WETHNK Think | Act| Change

WETHNK is preparing youth for this decade’s challenges and developing a new generation of thought leaders and change-makers.

Photo of Sadia Afrin Binte Azad
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Eligibility

  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Sadia Afrin Binte Azad

Initiative's representative date of birth

16 September 1990

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Woman

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • Vietnam

Where are you making a difference?

Hanoi, Vietnam

Website or social media url(s)

We haven't started to promote this yet and we have bought the wethnk.org domain but we are still building the brand and website so we have no handles for WETHNK as of now. Sadia Afrin's social media handles are: https://www.facebook.com/sadia.afrin.7169 https://www.instagram.com/sadiafrin/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/afrinsadia/

When was your organisation founded?

February 2020

Focus areas

  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

Project Stage

  • Pilot (have done first proof of concept)

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $10k - $50k

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO
  • Social Enterprise

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

I came to Vietnam to work on a Youth Entrepreneurship Club for High School Students of Hanoi and that is where I met my other co-founder Catalina. For this project, I was managing the overall program and Catalina was developing the curriculum. As we worked together, we realized that there was a mismatch in how we (Catalina and I) worked against how he worked and there was a lack of focus and commitment from the founder's side. Frustrated, Catalina and I quit the team but we committed to continue the program with the students so we did a few sessions and the enthusiasm and reaction of high school students made us realize that an Leadership Academy has a potential in Vietnam so we decided to start our own venture with university students.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

The world is growing more than ever and in this era of digitalization, social media has taken over the world. The social media now shapes public opinion and even employers also check social media to form their opinion about candidates. The concept of space has changed and a new space called digital space has emerged but unless we fundamentally change how we think, we won't change the way we act and won't be a shift in the results we are getting.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We want to create a new generation of leaders who have the knowledge, skills, attitude and mindset to face the 21st century challenges. We will be offering a 1 year Fellowship program where students build awareness about self, empathy for the world and generate solutions to their community’s wicked problems. We will be hosting some 3 day incubation bootcamps where participants eform teams and come up with solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals. We are going to design Social Innovation programs for companies and organisations who aim to become more sustainable and save the world from the current problems. We believe our approach is unique because usually leadership academy jumps directly into problem where as we start with the person who wants to bring change. Our journey starts by exploring self by looking into our purpose, values and the behaviors. We then learn about concept of world, the Sustainable Development Goals and their problem framing, we build communication and authenticity, explore our own philosophy and sharpen critical thinking. And then we launch into action as we develop social innovation and entrepreneurs who go on to implement their solutions.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

WETHNK is a social innovation organization aimed to build the next generation of leaders who are fundamentally different in terms of how they think, act and thus bring change in their own lives, their communities, their countries and the world. Our education approach is co-creation with the students: we evaluate their needs by conducting research and interviews, after each session we collect feedback to adjust to and include different learning styles (knowledge, activities, interaction). We adjust our content and facilitation style to the local context and we envision an evolving education model: it will change every batch based on new trends in the world, new needs, new circumstances.

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

We are focusing on creating entrepreneurial as well as intrapreneurial skills in individuals as we know that not everyone needs to become a founder of a startup or a social business. We will be creating pathways through discovering oneself so that everyone has an understanding of who they are, how their thoughts impact their behaviors and actions and what they need to do in order to succeed in life. They will also develop their own philosophy about how the world works and thus developing critical thinking skills, and through our systems thinking and design thinking they will be developing their asset based thinking skills and be more solution oriented which will be a core skill requirement for employability in the future. We will be co-creating the content with the participants and there will be lots of activities and thinking focused projects so that they feed into making the content.

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

We believe that skills such as Critical Thinking; Collaboration; Design Thinking & Systems Thinking; Creative Problem Solving; Assertive Communication; Public Speaking; Storytelling; Leadership; Entrepreneurship etc. Although these are nothing new skills but these skills will be now developed in light of keeping the 4th industrial revolution, social media boom, the blend of social and digital self in mind so that our future generation has a fundamental shift in how they think thus changing how they will act which will yield different results for their future.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We are been building a network in Hanoi and we found out that most accelerators programs are working with initiatives at various stage. There are programs like ThinkZone that work with for profit businesses while CSIP works with social business that have a prototype and want to develop further. WISE Vietnam is dedicated to developing women entrepreneurs who have a minimum viable product. They are mainly providing support to these startups/entrepreneurs by building their business skills but we are building the capacity of youth to first incubate their ideas so that they can go to these program.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We have just tested this idea with a few high school students. We initially had around 15 students but due to corona virus outbreak in Vietnam, parents are freaked out and we were having a very hard time to mobilize the parents and have the students come to the sessions. On average we have had 7 students show up in the sessions and we have had three sessions with them already. We have discussed how to set mission and vision for one self and we discussed concept of Ikigai and locus of control for now. Our participants are actively giving us feedback and based on their expectations of how they want to learn (some want knowledge, some want to creativity and some want tasks to do) we also realised that their learning style is also determinant of what they would likely to do in the future (lean startup, social innovation or activism). The students gave us the motivation to do this project.

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

We aim to become financially sustainable by generating revenue through corporate programs, tuition from fellowship and from the SDG Bootcamps. We are a social business, which means that any profit will go to growing the organization and impact projects in vulnerable communities. We will start the venture with seeking small grants to cover basic costs of operations and also look for in-kind support through partnerships. We will slowly build the revenue model and will operate from revenue by 2025. We have calculated that our current operating budget is 2000-2500 USD per month if we solely depend on grants and offer the programs free of cost. We can reduce this cost if we secure venue/space partners and sponsors to donate materials.

10. Team

Sadia Afrin: Co-founder and Head of Operations https://www.linkedin.com/in/afrinsadia/ Currently working part-time on this venture. Sadia's expertise: Training & Facilitation Entrepreneurship Coaching Social and Emotional Intelligence Builder Catalina Catana: Co-founder and Head of Programs https://www.linkedin.com/in/catalinacatana/ Currently working part-time on this venture. Catalina's expertise: Training & Facilitation Learning Design Entrepreneurship

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How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

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