Review of the Ashoka – Changemaker Week in Paris

Back home after intense six days in Paris and the HEC University at the Ashoka – Changemaker Week. Here it goes my personal review of the whole thing and some reflections regarding what I saw and felt there:

June 16-19 : Young Changemaker City

Incredible three days with the young changemakers of the Ashoka Youth Venture. We gathered around 30 rocking youngsters from all over Europe (Germany, Austria, Turkey, France, Spain, Portugal…) to share our experiences and decide the following strategy of each country. Was great to feel that even we all came from very different backgrounds and we were working in different fields, we all had lots of thing in common like: empathy, team work, leadership, humbleness, collaboration, creative thinking and changemaking. Anyway I think that we still need to have a more business-oriented view and beeing able to design more sustainable and scalable projects.

Anyway I want to say that even though that most of us we are around 25, we don’t have a junior profile and that we are able to do proper strategic planning, visioning projects. So although we still have a lot to learn I hope that the position and use of the youngsters won’t be just a pose but strategic for companies, organizations, governments and projects.

In our case we decided to start working together with Portugal and creating the Ashoka Iberia – Young Changemakers Team. Good news. We also decided our next steps and started designing how the Portugalete – Changemaker City will look like and we will be dealing with the Changemaker Company concept of whom we have already started a pilot. Very excited about this developments in which I’ll be fully involved.

Here the resume of the Youth Changemaking Cluster in which I took part during the Changemaker Campus 

June 20-22: Changemaker Campus

I think that the Ashoka – Changemaker Week was a brilliant environment to inspire and engage their global network and a good way to spread social entrepreneurship but I think that it failed in terms of inventing or scaling up solutions.

Was just incredible to share space and dialogue with more that 1000 social entrepreneurs of the Ashoka network. Just great talking to them knowing more about their vision and projects, now is my time to reflect and see how I can implement those learning and having an even more social approach in my daily life and projects.

The most interesting workshop I attended during those three days was the `How to unleash the power of social network´ conducted by Ryszard Praszkier (Univ. of Warsaw and Ashoka Emeritus), Eric Theunis (HUB Brussels) and Alycia Lee (HUB Amsterdam). Great forum to expand the HUB Gipuzkoa Project.

The Iberian young changemakers with Ashoka’s Founder and CEO Bill Drayton recently awarded with the Spanish Príncipe de Asturias award.

I’m a bit sad with the fact that even having probably the world most incredible intellectual capital we weren’t really able to work all together and creating solutions or guidelines out of this week and actually I think that it was partly because of the not so good hosting of the conference as a whole. I hope that collective intelligence will be more present next time.

One of the most special moments for me was during the Country Meeting when I was able to met the Spain Ashoka Fellows and Ashoka’s Spanish investors. Very exciting and inspiring moments with them. I hope that the youngsters and the adult-fellow can cocreate something soon.

Now is also time to take care of the hundreds of email waiting in my inbox.

Thanks all you made this incredible days possible.