Do Londoner’s care?

Have to congratulate Mayor Boris Johnson for launching the Team London initiative today with Samantha Cameron, Peter Andre, and Barbara Windsor in attendance today.

Whilst trying to model it on what Mike Bloomberg has done in New York, I’d like to encourage him to take a closer look at home for examples of success like Sewa Day (www.sewaday.org), which I’m totally supportive of.

Also, not really sure that they’ve set an ambitious target. If in year one Sewa Day managed to recruit 5,000 volunteers (of which the bulk were in London), I don’t see why the Team London team can’t stretch beyond the 10,000 target they’ve set. After all, BoJo’s volunteering czar – in her opening remarks outlined that volunteering seems to be in London’s DNA as 75% of all Londoners volunteered for good causes. If so, why just 10,000?

One of the good ideas that’s emerged is the recognition on ‘stars’ who go above & beyond the call of duty by pouring their time and resources to create a significant impact to a cause. I know there are many such awards, but you just can’t have enough of these – in such hard times, we need positive role models and inspiration to contribute to our local communities. For this reason, well done.

My only advice for the Team Londoners is to ensure this turns into a real, wide ranging, initiative that reaches out to all marginalised communities & utilises its best resources – it’s people.

Londoners do care. Wish you the very best.

Olympics 2012

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t write a piece on the Olympics, which is taking place as we speak. Beijing must surely be the place to be at the moment! Just imagine, 10,000 athletes from 220 countries all in one city for 17 days. Can you imagine what this means for China?

Can you imagine the potential for confusion! One of the things that makes this Olympics distinct is that there haven’t been any people moaning or complaining about this, that, and the other. Or is it that we, simply, haven’t heard anything as a result of China’s preoccupation to screen any information about what happens there?

What’s been interesting is the effort put in by LOCOG officials and spokesman including Lord Coe and Mayor Boris in trying to manage the world’s expectations of the 2012 London Olympics. Yes, we all know that the amount of money being spent in China far surpasses anything anyone has or will ever spend on such an event. However, what I believe they must focus on is ensuring that in the run up to 2012, they become more accessible, representative, and open to recognising that the presence of the many diverse cultures in Britain, are our strongest hand in our deck of cards.

I’m certain that you’ll find a representative community from each of the 220 countries already in London. Let’s use the the next four years to learn from them on what it’ll take to ensure that those visiting us have the most amazing experience.

Let’s look at our strongest features – our media, our diversity, our history – let’s make them work for us.