You may well have noticed that the World Cup has started. Until Monday and England’s first game this is a time for wide eyed optimism and a feeling of ‘they couldn’t, could they?’. Pundits keep telling us that England go into this tournament without the burden of expectation and that this is a good thing, therefore creating a paradoxical sense of expectation by virtue of there being no expectation. Weird huh?
Here are my predictions for this year’s tournament, wrapped around this week’s news.
It’s coming home!
The opening ceremony will be dreadful
I’m writing this on Thursday morning before the opening ceremony has taken place* but I am confident that this prediction will hold true. World Cup opening ceremonies are always dreadful. The only thing that anyone ever remembers is Diana Ross missing a penalty in 1994. I had a piece of toast this morning that was more memorable than most World Cup opening ceremonies.
Held to a much higher standard are TedX talks, luckily. The London TedX takes place at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 1st July themed ‘Beyond Borders’. There is a cracking line up of speakers and readers of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You can take advantage of a 10% discount on tickets by clicking the link below.
*I watched it last night and can confirm it was pretty appalling.
UK productivity will go down
According to this article the World Cup costs the UK about £4bn in lost productivity as employees either take time off work to watch games or turn up too hungover to work after a big game. Quite right too, if it was up to me work would stop for the duration of the tournament. It could well be the policy within the following organisations, although I’d check the ts + cs before applying for one of these vacancies…
SSE Fellow Joel Davis is looking for a Programme Administrator (£18-20k) for his organisation Tutors United, based in Shoreditch, London – deadline is Friday 29th June. Details here.
SSE Fellow Yvonne Farquharson’s organisation Breather AHR has a vacancy for an Administrator (£18k) based in St George’s Circus, near Elephant and Castle in London. You need to be very quick with this one – the deadline is Monday. Details here.
If you’ve got experience managing and developing products with clear examples of success and impact in both financial and social terms then get in touch with SSE Fellow Ugo Vallauri and his organisation Restart – Ugo is looking to recruit a Head of Product (£33k) based in central London. Find out more here.
Someone will break a metatarsal
Bear with me on this one. If someone got injured during a game and you were sat on the sidelines what might you say to them? Might you say that you hope that they get fit for the future? I hope that you would, because it means that I can seamlessly segue into mentioning SEUK’s Fit for the Future conference on July 12th, which looks at the role and future of social enterprises in the delivery of health and social care services.
Keynote speaker Head of NHS England, Simon Stevens and SSE students and Fellows can get SEUK member rates of £100 +VAT if you use the code FFTF100.
There will be umpteen mentions of the World Cup being a ‘festival of football’
Which it is, I suppose. But let’s say you’re not a fan of football and you’d rather have a different festival experience. There’s no Glastonbury this year but you could head down to Off Grid Festival in Devon from 9th – 12th August. The festival is a social enterprise initiative packed with social entrepreneurs and enterprises running and involved in all sorts of inspirational and exciting projects. You can find out more here.
SSE Fellow Amerie Rose will be taking part in the festival in the Village Hall, the info hub for the festival, alongside Devon County Council who will be highlighting the support available to SEs through the ENHANCE programme, legal and advice clinics for campaigners, Q&A forums, TED & TEDx talks and an evening film programme. Amerie has a crew ticket available for one Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You reader who would like to join her team. Contact Amerie by emailing VillageHall@OffGrid-Festival.co.uk for more information.
My wife will moan about there being too much football on and can we watch something else.
I haven’t yet told her that from 2026 there are going to be more teams in the tournament and even more games to watch. Still, if she’s looking for inspiration for something else to watch Red Bull’s list of ’10 must watch YouTube channels for social entrepreneurs’ could be a good starting point.
People will say that this World Cup isn’t as good as Italia ’90.
Because people always say that the current World Cup isn’t as good as Italia 90. But how can you measure that? How can you be sure that one World Cup is better than another?
It’s a question that SSE Fellow David Floyd has been pondering only related to community businesses, social enterprises and charities: he’s examining how they approach Quality Assurance (basically (a) whether their products and services are any good and (b) how to improve what they do). He’d like your thoughts:
Youth will triumph over experience
Only one team (Italy in 2006) has ever won the World Cup with an average age of over 28. That means if you drew Egypt, Argentina, Mexico or Costa Rica in your sweepstake you are statistically unlikely to take home this year’s pot.
Further bad news for us oldies: we’re also not eligible to take part in this year’s Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which is open to social entrepreneurs aged 18-29. There’s a £1000 cash prize for the award, which commemorates Anjool Maldé. You need to enter by 5.30pm on the 18th June.
It will be too hot / too cold / too wet / too dry
It wouldn’t be a World Cup with out complaints about the weather – we get to combine our number one and number two pastimes. It’s a bit like the SSE office, which seems to suffer from extremes of temperature and is why I’m looking enviously at the office space at The Trampery Republic in East India Dock. The Trampery are currently offering free desk space for ten ‘Creative Pioneers’ for six months – they are particularly keen to hear from social enterprises.
A new star will be born
Gazza. Michael Owen. Dele Alli…? The World Cup always makes a hero of someone. In the social enterprise world could the next big thing be Maximilian Theye? Currently studying urban planning at UCL he’s contacted us to see if we can help find him an internship this summer: he can could offer design skills and is also experienced in strategic planning, organising events and customer service. If you’ve got an opportunity for him drop me an email and I’ll forward on his cv.
Harry Kane will score the winner for England in the final, becoming Sir Harry Kane.
This may be one of the more outlandish predictions but I certainly hope that it comes true. If it were to happen, Mr Kane would join several SSE Fellows by being recognised by the Queen. Luke Rodgers, founder of Foster Focus has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to children and families and Bev Dean of Special iApps has been made an MBE for her services to exports in educational technology for people with learning disabilities.
Well-deserved congratulations to both Luke and Bev.