Tag Archives: california

Super Sunday

10 Jul

1. I saw Mark Thomas perform his current show Extreme Rambling – Walking the Wall at Glastonbury and was just blown away by him. He is an incredibly talented comedian and author, but what got me was what a brilliant actor he is. His show definitely isn’t what I’d call stand -up, it’s a one-man show where he brings different characters to life through his body and voice. I was really mesmerised and it was the first time that I had really started to understand the Israel / Palestine conflict. That might seem really blinkered of me, but I never learnt about it at school, and whenever it came into the news I just never had a real grasp of the history or context. So, I decided to change that and I have nearly finished reading Mark Thomas’s book of the same name. A really, really enjoyable way to educate yourself.

2. I’ve been on a bit of a reading kick recently. I’ve also finished this coming-of-age novel,  The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It’s incredibly 90s and incredibly good. The devastating news is that Emma Watson is going to star in the film version next year which just. isn’t. on.

3. On Monday I spoke at Mutiny Presents Work on Trial about green jobs and got some interesting questions from the mainly Marxist audience about the relationship between work, the environment and the future we want to see. A different perspective but all food for thought. It was great to be on a panel with Sian Berry from the Green Party too, who talked about the idea of the Citizens Income. I hadn’t heard of it before but it’s definitely worth checking out.

4. I am really lucky in that someone that I really admire has agreed to be my mentor and we had our first meeting this week. It was just really nice to get an objective eye on the work I’m doing, some really sound advice, and a few prods to remind me to take care of myself as well! Sometimes, you do need someone else to remind you to do that!

5. IPPR has published an update from the San Fran trip on their website here. This picture was taken at the ever-inspiring Richmond Build. Look how embarrassing I am right in the middle, blocking out poor Jim from Oxfam! Dear me. Nice shoes though, right? 😉

6. In a roundabout way this week, I stumbled across New Bohemia Signs, a hand-painted sign company based in San Francisco that seems to account for much of the reason why the city is so beautiful. It’s the little things.

7. And in conclusion – SLIDES INSTEAD OF STAIRS. I feel this is what my life is building up to. So super.

hanna  ♥



9 Jun


Today was a very good day! I found out that I’ve got funding for the East London Green Jobs Alliance for the next 6 months! WOOOOOO.

So, my job over the next 6 months will be to meet with employers, unions, local councils, community colleges, community representatives, and young, unemployed people to put everything in place to create a green jobs “pipeline”. What we’re trying to do is to create a pathway into green employment for young, unemployed people in East London in either solar installation or energy efficiency. I met with a few organisations in San Francisco who were way down that road and had had inspiring results. One of those was Richmond Build. I was listening to a recording of our meeting with them the other day and I transcribed this quote from one of the programme participants, Kevin.

Kevin is 45, an ex-offender, and had just got his FIRST EVER job as a result of completing the programme.

“I give myself credit for one thing, but I mean I give the Build credit for really showing me smart things, they might not be big things but you put them all together and as you know it’s a real good program that gets you in stride to be able to start working consistently and feeling positive because I mean you don’t really have time for no negative. You get home, you’re tired, eat, go to sleep, wake up, it’s time to go back and you know, learn something else, do something else. It’s just repetitive like that and pretty soon you just love it. I’m like into it right now you know, so I’m on my first job ever, I’m happy, I’m a little nervous but I feel like if I need some advice I can always come back, it’s a family, so I call them and say ‘I’ve got a problem here, a problem there’. I know they’ll always be there for me. It’s a good thing, a good thing”. 

If I can make something like this happen for people in East London, I will be very, very happy.



Goodbye Gear Up… Hello East London Green Jobs Alliance!

15 Mar

This is cross-posted from The Otesha UK blog.

How time flies. It is March already, and that means our Gear Up programme is wrapping up. As coordinator of the programme, I have had such a fun time meeting all the young people we have worked with, mentoring them, helping them to gain more experience and start their journey towards green and meaningful employment.

We have worked with 18 young people in total, connecting them in internships and training in ethical fashion, waste management, green woodwork, green enterprise, and bike mechanics. They have also received training in local food production, money management, cv-writing, and cycling proficiency – Ozlem (above) loved her cycling training at Bikeworks so much that she is planning on giving up her car and buying a bike! I said goodbye to Ozlem earlier this week, sending her off with a reusable coffee cup and a copy of the Otesha handbook. But this isn’t the last we’ll see of her, or any of our Gear Up participants, as they will all be added to our alumni network, and continue to hear of job and volunteer opportunities, and other exciting things, through our weekly update. You can’t get rid of us that easily! Once you’re in, you’re in.

We’d like to say a big, heartfelt thank you to the Youth of Today for supporting this project.

And now, to pastures new! Our Gear Up programme might be winding down, but we have been squirrelling away in the background making even bigger plans for the coming year. Last November, we held our first roundtable discussion for organisations interested in local green job creation in East London, and we’ve had two more since then. Some very exciting people have been a part of the conversation – TUC, Friends of the Earth, Hackney City Farm, Bikeworks, Friends of the Earth, IPPR, UK Youth Climate Coalition, Aspire, London Development Agency, Tower Hamlets council, Tower Hamlets College, Young Foundation, Capacity Global, Fairbridge – I get excited just writing it out! Together, we have established the East London Green Jobs Alliance.

We have looked to the example of projects in the States, who have successfully created pathways into green jobs for young, unemployed people. We want to take that model and see how to make it work here in the UK. It’s all still early days – our mission statement is getting final touches to it as we speak – but we will be very excited to make it public in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the alliance, and how we plan to learn from projects in the US, please look at my blog entry below and sign up for updates from my learning trip to San Francisco!

Dignidad Rebelde

9 Feb

After my lovely present from Anna on Sunday, I was researching the phrase “Las mujeres con la dignidad rebelde” and completely by chance came across this amazing organisation based in Oakland, California – Dignidad Rebelde. They are a graphic arts collective “that translates people’s stories into art that can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it.” Community organising with posters? I am so down with that. And the art is beautiful.

If only I was a graphic designer…

Kick It Over

9 Nov

This is cool. Some students over in Berkeley, California, have started a campaign against neoclassical economics called Kick It Over. For its first action, students worldwide are being encouraged to post the following manifesto (complete with very flowery language *ahem*), preferably printed on brightly coloured paper, on the doors and notice boards of their university’s economics department.

This is particularly timely for me since I’ve been studying economics this term. In last week’s seminar we were asked to comment on the interplay between economics and politics. I found it really hard to do so, since economics IS politics and I’m really glad Kick It Over is pointing this out! The last thing we need is another generation of economists who insist that the neoclassical model is truth, not theory. *Looks for brightly coloured paper*..