Dear friends of the ISEP Community,
It is with great sadness that we share the news that Manuel Forjaz has passed away this week, at the age of 50, after a 5-year battle with cancer . Manuel was one of the pioneers from ISEP 1 in 2005, which was when I first met him (and it was because of him that I became engaged with social entrepreneurship activities at INSEAD).
For those who knew him and loved him, we know he was an extraordinary human being. Avid seeker of new knowledge, a relentless entrepreneur and social entrepreneur, one of the most engaged members of our ISEP community, a friend of his friends, Manuel lived his life with passion and generosity.
As a social entrepreneur in Portugal, he brought the concept of “Adopt Child”, organized the largest TEDX event in the world, co-founded the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship and led the national association to promote young entrepreneurs. He was a pro-bono mentor and coach to countless entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs.
He was also a fun-loving person, always the first to organize the ISEP reunion social events. We watched the sun rise in Istanbul, Berlin and Madrid, in the after-party of the ISEP reunions. He loved nothing more than an engaged conversation among friends during breakfast, after a night-out dancing.
More remarkable, was the way he lived his final years. In the last two years, as he fought his illness in all ways possible and became an expert in cancer, he reached out to many people with cancer to share his experiences. He collected 70,000 friends in Facebook, launched a TV show and several interviews, and published a best-selling book called “Never get distracted from life” the month before he died. He touched countless people who found in him a source of courage and inspiration to fight their own illnesses. He said in his interviews – “I may die from cancer but the cancer will never kill me”. He lived his life to the fullest potential until the very end.
Manuel was a force of Nature and a true social entrepreneur. Through his example and inspiration he won his battle. His memory will forever be with us.
Good bye dear friend and thank you for all that you have given us.
Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship
Academic Director - Social Entrepreneurship Initiative
The Business School for the World