Making a difference – making a plan

We can all make a difference.

In 2010 Simon McKeon was recognised as Australian of the Year for “his efforts to support multiple Australian and international charities” (from Philanthropy, humanitariansm, and social enterprise deserve and demand attention.

I wondered how I might pursue my interests and skills through a social enterprise, and so developed a quick plan. It’s presented below to students as a model for “on-the-spot” brainstorming. Making a plan for any course or assignment can allow you to form goals, to prioritise, to explore and imagine. It’s a highly creative activity that fosters productive results. What social enterprise could you hope to offer, and what steps would you take to realise it?

There are excellent books by experts on mind-mapping (eg. Tony Buzan) that students would do well to study, so my advice here is only partial. I note 3 guidelines for planning: consider a range of “Ways of Knowing” (see the diagram about Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences on the Philosophy tab of this site); be practical and honest about what can be done; and then be prepared to make plans that are impractical or humourous. Sometimes an extraordinary, impractical or crazy idea encourages great creative and lateral thinking results, or simply clarifies what not to do!

The second and subsequent activity to a plan for a course or assignment  is to develop a set of questions for an expert to answer. The easiest and most accurate way to find out something is to seek the position of an expert.  Further, it’s really hard to find something if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Reading and studying what the experts say is informative, but not always easy or appropriate. If you read an expert’s words you might well discover what you hoped to find, but if you define what you seek first you have a much better chance of success. Finally, the possession of a set of questions can empower the researcher because it reminds them to connect with real people in the real world, and that is the key to knowledge and experience.

This post is a heads-up to the English and gifted students I tutor and mentor in Melbourne: I can make, create, model and deliver lots of plans and so can plan for your success, but the better aim is to help you to develop the skills to find yourself. There are a few tricks, and the first thing to do is to make a plan. Fortunately the plan is never the same as the last thing – you’ll see…

Plan for a Social Enterprise

Rationale: To inform schools and community groups about existing medical services which depend on volunteer registration to supply hospitals, research institutes and patients with biological materials.

Logo: “Your body, your life, and the community.”


  • On the logo, cross out the “and” and over-write it with “your”
  • Compose a program to deliver to a school, or business, in the course of single “hands-on” day of events
  • Enable the registration of Organ Donors
  • Obtain current lists of the needs of the Organ Donors society
  • Enable the registration of Red Cross Blood Donors
  • Facilitate mobile Blood Bank visits or bookings
  • Organise “Bloody Good Get-togethers” between groups
  • Provide lectures/forums and Q and A between survivors, community organisations and non-member groups
  • Compile a list of appropriate organisations to consider/include
  • Create a set of activities for participants to conduct and/or complete in a session
  • Create a questionnaire form card for participants to complete and submit at the conclusion of an activity
  • Contact organisations and government bodies in order to uncover existing programs,  existing human resources and existing funding
  • Create an application, a KPI set, a mission statement, a business plan etc…
  • Talk to that Sri Lankan dude (from a successful humanitarian organisation that I attended the launch of)
  • Set up a time-table for actions -short-term, mid-term, long-term


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.