Like many of the world’s greatest ideas, SmallWorld Cambodia was inspired by an informal conversation amongst a few friends at lunch. We talked about the effectiveness of education in Cambodia, which led to a discussion about formal and informal education methods.
During the lunch, SmallWorld co-founder Sakada Sam mentioned the movie Accepted. The film explores the idea that young people excel when given the chance to learn what they are passionate about. This method of education contrasts with most education systems, which treat students as passive receivers of a standardized curriculum. Because of this one-size-fits-all approach to learning, students have become accustomed to passively receiving their education instead of actively seeking it out.
Rithy Thul became interested in Accepted’s educational concepts, and watched the film that night. After finishing it, he watched it again. And again. Over the next few nights he watched it many times, drawing both inspiration and fresh ideas with each viewing. After a few nights of watching, he realized that he could apply the Accepted philosophies to Cambodia. He would build a place for Cambodian students, entrepreneurs, and young people to meet, learn, and work.
At first, many people did not accept Rithy’s ideas. He was, however, able to convince three of his friends to join SmallWorld. A few weeks later, two more young people joined the venture.
In addition to Rithy and Sakada, four other young entrepreneurs are have joined SmallWorld’s staff:
Chhunny was a Buddhist monk for over fifteen years. He graduated with a Bachelor of Buddhist Philosophy in Chiang Mai, Thailand. After his education, he was so keen on seeing solidarity among young Cambodians through the sharing of ideas that he joined SmallWorld. His vision is to share Cambodian culture with the world.
Putheary dreams of owning a food delivery business. He was attracted to SmallWorld’s encouragement of business experimentation and its refining and support of creative ideas.
Sophanna and Hunky are fifth-year electrical engineering students from the Institute of Technology of Cambodia. They have participated in many social activities and share SmallWorld’s vision that socially responsible businesses can improve the educational quality of Cambodian children.
Today, the six entrepreneurs operate SmallWorld Cambodia with the support and encouragement of their friends. Their goal is to provide an environment where the ideas and creativity of young Cambodians are encouraged and refined.
To learn more about the SmallWorld team, visit our team’s information page.