Fresh From the West Coast

After an astoundingly-productive week in Los Angeles, California, we’re back! Wide-eyed and ready to go, myself and Adam Bradford, Company Director, have returned to the UK and UAE eager to drive forward various outcomes from a week that was full to the brim of creative people, commendable business cases and a consistent air of productivity. Naturally, we expected to be inspired during our time out in the USA, but what we were not quite expecting was to be hit so hard with the pace that’s seemingly-ordinary out there – a pace and cultural-norm that ensures business moves forward and develops into a tangible state as quickly as possible! Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) is driven by positive social action and creativity, and this means that every person we met had an appetite for our social enterprise.

The purpose of our trip was to meet various contacts in order to expand ABA’s current multi-national business offering. We’re always looking at new potential and to see where we can add value for both people and place. Los Angeles, geographically, is not somewhere we operate, but is somewhere that Adam Bradford has visited in the past. Adam’s previous visit to LA was a cross between work and tourism and is where many of the relationships with local contacts we met in January originated from.

We began the week by meeting a good friend of Adam’s named Andrae, as well as an aspiring DJ named Gudo, out in the hills. Naturally though, being one of Adam’s friends, Andrae was also a grammy-nominee and successful music producer with huge commitments to both educating young people and serving their community. The conversation was awe-inspiring as we began to learn of Andrae’s immense experience and history in the music sector. We continued to delve into our own recent projects and discuss various ideas across a whole range of industries – it was very evident that we shared the same vision for different social environments and that we are all driven by the same sense of positive social impact. Each meeting with Andrae throughout the week was different as there was always an entirely-new conversation to have that was capable of blowing the mind! Again, the drive that resides inside everyone out in LA is outstanding as it is entirely genuine and completely refreshing. Be sure to keep an eye on ABA’s upcoming projects as there will more than likely be further mention of Andrae to come!

Ryan Bradford, Adam Bradford, Andrae and Gudo (left to right)

Later in the week we visited an organisation called Creative Visions which I implore you to check out in detail here:

Creative Visions, founded and managed by the legendary Kathy Eldon, creates impact media, supports storytellers and empowers education and youth around human rights issues. The not-for-profit manages a powerful network of activists, artists, filmmakers, advisors and organisations. Creative Visions also host convenings and strategic gatherings both in-person and online to connect people, raise awareness, and inspire action. In short, they’re nothing short of absolutely fantastic. We believe that ABA are a natural trans-atlantic partner due to our similar drive, relative mission and current business portfolio, and so we visited Kathy to discuss just how we could be of benefit to each other. As with Andrae, Kathy inspired us with every word and took us in directions that we wouldn’t previously had thought possible in such a short space of time. One such example to illustrate just how amazing the world of work is out there is to highlight the moment we met Sara James, National Strategy Director at the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, entirely by chance as we ate lunch at the Creative Visions Foundation office. Our meetings throughout the week in LA are ones that will live with me forever solely due to how completely unique they were, just as Kathy and Creative Visions themselves are completely unique also. Kathy’s ability to pinpoint precisely the right contact at precisely the right time for precisely the right social purpose are a testament to her achievements and demonstrate exactly why we wanted to visit LA – I keep referring to it, but there’s definitely an aura to change the world in the air out there. Similarly to Andrae, be sure to keep an eye on our upcoming projects and announcements as we strive to include Kathy in our 2022 strategy.

Kathy Eldon, Sara James and Adam Bradford (left to right)

Between meeting local Californians we did also have time to concentrate on the aforementioned business strategy for 2022 and facilitate a variety of internal meetings with new Associate Director Steve Watson. These meetings were critical to our development and were heavily influenced by the conversations we’d been having across the week. Lots of paper and lots of ink were used during various high-level brainstorming sessions, and we’re keen to announce very soon our strategy for 2022!