In 2013, my late wife Elisabeth and I had a chance to spend a week with Richard Branson on his island. While we were there, I was able to do a video with Richard that you can find on this blog. In the video, I asked Richard about his concept of the “Plan B Initiative.” He told me that the ‘Plan B’ concept aims to bring businesses together in a united effort to achieve greater social responsibility.
Elisabeth and I talked about this concept a lot. We realized that business can be noble. That business can make a difference in the world and it can do it locally and it can do it swiftly. We also discussed ways that BNI was already doing that at local chapters and how that might be expanded globally.
I was speaking at the California Riverside/San Bernardino Regional event for BNI on August 27th, 2014. Elisabeth was to go up before me and talk about the BNI Foundation. I saw her scribbling her ideas on the back of a napkin that she was going to use as her notes. On that morning she stood up and said (much to my surprise):
“I want to start a movement (that’s what she said). I want to start a movement. A movement where business has a voice in what happens throughout our local communities. A movement that makes a difference for children around the world. I want to call it Business Voices and I want it to help us change the world by engaging our Directors and members to help their local communities address problems that affect them most.” And on that day, at that meeting – Elisabeth began our Business Voices initiative for the BNI Foundation.
Since that announcement, people all around the world have done hundreds (if not thousands) of local community projects to collect books, do vocation days, collect school supplies, repair broken items in schools, and many other projects that make a quick and important difference in a local community.
I was proud of her for coming up with this initiative and I am proud of the people who have participated in Business Voices (it is open to people outside BNI) over the years.
If you are interested in making a difference in your local community, go to this link to help make a difference in the world:
I know that Elisabeth would not only be proud, but she would also be her exuberant self to see what this initiative, her initiative, is becoming to help business be noble.