I decided to join the other consultants at the last minute. The combination of helping local social entrepreneurs, the exciting HiTech city of Hyderabad in central India, and spending time with the 7 other consultants a chance too good to miss. Call it a sabbatical or a vocation, it’s definitely a way to travel with purpose.
My background starts with a job building the University of Essex’s website, in ’96 (based in the Virtual Reality lab), where I’d previous just completed a degree in Information and Business Systems Technology (Itsy Bitsy we called it, as it was a complete mix of computers, accountancy, business law and electronic engineering. From this I jumped a year later to a small, fast growing digital business company in London. Starting in sales, then development, a natural path opened to me being the first account/project manager, and as we grew that turned into a tech/sales consultant. We floated the company in 2001 for £240m, just as the bubble (including me) went pop.
I went almost straight to Nepal to help a language school there, work on a business school idea (we owned British-Education.org) but also to help entrepreneurs outside Europe to come to the UK (the rules had just changed and so we were helping people understand them). This trip and business was cut short due to a civil war breaking out in Pakistan, amongst other reasons.
Fast forward through a year out in Australia, then a TEFL course, and an MSc in Human Computer Interaction at UCL, I continued to help companies with digital strategy from startups to corporates, to wire framing to Business Law.
In 2010 I started a PhD (again at UCL), in social computer games. Looking into how the social psychology had changed the immersive nature of gaming/players behaviour. In 2013 at an event ran by the UCL public engagement team, called Focus on the Positive, I won some seed money for an idea I had to change the world in a positive way. A simple way of social gifting by creating a not-for-profit advertising platform. I’m still working on this idea.
Last year I attended a conference called MakeSense.org (mostly a volunteer network of 20,000 around the world) who really energised me to continue to help social entrepreneurs, and who ran a workshop for me at King’s Cross Tech Hub late last year. On the 31st Jan all across the world we are running sessions called the World Hold Up Day to celebrate the 4 years of MakeSense, and I’m facilitating one for the Before I die network. And now this, which I’m really excited to be a part of.
Written by Eddie Capstick
Would you like to join us as a Trainee Social Enterprise Consultant, and work alongside grassroots social entrepreneurs in either Kenya, India or Brazil? We are currently recruiting for our next programmes, which start March 14th, April 25th and June 20th respectively for 6 weeks each. If so, please send across your CV and a cover note explaining why you think this opportunity is for you to firstname.lastname@example.org and pop either Social Enterprise Consultant – Kenya or Social Enterprise Consultant – India or Social Enterprise Consultant – Brazil in the subject heading. See our website www.socialstarters.org for more details.