So excited that I am finally doing this road trip, it’s been an idea for over a year now. Someone asked me what my story was the other day and I realised lots of you know very little about me and my motivations behind the trip. The thing I love about social entrepreneurs is that you can pitch a crazy idea to someone you have never met, share a rough concept and they run with it.
I am Sarah and my day job is as a graphic designer specialising in working for socially, environmentally and culturally positive clients. I am an advocate of the work lifestyle movement, coworking from Krowji in Cornwall, The Old School House in Bournemouth and remotely on the road in my campervan.
My night job is connecting social entrepreneurs through events where they share what they do with other local social entrepreneurs. It all began when I moved to Bournemouth in 2014 working with a social enterprise and couldn’t find ways to connect with others locally. I was quite happy to just be an attendee but no-one else was offering the experience I was looking for. I filled out an expression of interest for a small amount of funding from Unltd. I wrote it in a style I had never used before, future promising all these things that I would do. A few weeks later £500 was in my bank account and the realisation I had to put on 5 events with absolutely no experience. Luckily I picked an amazing audience and the events have always been pretty special, the £500 didn’t go very far but I learned some bartering skills along the way. I naively believed one of the easiest tasks would be finding contacts but everyone I contacted provided just 3. Following advice to ‘stalk’ social entrepreneurs online and through word of mouth the numbers grew.
Which brings me back to why a road trip?
Because there are so many regional social entrepreneurs who are doing amazing work that needs to be shared. Social enterprise activity is often London Centric and I thought it would be really cool if I could share a bit of the experience we have at the events with a wider audience. I am also interested in capturing how authentic stories can show social impact.
Why the SouthWest?
Because every year I go to Oxford for Marmalade and the Skoll World Forum, I am driving that way anyway so why not take a bit longer and do something I have wanted to do for a while.
Because I was listening to Mike Callis speak a month ago who said if we have an idea or dream we should live it, forget about needing a plan and just do it. I knew mine was the road trip and that I needed to do something now, so the next day before I talked myself out of it. I put together a map and shared a future promise – that I will be doing a road trip in a few weeks time.
The Realisation moment
So on Monday, it begins, I still have a few positions to fill later in the week and that familiar sense of panic like when I wait for people to turn up at each event – but so far people have always turned up and enjoyed themselves. I have a gut feeling everything will be ok and with each confirmation the panic eases. The vans not packed, the inverter I ordered to charge my laptop and equipment looks like it will arrive hours after I have left, I haven’t started researching model releases and the plans to showcase the trip at Marmalade are stalling. With a plan, this would all be done, but with a plan, I might never have reached the starting line…
I can’t wait to start sharing other people’s stories there are some fantastic projects I have discovered in the last few weeks 🙂