We have begun our project in January 2011. We will leave France in September 2012, so we will have had a 20-month preparation. 20 months of preparation allow us to work on a professional value proposition to create partnerships and therefore to have an ambitious project.
We are curious and want to learn as much as possible during this preparation year. Here are the three main activities we are involved in and we regularly do :
- The Voyageurs du Changement Groupwork : Launched by a « social backpacker » and danone.communities, this initiative aims at gathering all the tips from previous responsible world tours to help and inspire future projects. Destination Changemakers is in charge of the animation and coordination of the groupwork on the ‘After-World tour’: how can projects like responsible world tours inspire others ? what is the ideal medium to do so ? The objective of this group work is to publish a handbook that will be delivered during an event at ESCP Europe in Paris that we co-organized next February.
- Reading : We read many articles, reports and books on topics such as social entrepreneurship, social innovation and sustainable development to understand the stakes related and have a critical point of view on these issues. And we summarized some readings into “reading notes” you can find in our blog.
- Meeting Changemakers : Meet a great deal of innovating and inspiring social entrepreneurs, in the UK and in France, in order to understand the reasons of their success. Here is a short video of Changemakers we met in London :
2. Being inspired
During our preparation, we want to attend as many events and conferences on topics related to our project we can. Here are some examples, to name but a few:
- Sustainable Business Summit : Organized by The Economist in London in March 2011, this one-day summit focused on the fact that corporate social responsibility has move from a “nice-to-have” to a key strategic issue
- Convergence 2015 : Organized in Paris in June 2011, this three-day summit focused on microfinance, social business, social entrepreneurship and social and solidarity-based economy.
- The Start Up Week End : Organized in Paris in November 2011, this two-day event aims at creating a social business within 48 hours.
- The Social Workshop : Organized in Paris in November 2011, this one-day intensive workshop aimed at creating a social enterprise for senior people. The jury elected KnowlAge, the project of Matthieu and 4 students :)
- The Global Social Business Summit : Organized in Vienna in November 201, this three-day event gathers some of the most inspiring leaders of the world of social business. The motto : put society back at the heart of business. Here is a short video of our journey in Vienna :
Our project has three objectives. For each objective, we will learn and practice before we will leave for the realization of the project abroad:
- Helping a social entrepreneur : We realized a two-week pilot-mission with a young social entrepreneur during the Summer 2011. This social entrepreneur launched its venture SendMeLove and needed a business plan, so we helped him for his financing modelling, his market study, his social impact and the redaction of the business plan. We worked with La Petite Etoile, a French consultancy specialized in business development, who gave us pieces of advice and feedback after our work.
- Studying an ecosystem of social change : We will study this year the ecosystem of change around Les Epiceries Solidaires, a social enterprise aiming at collecting non-used food and selling it at a very affordable price to underprivileged people. We will meet the actors working in the same field with the same aim, and study the contribution of each actors and imagine collaborations between them to accelerate social change.
- Sharing our experience : As previously said, we are in charge of the ‘After-World tour’ groupwork of Les Voyageurs du Changement, so we will be helped by mentors to optimize our impact after we came back.
4. Building a Crew
We spend a lot of time to build a Crew. Members of the Crew are people interested by our projects, they should be friends of us or not, they often participate in events we organize and are free to give us advice on our project. In a word, they are active followers.
- Brainstormings : We are regularly organizing brainstorming on our project, and everyone is welcome. It enables us to have many ideas on issues related to our project, and it enables people to get involved in our project.
- Meetings : We are regularly organizing meetings to give news of our project. The more events like this we organize, the more people follow us.
- MakeSense : We are part of the worldwide MakeSense community, so our news are followed by more than 300 people in 20 countries.
5. Making our project responsible… from A to Z !
- Carbon compensation : We are working on an innovative way to compensate our carbon emissions during our project
- 100% recycled business cards : Yes, our business cards are 100% recycled :)
6. Anticipating the maximization of our long-term impact
We are aware a “one-shot project” is not the best way to create long term value, for our social entrepreneurs and for our partners. So we are thinking about the creation of an association that will continue after we come back: we need a new “interschool team” to continue the project !