At our last ‘At the Bar’ evening – a programme of inspiring talks in our Amsterdam Studio – Dan Austin, Founder & CEO of the amazing 88bikes, joined us to explain how he set up the 88bikes Foundation.
88bikes endows bicycles to women and girls around the world, especially the heroic survivors of human trafficking. Since its formation in 2007, the foundation has worked in 17 countries, endowed thousands of bikes, and awarded hundreds of small business start-up grants to former bike recipients.
Ever heard of Joy-Based Philanthropy? It’s the idea that the greatest benefit to someone in need might be a sense of fun, happiness and worthiness. And that’s what 88bikes is all about.
Dan’s talk took us on a globe-trot from villages in Mozambique to stilt houses in Cambodia. He explained how in Nepal, Kolkata or Manila, bikes help lift trafficking survivors and those at-risk, bringing them a little closer to their dreams and delivering a welcome jolt of happiness.
It’s said that Amsterdam has more bikes than residents – which is perhaps why Dan’s message spoke so profoundly to our Amsterdam Studio. Most of our team uses bikes every day to get to and from work, with hardly a second thought about the joy that the simple notion of a bike can bring to someone.
Dan (and his mission at 88bikes) forms part of a series of speakers that encourage us to examine how creativity can be used to solve societal issues in novel ways. It also made us think: why not donate a bicycle in someone’s name as a gift? It could just be the perfect Christmas gift for that relative who is impossible to please.
To find out more about Dan, 88Bikes and how you can donate a bike to a girl, visit www.88bikes.org
Special thanks to Ally and Kim for the words, Jakub for the taking photos during the talk, Richard & Gali for the portrait, and to Dan Austin for sharing his story and the 88bikes images.