IMG_1659Today’s world is facing a host of social challenges and problems that simply cannot be ignored. As students, we are aware that we must not be passive observers of what is happening around us, but we need to use our energy and ideas to improve the quality of life in our community. Social issues such as unemployment, poverty, a gap between the rich and the poor cannot be fully addressed without the cooperation of all stakeholders. Furthermore, young people should be the initiators of positive social changes and equal participants in solving problems in their community. One of the major social problems faced by almost all countries is the insufficient inclusion of people with certain behavioral disorders, and the same applies to Croatia. The awareness of this problem prompted us to launch a business venture that would contribute to the inclusion of such persons, but also address other important challenges such as ecological disposal of used furniture and prolonging its life. People with certain behavioral disorders are often younger, so we believe that this proposed venture recognizes their needs and provides activities that are aimed at solving their problems.

Social need recognized by this venture is the inclusion of persons with behavioral disorders, or more specifically, people with Down syndrome. In addition to the social inclusion of persons with Down syndrome, proposed venture addresses another important challenge and that is ecological disposal of furniture and extending the life of that furniture. The inclusion will be achieved in a way that we will employ work instructors who will train persons with Down syndrome to perform specific tasks such as honing the furniture, cutting the materials, working at a cash register, etc. In such way, persons with Down syndrome will be able to generate economic as well as social benefits, and contribute to the development of their local community. Prospective international dimension of this venture relates to including designers from foreign universities to visit our town and participate in a design camp. The intention is to organize design camp as an annual event that will bring together foreign designers and our employees in workshops related to new trends in design and furniture transformation. Besides, the goal is to make this business model replicable on an international level. Since the problem of inclusion of persons with behavioral disorders is widely spread, we believe that this venture has the potential to address this issue in other communities as well.