Where Alexander is from
What was your dream when you were a kid? What was the reason?
My dream was to create. I loved to build things. This led me to wanting to become an engineer in my early years.
What was your dream when you were 18 years old? What was the reason?
I can’t say I had a specific dream when I was 18 years old. I was still finding myself. From 18-21 years old is when I started to develop my dream of what I wanted to do with my life. This dream was build on my desire to create positive change in the world around me. It took till I was 22 and 23 for the details of the dream to manifest.
What made you start thinking about social entrepreneurship/social enterprises? When was that?
I first had to hear about social entrepreneurship before I started to think about it. I was always interested in sustainability. This interest coupled with having grown up surrounded by my family’s business operations, naturally led me to social entrepreneurship. This started in the summer of 2013 when I attended the Semester at Sea study abroad program.
How much do you think social entrepreneurs play an important role in the world?
I think we are only seeing the tip of the ice berg in terms of the potential impact and important roles social entrepreneurs can in the world. As the interest in the space grows, we will see social enterprises as the catalyst for rapid change. Be harnessing the power of business, injecting it will social innovation, social entrepreneurs will fill in the gaps in services provided by traditional businesses and governments.
What would you say to future social entrepreneurs / those who are interested in social entrepreneurs?
Pick a sector or area that you want to “create change” in that is close to you. It is only through this passion that you can make the impact we are so eager for.
What is your favorite quote? Who said that quote?
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha
Who Alexander is
Alexander is an ultimate hybrid of “on” and “off.” When he is on, he is very serious, super smart and delivers very sharp thoughts. He knows and is aware of what is going on in the world and informs me and updates me with that information. He is good at asking smart questions with a sharp intellect, digging and grabbing what he wants to know. When he is off, he is smiling, laughing, super fun, super chill…and crazy. Whenever we drink together, he drinks unbelievably. Not only that, he wants YOU to drink the same amount…you would pass out pretty soon after that.
“Ordinary” is not what Alexander wants, he wants the “extraordinary.”
Alexander loves his friends and never betrays us, treating us as his family. “Ohana”– this is the password among us. Ohana means “family” in Hawaii. It sounds beautiful, isn’t it?
I mentioned a Maui trip in Amogh’s blog and Alexander was the one who organized everything because Maui is also his home. It was my first time in Hawaii so everything that I saw and experienced there was amazing, but for me, one of the best things was that I saw his origins and roots in Maui, which is what made Alexander, Alexander. Beautiful weather, hot temperature, a relaxing atmosphere, friendly people, organic food, music, a beautiful ocean and spectacular nature.
We met his uncle Johnny there. He captured our hearts in the blink of an eye. First, because he was so funny, and second, he knew languages, cultures and had several experiences of many countries, so he could talk to each of us in a way that each of us likes and which worked for each of us. That is what Alexander does too.
Alexander is adaptable based on knowledge and experiences of many cultures and you feel very, very comfortable to have a conversation with him every time. Also, it was beautiful seeing that Alexander and uncle Johnny were chatting, catching up and laughing together.
Everyone loves Alexander and he loves every single one of you back. He is everyone’s favorite. Of course I love Alexander and now, we are “ohana”, we are family.
Alexander and I are bike buddies and whenever we do bike tours something interesting happens.
One day, we went through his favorite ramen restaurant -> his “office” -> Ocean Beach with our bikes. The ramen was called “Karaage ramen,” which means fried chicken ramen. It was dynamic and became my favorite. Alexander just launched his startup HarvestN and took me to his “office,” which was his garden. I tasted vegetables that he took care of. It tasted very good, super fresh and felt like taking Mana from them. It reminded me of the time Alexander taught me what Mana is in Maui. Mana is energy or power from Mother Nature. When you take it through organic fruits and vegetables, you feel the energy from the bottom of your body. What he grows are definitely beautiful vegetables that are filled with Mana. That is the beauty of organic plants from Mother Nature.
Another bike memory with him is when we went to Sausalito together. When we passed the Golden Gate Bridge, we saw a very long line along the beach. It was for Bernie Sanders’s public speech for the presidential campaign. We did not expect to attend the event, but it was supposed to start 3 hours later, so we headed to Sausalito and came back for the speech. The presidential campaign takes place 1 time in every 4 years and we did not expect to see Bernie Sanders at the spot where we were heading. We were so lucky and had a wonderful experience together.
The Power of MSE
What Alexander is holding is a symbol called “go-en(ご縁)”, which means ‘fate’, ’destiny’ and ’special tie.’
I believe that it is meant to be that we met in San Francisco! I studied Social Entrepreneurship with Alexander for a year, saying “We will make the world a better place.” I would love to spend the rest of my life with MSEs (Master of Social Entrepreneurship; my classmates) until the very day I die. They have already completely changed my life.
At the same time, however, I also think that we should not be together all the time, because that is not the reason why we learned Social Entrepreneurship. That is not how we will deliver the impact we want to give to society and to the world.
I think MSEs are like dandelions. We were seeded at the first day at Hult and we bloomed on our graduation day. Our mission is that we spread all over the world like dandelions and seed the future, the next generation, from each place where each of us has landed.
本当にありがとう(Honto ni Arigato-); Thank you very very much for everything!! The world needs you! Let’s make the world a better place together!!