We're nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

The Sunshine Blogger Award celebrates blogs that connect people and share a positive outlook on life.

Fortunately, the Sunshine Blogger Award logo (kinda) fits in with our colour scheme. 

Fortunately, the Sunshine Blogger Award logo (kinda) fits in with our colour scheme. 

Thanks to Alessandra and Francesco at ABCity.org for the nomination. They're doing one of the most exciting projects right now: travelling from social enterprise to social enterprise, using the letters of the alphabet to ignite a dialogue between different cultures —

  • The cultures of design and international development;
  • The cultures of corporations and non-profits;
  • The "Asian" and the "European" cultures; and
  • The cultures of travelling and work.

As part of the nomination, they sent me a number of questions, much like a written interview. So here are my answers:

Design, values and letters from scratch

ABCity.org is a nomadic programme based 2 loves, design and social value, and 1 condition, letters!

1. When you hear 'design', what's the first thing that comes to your mind?

Empathy! Everything should be designed to benefit people; empathy helps us achieve that goal.


2. How do you measure what's valuable for you?

What an interesting question! This really made me think. I'll go for the 3 E's: Is this enjoyable? Does it enable me to do something? Does it help to empower or protect others?

For example, I love dark chocolate (enjoyable). It's even more valuable if I can share it with others. Then it enables me to have a more social meeting, for example. And if it's fair trade and organic too, its value triples because that bar of chocolate helps protect the environment and empower cocoa farmers.


3. What's your favourite letter (no matter the alphabet!)?

As a linguist, I've always had a soft spot for ǝ — "schwa". It's a symbol we use in phonetics to describe a specific vowel. For example, you'll hear it in the "a" in the word "about". It's an uncommon shape for a very common sound.


Rheinhessen just has to be enjoyed in full colour. (Click to enlarge.)

Going places, meeting people

ABCity.org is now travelling to Russia, China, Nepal and Myanmar.

4. What's the most amazing place you've ever visited?

You guys really have a knack for impossibly difficult questions!

There are too many great destinations... so I'll cop out and name some of my happy places:


5. The most inspiring person you've ever met?

My partner, Holger. We inspire each other in business and in life.


6. The funniest story from your travelling? ;-)

Probably NSFW... so ask me about it over a G&T sometime! :)


Eating, exploring and exercising

In our travelling, we'll visit social enterprises working with food, urban innovation or movement sports.

7. Do you have any particular food habit?

I get really "hangry" and sad when I've not eaten for a long time, so I tend to have emergency food with me wherever I go: nuts, dried fruit, etc...


This video was a lucky find, combining my answers to questions 8 and 9 :)

8. What's the most incredible thing you've seen in any urban exploration?

Street art. From graffiti to yarn bombing and wild gardening, it's heartening to see people express themselves in public spaces.


9. What's your favourite sport?

I'm a certified Nia instructor (though I don't currently teach classes). It's more than a workout; some say it's a design system for sustainability in the body. As a holistic fitness practice it can address each aspect of your life — body, mind and soul. I once had a manager who called it "power yoga" because it combines dance, martial arts and mindfulness. It's definitely worth trying if you come across a class.


Content and creativity

The Sunshine Blogger Awards is about blogs that share positivity. We've only just started blogging, so...

10. What's been your favourite post from our blog so far?

As a writer and book lover, I'll have to choose Reading about Russia. The opening paragraph is great, and I really like how you circle back to it at the end. But there's also a lot of depth to choosing the topic in the first place. Learning about people and other cultures often comes from non-Wiki sources, and novels can teach us more about life than a reality show!


And last but not least, our favourite question:

* What's creativity for you?

I think creativity is the "maker drive". While different people use different tools and techniques to express it, fundamentally we all share it.

Creativity is at the root of making anything from scratch.

Creativity is at the root of making anything from scratch.

And now, our turn to nominate beautifully inspiring blogs:

The Frugal Family by Claire Lyons

A place for families to find ethically frugal ideas and inspiration.



With Many Roots by Sophia Cheng and Jayme

Digital nomad — communications  — ethical living: great stories, practical tips and lessons learned from a road less travelled



Wortpiratin by Mara Pfeiffer

Mostly German, but also some English posts:
Wellen — Wörter — Welten. Ahoi!



Here are your questions:

Tell us a bit about yourself.

1. Why did you start your blog?

2. Does your blog represent ethical values? If so, which ones are most important to you?

3. How often do you blog, and why?


Here at From Scratch, we help ethical and creative businesses give customer support that's "on fire".

4. Do you see a connection between strong ethics and creativity?

5. Apart from blogging, how else do you express your creativity?

6. Can you share a customer support experience which you'd say was "on fire"? If you can't remember — can you recall a poor experience?

7. What's ethics got to do with giving great customer support?


We mainly help businesses by writing great service copy, training their teams, and developing their service strategy.

8. What's the one word, expression or sentence you never want to hear again as a customer?

9. Would you rather have a fast or a personal resolution to your query?


And finally...

10. What's your favourite joke?


These are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the Sunshine Award and link back to their blog. 
  • Answer the questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate other blogs and give them questions to answer.
  • Notify your nominees through social media or commenting on their blog.
  • List the “rules” and display a Sunshine Award logo in your post.