Solvey Time Zones

‘Different Timezones, Different Mindzones’ 

-Rachel Manchester

This, a phrase written by a dear friend is all too true for me at the moment as I am living on California time, 9 hours behind my girlfriend in London.

It is not that Kate and I can’t find any time to talk, In fact we speak most days on facetime and whats app, the challenge is the mindset, energy levels and intensity disparity that come with falling asleep versus downing the second flat white of the morning!

A couple of weeks ago I started writing my thoughts on how best to represent the worlds population in next years Solvey process given that we will be looking to find 7 finalists from around the world. 

Yesterday I spent the morning putting the world to rights with a deeply clever man named George who is a historical african map specialist. This is one of the original maps of part of Africa, early 16th Century.

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After learning about counting, imaginary numbers, mapping and hearing his views that there is no true learning other than self learning, I took the opportunity to share my thoughts above and he helped move the ideal along and think about longitude as an appropriate tool for grouping people.

We found a longitudinal map showing population here and then overlaid it with 7 potential zones. The latitudinal one was less interesting as it was grouped more heavily and sits more in alignment with current disproportionate wealth distribution trends.

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This morning I am looking at all the 24 timezones and think that more or less I have group 3 hour timezones together to make 7 timezone groups


Time is the only true currency. No matter what your situation, age or education, if we are still breathing we all wake up under the same sun and have choices what to do with the day.

 In the complex world we now live in I think that timezone grouping is much more natural than countries, continents or languages.

My brain is fried, next blog I will do the precise groupings and precede to give the zones names – Any ideas are very welcome.

Real Work Begins #Solvey

I will make a video soon to show the journey so far including the massive experience of bringing OneWave to Vidcon but here I want to articulate the themes of work needed and how we can all work on this together!

But first a few frames for the work :

The Goal of Solvey is to try to help scale wise solutions using the internets capital.

The 3 key aspects to the internets capital I refer to are :

1. Intelligence 2. Financial 3. Social

All 3 are required to accelerate an ideas journey to get good, get built and get spread.

The Goal is NOT to try and raise as much money as possible especially from individuals to grow onewave into a big entity. The entity, or corporate structure should only be supported if it in turn serves the purpose of serving those who need help.

The goal is to solve the lack of effective support for those with mental health issues around the world. The scale of the One Wave work may not even be achieved from within the charities activities. Good ideas are far bigger than one ‘registered vehicle’ and to treat them as anything less limits their ability to change the world.

In the first Solvey video Louis & I said the following…

“We want to get behind them with all the stuff we are doing. We have the networks and the platforms and we know some things”

What does this actually mean?

We have identified 3 streams of work that we believe can help develop the OneWave project and take it to the next level

1.  Help develop the scientific and economic argument that underpins OneWave 

– We hope this will unlock bigger partners and other forms of capital from grant makers, foundations and government bodies.

2. Help get funds for new and risky work like new locations & activities

– Through the givey community we hope to get enough capital for One Wave to keep taking risks on their newest and most exciting work

3. Increase exposure by telling story to our friends to create new connections 

– By sharing and endorsing OneWave’s work we will create new connections completing the loop allowing this process to continue to develop and expand.

The first involves all of our intelligence, the second involves our money and the third involves our social influence. Doing the work in points 1 & 2 unlocks the stories that makes it natural for us to share according to point 3.

FullSizeRenderThis is Joel, Emily, Emma and me in our first video call to start talking about the real work!

After our call on tuesday I will try and make a full video to pull together all that has happened since we found the OneWave boys.

On The Road

I have been living in California for a few months, the last few weeks I have been on the road for work and pleasure and once again found myself in a banged out road trip van driving up the beautiful pacific highway from LA > SF

I have been enjoyed experimenting with various different forms of spoken words and yesterday I felt inspired as I drove to try a ‘stream of consciousness’ recording on my iphone. I then separately filmed the road. I have edited a couple of false starts and shorter 3 gaps that were a little long but otherwise this audio is fully unprepared, all I had in my head when I began speaking was the title.

On The Road 

Please let me know if you enjoy!

The Risk of #Solvey

I thought I would run this whole #solvey process on my blog to ‘show my working rather than produce one surprise result.

Firstly a few notes on what I have noticed. Really young average applicant age, good balance between girls and guys, reasonable global response although western dominates and disproportionately white focused. All applications were in english which again is evidence of our implicit biases and constraints.

I threw out a tweet yesterday saying Screenshot 2015-07-02 09.43.30

I find it interesting to see that I got hit with around 100 ‘favourite’ tweets but all for just four projects out of the 80. Typically ones where young people had already gone out and done something good and possibly already have a fundraising / activist community rallied around them.

To me this is an interesting dilemma as I want to support the quietest voice with the loudest idea, I want to support the person who is daring most greatly! Even if not one person has ever listened to them before. BUT having said that, showing that someone can create momentum around their idea also shows fantastic leadership skills.  Social media can be little more than an echo chamber, amplifying people and ideas who already have a foothold in our society.

This is why I think the ‘winner’ of The Solvey Project shouldn’t be the idea that simply has the most ‘sellable’ idea, the most supporters, the nicest video. or coolest brand.

As Michael Green states in my interview with him, his ‘Biggest critique of philanthropy is it doesn’t take enough risks.

We are easily attracted to the person who has more status, is de-risked, sometimes due to hard work and often linked to opportunity based on where they were born. It is easier to invest in this bigger person if their idea is small and palatable that possibly only challenges one of our assumptions or better still solves an immediate need that we already understand. 


The most efficient role I see for philanthropy or ‘giving’ in society is as insane risk capital to invest in the least well resourced people with the craziest world changing ideas. Therefore I though Givey and the #solvey project want to find the person with a quiet voice who has the loudest idea and give them the stage.

Risk is called risk for a reason. By taking this approach the person we support may not succeed in the way that we hoped but I believe this to be the most holistically helpful direction we can head in for the Givey community to leverage our small contributions to make the biggest change in society.

The only way I think the Solvey Project will fail is if we choose a safer project with a bigger person or smaller idea because we think we will be more likely to save face. I wrote this recently when speaking to a group in Derry / Londonderry in Northern Ireland….

‘Please do not try things you know you can do, your avoidance of embarrassment does not serve your city, neither does allowing your thinking to be defined by it’

Time to suck on my own words!

I am now looking at the 84 applications through this lens and will announce the TOP10 tomorrow.

Stay tuned, something is happening here!

#NoDriver #NoResponsibility?


Ok, so I was walking along in mountain view today having a chat with a friend and I turned and ran down the road to get this snap of the first damn self driving car I have seen on the actual roads, actually driving itself with a dude sitting in for safety testing purposes.

Pretty cool, pretty unknown, lots of questions.

Turns out they are pretty new and this article from today shows the beginning of where it gets complicated, when there is a crash!!

My dear friend Justin and I were chewing the fat just a couple weeks ago, drinking beer and thinking through the implications of self driving cars, as this is one of the first big consumer facing philosophically problematic scenarios, the first of OH SO MANY to come.

A self driving car will crash at some point, someone will die and there will be out cry in the media but then the stats will bubble up and win out showing that even though it is a tragedy someone died and they will thoroughly investigate, that many lives are being saved everyday because self driving cars are X times better and safer than people drivers.

The problem for me comes when you think about the decision making algorithms that will choose whether to swerve to miss the child on the bike in favor of hitting the granny who google estimated only had 6 weeks left to live based on other personal data they had on her so was for the greater good to do so. big responsibility for a programmer.

See in a manually driven world, we are clear on who to punish, generally the driver who was not paying attention / breaking the rules, rarely ever the manufacturer.

 But are we going to send the programmer to prison for writing the algorithm that meant I sat in my self driving car and hit and killed a granny?

Where machines are interacting in our daily lives and taking the risks on our behalf who becomes liable and who is governing the ethics committee by which we instruct the programmers to design the algorithm that giveth and and taketh away the grannies life?

I haven’t really got any answers yet, so keen to hear your ideas, I am sure someone has thought about this and made some rules, but are they good? Are they being designed to defend the corporate structures that are increasing their responsibility for handling risk in daily lives or being designed to serve and free the people?

I don’t know, but I cant wait to get in one, I can tell you that much 🙂