Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Social Entrepreneur Ignites International Interest in SVA

Social Entrepreneur Ignites International Interest in Student Volunteer Army

At the 25th Emergency Preparedness Conference in Vancouver this month, Louis Brown, Dunedin social entrepreneur and a key leader of the Christchurch Student Volunteer Army (SVA), gave, what’s been heralded in Canada as, ‘an inspiring presentation’ on his vision to establish volunteer armies as permanent features in tertiary institutions at home and abroad.

Louis Brown has developed a scalable model based on the Christchurch SVA that helped an estimated 50,000 Christchurch residents in the wake of the Feb 2011 earthquake. The model addresses existing problems in disaster planning and offers opportunities, aside from disaster response, for tertiary institutions to engage positively with their communities.

Louis has been overwhelmed by the interest he’s received from both his presentation and subsequent talks at five universities on the West Coast of Canada and the USA. Four universities are already talking about possible partnerships with Louis’ organisation and are keen to bring Louis back to Canada in the New Year. Louis also met with Red Cross Canada who is also interested in his model.

Louis, who ran a successful pilot project with Otago Polytechnic earlier in the year, says, “My aim has always been to first set up partnerships with tertiary institutions in New Zealand; I can’t believe the model has already started to take off 12,000ks from home!”

Louis’ documentation of using social media, to mobilise very quickly an unorganized group of people to deliver effective response and recovery operations was identified as a way of the future. John Oakley, a Senior Regional Manager for Emergency Management in British Columbia says, “The model presented by Louis may well become a major "game changer" in organizing the public at large. I can’t think of any reason why this couldn’t or shouldn’t be extended to secondary and post-secondary institutions. It’s an amazing win-win for everyone!”

The benefits of using the model to develop an ongoing volunteer culture in a tertiary setting were summed up by Darrell Akerstrom from Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, Canada’s number one University. “The vision and model is highly defined, clearly marketable in positive value, and its governance structure is sustainable. Looking beyond that, it not only adds to the worth of the community that is assisted, but it integrates the students more thoroughly into their larger community, and produces in them both the perception of public service and the realisation of their common ownership of the community within which they live.”

At the University of Victoria in Canada, Student Services Director Joel Lynn said that students were keenly interested in Louis’ grass roots approach, using tools they relate to (social media), to achieve something that impacted the community on many levels. “If anything, Louis left our students with the possibility that they do have the power and ability to create change and make a substantive contribution back to community.”

Buoyed by the resoundingly positive response his vision has had internationally, Louis is planning a New Zealand road show next year to garner interest from around the country.

“I believe that New Zealand tertiary institutions should be the first to embrace the volunteer army model and recognise that they have the potential to lead the world in creating a sustainable volunteer culture to realise common aspirations for a better world.”


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future?

Certainly, at the end of this week, the next US President will have won office (at least in part) thanks to his proven ability at (a) scapegoating refugees and migrants (b) wooing neo-Nazis and racial supremacists (c) attacking journalists and judges (d) threatening to jail his opponents (e) urging nuclear proliferation and (e) by promising to restrict women’s rights to control their own fertility.

On the face of that campaign record, there wouldn’t seem to be much in common between Donald Trump and say, Spain’s centre-left populist party, Podemos. Yet arguably, the similarities could be instructive for the Labour/Green partnership here. More>>

 
 

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Liquor Sponsorship: Researchers Call For Ban On Alcohol Sponsorship Of Sport

“Due to alcohol sponsorship of sport, New Zealanders, including children, were exposed to up to 200 ads per hour they watched televised sport, and people watching football and tennis saw alcohol ads for almost half of each game,” says Associate Professor Signal. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Albert: Ardern For Labour, Genter For Greens

At the close of nominations, Jacinda Ardern was the sole nomination received for the position of Labour’s candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, says Labour General Secretary, Andrew Kirton. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news