“I can’t do it!” often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of underprivileged teenagers

The goal of the Berlin-based social startup VENSENYA is to change the mindset of underprivileged youth from a negative rhetoric into a positive one. The thought is that when a person decides in their head that they can’t accomplish something, they won’t.

The goal of VENSENYA is to encourage those who doubt themselves to reframe the way in which they think. This is done by edutainment, where role-models show teenagers what can happen and in turn teenagers start seeing a challenge they can overcome instead of a problem with no way out.

VENSENYA understands that it is easier for teenagers to engage through familiar channels such as Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube where they can access interviews, blogs and even web series while sharing their own excitement for the brand #kämpfergeist which means “fighter spirit”.

This unique ability allows the teens to share their own stories which is one of the best ways to encourage positive actions.

Scene of two brothers who are the heroes of the webseries - and thereby act as role-models

Scene of two brothers who are the heroes of the web series – and thereby act as role-models

Mindset can make or break a person

Recently Aazer sat down with Simon Turschner the founder of VENSENYA to find out more about his social business that would be changing the mindset of teenagers.  

For Simon life has led him to where he needs to be and it has been a rewarding experience.

At first, he was happy studying Molecular Biotechnology and doing cancer research quite successfully. “I really liked it, and I was successful also. But I didn’t want to be in the lab my whole life, that was not my passion,” said Simon.

But when the opportunity came at Teach First Deutschland he jumped at the chance and for two years Simon worked in a low-income community school. Simon was driven by the desire to change the education system to be fairer and at the same time learn leadership skills in this very challenging environment.

According to Simon, the one difference holding underprivileged kids back is mindset. “In these two years, I experienced that the core problem for these underprivileged kids, besides everything else, is their mindset “.

He then added, “They tended to come from a belief system where they thought they would never be able to get ahead, that they were not good enough. It was a vicious cycle that they themselves believed was true. Eventually, it becomes true when those negative words keep circling around a person’s head. ” 

That’s when Simon felt it was his time to give back to his community since he was lucky enough to live a life of privilege. From that point, Simon started his journey working on VENSENYA

Presentation at Falling Walls Lab in Berlin as innovator of the year finalist 2014

Presentation at Falling Walls Lab in Berlin as innovator of the year finalist 2014

Passion can turn mindset around

The idea was that once the underprivileged youth was able to reframe their thinking into a positive, I can do it attitude they were often able to turn around their academics.

That was when Simon used his passion for media to help transform others. He went this route because it would be easily accessible to the masses out there, not just a person here and there.

He was inspired by a telenovela out of Mexico in the 70s that had the ability to reach the masses with entertainment–education. It snowballed because it was cost effective and had the ability to reach thousands of people quickly that were inspired to sign up to literacy courses.

It is all about people finding a connection with inspiring stories and people that influence others in a positive way. The mindset of those who struggle is channeled in a more positive way and that in itself brings on the difference, helping change occur.

Simon (middle) and his VENSENYA teammates Anette and Timon

That is where VENSENYA came into play

Various key players from the youth to the script writer, filmmakers, and even a coach worked together to bring about the perfect ideas that would cause the mindset of the youth to change into a more positive outlook.

To do this they made sure that their web video series is something that would catch the attention of the young people. Bringing young people into the collaboration piece ensured that it would turn the heads of other youth and create interest among them.

Hopes for VENSENYA

The goal is that this starts a firestorm which passes the value onto others by sharing the way it works and how it can help turn around communities that are struggling.

It only takes one person and one idea to change the world in a positive way and this can help to positively inspire many people to think in a light that will help them become stronger. By becoming stronger in their visions of themselves and what they can do by channeling positive energy.

The hope is that they can encourage others to do the same. They will do this by using the phrase #kämpfergeist which means fighter spirit and the hope is that it will ignite allowing others to pass it along through their network of friends.

The goal is to empower as many people as possible.

There is going to be a website, but it is more of a fluid network that can be passed along through all the different methods of social media. The goal is to encourage people to allow their mind to flow into a positive place so that they can and will accomplish anything they go after.



Simon Turschner

Founder & CEO of VENSENYA

Berlin, Germany


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