So after a long flight and a nice sleep at decent hotel, we welcomed the first day of GSBS 2014 by meeting with fellow Young Challengers. The weather in Mexico City is freezing, and it’s not like how I expect it to be. Anyway, warm welcome by the organizers had definitely helped in our mental preparation for 3 days of intensive learning, and joy at the same time.
So what is Young Challengers Meeting? Basic googling will get you the answer, but we as a participant we have more to tell. If I would have to conclude it in a sentence, this is the moment when you witness changes happen and created by young people – Youth!
This meeting has made us realize that we are not the only ones putting effort in creating a better community, but young people all around the world are doing the same as well! We worked on different fields, but we share the same vision. Come all of us together and we challenge the status quo of the world’s development.
Today I am honoured to be the audience of the speech delivered by Hans Reitz and Prof. Yunus. It made me think of something, a thought which is like a problem I had been thinking of for a long time. In Malaysia, a lot of my friends in my circle want to do something related to business and social. But they either do not have an idea, or they are awfully tied down with the flow of society, and I am not excluded as well.
We are told to get a job, and earn a living, but today Prof. Yunus asked us a question during the meeting – “What is the purpose of your life? It is basically like a continuity versus eventuality. Are you going to continue what you are doing right now, or what you are doing now will eventually lead you to somewhere you want, and you will enjoy it. It is not wrong to continue the job on your hand, in fact please finish it effectively. But it is a matter of how much you understand why and what are you doing, and how happy you are!”
Prof. Yunus believes that everyone is an entrepreneur, so for young people in Malaysia, if you are an entrepreneur, what do you wish for?
The agenda then carried on with a real intensive session, where we are given case studies on growing and meaningful social businesses in Mexico. I will skip the introduction to the case study as it is the same with Pik-Svonn’s post, but we got a very interesting challenge.
Challenge: If necessary conditions for replication cannot be accomplished by certain communities, how can we extend safe water access to the poor? So now, stop reading for 5 minutes, exercise your brain cell and think how.
We identify the problem as a system. Normally piping system require very detailed planning- the architecture of the system, where to bury it, building the pipes and ultimately, maintenance.
In Malaysia, we are lucky that we do not have this worry, and the government is doing a good job on this. However in Mexico, it is an entirely different story.
Basically EcoAlberto is taking over the government’s role in distributing clean water to remote areas. They faced numerous challenges, some villages do not have a well, some places at the north side of Mexico rain 5 times a year, some villages don’t want to get involved in this, etc.
After assessing local communities and the regional geographical landscape, we have come out with a distribution plan. Taking weak financial strength and the urgency of this social problem, we took the low cost yet effective solution where we expand our piping according to planning from all those assessment. The expansion will start from the village where they are operating smoothly right now, and expand steadily towards nearby village in the path designed.
For this solution, we discussed about the macro and micro transportation of clean water as well. From the macro skills, it will first transport by tank lorry that they have and develop into automatic piping system. On distribution within the village, we did propose a few methods in getting people together such as school time, vending method and etc. In short, our method is feasible because we take into considerations of all possible factors that could interrupt the development, and with minimal capital injection this expansion plan can be carried out as well.
After all 6 groups presented, we came to the end of the Young Challengers Meeting of the Global Social Business Summit 2014. There was even a networking party thrown throw in downtown Mexico City and this is simply because we do not have enough time to talk and connect with each other!
Well I guess this is all for today, please look forward for a more exciting post tomorrow as it will be the FIRST DAY OF GSBS 2014!!