In Your Network: Penny Carballo-Smith
Penny Carballo-Smith is Founder of Future Think a social enterprise helping marginalised communities to succeed in the fast changing 21st century global marketplace. She talks about what inspired her and connecting to other Fellows and social entrepreneurs:
1) Please give a brief explanation of what it is you do and why?
Future Think tackles the twin crises of youth unemployment and skills shortages by addressing the disconnect between perceptions held by parents, young people, education providers and employers. We do research and then inform and equip at a “grass roots” level though seminars, workshops, speechwriting and articles.
2) What did you join the Fellowship for?
I want to be part of a network of social entrepreneurs with similar visions and passions; to learn from others and share my own experience.
3) In what capacity do you think you could contribute to society/the Fellowship?
From time to time, I do research and publish articles that can be contributed to the library. I very recently won the Financial Times 2012 Research Prize on Global Financial Regulation and I would like to contribute this essay to the library. Also, I have fairly extensive networks and “reach” into marginalised communities which can be made available to other Fellows.
4) What would you change in society given the chance?
Reduce inequality through education, skills and employment.
5) What recent bit of news have you heard which inspires you?
That increasingly, the best universities in the world are offering courses for free online which can be taken by anyone, anywhere in the world. Higher education is being democratised in a very exciting way indeed.
6) What did you learn last week?
I very recently learned that by 2020, there will be a global shortfall of 85 million high and middle skilled workers for the labour market.
7) Tell us about another interesting Fellows you have spoken to.
Only my husband, Alan Smith who is very interesting! He is the Global Head of Risk Strategy at one of the world’s largest banks. He is widely read, very knowledgeable and has always been involved in a number of Not for Profit organisations and think tanks. He also shares my interest in education, skills and employment.
8) What would you like to connect with Fellows about? Please tell us if there is anything you would like from other Fellows
Although Future Think has been running for two years, to date it has been funded through private philanthropy and I am hoping that I am able to learn ways of monetising it effectively so that going forward, it will be self financing and sustainable. I would also like to collaborate where possible with other organisations.