To succeed in addressing today’s large challenges, we’ll need collaboration between business, government, the third sector and society. But we also need it translated from big words into a real difference on the ground.
In this latest episode of the Karmic Capitalist, Repc’s managing director, Bevil Williams, shows how to do both.
Bevil was struck by how much we throw away when he came to the UK from Jamaica. Items we routinely throw to landfill would have given him varied play for months as a kid.
But he was also moved by how ill-prepared our systems are to deal with children that pose it a challenge.
So first, he set up a school for excluded kids. Excluded for being disruptive. For being unmotivated. Sometimes for being too smart (yes, listen in!). For coming from multiple generations that didn’t value work.
Aside from giving them an education, the school also gave them work opportunities through a variety of social enterprises that Bevil also set up.
Repc was one of those. Having spotted early EU directives on waste, Bevil set up Repc to deal with electronic waste by embracing the options of repair, reuse, repurpose, recycle.
To make Repc most effective, he collaborates with local schools, police, local authorities, large corporations and more. While the organisation gives work and training opportunities for disadvantaged kids, secured and refurbished laptops are donated to close the widening digital divide both in the UK and the developing world.
Addressing social mobility and the digital chasm intensely locally, but also nationally and internationally in one fell swoop.
And reducing environmental waste to boot.
And he does it with disarming humility.
This has to be one of the most heartwarming episodes of the podcast I’ve recorded. Bevil provides a wonderful model of how enterprise can serve people and planet at once.
And we don’t even touch on the footballs and schools in sub-Saharan Africa…
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