Well, I've complained about plenty of things over the last few years, but being bored has never been one of them.
As most of you know, Element took a dramatic change of direction about six months ago, transitioning from a traditional brick-and-mortar agency with full-time employees sitting at desks to a consultancy consisting of me and whichever talented professionals I needed to complete the job at hand.
And there have been a few jobs -- I've just completed a rebranding, remessaging and relaunch of a web site for a New York City-based theater company, and have provided messaging and positioning for a local artisanal food company who shall remain nameless until the product launches.
But the vast majority of my time has been dedicated to running Asia's Hope, the non-profit organization I co-founded in 2001. Asia's Hope is dedicated to providing homes, jobs and hope for children in Cambodia and Thailand who are at high risk of sexual and economic exploitation. We currently operate 16 orphan homes, a school and a wide array of micro-enterprise and vocational training programs.
Yesterday I visited with Jim Davis-Hicks, a local photographer who founded a fantastic organization called Thirst Relief. I was inspired and challenged by his success in raising support for his clean water projects not just from churches and foundations, but from his professional colleagues. In fact, Jim told me that 70% of his funding comes from other photographers!
For years, I was so focused on competing with other designers, marketers and communications professionals, that I never tried to involve them in the work of Asia's Hope. My conversations with Jim and others have sparked a desire to reach out to my colleagues and invite them to participate not just financially, but creatively in this great adventure that has transformed my life, and has saved hundreds of precious children from the horrors of sex slavery and human trafficking.
So no, I don't have any specific plan or proposal. Not yet, at least. But I'm hoping that by the time I return from my summer trip to Cambodia and Thailand I'll have an idea of how we as a community of professionals can engage suffering and unleash hope -- together.
In the meantime, I'd like to invite you to follow me and my family online as we head to Southeast Asia from June 6 to August 13. I'll be blogging regularly on the Asia's Hope Director's blog. I promise lots photos and stories of the incredible kids and staff living at our orphan homes.
I'd also like to ask you to spread the word. I believe that something great is about to happen in the creative community. I believe that a great adventure lies ahead, and I hope that you'll consider joining me.