Dan Burgess started social activism initiative Good For Nothing ten years ago as a way to engage creative people in doing projects for the betterment of society. Largely this involved hosting collaborative events, where teams would embark on a design sprint to come up with quick-fire ideas and creative responses to causes, but have also grown to invite remote contributors – you might have seen, or been involved in its projects with Glimpse last year that looked to mobilise strikers. Dan’s latest initiative, Friday Future Love, is farther reaching and tapping into burgeoning societal passion for activism.
“There’s been a disturbance in the force!” Burgess laughs. “After years of holding physical events, groups of creative people in a room convening around social issues, we’ve noticed how the want to participate is growing, but people want to connect without necessarily having to be there.” This is for myriad reasons, he explains, from having a full-time job to not being local to one of the events, but it also shows a broader and more diverse demographic of people wanting to do something.
So, Burgess and a team of collaborators have come up with Friday Future Love, a concept, platform and series of events that suggest creative people dedicate a portion, or more, of their Fridays to projects for the good of humanity. Whether that’s volunteering for a community project or a campaign to save the planet, putting in a meeting at work to motivate your peers to work on a sideline humanitarian brief, or simply lending creative help to a project close to your heart, the theory is, if it’s a regular Friday thing, it’s more likely to happen.
“So many people are needed to gather momentum to create habits,” he explains. “Regular participation, one day a week to work on something bigger than me, might be just what we need to action that. I might not be able to leave my job to take to the streets, but I might be able to alter my Friday to do my own little bit for the world. It’s a bit of an experiment.”
The project is kicking off with What’s The Story, an event in London inviting 50 creatives to come down and dream up a plan for changing public narratives around our economy. “Social and environmental crises are taking hold around the world,” says a statement about the launch. “Yet there seems to be no public narrative that explains how we can fix our predicament. We lack stories of possibility. We recognise that before change can happen, we need convincing and credible stories of change.” The project is being held in conjunction with The Green Economy Coalition and the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, two networks focused on economic transformation.
As for Friday Future Love as a whole, Burgess says he hopes to have a physical space for people to use for their own FFL projects, and instead of wanting to own the initiative, he wants it instead to be “an engine” for change.