Blog The first 10 months of Hubbub The age of 52 is late for a midlife crisis but it was then that I left the relative security of the CEO role at Global Action Plan, a charity I had created 20 years earlier, to begin Hubbub. The line between bravery and stupidity is a fine one and I'm still not certain on which side I'll land, but I remain convinced that the decision was the right one. Hubbub grew out of a growing sense of anger and frustration. The science on climate change is increasingly robust, yet the level of disengagement within the UK remains high. We're sleeping walking to a future which will give children less opportunities and greater hardship. There are virtually no charities communicating environmental issues to a mainstream audience in a way that is compelling. It is this group that Hubbub is aiming to reach – those who have a nagging doubt that society is not heading in a great direction but who would never describe themselves as environmentalists. Our approach is simple. We concentrate on topics in which people have a passionate interest. For each, we set out a simple aim such as ‘ending food waste’. In consultation with experts we create manifestos describing what government, companies and individuals can to do to achieve the desired outcome. We then collaborate with organisations who share our beliefs to create campaigns that are fresh and different. Our first campaign #PumpkinRescue (we like a good hashtag) was inspired by the fact that 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin are landfilled every Halloween. We partnered with local food groups in Oxford to create a Pumpkin Festival. Over 2,000 people attended the festival events - including a Disco Soup that fed nearly 1,000 hungry shoppers with warm soup from food that would have been wasted. National polling to get the public’s reaction to food waste combined with a wealth pumpkin recipes from celebrity chefs resulted in extensive media coverage in the Sun, the Daily Mail, Vice Magazine and bizarrely even a TV appearance on Moscow Today. Seasonal campaigns are a great way to create a national debate. #FestiveFreeze with Marks and Spencer encouraged people, after the excesses of Christmas, to freeze food that would have been thrown away. This campaign was stimulated by research from Hallam University Sheffield showing that this simple act would save households £250 a year and could cut domestic food waste by half. In the Fashion Hub ‘From a Mother to Another’ encouraged mothers with high quality unwanted baby and children’s clothing to bring the clothing to one of JoJo Maman Bebe’s 80 shops around the UK. The clothes were sorted by size and gender and then wrapped as beautiful gift packs. 50,000 pieces of clothing were transformed into 4,000 gifts donated to vulnerable families in the UK supported by the charity Barnardo’s as a gift ‘From a Mother to Another’. The start has been encouraging but we know it will amount to nothing if our campaigns are firework displays shining brightly for a brief period before being forgotten. Our intention is to bring in more partners to create scale. We want to see From a Mother to Another become embedded as part of the ritual of Mother’s Day. We want Pumpkin Festivals to spring up across the country through the #PumpkinChallenge. Making this happen has led to some of the founding principles of Hubbub: 1) Open source The first is to 'open source' everything we create and share learning, making it freely available to organisations capable of using the resources to run their own version of the campaigns. Embedding this giveaway and share mentality runs counter to natural instincts but it is the only way change can be delivered at the speed and scale required. 2) Collaborate Collaboration is core to achieving success. We want to build relationships between unusual bedfellows involving multi-national companies, social enterprises, civil society and education establishments. It is only by bringing these partnerships together that truly innovative and fresh campaigns will develop that have the authenticity and capacity to engage the mainstream. 3) Create a new positive social movement Create a new positive social movement. We're encouraging people to register for free on our website and over time we will give them access to a growing range of sociable, fun and engaging activities that also do good. This network will be available to all organisations who share our ambitions, giving them a place to test new approaches and fast-track development. Our ambitions are huge, the team is small and we are at that fragile early stage of development when a few hard knocks could stop us in our tracks. But early indications are promising. Our activities are over-subscribed, the media interest is high and conversations are starting with a wide array of organisations intent on collaborating. If you're interested or intrigued please do get in touch.