The Airtable Community Change Maker Spotlights are a new ongoing series where we will be highlighting inspirational creators across the Airtable Community. We are thrilled to be able to highlight Souleimane Konate!
LM: How would you describe yourself on the back of your autobiography?
SK: Souleimane Konate (@Soly) is born and lives in France. He's a multi-talented entrepreneur with a background in Transport Management and Logistics. But that's not all he's known for. Souleimane is also a former professional heavyweight kickboxer, who spent a decade competing and winning international and national championship titles. Throughout his career, he has been able to explore various fields such as close protection, acting, landscaping, project administration, logistics, customer support, and social work (youth education, diversity equity & inclusion) which gave him the opportunity to travel and work in over 30 countries. As a language enthusiast, he understands 10 languages and is fluent in 6, which has helped him connect with different cultures around the globe. Souleimane is giving back to society by volunteering as a landscaper in a project that aims to promote food sovereignty in Africa by helping farmers produce sufficient crops in arid conditions.
LM: How do you use Airtable? At work? At home?
SK: I use Airtable almost every day to work on the agriculture project. I've also been asked to create bases for two non-profit organizations and two business owners (restaurant and travel agency) in my close network.
LM: What is your favorite Airtable feature?
SK: The gallery view is my absolute favorite feature in Airtable. I just love how visually appealing it looks when I switch from the raw data entry phase to the gallery view. I've received the same positive reaction from the people I've helped build tables for. It's so gratifying.
LM: How did you learn how to use Airtable?
SK: When I first started using Airtable, I dove in headfirst by reading the Airtable Help Center from start to finish. I also watched Youtube tutorials from Airtable, Gap Consulting, and Automate All The Things, attended webinars, read solved topics, and asked questions in the Community forum.
I was particularly inspired by an article about the non-profit organization ScholarMatch and the impact they were able to make in their community through Airtable. This article really convinced me of Airtable's potential for reporting, regardless of the size of the organization. It made me see the potential of Airtable and how it can be used to make a real difference.
LM: What is your favorite Airtable project you’ve ever worked on?
SK: The project for the experimental farm in Africa is very dear to my heart. The volunteers are doing an amazing job on the field, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute. I am still learning the ropes when it comes to Airtable, but I am excited about the potential solutions I will be able to create as I become more familiar with the tool. I am looking forward to seeing all the ways I can use Airtable to support the work of the volunteer team and make a positive impact on the community.
LM: What is your favorite thing about the Airtable Community?
SK: The Airtable Community is an amazing, friendly, and supportive environment comprised of individuals from various fields. Initially, as someone with no background in programming, I was intimidated when I first heard about Airtable. But I decided to take the leap, create an account and ask a question. To my surprise, I was instantly connected with experts and users who had years of experience and were more than happy to help me. As I read through the forum, I found a wealth of advice, formulas, and solutions that were easily searchable by keywords. I also took the opportunity to give back by helping other beginner users with problems that I could solve, which was a great way for me to learn.
LM: What advice would you give to new members of the Airtable Community?
SK: I would suggest that they go ahead and introduce themselves via the Community Introductions. Making connections and following users that inspire them is a great way to learn and stay motivated. They may also read about how others are using Airtable to implement solutions in their work or personal lives. The search bar is a great tool to look for topics that are relevant to what they want to achieve.
I would also encourage them not to hesitate to ask questions whenever they don't find answers in the forum. The community is full of experts who are always willing to help. They may also take the time to explore the Airtable Universe, skim through the hundreds of templates sorted by categories, and get a feel for how Airtable can be useful to them. It's a great way to discover new possibilities and see how others are using the platform.
LM: Who in the Airtable Community inspires you and why?
SK: There are many users in the Airtable community that have made a real impression on me. One of them is @AlliAlosa, who I admire for her ability to teach herself and become an expert in Airtable, despite coming from an unrelated field.
Another user who I find inspiring is @kuovonne, for her diligence, precision, and expertise in the forum. She always provides thoughtful and helpful responses.
Lastly, I would like to shout out @Kamille_Parks for the very useful and versatile templates she creates and shares, which are always a great resource for the community. These users are great examples of the kind of helpful, knowledgeable, and supportive members that make Airtable Community so special.