In an era where people are increasingly seeking meaning and purpose in their lives, the concept of personal transformation has taken on a whole new significance. This search for fulfillment has become even more pronounced in the aftermath of the global pandemic, as individuals reflect on their priorities and yearn for a greater impact on the world around them. Personally, I know what that means as I embarked on such a transformative journey called The Moroccan Butterfly in 2016.
The remarkable undertaking of this journey seeded my unwavering dedication to empowering others, inspiring youth, and building sustainable generational projects that transcend the ordinary and create a lasting impact.
As the world grappled with the challenges and uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, people began questioning the true meaning of their lives.
The pursuit of material success alone no longer seemed sufficient; a profound shift in perspective occurred. Individuals sought opportunities to make a genuine difference, to contribute to something greater than themselves. It is within this context that The Moroccan Butterfly journey gained momentum.
As an entrepreneur and engineer, I recognized the growing need for purposeful engagement, particularly among young people. Driven by a deep understanding of the significance of the Industrial Revolution and an unwavering belief in the potential of youth, I embarked on a transformative journey called The Moroccan Butterfly.
This endeavor was born out of a desire to empower and inspire the next generation, to enable them to spread their wings and create lasting positive change. (Spoil alert: I ended up being the one being inspired and transformed)
In the following 7 sections, we will delve into the key takeaways from The Moroccan Butterfly journey, highlighting the transformative power of a career shift, continuous learning, volunteering, and embracing new doors and horizons.
Together, these aspects offer valuable insights and lessons that can inspire us all on our own journeys of personal and professional growth.
Career Shift: Meaning and Purpose
The journey took a transformative turn as I made a profound shift from the corporate world to the realm of civic and social impact. After completing my Master’s degree in Information Systems in 2010 and gaining valuable experience at IBM until 2015, I recognized a burning passion within me – the desire to empower youth and women, promote social entrepreneurship, foster civic engagement, and create sustainable impact.
Driven by this newfound purpose, I courageously redirected my career trajectory, leaving behind the comfort of the corporate sphere to embark on a path dedicated to uplifting communities and effecting positive change in the lives of others.
This career shift proved to be a pivotal moment in my life. It allowed me to align my personal values with my professional endeavors and dive into the profound work of youth and women empowerment, social entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and sustainable impact.
By embracing this new path, I opened doors to meaningful opportunities, allowing me to contribute my skills, experiences, and expertise to causes I deeply cared about. This shift not only broadened my horizons but also ignited a sense of purpose that would drive me throughout this transformative journey.
Volunteering: Words in Works
I wholeheartedly embraced the importance of giving back to society and actively engaged in various impactful volunteer initiatives. These initiatives were an opportunity to showcase The Moroccan Butterfly commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others while further developing my leadership and mentorship abilities.
Starting in 2016, I took on a personal commitment called “100 Blood Donation.” Recognizing the critical need for blood donations, and that money raised could help produce blood, I pledged to donate blood 100 times in my lifetime. This dedication to helping others in need through blood donation not only saved lives but also inspired others to join the cause and contribute to the welfare of their fellow human beings.
In December 2017, I embarked on a heartwarming initiative called “My Happiness is Their Happiness.” On my 30th birthday, I dedicated this special day to orphans, spreading joy and celebrating with them and many closed friends.
This selfless act not only brought happiness to the lives of these children but also inspired others to follow suit and find their own ways to contribute and make a positive impact in their communities. (Grateful to my friends for taking part in this initiative, and so grateful for life for giving me the opportunity to live this day with all the heartwarming moments and feelings)
In June 2018, CitizenUp (Pivot to Elathar) was founded, an intelligent platform that engages citizens and organizations in social and societal actions, challenges, and missions based on their interests and availabilities. This innovative platform connected individuals and entities, empowering them to actively participate in creating positive change within their communities.
By leveraging technology and the power of collective action, CitizenUp facilitated meaningful engagement and fostered a sense of responsibility towards social and societal challenges.
New Doors, New Opportunities
The Moroccan Butterfly’s journey of transformation was marked by the opening of new doors and the discovery of exciting opportunities that propelled the vision forward. Throughout my journey, I was delighted to receive recognition and achieved significant milestones, solidifying my position as an agent of change in different fields.
In 2018, my dedication to civic engagement was acknowledged when I was selected as a US Professional Fellow on Civic Engagement. This prestigious recognition not only validated my expertise and commitment but also opened doors for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and networking with like-minded individuals and organizations passionate about creating positive social change around the world
In 2019, the innovative and impactful work in the entrepreneurial realm led to my inclusion in the prestigious TOP 100 Arab Startups list by the Arab Youth Center. This recognition showcased my approach to entrepreneurship and my ability to drive meaningful outcomes. Being part of this esteemed group of innovators further amplified my influence and provided opportunities for collaboration and partnership within the thriving startup ecosystem.
The same year, Yassine’s commitment to digital content solutions was acknowledged with the Best Digital Content Solution Award. This recognition affirmed my ability to leverage technology and create impactful solutions that resonate with audiences. It highlighted CitizenUp’s mission in harnessing digital platforms to engage and empower individuals, ultimately making a difference in the lives of many.
The Moroccan Butterfly path was not limited to a regional scale. In 2019, I was selected as an Emerging Global Leader through the Atlas Corps Program, which spanned from 2019 to 2021 in California, USA. This prestigious opportunity allowed me to expand my horizons and engage with a global community of changemakers. Through this program, I developed a cross-cultural understanding, expanded my network, and gained invaluable experiences that further enriched my transformative journey.
The year 2022 brought yet another significant recognition for my contributions being selected as a finalist for the Sharjah Government Communication Award. This recognition affirmed my purpose and ability to effectively convey the mission, inspire others, and drive positive change. Being a finalist for this esteemed award positioned my projects as a leading force in the field of communication and further reinforced the impact of their impact.
These notable opportunities and recognitions opened new doors, exposing me to diverse networks, collaborations, and experiences. They not only validated the hard work and dedication but also provided platforms to amplify my message, expand my reach, and forge meaningful partnerships. The commitment to excellence and the relentless pursuit of creating a positive impact allowed me to seize these opportunities and use them as stepping stones toward greater achievements and contributions to society.
Bridging and Connecting the Dots
The Moroccan Butterfly’s transformative journey was characterized by the ability to bridge gaps and connect diverse communities and initiatives, fostering collaboration and synergy. Through my active involvement in various prestigious platforms, I served as a catalyst for change, leveraging my knowledge and influence to create meaningful connections and drive collective progress.
As a member of the Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, I became part of a global network of young leaders committed to making a positive impact in their respective communities. This platform provided me with invaluable opportunities to collaborate with like-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds, share knowledge and experiences, and collectively address pressing global challenges. Being a Global Shaper enabled me to broaden my perspective, tap into global resources, and engage in high-impact projects that transcended geographical boundaries.
My dedication to driving innovation and excellence in the digital realm led him to become an ambassador and judge of the World Summit Award starting in 2019. This prestigious platform recognizes and promotes digital solutions that have a positive impact on society. As an ambassador and judge, I am honored to play a role in evaluating and identifying groundbreaking digital innovations, thus contributing to the global digital transformation and fostering connections between innovators and societal needs.
In recognition of my journey and insight into the entrepreneurial landscape, I was delighted to be a judge for the African Business Heroes program in 2023. This program, initiated by the Jack Ma Foundation, seeks to empower and support African entrepreneurs who are driving sustainable growth and positive change on the continent. As a judge, I evaluated and provided valuable feedback to aspiring entrepreneurs, aspiring to enable them to refine their ideas, strategies, and impact.
Forever a Continuous Learning
The Moroccan Butterfly journey exemplifies the unwavering belief in the importance of continuous learning as a lifelong endeavor. Throughout my transformational path, I embraced the mindset of constant growth, nurturing my learnability and resilience.
In an ever-evolving world, continuous learning is paramount. I recognized that to stay relevant and make a meaningful impact, one must be adaptable and open to acquiring new knowledge and skills. By immersing myself in diverse experiences, I honed my abilities and expanded my horizons. I understood that learning extends beyond formal education and actively sought out opportunities to broaden my understanding of various fields, emerging trends, and innovative practices.
For example as a certified executive coach by Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching, I gain the expertise to guide and empower individuals in their personal and professional growth. With a deep understanding of coaching principles and methodologies, I was able to help different stakeholders to unlock their full potential, overcome obstacles, and achieve their goals, ultimately driving meaningful and sustainable change.
Learnability, the desire, and the ability to learn became a guiding principle for me. I recognized that being receptive to new ideas, embracing challenges, and seeking out new perspectives are essential components of personal and professional growth. By maintaining a growth mindset, I cultivated a passion for learning that fueled my continuous development and allowed me to adapt to changing circumstances and seize new opportunities.
Resilience played a crucial role in The Moroccan Butterfly’s commitment to continuous learning. I understood that setbacks and failures are inherent parts of any journey. Instead of being discouraged by obstacles, I used them as opportunities for growth and learning. With a resilient mindset, I persevered through challenges, learned from setbacks, and emerged stronger and more resilient.
The Process and The Outcomes
The outcomes of The Moroccan Butterfly process have given rise to a range of impactful initiatives that further underscore the commitment to social innovation, sustainable impact, and the empowerment of youth and women.
Impact DOTS is the Sustainable Impact Ecosystem Hub for Social Entrepreneurs, Impact Investors, and Sustainable Leaders to Inspire, Empower, Connect, and Lead.
Atlaspreneur is an Entrepreneurship Map and Entrepreneurs Compass connecting entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors, sharing opportunities, guides, tools, and resources, to Start, Grow, and Scale.
Bahya (Bright in Arabic) is a women empowerment digital platform designed to inspire, encourage, and empower women by showcasing inspiring paths and achievements, supporting women’s initiatives with economic integration opportunities and social inclusion tools, engaging men, and creating resources for healthcare and wellness.
Elathar (Impact in Arabic) is a holistic platform that connects, educates, empowers, and showcases volunteers, impact makers, and organizations for a sustainable impact
These initiatives, along with many others that have emerged from The Moroccan Butterfly process, serve as seeds for The Atlas Eagle, an upcoming 7 years journey that promises to elevate the impact even further. With a focus on empowering individuals and communities,
Last but never Least
The Moroccan Butterfly represents more than just a personal journey; it is a symbol of hope, transformation, and resilience. My vision extends far beyond myself, as I endeavor to create a ripple effect of positive change in the lives of others.
By leveraging my expertise, experiences, and connections, I seek to nurture a generation of young individuals who are driven by purpose, equipped with the skills necessary to navigate the challenges of the modern world, and empowered to shape their own destinies.
“In my Pursuit of Mastery, I am never the Best but always seeking to Be Better”. The Atlas Eagle