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Gabriel Marmentini: Improving the Political Culture and Participation

Gabriel Marmentini: Improving the Political Culture and Participation


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.

Spiffy here! I’m back with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Gabriel Marmentini, co-founder and CEO of Politize! - Civic Education Institute. Let’s see what he is doing to make a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Gabriel, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge is Politize! - Civic Education Institute addressing?

Gabriel: Thanks for having me, Spiffy. Politize! is a Brazilian civil society organization that produces free and unbiased content and campaigns for civic education on the Internet, trains civic leaders to be capable of solving public problems, and trains teachers to educate young people in the process of becoming engaged citizens at schools. Our ultimate goal is to improve the political culture and participation in our country, countering misinformation and authoritarianism, while strengthening democracy.

Spiffy: That’s great! What motivates you to do it?

Gabriel: I am a very privileged person in every way. In a country as unequal as Brazil, I have a great commitment to contributing to the evolution of society since I had access to so many good things. My sense of social responsibility is very strong and I believe that the world would be much better if all people with privileges thought in this way and dedicated themselves at least a little to issues that go beyond their private benefit. That's why I became a social entrepreneur. And when it comes to a systemic transformation of society, we cannot leave politics aside. It is the most powerful tool that exists. And by making good use of it, we can sustain the democratic regime, welcoming diversity and respectful dialogue to build collective agendas.

Spiffy: What would you say is the impact of your work?

Gabriel: 3,700 contents have been published since 2015. There have been 1.5 to 3 million monthly hits on our portal, with 80.7% of hits being organic. 97 million users have accessed the portal since 2015. 18.5 million views have accumulated on YouTube since 2015. 600 thousand people follow us on our social media (summing up all accounts followers). 2,941 civic leaders have been trained, since 2018, to solve public problems in our programs. 9,781 political education workshops were carried out by trained civic leaders since 2018, reaching 179,754 people. 663 public policy canvases were created, proposing concrete solutions to public problems. 13,918 teachers were trained to apply our materials in schools. 158,091 students were trained with our teaching materials.

Spiffy: That’s quite an impact! Tell me about a recent milestone/initiative by you or your org. What impact does that make?

Gabriel: In 2024, we begin our internationalization process. After nine years of contributing to the transformation of individuals into citizens in Brazil, we want our content to reach even more people. To this end, we will produce civic education content in Spanish so that we can contribute to the citizenship journey of our neighboring countries in Latin America. As it is a new project that is just getting off the ground, we do not have concrete results to share, but in a future interview, I will have the pleasure of presenting our evolution!

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Gabriel: Being an entrepreneur is an act of courage and anyone can take this step. Entrepreneurs are not genius people, with a specific gift. Entrepreneurs are, above all, visionary and hard-working people who want to be part of the team that solves the problems that hinder society. Many people didn't believe in our work at first, as it seemed crazy to want to give new meaning to the concept of politics and bring it closer to people, with respect and dialogue between different people. But we overcame disbelief and have continued standing since 2015, growing every day. The reason? We never let anyone diminish our dream. Our response has always been with hard work, resilience to not give up, and humility to learn and be patient.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Gabriel—it’s been an honor!

Gabriel Marmentini is the co-founder and CEO of Politize! - Civic Education Institute. He is proud to be Brazilian and to be Melissa's son. He has a PhD in management and is a social entrepreneur, standing for the causes of accessible and plural civic education for all at Politize! - Civic Education Institute, and speech and respiratory rehabilitation in head and neck cancer at the Brazilian Association of Head and Neck Cancer. (Nominated by Maya Bingaman at MIT Solve. First published on the Ladderworks website on March 25, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Sujit Kunte. 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.