Brainstorming about developping a Social Business
The current context of 3 years volunteer experience (Brussels-Based Photography, before Photography for Development) is that in my sector, which is the development sector in Brussels, we are going from a subsidized system with social checks and balances and few financial risks or gains for the volunteers to a for profit-based system, that is highly professionalized, competitive and has a deeply rooted economic logic for the stakeholders.
In Belgium we see that social actors and social organizations are more and more under pressure. The buffer between company and social organization is becoming non-existant, as like the border between the volunteer and employee. The whole social sector has become a market place, where economic logic is the reference. Everything has to become accountable.
In this context a one man volunteering activity also has to evolve from a volunteer to a Pro Bono activity that thinks economically and acts socially. This means that every volunteer has to be accountable for every assignment since he or she is an outsourced employee. That for every assignment the employer earns more than he or she costs in time of other employees or baised communications to the public.
So how can a volunteer quantify the profit he or she gives to the employer as a photographer, by the views and likes on facebook? As a journalist by the amount of readers and shares online? As a social interpreter by the amount of assignments that come during his or her shift?
When a volunteer starts thinking in numbers, then he or she has to change his volunteer activity and starts telling a different story: quantified costumer satisfaction!
As a volunteer the intention was important, the product was there, but it was not always acknowleged by the receptor or the target, for this there are many reasons.
It is just a matter of time that a volunteer can't neglect anymore the data of facebook, a website, a blog or linkedin account. It is not enough to make a beautiful picture, it is not enough to write an interesting article or interpret a medical consultation with ease.
The quality of the product by itself is not important anymore, but the way the volunteer puts it in the market place and how the consumers reacts to it is now more important than the actual good intentention and good practice of the volunteer.
So the future of voluntary work is results orientated (quantified data) and accountability that is called Pro Bono work, going from good practice and intentions of the volunteer to costumers satisfaction that can be quantified by the employer and doesn't really have to satify the Pro Bono volunteer, because for giving you don't need anything in return, or am I not taking in account something...
New Future Directions for Social Activity that for Profit
- Ethnopsycho-therapist: I have lived for a long time in a multicultural community, and this combined with medical theoretical and practicle knowledge, I want now to focus on psycho-therapy, bio-psycho-social model, stress relief and health education in these multicultural diaspora communities. My assets are that I know the countries and communities of origin and the local diaspora. I am familiar with the different steps of integration in Belgian society.
- City Guide: As a connaisseur of DR Congo, I want to become a community guide in the Matongé. The place where the first Congolese students lived and where artists, doctors, international retailers work. The place to be to learn about colonialism, slavery and emancipation. Taking into regard that it also can be fun and tasty.
- Copy writer: give your brand, idea or event in the hands of a world citizen without creative borders and make from a mosquito and elephant...