Lisa Heydlauff tells stories for a living – inspiring, interesting and innovative stories. Based in New Delhi, Lisa is the founder of ‘Going to School’, a not-for-profit organization that makes movies, books and radio programs for children to teach them a unique set of skills.
In the second of this 2-part series, Lisa talks about what true impact means to her and her advice for young entrepreneurs looking to create social impact.
What started as stories of children going to school in India and encouraging children to stay in school has today evolved into a flagship program and even a fund for young entrepreneurs. What are the future plans for Going to School?
We are making a children’s television show that I am really excited about – it’s called Children’s Scrappy News. It is everything we have been doing on-ground in a primetime edutainment format. The program is within a newsroom setup, where two kid reporters take on India’s biggest challenges. And solve them with design thinking and scrappy skills. It’s a fun, engaging, and exciting way to look at India’s biggest problems and how to solve them with entrepreneurial skills and design thinking.
As a social entrepreneur and a WEF Young Global Leader, what is the impact that you as a person want to create on the society? And how far do you think you have travelled in your journey of making it?
I believe in the power of stories. Stories make millions of children believe in their potential to transform their lives. That said, the truth is that we don’t always know how a story might impact an individual child. No one can take credit for how a story moves a child, in building their self-confidence or shaping their outlook - it’s just alchemy, when it’s the right time, when the story is right and they see themselves in it, their own possibility.
What matters to me is when I see a child who has read a story and it moves her to start asking questions, to think of new ideas, to have conversations to change things from the way they are.
What is your advice to other young entrepreneurs who are building and nurturing social impact organizations?
When I started, I never thought I would have an office. I never thought I would have a team. I think you never imagine what it’s going to take to make something happen. Somehow, very early on you have to commit. You have to believe that your idea is so strong that no matter what, you will make it happen. The best advice I can give is – think of the worst possible scenario when you start off and ask yourself, if it got that bad, would you still fight for it? Would you still make it happen? And if you can address your deepest fears, then you are ready to take that jump and say, “I will do anything to make it happen”.