#beameta: Going the Extra Mile For the Community Good
Following the Best Practices in Corporate Sustainability 2021 live stream event, held by The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services this 09th December 2021, we felt compelled to renew our call to supporting and changing communities for the better. This is an interview initially published this November 2021 in the Community Index 2021 Magazine and occasioned by the Gold Recognition presented to METAMINDS for one of the company’s CSR projects called “Recycle for Education, Not Only for Nature”.
Giorgia Bordusanu, METAMINDS COO, highlights the concrete actions the company took in 2021 to support education and local communities when needed most.
1. Last year, you launched #beameta, a CSR platform dedicated to everybody who aspires to self-improve. How have you selected the stories of those who exceeded their limits for the common good?
Giorgia Bordusanu: The #beameta social responsibility platform is an initiative which expresses the philosophy and values of the brand through stories and real characters who exceed their limits and overcome their own fears, thus being able to rediscover new territories of inner force.
During the selection process of the stories that qualified as #beameta, we wanted to highlight, in every one of those, the boldness and the courage within the “inner hero” in the spotlight, that one that went beyond the comfort zone and off the beaten track, to create their own way, guided by personal values and objectives, and in spite of social norms. We have always searched for pioneers, brave individuals willing to push their personal barriers in order to achieve their goals.
Those who have started the#beameta story series were Vlad Pop, a young man from Cluj who, after he had volunteered for a very long time for MagiCAMP, chose to run across the globe to raise funds for the education of children with oncologic diseases, and Adi Bulboaca, a photographer who stood out through theater photography and the documentation of symbol events for the Romanian culture, such as the Sibiu International Theater Festival. However, what caught our attention in Adi was the fact that although he is already a professional, he constantly reinvents himself, he tests, rediscovers himself and always has the courage to walk on new paths.
Through the #beameta platform, we intend to help those who help others, those who exit their comfort zone in order to expand their horizons. More specifically, the ones promoted through our platform are those who share the METAMINDS values, namely transformation, collaboration and generating added value.
2. During the lockdown, you have quickly acted in a creative way in order to support the health system. How did you choose the projects through which you have provided aid for the society in those moments?
Giorgia Bordusanu: During that period when fear and confusion were a daily occurrence, we decided to turn our attention to those who managed to overcome these emotions and limits, giving up their own comfort to help the rest of us. They are the policemen who are on the streets daily, making sure of the fact that we respect the rules imposed by the pandemic, for our own protection; the ambulance drivers and staff who are in the front line of intervention; the SMURD teams who are on alert in order to intervene in any crisis situation or emergency generated by the new coronavirus, besides their usual duties. They are the anonymous heroes of our days. Those who put their own health at risk daily, in order for all of us to regain ours as soon as possible.
We have decided to help those who try to help us. The Radauti Hospital was, at that time, one of the few units in the front line involved in fighting the new coronavirus, which has managed not to register any infection case among medical staff. However, the situation had become critical and the need for aid immediate. We were impressed by the courage and ability of those doctors who put their elementary fears beside, in order to help the patients who got there in critical condition, patients redirected from a region which was among the most affected at that time, namely Suceava. We have done the same thing for the doctors from the “Grigore Alexandrescu” Emergency Clinical Hospital too, to whom we provided a part of the protection equipment they needed.
Furthermore, through a partnership with KAIAMO, a very special restaurant in Bucharest, our company and other private and public donors made possible for over 12,000 lunch meals to be prepared and sent out to the front line heroes: employees of the District 1 Local Police, the SMURD Foundation and the Otopeni Border Police personnel.
3. Ecological education is a real need in Romania. In 2020, through your CSR projects, you have connected two extremely important subjects: the awareness of the need for selective waste collection and the involvement in education. Tell us a bit about this initiative and the achieved results.
Giorgia Bordusanu: The technological development accelerated by the pandemic has put many areas of activity in a tight corner, and education is one of them. There are many children who can’t afford a tablet or a laptop, some of them do not even have a phone. For these children, access to online school is impossible, and without education, their future is threatened. At the same time, according to the numbers published by the United Nations in 2018, there are 11.2 billion tons of waste produced globally every year, which contribute to approximately 5% of all the global greenhouse gas emissions. Given these statistics, governments of great nations from the entire world prioritize the development of selective waste collection and recycling programs.
So METAMINDS joined forces, hearts and minds with “Floare de Colt”, a foundation created by “Mihai Viteazul” National College in Bucharest. Together, we identified and applied a solution to both the education and recycling vulnerabilities, having as final beneficiary a village school in a disadvantaged rural area Buzau.
The meta high school students have collected and recycled materials under the umbrella of a gamification app, and their motivation was related to the fact that there is a double benefit of the project:
#1 – they are doing something pragmatic for environmental protection and they set an example of good practice for the young people across the entire country;
#2 – their voluntary action has a major impact on the lives of children from the same generation, but who, unlike them, don’t have the same level of access to education tools.
4. What are your expectations from the NGOs that would look to become your partners in future CSR projects? In which directions do you think it is necessary for you to get involved in?
Giorgia Bordusanu: Education is one of the social pillars in which METAMINDS will seek to increasingly get involved in, because of the strong connection between the company’s field of activity and young people: those who need technology the most in order to grow and become future initiators of new projects with a role in development and innovations – the future meta.
5. What are the Sustainable Development Goals around which METAMINDS will concentrate their efforts for the next two years?
Giorgia Bordusanu: We strongly believe that, by supporting education, we can actively contribute to society’s progress, and that is why we want, on the long term, to develop a community of professional young people with an innovative, out-of-the-box mindset.
Furthermore, we want METAMINDS to become an important pillar in the RDI area, by contributing to the number of local experts in research and project development, whose work and vision can be applied both in Romania and internationally.