words@bld50 monthly talks


Thursday 6 May 2010, 7 PM: On Openness | Public Talk by Shanaka Fernando

PUBLIC TALK by Shanaka Fernando

At RMIT bldg 50, Orr St (off Victoria St), Carlton

Thursday 6 May 2010, 7 PM

Entry by gold coin donation

Refreshments provided

As Lentil As Anything's Abbotsford premise faces closure, and in the wake of the recent documentary The Naked Lentil looking at the restaurant, there has been a strong interest taken by the public in the operations of this social enterprise. Ten years since its conception, founder Shanaka Fernando has witnessed changes and turbulence, all the while maintaining his unique approach to doing business - where the notions of justice and inclusion take shape, unhindered by money.

How does this vision work in practice? In Shanaka's words:

“When money loses its value, goodwill and the kindness we extend to each other will emerge as the ultimate and most sustainable currency of exchange.”

Shanaka Fernando is a Sri Lankan born Melbournian who has shown a successful example with Lentil As Anything of how a commercial enterprise can be operated on a socially responsible, idealistic and altruistic basis and still be financially successful and popular with the public. Starting out as a social experiment, Lentil as Anything has become a space that celebrates the idea of social inclusion, artistic expression, and challenges the concept of “money’s worth”. Shanaka was voted as Australian Local Hero in 2007.

photo credit: lentilasanything.com

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