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Be/Impact: Linking Corporate Training with Social Progress

In a world where social responsibility is increasingly at the heart of corporate agendas, Julian Buschmaas’s Be/Impact stands as a groundbreaking initiative, redefining the essence of corporate training.

In a world where social responsibility is increasingly at the heart of corporate agendas, Julian Buschmaas’s Be/Impact stands as a groundbreaking initiative, redefining the essence of corporate training. By transforming employees into educators for charity workers who tackle the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Be/Impact does more than teach—it inspires a movement. This pioneering approach not only boosts learning retention by a staggering 133% but also cultivates a workforce that is as skilled as it is socially conscious, merging professional growth with global impact in a truly transformative manner.

At the heart of Be/Impact’s philosophy lies a dual purpose: enhancing employee skill sets while actively contributing to the betterment of society. This vision extends beyond conventional business goals to embrace a broader, more integrated approach to sustainability and social responsibility. By integrating cutting-edge educational techniques with a commitment to global challenges, Be/Impact stands out as a pioneer, reshaping not just how companies train their workforce but how they serve the world.

The Genesis of Be/Impact

Born in Germany and now flourishing from his base in London, Julian Buschmaas‘s entrepreneurial spirit was evident early in his career. His journey from an insightful entrepreneur to the founder of Be/Impact was driven by a profound belief in the power of education to enact global change. Julian saw an opportunity to blend the rigor of personal development with the compassion of charity work, creating a synergy that could tap into the vast resources of the corporate world for the benefit of society at large.

Julian’s vision took shape during his extensive travels across various continents, where he witnessed firsthand the disparities in education and opportunities. These experiences sowed the seeds for Be/Impact. He observed that while many organizations focused on either corporate growth or social aid, few managed to integrate the two seamlessly. This gap in the market inspired Julian to develop a business model that not only addressed it but also capitalized on the potential for mutual enrichment between corporations and communities.

With Be/Impact, Julian aimed to transform the corporate training paradigm. He proposed a model where companies could extend their training resources beyond their walls, facilitating a knowledge exchange that benefitted both their employees and the wider community. The cornerstone of Be/Impact’s approach is its innovative ‘teach-to-learn’ methodology, which enriches the learning process by involving corporate employees in teaching roles, particularly in underprivileged communities and social enterprises.

Motivated by the potential to tackle pressing global challenges through this educational innovation, Julian officially launched Be/Impact. The company was established with a clear mission to harness and redirect corporate resources to foster both individual growth and collective well-being. This mission resonates deeply with companies seeking to enhance their social impact and with communities eager for tangible, sustainable development.

As Be/Impact continues to grow, its roots remain firmly planted in Julian’s initial vision: to create a symbiotic relationship between personal development and impactful charity work, driven by education and empowerment.

How Be/Impact Works

At the core of Be/Impact’s operations lies its transformative “teach-to-learn” methodology, a strategy designed to enhance both knowledge retention and personal development. This method revolves around a simple yet profound principle: employees revise their training materials to teach these lessons to charity staff. This process not only reinforces their own understanding but also benefits the broader community.

Deepening Knowledge through Teaching

The act of teaching is known to deepen the teacher’s understanding of the subject matter. At Be/Impact, this pedagogical approach is used to tackle one of the biggest challenges in traditional corporate training: the rapid decline in knowledge retention following educational sessions. By revising and teaching the content, employees engage with the material on multiple levels—conceptualisation, preparation, and delivery—which significantly enhances retention and ensures that key concepts are not merely understood but ingrained.

Development of Soft Skills

In addition to strengthening knowledge retention, the teach-to-learn approach is instrumental in cultivating a range of soft skills among corporate participants. As employees step into teaching roles, they inherently develop essential skills such as public speaking, effective communication, empathy, and teamwork. These skills are critical in any professional setting but are particularly valuable in leadership and client-facing roles.

Structured Programme Implementation

Be/Impact’s programme is meticulously structured to facilitate this educational exchange. Initially, employees undergo a thorough revision of their existing training materials, adapting them to suit the needs and understanding levels of the charity staff. This revision process itself serves as a first re-engagement with the learning material, reinforcing previous training.

Subsequently, employees are paired or grouped to form teaching teams, fostering collaboration and mutual support. These teams then conduct training sessions with selected charities, which not only allows for practical teaching experience but also offers charity staff access to high-quality training resources, thereby elevating their professional capabilities.

Feedback and Continuous Improvement

The cycle is completed with a feedback stage, where employees and charity staff provide assessments of the experience. This feedback is crucial for Be/Impact, as it informs future course adjustments and enhancements. Continuous improvement is a cornerstone of the Be/Impact methodology, ensuring that each iteration of the programme is more refined and effective.

Broadening Impact

The reach and impact of Be/Impact’s methodology extend beyond the immediate benefits to employees and charity organisations. By incorporating corporate training into broader social goals, Be/Impact fosters a culture of corporate responsibility and community engagement, aligning business practices with sustainable development goals.

Deepening Knowledge through Teaching

Central to Be/Impact’s approach is the philosophy that “to teach is to learn twice.” In this context, employees revisit and revise their professional training materials, but with a twist—they’re preparing to teach what they’ve learned to staff at charitable organisations. This method is not just about transferring knowledge; it’s about transforming it. Employees must distill complex concepts into understandable lessons, which involves several layers of learning:

Review and Understanding: Employees first review their original training content, ensuring they grasp the concepts thoroughly.
Adaptation for Teaching: They then adapt the material for a different audience, considering how best to convey complex information in an accessible way.
Interactive Teaching Sessions: By teaching the material, employees engage with the content dynamically, discussing and explaining, which reinforces their knowledge and confidence in the subject matter.

This structured engagement ensures that information is not only retained but becomes more deeply embedded in the employees’ professional skills set, enhancing both recall and application on the job.

Development of Soft Skills

The secondary, yet equally significant aspect of the teach-to-learn methodology is the development of soft skills, which are increasingly recognised as critical to professional success. Through the act of teaching, employees naturally enhance several key competencies:

Public Speaking and Presentation Skills: Employees learn to express ideas clearly and confidently in front of an audience, a crucial skill in any professional setting.
Empathy and Adaptability: Teaching diverse groups requires understanding and adapting to different learning styles and needs.
Teamwork and Collaboration: Often teaching in pairs or small groups, employees learn to collaborate and support one another in lesson planning and delivery.
Problem Solving and Innovation: Instructors often need to think on their feet, responding to questions and adapting lessons in real-time, which sharpens their problem-solving skills.

Each session provides a platform not just for teaching but for personal and professional growth, turning every training opportunity into a moment of self-improvement and leadership development. This holistic approach not only benefits the employees and their companies but also the charitable organisations that receive high-quality, bespoke training adapted to their needs. This synergy fosters a greater sense of community and shared purpose, reinforcing Be/Impact’s mission of using corporate resources for the greater good.

Conclusion: Reinventing Corporate Training for Sustainable Impact

Be/Impact’s innovative approach spearheaded by Julian Buschmaas exemplifies a forward-thinking model that seamlessly integrates professional development with impactful social contributions. By embracing the teach-to-learn methodology, Be/Impact not only enriches the professional lives of employees but also extends these benefits to the wider community, demonstrating a robust model of corporate social responsibility.

This dual-purpose strategy does more than just enhance employee engagement and knowledge retention; it fosters a culture of empathy, cooperation, and continuous learning within the corporate environment. The implications of such an approach are profound:

  • Promotion of Lifelong Learning: Be/Impact encourages an ethos of continuous education, critical thinking, and adaptability—skills that are essential in today’s ever-evolving work landscape.
  • Enhancement of Corporate Image: Companies involved with Be/Impact are seen as pioneers in corporate responsibility, enhancing their attractiveness to potential employees who value ethical and socially responsible workplaces.
  • Strengthening Community Ties: By partnering with charities and social enterprises, companies extend their influence beyond the corporate sphere, directly contributing to societal improvement and aligning with broader global sustainability goals.

The future of corporate training envisioned by Be/Impact is not just about personal or professional gain but about creating a ripple effect of positive change across communities and industries. This model invites other companies to reflect on their training strategies and consider how they too can contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world.

As businesses around the globe continue to seek meaningful ways to integrate social good into their operational frameworks, Be/Impact’s blueprint offers a compelling example of how to do so effectively. Companies looking to elevate their learning and development programmes while making a tangible impact on the world need look no further than Be/Impact’s innovative approach.

For those interested in learning more about how their organisation can participate in Be/Impact’s transformative programmes, or for those seeking to adopt similar strategies within their own operations, engaging with Be/Impact can be the first step towards achieving a more integrated and impactful corporate training strategy.

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