I constantly find myself in awe of the people I find doing special work – the kind that doesn’t get receive all of the accolades and recognition deserved for all the time and effort spent on endeavors that help others. Most recently, I’ve been inspired by the work of my friend, Dina Saoudi, and her wonderful team involved with Working Dreamers, a brilliant social enterprise created by the company she co-founded, Seven Circles and Bright Future. Dina Salameh is the Marketing and Social Media Specialist for Seven Circles. Dominka Turek is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bright Future. I recently spoke with all three of them about Working Dreamers.
MM: For those who don’t know, what is Working Dreamers?
Dina Salameh: Working Dreamers is a competition-based online platform that encourages, empowers, and engages individuals and organizations to work together to find the best ideas for projects. It started with one project and, within the first 4 weeks, we had more than 100 people pitching ideas and more than 13,000 people voting on them. We are growing rapidly and our community will soon break 20,000 members. Our community is diverse, with 37% from the Middle East, 48% from USA and EU, and 14% from South America. We are working to become an internationally empowering platform.
“What started as a platform for empowering refugees currently, proudly stands as a community of 20,000+ of people inside and outside refugee camps.”
That sounds incredible! What was the inspiration that led you to start this initiative?
D.S: Syrian refugees were the true driving force behind the finding of Working Dreamers. It is unfortunate that circumstances beyond their control have put artists, teachers, scientists, and many more talents under the label of ‘refugees‘ and only that. We needed to find a way to continue to allow their imaginations and thinking minds to soar, regardless of their geographical restraints.
Keeping in mind that refugees must have smartphones to remain in touch with their agencies, and knowing that it is legal to present refugees with rewards or prizes, we came up with the idea to create a platform that holds competitions with chances to win prizes. What started as a platform for empowering refugees currently, proudly stands as a community of 20,000+ of people inside and outside refugee camps.
How did you get involved in Working Dreamers?
D.S: Working Dreamers is a social enterprise by Seven Circles and Bright Future. I do marketing and social media at Seven Circles, but I found myself gravitating towards Working Dreamers. It was and continues to be so exciting to see all the amazing ideas for all the competitions. We started as a platform to reach and empower refugees and now, we have become a platform that is also working on tackling unemployment as people are able to market themselves and their work for potential opportunities. Also, with the diverse categories for projects, we have been able to help with youth and women empowerment.
The project owner gets a diverse collection of solutions for their competition, the winning idea for a competition receives a prize, the idea submitter puts their work out there for empowerment and a chance at employment, and we are given the privilege of witnessing all this magic.
For those who want to take part, how can they get involved?
D.S: There are 4 main ways to become involved with Working Dreamers:
- You can create your own project on Working Dreamers that allows you to find diverse solutions from a worldwide community.
- You can sponsor a project on Working Dreamers.
- You can be an idea submitter by uploading your idea to a competition for a chance to win the allocated prize.
- You can be a voter by going through the amazing idea submissions and voting for your favorites.
Is there anything else you would like people to know about Working Dreamers?
Dominka Turek: Working Dreamers is a unique platform which can help serve social projects in areas from empowering women to helping refugees, and it can also be a fantastic way of engaging customers into building solutions together. I work with various clients like Microsoft, Sony, and Orange Telecom, and no matter the country they are based in, they always try to engage customers with their brands. Working Dreamers is perfect for that. Imagine working with your clients on a solution together. The clients pitch ideas to your brand and other clients vote for the best idea. It is a mixture of R&D and awareness campaign, all in one. I, personally, can’t wait to see the changes Working Dreamers will make in various industries.