Waclaw Idziak


This profile was prepared when Waclaw Idziak was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Waclaw is introducing a business-oriented way of thinking to the Polish countryside. He is convinced that every village, exactly like a new business venture, needs to define its core competence, and using that, build projects to compete in the global economy. Waclaw believes that although schools and citizen sector organizations can be used as entities to support change in villages, in the era of information and globalization, long-term sustainability can best be assured by setting up business and profit-making activities in which not only companies and individuals compete, but also villages and their inhabitants.
Unlike other organizations that promote prepackaged solutions to combat rural problems, Waclaw uses his multidisciplinary knowledge to empower people to come up with their own ideas for specialized and integrated businesses. Business themes emerge from areas as diverse as culture, manure, sewage systems, renewable sources of energy, religion, food, accommodation, education, tourism, and sport. Waclaw then prompts local professionals, villagers, and schools to create activities that lead to a prosperous theme village–a transformation that boosts village moral, community involvement, and employment. He also creates an effective network of individuals to spread the idea of village specialization practices in other villages and regions.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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