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

Syriza Win Greek Election: The Rumblings Of The Left

Binoy Kampmark: The left – and by this, the genuine, progressive, unmanagerial left – is getting noisy. The Greek elections are upon us, with the similar challenges being played out from 2012. There are fears of Grexit – a heavy breathing departure from the eurozone that will do everything to rattle the central currency mechanism that has been taking a battering...

Much of this has been triggered by the moral outrage and political response of the left grouping centred on Syriza of Greece. The movement has been said to have similarities to a new constellation of power in Spain, led by Podemos. Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras, has promised to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s 240 billion euro international bailout arrangements. Both parties point out to the distance between elector and the elected, a creeping death of democratic accountability in favour of market propriety. More>>

 

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news