Franco Mosso Cobián: Promoting Leadership for Transcendent Education in Peru
Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hey, gang! Spiffy here, back with the scoop on the changemaking leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Franco Mosso Cobián, co-founder and CEO of Enseña Perú. Let’s see what he is doing to make a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Franco! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through your organization?
Franco: Glad to be with you! You know, Spiffy, I daydream about the day when every single student in Peru can learn with happiness, and grow into an amazing caregiver, changemaker, citizen, and community member. Sadly, we are still far away from that dream. But we will get there. I'm convinced it's a matter of perseverance, creativity, and effort. To get to the dream, you need all leaders in a community working collectively on behalf of their kids. You need the teacher leader, the parent leader, the school principal leader, the community leader, and of course, the student activist! So my organization partners with communities to find, inspire, and connect their own leaders so that they create new solutions in education that change the lives of thousands of kids.
Spiffy: I love that! What motivates you to tackle this challenge?
Franco: When I think of my motivation to do my work, Spiffy, I imagine a blue-colored fire inside of me that allows me to do my best effort every day. That fire is still alive because of four ways in which I live my life: the first one is indignation, because I still see so many kids who grow up afraid to be their wonderful selves. The second one is memory, because I remember that my great-grandmother came from humble origins in the jungle of Peru, where kids do not have great education, yet. The third one is community, because my wife, my daughter, and my doggy support my work. And the fourth one is inspiration, because I've learned to value the little and the big victories along the way. A victory is when a student thrives in life.
Spiffy: Wow—you are so passionate about your work! How would you describe the impact of your work?
Franco: Well, Spiffy, I'm happy to report that we are closing in on the dream. Through our leadership programs we have discovered hundreds of local leaders who got a life-long dose of inspiration to bring the best education ever to Peru. Ninety percent of them keep working alongside others to create amazing solutions for our kids in 20 regions of our country. After our programs, they continue the mission as teachers, principals, business people, entrepreneurs, government officials, and amazing community leaders, caregivers or student activists. Through them, we have directly impacted over 50,000 students with a great and happy education. Some regions have taken Enseña Perú solutions and scaled them to potentially reach seven hundred thousand students!
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent milestone/initiative by you or your organization. What impact does that make?
Franco: I'll share something very close to my heart, which is our National Student Leadership System. For so many decades, only adults could give their opinion about how to fix education, and students were kept in a passive role, in classrooms and outside of them. Our system seeks exactly the opposite. We seek teenagers from 14 to 17 years old who want to create a better Peru. They go through a series of programs that ignites their "fire" and gives them world class tools to be changemakers today. We have found more than 700 student activists in less than 15 months. You can't imagine how inspired I feel about this, how great they are. My students are creating hundreds of projects that are changing the lives of others, and they are only 15 years old!
Spiffy: How inspiring and empowering! Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Franco: Dear Spiffy, I would like to say this: I didn't know any of the reasons why I "landed" on this Earth until I was 23 years old (when I co-founded Enseña Perú). Then came my wife, and I found purpose with her. Then came Elya, our daughter, and I found purpose in her. You could say that, before all that, I was living life without a notion of what I wanted, without my personal "blue fire," without a purpose. If there is someone, anyone out there, who feels lost, you must know that there is always hope to find yourself, to find community, to find purpose. Be gentle with yourself along the way. Go try something: be a volunteer to care for animals, the environment, elders, kids. Create songs, short stories, paintings, apps. You'll find your fire.
Spiffy: Beautifully said. Thanks again for speaking with me today, Franco—it’s been an honor!
Franco Mosso Cobián serves as CEO and co-founder at Enseña Perú, a non-profit that seeks to inspire a leadership movement that creates a transcendental education for all students in Peru. He is an author, TEDx speaker, Salzburg Global Seminar member, Catalyst 2030 member, Harvard alumnus, and a mentor to student activists. He lives with Anita, Elya, and Ava in Peru. (Nominated by Cristina Londoño of VélezReyes+. First published on the Ladderworks website on April 3, 2023.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.
© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Lindsey Brannon. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.