Beeta Ansari

Beeta is Ashoka U’s Exchange Director, the world’s largest global convening for social entrepreneurship education.

Changemaker of the Week: Waldo Soto Bruna

Waldo Soto Bruna, student at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile shares his vision for a new society of changemakers and the role of educational institution in empowering them.

Waldo is being featured as part of Ashoka U’s series, “Changemaker of the Week” which highlights extraordinary student changemakers in college and graduate programs around the world. Check the Ashoka U Blog each week for a story of a new Changemaker of the Week!

1) What is your project or organization?
The Social Innovation School is a project that we have started with some teachers and classmates. This school is the answer to the lack of an educative supply that empowers new changemakers from Chile and the Latam region. Inside the school, the pioneers who came from a wide range of universities start with an immersion inspired by the U Theory of Otto Scharmer. Nurtured by the most innovative schools of social innovators, like Kaos Pilot and Team Academy, they develop their own models of social impact.

2) How did you get involved with this project / organization (or how did you decide to found it)?
3 years ago I realized that our society can develop in a more authentic way through entrepreneurship. People already venture in their lives, from new business, to new trips taking risks and touching the border of the possible.

I decided to work for making more and more classmates take the path of entrepreneurship, but the first initiative that I founded with some friends didn’t bring the expected results. However, I believed in the potential of social entrepreneurship and with the help of friends and a teacher, we started “CoLabUC”, forming a social innovation laboratory, researching new ways of connecting the emerging social enterprises in Latam.

3) How has being a college student changed the way you act as a changemaker?
At the university we have the opportunity to share with those who will take the helm of the country and the region in a few more years, with a potential to make a positive social impact. Moreover, starting my path to become a changemaker during college, has changed the way that I’ve looked at the curriculum. I’ve seen huge opportunities of tackling social and environmental issues around the world in almost every course. It’s the time to take action.

4) What’s the best part of working on your venture/organization?
It is having different views of the problems that constantly knock on the doors of our homes; meeting great people and embarking on a co-design of a new society with new ways of living and new spaces to share the life being part of a team of excellence that wants to put their two cents to the formation of changemakers – all of that is an experience that has definitely had an impact on me.

5) What’s one piece of advice you’d give to any college student thinking of becoming a changemaker?
I cannot tell others what to do or what risks to avoid, everyone’s path is different. However, there is something that works pretty well for me: Imagine that you are 40 years old. You get home and sit on the sofa of your living room. Try to visualize yourself: What time did you get home? Who are the people with you? What do people think about you? What did you do during that day? How you feel? Personally, I always work to make that day full of sense and purpose.

6) How has your school or school’s social entrepreneurship initiative helped you progress as a student social innovator and in this venture?
If universities were originally designed to provide technicians and professionals to the market, today their task is to form leaders that will care about the planet where our grandchildren will live. The profile a graduate student of my university says: “We expect to form leaders with a profound vocation for service to the common good. They have to be able to exert a positive leadership that generates a social impact”. This is how the school forms the leaders that will make the big decisions in our country.

The environment for creating and dreaming a new society is nourished through an active student council, teachers involved in the big changes of the country and classmates, who are inquiring about the great challenges our society faces.

More information about Waldo will be featured on social media this week, so make sure to like Ashoka U on Twitter and Facebook! Check out Ashoka U’s blog each week to see new stories of phenomenal student changemakers making a difference in the world.