What if your tech could live forever like a Phoenix?

AIESEC Alumni are involved in a lot of innovative endeavours. What if we designed them with a partnership in mind? One with our communities, our value chains, and our planet. In my conversations with other entrepreneurs, concepts like ‘kill off your children’ (your market innovations) while building for modularity can keep us flexible to adapt to changing needs while striving to live sustainably. If your next phone can be so, could your next invention be so, too?

Drafted by Chris Gassman


PHOTO source: Jennifer Hermes

To what extent does the community where we live affect one’s character, development, career and so on?

To what extent does the community where we live affect one’s character, development, career and so on?

Can a genius grow up among the poorly educated, or an athlete among obese people? Likewise, how can an atheist live in a country that is governed by religious rules?

To be more specific, here are some examples from the present:

If Jack Ma(1), founder of Ali Baba, was born in a country that hardly produced or sold anything, could he have established Ali Baba? If Travis Kalanick(2), founder of Uber Taxi, was born and living on a small island and never needed the use of a taxi, could he have come up with this idea and made the application still? What about the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg(3), if he were from an emerging country that had little time or capacity to focus on university education, he probably would not have gone to university and helped develop the concept of social media.

Now, how about some examples from the past:

Most probably we could never have had the chance to talk about Ibn-i Sina’s (Avicenna in western languages)(4) success in the field of medicine if he were from Europe which was very reactionary about such matters at that time. If Plato(5) were born in an isolated community in South America, which was an unknown place to many at that time, we would have never benefited from his knowledge. Besides, Attila the Hun(6) would have never been himself if he were from a nation living in peace!

Obviously, eras, regions, religions, cultures, and conditions contribute to creating their heroes, geniuses, entrepreneurs and so on.

So, maybe we ought not to be too smug and remain idle while a chicken living in a coop transforms into a wild wolf and howls at the Moon?

Drafted by Oguz Yilmazlar

(1) https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/jack-ma-6221.php

(2) https://www.britannica.com/biography/Travis-Kalanick

(3) https://www.biography.com/people/mark-zuckerberg-507402

(4) https://www.famousscientists.org/avicenna/

(5) https://www.britannica.com/biography/Plato

(6) https://www.livescience.com/44417-attila-the-hun.html

Public Speaking

Public Speaking

As we are AIESECers, we are candidates to be change makers. It will be about our interests. If you think that you could be a good businessperson, you would become a CEO in the future and manage business life. If you are interested in technology, you could create new devices and make life easier. If you want to be a doctor, you could develop the health system of your country and save more lives.

However, whatever you want to do or be, there is one thing essential at this age—talking in front of a crowd! A good speech has the potential to take you one step forward; a bad one, one step back. During our active period at AIESEC, we made many of them, even if we had never done so until then. We practised and became talented at doing so.

A book, “TED Talks: The Official Guide to Public Speaking,” by the curator of TED, Chris Anderson, inspired me to write this article. He gives specific examples of how to make a speech in front of crowds. I would like to summarise the book:

– Practice enough to deliver your presentation well

– Get information about your audience

– Talk about opinions more than problems

– Make people wonder about the topic

– Always be sincere

– Give examples, tell related stories about the issue

– Make eye contact with people

– Be careful about your tone of voice

– Manage the time of your talk well

– Create inspiring slides

Making a good speech is one part of getting what we want—a better world. Keep advancing this talent by speaking out loud to voice your commitment to our partnership with the Global Goals movement.

Drafted by Oguz Yilmazlar


How Do You Balance the Needs of People Around the World?

How do you balance the needs of people around the world?

This is an impossible task so I won’t ask you to do it, but let’s think conceptually for a second. Is it possible to quantify need? Can we turn aid into a simple table of pros and cons, denying help to those with too many things listed in the “cons” column? It’s hard to answer yes.

Then how can we decide who, what, where, when, and why, to help? How do we justify donating millions to causes around the world when the same problems exist underneath the thin veil of our societies? One of the reasons could be recency (a recent visit to a troubled area), proximity (how close/far you are to an issue) or perhaps framing (a poor child abroad vs a homeless person nearby). Regardless of the reason, it’s crucial that we remain critical of our actions within our societies. In doing so, we become more mindful of our biases, which in turn allows being more empathetic with our fellow neighbour.

A monetary donation is significant, but it keeps us at arm’s length. An active role encourages engagement on all sides and helps put things in perspective (globally and locally). How do you balance need? I think we could all benefit from a little help.

Drafted by Julian Legrand

AAI Content Crew Profile: Lee Vallance

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know the passionate global team of volunteers who have been regularly posting content on AlumNet about the Global Goals this year. Last up for November is me:

Currently, my role in the AAI Content Crew is more managerial than the gifted group of content creators we have on board. I help wordsmith, manage and publish content on behalf of the talented team of correspondents to keep the project in motion. Having come to love my role so much, I would jump at the chance to make a career out of managing an online community professionally. It has been such a treat getting to know the global team online. Therein lies the heart of AAI’s strength in an ever more interconnected world.

Call me Lee. Born and bred in Aotearoa (NZ), I became a member of AIESEC over 25 years ago at Victoria University of Wellington where I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration in Marketing and Management. While studying there, I represented New Zealand and AIESEC at a Global Youth Village in Hiroshima, ever since my passion has been peace.

Those experiences and 25 years of acting as a bridge between cultures in Japan have made such an impact on me that I am determined to reconnect with fellow alumni to reignite the passion we all share for the greater good. Thus the Sustainable Development Goals cannot wait. AIESEC Alumni are the perfect group of empowered people to keep the Global Goal pinwheel in motion. Let’s go for it!

Regarding my profile picture, I was honoured to help pave the way for the Green Legacy Hiroshima Initiative to extend to my home country of New Zealand (http://glh.unitar.org/en/countries/NZL).

AAI Content Crew Profile: Julian Legrand

For the final week of November, get to know the remainder of the passionate global team of volunteers who have been regularly posting content on AlumNet about the Global Goals this year. Fifth up is Julian Legrand:

Julian was born in Toronto, Canada, but rather than just Canadian, he sees himself as a World Citizen. He was born with European and Asian heritage, which naturally made him curious about the world and his place within it. Julian has graduated from Ryerson University, in Toronto, with an MBA and a Bachelor of Commerce in marketing.

His real passion is for travel and, after an exchange experience in Copenhagen, travel had him hooked. Since then, Julian has lived in five countries across three continents and has visited over 30 countries. AIESEC has played a significant role in Julian’s life, paving the road to his first two forays into Asia. Now, Julian is excited to play a part in growing AlumNet, AIESEC’s Alumni platform, as co-editor. His goal is to help enable the platform flourish as a centre for discussion and action-oriented change.

AAI Content Crew Profile: Petra Cvetanovic

For the final week of November, get to know the remainder of the passionate global team of volunteers who have been regularly posting content on http://AlumNet.AIESEC-Alumni.Org about the Global Goals this year. Fourth up is Petra Cvetanovic:

Wanderlust is a word with which we will start when describing Petra. While pursuing a bachelor degree in law, she joined AIESEC about seven years ago. Her travel log has been updating ever since, which even lead to her passport splitting in half at the check-in gate in Denpasar, Bali. The people she meets along the way inspire her to keep travelling more and more every year.

Apart from law, she is a very passionate marketer and works for a digital marketing/advertising agency called The Iuvo. An AAI copywriting opportunity seemed like the perfect opportunity to reconnect with fellow AIESECers and do what she enjoys the most—creating stories and making the world a better place.

Thoughts create reality. It is that and the quote: “Hakuna Matata,” that are decisive in which direction she chooses to go—rest assured it will always be adventurous!


AAI Content Crew Profile: Colina Tran

For the final week of November, get to know the remainder of the passionate global team of volunteers who have been regularly posting content on AlumNet about the Global Goals this year. Third up is Colina Tran:

• Colina Tran participated in the AIESEC Alumni from Red Wave Project at UUM (Universiti Utara Malaysia) in 2011.

• She is an author, script and screenwriter.

• Also, the Executive Producer of Colina DC Show powered by Colina Dreamcatcher Entertainment & Media.

Besides on AlumNet, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the theme of the media group she created this year. The SDGs will be an integral part of her future projects, too.

Colina is striving to connect people and organisations for a better world.


AAI Content Crew Profile: Oguz Yilmazlar

For the final week of November, get to know the remainder of the passionate global team of volunteers who have been regularly posting content on AlumNet for the past seven months. Second up is Oguz Yilmazlar.

Oguz graduated from Anadolu University in Eskişehir Turkey with two bachelor degrees in Labour Economics and also Radio/Television Technology; even so, his work life has been his principal educator. He has worked in a variety of sectors such as media, tourism, education and customer relations. Each experience has helped him broaden his horizons; yet significantly so, Oguz’s involvement in AIESEC has been crucial to forming his character.

AIESEC has been a blessing in Oguz’s life, providing him endless opportunities, from work abroad and learning experiences to a global network of friends and colleagues. Now, it has given him a purpose. As an AAI AlumNet content manager, Oguz is ready to generate change and do his part to change the world.


AAI Content Crew Profile: Chris Gassman

The AAI Content Team has been writing articles about the Global Goals for seven months to date. It is about time we introduced ourselves. So for the last week of November, I will post profiles to present the passionate global team of volunteers committed to helping bring about the success of the Sustainable Development Goals.

First up is the newest member of our crew who has just joined our ranks: Chris Gassman. He is a revenue generator and social intrapreneur with a decade of experience growing companies sustainably. He has delivered above-market results within the Energy, Food, and Closed-Loop Resource (“Waste”) Management industries through roles in marketing/sales, strategy, and corporate citizenship. Chris’s endeavours have added both bottom-line and top-line value to UN Agencies, start-ups, Fortune 500s, and a variety of others in between.

His five-year BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal): Help generate $1B in revenue by making the world a better place.

Chris earned his MBA/JD joint degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He received his BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a double major in International Affairs and Political Science.