Nicholas Marchesi, The Co-founder of the Orange Sky
The Co-founder of the Orange Sky is a Stanford graduate, hailing from Brisbane, Australia has several accolades and achievements under his name.
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Privileged people seldom notice the needs of the have-nots and even when they do, they don’t know what to do about it or how to solve the problem. Nicholas Marchesi the Co-founder of the Orange Sky is one such person who despite hailing from a privileged position was able to identify the problems of the homeless people. He identified the problem of hygiene standards of the homeless people and the need for a platform for them to connect with people who could help them. The idea that started with two washing machines built inside of a moving van around a town in Australia has evolved into positively connecting communities.
00:36 – About Nicholas Marchesi
The Co-founder of the Orange Sky is a Stanford graduate, hailing from Brisbane, Australia, has several accolades and achievements under his name. He has received 9 awards including the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, Forbes 30 Under 30, Young Australian Of The Year 2016, and in 2020 he got The Medal of the Order of Australia.
01:32- About Orange Sky
Nearly eight years ago, two young boys Nicholas and Lucas put two washing machines and dryers in a van and drove around the city, washing and drying clothes with the mission to improve hygiene standards among the homeless. This idea later evolved into positively connecting communities and is much beyond free laundry and showers. It aims at providing connection to anyone going through a tough time over a chat all around Australia and New Zealand.
02:48- How did it all begin ?
With the idea of giving back to the community things that some people never had like a roof over their head, someone to talk to or a place to eat or have basic hygiene, the Co-founders convinced a washing machine company for two machines to start their journey.
04:15- How did you manage to convince the company for the washing machines?
Upon hearing the crazy idea, the managing directors of the company did think of this never working out, but the conviction and zeal impressed them to be a part of the journey.
05:25- How should one start to build their own organization?
The curiosity of a problem solver, the passion, determination and zeal to make a difference combined with a lot of good chances and luck made this idea become a reality.
07:53- How do you approach people to engage in the activity?
Engaging someone new is always tough, but the ticket of permission that the orange guy gets is when people give their only possession i.e. their clothes for washing for some time they become captive audience where they indulge in a conversation with the volunteers.
10:30- How big is the Orange Sky at the moment?
Orange Sky has now got 36 services operating in 25 locations around Australia and 4 services operating in 3 locations in New Zealand. In all these locations they partner with service providers such as drop in centers or a church or food providers on a regular place and time which is now 300 shifts at the same time and place every week. With around 3000 volunteers the goal is to grow and to help 40000 by 2025. So far, this year they have helped nearly 15000 people and done over 2 million kilos of free laundry and 30000 showers, but far from all this the biggest impact that Orange Sky has been the conversation that helps people connect.
11:58- How often do you get the pushback that washing clothes isn’t enough?
Orange Sky has the mission of providing improved hygiene standards to homeless people, this though doesn’t solve the problem of homelessness in any way, but it sure provides an opportunity to connect for people who are lonely and isolated.
14:47 Origin of the name Orange Sky
It’s a song by a British singer and songwriter Alexi Murdoch which talks about helping your brothers and sisters and everyone. With the same idea of helping people have basic amenities, Orange Sky began its journey.
15:33- Are awards and recognition distracting in achieving the real goal ?
The recognition that Orange Sky needs is people to trust and believe in the mission and vision of the organization. So the recognition helps it connect with more people who could become part of the journey.
21:52- What does success mean to you in this context ?
Success for Orange Sky is making a difference, for me personally it’s wanting to make a difference and actually being able to do that at Orange Sky and success outside Orange Sky would be helping people, solving problems and having fun.
22:48- Is there a future for yourself beyond Orange Sky, or is this a lifelong ambition?
At the moment, Lucas and I are committed to making a difference inside Orange Sky and achieving the ambitious goals set, but there would be a time when there would be better people to run the organization.
You can connect with Nicholas Marchesi on LinkedIn
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The Co-founder of the Orange Sky is a Stanford graduate, hailing from Brisbane, Australia has several accolades and achievements under his name. He has received 9 awards including the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, Forbes 30 Under 30, Young Australian Of The Year 2016, and in 2020 he got The Medal of the Order of Australia.