Guest Blog: Amsterdam provides a backdrop for Enactus program staff collaboration

Guest Blog: Amsterdam provides a backdrop for Enactus program staff collaboration
September 17, 2013 Guest Post 0 comments

Staff members explore exciting opportunities to extend the great work Enactus does every day

Mike Austin
Mike Austin
Program Manager, Enactus UK

Elgar Beumer
Elgar Beumer
Managing Director, Enactus

Amsterdam may be famous for its canals, avid cyclists and liberal night life, but for three days recently it was the destination for Enactus staff from across Europe to collaborate and improve national programs.

Staff from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Poland, Ireland and the UK met at the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Business School to share best practices, create new program materials and develop new project philosophies. The group was also introduced to the brand new Enactus campus awareness and student recruitment campaign, which we all agreed will bring exciting opportunities to extend the great work Enactus does every day.

In true Enactus fashion, after a long first day of meetings we didn’t simply stop working. We instead took the evening to view a successful Enactus project! This took the shape of an “Underground Amsterdam” tour by Victor, a recovering drug addict and homeless man. On his rich and colorful tour – made possible through a project of VU University Amsterdam Enactus that gives homeless individuals opportunities as city guides – we learned more about Amsterdam than we thought possible. His story, though difficult, sad and complicated, was also inspiring and heartwarming. He openly thanked the Enactus students for what they had created to enable him to take steps toward escaping homelessness. This gave us further energy throughout the conference to build a better Enactus so that all participating students can go on to change more lives.

In addition to our meetings and tour, we also took this opportunity to work with outside organizations on new entrepreneurial models as well as engaging Dutch alumni on project management. We also trained on the principles of the blue economy based on the book by Gunter A. Pauli. Together we set about constructing new project resources – so keep an eye out for new tools and training event materials to come soon.

These few days proved fantastic for bettering the program and we look forward to implementing the new ideas and working further with our European colleagues. A big thank you to the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Business School for hosting us.

 

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