Initially built as a method to introduce the topic of inclusion, Orient Express can be adapted to the topic of entrepreneurship very easily. It is a non-formal education method which aims to be the starting point of a discussion in groups and plenary.
This method was developed by Gabriel Brezoiu (General Manager) and Diana-Adela Ionita (Head of Digital) and refined through several youth mobility projects (training courses and youth exchanges). Gabriel is a trainer, youth worker, social media expert, and project
manager working in the youth field since 2007. As a non-formal education trainer in entrepreneurship, Gabriel is specialised in using design thinking, Business Canvas Model, creative expression, and digital tools methodologies to enhance young people and youth workers’ entrepreneurial spirit and to support them to transform their ideas into actions. Diana has academic studies in Communications with a focus on intercultural discourse
(BA and MA) and complementary training in Advanced Facilitation, Psycho-pedagogy, Global Education, or Education for Development in a multicultural environment.
The objectives of this method are to:
> To understand the participants’ views and sentiments on a certain topic;
> Encourage the collaboration and debate between participants;
Structure of the process:
Before the activity, you will have to do a brainstorming with your team and come up with 10 or more profiles of people adapted to the profile of your activity. In the case of an activity on entrepreneurship, some of the profiles can be:
> A 25 year-old african woman who just started her business as a hairdresser in Paris;
> A young man who just inherited the family business;
> A 20 year-old who is going to participate in a pitching competition in order to convince
some investors to join his business.
You can be as creative and specific as you want with these profiles!
The method will then be introduced to the participants: By chance, you managed to get the last two tickets in your compartment for a ride with the famous train Orient Express linking Paris to Istanbul…one is for you, the other is for a person of your choice.
After all the participants chose 1 person that they would give the ticket to, form groups of 3 people and tell them that, in group, they have to discuss and choose just one profile from the 3. Discuss in plenary.
The method can be adapted according to the topic that you are working on. In this case, it is
a great way to spark a discussion about the different experiences that an entrepreneur can
have, and the different hardships that he/she might face based on those differences.
The debriefing of this activity can focus on:
Importance of entrepreneurship – benefits and impacts of entrepreneurship in curbing youth unemployment
Impact based entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial practises and how they contribute positively to youth empowerment and citizen participation, community building and development.
How to be a good and successful entrepreneur: good entrepreneurial practices and tools that can help young people start their own businesses and be successful entrepreneurs in their communities.
Written by: Gabriel Brezoiu & Diana-Adela Ionita, GEYC, Romania