Raúl de Anda and José MedinaPromoting unreasonable projects around the world to free us all from the tyranny of conformity
We’ve tried being reasonable for decades. Take development aid, for example. Millions of people donate billions of dollars to the poorer nations of the world, but the money is often frittered away with no discernible effect.
Which is why Raúl de Anda (above left) and José Medina are taking a completely different approach to social improvement. The two founders of Unreasonable Mexico select people with “impossible” ideas, allocate them mentors with an entrepreneurial background and convince investors to finance these bold schemes.
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Successful, profitable projects include Eneza Education, which improves student learning in rural parts of Africa via smartphones; Solidarium, an online marketplace for Brazilian artisans; and Girl Effect Accelerator, where young women from poor backgrounds can receive training to set up their own businesses.
“We have to be superheroes because the world needs us,” explains de Anda, whose business incubator is just one branch of the global Unreasonable Institute.
Their credo: It’s always been the lateral thinkers, the outsiders and the “mad” scientists who have changed the world for the better, rather than the conformists, the accountants or the pen pushers.
The name of the institute harks back to a famous aphorism from the pen of Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, who wrote, “All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Or, as the late Apple boss Steve Jobs put it in his legendary Think Different campaign: “Here’s to the crazy ones!”