from Oxford Street to Tottenham Court Road in a rucksack

I am in London ahead of the Plan Zheroes (re) launch at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and wanted to share a story that illustrates how effective it can be:A few weeks ago one of the leading department stores in Oxford Street signed the Plan Zheroes agreement to provide a charity in Tottenham Court Road with surplus food. The logistical challenge: how to get it there, quickly and at minimal cost.

PlanZheroes proposed a solution: use members of outdoor gyms who’d made themselves available to ‘run the food’ the length of Oxford Street to its destination in rucksacks on their backs.

With more than a week to go Lewes’ inaugural Knowledge Cafe on making use of surplus food is booking up fast. Thus far we have a mixture of: councillors; publicans; volunteer groups; charities; centres of worship; general practitioners; and opinion formers. The geographical spread is equally impressive: Lewes in the centre; Uckfield and Wealden in the North; Seaford and Newhaven in the South; Eastbourne in the East; and Hove in the West.

It’s promising to be an interesting evening. Le Magasin are going to be serving up some wonderful crostini, crudites and Mediterranean meats washed down with the odd carafe or two to stimluate conversation.

Knowledge Cafe venue

If you haven’t signed up yet and want to here’s the link: Knowledge Cafe: Making Use of Surplus Food

I was particulary delighted to take a very supportive call from Councillor Tony Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council; to have Ruth O’Keeffe and Ian Eiloart involved; and to have opened a very constructive dialogue with LDC officials all of whom have been keen to help.

At last night’s RSA event the Plan Zheroes exhibit was inundated with expressions of support and interest from the 200 or so invited guests.

Maria Ana Neves answering questions from some of the many visitors to the Plan Zheroes exhibit at RSA Innovate evening

On the same subject.This quote hit me in an article I was reading last week on food waste in easyJet’s in flight magazine.

we have one garbage bin and 100 seats

What struck me is how through careful husbandry restaurateurs have been able to dramatically cut the amount they throw away; it also confirmed that food establishments do produce surplus food.

What a waste

See you on the 24th.

Using Storify to report on NHS Shaping our Future event

In 2010 following a visit (ironically as part of a WHO delegation) to Darfur I contracted Graves Disease; thanks to the excellent support and clinical treatment from all of the Doctors at St Andrew’s Surgery, Lewes and Dr John Quin Consultant Endocrinologist at Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton I’m nearly back to rude health.

So I made a commitment (to myself at least) that I’d find a way of saying thank you for these two years which is why I spent yesterday afternoon in Bexhill attending a consultation session on the future of the NHS in our county.

It also gave me a good chance to see how they they run sessions like this since my colleagues at Sparknow (and I) have undertaken similar working sessions in far flung places. Finally it gave me a chance to try out Storify as a way of consolidating the tweets I was posting as the event went on.

And for introducing me to its potential I have to thank Chris Heffer who is doing some really interesting things with social business at SAP. Here’s what I thought about using Storify:


  • simple to drag and drop content from social media stream
  • ability to write summary at the top of the account of the event
  • made me think about tweets as I had the container in mind when I was typing them
  • made me think about the audience who might read it
  • created in less than an hour
  • can be used to consolidate accounts of an event commercial, sporting or leisure

  • once you get over a page you start to lose interest
  • need editorial skills if a lot of stuff on a subject

See what you think. Here’s my Storify account of the afternoon entitled Shaping our future