The Woman Behind International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs (IISE), Thiruvananthapuram

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An eye opening article about IISE (International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs), Thiruvananthapuram and the founders visually challenged Sabriye Tenberken (German) and Paul Kronenberg (Dutch). As per the founders Trivandrum is the ideal place for such organizations considering good rail, road, air connectivity, nature and the people.

Courtesy: Malayalam Varikha

About IISE from their website

The International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs (IISE) in Trivandrum, Kerala (South India) is a leadership training centre for visionaries and social change makers. It can also be seen as a “dream factory” which incubates credible and effective leaders who are committed to create positive social change.

The idea to start a “dream factory” where visionaries can be trained to create social change, was born in the Tibet autonomous Region, (TAR) China. There, Sabriye Tenberken (German) and Paul Kronenberg (Dutch), founders of the world known organization “Braille without Borders”, created various projects, including the first school for the blind in Tibet.

While facing a lot of challenges, the greatest obstacles were the sceptical and discouraging voices of international experts. “Stop dreaming! Stay on the ground!” were the statements heard most often. Inspired by these experiences, Paul and Sabriye understood the need for a unique leadership training center, in which passionate people are encouraged to take risks and to dream big. The institute trains participants in all necessary skills and gives them the knowledge they need to realise their dreams.

In only it’s third year, the IISE has already firmly established itself as a leadership development and innovation program for visionaries and social change makers from around the world.

The IISE philosophy is based on a unique understanding of leadership. A social leader is someone who has overcome adversity on a personal level and therefore has an urge to go against the status quo, to eradicate injustice and create awareness for positive social change by establishing grass root projects and social movements.

In hands-on, practical workshops conducted by international experts called “catalysts”, participants are trained in many skills including public speaking, finance, project planning and fundraising. Additionally they learn to create innovative project ideas, how to write of project proposals and conduct social marketing campaigns. Participants are also advised in the legal aspects of starting a project and how to set up effective and ethical programs.

The institute welcomes participants from all over the world. Some of them have university degrees while others have little to no formal education. The IISE participants are diverse in both socio-economic background and physical capabilities. The most important traits of the participants are – a sense of ownership, motivation, creativity, talent and a passion to make the world a better place and the strength to be a force for good rather than a victim of circumstance.

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