Good morning new day. Nothing like a sunny morning after a summer thunderstorm and a cup of cardamom filled Arabic coffee to get you started! (the cardamom makes it Arabic instead of Turkish)
I’ve been in Belgium about two years now. My Dutch is doing well, my French I’ve decided to improve (aka start) and I’ve had a job for quite a while now. The elections happened recently and there was a very predictable swing right. A similar thing happened in the last elections but the winning party was pushed out of the government. I’m curious as to what will happen this year. Europe as a whole seems to have jumped to the sides (either far-ish left, or far-ish right.) The Union is in a precarious place. A place that could provide the needed push to tackle diverse opinions and competing futures, allowing it to become a strong, diverse and powerful place. Or it could lead to slow ruptures that fester until the European experiment is looked back upon as only that, an experiment.
As for my work. I work for a social enterprise founded by Ashoka Fellow Arnoud Raskin. The organization is Mobile School –StreetwiZe. We work with street kids around the world, focusing on self esteem and foundational development through educational games on our ‘mobile school’ (an all terrain chalkboard on wheels). Over their 15+ years on the street, a lot has be learned from the street youth. They live in a tough and unforgiving environment, yet some of them not only survive, but succeed. StreetwiZe was developed by looking at the skills and competencies they use to survive and translating them in to ways that those in business can improve their ability to not only survive, but also succeed. When you look at the core components of what drives us, keeps us working and helps us succeed, it’s the same for a corporate employee as a street kid. Only with the street kid it is life or death, and therefore more visible. We do talent development and coaching programs for large companies based on the skills and experiences of the street youth and the profit of our work supports Mobile School.
I have long been a passionate believer of the idea that business can be fundamentally good. Whether as a catalyst for change, an example from which to learn or a way of strengthening the foundation of our communities. Whatever the name, let us continually bring our personal values into the work we do everyday.
Twitter handles to check out: @SSIReview @Skollfoundation @Socentclinic @Acumen @Ashoka @EchoingGreen@SOCAPmarkets
Just a few of many covering social enterprise and impact investing!
And one last update for the moment: a long time friend and Mentor, Jerry Hildebrand will be heading the Center on Social Impact Learning at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (Middlebury College.) Jerry ran the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship that catapulted me on my journey in social enterprise. He has been one of the most supportive and kind human beings I know who has done wonders to bring out the best within each person so that they can have the most positive impact on the world. I am excited for Jerry, for MIIS and for the future that their partnership creates!