Are there any grassroots communities in your city that support social entrepreneurs? Are there lots of free events that anyone can attend to get involved with tackling the issues that they care about and promoting social entrepreneurship? Are there not, but you wish there were?
If you’re not yet familiar with MakeSense, the organization is an avenue to do exactly that — connect social entrepreneurs with people who want to help them, grow communities of people passionate about social entrepreneurship who together take action on your city’s most pressing issues.
I used to see receive many invitations for MakeSense activities in Paris from friends living there and remember being jealous about the crazy cool range of activities they always had going on: problem-solving workshops for social entrepreneurs, “SenseCamps” (unconferences on social entrepreneurship), weekend-long forums on transition towards zero waste, and much much more.
I remember wishing I had options that like in Washington, D.C., where I was based at the time.
But I did!
When I made this comment to a friend in Paris she checked the MakeSense group and wrote me with some surprising news — there were active MakeSense members in D.C. AND they were in the middle of planning a SenseCamp! Fidan, who kickstarted the MakeSense D.C. community (“Hotspot”, must have had the same feeling I did, but chose to do something about it.
Now that I’m MakeSense’s Community Developer for Asia, I’ve learned how quickly a person can build up a “Hotspot” even in a city that’s never held a MakeSense event before or not for a long time.
Aude got in touch with me when she moved to Busan a month ago — she was interested in kickstarting MakeSense there, but didn’t yet know many people and wasn’t sure where to start. But, she got connected to another SenseMaker in the region — Hans Lim — and they formed a plan of action and together have already organized two SenseDrinks to start the conversation! And the MakeSense action has now spread from Busan to Yonsei with rockstar SenseMaker Alisher who’s getting people involved in the new growing community! In just a month, MakeSense Korea is gaining foot!
Elsa and Mélanie are incredible community leaders in Phnom Penh who a couple months ago were figuring out how to introduce MakeSense activities to a place that hadn’t seen many. They’ve since gotten creative with a SenseBrunch (meet-up that included a swimming pool!) as well problem-solving workshops and an upcoming ideation workshop on launching a new social startup.
In certain cities, I’ve spoken to people interested in building a community but are worried that there aren’t currently many social entrepreneurs.
There are lots of options for you if this is a familiar case. Minh Thy and Henry in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, are organizing a “SenseFiction” workshop next week, a 4-hour hands-on workshop to help participants design and imagine a new social enterprise concept. This is a great way to jumpstart new entrepreneurs and get people excited about what they could create!
Outside of Asia, Kathka and Clément in Poland held Warsaw’s first “MKS Room,” an evening that blends music and panel discussion centered on an important issue. Focusing on the question of what is social entrepreneurship, they started the discussion in their city and created so much buzz that they are planning another MKS Room coming up soon.
So what I am saying here? If you want to see more social entrepreneurship and build a community of like-minded people in your city…
If you are in Yonsei, Casablanca, Dhaka, Beijing and more, you might not know but they’re are currently people working on developing a Hotspot in your city, and they are looking for you to join them! And if there isn’t yet anyone launching the action where you are, that person could be you!
If you are interested in launching (or joining) MakeSense in your city, get in touch me with me or any of the other community developers and we will support you step by step to make it happen :)