Active Global Citizen
|SDG #4 Quality education
|CEO & Founder at Belouga
|Evin leads Belouga, a digital platform providing teachers and students with the ability to connect, communicate and collaborate with their peers around the world. The platform is driven by interactive content that gives all users an experience to learn about the world, with the world. Evin is a startup exec with 12+ years of experience overseeing business development, marketing and operations with marketplace and social innovation focused companies. He has extensive experience working with the Gen-Y and Gen-Z demographic, and has looked to connect these audiences with business strategies focused on social impact.
|A simple connection can make a tremendous difference in understanding and accepting other cultures around the world.
Evin’s background is in the social impact sector, working with organizations on creating impact in the environmental, medical, and the education sector. Having worked with organizations from around the world – from grassroots and start-ups to Fortune 500, Evin’s work focuses on one thing: setting up the next generation for success.
That’s how Belouga was born – from the desire to understand what is really going on in the daily lives of ordinary people. Evin says, “We want to create a bridge through friendship in every child moving forward. Today, utilizing technology can help us to introduce different cultures, religions, races, ideologies to one another in a much easier way. In Belouga we look at communication as the core foundation, and education as the perfect vehicle to actually create change. We are focused on making education accessible and impactful, and doing it through communication, connection and collaboration.”
Belouga was launched over two and a half years ago, and today it’s active in 88 countries in approximately 5,000 primary and secondary schools.
How do you create social impact?
Social impact as a term is thrown around a lot, but people are starting to understand it better. You can’t teach empathy in a day – it’s a life long project to understand what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes for a day. People usually think that donating money to a cause is the best way to help, but that doesn’t create sustainable change. UN has done a great job with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), providing a framework that we in Belouga use. We assign projects or missions to see how students work together and advance their own education, curiosity, creativity based on the ideas of others.
We work with a framework called “CLAI” – curiosity, learning, action, impact. That is what social impact is really about. We’ve done impact campaigns on a variety of topics, like clean water, solar power, wifi etc. In Belouga, a child can make an impact through learning and communication. They become way more interested in the region of their project, understanding its economy, history, how it relates to the SDGs. Belouga gives them a pathway to understand the world directly from those in need and how they can help. It’s the foundation for social impact – not just helping communities, but creating sustainable change on both sides, planting that seed of active global citizenship.
Students want to see their ideas moving to action – they are ready to lead, they have access to information. Our job as educators is to listen and empower them.
We have a major rollout coming soon focused on customizing the personal experience of a learner. We are creating a living “textbook” where content fuels the experience, and experts, teachers and communities can network and guide the student’s journey.
Why would you recommend attending the AFS Global Conference?
These types of events are needed now more than anything. There are lots of conferences going on, but the AFS Global Conference is different because of the meaningful connections you can create there. Anyone who is interested in “global,” even though this is a broad concept and regardless of the angle you take on it, can get connected and experience what people are doing around the world. The quality and access to experts from different fields is why the AFS Global Conference is a game changer.
Connect and network with Evin as well as other Active Global Citizens and leading 21st century education stakeholders at the AFS Global Conference: Active Global Citizenship—and How to Educate for It, 9-11 October in Montreal.