The Listening Agency, The Guardian and Open Journalism

Although we have been in existence and working with some fantastic clients both here in Brazil and in the UK and US for some time now. We have never actually officially done anything to announce our presence here in Brazil.
With that in mind, and to launch our new ‘Listening Content’ channel we are pleased to announce that we will be bring Piers Jones from the Guardian newspaper to Brazil to discuss the newspapers ‘Open Journalism’ policy, the implications and learnings from the first 6 months of the Facebook application, the first of its kind. Whilst we think that there is a great opportunity for shared learnings between the UK and Brazilian media in the field of social media, the importance and role of ‘Listening’ in the emerging information and opinion landscape is emphasized below in the interview with the Guardian’s Catherine Shoard, discussing Open Journalism in the arts.
We will be back with more information about Pier’s visit to Brazil soon.

And just in case you haven’t seen the 3 Little Pigs Open Journalism advert which is currently on air in the UK you can take a look here:

"Pense grande, comece pequeno, ande rápido"


Com menos de um ano de vida, a empresa de Caio Braz já foi eleita uma das 20 melhores startups da América Latina.

Ainda menino, o carioca Caio Braz, hoje com 22 anos, alimentava o desejo de mudar, em alguma medida, o mundo. A chave para a ação, contudo, só apareceria anos depois, quando Caio topou com uma frase proferida por Guy Kawasaki, uma das mais importantes figuras do Vale do Silício, polo americano das indústrias de tecnologia: “Tente resolver um problema seu e você estará resolvendo um problema da humanidade”. Imediatamente, o jovem se voltou a seus problemas. “‘O inglês é o meu problema’, pensei. Eu sempre fui bom em matemática, mas não aprendera inglês’.” Assim, surgiu o Backpackers, curso on-line do idioma, que utiliza o conceito de edutainment, combinação de educação e entretenimento. Voltado a estudantes das classes C e D, o negócio é rentável e, com menos de um ano de vida, já foi citado como uma das vinte melhores startups – as nascentes empresas de inovação – da América Latina.

De fato, a Backpackers pode empreender mudanças que Caio tanto almejava. Segundo a empresa de recrutamento Catho Online, profissionais que falam inglês têm um incremento salarial da ordem de 18%. “As pessoas das classes C e D precisam, em especial, de capacitação para crescer profissionalmente”, diz Caio. “Importantes ferramentas de informação, como a internet, exigem a compreensão do inglês. Para quem não fala o idioma, esse é um mundo em preto e branco.”

De família modesta, Caio ingressou em 2007 no Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica, o ITA, uma instituição de excelência, como bolsista da Fundação Estudar – que, neste ano, em parceria com VEJA, promove o Prêmio Jovens Inspiradores, que vai selecionar estudantes ou recém-formados com espírito de liderança e compromisso permanente com a busca da excelência: os vencedores ganharão iPads, bolsas de estudo no exterior e um ano de orientação profissional com nomes de destaque do meio empresarial e político (mentoring).

Um ano depois de entrar no ITA, no curso de engenharia mecânica, Caio criou uma organização de ex-alunos da universidade e os convenceu a investir em projetos em desenvolvimento na instituição. É um modelo de financiamento muito comum nos Estados Unidos, mas ainda raro no Brasil. É também uma maneira de profissionais que se destacam no mercado colaborarem com as instituições que os ajudaram a se formar. Mas Caio queria mudar mais coisas a seu redor.

Mergulhado em discussões sobre responsabilidade socioambiental, decidiu se dedicar ao assunto durante um ano da vida, em 2009. Trancou matrícula no ITA pelo período e seguiu para Santa Catarina com outros 300 jovens com um só objetivo em mente: ajudar a reconstruir seis cidades afetadas pelas enchentes que devastaram parte do estado no ano anterior. Aos 19 anos, palestrava para prefeitos e lideranças regionais sobre gerenciamento e utilização de recursos naturais. Voltou ao ITA transformado. Decidiu levar a responsabilidade social ao mundo dos negócios: buscava não só um projeto que desse lucro, mas algo que exercesse impacto no país.

A inspiração veio do bengalês Muhammad Yunus, pai do conceito de microcrédito – o empréstimo de pequenas quantias de dinheiro a pessoas muito pobres, que teriam dificuldades para levantar qualquer montante em bancos convencionais. Em 1976, quando ainda era professor universitário, Yunus fez a primeira experiência desse tipo ao oferecer 27 dólares a um grupo de 42 artesãos. A soma exígua foi suficiente para que eles comprassem matéria-prima, vendessem sua produção de tamboretes de bambu e garantissem a continuidade do negócio. Animado com as possibilidades que a iniciativa apresentava, o intelectual virou banqueiro no ano seguinte. Fundou o banco Grameen, que significa “banco da aldeia” em bengali, e passou a fomentar a atividade econômica local.

O interesse por Yunus levou Caio a Bangladesh. Também o levou a criar a rede Pólens. Ele enviou um e-mail a cerca de 50 amigos sobre suas ideias e, em seguida, criou uma rede de interessados em criar negócios com objetivo de reduzir a pobreza e, ao mesmo tempo, gerar renda. Atualmente, a rede envolve quase 200 jovens e atende pelo nome de Polinize. O resto da história é conhecida: nasceu a Backpackers, uma parceria entre Caio e dois amigos. “Sei que as minhas ações tiveram um componente fundamental: o estudo. Se eu não tivesse ingressado no ITA, não seria capaz de montar esse negócio. Foram o estudo e o ambiente da universidade que me deram o empurrão para o empreendedorismo e a liderança.”

Para aqueles que também pensam em promover alguma mudança no espaço a seu redor, Caio reserva uma outra frase, desta vez proferida por Fábio Barbosa, presidente do Grupo Abril, que publica VEJA. “Pense grande, comece pequeno, ande rápido.”

O Prêmio Jovens Inspiradores vai revelar os talentos que serão líderes no Brasil – pessoas que, acima de tudo, querem mudar o mundo onde vivem e fazer a diferença. Inscreva-se!

http://veja.abril.com.br/premio-jovens-inspiradores/index.html

The Listening Road – Rio’s street of media, trends and consumer culture

A brief glimpse into the history of Rio de Janeiro’s Rua do Ouvidor reveals some fascinating insight into the history of Rio de Janeiro but also threw up some interesting facts that you would expect The Listening Agency to find interesting. Not least of which being the historical ties between the street and the history of media and consumer culture in the city and Brazil. Ombudsmann, a Swedish term means quite literally a person who has an ear to the people and the word in Portugues for ombudsman is you guessed it… Ouvidor. The street gained its name by popular usage in the 18th Century as it was the home of residence of the Ouvidor-Mor or ombudsman of the city, Manoel Pena de Mesquite Pinto. In the 19th Century the street was the location where the cities residents went in search of news and new trends from around the world at the cafes and bookshops which lined the road. With the construction of Rio Branco a mojor new Avenue in the early 1900s the profile of the street changed to become one of the principal locations for a newly emerging consumer culture. It was home to clothing stores, cigar stores and jewelry shops and was also a center of social activity and the stage for soirées, exhibitionism and large private parties. In the 1890’s it was on Rua do Ouvidor that the first cinema in Brazil opened its doors as did the first ice-cream shop in the 1830’s.

Futebol americano em 2012 terá 40 equipes

“Em três anos somos maiores que esportes que já tem 30 anos no Brasil” – Diz Gerard Kaghtazian, presidente do Coritiba Crocodiles.
Em 2011, aconteceram dois principais campeonatos no Brasil, o Touchdown (com 16 times) e a Liga Brasileira de Futebol Americano (12 equipes). Neste ano, a liga deixará de existir e um campeonato unificado será feito, conta o presidente da AFAB (Associação de Brasil), Flávio Cardio. “Teremos algo como 40 times. No Brasil são cerca de 60 equipes completas, mas alguns ainda estão muito no começo”, afirma.
E enquanto isto, quatro brasileiros foram escolhidos pela IFAF (International Federation of American Football), entidade dos EUA, para participar de dois jogos, nos dias 27/01 e 01/02, entre os jovens sub-19 da Seleção dos EUA, e um selecionado mundial, em Austin, no Texas.
Foram selecionados Victor Cerqueira e Paulo Guimarães, do São Paulo Storm, Caio Lima, do Vasco da Gama Patriotas e Gabriel Chafun, do Botafogo.

E você, o que acha do futebol americano ganhando cada vez mais espaço no território brasileiro?

Life without a cleaner…but shouldnt that be a man cleaning the house?

Though not the the first article to touch on this subject in recent months, and despite the title being slightly misleading in that the overall number of domestic workers hasnt in real numbers decreased, the feature article in this week’s Epoca is one of the better written pieces exploring this social and cultural phenomenon here in Brazil. A series of changes in the national economy and in the values associated with education and different professions now means that more young women from less privileged backgrounds are seeking professions and careers with better prospects than those of their mother’s generation. This also reflect changes in the social classes which traditionally employed domestics – as they are questioning the values behind employing domestics as well as the increasing costs of such employees.

Despite the obvious economic issue underpinning this debate, the question of a shift in societal values is perhaps the most interesting part of the discussion. This must inherently include a consideration of how gender roles are changing in Brazilian society and how relationships to the ‘domestic’ are also changing rapidly. Brazilian men especially of the traditional middle class are not so unlike their European or North American ocunterparts in that they would appear to be suffering from something of an identity crisis at present. Though not directly questioned in the article, i always wonder how Brazilian men (especially those who have partners or wives who work outside of te home) feel about having female domestic workers in their living spaces. As it is often an area of the economy where women employ other women, the role and attitudes of men to the decision-making around domestic work is something which is perhaps not understood or questioned enough. Other studies and newspaper srticles have shown that Brazilian men are increasingly likely to share domestic tasks – but to how this might be changing broader societal attitudes to equality of employment opportunities is perhaps less evident. It was disappointing to see that in a recent UN Human Development Report that Brazil has a level of gender inequality mush worse than most of its South American neighbours and the number of elected female politicians in Brazil is one of the worst in the world.

Although and as the article highlights the real problem is that most domestics were far closer to the slave relationship than real employees – and the ‘them and us’ relationship was paternalistic at best, cruel at worst and in general inefficient and unproductive for the economy. However in a twist which again turns the whole ‘new middle class’ debate on its head, many of the economicall emerging classes now employ domestics themselves and this is what is really causing the squeeze in the labour market. The other interesting factor and one which is close to our hearts because of our ongoing ‘Brasil@Home’ project is the fact that the new dynamics mean that the old model of apartments with a separate space for the domestics – out the back as opposed to the upstairs / downstairs model of Victorian England – is now redundant and most people are reshaping the use of their apartments turning the ‘quarters’ of the maid into a spare storage room.

Happy Bithday São Paulo – plant something today!

As the clock ticks down to the 458th anniversary of Sao Paulo, im fully expecting to wake up to newspapers full of the annual think-pieces on the future of the South American megalopolis. The conquests and the battles ahead for this city of 13 million residents. As one of them im counter to the daily complaints about the cities lack of charm and community spirit and all round culture of fear and inhumanity in perhaps the most cordial society on the planet. One of the most striking features of the city for anyone crazy, foreign or poor enough to be a regular pedestrian in the city is just how little we as its residents seem to interact with our physical surroundings and prefer to allow them to confine and control us. In it against such a backdrop that any ideas for possible change, however small seems mighty attractive. There are a couple of other additional components to the backdrop of this birthday post for São Paulo. One being two or three articles I have recently read about the growing problem of obescity in Brazil. My wife informed me earlier this evening that she had heard a radio report in which the Brazilian army reported that soldiers reporting for their national service have DOUBLE the average body weight of their father’s generation. The second factor is that of food security. It is possible that today was the first time I had seen the issue raised in the Brazilian media but flicking through a recent copy of the ESPM magazine I stumbled upon a quote from an eminent Brazilian diplomat who saw this as one of the two most pressing issues for Brazil in the next two decades. And then of course there is the much bigger cultural frame of reference which must be considered.

Here in Brazil with our current economic climate, we are subject to a ongoing stream of media images and stories about the ongoing rise of our emerging consumer classes who are for the most part portrayed as PASSIVE, status fuelled, undereducated, materialists. While outside of Brazil there are ever increasing signs of a new consumer dynamic which fuelled by social media technologies and a desire to reconnect is creating a host of more collaborative consumption models as the idealism and hunger for action of Millenials is evident not only in the Occupy movement but also in the countless social business enterprises springing up around the world which seek to promote a more ACTIVE consumer model. Just as optimistic Brazilians seek to claim their moment in the sun as yet another international magazine discovers the Brazilian success story one has to ask if Brazil hasn’t missed the train once again. Isolationist Brazil once again it seems might be doomed to be left behind again as societies and economic models elsewhere move on, much as happened post slavery and again pre-BRIC.

So, it is against this backdrop that I wish to give to the city of São Paulo a small gift – a simple internet link to a site for a community food programme small village on the borders of Lancashire and Yorkshire. The Todmorden ‘Incredible Edible’ scheme started out with a very simple premise and one which the simple thought of introducing to São Paulo makes me question my sanity. It is one of a number of new food related consumer models featured in the BBC Radio Food Programme which you can listen to here. In simple terms my fellow Paulistanos we need to reclaim the city by planting food. Everywhere. Reclaiming all those dirty, urine stained underpasses and scruffy cracked pavements to plant food. Simple as that. Plant the food and let it grow and then somebody, potentially your neighbour will come along and eat it. The scheme has seen a wide range of social effects not only in terms of training and educating people but also create a sense of community both via the schemes online and offline activities. The scheme has also started to gain international recognition as a possible model for urban planning on a human scale.


By the way I have already closed my ears to all those screams of “Gringo…that could never happen here… you don’t understand how this country works”. Believe me I have been to Todmorden and if it can work there it can work here. Im not saying we can reduce obescity or reclaim cracolandia but what if? What if people actually started to take a little notice of their neighbourhood and planted something which they and their neighbours could eat. What if they actually spoke to their neighbours. So the next time you are wondering through Bom Retiro and come across a small patch of Basilico or some tomatoes on the vine – help yourself!

MetroChange

MetroChange é um novo sistema projetado para fazer uso do último pedaço de mudança na velha Nova Iorque MetroCards doando para a caridade.
Todos os anos, cerca de USD 52 milhões são perdidos pelos usuários de pagamento de Nova Iorque MetroCard sistema quando eles substituem os cartões antigos que ainda têm uma pequena quantidade de valor remanescente. Com o objetivo de colocar esse dinheiro que sobra para uma melhor utilização, MetroChange é um novo sistema projetado para capturar a última parte da mudança em cartões antigos e doá-lo para a caridade em seu lugar.

Uma vez que o preço do transporte público especificadamente em São Paulo não foi bem aceito pela população (Os interessados em saber mais http://http://www.redebrasilatual.com.br/blog/blog-na-rede/documentario-vai-mostrar-manifestacoes-contra-aumento-da-tarifa-em-sp/?searchterm=None )
MetroChange agora está buscando parceiros para ajudar a tornar a sua plataforma de caridade em uma realidade, de acordo com um post recente em seu blog. E se o Brasil se envolve-se em tal ação?

Website: http://www.metrochange.org
Contact: hello@metrochange.org