BFP: What do you do?
MZ: I currently work as a media manager and strategist for Ashoka Changemakers. Breaking that down a little bit, I work to structure and organize online campaigns, bringing in the lens of social innovation to a number of different sectors through content, storytelling, and digital media.
BFP: What is the best part about your job?
MZ: Being in constant contact with extraordinary people! It is extremely rewarding to be able to offer an outlet and opportunity for visibility to some of the world’s most inspiring social innovators. And of course, the creative liberty and ability to empower others through writing and content.
BFP: What have been your greatest challenges?
MZ: Definitely bridging the gap between a virtual, online community and one that exists on the ground. Social innovators are not always the easiest people to track down! We are constantly asking ourselves the question – what can we offer these individuals online? How can our tools offer them something to keep coming back to?
A personal challenge has been management – managing a team of people is a muscle that is strengthened over-time. Knowing how to do it well is an art.
BFP: How have you overcome these challenges?/ What advice, would you give to others?
MZ: The best way to overcome any challenge is to pull yourself out of isolation. Don’t focus on this as “your” challenge, but look at it in terms of the team you can build around it. Asking for help or advice from your colleagues is key to getting an “inside-outside” perspective.
BFP: If someone wants to do what you do, where should they start?
MZ: I would say be proactive and don’t discount your ability to think critically and creatively over the experience you may have in a particular field/sector. What’s more important than experience is the openness to take in constructive criticism and the desire to move fluidly through wide open spaces – the social innovation sector demands these types of skillsets. So begin anywhere and trust in your ability to learn quickly!
BFP: Finally; what do you hope to get out of being part of the BFP community?
MZ: The truth is, at end of the day, we can’t do and execute everything ourselves – we learn to trust in the power of the colleague, the network, and the community in order to make the kind of lasting impact we want to see. While the change starts with ourselves (the personal journey of the social innovator and that disruptive internal drive that makes us break with the status quo to find new solutions), the ultimate growth comes from community.
This is exactly why I am most excited and intrigued by Business Fights Poverty: participating in a community of like and unlike-minded people, who wake up every morning with the belief that “business can indeed fight poverty”.
Thank you to Marzena Zukowska for taking the time to do this interview.
Read previous Member of the Week interviews here.