As you know that my tenure as president of OPEN Islamabad is ending today. The role was challenging but I enjoyed it thoroughly and tried my best to do justice with my role.
I always keep the vision and mission of the organization written in front of me so that I can keep myself aligned to them. I am sharing OPEN Islamabad's vision and mission with you here. Our vision is "To foster the entrepreneurial culture in Pakistan" and mission "By providing a platform for Pakistani ENTREPRENEURS and PROFESSIONALS to connect, network, collaborate, mentor and support each other."
My high level goals were to set up effective collaborations & partnerships, hold high-quality events, improve online presence, to do effective marketing, and strengthen the organization. The sole purpose of doing this all was to create value for our esteemed members and community. You can check individual details in each area below.
Collaborations & Partnerships
Improved Online Presence
From May 2018 to April 2020, OPEN Islamabad has organized 39 events in total - summary of these events is as follows:
Partnering with Jazz and Code for Pakistan, valuing the significance of what diverse teams of mindful individuals, who are concerned about the problems that they encounter, witness or at least acknowledge the existence of at national level, we co-organized 2 hackathon events, in the years 2018 and 2019. These hackathons revolve around SDG (Sustainable Development Goals), and are almost a 2-day activity, starting from a Friday, where participant teams are given around 48 hours to come up with problem statements and design a possible, feasible and doable solution. In the end, these solutions are pitched to a panel of expert judges, who evaluate and choose the best three solutions which are rewarded with respective cash prizes. Meanwhile, the participants are guided by various mentors and industry guests who help them shape their ideas into workable products and services.
Twice in the period of 2 years (2018-2019), more accurately just 2019, all the Charter Members of OPEN Islamabad were invited over a dinner table, like a family, to just sit and chat. These dinners, somewhat like the networking events, did not have any agenda specifically, but unlike the networking events, had a very focused attendance, with a very precise common meaning, the aim and motive of OPEN Islamabad’s growth and success. Consequently, the discussions at these dinners roamed around the questions “where are we?” and “where do we want to be?”. Having discourse around these questions at an informal setting like a dinner table provides the right amount of structurelessness for creativity and ideas to seep in.
Peshawar has rather been unfortunate in terms of opportunities in the IT sector, which is why we never wanted to let the students of Peshawar deprived of the exposure that they not only deserve but can actually play a role in terms of their growth and success. With Fahad Aziz, Technology leader from Silicon Valley US and others from Pakistan on board with us, OPEN Islamabad, hand in hand with the FAST-NU Peshawar Campus, conducted the 1st Technology Summit Peshawar. The summit emphasized on the importance of a need to build solutions that can not only solve local but global problems. Experts talked about their journey of technological innovation and guided attendees on how they can become a catalyst for change.
Date: 06 Oct 2019
Venue: FAST-NU, Peshawar
No. of Attendees: 70+
With the idea that your network is in fact your net worth, Networking Events is a flagship series of events to gather the professionals from the twin cities at one place, over a hi-tea, with one and only one agenda, to network! People just walk in and interact with each other, discussing ideas and talking about their individual careers, businesses and work-related progresses and forming new bonds and reviving the old ones. The concept of a community, as OPEN Islamabad sees it, is being there for each other, and enabling people to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of others just because of the mutual association with OPEN Islamabad is an effort to empower this community. The summary of the networking events held in the last 2 years is as follows.
No. of Events: 5
Venue: Cafe 1969, Islamabad
No. of Attendees: 430
16th Networking Event - Oct 18th, 2019
15th Networking Event - July 19th, 2019
14th Networking Event - March 29th, 2019
13th Networking Event - Oct 26th, 2018
12th Networking Event - July 18th, 2018
Annal Forums are the big deal. Every year, the team of OPEN Islamabad brainstorms ideas to come up with a theme that resonates the most current issue that concerns the entrepreneurs, businesses and professionals at that time, and then executes a conference - consisting of keynote addresses, panel discussions and speeches to provoke thoughts and actions that are needed for the emergence of entrepreneurship within the society.
This event brought together professionals from both the Public and Private sectors who helped establish a networking platform and look into collaborative efforts to be the existing governance systems. Business leaders and government officials shared their insight about Bridging the gap between Public & Private sector initiatives, Enhancing Private sector involvement in Public services, and Creating opportunities for sustainable growth. The event comprised a series of motivational talks, panel discussions as well as an excellent opportunity to network.Theme: Entrepreneurs & Government
Pakistan 2020 & Beyond specifically highlighted the significance of the upcoming global trends and their effect on entrepreneurial ventures in Pakistan. The aim was to gather the brightest minds in Islamabad and start a journey towards global successes and achievements. Professionals from various sectors attended the event i.e. Technology, Tourism, e-Commerce, Digital Media, Real Estate & Food Business and initiated a discussion of where Pakistan stands at the beginning of this new decade and what opportunities and challenges the future holds for us.Theme: Pakistan 2020 & Beyond
I would like to thank all the Board Members, Charter Members, VPs, Volunteers, Speakers, Sponsors, Partners and Community members for their continued support throughout the tenure. There is obviously more to come, as the time goes on and we keep growing as a community and as an enabler for entrepreneurs and professionals to develop themselves and scale their successes to greater horizons. We hope that we all survive these hard times, given the COVID-19 situation, and rise back with greater opportunities at hand and greater potential to benefit from them.
If you have any feedback, comments or suggestions, feel free to reach me out at farrukh[@]discretelogix[dot]com Cheers!