Categories
Creativity Identity + purpose

Humanity needs a new renaissance

Not a renaissance in terms of invention, we need a renaissance in order for us to make the world a better place.

We need a new era of creativity and creative approaches apart from putting stuff on your website and sharing stuff on social media. A new ‘Belle epoque’.

We need something that breaks with the ‘old-school’ way of doing business or even personal development. We need something that aligns that small part inside of us (some people call it imagination) with what we’re doing every day.

We need to feel fulfilled, seen, and aligned with our purposes. I don’t see our purpose as one thing. I don’t feel like a human has one purpose, but several and it’s time for us to let loose of the fear that lets our one purpose live in a box. Or let ourselves live in a box. It’s time to stop defining stuff like that.

So all of those questions that you can find online where you find your passion and your purpose and make a living, be happy, have the dreamhouse, etc? Fuck them so hard because it’s not gonna make you happy and fulfilled.

It’s not gonna make you get up in the morning screaming YEY! It’s a new day! I need to go sit in my office for 8 hours (after 2 hours of commuting) and work the numbers because it’s my passion because it’s my purpose. It’s what I live for. You’re still going to have small voice inside of you saying ‘we can do better than this’.

Introducing the multi-purpose renaissance person

I have been through it so many times trying to find out what I am really good at. Trying to find out what that ‘one thing’ that I do really well is. And Yes – I have more than 15 years building empires as big as the sky from gravel in the startup space, Yes I have made concepts and business models that have changed the world. But it only gives me so much to gather people around a cause, to make them fall in love with a brand, to have them sign up to something that makes you happy, that spurs some inspiration a part from saving stuff on pinterest.

I don’t believe it anymore. I don’t believe in a specialist approach and schooling towards one thing.

Why? Because it doesn’t make me fulfilled, it doesn’t make me go to the work I do, with passion.

Do you know how many different skillsets Leonardo da Vinci practiced?

A part from being a genius, he was a painter, a sculptor, an architect, an engineer, an inventor, a botanist an anatomist and lifelong vegetarian and… a writer.

Why wasn’t he just a writer? Or just a painter?

Or you could ask yourself – what wasn’t he? Was there a part of himself that he didn’t practice? It’s hard to believe. He created. And he created all sorts of things. He was inspired by everything in life.

He was multi-faceted and he had multi-faceted ways of purpose and passion. And, get this, he was was ignored by the scholars and the experts of Florence, because he didn’t know mathematics or Latin. And it was first after his death that he really was celebrated.

I believe what you want to create is the top of the iceberg of creativity – what everybody can see – but I believe that under the surface, that iceberg is a build-up of several different layers.

It’s not important to find one purpose. It’s important to find as many of them as possible because when you find out what fuels your fire in several directions you can keep building on your joy and happiness.

This is not a ‘find your purpose’ cosmopolitan article that I used to read as a teen in the 90s. Because what is a purpose. It’s like answering the questions in the amazing book ‘Sophie’s world’ that I read as a teen. Finding your purpose is like answering the all over-shadowing question of ‘who are you’.

Your true north / Your inner wiring

So isn’t purpose just doing the right thing for you? What you’re aligned to do? I see it as much more complicated than that – it’s like creating an arrow of activities that points to your own personal ‘true north’. I love writing and building concepts and carry them out in life. BUT I also love gardening, playing guitars, partying, dancing, and when I relax I do it with a game of civilization – a game that has been a standard feature on all my computers since I was 15.

If you compare me to Leonardo da Vinci, (even though no one is comparability) we are both practicing several skillsets at the same time – We’re both doing several things in order to reach our own personal status quo – our own true north. He’s on ‘another world-ly’ level compared to me (and most other people) – BUT the mark up is the same. If you’re into woo-woo or ju-ju or what you call spiritual development these days, you’re aligning all the things that ‘sparks your joy’ maybe you can even talk about Marie Kondo’ifying your purpose?

If it doesn’t spark your joy, it’s probably not a part of your purpose. Sometimes when we have dreams and we are afraid to pursue it, it’s not that we don’t want to work on that dream, it’s more that we haven’t build the pretext yet. The more I look into this whole purpose, it can be completely daunting – you keep hearing ‘but what if this isn’t really my purpose after all in your head?

We have to start thinking about the new renaissance people – you have to go back to the multi-purpose renaissance person.

Categories
Creativity Entrepreneurial life Ideas

Wield yourself

Sometimes you need to stand back and take a breather. Other times you need to wield.

I have been obsessed with the word ‘wielding’ since I started on my scary yet rockin’ path of being healthy, as well of doing a whole lot of self-development. I love the words ‘rising, ‘uprising’ as well as ‘creating’, ‘building’, and my favorite word for what I am in the process of: ‘wielding’.

Wielding instead of creating- what’s the difference?

Wielding is the concept of creating/building based on deliberately using previously acquired concepts and skills that you already know brings you joy and happiness. Maybe I would even say that wielding happens from a place of fulfillment? It’s building stuff based on where you are already fulfilled, where you already know that you enjoy doing things like this. Well, what if you mash the things that you like to do, up?

I have thought a lot about why wielding feels like such a strong word for me.

Maybe it’s because it lets you see yourself as a tool. It’s in the word, that you will use everything you’ve already learned to create something new. It seems stronger for me and I believe that all rockers should be wielding and not creating. I have the same thing about ‘forging’ instead of creating. Forging is stronger to me- you melt things together.

A femtech entrepreneur case for wielding

I remember talking to one of my old friends at a conference in Copenhagen a while back. Her name is Ida Tin and she is the founder of a femtech company called Clue, which is an ovulation tracker. Before that, Ida had a motorcycle travel agency together with her dad – that’s actually where I got to know her – through a danish female entrepreneurship network called ‘morgendagens heltinder’ it was all the rage 15 years back. However, When I asked her how she came up with the idea for Clue she said that she had simply sat in her apartment and had a blank wall where she put post-it’s of all she liked to do in her life – all the things she was passionate about. then she combined those things and started building because it was the perfect fit between feminism, technology, and reproductive rights.

What’s interesting here to me is that it simply wasn’t an act of creating everything from scratch – it was ‘deliberately’ using the things Ida knew made her feel fulfilled in order to create her next venture, her next dream.

I don’t see wielding as an either/or from creating – it’s more like ‘upcycling’ (creating new things from old materials’ where creating is ‘DIY’ (creating new things from materials). it’s a layer above or below creativity depending on how you look at it.

Categories
Branding Business Unusual corporate activism

How to rise up to huge opportunities

We’re in times that are both challenging but also filled with opportunities. I am grateful for this global time-out, there’s something in it that has to teach us something bigger as humanity.

It’s a horrible horrible way for us to learn though. So many lives lost, so many numbers thrown at us daily and behind each number is a person, with a family, with a legacy and with a contribution to the planet.

As a part of my work at CARE we are in emergency operations now. Most of the country offices has closed down their operations and are focusing on preparing for #covid19 – What will happen when and if it hits Africa and what I am in particularly concerned about is the refugee camps. How can it become within control in places where people live close and there might not be clean water and everything spreads faster? But instead of me looking at it from a place of fear, I will not only look at it from a place of hope –  I want to look at it from a place of action and creativity.

How to rise up

When I was working at the biggest sustainability Thinktank in the Nordics as a Brand Director my mission was to create a whole corner in the sustainability movement that we could work from and build more content and ideas into.

I have a couple of key principles when it comes to building movements and rising up as a person and a brand:

-Showing the World who you are by DOING instead of TALKING

INCLUDE – don’t see yourself as separate – don’t act like others are separate either. You’re united for world dominion, rockers! Yes you need to participate and share stuff for others too. These are like important relationships rockers! – you have to give some to earn some.

PARTICIPATE: There are so many virtual calls for everything out there these days. So many ‘us vs COVID’ digital hackathons and programs. Instead of watching Netflix – become a part of those. Contribute. Share your skills and create magic.

TELL EVERYONE: Pitch your ideas. Not just to potential clients – pitch them to anyone. Are you passionate about technology?  tell everyone. Ideas around sustainability need to be bolder than life. Challenges we want to rise up to, and find possibilities in- such as covid19 can have Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

It’s one of the greatest things about working for a planet that’s fucked up environmentally and healthwise: The sky is the limit when it comes to how bold and audacious the ideas needed can be. The opportunities are there – but the question is: will you rise up and take them?

Categories
Climate Action corporate activism Entrepreneurial life

My personal combination of fashion, revolutions and sustainability

First off, if you haven’t been introduced to fashion revolution you should check out their manifesto. Fashion revolution week is what I would call a ‘fashion industry bashing’ that’s needed. This is where the social good fashion rockers look at the fashion industry and sustainability as a whole and talk greenwashing and where it’s more than allowed to ask ‘who made my clothes’.

Remember to participate on the 24th of April by reversing your clothes and use the #whomademyclothes hashtag- We need more conversation starters and activist statement.

reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink, retweet

Apart from giving a shoutout to Fashion Revolution Week, which you have to be a part of, I want to dive deeper into fashion and sustainability. So, the fashion industry is one of the heaviest emitters of CO2 in the world. Are you ready for my take on it ? here you go:

Reduce, recycle, reuse, rethink AND retweet

reduce, recycle, reuse, rethink, retweet

You need to be able to update your skillset. I wrote about how to live like our grandparents a couple of days back. In addition to that I think it’s vital that we all:

Think about what we are purchasing, how are we spending our money?

Think about how we can reuse the stuff we have.

Think about how we can recycle goods that has been worn out.

Rethink the way we act around materials

And then share (retweet) the whole bunch to your network and beyond as inspiration for the world to see.

A rocking trick to reuse more:

I am biggest on reusing and sharing. And I want to announce something: I have gotten my first gig as a style ambassador for the startup ‘WISHI’. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. No, I will not become a fashion blogger. But I am looking good even at the end of my ’20s’ and we need more sustainability fashion people preaching and practicing. SO I will carry that torch as well.

WISHI is something I have been crazy about for half a year. A couple of weeks back the founder asked if I would join as an ambassador and I said ‘Yes – if I can focus on sustainability, 2nd hand and vintage’. So that’s what I have been doing. The featured image on this article, is all 2nd hand clothes – apart from the t-shirt.

I have become a real bargain hunter online for the clothes that I want to be a part of my style and WISHI helps me out with that. In addition to WISHI for style advice, I am using Gem which is vintage clothes search engine. So these are two of my favorite tools to elevate my style.

ps. If you want to join WISHI, let me know – I have a special gift for you then.

Categories
Climate Action Creativity

Self-sufficiency: live more like grandma

At the Punkborough there’s a patch of about 12 square meters that has two metal frames sticking up from the ground. It’s something that has been constructed at the shipyard in Helsingør by my great grandfather when he build the house back in the 50s. Those metal frames are to strip plastic rope in between and use to dry clothes. I would be so sad to see it go, because it’s so convenient to have a place to dry your clothes outside and not using an electrical dryer.

My grand mother used to wash her plastic bags when she had used them. She also used many nights fixing holes in socks for my grandfather or for himselves. Materials where precious. Nothing from the garden was wasted – everything was used as produce.

When I think of it, it’s not really that many years since we did things like this. treasuring what we have, and fixing what needed to be fixed.

Self-sufficiency and honouring materials

Back then they were more aligned with non-consumption than consumption. Yes, it was a different time to be living and things were more scarce, but there’s a lot of pointers saying that this is one of the ways forward, or backward if you might say. we can all bring these solutions to the table again. Figuring out how we are going to be honoring materials and produce. Recycling as much as possible, from a viewpoint of.. well life.

ways of thinking self-sufficiency on a global scale

-The most sustainable fashion is buying used clothes.

-The most sustainable way of buying new furniture is to upcycle it from old, or finding what you need on the 2nd hand portals.

-The most gratifying way of starting a garden is to swap seeds and plants with others instead of purchasing in the store

– Most vegetable scraps can be regrown

-If you have place for a drying rack outside, it’s an amazing way of saving electricity

There’s so many more things you can do – head over to this pinterest search on self-sufficiency to find more

It’s a beautiful world rockers, we need to remember the old times in times of these, taking the best solutions with us for the future. Self-sufficiency is one of the best ways of doing this- honoring what we already have around us.

Categories
Self-love

Intentionality – a lifeskill.

Rumour has it, that I, have lost 35 kgs in total since January 2019.

And guess what rockers? That rumour is true. Yes it’s awesome, Yes I am changed in my body, but more in my head and spirit – I have gone partly woo-woo, which I think, for a business badass like me, is badly needed. I must say I am quite proud of myself for finally doing this for myself and learning how to take care of: the queen rocker of this universe (I mean this website) Henriette Weber (drumroll or sad trombone, it depends on who’s reading I guess).

BUT! – this weightloss journey has taught me a lifeskill, a very handy one. A lifeskill I like to call: intentionality. I used to be really good at pointing at different visions items and things and say ‘I want that’ – and then I would add it to one of my many bucketlists… Now I am really good at (still) saying ‘I want that’ but now I know how I will get it – not only with setting the intention and trust that the universe has my back, but also walking slowly towards this intention daily small steps that would bring me closer and closer to where I want.

Each day I have Gossips ‘Moving in the right direction’ tune on repeat when I am wearing my headphones. Because I know I am moving somewhere I want to be. The recipe is simple:

Focus and follow-through daily.

It was sickening hard at first, but 2 months in, I got a hang of it, it turned out beautifully. And now I am doing what I like to call ‘self-care’ step 2 – which is that I have hired a personal trainer for the next 2 months to get me to my final target weight and learn me how to make new yummy healthy food on the way.

Categories
Branding Business Business Unusual Identity + purpose

Do you have nostalgia for unity ?

You know sometimes things don’t turn out how it used to. I could use some hugs by now and to fill that 2nd person in on Snapchat filters – it’s hard to do on 3 meters distance, rockers, I am totally telling you it’s a challenge… almost undoable.

So I used this article to take a walk down a nostalgic memory lane of mine, thinking about the tiniest rockin’ things you can do that adds up to (TADA) a brand where you show who you really are… or dare I say.. a ‘cool’ brand? We all want to be a rockband still? right?

So in these times of crisis, illness, and worry around this lovely green planet of ours, I wanted to add some positive fairy sprinkles everywhere that showed that we are still working together for common goals ( or missions and visions of rocking businesses if you would like ) through Unity, sharing, caring and love.

Team work makes the dream work

And what is a better way to show who’s behind a Big Hairy Audacious Mission and Vision? : Team photos. I love team photos. Some of them are stronger than others, but it personally leaves me feeling nostalgic and brings me back to these feelings I had when I was working hard on achieving these goals together with these people – as a part of a larger group.

It’s an amazing way of creating joy and hope and memories. right now we are all struggling to get our everyday work-life together. At the same time managing teenagers who want to be with their friends, but can’t and pets who are having the time of their life, because everybody is t home hanging out – it must be pet paradise!.

I am totally becoming nostalgic for the free life I lived 2 months ago. But there’s only one way we are getting through this, and that is well… getting through this.

One of the things that makes me really sad is that they canceled all the music festivals in Denmark this summer so no Copenhell or Roskilde Festival for me. However I get it – and with my crazy-ass lungs and chronic lung decease, I am in this for the longest haul. in fact, I was joking with a friend of mine yesterday who I run my danish gardening Instagram with (if your interested) – about that if the world is going to be opening up slowly, then I might be out of isolation in a year or two.

Let’s see how long this is going to take, and let’s have the biggest global sustainable party when it’s over. Then we can also focus on climate change=) But humans together are what give me joy and sparks my creativity: Teams. I know how much effort a hardworking team can do in a short amount of time if the right conditions are set.

A brand tip from yours truely

When I worked as a brand director of the largest sustainability Think Tank in the Nordics, team photos was the content that got the most attention on social media. We did some pretty crazy ones at the Think Tank – If you want you can check some of them out on the now deceased Instagram account here.

This is taken last year at the UN general assembly in New York – this is all the +social good connectors working together under UN foundation to build a better world.

I want to show you this one – which is one of my personal – favorites:

It was taken at a running event in Copenhagen called DHL – and it just does something to me – I love pictures of acting out.

Team photos are a wonderful way of showing another face to a business – whether it is a serious team photo, or it’s a bunch of goofballs acting out at a running event. It brings views behind the scenes of a business, and get this: it’s actually showing who is the nuts and bolts inside the engine. Who is behind the facade, who is working to make these visions happen. It can be stronger than 10.000 words and normally it doesn’t take a lot to set it up. So my recommendation from here is to get some team photos set up and have fun with them, Show the faces behind the brand (because, we all know that people want to deal with other people and not huge monstrous choreographed cyborgs) and show the world who you really are in this uncertain future where we just have to take it day by day – or musings by musings.

De rien Rockers, Don’t mention the war =)

Categories
Entrepreneurial life Identity + purpose Writing

Feeling like an imposter too?

I will be trying to write an article a day for the whole of easter – hope you will enjoy it as much as me.  I am writing from my atelier terrace in great weather today. There’s a ton of stuff that needs to happen in my riotgarden, we need to paint the atelier, we need to fix the lawn and the terrace, but above all I want these days off to be like a writing retreat for me, getting to the core of my writing on henrietteweber.com.

It’s so weird that during this Corona Virus isolation, it seems like everything is fucked up outside of the garden and in here everything is sunshine, grounding as well as birds chirping away. Occasionally the cat comes to visit on the little porch I have in the front.

Sometimes even though this is my little personal messy empire, I feel like an imposter. I do that as well here on the blog. Are they still around – meaning the cool cats that used to listen? Do they still want to hear what I say?

My imposter syndrome is something I have been carrying around for a long time, since childhood and no matter how accomplished or how fucked up I look from the outside, It’s there as a part of me telling me that I am fucking things up and I should not keep pursuing new ventures or new ideas. It doesn’t begin when I start things ( I am a very good starter) it’s something that sneaks up on me after a while. ‘What are you doing?’ ‘are you going to go out of our comfort zone again babe?’, ‘That totally isn’t good enough’, ‘ who would want to read THAT?’.

And then after a while, the voice gets calmer, especially if I carry on doing what is that I have never tried before. Especially if I put ‘the new project’ into well-known structures and tools that I have already worked on and through several times.

In my opinion, though, the imposter could also be seen as a friend instead of a necessary evil of putting yourself out there and being exposed. It has since childhood been my biggest driver, ‘proving’ it wrong. I am not an imposter, I belong here. My words are important and so are my ideas and my projects.  – I hope you occasionally feel like that too. Even though I think the whole population on planet earth feels like imposters sometimes.

Categories
Climate Action Community Entrepreneurial life Social Good

Federico Sierra – Impact Hub Medellín – battling his way through the Corona virus

I decided to talk to some of my contacts who I know are heavily impacted by the Coronavirus. Why? because it makes me feel like I am doing a difference, shedding some light on some of the problems that might not be obvious to me, or anybody else in the north.

One of the people I decided to interview is truly a brother. A man I felt a deep connection with, when I was in New York in September 2019 during the UN General Assembly for +Social Good and UN foundation.

First off – tell me a story about you and me  – how did we meet ? what connected us? what connection do we have now?

There is a funny story on how I pushed you to eat with me at Chick Fil’A and it ended up being trash… Afterwards, I needed to invite you for beer to make up for that…. It is not as funny here, but it was hilarious to see your disappointment with the food.

We met because we were both selected as +SocialGood Connectors, local champions of the SDGs, for UN Foundation. I think out of the other 12 people, I made the connection the fastest with you because of 2 reasons:

  1. Your go-getter attitude which is something the international development community lacks a bit as we get stuck in politics and procedures, leaving impact behind.
  2. Your techy approach to things

Since the beginning we started bouncing ideas on how to generate more impact and how to connect the impact ecosystem in Europe and Latam.

Then tell me a bit about what you do in your everyday life?

I am a social entrepreneur, so most of my time in focused on my startups:

  1. Impact Hub Medellín: an incubator for impact initiatives and a CoWorking space for the innovator moving the world forward from the impact and sustainability perspective. We have 3 main focuses:
    1. Community:

      i.      Networking and connections: we work together with our startups to support them in scaling their impact and solution to more people and other markets

                     ii.      Space: we host +200 entrepreneurs from +40 impact startups

                    iii.      Events: we host spaces to generate connections and learning. Last year we hosted over 180 events mainly focused on SDGs and entrepreneurship

  1. Incubation: We created an incubation program for startups with Impact on the SDGs, last year we incubated 36 startups and it was amazing to see so many different initiatives and work together with them to scale their impact around the world. Some examples: 

         i.      Fokus Green (https://fokusgreen.com/): they produce clothing form plastic bottles. We supported their scaling to the US

        ii.      Fruturo (https://www.fruturo.us/): They work with small farmers from the most violent regions in Colombia and support them in generating world class products to export around the world. We supported them in scaling to Europe

  1. Social Innovation: We lead a program named “Gambetiando” (https://medellin.impacthub.net/gambetiando/) a social innovation program that works with youth in the most affected areas in Medellín, Colombia; to build socio-emotional skills in them and then generate social initiatives lead by these young leaders.
  2. Energía Vectorial: we focus on decarbonizing mobility by accelerating the adoption of electric mobility in Colombia. We have 3 business lines:
    1. Conversion of oil-powered combustion cars to electric vehicles: The cheapest EV in Colombia (Renault Twizy) costs 10.000 USD which makes it a very expensive option for people here. We brought a solution that evolves the current car people have to an EV for a starting price of 7.000 making it a more affordable solution.
    2. Infrastructure: we set up electric charging stations
    3. Education: We work with different organizations, training their people on how to manage and repair EVs.

My daily life goes around working in these two initiatives, apart from work I am a big fan of Video games, so Play Station 4 and Nintendo Switch are my favorite platforms for gaming and a casual beer with friends make for the rest of my time

What made you pursue this?

I had the opportunity to work in international development mainly around youth leadership and social innovation for about 10 years. I could travel to 55 countries and see many different projects, initiatives and ideas led by young people and entrepreneurs all around the world. I decided to come back to Colombia and work to generate impact in my country.

The thing that shocked me the most when I came back was right after I stepped out of the plain and it was the air quality. It was awful.

I started researching about this issue and learned that most of the pollution in my city (and many Latam cities) come from urban mobility, also that up to 90% of that mobility couldbe electric.

I also have a niece, she was almost 2 by the time, and she was getting sick very often and we needed to take her out of the city because the main reason was pollution. So this was a calling, this is happening to my niece, it is also happening to may more children across the country, therefore I thought “I have to do something about this”. That is how Energia Vectorial was born.

As I experienced the entrepreneurship and Impact ecosystem in Medellin, I went through the struggles and challenges of a disconnected ecosystem, and this is where Impact Hub was born. I called 2 friends with the idea to work for improving the entrepreneurship ecosystem with a focus on Impact and presented the Impact Hub global network and we started working for every entrepreneur wit impactful and scalable solution to the world’s more pressing challenges.

Is it still what makes you jump out of bed in the morning?

Definitely. 

I get to work together with people that everyday are changing the world and implementing new ways of generating more impact.

My job is to support them with knowledge, connections and tools. For me, it’s a new challenge every day, learn something new everyday and also get to support the implementation of impact projects.

It is not always easy, as there are many challenges

  1. Economical situation
  2. Cashflow issues
  3. Lack of support form the government
  4. Some entrepreneurs don’t speak English, so overcoming that barrier
  5. Leadership and people management inside the startups

It is also amazing to see the collaboration among the entrepreneurs in our space and how they take advantage of every space we open for collaboration and learning. This show us our impact in day to day behavioral changes from our community.

What makes you most excited these days?

It is an opportunity to evolve both as a person and every business.

Each one of us decide if we are going to take it. Make the most out of this.

So I would like to divide my approach to this question in two different ways

First, It is indeed an opportunity to level up, as a person learning something new, tackling what we have been postponing, and most importantly, connecting with others.

Our message at Impact Hub Medellín is not Social distancing but: Physical distancing, social strengthening, as we believe this is when we need to come together as face the situation as a community, generating solutions together.

Second and most important: of course, I am saying this from my position of privilege. I do not depend on  daily income to bring food to my family or have a roof over my head during the night or just having a place to quarantine (this is the reality for about 50% of Colombia’s Population). What is exciting about this is seeing how our country has come together through different actions to support those in need. We are not a rich country, but we have gone through very difficult time by helping those in need.

The largest super market chain put together a basic set of products that cost 4 euros (rice, lentils, coffee, sugar, salt, chocolate, toilet paper, beans, chickpeas, chicken soup…). As of today people have bought and donated 150.000 of this packages for the most vulnerable. The goal is to reach 500.000… which amounts to 2Million Euros and we are on our way. Normal people, with normal salaries, contributing for the wellbeing of the whole. This gets me excited

So the coronavirus. Tell me what it’s like in Medellín Colombia right now on a daily basis?

The government set a national mandatory quarantine since Tuesday 24th. This has changed everything:

-Streets alone

-People working from home

-We have specific days depending on our ID that we can go out

-A lot of news, all the time.

Our healthcare system is not super developed, so we need to be extra-cautious so it does not become bigger than this already is.

When I go to the corner stores or super markets in my neighborhood, there are not all the products, but I see understanding and consciousness from people by not hoarding stuff but by thinking of the wellbeing of the whole. 

How do people feel?

There is a lot of anxiety.

People are afraid of losing their jobs, their companies closing because of lack of cashflow and this is generating social unrest, as people needs a bit of security to hang in to.

I’ve seen that countries like Denmark and Sweden have put together different policies to protect the economy, in the other hand, a country like Colombia does not have this option.

As I mentioned above, there is a lot of solidarity, but also there is a disconnect among local and national government, with different messages and measures going around. The ack of clarity generates fear.

What’s the general standpoint towards the virus from the government and society as a whole?

Colombia took swift action once we confirmed the first case

6 days and we closed our schools

9 days and we closed our borders

13 days and we went into national lockdown

We understand that our healthcare system is under developed (thanks to corruption mainly, and politicians stealing money in the past)

I believe there is national understanding that: 

  1. We have to face this together, let’s do our bit.
  2. Take care of each other
  3. Things will not be the same after this

How does this affect the entrepreneurs that you incubate? 

It’s going to be rough.

I have spoken to each of our entrepreneurs in the last few days to understand how are they facing this situation.

Most of them had to stop operations and are figuring out how to keep people’s jobs and salaries as long as they can.

Anxiety is the main feeling I got from them because of the uncertainty that we really don’t know when this is going to end.

The idea of talking to each startup and entrepreneur in our community is to:

  1. Connect with our people. Understand how everyone is doing and how are they dealing with this situation: emotionally, financially and with their teams.
  2. Next steps and way forward

We have set up multiple partnerships to support our people with psychologist to provide a line to express and receive advice, legal and management advisors to understand how they can use different options from banks and other entities to face the situation.

We have been hosting webinars to keep our community active and keep the human connection alive. Some of the topics we have talked about are:

How can startups contribute to solutions to the current situation?

Cashflow management during uncertainty

How to manage stress

Ways to stay productive while working at home

Finally, we are generating financial plans with each member to alleviate their future cashflows and support their come back when society “re-opens”. This means waiving membership fees in may and discounted prices for accouple of months.

How does it affect the impact hub in Medellin?

This has been a challenging time and has push us to step up our game. Our first decision was to keep our whole team in place. We are where we are because of our people, therefore we go through this together. My whole team is working from home and figuring out how to evolve our business model to create value to our market and new revenue streams. Here some impacts we are facing:

  1. Space: as mentioned above, we will see this income halted and reduced for a while as the entrepreneurs we host start regenerating income again
    1. Solution: waive the membership (mentioned above) for a couple of months and set longer term contracts. The idea is to co-operate and work with each other on how to contribute to each others business.
  2. Programs (Incubation): half of this program operates through sponsors (local and global) and right now every partner and organization is focusing their budget to face the Covid19 situation
    1. Solution: We are setting up an online incubation program, so geography is no longer a barrier for entrepreneurs. New revenue streams working together with incubated entrepreneurs and getting a % of their sales in the future as they grow (This still future revenue tho)
    2. Keep contacting potential partners in Europe and North America
    3. We have launch an initiative to generate solutions through an online hackathon that is going to take place 3-5 of April, so far we have +250 solutions submitted: https://cadadiacuenta.org/
  3. Gambetiando: Activities stop
    1. Solution: Gambetiando Virtual: we have produced a series of short videos we shared with our youth through WhatsApp to keep them engaged with activities and workshops to perform at home
    2. Weekly calls to keep connection with the families and youth

Every situation we are facing also is an opportunity to evolve and think of different approaches to our business and initiatives

In Energía Vectorial, the situation is more similar to other startups… we have stopped operations in the 3 business lines: Conversion, Infrastructure and Education. We are very lean in our startups in terms of costs, but the upward curve of sales we were experiencing, is going to be affected as people are not looking into expending money now and the upcoming months.

We are looking into how to upgrade or services and implement a tech solution connected to our conversions.

How can people in the global impact community help ?

Connections!

Investors, sponsors and corporates interested in cooperating and working with Impact startups in Colombia. We are fundraising and setting up partnerships to make it even more relevant.

We are setting up a fund to support the entrepreneurs in our space and others that will face financial troubles in the upcoming months, so they can still have a space to work from and a community to connect. Our idea would be to divide the monthly fee this way:

35% covered by the entrepreneur

35% discount from our side

30% covered by the fund

Our monthly rates start at 80 Euros and go up until 200 Euros

How do they get in touch with you?

Email: Federico.restrepo@impacthub.net

WhatsApp: +57 305 391 2346

Lastly, how will you have changed after this experience?

This is deep.

This experience has strengthen my connections with my team. We are going through a challenging time and we are facing it with a solutions oriented perspective.

Our main objective is to foster the entrepreneurship ecosystem and my whole team is constantly looking for more and better ways to do so

Categories
Social Good

Lets get education to women, and by that, limit climate change

Happy IWD rockers!

Some people are having a hard time understanding my concern about climate change To some people I am seen as aggressive, and with some people, I just chose not to engage. A lot of people are concerned about climate, but they would rather see climate activists calm down a bit. Having a teen daughter who tends to have a bit of climate depression, I don’t think there’s time to be calm for me personally And right now, seeing how countries around the world are reacting to the coronavirus, I am just thinking ‘why aren’t they doing the same around climate change?’ – Or maybe what we as a global society will learn from facing the coronavirus will be a stepping stone on how to deal with climate change as a global society because we will be faced w. dealing with it sooner or later.

A renaissance born by activistic and educated women

There are more reasons for women than ever to join the cause for climate action. It has also been documented, in project drawdown that the best way to help the planet is to invest in women and girls. Today more than 130 million girls are denied the fundamental right to attend school and lay a foundation for their lives. Why does this matter for climate change? “The difference between a woman with no years of schooling and with 12 years of schooling is almost four to five children per woman.”

It’s super interesting to see that a lot of climate action is conducted by women – inf act I found a swedish research paper called: ‘a green fatwä’ – climate change as a treat to the masculinity of industrial modernity’. I believe it calls for female leadership in the era to come, even though right now female leaders within the climate field are being met with a lot of opposition.

I wish you all the best international women’s day.