It’s a situation of emergency. The high unemployment in Spain is causing a lot of pain in society. We are doing really well with the cost cutting and austerity measures but what about economic growth? Both these things are needed to emerge out of the crisis. What instruments do we have to stimulate the economy and bring things back to normal?
Those who have a job and security also carry with them a great responsibility to do something about this social problem and make their contribution in a tangible and measurable way, and with a sense of urgency.
I propose an idea: let’s connect, on the one hand, those people who have (or see) opportunities and on the other hand, those who seek opportunities. The first group (people who have opportunities) consists of entrepreneurs, independent professionals, small businesses, NGOs and non profits, etc. These people always need human resources and talent to grow their economic activity. But they don’t announce their needs on job sites because they don’t have the financial resources to pay these human resources. In this depressed economy, the demand of these job creators also gets depressed. We need to help surface this demand.
On the other hand, the second group (people who seek opportunities) consists of the unemployed, fresh graduates and professionals looking for a change. This group is starting to become desperate because they can’t find work and there are already many qualified and well-educated people who would be willing to collaborate in a project they like without any retribution as long as there are good chances of generating future revenues. This gives the entrepreneur or the business person a margin of 2-3 months (or perhaps even more) to work/collaborate with his/her new team, create value and generate income by jumpstarting his or her economic activity.
At iWeekend, the events we have organized so far have been focused on entrepreneurs and professionals of the ICT sector. Many entrepreneurs have presented their ideas and have developed their projects through collaboration and teamwork with other restless minds, all in one weekend. We have created new projects, new companies and new collaborations that have led to the creation of new jobs.
The idea is to do the same thing but for a wider public with the objective of creating new collaborations, connecting the demand and offer of jobs in all the sectors, not just in the ICT sector. The event would be free for those seeking opportunities and would have a very reasonable price for those offering opportunities. This new format of iWeekend would be of one and a half days (Friday and Saturday) instead of one whole weekend, so that we can convert it into a regular monthly activity.
Any person would be able to participate with his/her idea/project or with the objective of collaborating in a project he or she likes. Clearly, we will have to do a matching before the event to ensure that the projects being presented will find the right kind of collaborators. We are giving final touches to the format and the first events will be a social experiment and serve as a “proof of concept”.
The more people we have collaborating, the more economic activity we will generate. Each collaboration will be like a seed for a new project, a new company or the creation of a new job.
We can stimulate the national economy in a relatively short time, with a sense of urgency, and in a cheap way, inspiring thousands of people to take the reigns of their own economic situation, while teaching them how to “invent their job” instead of looking for one.
We will call it “iWeekend – invent your job”. If the invent thing sounds like something imaginary, we can call it “iWeekend – innovate and create your job”. Which name would you prefer?
What do you think of this proposal?
What we need
Basically we need 4 things to do this social experiment and establish the proof of concept:
1. Financial resources – we seek companies who can support us
2. Time (time of the people who can coordinate and organize everything). In other words, we need collaborators and volunteers willing to give their time.
3. Venues to organize these activities regularly
4. Help with communication and spreading the word
How you can help
Organize this activity in your city:
We are looking for organizers across all the cities and regions of Spain. If you would like to organize this activity in your city/region, post a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to collaborate in some other way, tell us how you can help.
If you represent a city council, get in touch with us and we will work together to bring to your city this innovative way of generating collaborations and creating new jobs.
If you represent an organization/institution, foundation or company, get in touch and we can find a way to work together in this exciting and innovative project.
How will you contribute?
Thanks to Pablo Ramirez of Sin Palabras for helping us explain this initiative visually, to Pablo Almunia of UEIA for his help in defining the format and to Gour Saraff of Europe India Chamber of Commerce for his support in creating the business plan.