What a terrific question. People keep asking me this, and I’ve felt pretty dumb not being able to answer it. We had a call this morning (6 AM – ouch!) with our customer to learn more about the program. Here’s what I understand so far.
There are 11 SAP’ers from around the world who will be participating the Chennai Social Sabbatical program. I’ll be on a team of 3 people working with an organization called Villgro. They are an incubator for social enterprises that are geared towards reducing poverty, improving access to health care, increasing education, and eliminating child labor. They provide funding for these enterprises to get started, followed by mentoring for the programs to build and sustain their business. Our specific role is to examine their current processes for selecting and aiding the businesses and provide suggestions and support for improving their business model. One of the ways we will do that is to interview some of their fundees; that will give us direct contact with people from all walks of life.
If that explanation sounded vague, it’s because I’m honestly pretty unsure of what exactly I’ll be doing. Am trying to sort through it and today’s call helped, yet I think I won’t really understand it until we get started. That’s sort of like every project we work in SAP – we think through the plan, but until we begin, it’s hard to be 100% sure of our goals and deliverables. What I do know is that I can’t wait to learn more about the businesses and people in this amazing program. They are directly improving people’s lives. It’s easy to write a check to an organization and feel we’ve made an impact. What they are doing to directly work with and help people is what leads to long-term advancement.
Hopefully by this time next week, I’ll be able to answer the title question with confidence. Until then, I’m working on going with the flow. 🙂