Russell Brand – sustainable business model pioneerPosted by david in blog November 29, 2011
It’s quite amazing how a fat kid from Essex could make his way to lead roles in Hollywood.
His unique, almost Dickensian use of language, with a big dose of high camp and extravagant gestures has certainly taken him far.
But what’s more amazing is what he’s been doing in the name of sustainability.
He’s done what we call philanthropy. For him, that’s charity gigs. Like the Secret Policeman’s Ball for Amnesty, which is just spectacular.
He’s done cause related marketing. Lending his brand to specific causes. Things like the pop-up swap shop Buy Love Here.
He’s released specific sustainability related product lines. For him, that’s a lot of material and gigs on topics like racism.
Most recently though he’s experimenting with new skill-sharing transactional business models. He’s doing a gig that you can only get tickets to if you volunteer for two hours. Along the lines of Orange Rockcorps, but for comedy. He’s doing the gig with Sarah Silverman, whose also not shy when it comes to expressing her opinion. Thanks to ecorazzi for the initial link.
Here’s his pitch.
So, it turns out he’s doing a lot in the name of sustainability.
But he’s not really doing it in the name of sustainability is he?
He’s doing it because he’s outraged at the way people treat other people around the world. Because he’s pissed off about racism. Because he thinks his community can be a better place if people give a little bit of time to helping each other.
All these are emotional reasons to act. Human rights, the state of your local community, racism. They’re all emotional subjects that get your blood pumping. Sustainability, unfortunately, does not. It’s grounded in graphs, facts and stats. It’s a rational concept. That’s the problem.
I’ve seen countless surveys asking people about their views on sustainability issues, social and environmental. Without fail they all come back saying people are largely concerned and think ‘things should be done about it’.
‘Things should be done about it’.
Imagine if that said ‘I want to do things about it’.
‘I want’ is much more emotional. It’s something we find hard to explain. The dictionary uses words like desire, crave, demand. Quite powerful stuff. It’s something that drives us to do incredible things. Like stand up in front of an audience of thousands and trying to make them laugh with only your wit.
That’s terrifying. Why would anyone do that? Because they want to.
We need to make people want to do things that make the world a better place. We need to inspire, excite, entertain and compel them to act. We can only do that if we engage them emotionally.