See photos from the keynote speeches here.
The final keynote speech of Students’ Union 2012 was delivered by Williams Akerman, Managing Director of MyKindaCrowd. Akerman spoke to delegates about his journey from a financial trader to a social entrepreneur. This journey began with an interest in training and led to his work as a social entrepreneur training young people on employability and social skills.
Out of Akerman’s work with students, he noticed that there were many barriers between young people and the world of work. He said, “Two communities that are completely interdependent failed to connect”. What arose out of this was MyKindaCrowd, an online social enterprise, which allows businesses such as IBM and MacDonalds to pose real-life challenges for which students can provide solutions. In return for their ideas, successful candidates are rewarded through various means such as employment and networking opportunities.
Akerman stressed that the mission of MyKindaCrowd is to “level the playing field for all young people” and for youth to gain opportunities based on merit and not because of who their parents are or what social class they belong to. Though being a fairly new business, MyKindaCrowd has already had many successes. Two interns and 8 work experience students were hired at More Magazine due to their innovative ideas for the re-launch of the magazine submitted on the MyKindaCrowd website.
To conclude his keynote, Akerman focused on students’ unions as social enterprises. He said, “I think you could say, without a doubt, that students’ union are all social enterprises”. He went on to encourage officers to appreciate their position and to consider working within the world of social enterprise.