Fellow Q&A with Tiara Taufiq, Co-Founder of Taulan

Tiara first joined the Resolution community after participating in the Harvard National Model United Nations conference in 2021. Read on to hear more about her experiences with the Resolution Fellowship and her venture, Taulan!

Please introduce yourself!

Hi, my name is Tiara! I am a Resolution Fellow from Class 13. I co-founded Taulan, a social venture aiming to empower incarcerated juveniles and women through self-development and craft skills training. I hail all the way from Indonesia, specifically from an awesome, culinary-ridden place called Makassar. I’m a fresh graduate of an International Relations major, so you can safely say that I am entering a new phase of relearning and unlearning. It’s an exciting time!

How did you join the Resolution community?

Around a year ago, my friends and I decided to join the Harvard National MUN. I had  absolutely no idea that they would have the Social Venture Challenge in collaboration with the Resolution Project, but eventually, I found out about it after registering and I gave it a try.

It was quite funny back then. Since I am not so good at navigating time zone differences, there were a lot of instances where I almost missed the deadlines of the selection phases we had to go through. Pitching your idea at 1 AM does help bring it to fruition!

What does the Resolution Fellowship mean to you?

I consider myself to be a lucky one – I am always surrounded by peers who care a lot about giving back and making a social impact. We’re always loaded with ideas to solve problems, but we lacked the resources to make them feasible.

The Resolution Fellowship has definitely enabled us to turn our idea into a realistic goal to achieve. Being a Fellow does not only come with its material assistance, but also immaterial assistance that is to me just as important. I am thankful that I have my Guides with me, Anh and Enver, who are always available and generous in their support of us in whichever stage Taulan is in – whether it’s thriving, confusing, or just simply running.

Beyond having our Guides, the Resolution Project is never short of support. There are so many interesting initiatives and opportunities that we can access so our venture can run sustainably. Running a social venture can be difficult, but I am optimistic for the long run with the support that I know I have.

Please describe the venture you’re working on:

We had actually thought about this idea for quite some time before we found the Resolution Project. The concern stems from a simple idea actually – people who are privileged like us, who get to go to school, read enlightening books and websites, try out new technologies – it’s amazing how much we can learn within whichever time span we want. Everything is about seizing the day and we can have what we need to succeed. 

Incarceration is a legal limitation, so there are a lot of things you cannot access. Not seeing the outside world and enduring the aftermath of incarceration can do a lot to someone’s self-esteem and confidence. We came up with Taulan so that incarceration does not translate into isolation. We hope to pave the way for enabling ex-incarcerated people to restore their own confidence in themselves to reintegrate better through self-development and craft training skills.

What are your upcoming goals with your venture?

We’re still in our first year, so there are definitely a lot of things that we want to do. The highest priority here is discovering the most effective way we can carry out an impactful program for our friends in incarceration, while at the same time building our network of partnerships. We want to bring awareness and scale the business side, so we can help the entrepreneurial side of the inmates to generate revenue from their crafts.

I can’t give away too much for now – there are a lot of thinking minds in Taulan. There are 17 of us currently working as volunteers so we’re never short of ideas. Let’s keep looking forward!

What advice would you give to any young social entrepreneurs?

It’s okay to tread lightly! We can dream big and come up with big and exciting ideas, but the most important thing is to see it into an actionable plan by realistically measuring the resources and bandwidth that we have. In the end, we shouldn’t exhaust ourselves if we want to make an impact that lasts.