by Elsa Marie D’Silva – SE Entrepreneur, SE Outreach Accelerator 2015

We are already in Week 3 of our accelerator and Week 2 at our apartment. Each of us is getting into the rhythm of things – the travel to and from the office, the daily routine at the apartment, the cooking and grocery shopping and basically finding our own individual space. We are also learning a lot about each other and our daily routines which shape the way we think and behave.

Social Enterprise Visit with PeePoople

Social Enterprise Visit with PeePoople

When Loan says “I’m good”, she actually means “No thank you”! Whilst we were grocery shopping, Betty mentioned that they don’t get broccoli in Uganda. And Flaviano works in a community in the Amazon where they have to walk for a day to get extremely poor internet for about 4 hours. It is with great difficulty that he is able to send an email. No wonder with such minimal social interaction he believes he is anti social!

At the start of the week we visited Peepoople and it was very insightful. The most important lesson I learned was to focus on the thing you know best and do it well. You cannot solve the world’s problems. But you can provide part of a solution for a larger problem. Other components can then be added to yours or innovations built on top of your solution to provide an end to end product or service.

Joint session with the Social Innovation in a Digital Contect (SIDC) cohort from Lund University

Joint session with the Social Innovation in a Digital Contect (SIDC) cohort from Lund University

Ruth’s sessions challenged us to think more deeply about our organisations, our vision, our core value propositions and most importantly the people we serve. For many of us, our clients may be different from the people who actually benefit from the work that we do. Taking a step back to think about each of our customer segments was really helpful.

Our session with the SIDC participants from Lund University was the highlight of the week. We got to meet 16 other social entrepreneurs from different parts of the world. Many of them are working on human rights related issues. So personally for me, I thought there were plenty of opportunities for collaboration. The World Cafe exercise was fun but also very insightful where we had to describe our organisation and one challenge that we are facing. The participants had to give suggestions which we could implement within our organisation. Crowd sourcing ideas is a brilliant way to get different perspectives to the same issue or problem. It also helps you connect the dots.

Tallinn Town Hall from Town Hall Square

Tallinn Town Hall from Town Hall Square

We ended the week with a cruise trip to Tallinn, Estonia. Shezan, Sanwal, Neelam, Loan and myself booked ourselves on the Silja line on the Thursday evening. It was a first time experience for most of them on a cruise ship. As we sailed out onto the Baltic Sea we passed by many of the 30000 islands in the archipelago. The calmness and rugged beauty was breath taking and reminded us of the chaos we had left behind in South Asia and Vietnam. The 3 fun days spent on the cruise boat, in the hostel in Tallinn, dancing to the live band and hanging out together has bonded us forever. I for one am pretty sure we are going to be friends for life and I cant wait to experience more of what SE Forum has in store for us.

 

 

 

For more information on the work PeePoople do please visit: PeePoople

To learn more about the SIDC programme please visit: SIDC