The impressive rise of civil society initiatives, the level of awareness of social issues, the desire of so many people to become involved, combined with the democratization of the Web are paving the way for tremendous positive social change.
Of course, we all know that we live in uncertain times in which regressive or oppressive forces are active in every continent. The recent health crisis has revealed even more the true face of the common threats that we face and the importance of focusing on what really matters and of coming together in order to empower our communities.
In response to all these realities, OLBIOS represents an attempt to tackle one of the most important issues of our time: the creation of the tools that will allow everyone to engage in meaningful and constructive social action.
In order to achieve this, we believe that we should bring together three existing tools: a) a citizen online media, b) a new form of social network and c) a targeted form of crowdfunding: three per se amazing ideas that we believe have immense potential to change everything in our societies, but only if based and oriented to create real values. OLBIOS is proposing to redirect these tools towards a complete paradigm shift.
With this in mind, we believe that OLBIOS brings the following:
1. A focus on actions that remain, not news that will be forgotten.
We do not focus on news and events that are of only limited relevance and will soon be forgotten. The organisations, personalities and ideas that we highlight will always be important.
Have you noticed that with very few exceptions, there is never a call for positive action from the media? In stark contrast to this, everything in OLBIOS has been designed as an invitation for personal engagement. Our JOURNAL, for instance, includes all kinds of information and links on how to become actively involved with every project featured on its pages.
2. Independence from business interests and agendas.
We have kept OLBIOS on a non-profit and a participant-funded initiative, so as to keep it free of any interests that may compromise its independence.
3. A focus on the power of civil society, not governments.
In the content we publish, governments and political parties are not the protagonists. Instead, our focus is on the achievements of civil society and the people behind them, especially the ones that receive little attention.
We believe it is crucial to let the unheard voices be heard. The people shown in OLBIOS have done extraordinary things to improve our world. Many rarely make it to the pages of mainstream media. The mission of OLBIOS is to highlight them, show that THEY are the real ‘stars’ of our societies and invite everyone to join them.
4. A focus on the positive, the efficient and what functions.
We believe in the necessity of reversing the ‘wicked world syndrome’. This a certain idea of the world that is promoted daily by the mainstream media and, through the pretext of informing the public, seems primarily focused on an angle on world events that fills millions of people with anxiety, fear and contempt. It is also an image of the world that, far from being useful or galvanizing, disempowers and weakens its recipient.
5. A focused and committed orientation.
Our aim is to concentrate on what really matters and on what brings a positive outcome to all. There are already enough platforms that publish side by side stories on wars and food recipes, or combine features on human suffering with the latest celebrity gossip.
6. We come in seven languages.
We have attempted to overcome the single-language barrier by creating special editions in seven languages: our edition in French or Spanish, for instance, covers systematically the best initiatives of the 50 francophone and hispanophone countries.
7. A special attention to local initiatives.
One cannot help noticing that smaller cities tend to be absent from the headlines. With this in mind, we always try to include initiatives and people from even the smallest communities.
8. Coverage from the 180 countries that are usually off the radar.
About 180 countries remain absent from so-called international coverage. Entire domains of activity go unreported. At OLBIOS we try to remedy this by featuring projects from every country in the world in 24 sectors of social action.
9. A platform that is open to everyone and free to access, with no ads or premium content.
We believe that coverage of news, issues and projects that have a positive social impact should be easily accessible to all, without distractions or exclusion zones.
10. Real participation made possible for anyone.
We also believe that it is important for everyone to be able to participate by writing articles or sending material on the organisations and the people they admire. We believe in the power of well-written constructive material as opposed to random or spontaneous commentary that rarely leads to constructive dialogue.
11. An openness to different constructive viewpoints.
As a non-partisan platform, OLBIOS is not committed to any particular point of view and tries to be as inclusive as possible, with the exception of views that are hateful, offensive or unconnected to the aims of the project.
12. Include for once top down AND bottom up initiatives with equal respect.
We thought it would be interesting if for once a Journal treats all kinds of projects with respect, promoting equally the top-down AND the bottom-up initiatives as long as they are impactful- while showing the same appreciation to the people behind them. These can be from the public sector, the private sector, the nonprofit sector, celebrities, or hidden in a tiny city anywhere.
13. A special educational & research tool.
We have given special attention over the years to the educational aspect of OLBIOS. Already featuring extensive material, including videos, interviews, articles, and across the board reviews, OLBIOS is an ideal educational tool with diverse applications for a variety of audiences, from schools and home schooling to leisurely learning.
14. We choose partners over competitors.
OLBIOS is opposed to competition and actually chooses to promote exclusively a collaborative and crowdsourcing model. As our common target is to mobilise as many people as possible towards social improvement, we are constantly in search of partnerships, collaborations and alliances with individuals and organizations towards this end.
15. Crowdsourcing from thousands of participants/experts on the domain covered.
OLBIOS is presenting hundreds of projects already but is becoming a fully participatory endeavor, primarily based on the work of it’s Correspondents and Authors – and everyone can apply to become one. We only present projects, ideas and people that we value highly. And, as we are inviting the most admirable personalities and gather them together for the first time in one website, our only concern is the creation of a virtuous circle.
16. Putting a voice and a face behind every project.
OLBIOS Journal is committed to presenting ideas and perspectives through short, accessible articles, interviews and thousands of videos, so that people can see the faces and the voices behind exceptional projects. Our aim is to present a dignified and luminous picture of the world that remains realistic without ever losing sight of the hardships threats and dangers of the real world. After all, the projects and articles we feature are primarily dedicated to providing solutions to pressing issues.
17. A background of philosophy and applied ethics.
Founded by a philosopher, the OLBIOS core team consists mainly of people with a strong background in the humanities. We believe it’s time for people with this expertise to move to the foreground and be heard, especially given the ethical upheavals we are seeing today on issues ranging from racism and identity to globalization and isolationism. These are complex issues, which like complex issues in other fields require expertise and experience.
18. A Journal connected to a dedicated social network.
The OLBIOS JOURNAL is the first Journal to be connected to a specific social network. We want to design, with your involvement, the OLBIOS Community, which will be indeed the first social network that aims to guide everyone towards social action and engagement. In OLBIOS Community you will be able to find mentors, friends with shared interests, investors, brainstorming partners, volunteers, employees, and all the support you need to either start your social project or scale up the one you already have.
19. The OLBIOS JOURNAL is also the first Journal to be connected to a specific funding platform.
OLBIOS SOCIAL FUND is designed as a funding platform dedicated to social projects. This makes it possible for ongoing projects or scheduled projects to access vital funds, in-kind donations, time donations, and further mentoring for everyone to be able to realize their projects.
20. While creating a media, think of your own philanthropic work.
It may be interesting to wonder why don’t the mainstream media ever have a strong philanthropic arm to directly empower causes for which they so often and strongly advocate? With the help of our funding members we at OLBIOS have planned to also empower financially several initiatives, as OLBIOS aims to allocate a significant part of its income to directly finance other social projects and create its own FOUNDATION.
Last but not least, we believe that the aim of any Media platform, Network, or Fund, as strange as it may sound, is to increase the gratification and the joy of a meaningful life for their readers, members and beneficiaries. OLBIOS means « the blessed one » in ancient Greek. We chose it because the present initiative is primarily an invitation for people to experience the joy of meaningful interaction with others, of having an impact in their communities, and contributing to a better world.