Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Money Isn't Everything - Is it?

The work goes on ... the struggle continues , perhaps a bit presumptuous of me to quote Bobby Kennedy on such a relatively mundane matter as a Drum Circle but ...

When you understand that the purpose of this "event," is to raise global awareness and Funds for  a proven solution to world POVERTY!  I think Bobby would have agreed!  At this point we have invested in excess of $50,000 USD in the formation and creation of this exciting and potentially paradigm changing event.  When we pull this off we will have raised $5 Million dollars (from the video and webcasts) and demonstrated to the world that Micro Credit and MicroUP can REALLY END POVERTY.

AND ... the money will not come from large multi national foundations.  It will come in small denominations from people everywhere, just like Obama, we are reaching out to people like us..

 If there ever was a chance to leverage donated dollars, this is it!  As we mentioned in the beginning, we plan to use organizational sponsors for event logistics only and to use a popular direct appeal to both populate the sustainable investment Fund ... The Fund will be called:  GSEI (Global Sustainable Economic Initiative) and it will be used to both lend and invest in micro enterprises and small growing businesses around the world in developing countries ... places where no one wants to invest and in businesses that will never see Forbes magazine.  These are businesses that will create local jobs.  Businesses that will form the basis of a merchant class and a real economy where none exists.   Our intention here  is NOT to redistribute the wealth.  Our objective is to redistribute the OPPORTUNITY!

So, what am I asking for here!  Money?  Sure, if you can donate PLEASE do so, but just as important are your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas for finding socially responsible businesses who see that Corporate Social Responsibility is not just a catch phrase but a burning need to save the soul of capitalism in a time of critical global need.  Do NOT think your ideas trivial.  We need and seek every one of them.  Just respond to this blog under "comments' I  think or email me at: jpeloquuin@microventuresupport.org.

Money is NOT everything, it is, however way ahead of whatever is in second place. (well, today anyway)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Drumming: Helping Me to Help You

Do you remember when Tom Cruise (as Jerry McGuire the Sports Agent) says to Cuba Gooding, "... Help me, to help you!"  Well, here we go again!  I think this Drumming Event:  Drumming An End To Poverty, the opening of the Africa/Middle East Regional MIcro Credit Summit on April, 7th in Nairobi, Kenya will be a success in that it will focus the attention of the world on the ugliness of Poverty.  This is the main objective of the event and the Summit.

But ... it will also do a few other things as well.  It will be the first REAL international event ... televised on the networks and on the Internet that features the Drum as the lead voice in the music!  It will also popularize the Drum Circle as a means for making meaning and community of purpose.  As a long time professional musician I have to tell you a secret.  If you play any instrument well enough to work with others to make music then you know this ... others, simply do not!

The strongest spiritual experience I ever, ever had was while playing in a small club in New York's Greenwich Village ... many years ago.  I will never forget it, but it was not the first time it happened to me and I hope it will not be the last.  That shared psychic connection ... that link of minds that happens only in church or during a linked musical community is a profound true, not chemically induced high.  Non musicians simply have to find it in other ways.  Music is the ultimate high and it can be a contact high ... sometimes when the groove is there, it transmits to the audience and you can both see it happen and feel it happen in concerts every once in a while.  It is great to feel it in the audience but let me share this with you.  There is nothing like being part of the force that creates it.  Ok... back to drums.

Learning to play a tonal instrument is an arduous and (in the beginning) tedious and boring job.  Only the talented,  dedicated and/or those with strict parents, make the leap from pain to pleasure.  From rank amateur to capable musician.  This is true of Drums also ... BUT  There is magic in the drum!  Anyone, anyone with a very small amount of training can be lifted out of the common world and transported to that linked community of magic.  The means is the Drum Circle.  The linked power of the basic rhythm is a strong carrier of the soul.  It is one of the best kept secrets ... the drum cricle is a transformative experience and soon it will be out of the closet.  The secret will be shared with all who take the time (and not a lot of time) to just go and do it.  This is why the drum is so much a part of so many religious and spiritual traditions.

When you play in a drum circle you make friends who are much more than friends ... you make community and that is one of the most powerful secrets you will learn.  Trust me ... more to come on this. but I'm tired (not delusional, just ... tired) Go buy a drum, send me an email, let's talk about it.

More to come ...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Here is the Strategic Vision

Now that we have launched the fundamental event:  Drumming An End To Poverty in conjunction and partnership with The Global Micro Credit Campaign, we can turn some of our attention to the future because this is far too much work to be a one time effort.  How do we make this and ourselves ... self-sustaining.  Our argument for economic development for the poor uses the old adage, "Give one a fish and you have fed them of r a day, teach them to fish and you have fed them for life."  We should be a shinning example of the that admonition.  We have two market development strategies that address that general issue of organizational sustainability.

First is the extension of the "Event"  Drumming An End To Poverty from the one day launch of the Regional Micro Credit Summit in Kenya, to an annual global event that can mobilize and focus the attention of the international community on this very tractable problem.  Micro Credit and MicroUP can End poverty.  Once and for all!  I am working on a five principles article for Microfinance Focus Magazine and will  post it here also.  This should happen within the next five days (one hopes) ... anyway, here's the plan.

It is our intention to hold a formal "kick-off" press conference within the next 30 days to formally kick off the promotion campaign for the Regional Conference and MicroUP.  At that time we want to also announce the officall launch of:  Global Drum Out Poverty Day.   This will be a day of world wide reflection on the large numbers of beating heats that are forever stilled by poverty.  To quote Jeffrey Sachs in his now famous UN sponsored study on world poverty (and referenced in our MicroVenture Support Position Paper available for download at: www.microventuresuppor.org)  "Every year 8 million perople die simply because they cannot afford to stay alive."  Not to relate the two but I believe it was Stalin who said, "... one death is a tragedy, but a million is only a statistic."

There is an unmistakable metaphorical link between the heart beat and the drum beat.  Eight million die from poverty and we will play drums for 8 hours each year to memorialize these needless deaths, to put a face on that statistic and to bring home the fact that we can reduce or eliminate these needless deaths.  We can beat poverty.  We can "...drum it out."  To do this we will like to existing Drum Circles around the planet.  Drum Circle participants are by definition engaged, socially and spiritually aware people.  This will be a logical step for them.  It will also heighten world awareness of both the problem of poverty and the sound of the drum beat to rally humanity to its cause.  We will also reach out to those who are to follow us in this work.  The university students of today whose historic engagement and sense of social justice has become a cornerstone of the enormous "volunteer," movement.  Drum Out Poverty drum circles will become a fixture at every College and University activities department, music department and, yes, MBA program.

This then will become an Annual event.  Sponsored and supported by the Drumming An End To Poverty partnership.  It will be organized, planned, implemented and strategically directed from this site.  You can be a part of this.  You can make meaning from this.  I know it has real meaning for us.  Contact us and ask how you can be part of the most significant human economic development program in the history of mankind.  I will quote an document written by a famous social thinker, Pope Leo XIII in his Papal Encyclical.Rerem Novarum  (paraphrase)  There can be no social justice without economic justice.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The First Workday of the New Year - Progress NOW!

I am sending an email to our Drum Out list asking all parties to use this blog to stay updated on developments.  It will be much easier and reduce the burden on me ... I will still use emails for urgent or fast response issues however, so, stay tuned!

I spent this week familiarizing myself with Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin ... Flickr is next.  our name on the Facebook and Linkedin sites are simply groups and uses the normal naming convention "Drumming An End To Poverty."  I'm writing to Walls and trying to get other like folks to respond and sign on to the story line and expand the Network.  It's slow going since I don't really know how to navigate and stuff.

I have a video we shot at the last Malcomb X drum circle last month but I'm learning to use iMovie and still have not got the skill to make it all happen.  The same is true of Garage Band.  I'm trying to get a drum track we recorded up on the site as a key to various sections, but I'm still slogging along on that one.

I hooked up with Joy Chang http://unitydrum.tw/  She has lots of contacts and experience in Africa and drumming cricles there. I am asking for help from anyone I can identify as being in the drum circle arena.  We should all connect on this one.  I also linked up with Wayne Briggs from Atlanta, a show business and music industry executive.  He is in LA and will begin to engage his network as will.

This will be a week of engagement for me.  I am now ready to reach out to other drum manufacturers to see if we cannot get a consensus rolling here.  We have been unable to contact most people for the last few weeks because of Christmas.  I expect that to change now

Friday, January 1, 2010

Volunteers Needed with good social media ability

We have two excellent public relations and social media folks at consultants but we need volunteers for all other positions or a few someones practically full time.  We will convert the volunteer jobs to paid position AND we will give our volunteers first shot at them.  If you know Utube, or Twitter, or Facebook, Linkedin, Flickr any of these.  We need people to blog and invigorate the readership.  We need you if you have youtube skills and can use iMovie to edit short video and audio sequences.   This is a grass roots effort. Our intention is to actually run a global drumming event telecast on two continents with very little funding and lots of promise.

Our problem is innovation.  Everyone claims they need it, but few are willing to actually support it with funding.  Why, fear, I suppose.  They don't want to lose their jobs in this economy.  However, since we have no jobs we cannot fathom their conservatism.  We will raise the funds.  The Drum Manufacturers are starving for something like this and now we have it.  A chance to really do well by really doing good!  A CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) coup of biblical proportions, my friends.

We need help in all positions ... first come gets first dibs.  Development, Marketing, Donor and Investor relations, Marketing Communications, also, we need musicians who want to keekp t heir body and soul together.  These are only volunteer position for now.  As soon as funds begin to roll in we will convert to paid position in order of volunteer seniority.  Believe me if you cast your lot with us ... we will be loyal to you.

We plan to run this every year after the 2010  Regional Summit.  We will run a Global Summit in Spain in 2011 (so speaking Spanish will definately help)  This is not a short term dead end job for us, or for our volunteers.   Contact Jerry Peloquin, 410-227-0498 or, Linda Yahr at: 443.570.1657  Let's do this.