Change is in your pocket

The Big Issue is a socially responsible non-profit organisation that enables willing unemployed and marginalised adults to take responsibility for their own lives through a developmental employment programme.
Thomas Bisig, Zuhörer am Paradeplatz Zürich. Foto: Miriam Künzli

Letting go, again and again

Thomas Bisig listens. He listens to complete strangers on the street, allowing them to talk about whatever they wish. Listening to strangers is the reason he left his finance job three and a half years ago. He hasn’t looked back.

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Picture this: one time Thomas Bisig placed two little chairs in the middle of the city of Zurich and wrote on a sign next to them. “Would you like to talk? I’ll listen,” the sign said.

A little while later a man came along, a homeless person, as Thomas later found out. He stopped his bike in front of the two chairs and said, “Listening, that doesn’t help.” He then sat down and started talking, for an hour, or perhaps two. Later, he got back onto his bike and rode away. A few minutes later he came back around. “Listening – a brilliant idea,” he grinned.


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