News and Updates

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Incubator

notesDo you have a new startup or an idea?

We would love to hear about it, drop us a line. Our incubator is a collaborative program designed to help founders and new start-ups succeed.

Check out the great work that Troy Bronsink has done with The Hive Cincinnati. The Hive exists to develop creative, compassionate, and mindfully-engaged citizens in the Cincinnati region through small group classes, events and workshops.

Common Change is a UK charity

londonWhen unexpected events bring with them a serious financial impact they are referred to as ‘income shocks’. Over a quarter of the UK adult population (i.e. 14 million people) will have suffered at least one income shock in the last year. Millions of us have neither ‘rainy day’ savings nor access to family and friends who may offer temporary assistance in such a time of crisis.

Join the journey in laying out the foundation. We have limited space available for our UK pilot program. – Drop us a line.

Hurricane Harvey

floodCommon Change believes that people who are rooted in a neighborhood are firmly positioned to provide help for a neighbor. Hurricane Harvey has caused catastrophic flooding and damage in Texas. Common Change will be coordinating efforts with local groups in Texas to provide support. All donations to this fund will help people with longer-term recovery from this storm.

 

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Setting Our Imaginations Free

wallstphotoFifty years ago today, Abbie Hoffman and his collaborators sent traders on NYSE sprawling for dollar bills. 15 years ago a handful of us sought to spark our own prophetic and economic imagination. Shane Claiborne wrote the below excerpt in Sojourners Magazine.

After months of laughter and dreaming, it really happened. It was a big day. And we were ready (though we still had butterflies in our bellies). About 40 people brought all the change they could carry, more than 30,000 coins in bags, coffee mugs, briefcases, and backpacks. Another 50 people would be meeting us on Wall Street. A dozen “secret stashers” ran ahead hiding hundreds of two-dollar bills all over lower Manhattan-in parks, napkin holders, phone booths. At 8:15 we started trickling into the public square in front of the main entrance to the New York Stock Exchange. We deliberately dressed to blend in; some of us looked homeless (some were), others looked like tourists, and others business folks. Word of the redistribution had spread throughout New York, and nearly a hundred folks from the alleys and projects had gathered. We had choreographed the celebration like a play production, making Wall Street the stage of our theatrics of counter-terror. At 8:20, Sister Margaret, our 70-year-old nun, and I stepped forward to proclaim the Jubilee.

“Some of us have worked on Wall Street, and some of us have slept on Wall Street. We are a community of struggle. Some of us are rich people trying to escape our loneliness. Some of us are poor folks trying to escape the cold. Some of us are addicted to drugs, and others are addicted to money. We are a broken people who need each other and God, for we have come to recognize the mess that we have created of our world and how deeply we suffer from that mess. Now we are working together to give birth to a new society within the shell of the old. Another world is possible. Another world is necessary. Another world is already here.”

Then Sister Margaret blew the ram’s horn (like our Jewish ancestors used to) and we announced, “Let the celebration begin!” 10 people stationed on balconies above the crowd threw hundreds of dollars in paper money, filling the air. Then they dropped banners which read, “Stop terrorism,” “Share,” “Love,” and “There is enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed-Gandhi.”

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Confidence

Who do you believe you are? It’s an odd, but profound question to ask, but who you believe you are today will go a long way toward determining who you will be tomorrow, and how you will act right now.

When someone says they’re trying to become something, or hoping to be something, there’s a different expression on their face and a different cadence in their voice than when they will do it, or they are doing it. If someone is unsure, they’re going to communicate uncertainty. But if someone is confident, if they are sure of their target, that confidence is communicated in the words they speak and the look on their face. Confidence inspires, encourages and leads.

One of the joys we have at Common Change is helping communities become what they had previously only hoped to be. Much of the time, it starts with moving from a place of saying I want, or I hope to taking the next step. From “I want” to “I will”. Before putting together a plan, inspiring others to join in, and turning the Titanic, you have to ask yourself one question that will make all the difference: Who are you? The answer to that question will determine your ability to take the next step.

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Using Your Time Wisely

There seems to be a plethora of ways to distract ourselves today. The ability to access virtually anything on a whim gives us a freedom we have never had. But this freedom has made us all the more distracted. Go into most public spaces, or look into the car next to you while driving, and it’s likely you’ll find plenty of people gazing into their phone. I know because I’ve been one of those people. In the book of Proverbs, the writer addresses this tendency. “Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions.”

Time is our most precious resource. Why don’t we treat it that way? Whatever it is that you are doing, do it well. My theater teacher used to say “with gusto!” To live with “gusto” way takes a single-mindedness, a focus on what’s important. What’s most important to you? Does the way you spend your time reflect that same importance?

Common Change Generosity Dinners are created to build a rhythm, a time set aside, for thinking about and valuing those around us. By setting aside an evening to think about the needs of those around us, we are attempting to say to our neighbors, “you are worth my time.”

Who is worth your time today? Don’t wait to make sure they know it.

Let Yourself Be Inspired

Each one of us has something to contribute. That’s the truth. But many times we don’t feel that way. We are told we are not enough, that we’re not ready, and that we lack what is needed, by others. And even by ourselves. The lies we are told can hold us back from the gifts we were made to give.

At younger ages it can easier to be faithful to our creativity and our dreaming than to our security. That seems to flip as we get older. But it doesn’t have to. There are steps each of us can take today to use those inspired parts of ourselves and use them. It could be singing, teaching, serving or learning, what is it that you long to contribute? Don’t let fear turn you against your playful heart. Let yourself be inspired again. You might be surprised at the impact it has–on you, and on those around you.

“Don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

The Unseen

Much of what happens within Common Change, goes unseen. Acts of tenderness, done in quietness, without the applause of others. This is generosity at its best.

We invite you to experience the power of giving in secret. Take a moment to watch (click image below) how acts of everyday kindness can change one’s day (life).