Niels Bailleul - Didici
Niels Bailleul - Didici
Describe yourself and your project. How did you get the idea?
I have since a few years back had an urge to help people in general. The project, Didici, gives the opportunity to achieve this by establishing a tuned variant of SI (Didici-method) at lower secondary school. This method maximizes the pupils as a learning/teaching resource and creates the leaders of tomorrow. The idea at first came to my friend as he was to decide what to do on his masters project. The organization is nonprofit.
Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.
I am a civil engineering student at masters level, Lund University, faculty of engineering. Besides my studies, I have for the last 3 years been working as an SI-mentor. SI is a method specialized for universities, which focuses on the group rather than individual students and the aim for the mentor is to guide the group to solve problems. As a person I am purpose-driven, ambitious and have a dedication to make a difference.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
I will try to develop the method and wrap the whole project and organization into a nice package. What we strive for is to build capacity by marketing, recruiting and refining and investigating the best methods for the program to work in lower secondary school. The time will be spent by doing classical entrepreneurial activities such as marketing, meetings with investors and such. Investigations of other markets which fulfill the purpose should also be done.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
The aim is to have an organization and a method which is fully capable of starting a Swedish school revolution. The goal is to have started a program at several other schools, have some funding ready and have the human capital required to run these programs both in short and long terms. Other areas of interest might be using Didici methods for other partners, for instance nonprofit associations.
Niels Bailleul - Didici #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
At my first day, I and my colleague went to Social Innovation Day in Malmö to pitch our idea. This led to a meeting with a potential cooperation partner, to whom I wrote an extensive suggestion of cooperation. I have worked on financing and our internal and external methods. I have also worked on our model, adding competence in the field of Supplemental Instruction. I have investigated our internal methods and started to develop marketing, our organization etc. Our team was also gathered to discuss our values.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
Most parts has gone according to the plan. Social Innovation Day had a huge positive outcome which included acquiring Per Eriksson to our Advisory Board. The meeting with the potential partner also had an unexpected outcome as we were just to discuss what we could get from each other – the request of a cooperation offer was a positive surprise. What has been harder than expected is to stay in and get contact with teachers and such, of course due to vacations but that effect may have been a bit underestimated.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
As it seems now, I will follow the original plan of investigating and developing our methods in order to build capacity. We want to grow this fall and need financing and human resources. What has changed is that there are a couple of meetings in August with potential schools. Depending on the outcome of those, I might have to write some project plans, applications for funding and such. However, part of the summer plan is to create some of those formulations in general terms.
Niels Bailleul - Didici #3
How did you experience the three months?
It has been a very exciting, inspiring and challenging period. I had little experience in innovation, start-ups and entrepreneurship before summer so this has really opened up my eyes to a new world. This opportunity has developed me a lot as a person which should not be underestimated in an organization which try to inspire education and change some of their basic assumptions about students. To work full-time with the project has been valuable for Didici as well in order to build capacity and develop our models.
What has been hardest/most enjoyable?
The hardest part has also been the most enjoyable. To be your own boss and decide what to do, when to do it and how to do it is challenging, meanwhile being one of the highlights with working as an entrepreneur. To prioritize tasks and know what things are right to do has been the hardest part while having the freedom to choose has been the most enjoyable.
Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?
Yes, I believe it did. The result of my work has not been totally in line with my own expectations, however the personal development and what has happened within the organization has far exceeded my expectations. For example our model feels much more scalable and it seems more likely to reach financial sustainability. I will continue, at least about 5 hrs/week, however if the opportunity exists financially I will work part or full time.
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
The value of always adapting your work to existing conditions – and in order to do that, you must know the existing conditions. How do I feel today? What is important, personally? What is important, in terms of work? Which tasks are urgent? Reflect and adapt your work to how you feel and which tasks are important/has to be done. And to try to have a long-term perspective in these questions.
Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?
Try to do the right things rather than things right. Think about what can build your capacity as an entrepreneur and in your product/organizations. Work in cycles – in your product testing, in your tasks. Do not only focus on your product and organization, but also in the development of yourself. Find your strengths and how to maximise yourself, reflect a lot and take some external advice for example in literature. This will make you a great asset to your organization and product.