We caught up with a remarkable champion of change, Yonathan Parienti, Founder and CEO of Horyou. Yonathan has built a dedicated social networking platform for Social Good where Members, Organisations, and Personalities support and promote solidarity through actions, while advocating a humanistic approach to technology.
Horyou provides resourceful functionalities to encourage new ways of interacting with one another. At Horyou, social networking facilitates the process from ideas to concrete actions, while contributing to the building of meaningful and constructive interactions between the online and offline worlds: Dream, Inspire, and Act.
What inspired you to get involved in the Social Enterprise space?
When an idea finds its origin in universality and we begin to transform that thought into a concrete action, in this particular case forming a company whose purpose and meaning encompass universality means that you have naturally crossed the line into the social enterprise/socially responsible and space.
What was your Aha! moment which led you to leave your corporate job and take the leap to start your own organisation?
Life is a continuous cycle full inspirational moments. To name one in particular: The financial turmoil, which had an impact on so many in the world, was instrumental to ask ourselves: Can we make a contribution to have this system evolve in a more positive and harmonious way? To make it evolve so that living in a more harmonious and sustainable manner is part of a philosophy that embraces values of universality.The opportunity to contribute to that ideal inspired the leap to start this new adventure; an adventure that greatly and positively influenced my life.
Is business as hard as everyone says it is?
When you want to build something, and particularly when it’s for the good sake of everyone, when you want to have an impact for good, it doesn’t matter how high the mountain is because you will move forward step by step and eventually realize that you have climbed the mountain. So it’s not a question of it being easy or hard, it’s a matter of having the conviction that what you do is dear to you, that you will do it, and that you will do it as a team.
What was the dream when setting up Horyou?
The dream is still alive – it’s an ongoing awakened dream. That dream is a dream of diversity, of bridges between cultures beyond frontiers, of sharing a virtuous cycle of interaction so we know that we are together part of the same future. It is our responsibility in this “now” moment to achieve something better for us and most importantly something better for the next generations.
Tell us more about what you aspire to do with Horyou
Horyou, which means “what Humanity can do for you and what we can do for Humanity,” is a new medium to supports social good, social innovation, solidarity, positive cycle of interaction, as well as creativity and empathy between peoples.We have the social network platform, Horyou: social network for social good, and we have as well concrete events like the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum (SIGEF). SIGEF gathers non-profit organizations from all over the world, social innovators that have positive and impactful projects, international speakers that can share and inspire others by their dedication and passion, as well as socially responsible companies, to interact and contribute to the evolution of the capitalist system toward a more sustainable one.
In addition, we recently launched our social web TV – Horyou TV, which produces documentaries from all over the world to bring visibility to the projects, initiatives, and actions that are positively happening worldwide.
Furthermore, the Horyou Foundation was founded to advocate and promote our philosophy by supporting hundreds of non-profit organizations that are on the platform.
Other upcoming initiatives include Live and Dream – an event that encourages members on the platform to have and share dreams around the world; and activities organized at the Cannes Film Festival to support art, culture, and diversity.
In your opinion and based on your experience, what does it take to set up a successful business?
It’s important not to think as setting up a business but to think of facilitating what drives your energy so that you enjoy every moment with passion. A key factor to having a real chance of achieving your goals is gathering and combining passionate team members. It’s really the team and the teamwork that will foster creativity in the sharing of ideas, the ability to go above what you would be able to do by yourself based on complementarity of experience, expertise, and the true pleasure of camaraderie.What is essential before you sail for an adventure is the crew that will be in the boat with you.
Do you believe age has an influence on the change you can create?
I think one of the secrets of life is that inspiration and creativity can knock at the door at any moment.History has taught us so many examples of people that were touched by creativity and that had to grow that creativity, talent, and passion by exercising themselves with all their energy and conviction to make it flourish. Empirical translation of that talent into concrete actions shows us that inspiration is limitless, ageless. It is essential to be open-minded and to listen to every person that has something genuine to say because we always have something to learn from their conviction and passion.
There is an uprising business model, which includes social good and profit. What are your thoughts on this?
There is more and more consciousness and awakening of creativity to have more sustainable business model development that enables sustainability through profitability. A business model that at the same time shares the vision that we can grow and develop by having a positive impact on our environment, people, society, and as whole over humanity’s trajectory. This is a strong conviction that inspires the overall development of how we conduct the Horyou philosophy.
What do you think it takes to empower someone?
It takes at least 2 persons. This is a great teaching of life – the beauty of life lies in the fact that we can really experience it and live it because of our interactions with others. This is our luck and our future – our ability to listen to, interact and exchange with the others.
What advice would you give to an aspiring social entrepreneur?
Cherish the idea that made you find your real willingness and path for a journey. Whatever the destination, the journey will be a major and essential contribution to your being and your ability to share and transmit to the others your experience, your thoughts, your advice, and your testimonials. The continuity is to enhance the search for the greater good.