Updated: 16/12/2017

Solution provider

Backstage is a Brussels based non-profit organization that develops an innovative, intergenerational and participatory social network to connect young people and their local professional environment

The challenge we want to solve

The information secondary school students receive about careers is too narrow. Too many young people are unaware of the wide range of occupations and careers that they might consider, which is accentuated by a social-economic bias regarding career possibilities. We believe that schools do not work well enough with professionals to provide their students with direct experience of the world of work, which would help to broaden students’ minds about possible future employment.

Our solution

We want to facilitate the connection of young people in search of career guidance with professionals from various backgrounds through a participative social network adapted to the current modes of communication of young people.

We develop a social network allowing any young person to interact with professionals who are willing to share their experience and to help them in their questioning. This social network is oriented around a gallery of witnesses who present in writing or video their profession through a typical day, their career and their training. The user can access the profiles using a search engine based on classic entries (job name, sector, skill, etc.) or on elements more in connection with the life experience beyond the job description such as the user centers of interest. The goal is to stimulate the navigation of young people through different professional profiles even when they are lacking in inspiration and do not know what to look for precisely.

Through the social network, we want to facilitate the organization of in-person or virtual meetings to inspire students and stimulate their motivation. The social network is also the means to expand each student's network beyond the family and school spheres and to help break the socio-economic partitioning.

A systemic change

We want to change the way we look at career information by “crowdsourcing” the diversity of careers that exist at local level and to make a stronger link between personal interests and career in order to change the way young people think about their future. We have the ambition to create local communities of organisations working in the field of career orientation to pool resources, scale quickly and increase our common outreach. 

The team

Backstage core team is composed of 3 experienced professionals with complementary profiles:

  1. Didier has almost 10 years of experience working in career orientation associations, including 5 as managing director 
  2. Julien is an entrepreneur who created his own software company 10 years ago and now employs >15 developers in Belgium and Poland 
  3. Thomas worked for 5 years in small software organisations and now works as a consultant advising corporations on their digital transformations

We also work closely with Belgian associations, incl. SpeedSharing which organises in-person events with students and professionals using Backstage network, and the CEDIEP which helps us to administrate the social network.

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