Interview with Ale, the founding father of the SOB project

You might probably wonder how The Sound of Business project came to existence? Who had the idea to combine Project Cycle Management, rock music and entrepreneurial skills development? What is behind the scenes of this fascinatingly unique project idea? 

If you are curious about the answers, meet the founding father of The Sound of Business project, Alessandro Melillo.

Ale, please, tell us something about your professional background!

Ale: I am a fan of international environments. I have a degree in International Relations and Politics, with specialization in European Studies taken at the

University of Palermo, and I have a master’s degree in International Business. 

I have always worked as project manager of European projects, until I created almost 9 years ago my organization, PRISM (which in Italian stands for „International Promotion Sicily-World”), which has recently become a social enterprise dedicated to the promotion of territories in an international key.

How did The Sound of Business idea came to your mind? Are there any personal motives that led to the development of the project?

Ale: One of my main passions has always been music. I’m a big fan of rock music, I’ve been conducting a radio show for several years in order to “spread the word” and I dabble in being “the rock star of the neighborhood” with my band. I’ve always looked with admiration at the big rock bands, but also at my musician friends (the ones the musician really does) appreciating, besides their artistic skills, those of real businessmen. Being a professional musician, and bring a salary at the end of the month at home, means combining talent with management, promotion, relational and transversal skills in general, in a few words real business strategies. I’ve always wondered if all this could be encoded in a training path, that could give entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs an innovative, fresh and unusual educational tool with the power and ease of language of rock… and so I looked around and asked for help to my European partners who I knew could support me in this crazy idea. And so it was.

The methodology applied in the project is very innovative and unique. Can you tell
us how can someone become a more successful entrepreneur with the help of rock music and PCM?

Ale: The dynamics of the market are those that govern the success of a company, but also that of a musical genre or band. 

A company, as well as a band, does nothing but offer its customers a product that meets their needs.

So what led to the extraordinary success of rock’n’roll in the 1950s? Simply satisfying the audience’s need to have fun, an audience that came out of the Great War and from a very dark period (that’s why I hope and imagine that after this pandemic people demand an adrenaline rush… and we will be there with guitars connected to the amp!).

Bands and musicians also make strategic choices like changing genre of music in the race (think about Bob Dylan who went from being a country music hero in his early years of career, to being a noble songwriter for the literature we all love now) or creating an image to attract this or that segment of the audience (think about the diatribe between the “good guys” Beatles and the “bad guys” Rolling Stones).

I then mixed these ideas with the methodology I use to realize my projects (Project Cycle Management) that helps to rationalize the flow of ideas, and here is our cocktail ready to serve to all those who want to do business looking at the world and their business with rock star eyes 🙂

ale2

How has the project been received by the members of the target groups? Are there already some positive feedbacks?

Ale: The project was welcomed with great curiosity and interest, both by the trainers and by entrepreneurs who saw in the tools created by the project an interesting opportunity for professional growth. But what amazed me most was the interest aroused in the musicians we contacted during the development of the project. We gave them a key to reading their work and a recognition of their entrepreneurial skills that gratified and enthused them.

As the project is reaching the end of its lifetime in December, do you have ideas for its continuation? Will the target group members have access to the project results even after its closure?

Ale: The target groups have and will have in the future access to the products of our project (from the website www.soundofbusiness.eu). Thinking about a follow-up, I already have in mind a continuation of the project, starting from the enthusiastic reaction of the musicians.

Musicians have a need to recognize their extra-artistic abilities, and especially in this historical period they need to adapt to an art market that is suffering almost fatal blows. From this need we should start again to follow up this project.

SOB Learning Documentary is out!

We are happy to share with you The Sound of Business Learning Documentary, that is  presenting  the innovative learning method applied in the project, that connects the history of rock music with PCM and business.

Do you want to know what are the different phases of Project Cycle Management and how to apply them in your own business for achieving better results?

If so, watch the Learning Documentary, understand the applied methodology and get inspired by the examples from the biggest icons of the history of rock!

The video is available in six different langauges: English, Italian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Slovakian and Polish languages and can be accessed here.

SOB Multiplier Events in Europe

As the project is getting closer to the end of its implementation, the members of the consortium started the conduction of their National Promotional Campaigns in their respective partner countries.

These events are ensuring that the wider audience of trainers, adult learners, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs understand the project and start utilizing the project results in order to enjoy the benefits the project is offering them.

Let’s peek inside the Hungarian and Bulgarian events!

National SOB Campaign in Hungary

The Hungarian project team of the SOB project, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Csongrad County, has started the conduction of series of multipler events dedicated to the SOB project. As a first step, a F2F event was organised in the city of Pécs, with the participation of adult education institutions, chamber of commerce and industry, enterprises and the representatives of the Regional Enterprise Europe Network’s Office.

After presenting the project’s concept, objectives and rationale, the partcipants had the chance to learn more about the developed outputs. The Training Tools have been presented and their practical usage has been discussed, with the aim of integrating parts of the training to the adult training providers’ training portfolio.

The Learning Platform and the project website has also been explored, whereas the applied methodology of the project relying on the phases of PCM has been presented with the help of the Learning Documentary.

During the networking session, project partners and participants discussed the possibilities of future utilization of project results. The business development organisations and networks expressed their readiness to use the outputs for enterprise development purposes among their clients, whereas adult education institutions were exploring the possibilities of adapting Training Manual and the Learning Platform’s modules to their already existing training offers.

The Sound of Business Open Rock Concert took place on September 30, 2020 in Sofia (Bulgaria). It was organized by ECQ as part of the SOB national multiplier campaign. The event was held in open air at a famous rock club called Maimunarnika, situated in the heart of Sofia.

The first part of the event was dedicated to presenting the project aims, activities and outputs produced. During the second part of the event participants could enjoy the live performances of two Bulgarian youth rock bands (Truth Be Told and 18% Grey). The musicians are young entrepreneurs who believe that music is business and only a good business strategy could help them stay competitive on the music market.

The Sound of Business Open Rock Concert gained a large popularity. A total of 104 participants registered for the event, while more than 250 people attended the concert. There were representatives of various spheres and organizations, who are now followers of the Sound of the Business idea.

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