We asked active ebbf member and AIESEC alumni Eleonora Ferrero about her dreams and her energy and how she benefitted and you can make good use of the long-standing successful ebbf-AIESEC partnership. She will be working alongsideÂ ebbf board member Mahmud Samandari, as ebbf’s liaison for AIESEC activities and can be contacted at the new aiesec[at]dev.ebbf.world email helping you make the most of the opportunities of this partnership. See what you can do with this partn
I HAVE A DREAM In a near future, all companies in the world will work based on CSR and following ethical values. EntrepreneursÂ and Managers will be able to run sustainable business, with profit for the company, for the shareholders and all stakeholders. Moral leadership and social business will change the old business model. The market leaders are the ones who will be able to change the world trough a sustainable innovation process
ebbf: Eleonora, is there a moment in your life when this dream surfaced?
Eleonora Ferrero ebbf’s liaison for AIESEC activities
Eleonora: During my University years, getting in contact with positive leaders I found in AIESEC and ebbf, I learned the kinds of positive business models that can be applied. I heard about socialÂ businessÂ and CSR, but not just in theoretical way, meeting many individuals who lived and run this successfully in their businesses. Then, when I left University and AIESEC’s realities, I discovered that the world around me was not aligned with those principles and that is when this dream of mine surfaced! I felt the responsability to do something concrete in order to show others how meaningfulÂ changing “old” business models can be. And thankfully we are surrounded by crisis allÂ aroundÂ the world (economic, enviromental, human, social, etc), and peopleÂ areÂ looking for new development strategies, for new ways forward. ebbf: What does CSR mean to you? Eleonora: I see CSR as a way of creating economic value that is useful to every stakeholder. It means creating a wellbeing that is social and not just economical, and that guides our behaviours, placing the human being at the centre of our focus and energy. ebbf:Â do you see yourself as an influencer?Â what / who are you influencing? Eleonora:Â Yes, I do! I think that I am influencing thanks to the energy that I put into the actions that I do. Right now, as a young professional, I’m not so qualified to always do the right thing at the right moment, but when I fail I get up and start again, learning from my mistakes, and involving as many people as I can in “my dream”! What I try to influence the most is other people’s awareness that they are able to change situations they don’t like. They have the power within them to be a “change agent”. I really believe that every individual has the moral responsability to act, not waiting for others to do so for them. I don’t know who I’m influencing. But I hope to set a positive example for as many people as possible!! ebbf: What did you discover about yourself and about what is important to you through your your experience at AIESEC? Eleonora: I feel so lucky have been able to get in contact with AIESEC. And I think that my destiny was so generous with me: I was supposed to enroll in two other universities, but due to a car crash I had to enroll in Pavia University. And guess what, the other two universities did not have AIESEC there! About myself I discovered a lot of things, but probably the most important is how much energy I have and I can use. Energy in life is everything (I’m an Einstein fan about his “energy” idea!!!). And the AIESEC experience helped me to define my values and my mission. It was something inside me from always, but thanks to AIESEC I had the opportunity to see my values in action, shaping them, seeing them grow stronger and more clearly defined. ebbf: When did you join ebbf and why did you become a member? Eleonora: I joined ebbfÂ 3 years ago. I did this becauseÂ I love this organization’s mission 🙂 And I have found in ebbf many professionals who are very helpful and keen to share their knowledge and experience with you. ebbf: What conversations impacted you most during one or more ebbf events? why? Eleonora: The most impactfull conversation I had in an ebbf event was during my first conference in Acuto. Arthur DahlÂ run his session about climate change. At the end of Arthur’s session I felt so bad about the current enviromental situation, thinking that there will be no alternatives for the world. So I asked to Arthur what can we do… If there is no more hope, why should we change and do something? And he answered to me with “you never know what the consequences of an action can be”. And another meaningful conversation was with Beppe Robiati when he asked us: “if you have a glass of water and need to choose to feed either a flower or a rabbit , who will you choose? And between a rabbit and a child?Â And if you have to decide between two children knowing that if you share the water between both, both will die?” I answered in my mind “for sure I want to save at least one of them, so I give the water to one of them”. But it wasn’t the right answer, because some time in life you DON’T REALLY KNOW!! And you cannot choose for some oneÂ else. And you just have to do the right thing, becauseÂ you never know what might happen! It is the most important lesson ebbf gave to me, and I feel so thankful for this. ebbf: What do you see as your highlight, the most important motivation to be the ebbf liaison with AIESEC? Eleonora:Â To try and give to as many AIESECers as I can the same opportunity I was given years ago. I really think that AIESEC is an amazing organization because it sets values and positive leadership development at the core of its activities. And ebbf embeds values and positive business development into its mission. So when you finish University and finish your AIESEC experience (and every AIESEC knows that one day that is going to happen!), you can find another like minded organization that is open and eager to welcome you and assist your progress! ebbf: Have your views on what is important and your motivations changed from when you were at University and an AIESEC member and now that you are an entrepreneur? Eleonora: There is no difference at all. To me important things are those that are linked with my values, and those are not going to change. The differences are in the strategies and the tools that I now use. Actually there are also economical factors that are now more important in this working environment, and I understand how good intentions, without economical sustainability, are not useful at all! ebbf: You constantly take new courses and trainings, what is the role of education for you? Eleonora:Â I trust that education is key to development at any level, any age, and any context. The more I learn and know, the more I grow, and the more I can give back to the world. Just like a tree: unless it keeps growing, it is dying, a person needs to constantly grow and learn to avoid dying inside. ebbf: and one last question Eleonora as we welcome readers to make use of the new ebbf-AIESEC platform: how would you describe success? Eleonora: Success to me is going to bed at night grateful for the day I have lived. I know that it may sound triet, but that is what sucess means to me! I mesure my personal success on the “thank you”s I recived, or the goals I achieved. Every evening I play a game and I ask myself what am I grateful for today ?” If I can answer that question, well, I feel successfull!! You can email Eleonora and enquire how you can make the most of the AIESEC – ebbf partnership Or you can share your own AIESEC – ebbf experience or question on the new Facebook Platform.