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70 Ads to Save the World: Winner of IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award

70 Ads to Save the World: Winner of IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award

In an era where advertising often seems synonymous with consumerism and manipulation, Jerry Mander, an advertising visionary, took a bold step forward to harness the power of the medium for a greater cause. In his captivating book, 70 Ads to Save the World: An Illustrated Memoir of Social Change, Mander invites readers on a remarkable journey through his groundbreaking work that challenged the status quo and aimed to make a positive impact on society.

The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, a prestigious recognition in the publishing industry, recently acknowledged the remarkable achievements of 70 Ads to Save the World. By winning the silver award in the Political and Current Events category, the book has received well-deserved acclaim for its innovative approach to advertising and its potential to create a better world. This recognition further solidifies Mander’s position as a visionary and validates the impact of his work in driving social change.

70 Ads to Save the World is more than just a memoir; it serves as a catalyst for action. By sharing his journey, Mander motivates readers to rethink their own relationship with advertising and consider how it can be harnessed as a force for positive transformation. The book challenges us to question the prevailing narratives, examine our own beliefs, and explore creative solutions to pressing global issues. It empowers readers to believe in their ability to make a difference and inspires them to take action in their own lives and communities.

Mander’s perspective on advertising was unlike any other. Rather than utilizing advertising solely for corporate gain, he believed that it could be a powerful tool for social change. Mander’s book showcases 70 compelling ads that were designed to provoke thought, inspire action, and challenge societal norms. These thoughtfully crafted advertisements covered a range of pressing issues, including environmental sustainability, social justice, and political reform.

An illustrated memoir that masterfully combines images and narratives to create a lasting impact, Mander understood the potency of visual storytelling, recognizing that captivating visuals could communicate a message more effectively than words alone. Each ad presented in the book is accompanied by an insightful commentary, providing readers with an in-depth understanding of the creative process and the underlying social message. Mander’s work defied conventional advertising norms by breaking away from the relentless pursuit of profit and redirecting the focus towards the greater good. Through his thought-provoking ads, he aimed to promote critical thinking, encourage dialogue, and ultimately inspire positive change. By challenging societal assumptions and exposing the flaws within our systems, Mander’s ads stimulated discussions that had the potential to reshape public opinion and drive collective action.

Jerry Mander’s 70 Ads to Save the World: An Illustrated Memoir of Social Change represents a groundbreaking work that pushes the boundaries of advertising. By utilizing the medium to challenge societal norms and advocate for positive change, Mander demonstrates the immense potential of advertising to shape the world we live in. With its thought-provoking content, visually engaging illustrations, and recent recognition at the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, this book serves as a rallying call to harness the power of advertising for the greater good. Let Mander’s memoir inspire us all to explore new avenues and embrace advertising as a means to save the world


When Philanthropy Reinforces Colonial Dynamics

When Philanthropy Reinforces Colonial Dynamics

Image by Freepik

When Philanthropy Reinforces Colonial Dynamics

While the act of giving has historically been seen as a benevolent gesture, there are underlying systems and ideologies that serve to perpetuate colonial and capitalistic structures. Traditional philanthropy, rooted in wealth accumulated during colonial eras, often reinforces the power dynamics of the past. When wealth derived from oppressive systems is redistributed without relational attunement, deep introspection, or systemic change, it can inadvertently uphold the very disparities it seeks to alleviate. This article explores these critical perspectives on the changing landscape of giving.

UK Charity Dimantles Itself, Recognizing Philanthropy as a Colonial Capitalist Force

Last month major charitable foundation based in the UK, Lankelly Chase, which distributes approximately £13m annually to numerous organizations focused on sectors like social, racial, and climate justice, expressed its concern about the way in which traditional philanthropy is “entangled with colonial capitalism”, expressing its intentions to form innovative paths forward.

In a statement published on their website, they write, “We have recognized the gravity of the interlocking social, climate and economic global crises we are experiencing today. At the same time, we view the traditional philanthropy model as so entangled with Colonial Capitalism that it inevitably continues the harms of the past into the present.”

Over the next 5 years, the organization plans to redistribute its assets and dismantle itself to redistribute its assets and dismantle itself, “so that money can flow freely to those doing life-affirming social justice work. We will make space to reimagine how wealth, capital and social justice can co-exist in the service of all life, now and for future generations.” 

Taking a look at the connection between colonialism and philanthropy, Edgar Villanueva, author of Decolonizing Wealth, commented, “Colonization has a lot to do with philanthropy. Organizations and individuals who invest money need to understand the trauma that exists because of how wealth has been accumulated. We must own our part in perpetuating colonizing dynamics in order to really practice grant-making and investing with a lens of racial equity.”

Lankelly Chase’s recent decision to explore innovative ways to make change as a philanthropic organization mirrors Villanueva’s call for organizations to take responsibility for their impacts, proactively taking steps towards fostering true equity.

What is Philanthrocapitalism?

Philanthrocapitalism is a relatively new term coined by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green to describe a “new way of doing philanthropy” which mirrors the way that business is conducted in the for-profit world. 

In this model, philanthropists act akin to venture capitalists, seeking measurable returns on their social investments. The focus shifts from merely giving away money to strategically investing it in initiatives that promise both a social and a financial return. In theory, philanthrocapitalism combines the ideals of the capitalist marketplace with the desire to bring about positive social change. Critics argue that by aligning philanthropy too closely with market principles, it risks sidelining the voices of those it aims to help, and may inadvertently perpetuate systems of inequality. Yet, its proponents believe that by applying business methodologies, greater efficiency, transparency, and long-term impact can be achieved in the realm of charitable giving.

Philanthrocapitalism as a Colonial Force

However, author and environmental activist, Dr. Vandana Shiva, critiques the notion of philanthrocapitalism in her book titled Philanthrocapitalism and the Erosion of Democracy. Dr. Shiva suggests that philanthrocapitalists are perpetuating and creating new forms of colonial violence through the use of digital technologies. In particular, her critique of philanthrocapitalism centers on how billionaires and corporations are amassing wealth and power through philanthropic interventions in land, food, and farming in the Global South. 

She writes, “When technology is seen as a religion, a civilizing mission to be forced undemocratically on people, and a means for money-making elevated to human ends, it goes beyond ethical, social, ecological, and democratic assessment. Instead of being chosen, adopted, or rejected, we see technology as a forced recolonization in modern garb.” 

Ever since the advent of the Green Revolution, companies have dictated what constitutes a “profitable venture” for farmers. However, as a direct result of such ventures many small-scale farmers found themselves burdened with debt, leading to the loss of their properties. In some tragic instances, the overwhelming pressure of these debts pushed them to take their own lives.

Dr. Shiva goes on to explain how such ventures “elevate corporate tools to a new religion and new civilizing mission, which has been imposed to civilize the ecological, independent, knowledge-sovereign farmers who are seen as the new “barbarians.” New technological fundamentalism makes corporate tools a measure and indicator of human progress, immune to social and democratic assessments.

In conclusion, as the philanthropic sector grapples with its complex legacy and evolving practices, it is imperative to prioritize introspection and accountability. Dr. Vandana Shiva’s book, Philanthrocapitalism and the Erosion of Democracy, offers invaluable insights into this very critique. By actively engaging with such critiques and prioritizing the voices of those affected, we can begin to compost ideas that perpetuate inequality and cultivate novel pathways that work to benefit all beings.

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