Mindventure: When passion becomes profession
Feeling lost is, somehow, a part of life.
The sense of loss may relate to education, work, or relationship. This feeling often blocks your feeling and emotion.
Back in 2016, this kind of feeling occurred to Kangsom-Chanakarn Kachonseree as well. At that time she was a high school student, the turning point of many aspects of life.
“I didn’t like myself. I thought who I was wasn’t ok. I was different. I wasn’t good enough. Other people didn’t accept me for who I was. Those thoughts kept me in silence. I didn’t really share it with anybody,” she recalled her own story before discovering her turning point by attending a camp implemented deep listening as a main tool. After the camp she felt better. “I learned that listening is a free gift. It’s the skill that is needed and if it can help me, it may work with others too.”
Ever since Kangsom always wants to pass on experience through organizing a camp that uses the same tool, deep listening. During her undergraduate studies she, together with her sister and friends hosted Gen-Mind camps for several times. The camp’s approach is encouraging school students to take better care of their mental health. Continuously, she also founded a coaching club in a university as a space to listen to each other. As she has accumulated her experience on this, she has got a clearer concept about self-knowledge and that inspired her to establish a social enterprise called Mindventure in October 2019.
The main Mindventure Team includes the two siblings Kangsom and Namwarn-Kantaporn Kachonseree. Three lecturers from the Faculty of Psychology, Chulalongkorn University are also the project’s consultants to ensure that Mindventure works theoretically and practically.
When passion becomes profession
When the two sisters take a step forward toward Mindventure, both seek for more knowledge. Kangsom becomes the first Thai group who is a certified teacher for Search Inside Yourself Leadership Program, Google-born mindfulness & Emotional Intelligence Leadership Training while Namwarn has taken courses on Enneagram and Satir so both have many inputs to create suitable modules for the target groups.
If illustrating emotional level in one bar where the left side represents depression and the right side represents the healthy mind, Mindventure’s position is to work with those in the middle to the most-right of the bar.
“We would like to support them to have a healthy mind because there is still a gap when it comes to informal health and selfcare. We try to mitigate their risk to fall into the left part of the graph,” Kangsom explained that Mindventure uses the Department of Mental Health’s evaluation form for pre and post tests. In case the result showed that there is some signal indicating depression, the team would recommend them to consult professionals.
“What we’re doing is about prevention. We try to hit the point. We seek tools that support daily life so that we know what inspires us and what will make that inspiration sustain. We bring you to the root cause,” explained Kangsom.
Everybody Deserves a Healthy Mind
Previously the Mindventure’s target group always focused on high school students. Though adults asked to participate, they were refused due to a concern that it would be difficult to create a safe and comfortable space for both generations. However, at present, the team is interested in expanding the target groups since the sense of loss may not be subject to particular ages.
“People who carry pain of loss may not have the age limit. 25, 35 or even 45 years old could also suffer with this matter, so we tried to think out of the box of the original concept and seek for other possibilities,” Namwarn continued explaining that the cause of feeling of loss may come from the daily routine.
“Students wake up, then go to school, and follow the teachers’ advice. Repeating these activities routinely can be exhausting, similarly to workers whose routines are waking up, eating, working, getting back home to eat, watching series, and sleep,” Namwarn explained while Kaengsom added that surrounding factors are also important. If the relationship with friends or parents is not smooth, it may be easy to feel lost when there is a lack of safe space and do not know who to turn into. Additionally, using social media or consuming media is another important factor affecting mental health. Because consuming such information and spending too much time on a screen could lead to comparing oneself with others. As a consequence, the person may blame oneself for not good enough.
In the past, Mindventure’s workshop collected fees directly from the participants. However, since the team participated in the Youth Co: Lab workshop, the team seeks for ways to provide greater access to join Mindventure.
“We want this kind of learning tool to be accessible to everyone. We don’t want the economic status to be an obstacle so we are searching for new business models.” When Mindventure received funds to test the prototype, one of the findings was that the more expensive the workshop, the less applicants submitted. Not to mention the fact that the team’s attention is to give access to high school students. Therefore, setting a reasonable price is important.
“Now we have a better understanding that our customers and users may be different groups.” The model that high school students do not have to pay is what Kangsom is searching for. “We want to find someone who can sponsor. It could be a company or a person. This is our new task.” she added that perhaps adapting TOMS shoes’ model – every time when someone pays to join the program, there will be a person in need entitled to join the program for free.
Measuring and Evaluating the Effectiveness
After completing the workshop, the participants tend to feel better and more relaxing. These results are assessed through the post-workshop assessment. Additionally, once every three or six months, the team will randomly call former participants to see how they are doing.
“After participating in the Youth Co: Lab workshop, we had another idea for evaluation. We try to adjust our indicator to be more tangible, such as the amount of time spent on the screen,” Kangsom gave an example.
Reaching this point, we wondered how effective the form of workshop be in terms of tackling an issue on self awareness and value of life, “There are many tools that can be further elaborated. We can experiment to create self-learning, or you can set the content and standard for others to use as a teaching manual. ”Kangsom explained that she sees a lot of opportunities, but currently Mindventure is focusing on finding the suitable market, adding that they previously held a camp focusing on building facilitating and deep listening skills that the learners can apply with others.
“In the past when I suffered, I recovered by such methods, I became less suffering. Thus I think to apply such methods with others will be very fruitful. It is an insightful change that works from your mind, affects the perspective one has towards the world and could lead to behavioral change. However, we’re not restricting with only this approach. We are continuity searching for other methods as well. ”Kangsom concluded.