Kirsten Alexander has a story to tell. In fact, she’s got two. The second one you can read in Open Field.
The first, is the story behind Open Field; a made-for-iPad magazine, a little like a digital version of ‘The Big Issue’. Open Field is her brain child.
Australians are generous. In times of need, we give. We give locally, we give nationally and internationally.
Yet one company, The Royals, a Melbourne-based creative agency, wanted to do more than just make a financial contribution to their charities of choice. Enter Kirsten Alexander. She wanted to make a difference to disadvantaged women in third world countries.
“We’re a creative agency, we know zip about carpentry, plumbing or farming. We have few practical skills that would be of use if we were thrown into a community in need. But we know what we know, and found a way to make that count,” Ms Alexander explained.
The idea was to create an annual, made-for-iPad magazine that would have broad appeal for its content and its design. Open Field had to be beautiful, smart, witty and wise. The bonus was that all money raised would go to charity.
“It is basically a labour of love, a pro bono project, work done for charity because – frankly – we can,” she continued. “In the US, companies do more pro bono work than in Australia. I’m not sure why that is, but we genuinely felt that as soon as we were in a position to give, we should. We donated the usual way, but wanted to do more.”
CARE was chosen as the charity for its work with women in disadvantaged communities.
The power of storytelling
With nothing more than a heart-felt, compelling story to make the world a better place, calls were made. The brilliant cartoonist from The New Yorker, Liza Donnelly, Claudia Karvan, Anne Summers and to singer/songwriter Sally Seltmann; all agreed to contribute to the magazine. In all, 28 stories about life transforming moments have been collated for the launch issue.
Everyone involved in the creation of the digital magazine gave their time for free. Most of them were unknown to the company, but upon hearing the story, they stepped up to contribute.
Having an honest, genuine story to tell, is something every entrepreneur needs to master. When a story resonates, people respond. When your story is good enough, amazing things can happen. You can even begin to change the world.
And we already know that every entrepreneur has a story to tell.