Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Live below the line: The voice inside us!

I was invited to speak at a reception at the House of Lords after www.livebelowtheline.com and I hope I did the program and my friends who sponsored me proud.



There were some delightful people there and I really enjoyed chatting with so many committed young people.

Interesting list of UK entrepreneurs of QEII reign.

Diamond jubilee special: who has been the most inspirational entrepreneur in the last 60 years?

Stelios Haji-Ioannou – EasyJet
Duncan Bannatyne – Bannatyne Group, Dragons’ Den
Hilary Devey – The Pall-Ex Group, Dragons’ Den
James Dyson – Dyson
Peter Jones – Phones International, Dragons’ Den
Cath Kidston – Cath Kidston retail
Simon Cowell – Syco
Theo Paphitis – Ryman, Dragons’ Den
Michael Acton Smith - Firebox.com, MindCandy
Deborah Meaden – Dragons’ Den and various investments
Nick Robertson – ASOS
Michael Birch- Bebo
Hayley Parsons – GoCompare
Tim Smit - The Eden Project
Richard Reed – Innocent Drinks
Bernie Ecclestone – F1
Anita Roddick- The Bodyshop
John Timpson - Timpson
Dame Vivienne Westwood – fashion designer
Lord Alan Sugar – Amshold Group, Apprentice
Charles Dunstone – Carphone Warehouse
Martha Lane Fox – Lastminute.com, Lucky Voice
Brent Hoberman – Lastminute.com, Mydeco.com
Sarah Beeny – Mysinglefriend.com
Jacqueline Gold - Ann Summers, Knickerbox
James Caan – Alexander Mann Group, Dragons’ Den, Hamilton Bradshaw
Karan Bilimoria - Cobra Lager
Peter Cullum - Towergate
John Bird - The Big Issue
Sir Richard Branson – Virgin
Mike Ashley – Sports Direct
Jamie Oliver – Jamie’s Italian
Dame Mary Perkins – Specsavers
Sir Philip Green - Arcadia Group
Sir Tom Farmer – Kwik-Fit
Sir Martin Sorrell - WPP Group
Charles Saatchi - Saatchi and Saatchi
Michelle Mone – Ultimo
Johnnie Boden – Boden
Terence Conran – Designer, Restaurateur
Kanya King- MOBO Awards
Anthony Bamford – JCB
John Caudwell - Phones 4U
Chrissie Rucker – The White Company
Simon Fuller – XIX Entertainment
Toni Mascolo - Toni and Guy
Sir Tom Hunter- Sports Division, West Coast Capital
Sir Tim Berners-Lee – inventor of the World Wide Web
Simon Woodroffe – YO! Sushi
Steve Pankhurst- Friends Reunited
Julian Dunkerton – Supergroup
Sir Gulam Noon - Noon Products
Peter Boizot - Pizza Express
Delia Smith – Author, Chef, TV presenter
Linda Bennett – LK Bennett
Mike Lynch – Autonomy
Sir Clive Sinclair - Sinclair Radionics, Sinclair Vehicles
Mike Clare – Dreams
Simon Nixon- Moneysupermarket.com
Charlie Mullins – Pimlico Plumbers

My favorites highlighted!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Triple Bottom Line - Why wouldnt we!

The iconogrpahy here is symbolic of the way people can use progress and profit to step up to a more sustainable planet. Lets not stare up those steps but step up those stairs! The Triple Bottom Line Future is People, Profit, Planet: Sustainable economics, Sustainable society and Sustainable ecosytems ONE BIG OPPORTUNITY!!

RIO plus 20: recent past distant future!!

Twenty years since and it seems such a short time! Twenty years until this ought to be long enough!!


"But youth have a special ability to demand change. That is why I am coming to you.
Here is a To-Do list of a dozen actions you can take.
One: Write to your country’s leader and tell them to go to Rio+20.
Two: Get your friends to register a real commitment for sustainable development on our Rio+20 website.
Three: Join the UN Environment Programme/UNESCO YouthXChange.
Four: Build networks with young entrepreneurs using business for development.
Five: Write letters to the editor to demand action on the issues at Rio.
Six: Send your government the ideas you want to see in the Rio outcome or national law.
Seven: Tell your governments to include youth in their delegations to Rio.
Eight: Get involved in the Major Group – that’s a caucus – negotiating on Children and Youth at Rio.
Nine: Organize events on the Conference in your schools and communities.
Ten: Build relationships with government officials to demand action after Rio.
Eleven: Share your stories with us! We’ll put them in our Youth Flash Newsletter.
Finally: Spread the message through Facebook, Twitter and all the other networks you have.
You take any of these actions – and you can come up with your own ideas. Just get involved."


First, Rio+20 should inspire new thinking — and action. Clearly, the old economic model is breaking down. In too many places, growth has stalled. Jobs are lagging. Gaps are growing between rich and poor, and we see alarming scarcities of food, fuel and the natural resources on which civilization depends.
At Rio, negotiators will seek to build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals, which have helped lift millions out of poverty. A new emphasis on sustainability can offer what economists call a “triple bottom line” — job-rich economic growth coupled with environmental protection and social inclusion.
Second, Rio+20 should be about people — a people’s summit that offers concrete hope for real improvements in daily lives. Options before the negotiators include declaring a “zero hunger” future — zero stunting of children for lack of adequate nutrition, zero waste of food and agricultural inputs in societies where people do not get enough to eat.
Rio+20 should also give voice to those we hear from least often: women and young people. Women hold up half the sky; they deserve equal standing in society. We should empower them, as engines of economic dynamism and social development. And young people — the very face of our future: are we creating opportunities for them, nearly 80 million of whom will be entering the workforce every year?
Third, Rio+20 should issue a clarion call to action: waste not. Mother Earth has been kind to us. Let humanity reciprocate by respecting her natural boundaries. At Rio, governments should call for smarter use of resources. Our oceans must be protected. So must our water, air and forests. Our cities must be made more liveable — places we inhabit in greater harmony with nature.

Lets not wait for Rio plus 40 lets grab the opportunities!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

From PayPal to Tesla and SpaceX - simply cosmic!

You can only admire someone with the nerve of Elon Musk:


This level of entrepreneurship is something very special:


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 5 - Hungry!

I woke up had my breakfast, small bowl of porridge half milk half water and was still Hungry. 10:36AM and its bareable!

Thinking beyond my belly I thought I share this as a friend asked me a question:


Dear Nick,
I've written this recommendation of your work to share with other LinkedIn users.

Details of the Recommendation: "I'm sure you will manage to complete the challenge. But interested to see what is the more real issue for you: a) being able to purchase/prepare food on a restricted budget, or b) just having less calories (and a more monotonous diet) than one is used to. I know that they are linked but which is the real difficult one."


thanks for your support and your thoughts here, some of which ive posted in the blog below my picture on the site

Your two points are very valid and id say at moments b) has been harder but overal a) is the issue.

Neither are really that onerous and it shows how lucky we are, what strikes me most and I suppose this hinges on a) to answer your questions, is:

1. Packaged food is so over priced, we also cook fresh meals but when i look at what supermarkets offer and what people buy its shameful really on both sides. Its so easy to cunjure up a simple tasy meal and while time and convenience cleary is an issue in this day and age, this experience has shown me how over stated that is.

2. Im more conscious of the basic nutrition of key staple and food that poor nations live on, To be honest we should eat more of it other than not wanting to push the commodity price up.

3. The lack of control or need for self control has been enlightening this week. Along with the lack of verity by the nature of the budget/campaign that hits hard as does the lack of more exotic tastes and textures.

4. Im more mindful not just of whats on or not on the plate and more what else is around me and so easily accessible ie tea, coffee, phone, internet, tv, car, shower, home, education, healthcare.

5. This experience tells me you can live on £1 of food a day be able to sustain it for weeks probably. However if my family were i'll, if i needed to travel, fix my home, educate my kids then the food budget would be hit, in effect even if people can feed themselves out of extreme poverty they are in effect trapped in it for want and need of the other basics of life.

Im learning that we have and we can fix all these issue, our generation has the opportunity for the first time to fix this once and for all. Its all very interesting.
Im so Impressed at the Y2000 millenium development goals and the progress being made towards 2015, great video here 3min:

If you know an audience that might like to see the "1.4 Billion Reasons" presentation, do let me know

Thanks again for your support!
Global Poverty Project

Day 4 - retrospectively!

(Posted from Day4 on day5 due to time availability yesterday)

Well, I was so hungry when i got home tonight that I forgot to photograph my dinner before I ate it. I swapped some dried lentils for rice and passed on the chapatti as id had enough of that what with left overs for lunch. (See the photo, sorry if its getting boring to look at) A potatoe and half a carrot fried up with a quarter of an onion gave the rice some flavour. No pud tonight!

I was hungry at breakfast, before and after, I was hungry at lunch, before and after and Im hungry now before and after dinner. Ive got used to the feeling now but it starts to play with your concentration and focus. I was distracted by various activities that lead to me being late at a business meeting that i presented at, however it went down very well and they all wanted to know about the Tshirt I was wearing. The GPP one as per my photo on this site.

One lady in the audience building is small business to help kids build a new relationship with food, she had lived on 40p worth of food for a month in vietnam. I could only admire that!
Im finding the interest out there great, the feedback and response reflect well on everyone. There is so much goodwill and support when we show the authentic nature of the issue and when we show whats possible, so Im up to do more.

For now I cant wait for friday, I will be humming two song that I and Claire a fellow GPP Ambassador tweeted around as relevent to #belowtheline, both great tracks from two of the all time best bands:
"where is my mind?" The Pixies and “Lost in the Supermarket” The Clash.

Sleep well 1.4Billion bellies tonight!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Day 3, mid afternoon and Im hungry!

Im half way through my https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/nickhorslen challenge and Ive learned a lot!! Lots of you have asked how its going so here's my latest impression.

I now know i can feed myself and not be too hungry or bored on £5 over 5 days. This photo shows what it takes. Porridge 62p, Milk 89p, Bread 69p, Butter 20p, Polena 1.29p, carrots 30p, potatoes 30, spice 50p, Semolina 89p. It all comes to £5.66 and if i add 5 tea bags lets say £6. So at the end of the we...ek i will ensure there is £1 worth left on the counter there!

Its not the hunger its the lack of choice that people must sufffer the most. As i said this morning Im a million miles from extreme poverty but now ive had to think this through I can see why we know it can be fixed.

Just where would i get the money from my £5 a week to deal with an illness, to deal with educating my kids, to have a home, to have transport and water, to have electricity? How could i ever develop myself and my family and my assets to avoid a hit that takes me backwards into the "poverty trap"?

Thats is the extreme poverty scneario for 1.4 Billion people but again, we in the world we have created can and have fixed all those things when we focus on point7 and the MDG1-8!

As Hugh Evans says "the burden of our own circumstances gets lighter when we concern ourselves with the plight of others" or words to that effect (cant find the exact quote right now, must be hungry ;-)

Thanks for your sponsorship already https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/nickhorslen Really I THANKYOU!! Its been well worth it!
As a footnote to include another post i made elsewhere.......
Im eating:
....and enjoying the nourishment , BUT I couldn’t return to school boy (partly because I couldn’t find dry packet form):
but you learn a lot about worldwide food doing http://www.livebelowtheline.com/

Monday, May 07, 2012

Day 2 - Humbled! 7th May 2012

One word for this experience - Humbled!!
I cant tell you how just two days has made such a strong impression on me at so many levels; Savoring flavors, thinking quality vs quantity, seeing how over priced packaged food is, wanting to share that left on the plate by others, understanding that while my diet and choice is limited for a few days i still had use of my home, my car, my healthcare (needed a paraceatamol), a kettle for tea, TV, music, family, the internet and education today!!!

Just look, I even had a dessert tonight and before you say anything about Semolina (and your school days) believe me; "when we listen to our stomachs and not our adjectivies or verbs we value every meal in front of us"!!


Sunday, May 06, 2012

Day1 LiveBelowTheLine May 6th 2012

I started my LBL challenge a day early as I have to fly to Madrid on Friday and doubted that I would be able to get any real LBL budget food on the journey.

Even though Ive not exactly gone hungry yet  "Im already forming a different relationship with food"!!

What has surprised me already is the fact that I fingered every crumb from the plate from my toast at lunch time. Also that i struggled to see my son leave scraps of food on his plate and how guilty i felt just for picking up a piece of hard yoke from his plate and tasting it, knowing it wasnt on my strictly budgeted menu.

Its difficult to throw food away when you putting the dishwasher on after the family has eaten. It take real determination not to nibble at fruit, nuts and other tasty things around the house. I sense thats going to get worse as Ive not been overly hungry today, just peckish at meal times.

Whats also strange is feeling less than full but not being able to add a little more to the meal to deal with that feeling.

I found as i planned this day/week that it became a real exercise in looking after the pennies, but that now im making and eating the food Im savoring and enjoying it for what it really is.

Nothing fancy today, thats fine, my polenta chapatti's were a bit of a flop but still tasty!
I sure missed a cooked breakfast and a Sunday Roast today, but that would have blown the budget for the whole week in just one day ;-)

Lets see, this is day1, early days yet! This is my journey and Im happy to be taking it for https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/nickhorslen and http://www.globalpovertyproject.com

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Business Model Generation - Canvas

Nice app for business model startup, I love the video annimation!
Business Model Generation - Canvas