The Revolution Will Be Televised
“People have an archaic belief that you have to first make a lot of money any way you can, and then be charitable and do good,” Fabiola tells Ever Manifesto. “My theory is that you can integrate those two worlds: make a lot of money and do good at the same time.” She cites the company TOMS, who gift a pair of shoes or glasses to children in need with every purchase as a great example of a social business — a term first defined by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus to describe companies that seek to address social and environmental issues while turning a profit.
At the time of writing, Fabiola is working with the studio Relativity Media in producing and raising money for her television show, and Echoing Green, a global non-profit organisation which has been providing seed funding for social businesses for over 30 years. She’s also brought together a team of advisors, with the former General Assembly President of the United Nations on board to provide expertise on “what the biggest problems facing the world are, whether it’s sanitation, education, farming…” This, together with “incorporating a format that people are familiar with and that works” — the Dragons’ Den model of entrepreneurs pitching to investors — are important, as the show “can then be mainstream, to bring to the forefront and collective consciousness of the world awareness that these issues do exist and that there are places where they can be solved. Hopefully we can do it with a positive undertone because you can’t hit people on the head with negativity all day long. There should be more ‘What can we do?’ and not ‘How terrible is this?’”
You can’t hit people on the head with negativity all day long. There should be more ‘What can we do?’ and not ‘How terrible is this?’
While Fabiola’s show will have the suspense and nail-biting drama of the reality TV format, where it differs is in incorporating a crowdfunding element for those business ideas that get rejected by the judges, with audiences donating money via a dedicated social network for the show. “It’s a two-fold program,” she explains. “Maybe somebody has a great idea in Nigeria; maybe we’ll find them, and they can solve a problem that is currently huge in the world. Culturally, the show is going to help empower pockets of people in the world that otherwise would have not known they could make a difference. Hopefully it will spark a new generation of activists.”