By: Amanda Lefky, 2018 Leadership exCHANGE Alumna
All of the speakers that we met with in Vienna are making incredible contributions to the world and are all making unique contributions to solve a pressing problem. They were all extremely inspiring and truly opened my eyes to how even I can make a difference with just an idea and passion. One speaker in particular I feel truly is tackling a global/cross-national issue and came up with a very unique contribution is Klaudia.
Klaudia is a co-founder of the organization wisR that works towards matching elderly people who have vast amounts of knowledge and want to continue in the workforce after retirement with companies and employers that want to hire people with that knowledge. The entire concept is extremely unique, because it is essentially like Tinder or dating apps, but for matching the elderly with job opportunities. Klaudia came up with the concept for this company because of her grandma. After her grandma retired she fell into a depression because she had so much knowledge and so many skills, but couldn’t put them to good use. Klaudia showed great empathy for her grandma and for the elderly in general and wanted to come up with a way to help the “silver agers” find another purpose in life and put their knowledge to good use. She truly understands her “why” and knows that people connect more with why you are doing something rather than what you are doing.
Klaudia and wisR are attempting to combat a worldwide issue – what happens when the elderly retire and go from having a strict routine every day to all of a sudden having nothing to do? This is a global/cross-national issue because there are elderly people in every country all around the world. Of course, the issue of there being stigma around hiring the elderly differs country to country, however for the most part it is difficult for the elderly to find something to do after retirement. Klaudia has come up with an incredibly unique idea by creating a matchmaking system to find the elderly jobs. Who would have thought dating apps could truly be used for good?
In addition to Klaudia having great empathy and being a unique innovator, she truly understands the importance of social capital and what it means to network. Throughout the talk with her and Stefan today, you could clearly see that they have a very good working relationship even though their companies are quite different. Klaudia even has a refugee working for her that was part of Stefan’s Refugee Code group. Clearly, that shows that she trusts Stefan and his company and agrees with what he is doing. That trust did not just come overnight, that came from a working relationship that will probably only get stronger with time. They were even joking with each other about having some refugees teach the elderly about coding when we were giving them crazy ideas for how they can make a profit.
I think Klaudia truly embodies what it means to be a social entrepreneur and somehow touched upon almost all of our course concepts without even realizing it. She inspired me so much today, especially since she is such a strong, powerful woman who has drive and determination to make the world a better place.
Find out more about wisR: https://wisr.eu/en/index.html