The trains from Clapham were not running properly this morning, Christmas Eve 2013, due to storm damage on the tracks. However there was a train to West Brompton from Clapham, so today’s adventure began late and with a large diversion.
At Clapham my cell phone rang, blow me over it was the Ethiopian Embassy ! My friend Demeke wanted to swap ideas about our activity in Ethiopia, it was kind of him to call.
Colin and Rupert are on an adventure to meet people with influence and deliver a small Christmas present and cards, as a method of raising awareness and cash about MapGap.org which is a programme to create maps that will promote “smart aid” about sustainable jobs in the United Kingdom and Ethiopia. In the UK we have 960,000 unemployed youth. We need to find £38,880 to get this MapGap programme rolling to make a system that can nail the levels of current vocational training solutions, in relation to what could be done.
At West Brompton we took the tube to Blackfriars where Colin marvelled at how empty the place was and Rupert took the photo to illustrate.
We walked on down to see KPMG and on the way took a photo of St.George & The Dragon sculpture, the Patron Saint of England and Ethiopia.
Then something funny happened, a Bhuddist Monk appeared as if out of nowhere, and we all nodded and bowed, laughed a bit and then Colin purchased a small golden ticket from him with some nice words on it. He told us he was from Hong Kong – a city Rupert once visited, with passionate results.
It felt fun and surreal to meet this person.
At KPMG Colin asked for Michael Collins (who incidentally was the Leader of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin) but Mark on the desk assured us his name was “Simon Collins”.
Mark and his helper Samuel kindly took the package for Simon, promising to send it via internal mail – and we were off to the next port of call.
We walked down Fleet Street and up some stairs to see Big Society Capital, to leave our present for Harvey McGrath. Jeremy, a chap we met upstairs at BSC greeted us, not knowing who on earth we were, but he gallantly helped. That was kind.
We explained we were capitalists interested in grass roots sustainable job creation and promotion of the drivers of sustainable job creation, with a particular focus on youth, using maps.
Rupert then mentioned he was studying for an MBA and Harvey appeared interested. Rupert is at Henley Business School (and now writing a thesis about Sustainable Job Creation) and explained that one of the most important things about Henley was that he had never laughed so much in his life. It’s relevant that Henley was where much of the big planning was done for the Marshall Plan (serious thanks to the USA) after WWII, that lead to sustainable job creation all over Europe, and has contributed to peace and democracy, big society, to a huge degree, ever since.
Harvey McGrath is due to start at Big Society Capital on January 1st 2014 and we wish him a very happy and successful time. Downstairs we thanked Maria at reception and then back on the road.
Walking through St.Brides on the way to Accenture, we saw Santander and on the spur of the moment popped in to give a Christmas card to Anna Botin their Spanish CEO. David on the desk was most helpful and warned us of the weather.
We thanked him and pressed on towards Accenture where the reception sent us down to the Mail Room. It was quite a labyrinthine journey. Ozzie in the Mail Room, was all alone, wearing a Christmas hat that possibly nobody would see except us. It was a good opportunity to explain about our charity MapGap.org. He then told us about his Mum who is suffering from dementia, which was tough. Nonetheless he took great care of our situation and carefully put the present and card in a box for the CEO Oliver Benzacry. Thank you, Ozzie.
Next to Merril Lynch, but unfortunately our information was incorrect, we thought the CEO was Jonathan Moulds, however it has changed. The receptionist looked pained and apologetic and could not tell us the name of the new person, as a matter of policy. We thanked her anyway and will return in a few days.
Walking down Old Broad Street, we came across a homeless and jobless man on the pavement. Colin gave him a cigarette and we asked to take his picture, which he refused “I’m going to court and it might not do me any good..” he said. It felt like he’d lost all confidence.
Finally we made it to Meditor Capital, to see Talal Shakerchi who was not in. We made up a Christmas present for Talal, whilst admiring the view from his office that looks our over London. The receptionist was kind to us.
Then we cut and ran, flying past the City Wing getting home before Christmas rush hour was now a priority.
Colin and I split at Clapham Tube, having written most of this blog on the bus, thanking one another. It seemed that today with all the transport problems across London we have “ripped victory out of the jaws of defeat,” at least in terms of today’s objective.
Further, we felt supported by Jackie Hutchings who behind the scenes gives us help and support with our communications. Thank you Jackie.
That objective of today was to simply spread the word about MapGap.org and the vital need we have identified to make maps about sustainable employment, to get Leaders and Taxpayers on the same page, to help all the unemployed and particularly unemployed youth who are tomorrows Taxpayers and Leaders.