Friday, 13 November 2009

Global Sexual Health Mentors wanted – No experience required, passion essential!

STIMULUS is pleased to announce, an exciting new addition to Autumn 2010’s Global Forum 40. Global Forum 40 will bring together forty young people, from across the Globe to San Patrignano, in Rimini Italy for a week’s forum to engaging in a number of exciting activities, as well as sharing information and knowledge on a number of key sexual health issues, with the main focus being HIV and AIDS.

As the name suggests, the forum brings together 40 Young People from across the world to join this exclusive opportunity to join a unique international youth project. Many of the participants have now been selected through a formalised application process, however due to unforeseen circumstances a small number of places for participants have been made available. As Participant Liaison Coordinator I would now like to take this opportunity to announce that I will now be accepting expressions of interest for anyone who is 16 - 25 and is interested in joining us in Italy next year.

You may be wondering why Italy? Well San Patrignano is a breathtaking organization, which works with young men and women who have serious drug abuse problems, regardless of ideology, social background, or religion. Since 1978, San Patrignano has taken in over 18,000 young people from across the world, offering them a home, healthcare, legal assistance, and the opportunity to study, learn a job, change their lives, and regain their status as full members of society.

Participants will naturally be invited to attend a fully funded trip to Italy late next year where the forum will meet for the first time, but this is just one event in a string of other activities coming up over the next year including candle lit vigils for World Aids Day, Gala dinners and special performances!

So, if you are interested – please send your expression of interest to:,containing no more than 500 words before November 30th, outlining your motivations for joining the forum, any relevant experience you may have and what you hope to get out of the initiative!

For more information on The Global Forum 40, why not check out The Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter or visit our website?!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Future EU Cooperation in the Youth Field

This weekend, on the 12th – 14th September 2009, the Swedish Presidency has arranged a conference on the EU’s future youth policy framework. Youth representatives, directors-general and officials from all EU Member States, as well as applicant and EFTA countries, have been invited to the conference. A number of selected experts in the field of youth from different parts of Europe will also be in attendance.

The purpose of the conference is to give the participants an opportunity to meet and discuss the substance of future EU youth policy cooperation. The consultations will be based on a series of previous efforts, such as the European Commission’s communication 'An EU Strategy for Youth – Investing and Empowering', the Member States’ evaluations of the current cooperation in the area of youth policy, the European Youth Forum's (YFJ) shadow report, and the output from the 'Youth Event on Future EU Youth Policy meeting' during the Czech Presidency.
The results will contribute to the discussions in the Council Working Party on Youth. The decision on a new framework for youth policy cooperation will then be taken by the Council on the 26th & 27th November 2009.
The conference this weekend will be attended by some 250 participants, of whom an equally large number will consist of directors-general and officials, and of youth representatives. In addition to the two experienced facilitators, an internationally renowned lecturer and several pop artists will contribute to the conference.

As a Young UK Ambassador, I, along side fellow ambassador Jaffer Hussain will be in attendance as the UK representatives.The Young UK Ambassadors is a new international representation project run in partnership by the British Youth Council, Funky Dragon, Northern Ireland Youth Forum, Scottish Youth Parliament and UK Youth Parliament.

We Young UK Ambassadors are a team of 15 young people (aged 16-25) who will represent all UK Young People at international events like European Union, Commonwealth or United Nations conferences as well as consulting on international issues here in the UK. There are 3 young people from each of the partner organisat
ions so they come from all over the UK and between them, they have a wide range of different backgrounds and experiences that they bring to the project.

Ahead of the conference this weekend in Stockholm, myself and Jaffer have been attempting to consult with as many young people across the UK as possible to ensure we effectively represent a cross section of views in our participation! If you are reading this before the 10th of September 2009, we may still be able to represent your views on this European platform. Please spend just a few minutes of your time today to visit our survey so that we can be the vessel for your voice this weekend!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Dear blog, I'm sorry I've been neglecting you as of late...

This truly is a harrowing tale of neglect - as I look upon my most recent post, way back at the end of April I realise not only how much has happened and changed in my life since then, but I've realise how many chances I have missed to reflect on the fantastic experiences that I have had along the way!

Although all my exploits have been carefully captured on my FlipCam and uploaded to my YouTube Channel, I feel that I have somewhat cheated myself by not excessively evaluating my work, thoughts and travels though the medium of this blog!

Tonight, I promise one thing: Blog, dearest, dearest blog, I promise to neglect you no more - from in-depth analysis of my current political opinions to fleeting thoughts on passing musical purchases, I promise to write for you often, regardless of content and forethought! Is that ok?

Although resurrecting this blog has been at the back of my mind for some time, I also have other motives. I am beginning to write for a number of other blogs, and just as I would warm up before a run, I think I should do the same in blogging. So think of this as a blogging stretch so that I am warmed up and will not injure myself in the marathon ahead!

I'm yet to post on the following blogs, but keep a close eye out in the near future! (Also, they are really great blogs, so you should read them anyway if you are that way inclined!)

The Tamworth Blog - The Tamworth Blog is a blog for both local people and those looking at visiting the beautiful, Staffordshire market town. The aim of the blog is to open discussion to discuss developments in the town and things that effect us. Everybody is welcomed who has an opinion or passion for a story or event, and you can let the Tamworth Blog know about them at or follow on Twitter @tamworthtwit.

The New Federalist - The The New Federalist is magazine of the Young European Federalists (JEF). This blog is its online version, published in cooperation with Le Taurillon, eurocitizen’s magazine.

The Young Activist's Blog - As you may know from previous meanderings I have been actively supporting the makeITfair campaign this year. Since my involvement in the makeITfair Youth Round Table way back in March I have been working on putting together a blog that brings together all the Youth Campaigns that support the project that have been springing up around Europe. Creating the blog has been somewhat of a slow process, but I am pleased to announced that it should soon go live. Once it does, I will naturally announce it here - but until then add: to your reader or RSS!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Brussels or Bust: Day 5 / 6 - Couch Surfing music, Germany, France, Luxembourg and all that's inbetween . . .

Day 5 of my Brussels life took my European adventure to whole new levels.

The day began as planned with a short stroll around some tourist highlights of the city, followed by a Couch Surfing event.

The event was a house show, in which four young and very talented artists from across Europe entertained us all with their very different musical styles. The couch surfers chatted, drank some beer, ate some food and listened to some really great music. My video blog shown below shows a few shots of the event, but to see and hear full tracks of all the artists, please visit my YouTube channel over the next few days! Apologies to the artists, I did not get your contact details, names or track titles, but if you contact me I can update this information!

The rest of the day didn't continue as planned. Recent friends I have made decided late Sunday night that we should go on a road trip. This impromptu road trip, took us down many roads, through many mountains, over countless provinces and to a number of EU countries!

Again, clips of the journey can be seen in the video below, but for a full run down on our crazy, yet tiring adventure, visit my YouTube channel over the next few days!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Brussels or Bust - Day Four - Wanders, Waffles and Weather

Day four of my European adventure brought many new foods, beers and naturally, new friends.

The day began with glorious sunshine, a perfect opportunity to check out the city from above from the arch at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, whilst eating a delicious Liege waffle!

Next, to la Grand Place for a Couchsurfers meeting and guided tour of the area!

After a short visit to see Zinneke Pis, Brussels' newest member of the peeing family, we headed for the bars where we saw a number of bands and DJs (one of which played many records from my beloved favourite record label - Tru Thoughts).

My video blog of the day can be viewed below, or by subscribing to my YouTube channel!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Brussels or Bust - Day One: Journey & Jazz

So the Brussels adventure has begun - I'm here, I'm tired, and I have quickly put together this short video to tell you about my first day here!

Music by Randy Simon Jazz Project.

The gig at the end of the video took place at Le Café Central, located in St. Gery, Brussel (photographed above) and the band were Belgian/Finish electro jazz five piece aNoo.

If you enjoy there music, check out their website and myspace!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Up, up and away . . .

Ok, from previous mentions, some readers may have cottoned on that I shall soon be fleeing the UK shores to become Eurotrash, more specifically, a Brussels resident.

My move to Belgium will have two direct influences on this blog:

  1. Brussels has a huge jazz scene, so I hope to write short reviews on all the bands, groups and artists I watch and listen to. I especially hope to write a series of blogs running up to, and during the Brussels Jazz Marathon, which will showcase over 400 artists, in 125 free concerts over three days at the end of May!
  2. In an effort to update family, friends and anyone else who cares, I shall be starting a short video blog. The short video blog will include daily developments of my expatriation experiences! You can view the video blog by subscribing to my YouTube Channel. Alternatively you can view the videos individually at the bottom of any page in my blog!
For those wanting to keep in touch, I shall still have the same UK phone number, Facebook, Skype and email accounts. If you know me personally, you should already know these, if not, drop me a message and I will privately contact you with them!

Anyone can freely follow me on Twitter, and of course, visit / comment on the blog!

Until next time, au revoir . . .

Monday, 6 April 2009

The Spirit of Jazz, gone, but not forgotten . .

Many of you with keen ears out there may have noticed the distinct lack of jazz and jazz inspired goodness gracing the airwaves of Reach OnAir as of late.

It is with great regret that I must inform you that The Spirit of Jazz, will, temporarily be off air. This is because, I, sole presenter / producer of the show will be relocating to what may refer to as the Central European home of jazz - Brussels.

This will of course enable me to listen to much more new jazz music, especially at the upcoming Jazz Marathon, but this is no use to listeners back in the UK. However - fear ye not fellow jazzaholics, once settled in the city I hopefully will be able to share my new jazzperiences with you all through the medium of Reach OnAir, as such is the beauty of internet radio!

Watch this space . . .

One thing I like about jazz, kid, is that I don't know what's going to happen next, do you?
Bix Beiderbeke

Making IT a little fairer . . .

This time two weeks ago I was recovering from an amazing weekend in Amsterdam with the makeITfair guys. Two weeks on, and I have just about found the time to tell you all about my wonderful experiences there!

You may remember from previous meanderings, I attended a Youth Roundtable in Amsterdam to discuss with the engaged youth of Europe the ways in which we could make IT a little fairer.

The first day, although very fun, it was very presentation based. The second day was very much more workshop and discussion orientated, but also provided us with very practical ideas and information on how to organise and fund campaigns. I felt at the beginning of the weekend that the NGO would struggle to provide us with an easy platform in which we could launch Europe wide campaigns. By the end of the weekend I personally felt that the event was very useful for providing participants very useful practical tools (both ethical & physical) to come home and really spread the word of the makeITfair movement.

In terms of practical campaigns and actions I intend to work on and think about, you lovely blog readers can help me out tremendously in such a small and effective way! If you could all take just a few minutes out of your day to take action against companies which refuse to pay their staff fair wages or provide suitable working conditions it would be greatly appreciated.

The wonderful Dutch GGTV followed our every move over the weekend, and put together this great short documentary:

If you enjoyed the makeITfair rap, written and produced by 'El D', aka Alec J Weatherwood, check out his beats on his myspace page.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Dust off that old 78...

Join me again tomorrow evening on Reach OnAir for your usual injection of Thursday night funk, soul, electronica, hip-hop, blues, folk and all that is in-between!

After the other weeks Jazztastrophie I can confirm that I am fit, well and ready to dance the night away!I have decided to keep things a little closer to home this week - just you, me and a whole heap of records just waiting to be listened to!

The show will now be aired in it's regular slot of Thursday Evenings @ 19:00 GMT

If you can make it, don't forget to text me with your requests and comments on:

07766 40 41 42

(Don't forget to put 'Reach' at the beginning of your text - standard network charges apply!)

If you can't make it, check out the blog or the facebook group for track listings, audio and other musical meanderings!

See you tomorrow :)

Monday, 9 March 2009

What's in a name?

''Our only security is our ability to change'' ~John Lilly

In these vastly uncertain times, the ability to adapt to demand is key

Many have commented on this blog's recent lack of musical meanderings....

..... so a renaming has occurred to incorporate my often ethical ramblings.

Welcome to 'Musical, Ethical or Mineral - Flipgenie's Meanderings!'

Stay tuned for music reviews, policitcal and ethical rants and the occasional audio clippings from my radio show, 'The Spirit of Jazz' on Reach OnAir.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Cadbury go Fairtrade!

Friends at Ubuntu Trading - creators of the Ubuntu Cola have recently informed me that Chocolate creating giants Cadbury have also caught the Fairtrade bug!

''100 years ago William Cadbury chose beans from Ghana. A year ago we founded the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership. And from Autumn 2009 Cadbury Dairy Milk will be Fairtrade certified. Welcome Aboard.''

Yes - this does mean Cadbury's much loved 'Dairy Milk' is in Autumn 2009 to be made with fairly traded coca.

However, Cadbury have not stopped there - the company has pushed the Fairtrade ideals to all edges of it's company. From encouraging it's Sheffield staff to participate in 'Eat a Fairtrade Banana Day' to discussing the finer points and benefits of large companies switching to fairly traded resources.

Congratulations Cadbury - I truly believe this is not a large company jumping on an ethical bandwagon, but an organisation that is beginning to show dedication to helping those whom it's business is dependant upon. These are defiantly admirable and bold steps for the Chocolate and confectionery giant, especially in such uncertain economic conditions - we can only hope the Fairtrade sourcing bug spreads to its other products.

If you would like to know more about The Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, or any other aspects of the companies Fairtrade movements I suggest you head here to read their blog!

Monday, 2 March 2009

Women, the world and a call for social mediarites!

Social mediarites - women of the world need you!

With International Women's Day looming at the end of this week (March 8th) I want to know what you will be doing to support plights of our world's women!

Amnesty International UK are calling on all you social media users to support their campaigns. This can be done through a variety of means....

Amnesty are asking all of you who have Facebook, Twitter, Myspace or other social networking accounts to post their 'oneten' logo as your profile picture to show your support!

The logo, along the statistics behind the OneTen campaign can be viewed here.

As well as many women suffering throughout this world due to a variety of reasons, Amnesty are also keen to celebrate females who have helped fellow women, local groups and the international community.

This year Amnesty are holding a fun photo exchange with their counterparts in Turkey. The exchange, which is hosted on Flickr, encourages the public to post photos of themselves with women who have inspired them! Please head here to contribute and view my recently posted picture!

If you would like any further information on Amnesty International's campaigns I strongly suggest you head over to their website, or follow Amnesty International UK's Twitter profile!

Friday, 27 February 2009

Ubuntu - but not as you know it!

Once again - I stray off the musical topic - but hey, you are used to that now aren't you?

So ok, quick pop quiz:

1. Who has heard of the Linux distribution Ubuntu?

That's right, the Ubuntu software brand has become increasingly well known and popular over the past few years!

2. Who knows of the African philosophy of Ubuntu?

The term 'Ubuntu' directly refers to an African philosophy that describes humanity towards others.

In 1998, Nelson Mandela explained Ubuntu as follows:

Ubuntu does not mean that people should not address themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve

3. Who has tasted the Faritrade Foundation Certified Ubuntu Cola?

No, well Ubuntu Cola is a new and exciting brand that encompasses the African ideals of Ubuntu!

Ubuntu Cola was the first cola in the UK to get the Fairtrade Mark (back in 2007) and it fizzes with Fairtrade sugar from the Kasinthula Cooperative in Malawi and from the Kaleya Cooperative in Zambia. This means that every time you drink an Ubuntu Cola you are directly taking part in the Fairtrade movement – contributing to long term development and real opportunities for African communities.

I first tasted the Cola back in my university shop and really quite liked it. Not only does it have a great flavour, but you also get a great after taste of self satisfaction knowing that you have given farmers in Malawi a fair price for their wears!

If you live in the UK, Norway, Sweeden or Ireland you can check your local shops for Ubuntu Cola!

If not, why not head over to the online shop to buy yourself some - and why not read the Ubuntu blog, or check out Andy Cato of Groove Armada's video whilst you are there!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Charlie Parr @ Colour

Tuesday night saw Colour introduce it's musical tastes to the Birmingham types.

A lovely evening of Folk, Blues and Americana courtesy of the local groups Mellow Peaches and Young Runaways, and of course Charlie Parr of the USA.

The guys and gals at Colour really know how to put on a great night - brilliant choice of artists, venue and even some great cakes free to all who attend!

Check the Colour blog for a full write up, pictures of the night, and details of upcoming gigs.

A Jazztastrophe

It is with great regret that I must inform you that, due to illness, tonight's Spirit of Jazz has been cancelled.

The show which was due to air tonight on Thursday 26th February at 19:00 GMT will be re-broadcasted next week at the same time!

Sorry to leave you hanging fellow funknatics, but you shall just need to listen to your Glenn Miller records a couple of more times whilst I re-cooperate!

I think that a musician is like a doctor, he's supposed to heal people and make them feel better.
~ Steve Turre

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

TruThoughts are the Guardian's Label of Love!

My all time favourite record label, TruThoughts, have today featured on the Guardian website as their 'Label of Love!'

'Taking too many risks in banking is a recipe for disaster, we all know that now. But when it comes to music, it's the truest thing an indie label can do.'

Head here to read the full story!

Radio'r Bae - Arlien

On Saturday 21st February 2009, Bay Radio, Aberystwyth's Student station celebrated it's 10th Birthday!

The event, which was held at Aberystwyth's student union drew a capacity crowd of 1,309 friends, family members and alumni!

Party goers were treated to cake, party bags and a rather large outdoor bouncy castle!

Aberystwyth's own Radio One DJ Aled Jones also stopped by to say hello and play the discerning pop fans some cheesy tunes!

If you would like to view all my photos from the event - please download them here.

Me, you and some dusty records....

The time is almost upon us - the time for Jazz!

Join me again tomorrow evening on Reach OnAir for your usual injection of Thursday night funk, soul, electronica, hip-hop, blues, folk and all that is in-between!

After last weeks whirlwind world tour of all that is jazz inspired, I have decided to keep things a little closer to home - just you, me and a whole heap of records just waiting to be listened to!

The show will now be aired in a regular slot of Thursday Evenings @ 19:00 GMT

If you can make it, don't forget to text me with your requests and comments on:

07766 40 41 42

(Don't forget to put 'Reach' at the beginning of your text - standard network charges apply!)

If you can't make it, check out the blog or the facebook group for track listings, audio and other musical meanderings!

See you tomorrow :)