Last week I booked some ‘me’ time and attended the Global Entrepreneurs Conference in Liverpool.  The final seminar was a unique intimate gathering of spiritual entrepreneurs hosted by Christiane Pedros and Hitesh Daudia in the luscious Liver Building on the banks of the River Mersey, in contrast to the heaving BT ACC venue jam packed with thousands of visitors hoping to acquire some of the magic that Sir Richard Branson has for turning a shilling or two.


Following an interval, my seat had been taken by a jacket.  Feeling miffed about losing my seat, rather than thinking that perhaps another person had asked the Cosmos for a helpful contact to network with, I then found another seat and the person next to me got up to speak.  This was humanitarian aid worker Linda Cruse, author of Cakes and Kalashnikovs, who has found a niche in the market of giving by successfully connecting the expertise of business people, delivering it directly to disaster frontlines where it is needed.  Nothing to cry about there.

Linda then showed a powerful video of her photo album of happy disaster victims, in contrast to the horrendous scenes typically shown on TV making us feel utterly helpless.  Lionel Richie’s ‘Love Oh Love’ and Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero’ played in the background and I was just about coping with trying to sob in silence until a picture of several pairs of prosthetic limbs lined up on a bench appeared.

Trying not to wail out loud was then painful, made worse with the thought of Linda returning to sit back down next to me after the video.  Profoundly humbled by Linda’s work, I was planning to say something deeply encouraging to her but all that I uttered was ‘Are you on Facebook?’.  It turned out that this was exactly what Linda needed to hear as she is keen to build a network of business people willing to share their expertise to assist disaster victims in a variety of ways.

I believe that Linda has invented the new face of giving to charity – it is not enough to drop some cash into a charity box to delegate our duty and increase the funds held in charity bank accounts and I know many people who don’t give for that very reason.  They would give a lot more if it made them feel truly empowered, not conveniently paying up so that a small number of others can courageously and selflessly do the right thing.

So, when Linda Cruse makes her appearance on Facebook shortly, please give your network generously.