HERO SOCIETY's Marcell "MC" Heinrich and Michael "Mitch" Senf started from the idea that kids and teenagers develop professional and economically-relevant skills through practical learning in subcultural contexts (like hiphop, breakdance and others).
HERO SOCIETY has been established in 2015 and draws from the experiences of Eduventis – Bildung erleben e.V., an educational start-up founded in 2006 in Saxony, Germany. Today, MC, Mitch and the team together with 35 HEROES help kids, teenagers and young adults harness their passions and grow them into real chances: Hero Society reassures them of what they are capable of, encouraging them to explore and experiment, to believe in themselves and to become actors that creatively shape the environment they live in.
Working with HEROES, the organization aims to offer role models to young people that support and inspire them on their way of becoming adults. Rather than working with a fixed set of activities that prescribe what is to be deemed 'useful', Hero Society creates the structures that kids and teenagers are free to utilize for their own development. They support and make use of what young people are concerned about and interested in, engaging with and fostering their passions. They support young people in expressing themselves, for instance through rap, hip hop, breakdance, artistry and graffiti.
HERO SOCIETY also offers trainings for teachers and instructors in companies to open new ways of understanding daily challenges young people are coping with, their passions and their needs in terms of professional career-perspectives. They offer courses to understand youth culture – rules, dress codes and language and introduce how a conscious communication can nurture the work with young people. HEROES offer to share their knowledge, talents and passion. They are artists, professional educators or pedagogues and also entrepreneurs and business leaders or business consultants who want to share and teach.
While the mission is to enable young people to strive for their maximum potentials, the organization intends to integrate that work into a broader HERO-based framework in the long run. That means that all activities feed into what they call the "HERO ACADEMY" – a meeting space for those that enable, those that wish to be enabled, those that already received support and those that look for fruitful exchange on their pathway.
HERO SOCIETY helps us think about two key dimensions of social enterprises: how individuals and organizations can generate an impact in broader society, and how existing resources and structures can be used to build new ones.
Transferring values from organizations to broader society
HERO SOCIETY is an association of people that wants to generate an impact that goes beyond their work with individual young people and make a difference in society more broadly. They help kids and teens become adults who, in turn, also contribute to building communities that empower – rather than restrict – others to positively shape the environment they live in.
Building on existing resources
Rather than building up an alternative or parallel model to existing structures and redirecting interests of young people, HERO SOCIETY builds on what is there – such as organizational structures (schools, youth centers) and human potentials (interests, skills). By bringing together people and enabling them to grow together, they generate outcomes that would not have been possible to reach by each actor alone.
With this, HERO SOCIETY provides us with an opportunity to think about how social enterprises can make a contribution and a difference in society more broadly and what they do alter in order to create impact that spreads and multiplies over time.
Watch them dance:
Watch their hiphop workshop:
More info: http://hero-society.org/