Thursday, October 06, 2011

Dear Jude

I don't have any formal notice about PPP yet – I've been networking it furiously across people like John Lewis and CAMRA and Plunkett Foundation and this was NOT meant for general release – it's a letter to a friend outlining what PPP is about. It's wordy but that's because it's describing quite a lot of detail of what needs to happen to bring it all together.

The end result of PPP once it gets going will simply be a growing group of great pubs that people love going to for all manner of good things. Like pubs should be. And that, basically is simple.

Making this simple thing happen in the market we have is complicated but doable if approached intelligently with the right goal in mind and if the people involved are all brought along with the idea properly. It is ALL ABOUT PEOPLE – people are what make pubs tick at every level and this is designed to make it happen sustainably while teaching people – staff, punters and everyone alike, how to do pubs in a commercially successful, cooperative / partnership way of business.

PPP's ultimate delivery is about taking dead boozers that have been run into the ground by pubco's over the last thirty years, buying them freehold and investing in them wisely to make them really attractive places to be in and low carbon output businesses that people want to visit and spend money in, then managing them well – this bit is not rocket science, it's happening all the time; all over the country small pub companies are setting up and making dead pubs busy for private equity purposes then flogging them off to big pubco's when they get to fifteen to fifty units. This makes a few people into millionaires – and leaves the pubs to slowly sink back into the homogenous mire of pubco medicority. PPP's difference is its constitution and that the assets – the buildings – are held in an unassailable trust s no one can get into and flog off.

Quite simply it cannot fail as long as there is enough capital to start up and we don't make ridiculous decisions with the décor.

Best and love

Mark. 07768 096 761

Outline of PPP 21.08.2011

The PPP has to be a revolution at every level - it has to change the way people see business and how they see their behaviour at home and in private. It has to make people see that they can make an impact on global warming - at least by investing in PPP and at best by changing the way they do things.

PPP can do this because, basically, this is what everyone wants. We're DOING what everyone wants to do individually to save the planet but feel utterly impotent to actually bring about in their own lives. They pretty much all know now that If the future's not green, there's no future and they are scared. They are so scared they can's admit they're scared. PPP deals with it all and makes them feel good. And positive about their lives because PPP makes them feel like maybe there really can be a future that's not just doom and gloom. AND they can get pissed in the pub WHILE it's positively changing the way the planet is being used.

The business has to be set up with the goal of being revolutionary on every level - in terms of ownership, how it consumes energy, how it handles waste water, foodstuffs, surplus energy and segregatable general waste like paper, card, metal, glass, plastic - and minimising what goes to landfill and conceivably even earn from its waste handling - such as with spent oils for biofuels or the sort of things you were mentioning. Rain water retrieval would water the gardens and sink and domestic accommodation water used for toilets. It may be possible to treat toilet water on site in some cases. All cooking will be electric. Ranges will be induction. No gas needed. Green energy supplier. Maybe Good Energy, we'll do a deal with one of them - it will be high profile publicity.

The company has to be clear how it interacts with its supply chain - road miles and sourcing local produce - working with farms as we've been discussing - and encouraging everyone it interacts with to adopt practices which reduce climate impact and create a better society. Not too much to ask in return for business.

Then there is an enormous social impact the business can have if it's set up to look at these things from the beginning. It will work with other like minded businesses from the outset, work with / use other employee owned businesses - like John Lewis / Waitrose - to bring best practice into its operations and then feedback and publicise performance information that will encourage other businesses to look at the way they operate. And none of this costs much if planned in at the start stage but all will bring people to the pubs and some will generate income:

Training - built in high quality training, practical and life skills - tapping into the massive range of training programmes funded by government. It would work with jobcentres to get young people into work - like Jamie Oliver's Fifteen does. The pubs will provide services tailored to the needs of their local communities. Over fifty / oap lunch clubs, meeting space for voluntary organisations, computer facilities and internet access for people who cannot get on line. Training costs for this would almost certainly be covered by govt money. They can hold art shows, quizzes, knitting circles, book clubs and loads of other things that are easily possible but not done often now.

The pubs will be collection centres for small things like domestic batteries and cd's which should never go to landfill but are fiddly to recycle from home. They will take in parcel deliveries for customers and a 'leave your key' service, simple stuff like that. They will be local information hubs through in-pub notice boards and via their websites.

All the stuff you've been suggesting about farms is good here - with a strong enough network of businesses it would be possible to make farms work better. And if that works then the employment and training stuff would kick in there too. Even, down the line, there could be a working with offenders programme to get criminals into being functional members of the community. I know, I know.

Brewery/ies should be part of this too. And probably apples and pears for cider - that market is going great guns but there seems to be an awful lot of orchards lying fallow which I imagine would be cheap to buy. It seems to me these have the potential to be very profitable to the business if they are part of the supply chain rather than external suppliers. All the waste handling there could possibly even feed into making biomass pellets for the pub estate's in house power generators.

Composted waste from the pubs could feed into the process and fertilise the farms, or the pub gardens. There could be wormeries.

The business plan will be on a website and we'll be going for massive publicity - It's a revolution coming. Pubs for All, All for pubs. That sort of thing.

BrewDog have done a great job on sorting out how to do a web based IPO. A combination of the functions their site has worked out and the functions on Brunning & Price's site cover just about everything PPP's website needs to do:

For the talk to camera explaining all the business plan so people don't need to read it, I've got the Letra Media guys interested in doing the script and filming. They did this with Clare Nicolson and Alabama 3 : and this Thomas Truax track is on their site:

And the guys who did BrewDog's website are going to do a holding page for PPP

Now for a commercial break. Careful, if you watch all these links it will suddenly be tomorrow:

Here's a TED talk from 2003 Bill Gross is a genius

And you'll like this one:

And you should see this one because Ken Robinson is just brilliant:

Here's Jamie Oliver's. I have a lot of time for this man: It's not really anything to do with PPP

Arthur Potts Dawson: He says he'll be a non exec director of PPP if I want

Amory Lovins How we will win the oil end game:

Thomas Heatherwick is fascinating:

Here's some bumpf on ARUP working with TED. I'm trying to get ARUP to support PPP on building design. They are members of the Employee Owners Association - as is PPP now.

This is Jim Trussler with that generator I mentioned: Their machines aren't in industrial production yet

Solar panels are already falling in price to the point they are making electricity that's close to being as cheap as grid delivered power. I have a relative who's a professor of photovoltaics at the atomic level. He's one of the world's leading boffins on thin film PV and has spent the last twenty years researching how to make this as efficient as silicon. He says the price against efficiency is competitive on a par with grid and in two to three years these solar panels will be so cheap that they can be incorporated into any building and pay back energy bills to the user.

Last, for now, David Read, who's CEO of Prestige Purchasing, very bright, very connected believes in all of this, thinks it's brilliant and is doing pro bono mentoring because he likes the idea and me and Nicky

Oh then there's this David Preece who's an academic Professor, lead on change and pubs and stuff at Teeside University wants to work on stuff with PPP - a bit complicated to go into now. I've put him in touch with Jonathan Mail, policy director at CAMRA. They seem to be getting on like a house on fire. I've got a fair bit of other interesting leads going on as well.

I'm sure there's something quite big I've completely missed out. But hey. I'm going to bed.

This is my LinkedIN explanation of PPP

August 2011

Working on The People’s Pub Partnership; putting pubs at the heart of their communities. A radically different pub company from the norm, with a constitution like the John Lewis Partnership's.

PPP is a vibrant, genuinely sustainable and profitable SME designed to provide stable careers and rewards for workers, with reliable returns for investors. Consumers will be given the opportunity to take part ownership in their pubs.

PPP will serve great value, high quality products and ambiance to everyone and increase the social capital of the communities it serves. The pubs will vitally engage with customers and be proactive social hubs.

Each pub will be refurbished to the highest practicable low environmental impact standards using sensitive processes and low carbon technologies to make highly energy efficient buildings. Recycled, reuse and responsibly sourced materials will be used throughout their development.

Environmental and ethical responsibility will permeate the operation through serving fine, regionally brewed craft beers and ciders to complement excellent food made in house from natural supplies. Staff will be well trained, professional and knowledgeable. The pubs will hold events that match the needs of their audience, from art shows to quizzes, from darts to book clubs, and provide services such as cd and domestic battery recycling, mail drop off, free wifi and computer access for people who cannot access the internet... this is called tackling digital exclusion

PPP will put pubs where they should be - right at the heart of their communities.

Capital will be from a mix of sources, from direct investment by institutions and high net worth individuals concerned with the state of the pub sector and to crowd funding on a large scale which will enable thousands of people to invest in bonds at amounts from £100 to £1million with varying returns based on levels of commitment.


J Mark Dodds FRSA

07768 096 761

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