LATEST NEWS

Dutch Digital Detoxers Are Poised For An International Launch

The Offline Club, a digital detox cafe started in Amsterdam early this year, offers patrons the opportunity to check their mobile phones at the door. In one month, the cafe saw 125,000 new Instagram followers. Ilya Kneppelhout, one of the co-founders, said “We live in quite an isolated world where we’re ever more connected online, but in the physical world, it’s hard to meet people. This is a real experience: where else are you going to be in a cafe with 30 others, and read a book or draw?"

Read the full story about this unique cafe here.

From Isolation to Inclusion: Rebuilding Connections After Aphasia

Anthony Choon woke up in the hospital unable to say the letters of the alphabet or even his name. He had aphasia, a brain injury-related disorder that impairs the ability to speak, write, or understand words. In Singapore, 2,500 people are impacted by aphasia every year.  One organization, Aphasia SG, is creating a community of support.

Watch the brief, touching video below for more.

Some of you might remember Heart Pins -- how they are made (and more). And many stories from folks like Sehr in Dubai, Sunita in India, Bonnie in the US, whose Church has made heart pins as their logo!

Recently, some friends of ServiceSpace at the Yunus Center of Cantabria (Spain) recently shared how they, in partnership with a young man from Senegal (Africa), are gifting the heart pins pictured here. The handmade pins are shared in the spirit of volunteerism and generosity that uplift the giver and receiver alike!

The Good News You Might Have Missed

We get to choose whether to despair or hope. And it is increasingly difficult to choose hope in a world with headlines about famine, war, intolerance, and disaster. That choice, however, can be made more equitable, when we also choose to widen our field of vision to include less attention-grabbing, click-oriented headlines.

In a brief TED2024 talk, Angus Harvey delivers a striking reminder that there are plenty of hopeful stories worth bringing into focus: diseases like Hepatitis C were eliminated in Egypt, AIDS prevalence declined worldwide, extreme poverty declined to its lowest level in human history, and deforestation across the Amazon Basin declined by 55 percent.

“This is not some weird attempt to cancel or balance out the bad news,” Harvey admits. “But if we want more people to devote themselves to the task of making progress, then maybe we should be telling more people that it's possible to make progress.”

Check out the 9 minute talk below or find the full transcript here.

Plastic Man

In Niger, a branch of Niger River has been asphyxiated by plastic waste. Karim Elhaj Adamou is an actor, puppeteer, set designer, and drama teacher who is on a grassroots storytelling journey to educate young people on sustainable living.  "Today, they are the important ones of tomorrow" said Karim. 

Watch the inspiring short film below!

Magical Moss Helps Women Thrive In Rural Peru

In rural Peru, the harvesting of sphagnum moss is helping locals thrive while also helping to protect and regenerate the land. This special moss is widely used in horticulture but also works as a natural pool filter and has helped clean oil spills. Inka Moss, a social enterprise, helps local collectors (nearly two-thirds of whom are women) supplement their income by harvesting the moss, which also accounts for about one-fifth of all exports from Peru. At the heart of the social enterprise are communal values. “The main change I have seen in the community is that children can now get the proper food that they need to be healthy,” said Fiorella Anchiraico Montalvo, a Peruvian woman working with the moss.

Read the full story here.

Standing in Authentic Power

Stacey Lawson relates how real power is within, and takes inner work and outer action, and how sometimes it’s hard to understand why following inner guidance leads us on a path that doesn’t end where we might have wished.

During meditation, Stacey repeatedly received a powerful call to run for political office, and while it was the last thing she wanted to do, and after strong resistance, she ultimately ran. “The thought of actually saying no and turning my back on that felt so paralyzingly flat or disconnected. I knew I had to step in.”

During a campaign event, a stranger walked up to her and said, “I hate you.” Stacey’s response surprised even herself, and helped her realize that standing in our power is “doing what's called for and doing it with love," even when we may never know the reason why. [Read more ...]

You can also join us for an Awakin Call with Stacey on June 8. Find details and RSVP here.

Becoming a Possibilist

“Possibilists are people who look at conflict and see not just obstacles, but they see opportunities to explore ways to transform those conflicts.” Author and negotiation expert William Ury’s opens his discussion on Sounds True’s Insights at the Edge podcast with this explanation of what it means to be a possibilist.

The respective endgames of climate change, political unrest, state conflicts and other headline-grabbing events are not as predetermined as we sometimes believe. And while world events are big, the solutions as a possibilist, start small, with the relationships and conversations available every day. “Be curious, and out of that curiosity, out of those open-ended conversations, out of that listening, people naturally start to feel heard. They start to feel respected, they start to feel seen, and then new possibilities emerge from that conversation.”

It can be easy to discard this wisdom as too hard, or too idealistic; however, Ury shares story after story about some of the most embedded, intransigent conflicts where setting aside defense mechanisms, weapons, and retaliation and picking up possibility, has led to surprising, unexpected outcomes. [Read more ...]

Arnhem Unveils 30-year Plan To House 1,700 Asylum Seekers

Arnhem, a city located in the eastern part of the Netherlands, will welcome twice the number of asylum seekers required by the Dutch government over the next thirty years. "We want to accommodate people in a humane way" said Paul Smeulders, an Arnhem alderman. The city plans to offer stable housing as well as language courses and social experiences to empower refugees to fully rebuild their lives.

Read the full story here.

Pay-It-Forward Hospitality Initiative in Cantabria

A couple of ServiceSpace community members recently shared about a social transformation project in Cantabria (Spain). Inspired by Karma Kitchen and other gift economy initiatives, Las Casucas is a living laboratory featuring the "Rural Karma Home & Family residences", an exploration in pay-it-forward hospitality. The project, launching in September, will offer stays to families in need as well as to those seeking well-being practices. Guests may also contribute to other service experiments and volunteerism, creating a transformative journey of self-discovery and social impact.

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