Be Curious, Leap In and Learn with Paul Polak

Paul Polak is the founder of iDE. At the age of 80, he launched three new social enterprises. Paul was born in Czechoslovakia near Germany. In 1938, his family watched as refugees poured across the border. Paul says, “The conventional wisdom in 1938 was that Hitler was a joke and all this stuff would blow over. If you accepted that conventional wisdom, you’re no longer around to talk about it.” Paul’s father was willing to challenge the status quo. He moved his family to Canada in 1939. This lesson of challenging conventional thinking was an important life lesson for Paul. One key to his success is, he is willing to leap…

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146, Gayathri Vasudevan, LabourNet | Sustainable Livelihoods through Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship

LabourNet is a social enterprise that enables sustainable livelihoods by bridging the gap between education, employment and entrepreneurship. Gayathri Vasudevan worked in crisis situations. She provided humanitarian aid during a riot. She provided aid in the aftermath of an earthquake. But she found the work depressing. “I wanted to do more solutioning,” she told me. After completing her PhD, she worked for the United Nations, International Labor Organization for eight years. There, she saw a disconnect between the policies she was helping to draft and the results on the ground. She remarked, “In India, we’re very good at white papers. We can write very well. We define everything well. But…

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