EDITORIAL. Let the Talents come to me – by Marco Crescenzi

EDITORIAL. Let the Talents come to me – by Marco Crescenzi

I started my “international career” as a political activist, when I was 17-19 years old, as a Student Government President of the left at the Plauto High School in Rome, during the “Years of Lead” in Italy. In 1979, a day during my last year at school, an Israeli man visited the school; he looked like someone from the secret services. The Headmaster called me and asked me to talk with him, privately. The man asked me to move to Israel, where the State would have invested in my studies and then I would have been free to choose whether I wanted to work with them or go wherever I pleased. I liked Palestinians better, so I declined. But that kind of “talent scouting”, so aggressive and international, really impressed me and, to be completely honest, inspired Social Change School’s “talent based” strategy of recruiting.

I have been fighting the idea of “Nonprofit: good people” for 20 years. For a common and wrong way of thinking, Nonprofit welcomes “good people”, who are surely blessed with a spirit of service and humanity, but that are maybe lacking spirit of initiative and effectiveness in their actions. We would be here “only to change the world” and not to create employment… (which we do create and in large numbers). As I wrote for one of my recent articles on a famous Italian newspaper “mala tempora currunt”.

The SOCIAL TALENT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME is the fundamental cultural strategy of the School to give space to the best young people in the world, to train and prepare them for international careers. For years we have been fighting a “battle” to take the best talents that, for lack of real knowledge of the Nonprofit, dedicate their lives to career they are not meant for and to post-graduate studies only based on theory. In particular, for these very reasons, and in collaboration with “young leaders” – AIESEC first of all – we are looking for young people under 30 who are political, cultural and environmental activists, but also former African refugees who have now become social workers, and we are looking for people of value in the universities even before they get their degree.

Requirements? Profiles with great international propensity – great English level and at least another language if possible, with volunteering experience, determined and open-minded, ambitious in their goals but humble in spirit.
We are looking for people who don’t just want a career for themselves (“I want…”), but mostly for others (“I want to give…”), where the “I” is as strong as altruistic. Dreamers, but concrete ones.

To enter the “Talent” programme, candidates take part to a one-hour long interview, during which, in a real coaching path, we develop a personal SWOT analysis on items as social and international profile, work experience, motivation, professional dream, strengths, weaknesses, potential obstacles.  After the meeting, interviewees are usually very satisfied, and the same goes for me. Because – I confess it – these interviews are one of my main sources of satisfaction. In a way, it is like it is written in the Memoirs of Hadrian: “Thus beneath the stones we find the secret of the springs” – their springs, but also renewing and refreshing my own, being reflected in others “like me”, young and with their whole life in front of them. For me and for the rest of the staff of Social Change School is marvellous to find ourselves in a class with such generous students, eyes bright as their hearts. And seeing all the wonderful things they do in their countries and in the world after the Master clearly shows us the meaning of all we do.

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