Making tomorrow possible

Knowmads Hanoi : A home for lost genius

I rarely write down my thoughts, and have never posted them online.

But well, everything can change

Yesterday I had a conversation that made me feel angry enough to start writing compulsively.

I am well aware that me quitting my super-well paid expat job to work with Knowmads Hanoi on some education projects in Vietnam came as an unexplainable surprise for many people, and that I should not expect them to understand, support or even care.

However, yesterday I heard two things that crushed my heart.

I explained wholeheartedly the dream behind The Learning Hub — a collaborative workspace to support people & communities trying to make a positive impact in Hanoi, and shared openly our obvious struggle for financial sustainability.

“But seriously, why social enterprises and communities? With a space like that, you could do something so much better, like a showroom venue to rent to corporates!”

My answer “because I think this is much more needed…” went unheard.

I then got asked the usual ultimate question : “But how do you make a living? And what are your plans for the future?”. I shared my current truth : I do not know where I am going with all that, and I am OK with it.

“Haaa, that must be so nice to live with so much insouciance, living as if there were no tomorrow. Well, you are still young, enjoy yourself!

And that’s when I got it. I have been focusing so much on fighting my battles in Vietnam that I did not notice that things are completely fucked up in France as well.

I am not living as if there were no tomorrow. I am trying to contribute making this tomorrow possible, through education and social entrepreneurship.

Tell me again, what are you doing for tomorrow exactly?

I was lucky enough to get one of the best education in the world — according to the Holy Financial Time — and to have worked in some of those “best companies to work for”.

And at no point whatsoever was I told that there are more crucial things than making a company thrive. That the purpose does matter. That questioning whether or not your time and energy are being used to create positive impact is a healthy practice.

How absurd is it that I am the one being looked at as unreasonable, for valuing planet and people above profit and for having making life choices accordingly?

There is so much to be done, and this is the real work.




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Anne-Laure Romanet

Anne-Laure Romanet

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