The beauty of cinema lies in its ability to transform situations and experiences that would otherwise remain completely alien to the audience, into transcendental, relatable drama.
In some way, social entrepreneurs can relate to this process. To establish a successful business that works towards a social good, they must place themselves in the shoes of those they seek to help, thinking creatively and empathetically to imagine the most innovative, cost-effective solutions to an astonishing variety of problems. In doing so, their ideas bring the previously impossible within reach, and have the potential to transform countless people’s lives and the world in which they live.
We asked the Chivas Venture 2016 alumni to tell us about some of their favourite films and how they’ve been inspired by them.
“Karate Kid!” said Mario Soto, co-founder of Diagnochip. “It shows that with a good leader you can reach your goals even if they seem to be extremely difficult and unachievable.”
“I loved The Theory of Everything,” said Onicio Leal, co-founder and CEO of Epitrack. “The unending passion for science as embodied by Stephen Hawking moved me to tears. I’ve picked up a lot of lessons in those film because I’m a science lover."
“WALL-E is best film ever,” says Edison Santos, founder and CEO of ECO Mensajería, “because of the inconvenient truth it reveals. Watch the movie again, and take note of the elements that compound its key message. WALL-E is a recycler, the last one left after we’ve wasted all of the Earth’s resources, and polluted our environment to the extent that only a handful of the world’s wealthiest humans can save themselves by escaping on a space cruise. They’re all overweight, immersed in their tech devices, losing physical contact with one another by abandoning their reality in favour of a virtual one. All of the future’s products are from the same brand manufacturer, reflecting the risk of monopoly in the markets. And then there’s Eve, whose only mission is to find a tree. Just one tree, because if she finds that it means humans will be able to return to Earth. Do we have to wait to lose the last tree before we understand that we cannot live without the environment? I hope we don’t wait for WALL-E to come true, and that we - the social entrepreneurs - can create a path of success that extends beyond profit margins and achieves sustainable development.”
“Iron Man,” said Jaco Gerrits, CEO of CrashDetech. “I’m a big Marvel fan! The nerd in me is alive and well…” Billionaire Tony Stark builds an armoured exoskeleton to fight crime and injustice in the world. Wealthy vigilante run amok? Or the ultimate social entrepreneur?
Or Retzkin, CEO of EyeControl goes with an audience favourite: “I think my favorite film is The Shawshank Redemption. It’s a great movie that I find deeply affecting in its portrayal of the power of self-belief and hard work – the ending is amazing and the film is packed with phenomenal performances.”
Maria Pacheco, co-founder of Wakami has a couple of favourites: “Pay It Forward shows how each one of us, if we’re inspired to do a little bit for someone else, can be a force for immense positive change in the world! And August Rush is a wonderful portrayal of the guiding voice and gut feeling we each have within us!”
MotionECO founder Shutong Liu finds inspiration in 1995’s Best Picture Academy Award winner: “For me, Forrest Gump is a life-affirming love letter to dedication.”
Habitec co-founder Felisberto Capamba picks Oliver Stone’s 1987 cautionary tale for business enthusiasts: “Wall Street is a warning about power and greed, as well as a good example of how a unique person can engender big changes in people’s lives.”
Charles Blaschke, MD of Taka Solutions picks a modern sci-fi classic: “Interstellar. It is a realistic yet imaginative movie that shows the sacrifices people will make for a greater good, along with the amount of hard work that’s possible when you believe in something... or someone!”
A heartwarming tale of perseverance from LocalAlike founder Pai Boonkam: “I Am Sam is the only film that has ever tempted me into a cinema; it’s a really moving story about never giving up hope.”
WeFarm CEO and founder Kenny Ewan chooses something that offers a bit of light relief: “The Big Lebowski. It’s smart, funny and has been with me through different phases of my life. Not matter how many times I see it, it still makes me laugh.”
Follow @ChivasVenture on Twitter for all the news from the Accelerator Week, highlights from the competition, and the latest stories, ideas and individuals that are helping to shape our future.
No endorsement or association is meant between those featured in this article and Chivas.