As the title suggests, the class went on an Impact Hub Crawl from Prague to Vienna. While visiting the Vienna Hub, a local social entrepreneur spoke with us about his project—Refugees Code. This program addressed a significant need in the community; how do we employ refugees and how do we address the shortage of IT professionals?
Even though he had no experience in coding, Stefan was a grade school teacher, he used the Impact Hub community to launch a teaching program. The process is simple. Refugees in Austria that know English come to coding boot-camp hosted by Stefan and programming graduate students to walk through online CS50. CS50 is the introductory course offered to Harvard and Yale students that is published online for other educators or students to use. Once the students get through this boot-camp, there is a designated counselor to place them in a job. Stefan has received government and private funding to launch Refugees Code. It is still in its early stages but they just completed their first class of refugees.
Stefan was an inspiration—he saw issues in education and immigration and then worked to fix them. Leadership exChange’s class was so beneficial for me because of the people I met working in fields all over Eastern Europe. I was able to connect and observe how they interact with the business and social world to create and implement products.
Impact Hub in Vienna, Austria
Starting June 15th, I traveled fifteen hours to the beautiful city of Prague which is located in the Czech Republic. Since the Impact Hub Crawl was not a Rollins program, I was among students from all over the world and the only representative from Florida. The program specifically looked at social entrepreneurship in Prague and other Eastern European cities. They taught what makes effective leaders but also why there is a lack of it in a post-communist state. The class was interactive as we left Charles University, we traveled to museums, landmarks, and Impact Hubs. This included a tour of the United Nations in Vienna, Austria. Impact Hubs are co-working spaces that are common around the world and are focused on start-ups or social entrepreneurs. They work by building a network within the community to foster social trust and aid growing businesses and ideas. Orlando has recently opened several small co-working spaces but they lack the established networks that other cities are using. Through this program, I met entrepreneurs in Czech Republic and Austria. I also met Czech, Indian, Australian, and Colombian students. Classrooms discussions became more complex and interesting with the very different perspectives. I feel that I personally grew from interacting with these students on issues in our world and our communities. I gained perspectives that would have been impossible to see within the Orlando area.