Kindling the Flame – Ali Mahlodji

On our path to a knowledge society, understanding the world around us is ever more important.

On any given day, 50 to 60 people vie for Ali Mahlodji’s time at his offices in the 4th district. So I was a bit confused when Ali (“Call me Ali!”) asked me to meet him at the historic Looshaus, an architectural landmark in the heart of the 1st district.

As it turned out, Ali, 35, keeps a private office there that he uses to collect his thoughts and get inspired. Looshaus invited him to take up residence after he wrote on Facebook about his desire for an ideal workspace. “What we really need are places to think. When information hits you 24 hours a day, you’re full of information but you don’t get anything for yourself out of it.”

He set up Watchado, an online platform that helps people identify their dream job, in 2011. But he quickly realized that the online world was only one step of the process in helping young people. Schools around Austria invited him to talk in person, which led to the Watchaskool project, for which he and his team have already spoken in front of 60,000 children in four countries in the past year. “The currency of our world today is the attention span of a human being. Everyone wants your attention. This also goes for kids when it comes to education. Everyone wants the attention of the consumers of tomorrow.”

He is aware that the impact also has to be transferred to the teachers, which is why he speaks at teacher conferences as well.

“I show them how important it is to understand the fears and hopes of the kids these days, that they’re totally getting hit by information everywhere, they’re living in a very uncertain world.” It seems that the angels are indeed heeding Ali’s wishes again: two investors have recently put €2.5 million into Watchado, largely because of the Watchaskool project.

Janima Nam
Janima Nam is a freelance journalist, translator, and editor living in Vienna. She has a BFA in film from New York University and a Masters degree (MA) from the London Consortium in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Help us help you

“Strong media and independent journalism are built on the shoulders of subscribers. Your support means the world to us.

Benjamin Wolf
COO & Managing Editor

The coronavirus outbreak affects and challenges your life in big and small ways. Metropole is here for you and we are proud to be your news source during this crisis.

But just as the coronavirus has increased the need for independent journalism, it has also undercut a major revenue source of media companies, ours included – advertising.

We need your support to keep it up – donate or subscribe and #helpushelpyou!

Support Metropole!


 

RECENT Articles

Coronavirus in Austria & Vienna | Higher Unemployment

The coronavirus has arrived in Austria. Here’s all you need to know about current measures, including where to get help, information and tips – updated regularly.

Transylvania | Over the River and Through the Woods

With a total area of over 100,000 km2, modern day Transylvania is the largest region of Romania, and, by itself, larger than Austria.

More Current Than Ever, Nina Simone – Four Women Brings Down the House at ...

A stellar cast and memorable songs transports the Civil Rights movement to the #BlackLivesMatter era

Election Fever in Vienna

As the city prepares to go to the polls, the streets are plastered with party propaganda posters. Michael Ludwig will almost certainly remain mayor, but his potential partners are pitching for a piece of power.

Trump Praises Austrian “Forest Cities” With Exploding Trees

With some highly unusual comments meant to put California’s environmental management in a bad light, the U.S. president set off a twitter storm of mockery and once again exposed his ignorance of the world.

Hometown Explorers

As travel restrictions eviscerate Vienna’s hospitality sector, the city’s tour guides show locals the oddities, hidden spots and secrets of the city they call home.
 

METROPOLE NEWSLETTER

Join over 5,000 Metropolitans, who already get monthly news updates and event invitations.