Alex Budak

Social Entrepreneur, Sandboxer, Picture Taker.

I'm a fan of road trips, California burritos,

good design and great leadership.

2 weeks ago

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Today is my Swediversary — one year ago, on March 8th, I arrived here in my new home of Stockholm. It’s been a challenging, but ultimately wonderful year. A year of being a hipster in Södermalm and an explorer in the archipelago. A year of $5 protein bars and $12 beers. A year of lots and lots and lots of fika. A year of ridiculously efficient transportation, clean public restrooms and absolutely gorgeous nature. A year of missing friends, family and Californian sun. A year of Swedes doing their best to scare me about how terrible the month of November is and a year of me trying to explain to incredulous Swedes how much I miss good Mexican food. A year of new traditions in All Saints day and Lucia, and a year of buying way more food in tubes than I ever thought possible. A year of more order, queues and calm, and a year of figuring out all kinds of new, unwritten, social norms. A year of not talking to a single person on the metro. A year where deer run outside my window, where an amazing swim is 3 minutes away yet a buzzing neighborhood with guys with crazy beards is just a 10 minute walk away. A year of expanding my knowledge of Swedish beyond the words yelled at me during crossfit. A year with a new job, filled with gratitude to be able to help build the social entrepreneurship ecosystem here. A year of new sites to see, taste and photograph. A year filled with new. I’m so thankful to friends here, especially Sandboxers for being so welcoming. And mostly I’m thankful to my Swedish valentine, Rebecca, the best partner in new Swedish adventures I could ever imagine.

1 month ago

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It was almost too cold to take off my gloves to snap this photo, but the sunset tonight in Malmö was beautiful. (at Kungsparken)

3 months ago

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3 months ago

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3 months ago

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3 months ago

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Start Some Good Gifts This Year

This year, instead of just giving more *stuff,* join me in making a more meaningful gift for family and friends by supporting the amazing ventures on StartSomeGood.  From using lacrosse to transform the lives of Chicago’s at-risk youth to building community resilience in El Salvador, there are amazing changemakers that are running campaigns now at http://startsomegood.com.  

Or, for physical gifts that have meaning behind them, check out this guide, reblogged from StartSomeGood below with lots of great ideas!

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I know, I know, it’s a tad early to be talking about the holiday season, but if you want your gifts to change the world, there’s a little preparation involved.

StartSomeGood project rewards are the ultimate gift for people who care about the future of the planet, and for people who like cool stuff - that just about covers everybody, right?

By buying your friends and family one of the gifts below, you’ll sidestep the usual meaningless commercialism and help an incredible project get off the ground.

We’ve compiled a list of rewards on offer from current crowdfunding campaigns and feel-good products from previous StartSomeGood success stories. We’ll update this page weekly as more projects launch. Remember, get in early to allow for campaign length and shipping times. Then sit back and relax while everyone else sweats it out in the last-minute mall stampede, knowing you’ve helped passionate changemakers create a better future for their communities.


Live campaign rewards

For the art lovers

The illustrations in this calendar from Friends of Bangladesh are so gorgeous you’ll want to frame them as each month goes by. Add some beauty (and a boost to climate justice) to your 2014.

Buy now in time for Christmas

For the beautiful (inside and out)

Greenola Style is a young, entrepreneurial fashion brand aiming to create lasting opportunity for women artists in Bolivia through ethical fashion. They have a whole range of funky jewelry and more to choose from. Change lives and fill those stockings!

Buy now in time for Christmas

For the chefs

It’s in your interests to buy this book for the best cooks you know. If you’ve never tasted authentic Cambodian recipes, you’re in for a treat. Offerings is gorgeously styled and worthy of pride of place on the coffee table or in the kitchen.

Better still, you’ll make it possible for Cambodian kids to attend school, creating new hope for a generation whose country has suffered so much.

Buy now in time for Christmas

For the music lovers

If you’re only familiar with Somebody That I Used to Know you need to hear more from Gotye. Wally de Backer’s second album was described by Pitchfork as “full of dark pop, produced with an open clarity that separates the numerous sounds and consequently comes off as huge and sweeping…Like Drawing Blood is memorable and captivating.”

By purchasing Like Drawing Blood or another album reward for the music lovers among your friends and family, you’ll be helping the New Internationalist promote diversity in media and promote a better informed, more engaged society.

Buy now in time for Christmas

Gifts from StartSomeGood success stories

For the fighters

SMAC! Sock Monkeys Against Cancer is a social enterprise supporting cancer research and providing tangible support to people with cancer, with the help of a pair of feisty, crazy-haired monkeys.

Nomo and Phoenix make the perfect gift for those whose lives have been touched by cancer, or just for anyone who wants a touch of cuddly color in their world.

Buy now in time for Christmas

For the activist

If you’re an activist, a social entrepreneur or an NGO employee, Anarchists in the Boardroom is going to make you feel just a little bit uncomfortable - in a good way. It challenges organisations to be ‘more like people’ to stay relevant and be more effective - and it was funded on StartSomeGood.

Buy now in time for Christmas

For the fashionista

Bacchara is an incredible ethical, sustainable fashion enterprise in Bangladesh. As well as creating gorgeous threads to suit women of all ages, shapes and sizes, they also provide excellent employment conditions and support the education of Bangladeshi kids.

Buy now in time for Christmas

For the politics buff

It’s no Shades of Grey but the for the engaged Aussie citizens in your life, Pushing Our Luck will get the pulse racing. The book, funded on StartSomeGood, gives important thinkers space to imagine better ways to do things, based on real evidence, for a fairer and more sustainable Australia.

Buy now in time for Christmas

For inspiration

At their worst, greeting cards can be an obligation, a waste of paper or a chore. At their best, they can touch hearts and change lives. This year, why not send little sparks of inspiration flying through your network, with these thoughtful Pollyanna Principles notecards from Creating the Future. A great way to reconnect while supporting innovative programs for changemakers.

Buy now in time for Christmas

Go forth and shop with a clear conscience! We’ll be back next week with an updated line-up of gift suggestions for truly good giving!

3 months ago

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Lucia at Katarina Kyrka, an amazing Swedish winter/Christmas celebration.  

4 months ago

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This weekend’s Sandbox ambassador retreat was held a couple of hours outside of London on Osea Island.  It’s only accessible via a small trail which is only crossable during low tides.  Arriving there, we went in style in a double decker bus which splashed its way through the rising tide only to get completely stuck trying to leave the island after dropping us off.  This morning, instead of risking another bus (mis)adventure for our departure, we “walked across water” ourselves, resulting in lots of mud on our shoes and beautiful views like this one.

4 months ago

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4 months ago

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Thanks for a great two days, Copenhagen. You’ve got a new fan! (at Nyhavn)

4 months ago

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Good morning, Amsterdam  (at Bilder & De Clercq)

5 months ago

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