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Author's profile photo Andre Wagner

Funny Business Lesson – An Oxymoron? Not at Rede Cidadã.

Have you ever wondered how to empower people through a more playful and innovative learning process? Find out how by discovering what “Segundo Façe” is about and how SAP employees are working toward making an impact in Brazil!

The SAP Social Sabbatical program is an important part of SAP’s social investment strategy to support entrepreneurs and small businesses in emerging markets. Together with my colleagues from SAP, we contribute our expertise to non-profit organizations and help to unlock their potential to create economic, social, and environmental impact. More specifically, we are working on projects to create a communication program for ASMARE, develop a supply chain strategy for Maos de Minas, and elaborate human resource policies for Rede Cidadã regarding skills, employee performance and career development.

Confucius said, “Education is beyond all differences of rank”. After the first week of my social sabbatical in Belo Horizonte, I realize that education is really an essential element to overcoming the growing economic divide in Brazil. Rede Cidadã is a social, non-profit organization founded in 2002 and located in Belo Horizonte.  It developed excellence in social transformation by integrating life and work together. Rede Cidadã created a comprehensive methodology to establish collaborative networks among volunteers, businesses, civil society, and the government to generate a higher social value for those who apply it. Rede Cidadã strives to generate jobs and income for 50,000 people until 2015. Besides business consulting services for entrepreneurs, Rede Cidadã empowers underserved people, young people from low income families, and people with disabilities seeking qualifications to enter the labor market. It helps to bridge the resource gap and close the economic divide.

After learning about the philosophy of Rede Cidadã, our team tested a new teaching methodology together with 25 educators in the training center of the university UNA at Barro Preto. The methodology was invented by JogArt and is called “The Mask is the Product”. It is a business simulation game that involves organizational events within a company: sync actions, planning, cooperation, and mutual assistance. The main contribution of the game is to give participants the experience of everyday life of a business where deadlines are important, creativity makes the difference, and teamwork is essential for delivering results efficiently and effectively.

Once introduced to the rules of the game, all educators split up into four groups. My colleagues and I joined three women to form the fourth group. With the help of cards we distributed the essential business responsibilities among each other. I was responsible for sales and marketing, so I proposed the name “Segundo Façe” (2nd Face), the company logo and the price for our products. In the team, we then developed the company vision and the concept of our products (masks for everyday life situations, such as business, family, fun, etc.) before purchasing the necessary materials and starting production. In parallel to the mask production, the company mission, TV and newspaper advertisements as well as an appealing jingle were prepared for the final jury presentation.

Our Team

By playing a game that emulates real life, the young learn about business through planning, teamwork, action and entrepreneurship. It shows them the challenges and possibilities of starting a new company. Furthermore, it helped the educators learn first-hand about the game that they will later supervise. With it, Rede Cidadã really walks the talk and helps underserved young to qualify and finally enter the labor market for a better, self-determined life. It is great to see how ideas can be turned into products when people, businesses, and government work together making the world run better.


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