I met Franck Raharinosy, a while back at his SPiN Halloween party in NY and immediately knew we would become lifelong friends. I'd heard of him and his infamous ping pong parties, but what really struck me upon meeting was to see his passion for discussing topics on making a positive difference in the world and inspiring others to be and do good.
Franck was born in France, and grew up in Reunion Island ( next to Madagascar) where his father is from. He went to NY in 1999 with an open mind and well you will find out more about him with his interview below.
Franck your greatest inspirations or influences?
People inspire me in general.
Everyone has a story, and something they’re dealing with, something to say. I am really inspired by people who contribute and make a difference in our world. They can take a risk and think outside of the box. Genuine, humble, kind, sensitive people can influence me, it feels good to be around them.
Collaborating with talented, creative people is also inspiring. I feel lucky to have some good ones around in my life. Each time I see them it pushes me and gives me the energy to do more myself. They don't have to be famous. It's not about that.
What are some personal career highlights you are most proud of?
I have always been curious by nature, which led me to try many different things. I worked in event production, media, fashion, hospitality, writing, and films. It's rare these days to come up with an idea that has never been done, an idea that's social, that everyone can enjoy and that takes you away from your “too smart for your own good, addictive,smart” phone.
Co-Founding SPiN 8 years ago with my best friend Jonathan Bricklin, Andrew Gordon and Susan Sarandon, seeing it grow so much with a dream team of passionate people that think of themselves as a family makes me proud and extremely happy.
I self published a book of inner monologues on amazon under the writer name Fragadagadagada, putting it out there made me proud. I love to create; it could be an event, a new business idea, a short story or a film.
Tell us a bit about your recent trip to Nepal and the non profit you were involved with there?
I have been on a personal journey since last year, wanting to grow, let go and evolve into the next phase of my life without being afraid of the unknown.
That requires looking and working deeply into yourself, being vulnerable and open to what the universe brings to you. I had not made any plans this year for Christmas and my friend Pushpa Basnet, Founder of ECDC (Early Childhood Development Center) whom I have been helping raising money by hosting a fundraiser at SPiN was in New York to get her CNN Super Hero Award. She invited me to come last minute to spend Christmas at the center with the kids and I didn't hesitate one second to say yes.
What about their work, impressed you the most?
Pushpa is a very special woman. She’s so young with an old soul. It was a calling for her.
That journey started 11 years ago when she was in college. On her second year of internship, she got the chance to visit a jail where she saw this little girl that made her feel how fortunate her life was. She went back home and started the process to take the kids away from the prisons with the mothers consent and to provide them a great life and education at the center. She teaches the kids to be grateful for their parents. Without them they wouldn’t be where they are today even though their realities is often really tough. The kids are so independent in the center, they help each other and are busy with many activities including music, yoga, sports and meditation. I had so much fun living at their rhythm, waking up really early to help cook, walking the little ones to school and even teaching them how to play ping-pong, yes they do have a table. We all went for a fun excursion on the Chandragiri cable car and they were braver than me; that was a really high altitude with a beautiful Hindu Temple at the top and a breathtaking view on the Himalayas and The Mount Everest.
Nepal is a very special country, beautiful, so spiritual and full of genuinely kind hearted people. I am already thinking of my next trip there.
The center has currently 40 kids and need funding to get another 15 kids. You can help sponsor a child by donating on www.ecdcnepal.org
Upcoming projects you want to share or a dream project for you?
We’re opening a few new SPiN clubs in 2017. I am involved in producing and acting in some fun films that we will be in production soon. We shot " Black Magic For White Boys", last summer, a feature film directed by the super talented Onur Tukel. I played Fred, a guy that sells magical pills, pills that can resolve all your problems in life.
I am co-writing a screenplay with Edith Hagigi. The story is close to home and I am hoping it will help other people to figure out their own things in some way.
Favorite websites, or social media handles?
I'm trying to stay away from my devices as much as I can but we all know that's not that easy.
" Wouldn't it be nice" if we all took a break from our phone for a while and talked to strangers in the street instead, no more instagram, fb or those silly dating apps.....
Anything else you want to share?
Uhmm, let me get back to you later
Cover photo by Cristina Macaya.