Introducing Social Impact Consultant: Heiner van den Berg

At a certain time you might feel that you need a change in direction. Whenever the daily (or even yearly) routine doesn’t bring you any way close to you want to be (but do you really know??). So I am looking for a change and a fresh perspective for the next chapter in my life and decided to quit my job at an large, international IT company.

After university I started my career as a scientist in Theoretical Physics, moved on into IT (Project Manager) and finally into Sales & Marketing and General Management. I am equally interested in Business Model Innovation / Generation, Sales & Marketing, the latest Gadgets (I admit ) as well as in Quantum Physics, Buddhist teachings, Yoga & Meditation.

I love doing business, especially if it is done with purpose and enthusiasm, even better if done in a clever way. I firmly believe the capitalistic system has created a lot of wealth and good for many people, but the challenge I see in our modern life is the overwhelming dominance of science/technical/economic issues and the sheer focus on profitability at the cost of the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of the human being and our environment. So, our modern economy very often became and end in itself, and not a means to make our living better.

But there are also so many new, fascinating developments, new forms of environmental friendly businesses, all kind of hybrid businesses with positive social impact.

So, why then _SocialStarters? On the one hand side it’ll give me the opportunity to share some of my business experiences with the social entrepreneurs in India, supporting them and helping them to become (hopefully) more successful, but I guess it will have a bigger impact on myself: living and working for six weeks in a foreign culture together with a (I trust) diverse team, working with highly motivated and inspired people on businesses which primarily focus on their social impact, not their ROI, hearing about new ideas, insights, learning new things that might inspire me.

The challenges I guess they are manyfold. To name a few: It starts (for myself) with driving car / taxi / Tuk­Tuk in India ­ it always seems that physical laws are out of duty for Indian drivers. Also accepting the cultural and technical/organizational differences in the daily life of an emerging country (e.g. power breakdowns), accepting that things might take longer, or that they are even impossible.

But most important is to be really open for the new encounters and experiences in a new and different world. Can’t wait going there!

Interested in #joining us in either Brazil, India, Sri Lanka or the Phillippines in 2016? APPLY HERE.  Immersion Programmes are running throughout the year as well as two new programme formats for people who can’t take 6 weeks out their lives – our 2-3 week Inspiration Programme in Rio in July, and our 10-day Transformation Programme in India in September. See our website for more details www.socialstarters.org.

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