The next wave of social entrepreneurs? T

December 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

The next wave of social entrepreneurs? Tom’s take on November’s #future100 young #socent Awards –


New job opportunities at @Google London

December 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

New job opportunities at @Google London – Get in there whilst they’re still setting up –

Interested in mobile gaming as an advert

December 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Interested in mobile gaming as an advertising medium? Check out tonight’s Minibar at Mother, Shoreditch

We’ve been awarded the Future 100 award

November 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

We’ve been awarded the Future 100 award! Thank you @StridingOut –

Member Interview – Quizmates founder Matti Spencer

May 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

(Left-right) OS members Alex Woodrow, Aliza Amlani, Tom Rendell & Matti Spencer

 Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do, and your project?
My name is Matthew Spencer; I graduated from Edinburgh University in 2009 with a degree in Biological Sciences. Since then I have been trying to get a place studying Graduate Medicine, in which I was successful this year and will be starting in Swansea in September. Since leaving university I have had a number of jobs and been involved in a number of different projects.

In February/March this year I set up QuizMates – it’s a unique social event that lends some elements from your standard Pub Quiz and some from speed dating. We also throw in some comedy, prizes and a charity focus just for good measure

What prompted you to start quizmates?
I was working in a pub in Clapham North and started hosting my own pub quiz (the incentive of my own bar tab seemed a good offer). Often I would make my friends who turned up team up with other friends they might not have known – by the end of the night everyone always seemed to get along pretty well and I realized it was the perfect setting for people to meet one another.

I felt the nature of a quiz forces conversation naturally and also allows you to get a pretty good feeling off the people you’re meeting.

Who have you gotten involved so far?
A number of people from everywhere.

Most importantly my sister who has helped from the beginning and pretty much designed everything. Friends and family are always great for advice. Open Society members have been particularly useful in pointing me in the right direction for help, ways to save money, spreading the word etc.

Finally the internet – it’s an amazing resource for anyone with an idea and a bit off motivation to see it through. From web-design, marketing, making the quizzes, accepting ticket payments, any thing really, I have learnt from scratch but there is always a useful forum or website that is there to give help.

How was the launch?
Amazing! Thanks to all that turned up and made the night what it was. We had a turn out of just over 50 people and a hard fought contest that went right down to the wire – congratulations Quiz Akabusi for their deserved win.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and it was great to see all the work that had gone into the night be worthwhile. We also raised over £200 for the featured charity – The Tour d’Afrique Foundation.

What are your plans to develop it?
I am off on a holiday to Africa where I will spend a lot of time deciding where to take QuizMates from here. I am hoping the next event will be in mid July.

Where do you see Quizmates going?
I think it has the potential to go far. I think it’s a great time to start something that is a bit different to your standard night out and I think that’s exactly what people find so appealing about QuizMates – its fun, different, and you get a chance to meet new people!

Do you have any other irons in the fire?
Ha. Is that a real saying? I like it. Mmm apart from medical school and QuizMates not really. Although I do help manage my brothers cycling exploits – he is the fastest man to cycle across America (North-to-South, East-to-West) and this week will finish an epic 4 month cycle from Cairo-to-Cape Town. So I will be having to give his website ( a bit of an update!

How long have you been a member of Open Society? Have you been involved in any OS projects so far?
I have been a member since the beginning and have loved watching Open Society grow. Other than helping out when I can and making the most of the socials this is really my first OS project but am just waiting to jump on board another one.

Do you need anything or anyone to get involved from Open Society?
At the moment – just continued spreading the word. But when I am back from Africa I do expect to be needing some help again!

Are you gong to be at the Social this Wednesday?!
2-4-1 cocktails at Miss Q’s? Count me in – I will be at the pool table ready to beat all challengers.

The Open Society Social is happening this Wednesday 11th May at Miss Q’s in Earl’s Court from 7-11pm. Find out more here:

What’s in a colour? Maybe more than meets the eye

April 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

With the sun shining, grass green, and t-shirts every shade of the rainbow, after a long grey winter, we’re finally remembering what colours are all about! Paula McGarry, Creative Director of business member Macsima has kindly given Open Society members some tricks of the trade in branding and colours. Here it is:
Colour is a powerful tool creating many emotional responses. It is the most instantaneous method of conveying messages and meanings. Your project or company must convey the project message through colour, creating a brand identity and, most importantly, to make the sale.

Here’s some basic colour theory below. Bare in mind your project or business when you read them:

Blue – peace, tranquility, stability, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, knowledge, power, integrity

Black – power, wealth, elegance, sexuality, secrecy, sophistication and formality

Green – nature, environment, health, luck, money, youth, vigour and generosity

Orange – balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrancy, demanding of attention

Purple – royalty, power, luxury, spirituality, dignity, nobility and enlightenment

Red – passion, provocativeness, excitement, dynamics, speed, strength, urgency

White – purity, simplicity cleanliness peace, precision, innocence, winter (Imagine this text is white!)

Yellow – joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, gold, philosophy

Our thanks to Paula – bare those tips in mind next time you’re designing a logo, website, or even getting dressed to go out on the town! I might need to re-think my purple dungarees…

Graduating into… work?

April 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Being based just around the corner from London School of Economics, my lunchtime stroll today took me straight to the familiar coffee-fuelled bustle that marks the intense activity, focus, and round-the-clock stress of students across the country sitting their final exams and contemplating life ahead. Having graduated three years ago now, I find it’s easy to forget the many emotions involved in those weeks – complete freedom, and yet complete uncertainty just around the corner.

Whilst some soon-to-be graduates really do know what they’re doing and where they’re planning to go, I really think it’s important to commend the uncertain faction as they step into a world with even less jobs and opportunity than when we graduated ‘at the height of the recession’ in 2008. It’s these uncertain ones who will be having to work harder – and with some creative flair – to find out what it is they want to do, and how exactly they are going to do it. It’s time now to score some points on their CVs and make contacts wherever they can, without getting exploited and hopefully making more than the minimum wage in their part-time jobs.

Now, arguments aside, Big Society seems like a pretty good solution to all of this. And though it may reek of unattractive volunteer roles promoted by local councils, I’m sure these young people would much rather ally themselves with the other arm of Big Society – social enterprise – and get their hands dirty doing something ethical, and low-risk with the last throes of youthful freedom.

The fact is that whilst there is confusion around what social enterprise entails, it is clear that this sector is going to be the new entry point for many young people entering the workplace this year. Think about it – the sector relies on people with an ethical standpoint, an innovative approach, an understanding of social media marketing, and little to risk and lose – the silhouette of the stereotypical graduate emerges…

Graduate silhouette

So instead of skimming Gumtree for entry-level jobs in industries you haven’t even heard of, try out as a social entrepreneur by thinking of the social and environmental issues that concern you, and those you want to change. And if there isn’t a social enterprise out there doing something to tackle the issue and in need of young minds, then there is an opening for a young person to drive change and start a social enterprise of their own. It’s time to get involved.

To find out more, or to get support in starting your own social enterprise click through to Open Society, Unltd, or Striding Out.