Alexandre Mars

How can we fix the philanthropy industry?
  • Description

    How many of you have given something last year? In term of time, in term of money, in term of whatever to social causes. Can you raise your hand?

    That's the thing, that's pretty cool. So almost everyone.

    Second question is trickier for you: How many of you have given enough to social causes?

    So, how many of you believe that you have given enough? Can you still raise your hands?
    One. That's the thing.

    So as an entrepreneur, when I start understanding this industry I realised that you have a huge gap between those 2 numbers. And as entrepreneur, I realised that something as to be done there.

    The philanthropic industry is broken. We know this. The question is: How can we fix this?
    And for me, when I realised this huge gap, I said: "that's for sure something to do there". And I do believe we have the solution at Epic Foundation.

    And before I give you the solution, at least our solution, I'll introduce myself. I'm a serial entrepreneur, as you've said. I started my first venture when I was 17 years old and since then, I think I am pretty good at just watching the big wave coming and riding the wave. So I also brag on this coming from the South West of France, so it's easy for me to ride waves. But even if I'm really bad at this, but I love it. At least just the real waves in Biarritz. Those are way easier for me.

    So I started, now running different start-ups in all kind of tech industries. So that's  5 different start-ups. The last 2, I sold one to Publicis Group one earlier in Europe, or now in the world for sure. And the last one very last one to BlackBerry.

    So, it was mobile, social media, Internet.

    And at the end this journey, was 2 years ago, I realised... I asked myself this big question I'm sure you all are asking at some point of your life, this big question: " What's next?"

    For me it was pretty clear what's next. I knew that my 6 start-ups, my new start-up should be in this social world. The goal for me was to have a positive impact on the world, and the thing is it didn't come over a night.

    The real story is it comes thanks to my mum. My mum, I believe, was passionate about social missions or missions doing work. That inspired me to just pursue his path in my life. So I said fine, I want to do something social, I want to have an impact. It's great to have money but maybe I can do something with this. But I knew very little. Well I would say I knew nothing about the philanthropic industry.

    So as an entrepreneur, you know this pretty well, and that is something I can tell you, before launching anything you have to do your market research.

    And my market research started 5 years ago: I took my bio and I started knocking on doors. I did it in the US, with the Gates Foundation, with the Rotary network people with great knowledge and I said: "Guys, I hope I will do this, and can you help me out?"

    And the good thing is they did.

    They spent time with me, they introduced me to other people, they gave me advice. And, I started meeting a lot of people, hundreds of people, asking questions. 

    But it was not enough. It was great to understand how it works in the US or in Western Europe. I said: "We should go deeper, we should go wider".

    And my lovely wife said: "We can maybe take the kids out of school and we should travel the world."

    I said: " Well, that's cool. I like this." So we took the kids out of school, you can see 3 kids. We only have 3, hopefully more soon : Louis, Alice and Blanche. And we traveled the world.

    The goal was for sure to be all together but the other goal was to meet local people. Everywhere we went we spent time with social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, millionaires, billionaires, or just policy-makers.

    And always with the same question : "How did it work? How can we do it differently? Do you think there is something to be fixed? How can we do this?".

    So that's what I've done for the last 5 years of my life: trying to understand, I was still running businesses on the side. Well, I should say: I was running businesses and I was doing this on the side.

    But, what are the findings of those 4 years of market research ?

    What we have realised is that so many people wanted to give more but they don't, and not because they are bad people, let's be very clear, people are good. I'm maybe a bit naive and optimistic, but that's important. But they don't trust social organisations.

    Two, they don't have the time. So that's pretty obvious for you.

    And the third thing is that they don't have the knowledge.

    So maybe you can come here, at the chair, and maybe as soon as they have, or you students, a bigger and deeper knowledge, but most people don't have this knowledge because they don't have time, they don't trust organisations.

    On the other side, that's also interesting, all of us, you, me, you before making any decisions in our lives, personal decisions or business decisions, we want 3 things.
    One, we want to have inner choices. It's very hard when someone comes and says: "You need to do this." When you go through the exam, and pass an exam here, you have maybe different choices from different corporations, they will choose the one they prefer. It should be the same in this non-profit world.

    You should be able to choose where you give and to understand why you give to those organisations. So the first thing is : the selection.

    The second thing is: the tracking. You want to track, whatever you do. If you want to check your bank account, you are able to go online, on your mobile phone and you can know how much money you have on your bank account. So you should be able to track this.

    And the third one is: the experience. It's very hard for so many people to understand poverty, to understand all of this when you stay here, when you don't go seeing things.

    So we are pushing people to go and visit. And that really is what we have realised at Epic Foundation: "How can we change the world in building tools that we're all using for whatever we do in our lives ?".

    So if we go deeper and if I give you a bear understanding or deeper understanding of what we do at the Epic Foundation.

    I selected a piece. We have received, so it's every year the same process, we have received this year, at the beginning of the year, 14 000 applications coming from 85 countries. So many social organisation, NGO's, doing great work about just one thing: youth.

    So what we are doing ?

    We're trying to fight inequalities touching youth around 6 regions in the world. That's in Europe, Brazil, Africa, the US, India and South-East Asia.

    So we are receiving hundreds and hundreds of applications, and we've spent 6 months to vet only 20 of them. For those here who knows the venture world, it works exactly the same.

    Sebastian does know this pretty well.

    You can just meet a lot of venture people and some would just, or very few will be just selected at the very end. And we're doing exactly the same.We're spending a lot of time to vet very few of them.That's the first thing.

    And by September 1st, we have 20 organisations, then we spend 4 months to go and talk to potential donors, this new generation of donors, people who should give more, who want to give more.

    But maybe because they don't have the tools, they don't have the access, they are not giving. We're talking about entrepreneurs, us, tech industry, finance, food, real estate, you've named them.

    Private banks, families, offices, corporations, artists, singers, athletes. All those people, who really are good people, who whould give more, and they're new at this. We bring them, for free, that's also very important, we're not charging anyone, neither the beneficiaries or the NGOs or the donors, everything is free.

    So a hundred percent of what they give mainly goes directly to the organisation they are selecting. That's very important. So, the answer or the reason why we're doing this is because we're self-owning and I'm self-owning everything.

    The goal is to have a real and pure organisation where we're not asking money for this work. The second one is the tracking. I mentioned this earlier. Well we all, we are, you are, talking about big data those days. You can mesure everything, you can track everything. That's what we're using now. We're saying: "You should be able and we are able to provide information to all donors about what is going on there". So we're tracking information : it could be from those -slamming- mobiles, we're able to track this information, process this information, and to deliver this information the way that you have on your mobile phone and your PCs.

    So the same way you are tracking whatever you do in your life, you should be able to do the same with social organisations. And the last one is the experience. I mentioned this earlier. Experience for us is also very very important.

    The experience is: you give, you go. That's what we do, we're saying to donors: " You invest somewhere, you should go and visit, you should bring your wife, you should bring your cousin, your partners, your kids, you should go and see this. And that's very very important. If people can't do this, don't want to do this, if they are scared to do this, we are sending film directors shooting everything.

    Power of videos, that's why I'm just talking in front of those, hi guys, is because it is very important you know. It will be twittered after, it will be reposted. t is very very important. We need to show this to potential donors. They should see if they cannot go.

    So that is the structure of what we do. But if we go beyond this, and we should go beyond this when I'm talking to students.

    Last week I was in Rwanda talking to, same, same people, same age at least, to the university of Rwanda. There is a business college over there, and I was giving the same kind of speech over there, talking about social entrepreneurship, tech entrepreneurship, and how can we just do something and have a bigger impact on the world ? And that what we are trying to do here.

    All of us, sometimes when you're younger it's different than when you're older, but at some point we have skills, all of us, we have resources at some point, and we have a network. The question is : "How can you use this?" All of us we can do more with 1, 2 or 3 of those elements.

    For me, personally, I've decided and it's very clear to stop almost everything else and to spend all my life, to devote my life, to change the world positively, to use my resources : my money, my skills as entrepreneur, and my network to try to do this.

    So I want just to share with you 3 amazing stories. The first one is about skills. Remember skills, resources and network. The first one, this picture has been taken in a favela in Brazil. I was talking to a social entrepreneur from a drug dealer and after this he went to jail. And after jail, he found a job and now he's a wonderful amazing social entrepreneur. And when I started engaging with him, we were talking he said : " Stop talking, you know Alexandre, we are similar". A Drug dealer and me? Ok. "I'm a entrepreneur too. You know what ? When I was runnning --- my network, I was able to find great partners to buy at a very low price to sell at a very high price. You know it's exactly what an entrepreneur should do."

    But this guy, with all his skills, have bearly changed everything, and now he's using his amazing skills to change life of those kids in the favelas who went to jail and who want to change and find a job after being in jail.

    Second one is: the resources. It is mostly the money. This guy, unknown guy, is maybe one of the largest donors in New York City. But everything he does is anonymous. So no-one knows him, but no-one knows him because he doesn't want to be seen.

    And that's also interesting to see. And whatever you know, you can be seen, you can have your name on the door, it's great, but give, do, act !

    And the third thing is the networks. Networks is an interesting history. A dentist from Sao Paulo, Brazil. One of the dentist there, few years ago, started to just help some young kids from favelas to have a better dental conditions. He started with one kid, then 2, 5, 10. And he started spending 5% of his time just dealing with these poor kids who were not able to get access to dental care.

    And that's maybe not, you know, clear to you. But in this country, because of the health insurance, or lack of health insurance, so many kids are not having those kind of treatments. A few years after, you have 13 000 dentists, who are doing exactly the same. Because it started with one, then he talked to a friend, the friend of his friend, and now you have so many dentists that are doing this every single day trying to help and give for free, that's the good thing : It's totally sustainable, because it's not a question of money, they don't have to raise money, they are giving their network to change life of those poor kids.

    And now what they're doing, they're extending, expanding this to Colombia, Venezuela, so other countries. Same way, I can use your network to do good.

    So, and that's will be my single last slide. It's about a picture taken in Chiang Mai, in Thailand. And that's exactly what we are trying to do. We're trying to fight inequalities, for sure, bridging the gap between this new generation of donors wherever they are around the world, and the most amazing, inspiring social organisations tackling youth issues.

    If we can give a bear access to health, to those kids, bear access to a proper education, that what we're trying to achieve at Epic Foundation.

    And last slide, that is what I want to challenge you. The kids here are not the kid who have --- the expression : they are young. Students here. What can you do guys ? What can you give ? And I'm not talking about your money, most of you don't have enough resources, but your time, your skills, some of you will become social entrepreneurs, I hope so.

    And that is very interesting also, that's why the very first slide was... You know, tech entrepreneurs to social entrepreneurs.

    The question here is: we are entrepreneurs or we are not ?

    Social or tech, that's not important. But that's what we need to understand, and that's what we need. We all need to do more. You know what you can give : skills, resources, and network.

    Thank you for your time.


Zohra Oumnay

Quelles sont les bonnes raisons d’intégrer un incubateur?
  • Description

    "L'incubateur transforme votre rêve en idée qui est par la suite transformée en occasion d'affaire, de l'autre côté il y a la transformation du porteur du projet en entrepreneur"

    "Au sein d'un incubateur vous allez trouver toute l'aide et l'expertise au niveau du savoir-faire. Quand vous êtes pris en charge par un incubateur, vous allez bénéficier du coaching, d'un accompagnement personnalisé, de la mise en réseau, d'une expertise économique, financière, technique et écologique"

    "L'incubateur vous aide à transformer votre idée en business model et à identifier en vous votre profil entrepreneurial"


Chloé Chambraud

How can social entrepreneurship empower women?
  • Description

    "One of the core principles of Empow’Her is to work really closely with local organization to transfer skills and to help them carry out their project."

    "You may wonder what is a social enterprise, the model stands somewhere between the NGO model and traditional business model. (...) So we created San Jai, that is, San Jai in Thai means „weaving hurts“. Basically women who are in these shelters are being trained and then they produce handicrafts and then these handicrafts are being sold to customers."

    „But it’s not only about handicraft“, it is about regaining self-confidence through the creative process to earn decent wage and work in a safe environment.“

    “Instead of seeing challenges we saw a lot of incredible opportunities”

    "(…)the women. Instead of seeing them as victims of violence, we saw them as incredibly talented professionals.”

    What you give is what you get was our motto with Luisa during these six months, but actually we received way more than what we gave"

    "We created two collections of products, and these are made from up-cycled material. This is from rice bags, and we believe that even though our main goal is a social goal we also have an environmental duty and we should be as ecofriendly as possible. Our biggest challenge but also achievement was definitely to train those women, and we’ve trained fifteen women, and we called the director of the center last week and she told us that many more women are coming to the training that are now very successful."


Idriss Aberkane

What is the Blue Economy?
  • Description

    A world without waste... Is this really possible? Idriss Aberkane will explain us what are the solutions.

    An imaginary universe would mean the absence of waste. However, we all know this is humanly impossible. Still, nature has its ways into showing us how to change this fact.We can make waste meaningful and turn it into something beautiful solely by imitating nature in our entrepreneurship and by considering any waste as potential food.

    "Imagine that the next time when you wanted to see waste you had to take your kids to the museum…"

    "What if we used our nuclear waste to feed mushrooms? It turns out this is possible."

    "Any waste is potential food and this idea of systematically consider waste as potential food is called blue economy and believe me, it’s a game changer of 21st century."



Chloé Chambraud

Comment rendre mon entreprise plus sociale?
  • Description

    "Ces derniers temps, on entend beaucoup parler d'entrepreneuriat social. L'entrepreneuriat, c'est répondre à un besoin social par le biais de la création d'une entreprise. Alors c'est bien, mais ce n'est pas pour tout le monde."

    "Les projets d'intrapreneuriat social ont trois caractéristiques : premièrement, ils cherchent à répondre à un besoin social ou environnemental. Deuxièmement, ils sont liés au coeur de métier de l'entreprise. Et troisièmement, ils ne lui coûtent pas d'argent."

    "L'intrapreneuriat social bénéficie aux plus démunis, aux employés, à l'entreprise et à la collectivité."


Idriss Aberkane

What is Biomimicry?
  • Description

    Nature is more a source of knowledge than a source of resources.

    Imagine you`ve been living in a room for generations. That all of your ancestors have been living in the same room for ages. This room has a name, it`s called nature. Idriss ABERKANE argues that nature has always been the most remarkable library, but we were just unable to figure it out.

    "Study the rain forest, and discover that it's actually a pharmacy. Natives can read the library of Nature."



Christian Vanizette

Comment entreprendre pour une économie qui fait sens?
  • Description

    "À chaque fois, ils ont travaillé énormément sur se poser la bonne question."

    "Mamou a transformé une activité de production pour résoudre un problème social qu'il avait vu dans son pays.""Il y a d'autres entrepreneurs qu'on a rencontré qui eux ont carrément réinventé des industries entières."

    "La question qui se pose, ce n'est pas "j'ai envie de changer le monde, je vais faire quelque chose." Non. Il se pose "j'ai envie que le monde s'améliore, qu'il change un peu." Ils vont trouver un problème qui est important pour eux et ensuite ils vont essayer de répondre à une question très simple."


Christian Vanizette

L'entrepreneuriat social peut-il changer la société?
  • Description

    "Dès qu'on a eu l'Internet, vers 16 ans, avec les vieux modems 56K, je me suis mis à créer à Blog, avec quelques amis, qu'on a appelé "Politita", ça veut dire "politique" en Tahitien, et c'était le premier blog sur l'actualité politique et économique de l'île."

    "Après quatre ans, il y a eu plus de 820 entrepreneurs qui ont été aidés dans 100 villes dans le monde, et on s'est dit "c'est pas encore assez", parce qu'on pourrait grandir le nombre d'entrepreneurs qu'on aide, grandir le nombre de bénévoles qui sont impliqués, passer de 20 000 à 200 000, mais est-ce que ça va vraiment nous faire ressentir le changement dans nos vies quotidiennes?"

    "Mais qu'est-ce qu'on pourrait faire pour redonner un sentiment de puissance aux citoyens sur un enjeu aussi grand que la pollution carbone? Comment est-ce qu'on peut faire sentir quand même aux citoyens qu'il a quand même un petit peu de puissance pour résoudre ce problème, même s'il a l'impression d'être tout seul?"

    "Il faut aussi qu'on compte sur tous les citoyens qui peuvent les aider à faire pression pour aller voir ensemble avec les entrepreneurs leur administration publique, et leur demander juste de l'espace pour expérimenter."


Jean Marc Borello

Quel est le rôle de l'entreprise sociale en Europe?
  • Description

    "What we call home Solidarity is first 2,500 or 3,000 homeless people staying every night in the Parisian structures of the SOS group, so collective, individual, etcetera, that is, ie shelters and social rehabilitation, emergency centers, diverse and varied apartments. "

    "A business integration, it allows very distant people to find employment status, employment and pay, for a maximum duration of two years and then fly to traditional companies. "

    "The reality is that the state can not afford to take only solidarity, even if it is regrettable, it must be noted that there are budgetary constraints on all of the Union and elsewhere, which the state is in difficulties. "

    "We are very far from being arrived at the ideal but we move forward. And finally what was called the third sector that has seen so far, and me first it was thirty years ago, we were there to be the armed wing of the public power in terms of solidarity and education to go fast. "

    "We create nurseries in Tunisia, Morocco, Tunisia, particularly where accompanied the revolution with all those who made it and who, today, with the help of the Commission, which will also to economic independence. So a world that is changing with thousands and tens of thousands of girls and young people coming from all over Europe to get to grips with this economy, reinvent it. "

    Jean Marc Borello @WikiStage Europe House of Paris



Yann Borgstedt

Why men should invest in women?
  • Description

    "I'm a firm believer that media can be a tool to change the perception that men have on women."

    "A lot of programs that we [at the Womanity Foundation] are doing is, we start things and we collaborate with people. That's been the big frustration for me in philanthropy, there are not enough people collaborating together and too many people doing the same thing."

    "We have a program to help social entrepreneurs scale their impact, with consulting firms although we initially started with pro bono."

    "For girls' education we have two programs in two countries. First one is in Afghanistan, where we transform state schools into model schools. We don't do what the government should do, which is paying the teachers and the infrastructures. We train the teachers, we develop the curriculum with them and we bring other activities like introducing sports into women schools. [...] We believe in giving the same chances."