On Thursday March 25. we organized Live talk V. It was the third talk on social innovations and social entrepreneurship and the first one in English. We welcomed two young guests from Hungary leading projects with positive social impact. We invite you to watch the Live talk V on Facebook, however, if you like to read, here are some highlights.
Are you more comfortable reading in Slovak? You can find the Slovak version here.
Emese Pólya, project Metamorf
Emese is a senior at high school in Budapest. She started her award-winning communication card game, Metamorf, as a school project in 2019.
Apart from Metamorf, she enjoys taking part in other social projects, such as online tutoring disadvantaged kids, teaching first aid, or enabling youth to make happy career choices.
Zsanett Szaboó, project Tente
Zsanett finished her master in social policies just last year and she is planning to start her PhD. next September. Her passion for the environment led her to the creation of the project TENTE which focuses on recycling the Sziget festival tents.
Zsanett is currently volunteering under the frame of European Solidarity Corps and Mladiinfo in Bratislava.
Besides the already known meanings we uncovered new ones: the sense of responsibility and and the feeling of security. Emese further elaborated on the sense of responsibility with focus on being held accountable for our acts within the community which is directly connected to the feeling of security within our community. This point of view underlines the core of the word social – being accountable for own behaviour and understanding the consequences stemming from our acts impacting positively or negatively on our environment and the community. Once you realize this, you will understand that being kind and striving for positive impact means creating your own safe place to be. So the next time when thinking about what you can do, focus on how you can create a secure community for yourself, your friends, your family.
The aim of our Live talk was to inspire youngsters to start their own projects and to learn more about support programs in the V4 region. Our guests gave us some valuable tips starting with support programs, webpages or awards. While navigating the SIN webpage you can already see our activities aiming at developing social business ideas such as social innovators bootcamp that was also mentioned by Emese. We organized the bootcamp online last year and we are planning the second edition at the end of summer 2021. Besides Social Innovators Network you can check the activities of Impact Hub in Budapest or Prague that are offering mentoring programs and managing SIA – Social Impact Awards in their country.
Our guests talked also about other possibilities how to gain necessary knowledge to support your business idea such as Junior Achievement education program for high school students or participation in cross study program lectures at your university where you can get to know students from other specialisations.
Another option is to use the opportunity and go volunteering via European Solidarity Corps program which offers a wide spectrum of activities around the world. If you thought that coronavirus would stop these activities, you are mistaken. There are some more prerequisites to travel abroad and volunteer but it is still doable. An excellent example of volunteering during corona times is Zsanett that is currently volunteering in Bratislava.
Check current volunteering opportunities by Mladiinfo Slovakia.
Sometimes we have lazy days and sometimes we don’t know what should be our next step. Emese and Zsanett shared some of their tips for mental health with us. For me the most interesting idea was to start the morning with sharing the ideas with your partner or roommates. We are often busy and we don’t realize how the time literally flies. To stay in touch with reality and people important to us, it is great to share our ideas with them and to request feedback. Taking time for this in the morning will allow you to redirect your energy towards important things during the day.
Have you ever thought “I can’t do this.” or “I am afraid to ask.” True is that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Zsanett underlines:
„If you go to people, mostly they won’t say no.“
When we overlook the current world-wide challenge of Covid-19, we bump into the traditional business challenges. Emese offered an insight into her work-life balance and reported that keeping the balance is the core for healthy mind and healthy business. At the beginning she found it challenging to keep good time management due to her enthusiasm.
Another challenge for young entrepreneurs is funding. As Zsanett said you have less to lose, but exactly because of that you have less to put in your emerging business. There are some solutions for you to start the business via grant funding or taking a small bank loan. Here, we recommend to be careful and not to have big expectations: choose rather slow and stable growth than a fast expansion.
Hungary with its population reaching almost 9,7 millions has more than 836 000 registered enterprises of all sizes, but how many are actually socially beneficial? There are approximately 3 360 social enterprises fulfilling the definition of european Union. However, there are more than 6 000 registered enterprises considered to be social businesses according to the Hungarian national law.
How are other EU countries in social entrepreneurship performing? Check the EU report on Social enterprises and their ecosystem in Europe by country.
Starting a business is not an easy task, however, starting it as a game might help you uncover possible obstacles and solve them before actually launching the company. This was also the case of Metamorf. Emese and her school colleagues started it as a game under Junior Achievement lead. But how did they get such an amazing idea?
Emese highlighted that they were inspired by Budapest itself and told us a beautiful story on the project idea. A team member mentioned that she gets on the bus with the same people on the bus every day: “You know their faces but you never speak to them. You have the friends on the bus but you have no means to approach them and start the conversation.” This idea became central to the Metamorf project.
The Metamorf team elaborated this idea and searched for the best way to strengthen interactions among involved parties and so the Metamorf card game was born. Even though they do notSocia use the cards on the bus right now, the team enjoys presenting the game to the audience and playing the game on the fairs: “People come to us and we start talking. It is an instant impactful experience.” said Emese.
Metamorf can be played online and offline. Right now there are three card sets for different occasions and in different languages. We tried the game during our live talk with simple questions, but do not make the mistake: it is not only about answering questions, there are interactive tasks including touching or hugging another person or individual tasks enabling players to concentrate on one person at the time.
Here are some example questions:
Metamorf is now preparing a digital set of cards so if you are interested in bringing your evenings to the new level, check Metamorf social media.
During the studies Zsanett with her colleagues created the Tente project stemming from the waste created from festival tents. The tents are really cheap and people are often leaving them at festival premises. Most of the bigger festivals are struggling with this issue. And here comes the Tente project to save the day.
In terms of raw material, the material of the tent meets the load indicators for hammocks to the maximum. Therefore, after decomposing the tents, Zsanett’s proposal was to make hammocks by recycling the material and ropes and to set up a recreation park from the finished hammocks in the area of the Sziget Festival. The project was approved by Sziget festival organisators and allowed them to start it when the next festival happens.
The project doesn’t stop there and tries to find alternative ways to grow until the Covid-19 pandemics is over: the Tente team reached an agreement with a sport equipment shop to set up collection boxes directly in the shop to collect unused tents.
We closed our event with the question from Emese’s card game. And what did we say? We encouraged our audience to be patient, to enjoy and to be kind. What about you? What would be your message for the whole world? Try to answer this question and maybe that will be the point where you will discover a new idea or make a decision to drive the positive impact within your community.
Do you want to know more details? Watch the whole live talk on facebook.