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Capri23auto - Pixabay

I can’t stand the term street-art. It’s banal, it’s lazy, and it has an inherent snobbery about it that makes me squirm.

Art in the street already has a name; graffiti. I don’t care if you’re going about it with wild-style throw-ups, Posca tags, wheat-paste, stencils, or whatever the hell Invader does, it is all graffiti. Graffiti has been around since ancient Greece, and pieces have given us insights into the zeitgeist of the times they were produced, so why now after thousands of years do we insist on using the term street-art?

Street-art is the watered down friendly name…

In this edition of Fresh Ideas Free Thinking, we caught up with our very own Jack Atkins to find out what he is reading, who is inspiring him and how an earthworm ended up in his beard…

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What do you do?
I am a freelance journalist, copywriter, social media buffoon; Jack of all trades, master of none. My parents were very apt when they named me.

Where do you do it?
I currently work in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, but I have spent the past couple of years in Toronto where I ate my bodyweight in poutine on a regular basis.

Who do you do it for?
Various! My premier obligations are to Ethos magazine and Wordscapes, but being freelance I mainly work for me.

What has been your favourite project of the past year that you’ve been…

We are, en masse, more aware than ever before of our impact on the planet and are constantly trying to find ways to help the environment. Luckily, Veolia and Moo are two companies who have happened upon recycling solutions for everyday problems.

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B Lab is the non-profit organisation that unites a global community of likeminded businesses, all of whom are looking to address social and environmental challenges through business. Jack Atkins spoke to B Lab UK’s communications and storytelling manager Scott Drummond, and certified B Corporation , Toronto NOW’s editor Alice Klein, to find out more…

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For too long big business always seemed like a case of us versus them, the idea that businesses were disconnected from the societies they catered for and treated customers and staff as simply statistics was prominent and just taken as a given. Think back to the early 1990s where we saw massive multinational companies subjecting workers to appalling conditions in order to meet the demands of their customers. It was a perverse evolution of capitalism, and when the world realised how their favourite products were getting manufactured, they reacted with revulsion and horror.

Something needed to change, and drastically. That’s…

Football is the biggest sport in the world with an estimated 3.5 billion fans, but as the average fan is being increasingly priced out and disregarded, several football teams are striving to do things their way.

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Camp Nou, Barcelona

If boxing is the ‘sport of kings’, then football is ‘the working-class sport’, well, at least it used to be. Fuelled in part by changes in media technology and the realisation of the importance of overseas markets, football has been plucked out of the hands of the ordinary match-goer and increasingly used as anything from a media bargaining chip, to an oligarch’s plaything.

Some teams, however, have remained true to football’s origins and have remained a fundamental part of their community, rather than becoming a bastardised soulless cash cow only existing to serve the whims of their owners.

As the…

Filmmaker, entrepreneur and ambassador for equal rights in the workplace, Claire Wasserman founded the female platform Ladies Get Paid, to encourage and empower women in work. Jack Atkins caught up with her to learn more…

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Credit — Paulsta Wong

Tell us more about your background and where the idea for Ladies Get Paid came from.
After I graduated in 2009, I moved to New York as there are so many opportunities here. Before I came to New York I spent some time in Sarajevo, Bosnia where I produced a short film.

The film started picking up speed at film festivals, and we ended up getting nominated for a student academy award. What was interesting was that at the time I still didn’t feel like I wanted to go into film — as much as I loved it. …

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Queens, New York — Blind idiot in rubbish socks tries to phone his mum. © Josh Mullins.

The whole process of journaling is both a new and an old concept to me. The idea of sitting down day-to-day and writing about my process or my thoughts or certain concepts feels foreign, yet I keep a meticulous workday-diary. Just ask anyone in the Ethos studio; my desk diary is the most anally neat and precise thing you’ll ever see this side of Howard Hughes’ bedroom.

I’ve only been writing full-time for a little over 18 months, and I’ve only been back in England for 20, and I’m still trying to find my feet. There are days when I…

Arete is a unique storytelling agency, which works with NGOs, governments and charities, and sources and manages local experts in photography, video, digital and written content from around the world. Jack Atkins caught up with Arete’s founder, award winning photojournalist Kate Holt, to find out more about her process and ideologies…

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Iraq — Warchild; A young boy sits on top of a truck containing his families belongings on the road to Mosul, Iraq Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. The exodus of civilians from the battleground northern Iraqi city of Mosul has reached an unprecedented level, leaving aid agencies struggling to cope. Nearly 1 million people have been displaced from Mosul since 2014 in the biggest battle since the second world war. Many are returning but everything has been destroyed and rebuilding will take years.

When do you consider your work on a story to be done?
It’s never really done is it. I always find it frustrating when I walk away from a story and think “Oh God I really should have asked this question” or I like at my set of pictures and think “Oh I really should have shot THAT bit” so I suppose you never really finish, and people’s stories are always unfinished stories aren’t they. …

Jack Atkins

Merseyside based perma-frowning egg eater with an inflated sense of self-worth.

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