Paris, in a Café, September 22nd 2013 — The day we chose to start our own “MakeSense” journey.
I remember when Maylis, Mhammed, and I made this decision. THE decision! We were students in a nice business school in Marseille. We had spent the past couple years following our normal life as students in classes, doing our internships, learning many things about business, management, and finance, etc, enjoying lives. But pretty soon, we realized that all these things were not enough.
What were we doing all these things for? What was the impact we were having on the world around us? How could we contribute more to our own society? All these questions started to raise.
We wanted to go further, to use all these “skills” we were supposed to have in something concrete, something making more sense in our society and in people’s lives. We didn’t want to become superheroes, but just use our time and our knowledge to make things move in a more valuable way. That’s how we came to our school association, “ACCEDE”. Thanks to ACCEDE, many students connect with unemployed people that are willing to start their own project or business, and help them design their business plans. With our skills, we were able to support these people with amazing energy and big dreams, but who didn’t have the chance to follow high studies. This is when we first discover the “super-power” we could have to contribute to our society, by enabling people to create their own value and create their path.
Then came the time to choose our internship. With this first experience, we couldn’t resign and choose a regular occupation! That’s when we fortunately meet with the MakeSense community. MakeSense is a community of volunteers all around the world, that want to contribute to build a better society by helping inspiring social entrepreneurs to develop their projects. As with ACCEDE, MakeSense members uses their time, creativity and skills to help active people and support them in their project. They do it all around the world, and anyone can contribute! We couldn’t resist … and became active members!
Step by step, after several workshops with entrepreneurs in France and many inspiring discussions, we decided to go Forward. We decided to spend the following year working along with MakeSense, to develop MakeSense activities in South East Asia. We decided to travel for 4 months, meet social entrepreneurs all around the continent and help them design their idea and build their solutions!
Paris, at the airport, September 3rd 2014 — D-Day
Our luggage was packed to start our “Asia SenseTour.” We had spent 6 intense months of work and preparation, getting in touch with all the MakeSense members in the different cities where we were going, connecting with local incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, etc.
We were finally ready to travel through 8 countries of South East Asia, meet more than 25 social entrepreneurs. Were we afraid? Not one bit. That is the superpower of the MakeSense community. There are more than 20 000 “SenseMakers” (MakeSense volunteers) mobilized all over the world and in each country we crossed, ready to help us in our journey.
We had decided to focus our tour on “early-stage” entrepreneurs, that were at the idea phase. We organized several Sensefiction workshops, where wannabe entrepreneurs would come with just a social issue to solve in mind and some first ideas, and would leave with a first concept to test on the field!
We will never forget how welcoming and helpful the local people were during our entire trip, and how amazing it was to share about our own vision of the world and culture. We will also never forget our stay in Gawad Kalinga, where we met the famous Tony Meloto and all the social entrepreneurs in the incredible and magical “Enchanted Farm” for the Social Business Summit of the Philippines. We also learned so many things, but especially that we were more powerful if we act all together. It is fascinating to see that there are so many people involved and ready to solve social issues.
Paris, at the airport, December 23rd 2014 — We are back.
We returned after such a rewarding experience, full of incredible memories, and proud to have been involved with this amazing project. And the best is yet to come… Thanks to our Tour, MakeSense was more active than ever in South East Asia. Léa Klein continued our work to strenghten the community there! To know more about that, read her amazing article here!
Did you enjoy our journey? Help our community go forward in Asia with a growing support office in the Philippines and to start a new one in China. Support us to win the Google Impact Challenge to make it happen! It happens in 2 clics here: bit.ly/4sense :)