This is why Wamda is totally different

March 12, 2013 — Leave a comment

8184424662 51e176040e zSince day one of my entrepreneurial mission back in 2009, attending events and conferences became part of my lifestyle. Most of the conferences were tackling the same “entrepreneurship” dilemma, whether they are specialized or generic, as some of them were ICT related and some about social entrepreneurship.

It’s clear for everyone attending such events that they all have a lot of things in common, including audience, speakers and content. It reached a point were I started to call those who always show up as “usual suspects” and I’m not denying that I’m one of them.

All it takes is a little bit of a twist in the way we think, to start questioning the purpose of such events; tens of thousands are being spent during a couple of days to address the same issue, with the same people and by the end of the day, it’s all about talks and talks. I don’t remember that a single conference came up with a solid solution for any of the problems I’ve been hearing about and facing for the last 4 years, not to mention that a lot of people are being unrealistic about them and coming up with very superficial solutions that don’t tackle the real problem.

Probably people organizing such events don’t take into consideration that repeating the same thing again and again shows how much we’re failing in addressing our real problems and coming up with solutions, automatically this contributes to building a frustrated generation of entrepreneurs who are worried about their future, especially when they see key-role players unable to take proper actions.

In 2012, my friends at Wamda, which I consider myself part of its family (they volunteer me sometimes and bribed me with the sexy title of “Chief Volunteering Officer”), they launched a different series of events under the name of Mix N’ Mentor. I’m not going to claim that they invented new people to attend the event and I’m no longer seeing the “usual suspects”, however, they have done something that stops this one-way communication approach (panel vs. audience style) and brought entrepreneurs to the event venue and randomly assigned them to mentors in different rounds under different themes, that are more close to what entrepreneurs really need nowadays.

Mix N’ Mentor gives the chance for entrepreneurs to personalize the sessions by discussing real problems they are facing in details and allowed them to put a limit for the assumptions dilemma that “specialized” people keep coming up with; it’s an on-the-ground collaboration platform for entrepreneurs to learn from each other, rather than being preached by those who think they know.

An event like Mix N’ Mentor also helps in breaking this barrier between entrepreneurs and successful businessmen, who we all look up to, by bringing them all together with a very casual setup, which makes it more realistic. The initiative obviously doesn’t aim for PR stories or to show off overrated numbers, because that doesn’t happen there, unlike typical conferences and events.

It’s clear for everyone that Wamda’s events are not only being casual, they are also avoiding the prestigious vibes by doing the event in friendly places instead of formal ones (i.e 5 star hotels), and that definitely makes everyone feel comfortable, other than saving more money to serve entrepreneurs rather than paying humongous catering bills, they understand that these tens of thousands are better utilized by investing them in entrepreneurs.

Wamda, a platform which’s going beyond being a website that celebrates entrepreneurs, it’s actually addressing entrepreneurship in a unique and realistic way that empowers entrepreneurs and gives them a voice that should be heard very well.

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