Need to attack poverty, environmental and language issues simultaneously?
As far as inspiring videos go, I haven’t seen anything much better than this.
The students at Babson are fortunate to have a mentor with such vision, but this project sounds like a tough assignment; going in ‘cold’, just to learn about what it feels like to be an outsider? We’d love to hear how it all works out.
Here’s a transcript of what she is saying in the video:
A lot of people ask me what an Entrepreneurship Division would do with an anthropologist and I find this is a question that I have to answer every day, whether it’s in the cafeteria or in the classroom.
So the best way I can explain that to you is to tell you about a course that I’m teaching this summer.
In two weeks, I’m taking twelve students to Ayvalik, Turkey, for the first time.
The course is called “Social Responsibility through Eco-enterprise in Turkey.
The students will be doing research conducting fieldwork in a workshop where women who have never before earned money are learning how to make sellable goods out of post-consumer and post-industrial waste.
This obviously leads to other questions – why Turkey?
Turkey has been my field site on and off for the past twenty years.
I went there without knowing anything about the language, nothing about the culture, no-one there.
My belief is that it’s almost impossible in today’s world of hyper-information to travel in that manner because there’s always information accessible about every place.
But twenty years ago that wasn’t the case.
So, I had the pleasure of learning the culture and falling in love with the country.
I think that the students, since none of them have ever been to Turkey before, will have a similar experience, although in a condensed period of time.
This is what I expect:
I expect that, because they don’t know the language, they will be forced, like I was, to rely on forms of communication other than language.
They will have a heightened sense of awareness, because they can’t talk to people.
So they will be looking at environmental clues, contextual clues.
Trying to decipher the culture and trying to find the known in the unknown.
My hope is that, after two weeks, in addition to the very important goals of learning about women’s development in a different country, learning about how to raise environmental awareness in a different country, and learning something about social entrepreneurship in Turkey, they will also know how to tap into that place of heightened awareness, so that when they return to the States, they will possible be able to see the unknown in the known, which we hope will make them better entrepreneurs in the future.
If you’re interested in learning more about the workshop that we’ll be visiting, you can go to:
And, if you have any questions for me, as the instructor, as the anthropreneur, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org