It is good to see that social innovation is being seriously supported with the Macquarie Group Foundation celebrating its 30th Anniversary by awarding a special $300,000 Australian Social Innovation Award this year, rather than the usual biennial $100,000 awards (ProBono Australia). This year’s recipients – H.S.M. (Hello Sunday Morning) – claim to be the world’s largest online movement for behavioural change towards alcohol.
According to a New Yorker article (8 Apr 2015), H.S.M. Founder and CEO, Chris Raine, a former Gen-Y weekend drinker decided to quit drinking for a year and ‘blog about it’. From his year off alcohol and his reflections about his experience and the Australian cultural obsession with alcohol, he managed to convince a relatively large group to quit for three months and relate their experiences online. From these rather modest roots, H.S.M. became an incorporated charity in 2010 and in 2015 exceeded 40,000 registered participants, including some from the UK and the US.
In 2012, well known Australian TV news reader, Talitha Cummins, joined the program as well as Alcoholics Anonymous in her successful battle with alcohol addiction. She is now an ambassador for H.S.M. Also in 2012, Chris Raine gave the following Ted X talk in Darwin. And this year, H.S.M. launched their App, making it even easier to track progress on your sobriety and health goals.