Social Sabbatical Week 1: Heart Wide Open – that didn’t take long
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” – C.G. Jung
It’s 1:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday at Puerta 18, and the place is buzzing with life: A group of 3 with headphones on and computer screens drawing a 3D rendering, another group of 6 across the room huddled near the entrance at the last stage of a textile project, and yet another with notebooks open taking notes and comparing ideas as the 3D printer zips up and back printing their design…
These are all kids from the local Abasto neighborhood that have found Puerta 18 – an after school program that provides a place to ignite their creativity, engage with ideas they never knew they had and be with peers along the journey of learning. The kids are engaged, full of energy, and all gleaming with the spark of life and possibility in their eyes. It’s real – no joke. This place is the real deal.
Words on Paper
Descriptions of the client program, the Scope of Work, the overview of the program, background on the founders…We had more than enough information as we embarked on our Social Sabbatical. After a couple days of being at Puerta 18 here in Buenos Aires and spending time in the office, in the neighborhood, with the founders, staff and kids – that’s when the words came alive and inherited meaning.
A Beating Heart
This place is special…really special. It’s not your typical after-school program – nowhere near. Why? Passion. Love. Respect. Humility. All for “the kids”. The kids come to Puerta 18 because they want to, and stay because they are engaged. Helped by their peers, encouraged by the staff, and guided by their curiosity they are alive with possibility.
On this Social Sabbatical over these next 4 weeks my team and I are here to work with Puerta 18 to help them replicate their successful model of “providing free after-school youth education programs centered around technology for young people ages 13 to 24 with the aim of improving their future”. We’ll provide a business plan with specific recommendations across marketing, operations and a franchise model to fit their goal to reach many, many more kids across Argentina.
We’ve had three full days with the team and are at the point of refining and finalizing our scope of work and getting buy-in from the team specifically around the prioritization of the key deliverables. Lucky for this marketer, one of those prioritized by the staff is all around their identity as a company – from their brand, to their consistent language and above all – articulating their unique, special sauce that cannot be understood with pre-conceived notions around after-school youth programs. A marketers dream project.
Federico, the Director of Puerta 18, Carolina the general programs coordinator and the rest of the staff have been wonderful hosts and key contacts that have dedicated their time to bring us up to speed and share the vision. And our team of three with Kathrin and Janice – and an awesome project assistant Juan Manuel – who together we all feel pretty lucky to have this experience. Federico, Kathrin, Janice and Juan met at the SAP office on Monday for the Social Sabbatical kick off.
Coming up next: Meet the amazingly talented and interesting 11 other colleagues from SAP who in only 5 days seems like we have been at this for months, as well as the Puerta 18 team and some impressions from beautiful Buenos Aires.