We’ve been working with people to tackle social problems since 2010, when serial social entrepreneurs Gill Coupland and Rob Greenland set up Social Business Brokers CIC.
We’ve worked on a wide range of issues over that time - from social care to affordable housing.
We’re best known for our work on empty homes. In 2013 we began exploring fresh approaches to bringing empty homes back into use in Leeds - and a year later we set up Empty Homes Doctor - to provide tailored support to owners of empty properties to bring them back into use. 8 years - and 900 homes later - our award-winning service continues to make a difference in our city.
In 2018 we began exploring a number of opportunities to take action in response to the climate emergency. We decided to focus on waste reduction and the circular economy - and set up Zero Waste Leeds, to build a grassroots movement to help Leeds to move towards being a zero waste city. Since then we’ve run a number of high profile behaviour change campaigns, and set up a people-powered project for sharing uniform - Leeds School Uniform Exchange.
Generous by design
We take inspiration from a wide range of design approaches that inspire us to work with people to create projects that have big social and environmental impacts.
We are inspired by the ideas behind Doughnut Economics - and the call for us to develop an economy that is regenerative by design. This is why we have such a strong focus on the circular economy in our work.
Yet regenerative can be quite a hard word to get your head around. Which is why we have taken inspiration from Janine M Benyus’ concept of generous design - “taking nature as our model, measure and mentor”.
Through our work, we seek to develop projects that are, in everyday terms, good for the planet. In other words, regenerative, or as generous as the natural world around us.
And we also seek to build upon the inherent generosity that we know exists in local communities, by developing collaborative, people-powered projects that encourage sharing of resources.
That's why our projects are generous by design.