Khaterah Parwani

Original article written for TEDxKEA, available here

A Lifetime Battle to Fight for The Right to Freedom and Independence

Violence against women is a major hindrance to the development of our societies. Whilst measures and organisations are in place to attempt to overcome this problem, many focus on helping the victims and not on nipping the problem at the bud; namely men who indulge in acts of violence against their spouses. Add context to this within the frame of the society in which we live in, here in Denmark, and you will find that violence against women of ethnicities other than Danish tends to be both more common and harder to uproot.

Speaker_04_Khaterah_article

Khaterah Parwani is the vice-chair, legal adviser and ambassador of the Exit Circle, an organisation that engages victims of physical violence, social control, bullying and radicalism in a dialogue. A victim of violence herself, both in childhood and adulthood, Parwani has spent the last few years channelling all her time and energy into helping those deprived of the rights to freedom and independence, using her background in law and a deep-seeded passion to make a difference in the lives of others.

Parwani’s work also focuses on the brothers and fathers involved in the circle of violence and social control. Understanding the underlying social circumstances that explain why, for example, the percentage of uneducated or unemployed men with Muslim backgrounds is as high as it is represents a key point of focus for Parwani: “It is harder to become integrated or accepted in Denmark when you are a brown man with a Muslim name than when you are a woman. A lot of these men feel marginalised.” Similarly, over and above violence and the need to understand why it happens, Parwani is of the opinion that it is more important to comprehend and work at disrupting mechanisms of social control and cultural radicalisation amongst minority societies.

An ardent debater and orator, Parwani has represented her views across numerous media such as The BBC, Der Spiegel, TV2 news, DR1 and Radio 24/7.

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Denmark’s First University TEDx Inspires & Educates

Original Article for The Local Denmark, available here

 

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Technology, Entertainment, Design; TED – an acronym that many readers are no doubt familiar with. Founded in 1984, the TED brand operates on the maxim “ideas worth sharing” and usually consists of elaborate, well -prepared talks that are often filmed and unleashed to an eager online public. A powerful communication platform, it has branched off into numerous worldwide franchises operating under the TEDx banner, with the “X” denoting events that fit under the TED umbrella but are independently organized.
Paradigm shifts
TEDx KEA, Scandinavia’s first ever university TEDx franchise, brought a wave of inspiration and knowledge to the city on Thursday at the Nørrebro campus of the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology (KEA).
Featuring a main event at the adjacent Empire cinema and a live stream inside the campus (and to a worldwide audience) TEDx KEA ‘Emerge’ aimed to unite businesses and local leaders in the fight for a better tomorrow, provoked and emboldened by the up and coming talent of our generation.
Within this frame, speakers ranging from industry heavyweights such as author and serial entrepreneur Lars Tvede to Syrian refugee and women’s rights activist Noura Bittar Søborg gave TED talks that touched on a broad spectrum of topics. The latter received a standing ovation at the end of a compelling talk that told the epic tale of a struggle against violence in a war-torn nation, proposing a change to the status quo with verve and indefatigable emotion.
Others took a less serious, albeit compelling form – as was the case with sports marketing guru Stefan Pflug, who decried the short attention spans of internet-based information consumption. From fashion psychology (Manou Messman) to the need for a better understanding of social entrepreneurship (Lars Hulgård), each of the ten talks given during the course of the day told a personal story that merged with a call to arms within various subject material, asking questions of the manner in which we as a society operate.
More to come
For franchise holder Doug Costello and a massive crew involved in everything from speaker scouting to live stream recording and rhetorical training, the day represented the culmination of many months of hard work and a learning experience for future events of the same kind under the TEDx KEA banner.
The ten talks from the day will be edited and put online at some point, in itself a demanding task, but one that prolongs its longevity as a source of knowledge and inspiration for years to come.

Final Speaker Announcement: Manou Messman

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Original article written for TEDxKEA, available here

TEDx KEA has spoken of numerous ideas, which embrace an ethos that wishes to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity to a higher level. The final speaker that we are thrilled to announce is an incredible woman who, like many of the other distinguished speakers, has fought tooth and nail to end up where she is today. Similarly, a significant part of her beliefs is challenging the established notions by which we currently live.

For as long as she can remember, Manou has had an unshakeable fascination with fashion; specifically in how and with what intent people dress the way that we do. Despite a dominance of the fashion industry, dictating the social narrative, Manou has witnessed that many of those working within it are shockingly unaware of the needs of their consumers.

“Outfits are first and foremost a means of expressing oneself. There is an underlying psychology of complex individual needs at play that is not being addressed by those with the power of controlling the fashion industry,” Manou says.

Seeking a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanics of getting dressed in the morning, Manou excelled in a Masters of Communication and Psychology from Roskilde University, specialising in fashion psychology.

Bitten by the fires of the entrepreneurial drive, Manou is leaving the safety net of her job at the Ministry of Finance, pursuing her dream of building a business that educates the fashion industry to the true needs of this generation.

“There is a difference between what is produced by the fashion industry and the needs of individual consumers within it”.

A large part of this is due to the industry itself, so intent on pushing boundaries; with new lines and new styles coming out faster than we can try them on. This innovation for the sake of it leaves little time to acquire the capacity to understand the fundamental needs of the people that they serve.

“Many of them […] lack a broader understanding of the complex psychological demands that their customers have, and are unaware of how to address them.”

What follows is, in many cases, production simply for the sake of it, with very little long term vision. For this reason, many associate fashion with allegories of unsustainable practice and a lack for concern for the broader problems of mankind. Things need to change.

Revolutionising the fashion industry in this manner is no small task. But Manou doesn’t buckle under the pressure of facing the impossible.

A loving mother to Nomi and Alba, children born under exceptionally difficult circumstances due to pregnancy complications, Manou has overcome many a struggle to get to where she is. Coldly informed by doctors that she could not bear children, Manou refused the words “it’s not possible”. She laboured through several long, hard months and successfully conceived two healthy children, a boy and a girl. With her family happily settled in a small town not too far from Roskilde, Manou is now ready for the next big challenge of her life.

It is time to re-think the fashion industry, and the time to redefine what is normal. It is time for a new generation to emerge.

See you on December 11th.

Speaker Announcement: Natasha Friis Saxberg

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Interconnectedness, globalisation, movement – all of these are buzzwords of our millennium and a focal point within the TEDxKEA narrative. Humanity took its time getting to where we are today, yet we still have a long way to go. The process of innovation, however, can and needs to be quicker and more effective, according to Natasha Friis Saxberg.

A globetrotter and a tech-frontrunner, Natasha has lived on three continents and has been exposed to many different cultures throughout her lifetime. Pursuing meaning on a global and human level rather than merely a local one has therefore become a mantra for her.

Natasha kicked off her career working within the art and craft industry, showing entrepreneurial guile to open her first business at the tender age of 18. Her talent and understanding of the industry paved the way for early success as a garment designer – but an economic recession had other plans for her. Forced to abandon her business and devoid of a strong academic foundation to fall back on at the time, Natasha’s instincts led her to pursue an education as a systems engineer in 1997.

Natasha saw huge potential in the Internet in its early years, which “back then was about establishing servers and networks; making sure that people could communicate”. The young systems engineer rose quickly through the ranks – swiftly ascending to the position of operations manager for the Danish rail company, DSB S-Tog.

Operationalizing information technology within a company such as DSB, whose clientele is extremely diverse, was not without its challenges, and neither was being a forerunner for the arguments in favour of providing Internet services to commuters. Her ideas, whilst impressive, were too premature for many of her bosses and colleagues. Natasha left the company with her wits about her and valuable experience in the bag, whilst her efforts would soon prove to be instrumental in bringing the personalised Internet communication experience that Danish transportation companies are renowned for today.

Since then, she has gone from strength to strength and is now the anchor of the increasingly popular television show “Tech and the City”, based in bustling New York. She has also authored several books, and plays leading advisory roles in various capacities within the tech industry.

Currently an industry icon with a knack for trendspotting and tech-savvy swag, crafted from years of hard and passionate work within the digital sector, Natasha feels that we need to go back to our roots when it comes to innovation:

“If you only innovate based on the symptoms of a need, as opposed to the actual need, it will take a long time before we optimise humanity”. Building on this, Natasha’s speech will focus on the creation of value in society, based on an anthropological approach to understanding human needs, rather than merely through changes to what is already being done.

Brace yourselves for a talk from one of the most talented professionals within the tech sector, an exceptionally creative individual with a doctorate from the school of real-life experiences. Natasha Friis Saxberg will motivate you to perceive the world in a different light, by focusing on the future through visionary thinking, as opposed to creating incremental change by reproducing the past.

Speaker Announcement: Mads Faurholt Jørgensen

Original article written for TEDxKEA, available here :

 

Skærmbillede 2014-11-04 kl. 13.19.17

 

There is plenty that can be said and written of a man who has built over 30 leading Internet ventures all over the world in just five years. Amongst these ventures were giant enterprises such as Zalora, Lazada, Compare Asia Group and The Iconic, all of which are leading online stores and platforms in the Asia Pacific region.

In 2010, Groupon, listed by Forbes as the fastest growing company in the world, announced its continued expansion in Asia. At the helm of this monstrous endeavour was the iconic Mads Faurholt-Jørgensen, aged just 29 today. Four years ago, Mads took on roles as Global Partner and Managing Director at Groupon, driving the company’s success in the Asia Pacific region.

We all want to stand out from the crowd. But what does it take to push our dreams and visions from mere thoughts to tangible realities? Our latest TEDxKEA speaker may have some of the answers to these riddling questions.

Success has come in leaps and bounds for Mads, and the trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. But how did all this come to pass at such a breakneck pace?

Well, for one thing, Mads has always wanted to “stand out and do things differently,” a mantra that has consistently featured in his endeavours, just like when he strolled through a bachelor’s degree at Copenhagen Business School in one year and nine months, as the first ever student to do so.

Not only did Mads blitz through his education, he also made it look like a walk in the park, defying the growing trend of students in Denmark taking longer to finish their education than the allotted time frames. It was also a strategic move to stand out in such a way, taking the quickest route through the stream as opposed to aiming for the highest average – in itself arguably a more complex struggle. Later, Mads crossed the Atlantic to blaze a trail through MIT, racking up no less than 10 scholarships for various achievements in his MBA.

Once out of the college blocks, standing out became a philosophy that was ingrained in his mindset as a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. Mads made a name for himself in sales, analysis and private equity before grasping the reins of founding and leading companies. The driving force behind this, was having the courage to stand out and do things differently: as we have discussed – thinking big.

Translated into operational philosophy at Nova Founders Capital, which he founded, Mads maintains that “When building companies, we try to think How big will this be?, as opposed to will this work out? […] We remove all shadow of a doubt by making something that’s so good, people can’t say no to it”.

Naturally, this magnitude of success can never come without an immense work ethic and a burning passion for what you do. “Just like the saying that entrepreneurs will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40, I believe that if you do what you truly love, it never really feels like work”, remarks Mads.

We have previously discussed how lucky we are to have the opportunities that the Danish higher education system offers. Mads, who has seized those opportunities better than most, is ready to school you on putting one foot in front of the other on December 11th.

Fact File

2012 – present: Founding partner, Nova Founders Capital
2011 – present: Founder and Shareholder, Lazada Group (one of the leading online department store in South East Asia)
2011 – present : Founder and Shareholder, The Iconic (One of the leading online fashion companies in Australia)
2010 – 2012: Global Managing Director and Partner, Rocket Internet GmbH (the largest internet venture builder)
2010 – 2011: Managing Director Asia Pacific and International Vice President, Groupon. This company was classified by Forbes as the fastest -growing company in the world.
2007 – 2009: Associate, Mckinsey & Company, Switzerland
2003 – 2005: Sales Manager and coach, Viasat Broadcasting. Under Mads’ leadership, his sales division met its $40 m sales revenue target for the first time in its history. The company was also voted the 3rd best sales / service department in Denmark

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Business Administration and Economics. Copenhagen Business School. Mads became the first student to ever finish this degree in the short span of one year and nine months
  • Masters degree in Financial Analysis, Copenhagen Business School
  • MBA, Business Administration, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan  School of Management. In his time at this prestigious organization, Mads was awarded 10 different scholarships.

Networkr : Re – Thinking Professional Networking

Original article written for TEDxKEA, available here:

 

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Illustration : Dovile Montvydaite

 

Networkr: Re-thinking Professional Networking

A recurrent theme within the TEDxKEA narrative has been that of the numerous possibilities provided by the digital age. Never in the history of our existence have we had the possibilities to connect and communicate with each other as we do at present. This avalanche of opportunities, however, is not without challenges, as one of our speakers notes. Whilst we find ourselves exposed to seemingly innumerable options, it is also true that there is a need for more specificity.

Meet Networkr, a simple mobile application designed to aid the process of people connecting with each other at events, with a broader view of encouraging meaningful dialogue between them. The app, built by Nodes, a creative digital bureau working with an enviable portfolio within the industry, aims to complement the attributes of existing networking platforms such as Linkedin, albeit offering a more streamlined as well as more personal experience. Networkr’s CEO, Tim Groot believes that “It is difficult to find people that are interesting for you to interact with, professionally”. He adds: “Right now, one does so on a trial and error basis – you meet some people at an event and interact with them, but there are many more who you don’t get the chance to meet who could be more interesting or more relevant.”

Networking via mobile applications is nothing new, unlike the manner in which Networkr focuses on geographical proximity and/or a specific frame of interaction like attending events. Tim Groot wants connect people through mutual interest in a certain event, whilst utilising the higher sense of urgency that is present at these, where people want to interact with others in a meaningful way.

Moreover, the app creates a match between people based on a mutual interest, much in the same operative manner as the popular dating app, Tinder. This implies that both parties have to opt into requests to interact, limiting spamming whilst creating meaningful dialogues between people. “The matches that you acquire are not just people that are interesting for you, but also people who are interested in you”, remarks Tim Groot. Another feature that adds ballast to the potential of the application is the ability to connect before, during and after an event – aiding interaction possibilities whilst ensuring that there is also an element of sustainability created within the dialogues exchanged; meaningful interaction is created as people can contact one another once the event has ended. This increases the value of the event and changes the way we think about and organise our time and space. An event sphere around a particular happening is thus created, creating viable links between people of otherwise seemingly different interests, drawn together by the common event.

TEDxKEA believes in the power of ideas and in the need for these ideas to emerge. We are also an organisation with an affinity for doing things, rather than merely talking about them. With this in mind, we are proud to announce that Networkr will be an official partner at our Emerge event on December 11th, giving you the chance to connect to our speakers and fellow attendees.

 

Read Through This For More Than Six Seconds

Original article written for TEDxKea, available here: http://tedxkea.com/altering-digital-consumption-paradigm/

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Illustration : Dovile Montvydaite

 

Sports fan, brand activation manager and digital marketing ace Stefan Pflug is of the impression that ”When you offer fans something they truly consider valuable, you earn commercial airtime.”

This should be relatively straightforward. After all, businesses tailoring their products and services to the tastes of their customers is nothing new, and is especially evident in the digital age of the limitless possibilities of customer-advertiser interactions. Within this epoch, features such as site analytics and search engine optimisation functions allow advertisers to form a realistic frame of the nature of their consumers and their behavioral traits. Within the frames of this digital abundance, it would seem that possibilities are seemingly endless for consumers and producers of content alike.

Denmark is among the top five countries with the highest number of broadband users per capita, according to statistics from the World Bank. 90 % of our citizens are classified as “active internet users”. We are a connected country, to say the least.

But there is something missing in this world wide web of connectedness. “Nowadays, people consume digitally for six seconds before moving on […] This is not healthy, not for the consumer, nor for the advertiser,” remarks Simon Pflug. From our own lives as students and young, throbbing hearts in a pulsating city, we can all draw parallels with this statement. Yes, it is true that we are surrounded by a wide range of media through which to express ourselves and to access content – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, RSS feeds, etc. are all examples of this. Hardly a day goes by without the development and launch of a new mobile application that changes the manner in which we view and consume information.

We are merely a click away from being able to trigger online actions that reflect who we are and the way we think as consumers. Clicktivism is but one example of this: the act or habit of using the Internet as a primary means of influencing public opinion on matters of politics, religion or other social concerns has become a widespread norm of the digitally native society.

However, with the flood of such platforms comes inundation with little immersion. Hyperchoice is the buzzword that the marketing lingo has chosen to brand this phenomenon – a condition where the large number of available options forces us to make repeated choices that may drain psychological energy and diminish our abilities to make smart decisions. Whilst the implications of hyperchoice areyet to be properly and documented, one can suggest that too much of a good thing is not always positive. For instance, one critique of clicktivism could be that a lot of it is purely symbolic – “Liking” brands, causes and affiliations on social media is a virtual version of a truth that does not necessarily reflect a social reality. The web is littered with virtual manifestations of this sort – whether they are apparent in Facebook likes or in the six-second attention span theory that Stefan Pflug refers to. There is little sustainability within a frame of digital consumption of this sort – for advertisers and consumers alike, and this needs to change.

We need a new consumption paradigm. It is important that we look into why the attention spans of digital natives on their web pilgrimages are as brief and as short-term as they are. Can we forge better links between content and those accessing it? All of this, and more, will be discussed at TEDxKEA’s EMERGE event on December 11th, where you will witness TED talks that will both captivate, entertain and get you to pose critical questions regarding your views on digital media.

Collaborative Culture in the World of Web 2.0

Original article published for TEDxKEA, availble here : http://tedxkea.com/collaborative-culture-in-the-world-of-web-2-0/
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Illustration: Dovile Montvydaite
 Today’s world is a globalized one; a throbbing interconnected web of ideas, people, urban sprawl, movement, life. Our continents are more connected than they have ever been ­through satellites, underwater fiber optic cables, ships, planes, telecommunications – you name it.

Yet even in a web 2.0 world, one can and must ask the question, are we making the most of it all? Are the technological advancements we have made over the last decades merely different manifestations of the seemingly irreversible vice of social inequality or do they actually constitute a foundation upon which a brighter future can be built?

It seems that, as Hans Rosling and his son Ola assure us in their TED talk from Berlin, the world is moving in the right direction, with progress being made in the fight against poverty and inequality, contrary to popular belief. The question remains though, is enough progress being made to counterbalance the debilitating effects of the global population growth and the consequent pressure on natural resources?

Advancements in web 2.0 have broken the boundaries of what we previously thought was possible with web 1.0. Technologies like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube and other user-­driven sites having turned the tables on traditionally top-heavy (often agenda-driven) content production. The result of this has meant that many have been empowered with the tools to document and consume content at their own will. The true power of this sudden demonopolization of information can hardly be overestimated – perhaps best exemplified in the Arab Spring, when social media played a significant role in the uprising of various populations against oppressive regimes.

Whilst we stand in awe of the power of web 2.0, it is important that we don’t forget to address the privacy violation issues that seem to go hand in hand with it, with Facebook clicks being mapped to chart profiles for advertisers, the NSA spying on millions and hackers stealing our identities for purposes that one would rather not contemplate.

Moreover, sites like YouTube can both empower the downtrodden and helpless as well as act as a frontier for the transmission of hatred and terror propelled by far-­fetched extremists after blood and gore, a scenario that we have seen unfold all too dramatically of late. In similar vein, Wikipedia, another web 2.0 platform, can just as easily enrich the general public with irreplaceable subject knowledge from varied sources as it can produce erroneous, unsubstantiated information. There is a double­-edged sword effect which holds true of many of today’s technologies, many of which constitute the nascent phase of web 2.0.

What does this imply? Well, for one thing, increased global interconnectedness connotes perceivably easier communication opportunities across the board. Easier opportunities for individual content production and consumption in turn can create empowerment amongst social classes excluded from the narrative of society. Consequently, this can help tip the inequalities in income, capital and education that our world continues to suffer from.

Moves towards a global culture of collaboration are being made through, amongst other things, web 2.0. The importance of this is in an increasingly shared world whose resources per capita are diminishing whilst the global population continues to rise, cannot be overstated.

TEDxKEA has burning dreams and realistic desires of making the voices of tech and web developers with creative ideas heard, promoting a culture of collaboration in our societies. Nowhere are the opportunities that our technology brings us more evident than in our schools and universities, where we are surrounded by an avalanche of windows at our disposal to aid us with our learning and academic formation. Equally, we live in a world that is replete with tech­-aided opportunities, particularly in the developed world. It is time to take advantage of this world of possibilities. Join TEDxKEA in shaping a more sustainable future.

Speaker Announcment : Stefan Pflug

Original article written for TEDxKEA, available here :  http://tedxkea.com/speaker-announcement-stefan-pflug/

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Speaker Announcement: Stefan Pflug

We live in a world of unprecedented connectivity. As the next generation of digital natives rises to the challenges of digital consumerism and presence, there are countless possibilities for both advertisers and society alike. But perhaps this in itself is problematic.

Meet Stefan Pflug, an extraordinarily impassioned sports marketing manager who has risen through the ranks of the industry like a hot knife through butter. Still only in his late twenties, Stefan currently manages the sponsorship portfolio of Unibet and has an enviable track record within digital marketing, spanning successful stints with companies like telecommunications giant “3” and “Tvguide.dk.”

His talent for activating consumers via digital platforms has earned him various awards, including that of “industry rising star” from Partnership Activation, and the prize for the strongest mobile platform in the Danish football league, Superligaen.

But there is more to Stefan Pflug than an impressive resume and a beaming smile. At the heart of his ethos as a professional within an increasingly important digital age lies a deep-seeded passion for what he does, a passion that burns through every aspect of his life. As a former college American football player who had to retreat from the sport due to an unfortunate series of injuries, Stefan is well aware of the power of passion (and of having to fight hard in life).

Similarly, Stefan is aware of the challenges that the information overload of the digital age poses: “Fans follow their team on a million different platforms and micro moments online are obliterating the original experience […] Watching sports used to be a uniting experience that you would enjoy with your buddies, but now we are more interested in high-speed updates on our mobile phones – instead of actually watching the game! […] This is not healthy for the consumer nor advertisers […] We need to go back to the core experience and find out what we as viewers are triggered by” he says.

Essentially, these sensory bombardments across varied digital platforms are challenging the way in which we consume sports and interact with each other.

The micro moment paradigm that Stefan is so strongly against is but one area that needs to be addressed, not merely in fields such as sports marketing, but also in the broader narrative of the way advertisers view their consumers. Stefan believes that our attention spans can last more than six seconds and we therefore should aim for more quality over quantity when it comes to the manner in which we interact with content and vice-versa.

The answers to the challenges of the digital age are not set in stone. However, a critical view of the way we consume is needed.

Prepare yourselves for a TED talk by a young man with limitless drive that will both challenge and inspire the way you view digital media!

 

Fact file:

2008 – 2010: Portal composer / project manager, 3
June 2011 – November 2011 : Media consultant, Tvguide.dk ltd
2011 – present: Marketing co-ordinator, Unibet
July 2013: Award received for “Industry Rising Star,” Partnership Activation inc
June 2014: Nominated for “Best Social Marketing Campaign,”  eGR Operator Marketing & Innovation Awards
2014: Brand activation manager, Unibet
July 2014: Award received for “Strongest Mobile Platform in Denmark,” Superligaen A / S

 

 

 

Enough is Enough : The need for social entrepreneurship

Oriinal article written for TEDxKEA; available here : http://tedxkea.com/enough-enough-2/

 

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photo cred : Dovile Montvydaite

Last week, we discussed the emergence of social entrepreneurship as a catalyst of new ideas. It is true that entrepreneurship in itself, social, or otherwise, drives the inception and cultivation of furthering societies’ evolution.

History is full of champions whose stories have rocked the very foundations of what we believed was possible. The lightning bolt of inspiration is sought after by every would – be game changer, but the method remains the same. A stroke of insight, with the vision to see something that is not there and ask why not? The drive and fire to bring ideas to being, rounds off this age-old method.

This is true of the ideas of Florence Nightingale as it is of those of Steve Jobs. In today’s world, entrepreneurial guile is behind some of the world’s biggest brands and their consumers, stakeholders and so on. In fact, the hard work of a few ambitious people is at the throbbing heart of a world driven by a focus that cultivates entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs generate ideas or latch onto good ideas, string together the interests of different stakeholders and create brand new business concepts that provide goods and services to fulfill needs. Societies benefit from employment and the creation of jobs, industry, infrastructure, connectedness, and the state gains from similar developments. Entrepreneurs themselves fulfill their goals whilst making a profit from the activities spawned of their ideas.

This is all well and good so far and from the outset, a functional model where everyone is happy seems apparent.

Scratch beneath the surface, however, and you will find that this economic model is riddled with flaws. Many of the profits generated by businesses are not re-invested in society, but rather hoarded by entrepreneurs who correctly enough, have worked long and hard to propel their ideas to prominence.

There are other issues at stake that overwhelm the case for the maintenance of this model and the social inequalities it reproduces.

One of the most driven speakers at our event this year, Lars Hulgård is of the opinion that “we need a society with more solidarity from one business to another; a pluralistic society that allows for alternative forms of organisational structure, not merely those that are anchored in making a profit.”

Idealistic as this may seem, we are, right now, on the verge of tipping the scale. This generation has had enough. How many more economic crises’ will it take, how many more screaming examples from history do we need to see that something has to change for our sheer survival ?

As a pioneer within the increasingly acknowledged field of social entrepreneurship, Lars is of the belief that this area of our society holds potential as a vehicle for global change. However, it needs to be more than just a buzzword: “We need to re-think social entrepreneurship outside of the current discourse that is very much based on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and standard economic practice. What happened to the critique of these models and how did social entrepreneurship all of a sudden become a part of this?”

It is this very critique and indeed the definition of the field that Hulgård has spent many years of his life cultivating.

The challenge will always be incentivising this, merging the rewards with idealisms; forging this new paradigm.

All it will take is one valiant entrepreneur to make that splash, to revolutionise an industry and show us there is a way. Social entrepreneurship is emerging in the global narrative of social change but it needs support and solidarity from free-thinkers and society at large. Rest assured, the floodgates will open, but for this we need the actions of social entrepreneurs to be backed by a more aware consumer base and for the free-thinking individuals reading this to rise to the challenge of shaping a more socially- driven paradigm for life on this planet.