Today, I had one of the most interesting meetings of my life. 5 motivated individuals (which I thought would be a good fit for the Film Annex team), from SUNY New Paltz, along with myself, met with Mr. Francesco Rulli and Ms. Roya Mahboob to discuss how we could help shape our own futures; while helping with the futures of Film Annex andBuilding Schools in Afghanistan. Mr. Rulli challenged us to not only think about social media, and what it can do for societies and businesses, but what it can be leveraged to do for us.
This led to the conversation of becoming a thought leader. Each person in the group has decided to blog for Film Annex, and talk about something that interests them while relating it to other interesting topics such as Building Schools in Afghanistan, or Peer to Peer network capabilities in a globalized world. Seeing as I helped pick the group, I have the greatest amount of faith in their ability to be successful thought leaders in whatever they aim to draw a buzz and wow about. I will make sure to mention each of them, as they begin their adventure into the world of blogging.This however led me to an interesting, extremely hard question to answer. What will I be a thought leader in?!
Up till now, I have had it pretty easy. I help aid in conversation aboutCentral and South Asia from a business perspective, then Mr. Rulli threw me a curve ball. What will be my addition to this topic? and what keywords can I bring to the table? I know I like business, especially entrepreneurial ideologies. However, that is a saturated topic to discuss. So while I was pondering in my moment of frantic confusion, I found that the answer was sitting diagonally across from me at the table. The answer was Ms. Mahboob, and everything she resembled.
Roya is what I would personally define as a Social Entrepreneur. Better yet she is a Social Entrepreneur in an Emerging Market. People misconstrue the word all the time, thinking Social Entrepreneurs are only in the not-for-profit sector. However, a Social Entrepreneur is someone who uses a business idea to aid to social issues, whether for profit or not.The Building Schools in Afghanistan initiative is an example of Social Entrepreneurship in Central and South Asia at its finest. It makes perfect sense that Afghanistan would be the home to someone like this, because I personally believe they are on the cusp (and have been for a while) of a social revolution. The political and economic risks may be extremely high, but so is the motivation and determination of people withinEmerging Markets to better themselves and society through new innovative business initiatives for their areas of residence.
Social Entrepreneurs exist here in the U.S., such as my friend Anthony Collica who owns Empowering Moment Fitness. I helped develop his business to what it is today, not only because he is a friend and I want him to be successful, but because his job as a personal trainer is the betterment of a society in an already majorly obese nation. However, focusing on cases of Social Entrepreneurship in places such as Afghanistan is much more monumental, due to the nations evolution through emergence in economic status. The mean age for the country is around 18 years old, which means the crowd sourcing for entrepreneurial ideologies is limitless there.
With this said, my answer to you Mr. Rulli will have to be the importance of my blogs leading into the thought area of Social Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets.