Venezuelan Carlos Eduardo Vargas Palencia de Venezuela, Co-Founder of 1001 Ideas Para Mi País, is the Entrepreneur of the Month YABT. 1001 Ideas Para Mi País is an organization whose objective is to link, train and promote the youth participation in social and citizen development through creativity and innovation. It seeks to connect young people with the public, especially those disinterested with the social-political area and those without associative behavior. For 1001 Ideas, this connection takes place through activities with social content of youth interest, as well as training through non-traditional learning and finally through incubation and/or acceleration of social projects and initiatives. In the last year, the project has had a positive impact on 2,500 young people and indirectly affected 10,000 people in the city of Caracas.
"The project was conceived in September of 2015, thanks to a multidisciplinary group of young people that generate a differentiating proposal for a target audience with little involvement in other initiatives and with the elements of creativity and innovation as a transversal axis to the organization. The differentiating element of our proposal is creativity and innovation as a means to connect young people with social and citizen development. All activities, internal and external, are part of the essence of the youth or millennial profile. Our work is carried out through the adaptation of the public-social offer to the interests and tendencies of young people, "says our Entrepreneur of the Month.
The whole formative content of 1001 Ideas is based on non-traditional learning; Education through competition, experiential education, education by gamification, among other branches of education. The contents of their activities, are covered in the spectrum of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, both the linking activities, as well as the training activities and the projects that are in the stage of incubation or acceleration.
"The organization functions as an ecosystem, disinterested or unrelated young people have the opportunity to connect with the public and the social through an activity that attracts their attention in some area (art, sports, technology, entertainment, among others). This also allows them to train in depth on the topics of their interest and finally to become a social entrepreneur who helps other young people to live a similar experience" says the young entrepreneur.
When consulting him about what moment of his life he realized that he would be an entrepreneur, the young Venezuelan states: "I think that more than realizing that I would be an entrepreneur, I realized that I was an entrepreneur. All my life I have had ideas and projects that many times have not been able to be realized but that for many years have allowed me to understand what it means to work for an idea and to put the dedication and commitment necessary to see it materialize. I believe that all people are potential entrepreneurs, one of those ideas that are in all our heads may be a spark that ignites and determines to mobilize us to achieve that dream, that goal, at any stage of life, at any level of development, we cease to be potential entrepreneurs and we become empowered entrepreneurs."
In the near future, 1001 Ideas Para Mi País aims to become a leading organization for innovation in social participation of young people in the region. "Within our strategic planning, we conceived 2017 and 2018 as the ideal years to expand our model to Venezuelan territory and thereafter to the different countries in Latin America that also require an innovative public offering for its youth, starting with the sister countries of Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia," says Vargas.
Undoubtedly, social entrepreneurship is a fundamental tool for the development of countries. New trends in innovation and social initiatives have recently gained greater visibility and impact in generating social capital for countries and 1001 Ideas does not escape that reality. The spectrum of disinterested or unmotivated youth in the socio-political panorama of Venezuela is 80%, while only 20% of young people are grouped and of that percentage only 4% is associated in groups of a political or social nature.
Because of this, 1001 Ideas Para Mi País has a significant impact in Venezuela since it not only influences the lives of young people to contribute to their development, but also gives them opportunities and tools to regain hope in their country and at the same time allows them to connect with other young people and groups that respond to their interests and abilities.
“The realities in Latin America are not different throughout different countries, even though there are different levels of social impact, but it is precisely because of the similarities that 1001 Ideas currently impacts and has the objective of having a much greater impact on the sustainable development of Latin America, helping to connect more young people with social and citizen development through creativity and innovation, providing the necessary tools to materialize their ideas and supporting them in the implementation of their social enterprises, “says the Entrepreneur of the Month YABT.
YABT consulted with the young entrepreneur about his participation as a young leader in the Youth Forum of the Americas. “I had the opportunity to participate in the IV Youth Forum of the Americas in the framework of the VII Summit of Heads of State of the Organization of American States which was held in Panama in April 2015. My participation was in the Working Group on Democratic Governance and Citizen Participation, from which we held different, enriching and interesting debates on the role of democracy and civil society in our continent, with special attention to the role of young people and their different risks, challenges, opportunities and responsibilities towards their counties.”
“The IV Youth Forum of the Americas was truly an experience that changed my life, it was there where I met different people, organizations and institutions that were making important efforts towards youth development of the continent and even the world. This is what led me to enter the world of social entrepreneurship and to continue to dive deeper into these issues and share experiences on how to achieve a positive impact on society, especially the youth of the hemisphere and the planet “concludes the outstanding young Venezuelan.”