Anna Alaman from the Open Eyes Project Shares Lessons on Adapting and Community

February 12, 2021 | Adam Morris | 0 Comments



Anna Alaman spoke with us about her work in responsible and sustainable tourism through the Open Eyes Project. Anna was determined to build a social enterprise in India and focused on tourism. She shared the experiences that led her to establish the project, including lessons on “learning while doing” and the differences between “having the academic point of view and also the practitioner point of view”. From her experiences, she was able to help change tourism in India for the last 11 years.

Tours are usually disconnected from the heart of the local people. Open Eyes Project relies on the authentic connection with the communities to create holistic experiences of the country and culture. Anna explained how the initiative integrates new aspects to reflect the social enterprise’s values; like bringing in more female tour guides and being inclusive of people with disabilities.

Finding an alternative to “normal” business is a strength for the Open Eyes Project. Tourism is usually held in-person, but COVID-19 placed a stop to in-person gatherings. Anna shared how the team could not believe the pandemic lasted for over a year and added that dealing with the pandemic felt like starting from scratch again. I felt it was a great example of the way clarity about your purpose can foster the flexibility to adapt to what life throws. Being rooted in purpose, and understanding what you’re about, allows you to adapt to create your impact in a different way and shift.

Open Eyes Project took years to refine the businesses methods used in their initiative today, and are still refining. Anna explained that it took many years to fully understand the balance involved with creating impact and having sustainable revenue to maintain a sustainable business model. In social enterprise, both the impact and profit are hugely important factors that indicate whether a social enterprise is truly fulfilling the intended purpose. Anna also shared that figuring out the correct way to communicate with the target audience developed over the course of three to four websites.

Anna reflected on the community being part of the business model and emphasized that they cannot be outside of the business model. Initiatives would not exist without communities. From this idea, the conversation bloomed into the real-life story of why Open Eyes Project’s consumers trust the initiative. Tourists see the impact of spending their money with the Open Eyes Project by the interactions with the communities that are part of the tours. This is intentional and has been woven into the fabric of the experience so that the impact is clearly felt.

Towards the end, we discussed pushing past the hurdle of getting something up and running. Anna’s take is an insightful mix of personas and life experiences. A world beyond the hurdle may include recreating around older narratives your mind lived with. Anna acknowledged a common thread in going past limits: “I can see there is more success for those who are open to really learn by doing.”

If you would like to learn more, you can visit Open Eyes Project and RegenLab.

Connect with her through Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

If you speak Spanish, check out Anna’s free course to give you the clarity and structure you need to start a social enterprise: http://bit.ly/2Nf7Rfy.

Book mentioned on the podcast: Building Social Business from Muhammad Yunus

Read Full Transcript

Adam: [00:00:00] Welcome to People Helping People, the podcast to inspire greater social change and give you ideas on how to take action. I'm your host, Adam Morris. And this month we are focused on providing you with tools to sharpen your creativity, gain insight, to developing great ideas for businesses that can create a social impact.

So I'm very excited to have Anna Alaman on the podcast today. She founded the Open Eyes Project over 10 years ago in India and has become an icon for responsible and sustainable tourism. Open eyes, organizes tours in India, around culture, mindfulness and education with a focus on the impact people are making through travel.

Anna is also an international professor teaching sustainable travel at Ostella and a partner in sheintourism.com. So Anna, welcome on the podcast.

Anna: [00:00:45] Thank you for having me here. It's a pleasure.

Adam: [00:00:48] Can we start off, can you tell us a little bit about the open eyes project?

Anna: [00:00:51] Open eyes. It started like 11 years ago when I realized the concept of social enterprises in the book. That day changed my life. That was 2010. Open eyes came with an idea to implement a social enterprise in tourism in India. With that idea, with that curiosity, how we can say to have that mission to start something I thought I could do.

I was believing in myself, I moved to India and then I started connecting with communities from different areas to really share my idea of hope, tourism. We could use tourism as a tool for development in the country. Yeah, and then I was for three, four months on the ground for the meeting communities and then sharing that idea.

And after four months I went back to Spain, to Barcelona. I started doing the promotion and the first two groups started, and this is whole open eyes, really was launched.

Adam: [00:01:48] That's cool. So had you been in India before you went over to start this?

Anna: [00:01:53] It's interesting because everyone thinks that I went to India fall in love with India, and then it's when I realized I wanted to live there. And it's not my history at all. My history is that I came to India when I was 21 because my background is in marketing and business. And I used to do import and export projects. So I came with the company and I remember still very well that impact on my mind that I could never live in this country. So you can never say no. I think life sometimes brings you different, projects if you really want to manifest as well if you really want to believe in that.

And yeah, so after 10 years is when I went to India again, I didn't have any contact. I wasn't sure that I wanted to live there. My initial goal was to really start a social enterprise for me was a new part of the map. I really wanted to implement it, to make that a tangible thing.

Adam: [00:02:48] Now with sustainable tourism, what are some of the things you focus on in Open Eyes to make an impact?

Anna: [00:02:55] So it has been also a very interesting journey because I didn't come from the background of tourism. So I was learning by doing, yeah. And I realized after three years that what we were doing, this was called sustainable tourism. And then our first idea was how tourism could be more as a force for sharing economy in the destination with the communities, with vulnerable communities. So we have been always a bridge between communities and the tourism industry. We have been providing capacity building and designing experiences, and then promoting them.

So we were that bridge between both sides. And then yes, I realize, okay, this is called sustainable tourism because it's a very holistic approach. We were targeting also addressing problems on women's rights, gender equality, economy, plastic. So we were really focusing on that in a very holistic, we can say worldview of the tourism impacting destination.

So when I realized it was called sustainable tourism. I decided, okay, I'm going to do a master. At research master project so I can really learn more and do research and implementation in the company at the same time. That was, I was doing that for 4 years and a half. And I can feel now the difference of, having the academic point of view and also the practitioner point of view at the same time.

Adam: [00:04:14] Can you explain some of the things that happen with regular tourism?

Anna: [00:04:19] The convention of tourism. Yes. I'm going to give you an example, very clear about what's happening in India, for example, the conventional tours that is seven days is called the triangle of India that they do Dehli, Japiur, Agra and these that are really bad habits with the drivers, bad habits with the local economy where they don't really stop in local markets in cooperative.

Maybe run by a woman in offbeat places. It's usually at the same place sharing the same history from the same monument. That is not really a real interaction with the people with the destination, with the locals, with the host, we can say all of the places. So for us has been that we are designers of experiences.

This is what we call Open Eyes. We are a tour operator. Yes. But definitely, we are a designer of experiences. Why? Because we are always up the ground and trying to design those experiences with the communities. What is the essence? What is the vision of the community about the place and how we can under the ancestral we can seek traditions and how we can create that experience design and then, make the bridge with the traveler who wants to go to the country scene either different nights, something more pragmatic and going to share 99.9% of drivers transport drivers in India are male. So we have been also very focused on gender in the last five years.

So we worked with that, that 0.1% of the population. Yeah. So we work with women drivers, female drivers. With us, for example, when you reach the airport, there is a woman who will go and pick you up at the airport. And then that woman will be driving you to the hotel.

And also we'll be showing you around Dehli. That makes a difference as well. We have been also training them to become a guide. So it's that, that different work home you can see, for example, that at the same place and women's rights, we don't promote any elephant rides since 2012, 2013, we were one of the first two operators, really not promoting elephant rights in none of our tours.

So that is another aspect, a very holistic approach to how we can really be more. I always say that it's like, you can have a normal t-shirt and you can have an organic handmade t-shirt . So we try to be the most organic and handmade traveled to the mediator.

Adam: [00:06:43] I love that. That's awesome. What are some of the other experiences that you designed into your tours?

Anna: [00:06:50] Oh, we have a load of experiences after 11 years. One of the most difficult, but the most meaningful as well, it's been working with blind women in our tours. Yeah. So we, one of our, what. Impact that we wanted to address this whole week would integrate more people with disabilities in our tours as a part of the team, as a community providers, we can say , suppliers.

And then we connect us what we always with work with community partners. And then we realize that well, blind woman, they have a really good sense on their hands and some of the blind woman in, in Dehli, in organizations, in what train as a therapist. So we thought, okay, why not design something where we can bring the therapies in tourism and they can really earn money because the problem is that sometimes NGOs, they have the capacity for training, but not for marketplace.

And then it's when Open Eyes acts. How we can really make that connection between that training, that skill that the community has with the market. Of course, in the tourism industry, that isn't our focus yet as a tool for development. Yeah, we design a welness retreats in the North of India and the Himalaya as what is a pretty holistic approach as well.

Where blind woman work, our team members, they come from Delhi. They are in very, a big trouble with the group and they are as well in the retreat and they have a therapy. They treat all of our travelers every day with a therapy with a massage. And this is fantastic.

I remember these are Japanese medical massage. They have to be trained for two years. So it's a proper, they can be working even in the hospitals. So yeah, it's giving them the opportunity as well to really have the same opportunities as we have whole vulnerable communities, how we call it tourism can help vulnerable communities to have the same opportunities.

Adam: [00:08:50] Now I'm assuming with the COVID in the past year that's probably impacted open eyes, quite a lot.

Anna: [00:08:57] I think, yes, that he's the before and after. I think it was middle of March and it was one group that we had from United States. It was with us. And then I remember saying, bye bye today. And all these, this COVID was going on. And I remember the were a couple of travelers.

Would it be afraid what to do? What coming back to you, going back to the United States or not. And that moment was the second week of March, in that moment, that period I remember I had that feeling that something strong was coming. I had that feeling.

I remember they were seeing my, or what guests, because I like, it's always, that someone who says welcome. And also we say farewell on the last day, and I remember that day, it was me. And I remember there's something was a feeling of the sadness of as well, a feeling of an intuition that there is something big is coming.

Yeah. So at that time I remember the frontiers or the airport were closed in India after the week or two, and yes, in this event came and all the airports were close and that is when we realize that whole week it was four, four emails inbound to the visitors. Yeah. So since April, definitely we had not had any guests.

In the, in it's been, it's going to be almost a year now. I cannot even believe it. We always thought no. In three months he would pass in six months. it would pass, maybe nine months it would past, but it's gotta be more than one year now. So what's happened. we are very resilient and think because we are a company with a very strong purpose a very strong mission behind the company the organization is not only about the commercial factor that we are looking for . So when that stopped, we realize all the team okay. What we can do in order to really continue with our mission. Yeah. So we, weren't doing some things related to tourism, but after six months we realized tourism not the same is not going to open and no matter what you do it for educational tours, et cetera, et cetera. , I felt sometime that I was going back 11 years ago when I started, so that, that process, that transition.

And I realized that for me, and I believe I'm a stronger believer that social enterprises, conscious company that are meant terminology terminologies. Now for me, social enterprises companies who, because companies focused on people, profit and planet companies who have the same value and they. They are because he wanted to solve a planet problem. . So they are born because of that mission. They see a problem and then they create a solution through a business model . That for me has been the why always I went to India because I am a strong believer of social enterprise that we can create a much better world. I can have the dream that imagine with all the companies were social enterprise is we really have that drive and mission of really solving a society, problem or planet need. And we created a business model behind, so the economy the impact has to be always at the same level. So I thought, okay, so let's continue with that mission. And then because I'm also happy educating and working in the university for five years.

Helping entrepreneurs to really understand this paradigm of social enterprises in tourism and also in different areas. To start, I did a big transition to move online because I felt that online is that it's the, now that they want it now, online is the new market? So it's okay. We need to make the transition to online.

We will do it. So I invest in myself again. Even when there is a lot of uncertain, period, time and we don't know what it's going to happen about the incomes, et cetera, et cetera. I want to invest myself because they wanted to do this transition faster.

So invest and then to make the transition online and to create programs for women who have been working in the corporate world, but they know that they want to really make that shift. They have an idea. They want to make a contribution to the world through their work. They have an idea, but they don't know where to start.

Yeah. So that is where I can help step a step. From the scratch hold to really make that structure, that clarity, that vision alignment and yeah, and really make it easier, to really make that transition.

Adam: [00:13:23] That's wonderful. We speak to a lot of aspiring social entrepreneurs. And that's, the thing that they face it's where do I actually get started? It's also just a really great example when you have a lot of clarity about your purpose tben you can adapt to what the, what life throws. Things are always changing. Usually not as much as COVID but just being rooted in that purpose and understanding of what you're about allows you to adapt to create that impact in a different way and shift.

Anna: [00:13:57] Yeah, I see it now that really aligning also even the team from Open Eyes the team with their why. And they're why aligned with the why of Open Eyes of the company, which is again aligned with the why of the planet, what the planet needs. It's, that alignment with, I think it's so important right now, alignment, the oneself with the alignment with your organization with is aligned with what the planet needs that truly true alignment which is connected to the nature again.

And crazies. This, pandiama them, yes. Yes. One of. More that will come. I hope it not that strong, but there is transition, nature and evolves. So organization needs to evolve as well, and people needs to evolve. Of course, this transition has been quite for tourism industry has been really abrupt.

You really like an earthquake, but yes, make us, it made us more resilient and flexible and it's really interesting and also beautiful and also very interesting how we still after one year, my team, we still have every week, one meeting, we still speak to each other, they have there, they are probably now working in part-time jobs because they, that is not work in Open Eyes since October, yeah. We had to stop eating those salaries. And unfortunately in India, there are not social benefits, no government help. I told her to forget about the luxury that we have in some countries, so this is not happening in India. So we were trying to help until October from April to October in October may decide. Okay. Let's try to find other ways. And it's beautiful to still to see how we stick. And we still are there every week, since a year ago to have the meetings to see how it is too, to see each other to say, okay, this is called, this is a goal. This is because there is a connect, a connection with their wide, with the company and also with they believe what the company do, and they want to be aligned with that mission in their lives.

So I think that is part of resilience that is really be flexible and understanding your life. Yeah, I'm definitely it's a guidance. So when you really connect with your life, it's I think it's difficult to find some time the why for some people, for other, not for me, it took me 30 years, but I think that one could get that GPS, I think it's easier to navigate in these times in time to where It's unknown what would happen in three months?

That's really important. Yeah.

Adam: [00:16:24] So in addition to Open Eyes you're a professor in sustainable tourism and helping people learn about social entrepreneurship. What kind of questions do students come to your courses with?

Anna: [00:16:36] I have two classes that are the Spanish and the English. Yeah. So in the English classes they come from very. Different than different parts of the world from United States, from Latino America, from from Bangladesh, from Pakistan, from India anywhere.

Yeah. It's very international. So still there are some of them they, I can say 70%, they don't know what is a social enterprise. So the other big map, the part of it of, I always say that a social enterprise is an hybrid between an NGO and a for-profit company. To make it easier to understand for everyone because it's okay, but social impact, it's an NGO. Yeah. But we are not an NGO. Our strategies are the same as any company. Yeah. We need to really get incomes from a product or service in the market. Yeah. NGO's, they get the income from the, from sponsorships, from charity model . Social enterprises is a business more than behind that.

So that's business model is what makes an enterprise, but because we have also our thriving, we can see value is the impact that we want to create is the same as an NGO. So we have that 50, 50% from a company convention, a company we can say as an NGO. So that to really explain I make an entire model about social enterprises about these sporadic model.

How it's changing really the way of markets and the industries and unguided needs in all the supply chains, the circlular economy. How, really, you have to be content about that. Our consumers who are consumers of social enterprises, our products, our services, and I am going to relate it to tourism in that way.

But now with the program, I have women from different backgrounds, health. Or fashion or tourism as well. These, I think this is the question as well. One big question is about structure, how you can make a business model integrating the impact as well. So they sometimes they see that conflict about how I can make money.

If I'm going to make an impact, it's have that mindset that we can not leave. We cannot really make money. Even when we are creating the best impact in the world, we still don't know how to integrate that. And when I do that, I really create a sustainable business model. It took me four years for me to understand from the scratch, how important it was to integrate both, because otherwise, if you don't do it, there is a lot of risk because there is a lot of expenses to really create impact as well. So if you're going to put integrated that from the business more than from the beginning, it can really affect the company as well to hope to communicate that. It took me also, I think three or four different websites to realize what to communicate with my market.

I didn't know what to communicate that myself so later Id realize how to do that. And that changed completely Open Eyes. And we have been growing the last years, to reach the six figure numbers and we have a consolidate team and to international awards because of our impact.

So I that is when really everything has started having that coherence, that I understood the commercial money that we want to give has to be really integrated piece by piece, on any single day of our commercial or entrepreneur activity.

Adam: [00:20:02] Very good point of just being very intentional about how you weave those two together, because it is true. It's if you get lost in one, you can miss out and your business can fall apart. If you don't have your revenues in place or if you know your revenues takeover and you lose sight of your impact.

Then you can veer off course and the impact you're making goes away.

Anna: [00:20:24] You are right. And also when there are challenges and difficult moments, when you have to take a decision, I decide because of the impact, why decide because of the commercial aspect. And then you really need to take decisions in that way. And if you don't really integrate that from the beginning, it's more difficult.

There are moments when you can have as well complaint from customer side. Yeah. Because reaching the level of expectations from, training those communities who have never been part of the industry to the level, to read the expectations of travelers who are paying, for the service.

So that requires time, energy, and money. So there are times when you can put that stress of. Who I chose the commercial value or the impact. I believe for us has been successful. If we really integrate both, it's easier. It's much easier. You don't really need those students. You don't have to take that.

Those decisions at that level, it's easier to really communicate with the communities, easier to solve. And it's easier to communicate with with the consumers, with the partners. I have to solve those problems at the same time, because actually the communities, these are your suppliers. They are community partners.

They are part of the business model. They can not be outside. So there is another answer that they are in our business model. They cannot be out because without them, there is no company. So when you see it in that perspective it makes easier for the entrepreneur, for the management, to really take decisions where, of course, when there are challenges.

Adam: [00:22:03] You mentioned, one aspect is for example, customers have certain expectations since you're a for-profit business and they're purchasing something. And so if that goes against your impact mission, it sounds like there's some things that you need to do to communicate that.

Do you have some good examples of what that looked like in open eyes?

Anna: [00:22:23] So for this, the, how it looks like is communication. It's like our mantra about communicating with our partners, with our travelers when they arrive. Before they book. I remember that at the beginning because the social enterprise concept was still very new.

People wanted to know. Okay. But I want to know how much of my trip is going to every single community that I'm visiting. And I say, okay, all right, let's do that. So we calculate and then we and then we really start. Be transparent. Okay. They want to know it. We will do it.

We will show it. And then we make all these calculations later. It's interesting that people stop asking for it. People really saw the impact that we're creating on the ground. They didn't need any extra file with numbers. They really felt it. And I think when you reached that moment, when you felt that impact and the customer felt the impact on the ground without really explaining it, I think for us, it was like, Yes, because the locals really are our ambassadors, our community, that they're the communities that we are creating the impact.

They are really communicating again. A lot of training. For us, it's been a lot of training capacity building it's been in sustainability. So we have been training our guides about sustainability all the time as well. Our community whole, they really need to inform about Open Eyes collaboration about what they do, what we spent.

So they shared as well the collaboration. So it comes from the bottom up. Yeah. So then they see them and then the traveler, they are not that worried about the profit because they know that they are investing. They are putting their money in the company that they are doing good. And they are seeing it from their own eyes through the 15 days.

Yeah. So then they feel good. They feel part of a change while they having a vacation? Because I never forget that the other holidays, it's not a, they are not. In a voluntary program, they are not doing this at proper holidays where they can relax. They can enjoy the meat, they just need, they need to just enjoy the country.

That's it. And be open-minded. The rest is our job. But yeah, I think communication and training is really the key for travelers our consumers to understand what the social enterprise, what means that money and impact .

Adam: [00:24:47] When you started, was there something that really helped get past that hurdle of getting something up and running to the point that you could carry forth and develop?

Anna: [00:24:56] I really feel that one aspect that makes one person to really start and not others, it's when you really. Has had experience enough, in your life what you don't want to do in your life? And that spent that's painful enough when you really see that you are working for other values other companies, organizations with other values that maybe have not aligned with yours and year after year, you realize this is not, this is enough.

I don't want to. Give these this way. I can see also more people who are ready to take action, and really take action because they have felt that pain of being eight hours a day, you're working for something which is not aligned with themselves.

Another one I can see that they can be more successful. Are those that they just start. They don't over think too much. A business model, a sustainable business model is needed. We need the structure, we need all this, ideas and we need the vision.

We need a structure. We need to put clarity before starting we need a strategy that is really important. But we need to start and we need to move that strategy along the way. And I think that not many people understand that some people are very strict with that. The business model has to be like there is, and it will be like this for a year.

And now more than ever, we know that , the sustainable business model. Probably you need to have a look every three, six months because the market also is changing. So that other ability of the person to change. I think those who are more adaptable to make those changes are the ones who are faster and more successful.

The ones who are more like resistant to any change of the, because they don't know who they are going to manage. They are the ones who. Take more time to think, and sometimes they are not sure. And it's painful at the same time because they don't understand that it's not that some people have more skills than another one.

We can learn those skills . I learned being an entrepreneur. I never thought I could be an entrepreneur, never in my life. I was a type of person. Woman would used to be the first in the company and being the last being the good girl, the good employee, never talking, never being.

entreprneur or giving a lot of initiatives in the meeting. Very quiet. And I think that you learn by doing and need to learn by doing, and until that the person don't understand that methodology it's difficult. And I can see there is more success for those who are open to really learn by doing.

Adam: [00:27:47] That makes a lot of sense. And what you mentioned about adaptability really strikes a chord. I've noticed that we have a very strong social entrepreneurship community here in Columbus, Ohio. But there's this kind of this three-year life cycle for a lot of people where they come in with an idea and they, the first year they're very excited and they get their strategy together and they.

Get something off the ground, the second year they're just like running really fast, trying to make it work. And then quite often in the third year they just it's like, they run out of steam and they get burnt out. But it almost feels a little bit like they, they figure out their strategy at the beginning and try to make that work for a few years.

So this point of really constantly adapting and learning and changing and always noticing what the community needs and trying out different things.

Anna: [00:28:38] And I think it's important when there is that time. After three years with the social entrepreneurs really is stuck. maybe has lost efficient with worn out, or maybe it's not creating the incomes. She, or he needs to create or the impact that she or he wants to create. It's good to move out a little bit.

To look from outside even take a week in silence in the Mountains yourself. It's the best way to really connect again really reconnect and really have time for yourself. Really? Yeah. Understand why you start that and how I began the energy back and that motivation because Yeah, it's very easy to go to these endless work.

We, and then when these we're really literally forget about our why and our motivation. Yeah. And then I'd always waste too. To be creative enough to really find for solutions to any single problem. So that's my point is not that at the three year, this company know the business model didn't work.

No, just make it work, let's brainstorm. So let's be creative. Maybe we have to move to a different way, but maybe we need, maybe we didn't think in that way, maybe. It's just sometimes it's just the energy of the entrepreneur who made it slower and has lost motivation. But that's why I have done that.

I have been in that point of, I live Open Eyes. It's enough.

Adam: [00:30:10] It sounds like even from the beginning, what you mentioned is you spent four months just in the community, talking with people there. So really understanding the needs of the people in the community that you're trying to serve before you even started.

Anna: [00:30:24] I was new. I was scared, so I didn't know how to do it in another way. So I thought that Maybe speaking with them. And also I was coming from a different country going to India, a white woman who is doing that girl here. Yeah. So they needed to, and we need to build trust. So for me, I think that building that trust really help.

Between the community and our project it's about partnerships. So that also helped us to, in fact, we have the same, mostly the same partners, community partners, since the beginning, since 10 years ago, I think that's been really important for us.

Adam: [00:30:59] Fantastic. I noticed you're also part of a group called She In Tourism. And can you tell me just a little bit about that?

Anna: [00:31:08] Yes. Yes. Very short. So last year as well with epidemia we realize the ethics of them to think what's happening yet. Because we have been working in gender equality in India, basically in tourism. We are three more partners, we decide to really start shifting towards us. And it's the first platform we can say in Asia to really help support women to be.

To give more visibility towards them . So we really believe that this pandemic is gonna really be very difficult for a woman to keep working in tourism. So we want to keep them through mentoring, capacity building, entrepreneurial and the skills to continue at that level. So we start that in, in April or May and at the same time as well, because we weren't in evolution.

We start as well. A project is called the regial laugh for travel with is about whole sustainability can all be on how we can bring to a generation and integrate nature in our organizations in tourism. And that is how we have been the last year implementing and setting down. We can see building up the concept of the legend love for travel, how we can help.

The tourism industry, tourism organizations, tourism intrepreneurs to move the transition to regenerative development with NGOs who goes beyond sustainability. And this is what we have seen. That is the one of the piece it's missing in sustainability. Yeah, which is about the harmony, the balance between three dimensions, the economy, the social cultural environment.

I believe that is one area which is missing, which is the world view that dimension of the worldview of the person in the planet. Yeah. And the nature there that degeneration, really put it in the as a base.

Adam: [00:32:56] Can you tell me a little bit more about that? I'd like that kind of a additional dimension

Anna: [00:33:00] What we are living right now it teaches us that we are living systems and companies. They need to be, we need to be also living organizations. We can not be those who are leading organization thing would be the one who will be living this transition in a more easy creative, resilient, and transformative way.

And we see that in a year. Yeah. Those who are not understanding that they are a living being as well. They will be gone. They wouldn't be gone. This is one we, as a commented before as well, another part of regenerative development. That's how we see ourself oneself. The person itself, the worldview of the person, which is aligned with the organization and the organization has to be aligned with the values of the planet, what the planet needs.

It needs to be integrated with nature. So that alignment is also one of the principals, we can say often patients off regenerative development with sustainability doesn't integrate at that level. Yeah. So we are seeing that deep level it's required to really align the person in nature at the same, at the same member that such a cultural, environmental and economic impacts that we can create

Adam: [00:34:20] wonderful. Thank you for that. Great explanation. So what do you have on the kind of coming up in the future for Open Eyes and the work that you're doing?

Anna: [00:34:32] So right now I'm focus of supporting and helping women to make that transition that they want to Spanish speaking woman at the moment. I hope to do it in this later, but I wanted to start with one language. So a Spanish speaking woman who from all over the world they have an idea of a company of a project.

They want to start an impact. I didn't know how to start it. So I want to give them the clarity, the focus, the processes, the structure, the business model and the support they need. So I create 10 weeks program in September when he was finished sorry, in November. And it was finished in January and now in February, I'm going to launch four weeks free online.

To give more maybe busier and tools to more women that they are in that transition.

Adam: [00:35:21] Fantastic. And now how can people find out about that?

Anna: [00:35:25] I think the easiest way at the moment is to connect with my email address, which is Annopen eyes, project.com. And then they will send that information over email in the next few weeks. And I can share with them all the details. So the first best thing is Anna at open eyes, project.com.

Adam: [00:35:48] Fantastic. And we'll plus that information to the show notes as well. Once that comes across, so you can find that there

Anna: [00:35:55] Thank you so much. That would be really helpful. Yeah.

Adam: [00:35:58] I've really enjoyed speaking with you today. It's just, it's great to hear a little bit about your story and how you got started and what you've seen with other people learning eabout social entrepreneurship.

Anna: [00:36:07] Thank you. I love this conversation, so I really appreicate it and I really hope that the message goes out and maybe the resonate with any person who really wants to make that transition. And they don't know how so they can not feel alone.

Yeah.

Adam: [00:36:24] I'm just curious at the beginning, you mentioned there was a book that you read that kick-started your interest? What was that book?

Anna: [00:36:31] The book is about Muhammad Yunus. It's about building social enterprises concept companies. And you can find that needs about it's more about explanations and case studies about the concept of whether it's social enterprises. So I can also text you the exactly and everything. So the person that any person can also find the book.

Adam: [00:36:52] Yeah, I'd love to add that to the show notes. I think there is still a lot of awareness that people are just not realizing what the potential is with social entrepreneurship or that it exists.

Anna: [00:37:02] Exactly, but it is growing. So we are going in the right way.

Adam: [00:37:06] Wonderful. Thank you so much.

Anna: [00:37:07] Thank you, Adam.

Adam: [00:37:09] If you're listening, please take a look at open eyes, project.com. Hopefully we'll be traveling again soon, but in the meantime, I hope this provides some insight and clarity for whatever social impact you're making in your community. Once again, you can find out more at open eyes, project.com or on our show notes at people helping people.wOrld.

So thank you so much for listening until next time. Cheers.

Anna: [00:37:32] Bye!

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