Autopoiesis is a term that comes from the Ancient Greek and could be translated as self-creation and generally refers to a system that is able to self-maintain itself. In other words, it can be used to talk about complex groups of elements in which each part is widely connected to the others, creating functional and distributed network. This is the model that the Junior Enterprise movement aims to achieve for its own network. The junior enterprises must organise themselves whilst instances such as national confederations and regional federations develop and represent them.
The development of the network is central for the movement since it consolidates its expansion and the sharing of ideas among junior entrepreneurs. It is known that if a network closes, it disappears, so we have a shared responsibility of keeping this network connected and stimulating this knowledge exchange. This is even more important in countries where the junior enterprises are still not very mature in order to consolidate their presence, their impact and their contact with the rest of the world.
The exchange of ideas promoted by the connection of our network can also contribute a lot for local innovation. Not only the junior enterprises, but also the national confederations can contribute for a more connected network, facilitating the cooperation between the junior enterprises with each other and with external agents. Besides the confederations, the Junior Enterprise Global Council itself is also important to promote this sharing of knowledge by its international programs such as the Junior Enterprise World Day (JEWD), the Exchange Program and the Junior Enterprise World Conference (JEWC).
In the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals; is the most detailed and complex in its content when compared to the others, since it aims to bind them. Somehow the success of the other Goals is related to this SDG that aims to create partnerships for to promote the global development by 2030. Thus, the Junior Enterprises Network can play an important role in this effort to achieve the Goals, since the strength of the network can create partnerships among the Junior Enterprises as well as with other public and private organisations.
As it was said, the National Confederations are quite important to lead the partnerships to promote the development brought by the Junior Enterprises. This sharing of ideas and resources increases as the network is developed. The confederations must cherish the autopoietic network and ensure that the junior enterprises in a certain country will not be isolated from the rest, maintaining the reach and the diversity of the junior enterprise movement.
Junior Enterprises national confederations are already delivering great achievements to reach this goal. An example of this is the partnership led by the Moroccan confederation (CJEM) with the Moroccan Consular Corps that will facilitate the economic and entrepreneurial relations of the organisation at an international level what will be useful for the African Caravan project to spread the JE concept to the rest of the continent. Another one is the Entrepreneurial Universities Index to analyse and monitor the innovative practices in Brazilian Universities, which was created by the Brazilian National Confederation (Brasil Júnior), in partnership with other student organisations.
If we really want to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, we should strive to have more mature national networks, with active national confederations, and JEs that are truly connected to each other. Today our movement counts with 17 national confederations and we are working hard to achieve 25 by 2021 and ensure that 70% of them will perform at a good maturity level.
The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to make the difference around the world. We believe that by the connection with other partners and with each other we can collaborate and give a significant contribution to humankind. The creations of new confederations will strength our network as well as the projects led by the Junior Enterprise Global Council to promote this close contact and the unity by diversity. With a global mindset, the junior entrepreneurs must cherish the network synergy and understand the importance of every single piece in this project to build a better world. Like in an autopoietic system, this dream was co-created by our own network that hopefully will be able to maintain it, since it is the strength of our network itself that puts all our junior enterprises on the move.
Photo Credits: CNJE