Syukran Idris has come a long way in the social entrepreneurship sector since his initial visit to an event organised by MaGIC in 2015 to launch the Malaysian Social Enterprise Blueprint. He chanced upon AstroX’s booth that promoted space-related programmes using the STEM approach. Having worked in the corporate industry for ten years, Syukran states that between the age of 30 to 35 years old, you will need to decide on what you would like to do with your life. He further added that the ability to move up in life is dependent on your life skills rather than academic qualifications. He took the bold move to start up his social enterprise called Generasi Marikh Academy, which directly means the Mars Generation Academy. His social mission is to develop leadership programmes targeted for the youth. He quipped that he was motivated to explore his personal passion, which was personal development. His first step was organising an event with Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, Malaysia’s first astronaut and collaborating with AstroX in October 2015. The beneficiaries of his inaugural initiative were approximately a hundred students from two orphanages in Selangor. Since then, Syukran has grown from strength to strength by conducting programmes, workshops, and events to cater to kids in the nascent market of space exploration. Syukran is committed to making an impact on the lives of children that desire exciting content which he can offer, resulting from his travels abroad to various space agencies and science centres.
We at AstroX are proud to share his success, as Syukran has nurtured new talent creating a pool of young and upcoming social entrepreneurs within the industry. This snowball effect is the impetus needed to develop the social entrepreneurship sector further. The Malaysian Social Enterprise Blueprint 2015 entails a three-year roadmap to accelerate the development of the social entrepreneurship sector in Malaysia to create 1,000 social enterprises by the year 2018. According to a recent report by the British Council, an estimated 20,749 social enterprises were operating in Malaysia in 2018. This exponential growth of the social entrepreneurship sector in Malaysia is indirectly caused by small ripples created from efforts by unsung heroes such as Syukran Idris.
In 2017, Syukran prepared a proposal to develop a national-level programme to inspire a new generation of Malaysians dubbed ‘Bangsa Angkasa’. Bangsa Angkasa is a Malay term for a nation of space wayfarers. It can be defined as a generation of having space-bound aspirations coupled with an influential culture of excellence. Consequently, the slogan for this year’s World Space Week celebrations for Malaysia will be Bangsa Angkasa. Due to the effects of COVID-19, a virtual event will be organised by the National Planetarium together with a consortium of organisations that comprise of AstroX, Malaysian Scouts (Persekutuan Pengakap Malaysia), UniKL MIAT, MiSI (Malaysia Space Initiative), and Apadilangit. The virtual event will hold webinars, workshops, modules, interactive games, and virtual visits to the planetarium. Undoubtedly, Syukran’s Generasi Marikh Academy will be present to promote the knowledge of space and science to all Malaysians. We look forward to a memorable week this 4th to 10th October 2020 to continue our work in developing a nation of space wayfarers or Bangsa Angkasa.
 Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre, “Unleashing the Power of Social Entrepreneurship: Malaysian Social Enterprise Blueprint 2015-2018” (Cyberjaya, Malaysia.: Author., 2015).
 British Council, “The State of Social Enterprise in Malaysia 2018” (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Author., 2019).
Syukran Idris (right) with the writer during NASA’s Space Exhibition at the National Taiwan Science Education Center in 2016.