Lily Cole's 'Impossible' appeal to the kindness of strangers


In the face of mantras like "greed is good" and "there's always a catch," a new social network is appealing to people's sense of generosity and altruism.

British fashion model and Cambridge graduate Lily Cole joins Jian to discuss her website, a hub for the "gift economy" backed by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Users are invited to freely provide knowledge and services to others without expecting anything in return.


Cole, who joins Jian from Austin, Texas, opens up on why she's choosing to tackle social entrepreneurship and what separates her brainchild from other social media incumbents. 

"What impossible seeks to do, even though it seems lofty and ambitious, is encourage very small acts of kindness and potentially just pose the question of value systems and pose the question of what we consider really valuable."

As she describes, the carefully crafted website has potential to address some aspects of social inequity, but still requires her to "invest in optimism." 

"I've really deeply made peace with the idea that if everybody on this planet turned around and said this is ridiculous...I would truly be able to say I know why I'm doing it in my heart and it was worth that effort."

>Photo in banner above: Model Lily Cole at a show at London Fashion Week in London. (Alessia Pierdomenico/Reuters)

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