Global Buckets Promoting Edible Gardens

outh and entrepreneurship are two great elements for social change because young people really have the drive and creativity to push the limits and help people. These two brothers are a wonderful example of young people who are looking to help people in developing countries by spreading information about gardening systems.

They started by developing an idea similar to the Earthbox but used 5 gallon buckets. They filmed an intro and various how-tos for making their Global Buckets using 2 5-gallon plastic buckets, a plastic cup, PVC pip, drill/hole drill bits, black plastic, soil and vegetable plant (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) The video are narrated by the two brothers and are very easy to follow. The benefits of their system is that it reduces water loss, reduce time needed for weeding and can easily be used in small spaces, even urban rooftops.

Furthermore, these guys are great experimenters. After some feedback from users in Jamaica that told them that 5-gallon buckets in Jamaica are too valuable to put holes in, they decided to try to make similar system out of garbage and recycling various materials. So now, they have suggested other ideas such as growing bags and using dirt, instead of potting soil. They hope to lower the cost and make these systems more applicable to developing countries. I wish these two young social entrepreneurs the best and will try some of their ideas out in my own garden.

DdTV Ep. 6 on Open Dream

This video follows John Berns, one of the co-founders of Barcamp Bangkok, on bike tour of the city.  John discusses the rise of local tech communities and the founding of Barcamp in Thailand. The event starts with no agenda and is based on the premise that everyone is both a learner and teacher.

Then they travel to Open Dream to meet Thai developers building digital tools for civil society and business. Open Dream is a social enterprise working with PM Abhisit to create Government 2.0, which provides a platform for Thai citizens to ask the Prime Minister questions. They also work to provide mobile solutions that help in health and agricultural sectors.

Video on Social Enterprise in Thailand

This video captures a dialogue of several social entrepreneurs in Thailand. The images are of Bangkok and some of the problems we face in Thailand such as pollution, poverty, etc. It is a bit inspirational to those of us in Thailand that want to make a difference in a sustainable way. The video is in Thai without any subtitles.

Global Social Venture Competition – Southeast Asia Round

Monument of Pridi Phanomyong at Thammasat Univ...
Image via Wikipedia

Every year Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand hosts the Global Social Venture Competition for the Southeast Asian region (GSVC-SEA).  This business plan competition is focused on promoting new social ventures and social entrepreneurs by providing a forum for these venures to get exposure and funding.

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) was launched in 1999 by the Hass School of Business of the University of California at Berkeley, USA. It was the oldest and largest competition of its kind, to promote entrepreneurial start-up companies which offer measurable social or environmental benefits in addition to profits. These social impacts can be in the areas of health, education, environment, etc. By 2010, GSVC has grown to include over 500 teams worldwide, partnering with many of the world’s top business schools, including the Columbia Business School, the London Business School, and the Indian School of Business.

To enter the GSVC-SEA competition, a team which includes just one graduate business student or a person who graduated from within 2 years from any school submits a five-page executive summary of a proposed venture, which is scalable and offers quantifiable social and/or environmental benefits incorporated into


its mission and practices. Executive summaries must be submitted before 11 pm (Bangkok time), 15 January 2011 to qualify. Please see more detailed rules, regulations and past winners on the website

After the submission process, all entries will undergo the first judging round. Groups of professionals, academics and students gather in Bangkok to review and debate in small groups about the various social ventures submitting. Finally, 12 teams are selected to be the regional finalists who will then come to present their business plans in a two day event in Bangkok, Thailand in March 2011. Each team will be allowed 15 minutes to pitch their plan. Following their presentation, a panel of judges will engage the team in a series of questions regarding the technical, business and social impact aspects of their proposed venture. The top two winners of the business plan competition will be sent to the Global Social Venture Competiton Global Round (GSVC Global) to compete at the University of California, Berkely, USA. In addition, the social venture with the best social impact assessment will be showcased in the Global round.

Here’s a former GSVC-SEA winner who spoke at the 2010 GSVC-SEA Symposium: Lex Reyes talks about RuralLight at GSVC 2010 from Marielle Nadal on Vimeo.

iCare Club 2010, Creative Social Business Contest

There will be nine teams of university students presenting their ideas on three different topics. This event gives teams 15 minutes to present their ideas and judges will ask questions for 10 minutes. The event is run in Thai language and is geared towards the Thai context in terms of it’s problems, participants, judges and audience.

iCare Club
Location: Hotel S31
Time: 8:00-17:00
Partner: change fusion, Ashoka, Magnolia, TCDC, BE magazine, I care

Critism of Ideas for Thailand

This article linked in the Malaysian Insider from the Bangkok Post critizes the intentions of the Ideas for Thailand campaign by the current government. The project started as a way to give Thai citizens a way to share their ideas to make Thailand a better place to live.

Over 3,000 ideas were accepted and then screened to 50 ideas. These 50 ideas will then present their ideas at Siam Discovery Center Floor 1 on September 23, 2010. The judges will choose the 20 short-listed ideas that will be broadcasted on NBT channel. The final 5 ideas will receive 100,000 in start up money as a reward for their idea.

While given a channel for Thai citizens to propose ideas that can help Thailand is great, the question is: “Will these ideas actually be implemented?” Ideas are nothing more than ideas if no action is taken. The next step would be to see if the government will support the development of implementation plans or support the people who proposed these ideas further in developing their projects.

5 Qualities of Social Enterpreneurs

Social entrepreneurs all around the world are working to provide opportunities and hope for marginalized and disadvantaged peoples. They address such issues to reporting of human rights violations to helping underprivileged children learn how to read. Whether they work in a local context or an international scale, social entrepreneurs are committed to reshaping society with their innovative solutions. These solution-minded and practical thinkers are not afraid to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems because they strive for the betterment of society.

Social Entrepreneurs are:

  • Ambitious: One can’t take on the world’s social problems without a bit of ambition. No matter what organization or cause they champion, social entrepreneurs have to possess the drive to tackle these issues. Social entrepreneurs act as leads in nonprofits organizations, social purpose ventures such as for-profit community development banks and hybrid organizations that are a mixture of nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
  • Mission driven: In a society that is largely driven by money and power, social entrepreneurs value social betterment over personal wealth betterment. While wealth creation may be a side product, it is not an end in itself or the primary purpose. Generating social value and social change is the real objective.
  • Strategic: Social entrepreneurs capitalize on opportunities that others miss. They problem solve to develop solutions to social issues and invent new approaches create social value. Business-like thinking and determination is what keeps social entrepreneurs focused on the prize – their social vision.
  • Resourceful: Working to solve social problems often requires more than a little resourcefulness. Social entrepreneurs have to deal with issues of limited capital and manpower since they operate within a social context. In order to get the things done, social entrepreneurs must be able to gather and mobilize human, financial and political resources.
  • Results oriented: In the end, social entrepreneurs are driven to bring quantifiable results and progress towards their social vision. When their ideas and solutions become reality and positive social change results, a social entrepreneur becomes truly successful and more driven to continue on their path to help the disadvantaged.

World Summit on Social Entrepreneurship in Phuket, Thailand March 2008

This spring i-genius will be holding the World Summit on Social Entrepreneurship in Phuket, Thailand from March 13-16, 2008. i-genius is a world community of social entrepreneurs and seeks to inspire a new generation of social innovators, social business and social enterprise. i-genius has members in over 70 countries who are looking to help others and make a difference. i-genius helps people promote what they are doing, their work, their ideas, their passion – and through our community, enables them to connect with others.

i-genius’ ethos is to create

  • a place to meet amazing people
  • an event where the participants create the energy to make things happen
  • an environment where strong friendships are formed and great friendships made

The event will bring together social entrepreneurs from all around the world with leaders in government, investors and NGOs. It promises to be a place to develop ideas, network and begin to stimulate social change. The conference will be held at the superb 5 star Indigo Pearl resort. The location was chosen for its eco-friendly policies and inspiring backdrop.

The summit will be focused on four main themes:

  • Opportunities for social entrepreneurs in a changing world
  • Communications and media
  • Network and partnership building
  • Funding

Anyone who would like share ideas, develop ideas with social benefit, develop a social purpose to their work, create a business with a social purpose, partner with social entrepreneurs or connect with media organizations to promote their work should consider attending this event.


March 13, 2008


  • Registration
  • Evening poolside reception

March 14, 2008

Opportunities and Partnerships

  • “Spirit of Thailand” – briefing of Thai culture
  • Opportunities for social entrepreneurs in a changing world
  • Creating networks and partnerships
  • “A Space” for participants to share/develop ideas and to form partnerships
  • Gala dinner with Thai cultural performance and i-genius award for the most inspiring of the new generation of social entrepreneurs

March 15, 2008

Communications and Investments

  • Sharp communicating – branding and sustainability, social marketing, public speaking, film, web, photography, PR & media
  • Future trends in technology – a cultural perspective
  • Building and growing a new business
  • Attracting investors – “live” pitches
  • Inspiring short film and beach party

March 16, 2008

Corporate partnerships and support for social entrepreneurs

  • Partnering with government/agencies, corporate sponsors, NGOs/foundations
  • Supporting social entrepreneur – learning and scholarship opportunities
  • Future plans and opportunities with i-genius

What: World Summit on Social Entrepreneurship

Who: i-genius

When: March 13-16, 2008

Why: to build community of social entrepreneurs and develop ideas to promote social change throughout the world

How: attend the summit and make the connections need to bring socially important ideas to fruition

Historical Social Entrepreneurs

“Social entrepreneurship are not content just to give a fish, or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.” ~ Bill Drayton

Social entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurs may be a new term referring to humanitarians and their actions. Social entrepreneurs are individuals searching for innovative solutions to society’s social dilemmas. They seek to solve the problems by finding out what is not working in the current situation, modify the system, experiment to find the solution and encourage others to implement the changes as well. They act as agents of change in society in the same way that entrepreneurs act as agents of change in the business world. Below is a short list of individuals who are examples of social entrepreneurs who have made dramatic and positive social changes in the past.

Historical Examples of Leading Social Entrepreneurs:

  • Susan B. Anthony (U.S.): Fought for Women’s Rights in the United States, including the right to control property and helped spearhead adoption of the 19th amendment.
  • Vinoba Bhave (India): Founder and leader of the Land Gift Movement, he caused the redistribution of more than 7,000,000 acres of land to aid India’s untouchables and landless.
  • Dr. Maria Montessori (Italy): Developed the Montessori approach to early childhood education.
  • Florence Nightingale (U.K.): Founder of modern nursing, she established the first school for nurses and fought to improve hospital conditions.
  • Margaret Sanger (U.S.): Founder of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she led the movement for family planning efforts around the world.
  • John Muir (U.S.): Naturalist and conservationist, he established the National Park System and helped found The Sierra Club.
  • Jean Monnet (France): Responsible for the reconstruction of the French economy following World War II, including the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The ECSC and the European Common Market were direct precursors of the European Union.

sourced from ASHOKA Innovators for the Public