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I'm off!

I'm away for the week and looking forward to a break from this ubiquitous grey weather. I hope to bring some sunshine back with me.

Do You Believe in the Power of One?

I like to think one person CAN make a difference – in the real world, the virtual world – even the corporate world. One of my favorite books is The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. It’s a tale of inner strength, making strong personal connections and being as real and authentic as possible.

These same core beliefs; inner strength, real friendship and authenticity, don’t merely belong in fiction but also apply to the world we live in, including the virtual one. The concept of living meaningfully resonates with a wide, varied online audience. Find non-profit jobs and volunteer opportunities on, read tips on simplifying life at, learn how to live greener with or watch inspiring videos at

The Internet allows beauty and idealism to prosper in a variety of forms, most notably with the strength of the people using the Internet. Just like the book Groundswell by Li and Bernoff states, the power of the people has never been more evident than online. A great organization to harness this power and altruistic enthusiasm is the inventive Carrotmob. I saw a ten-minute video a few months back of their work in CA. Here’s the shorter four minute clip

The Concept: Carrotmob approached a number of convenience stores in one town to find the shop willing to donate the highest percentage of income from the sales of one day to a charity. The motivation for the stores to participate was the promise of extra customers courtesy of Carrotmob promotions.

End result? HUNDREDS of customer flooded the chosen store on the set date, exceeding all expectations of the shop owner, giving them a boon of profit PLUS a big chunk of money was donated towards making the store more energy efficient!

Reason it works? It’s being able to do good by doing what you were planning on doing anyway, without any extra effort. We all have to buy things. Given the choice of buying batteries and a carton of juice at a regular shop or at a shop that offers the same thing, for the same price but gives a portion of your money to a good cause? No contest! It’s going with green with no effort. It’s being better with out having to break a sweat.

It’s the power of one by simply being you! What a brilliant concept.

I see the Carrotmob idea – motivating corporations to do well – easily catching on. It empowers the individual. It gives control back to the person making the purchase. And it potentially increases the profit of the company. Everybody wins!

What do you think - can this idea work across the world? In the corporate jungle or in globalized commerce initiatives? Would you make a conscious effort to make your purchases with companies donating towards a worthy cause?


Happy Birthday to the Queen of Pop

Today's post comes to you compliments of guest blogger and fellow modern feminist, Jesse, over at FashionLimbo.

I confess: I have been a Madonna fan since the age of five. I have all the albums, singles, calendars, posters and books. I troubled my parents and made my conservative aunts blush covering my walls with her Erotica pictures when I was only 10. I learnt about love, sex and life from her, and she remains my role model.

Madonna began with nothing. She is an icon of the 80s, the 90s, and she is still an idol today. She has sold millions of records, topped the charts more times than Elvis, received dozens of awards. She created her own record and production company, and has written books and a directed a film. Her latest album is a global hit, and her upcoming world tour is selling out as I write.
She is the ultimate businesswoman, has defended femininity and girl power worldwide, telling women to take control of their lives, live their dreams and ignore male-imposed principles. Yet, all the headlines are saying right now is that she is 50, young no more, and really: isn’t it time she stopped? And who does she think she is walking around in skimpy underwear for her latest video? And what about all the surgery she has had done?

Relationships and motherhood proved to be two more battle grounds of principles for our Queen of Pop. Madonna has not only been portrayed as a sperm shopper, but also recently as baby snatcher for falling in love with a Malawian boy at an orphanage. She is portrayed as an unfaithful wife because she keeps working, travelling abroad, networking and leaving her husband to do his own thing. Her latest offence? Turning 50 and releasing a raunchy album, daring to dance alongside young Justin Timberlake. The media is covering the milestone over and over again: just Google “Madonna turns 50” and you will see what I mean. It is everywhere.

My question is this: when Brad Pitt turns 50 (he is 45), will we all make the fuss we do today? Will we be debating whether he should start toning it down and covering up, will we question his ability to do his job?

Why is it that women have an expiry date to their career, their femininity or motherhood? Why is it that beauty products still use teenagers to sell anti-wrinkle products, and apart from Dove (and Jane Fonda), older female models have yet to enter the media and marketing landscape. We still live in a world that teaches us every day: “if you are a woman and wrinkled, cover up, because nobody wants to see it”.

The purpose of this post? To congratulate my idol on her beautifully successful existence. To tell women out there that we owe her a lot, that we still need her to remind this world of the need for change, and to publicly proclaim that she is the sexiest woman on this planet at 50, 55 or 65. This post is for all those women who are turning 50, or who are 60 and older and still feel sexy and refuse to slow down.

And last but not least: this one is for Madonna…For contributing to who I am, for opening the worlds’ eyes to erotica, female sexuality without guilt, music and artistic integrity, in the 80s, 90s, noughties and beyond.

Happy birthday Madonna.


News, views and a breath-taking video

The summer vacation is almost at an end and it's been a busy period for us, preparing for the months ahead.

There's much happening that I want to share with you in the coming weeks, not least of all our upcoming talk "Why women own 19 pairs of shoes (and other secrets revealed)" at the Brussels Geek Girl Dinner on August 20th.

I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Courtney Davis, one of the newest members of Muse Communication, who'll be blogging here with me from now on.

I met Courtney in March this year, in my search for a person to strengthen our management team. I knew Courtney was the person I was looking for when I arranged to meet her in Ghent, and we both arrived wearing all black with red accessories and both ordered a glass dry white wine, which we finished while talking non-stop about life, universe and everything else over the next two hours. It's difficult for me to describe Courtney in a few words, suffice it to say that she is a very competent, switched-on woman and marketeer who brings invaluable knowledge and insight to the company. I leave it up to Courtney to explain the garlic, the barefoot hippy and the other parts here.

To wrap up for today there is this video, which won the short film award at Cannes and shows the power of getting the message just right. It will take your breath away...