The following article was written for cafebabel.com
“More than 3 million Europeans share a genuine sense of belongingness as part of the Erasmus Generation. This is the number that garagErasmus aims to reunite on their online platform by “checking-in” each and every Erasmus from all corners of Europe while releasing the economic potential behind this professional network that Europe vividly needs. In an interview with Francesco Cappè, Executive Chairman of the garagErasmus Foundation, cafebabel gets an exclusive glimpse of what the future holds for garagErasmus.
SMEs and multinationals around Europe crave for the unique abilities the Erasmus Generation fetched while studying abroad: cultural awareness, multilingualism, adaptability, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. Do they always find them? The answer is no, says Francesco, and we are all losing because of this.
At the same time, the Erasmus Generation actively seeks opportunities and mobility access across Europe e.g. jobs and business opportunities, international business partnerships and projects, in the pursuit of a borderless lifestyle. This gap has been recognised by Francesco and his team, who are now trying to bridge regional needs with European potential through mobility of ideas and skills. Europe needs this new breed of Europeans and they need Europe.
Mobility = Latent Potential of Europe
Freedom and mobility have always been a powerful cornerstone for the European Single Market since its creation. Despite this freedom, only 2% of Europeans live in another Member State than their own. Indeed, the Erasmus Generation encapsulates a powerful potential for Europe’s social, economic and political progress. A professional network of 3 million is an ambitious goal and can only retrieve beneficial results for Europe as a whole, if incentivised smartly.
Meanwhile, it is worth mentioning that less than 1% out of the 24 million students in Europe (2011-2012) get to become part of the Erasmus Generation, every year. The prominent question to be asked is how can we, the Erasmus Generation, mobilise and help make accesible the Erasmus experience to those other 99% of students, every year, to enlarge the Erasmus Generation even more. Imagine the potential and the future of Europe if these numbers would eventually reverse.”