Iulia Mugescu/Co-Founder Younited Cultures
TF: What is Younited cultures about?
We founded Younited Cultures from the need to identify successful stories of immigrants and to be able to transmit these stories into society.
We want to achieve two goals:
- to raise the overall image of immigrants and showcase the added value they bring to society
- to help immigrants to replicate these success stories
We thought of a way to tackle this need in a non political and non intrusive way, but make it beautiful and elegant as Austrians like to see it. This is why we worked on product innovation.
We started to collect stories and translate these stories into scarf designs.
We identify successful migrants. For every culture we choose one immigrant whose story we think is most easy to be replicated.
This immigrant will work together with an Austrian designer to make a concept for a scarf that would then represent elements and symbols of their lives and cultures. The scarves are sold via our website. Part of the money we generate is used for events and initiatives to have an impact on groups of immigrants, culture after culture.
We want to combine beauty and fashion with a direct impact on society.
The reason why we choose immigrants is because my partner and I are coming from Romania and we are immigrants ourselves and we can relate to many of the issues out there from personal experience.
TF: How do you think our work or work for young people will look like within the next 10 years?
I´m 25 years and started my working career 7 years ago. I´m part of the generation Y that doesn´t care much about the cultural background but more about the delivery, keeping promises and having the same set of values. We feel we are entitled to a purpose in our work and want to have a workplace in which we are appreciated for the value that we bring. This is the trend of the generation Y but also a trend that drives immigration.
I also think that in the future the setup of teams will be different than it is today. The person who is managing the team and is the decision maker, as it is now, will be a designated person within the team to coordinate the administration and the meeting points, so that everyone will be able to use their strengths in the team and to contribute to the decision.
TF: What are the challenges?
Austria for example is very institutionalized. In order to bring innovations to work you have to have a lot of proof. One challenge is to collect data about how working in a creative space, working in mixed teams really brings more advantages than disadvantages and to present these data to the institutionalized offices.
Another challenge that I see is that the work of the future is for extroverts. It might be challenging for introverted people, who don´t necessarily want to bring their personal life to work. So we have to find a way how to also take care of the needs of the introverts during the process of creating these mixed teams.
The transition from the traditional manager to a manager that sees his role focused on fostering the team environment rather than in executing his decisions is a process we have to undergo as well.
TF: What are the borders that need to be dissolved?
Relating to our project I think that all borders are personal borders. I see so many conflicts in the world and I keep thinking, that the whole world is just as strong as its weakest link. A lot of the motivation behind wars and conflicts are personal borders that were not dissolved.
Tolerance and understanding are definitely borders that need to be dissolved.
Other borders that are still intact are the borders between nations. Here I don´t only see it from the cultural or political but from the economic aspect. The preconception of who with who should do business is still very strong.
We still have lot of work to do on the topic of how we pass on information and how we make sure that information reaches the people it was meant for, especially in a world so diverse and where immigrants mix with locals in proportions between 18 and 49 percent.
TF: What is your vision?
We want to live in a world where our background is not necessarily a prerequisite for our way to success. In a world in which every person that has a talent has the opportunity to focus on that talent and to bring value with it. This is why in our project, Younited cultures, we are focusing on the most important mental border that people have: we all have a formulation in our heads that tell us the way we were raised, the country we were born into, the economic environment we come from, prevents us to achieve certain goals.
We want to change this process and transform the thinking process to overcome those obstacles and make it possible for the mind to set the goals according to our wishes and dreams and not according to what would has been expected from us based on our background.