Thursday, January 21, 2010

Monumental project

With the wedding coming up in (fingers crossed) October, and being smack dab in the middle of a class in ethics and ethical leadership, I've given myself a project:

Make our wedding as ethically responsible as possible.

What does this include? Using locally-produced products to enrich and sustain the community. Being as green as possible to limit our effect on the planet. Donating percentages of our registries to charity. Trying to find as many ways to have the money we spend on the wedding go towards helping others.

I've gotten a ton of really helpful ideas from folks, and am always looking for more. I'll update my blog with the various ideas I'm working with and let you know the progress.

If you're reading this you have any ideas?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Life You Can Save

I'm reading this book as part of my Ethical Leadership class in my graduate program.
It's is inspiring, motivating, and chilling.

From the author's website:

The Idea
If we could easily save the life of a child, we would. For example, if we saw a child in danger of drowning in a shallow pond, and all we had to do to save the child was wade into the pond, and pull him out, we would do so. The fact that we would get wet, or ruin a good pair of shoes, doesn’t really count when it comes to saving a child’s life.

UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, estimates that about 27,000 children die every day from preventable, poverty-related causes. Yet at the same time almost a billion people live very comfortable lives, with money to spare for many things that are not at all necessary.  (You are not sure if you are in that category? When did you last spend money on something to drink, when drinkable water was available for nothing? If the answer is “within the past week” then you are spending money on luxuries while children die from malnutrition or diseases that we know how to prevent or cure.)

The Life You Can Save – both the book and this website – seek to change this. If everyone who can afford to contribute to reducing extreme poverty were to give a modest proportion of their income to effective organizations fighting extreme poverty, the problem could be solved. It wouldn’t take a huge sacrifice.

But first we need to change the culture of giving.

Research has shown that people are more likely to give if they know that others are giving.  So we need to be upfront about our giving.  The Life You Can Save - the book – asks readers to come to this website to pledge that they will meet a standard set out in the last chapter – the standard you can find on the pledge page on this website. Will you take the pledge, and thereby encourage others to do the same?

For more details, and sources for the claims made here, please see The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty.