth ‘C’, namely the Community.

Redmos- For every DVD box set sold, a child in Africa receives free education for 1 whole year. For every workbook sold, a child in Africa receives free uniform, books and shoes for 2 months. For every e-assessment module sold, 20 children in India receive computer training.

All of this happens automatically, as soon as a transaction takes place. Meaning the company and customer are impacting the community in a way never known before, simply through their buying decisions and transaction based giving. The beauty of the model is that it is sympathetic to a company’s sales. When there are low sales, the giving is reduced, when there are high sales, the sharing increases. It’s all relative.

Now back to the Tru Unconferences. I ran the idea of B1G1 past @billboorman to see if we could use the Unconference format to push the boundaries even further and make further impacts around the world, and not just within recruitment. So we came up with an incredible sharing story for the Tru events, starting with #trulondon.

Imagine if, for every attendee at a Tru event, a child in Africa has their school fees paid for the day? Whilst we further our own development and knowledge at Tru, a kid in Africa gets a chance to further their own education too.

As an attendee, you don’t have to do anything. A teeny weeny proportion of your ticket prices ($0.38 cents to be exact) will go towards creating the powerful sharing story, and powering the impact of it. What’s even better is that B1G1 ensure 100% gets to the source too. So who knows, in years to come, the Tru events may impact kids in the 3rd world, who one day shall discover what a tweet is. A saying from the late Dame Anita Roddick springs to mind ‘If you think you are too small to make an impact, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room’!

So lets tie all this blurb together. In tru (excuse the pun) forward thinking style, Bill Boorman’s decision to link Tru events with Buy 1 Give 1, means that the ‘Tru Events’ are making impacts further than any of us could have imagined, in Africa.

Now as you already know, this whole world is an ecosystem of connections, and you are part of many of the networks created within the digital ecosystem. If you are attending #trulondon, you will automatically become part of the sharing story.

Now I’m not a tree hugger, but I appreciate the global community I live in, and the people within it (whether I know them or not). For me, businesses are in a great position to lead by example and ensure all of their own ‘business networks’ stand to benefit, and that includes the community they work within, i.e.: the world.

Please raise your glasses to the following:

-Here’s to #Trulondon for leading by example and being twinned with Africa.

-Here’s to you, if you are attending (if you are not, then perhaps you can apply the B1G1 initiative in your own line of work)

-Here’s to Bill Boorman for creating Tru and bringing us all together, whilst supporting a worthy cause

-Here’s to social media, which puts this blog in front of you now, whilst enabling that kid to be educated for free, for a day.

See you at #trulondon

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