среда, 22 февраля 2012 г.

Open lecture by Andreas Heinecke “Myths and reality of social enterprise”

Recently the open lecture “Myths and reality of social enterprise” by Andreas Heinecke, author of the project “Dialogue in the dark”, was held on the SKOLKOVO Campus. Among listeners there were representatives of different social foundations and organizations, students and graduates SKOLKOVO, representatives of the SKOLKOVO Volunteer Club; everybody present wasn’t indifferent to the problems the modern society is facing.

Professor Heinecke started his lecture with featuring core social problems: hunger, lack of fresh water, etc. Namely, one of the most significant problems that the lecturer is trying to fight is the status of disabled people. Now it’s time to describe in details what the project "Dialogue in the dark" actually is. It’s a kind of a tour in the world of the blind: able to see people are led to an absolutely dark room by blind tour-guides. In that space without light and any conventions a person stays alone with himself - with his thoughts and perceptions, his feelings become strained and all that brings him out of his comfort zone. Why do people need it? As it the most unusual experience that one could get!

Andreas Heinecke told listeners what has driven him to the creation of "Dialogue in the dark". As the professor was not engaged in the social enterprise yet, he was asked to help a blind person to adjust to work – to explain and show everything. Andreas was totally surprised when that blind person didn’t match the image of the blinded that he had in mind at all. His mentee appeared to be a high guy with long hair who could perfectly play guitar and looked like a confident and happy person. Back then Andreas felt guilty for his prejudices and decided to show the world that disabled people are actually people with unlimited potential. That is why he decided just to turn off the light so that others could see talents and abilities of the blind.

After that Andreas Heinecke talked a lot about what the social enterprise actually is. A lively discussion led to the conclusion that the social enterprise should not definitely bring dividends but it should bring income in order to recompense and to invest money in further development. On the other hand, Georgy Belotserkovsky, member of the SKOLKOVO Volunteer Club and MBA-2 graduate, thinks that there is nothing bad in the fact that you favour the society and earn money at the same time as at the end of the day it is already much more than other do.

The lecture ended up with a presentation by Anna Shaykhutdinova, coordinator of the SKOLKOVO Volunteer Club and MBA-2 graduate. Anna told about core direction of the Club activity and about her project “NOT just a project”.

After that a panel discussion with the participation of Andreas Heinecke and the SKOLKOVO Volunteer Club representatives took place. Everybody not indifferent to issues of the social enterprise shared their opinion and problems they are facing. Difficulties connected with financial aid arising because of weak legal support were mentioned.

We’d like to thank Andreas Heinecke for performing on our Campus and inspiring all the listeners with his enthusiasm and drive for activity! And lots of thanks to everybody who come and who is not indifferent!

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