The future is not an accident waiting to happen. The future is being created today, by people who understand how the world works, and the power they have to change the world
I set out last week with a group of young people from the UK; so committed to their personal development that they would head to South Africa on a two week leadership challenge.
They came for different reasons; the adventure, the opportunity to visit Africa for the very first time and do something for charity, the opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime. They didn’t really know what to expect, but they came anyway, demonstrating that deep down inside, they knew that ‘success lies on the other side of fear.’
When we last left off, my next step was making our way to South Africa. After arriving at Gatwick with as little time as possible to spare, we endured a solid 6 hour flight into Dubai International Airport. During this time, Coach* had left us with 5 questions to think about, which we were to answer during our reflection sessions. For me, it was insightful to have to stop and think about what really inspires me, who I see as leaders and what leadership itself is. On top of this, we will be discussing our personal stories - what has shaped us and the key points in our lives. This is something I've never taken a step back and thought about. I tend to stroll through life, not really thinking too much about the past - not through any kind of fear - just as something that is done. I truly look forward to not only hearing what the rest of the team has to say, and engaging in their stories, but also to reflecting on my own story, and getting the team's reaction to such.
During the 10 hour layover in Dubai is where the story behind this post really takes form. Whilst informally discussing exactly what the South Africa Challenge meant to us and what we were hoping to gain, we discussed the possibility of staying overnight in one of Durban's townships. During the day, we would be taking part in a VukAfrica of the township, and would be staying with a generous family overnight.
If you read this month’s wired, you’ll find a brilliant article by William Adams on the importance of creativity in business. Those who can’t innovate tend not to last long in business and creativity becomes a survival mechanism as much as getting ahead of the competition.
After hearing about an America entrepreneurship team leading a program in the local community, team SA jumped at the chance to pass on their knowledge. Amongst business professionals from Google, McKinsey and Blackrock, Jessica and I took the opportunity to pass on some of our creative skills. And in the process help young aspiring South African entrepreneurs to utilise problem solving in their lives.
It’s always great to see the enthusiasm from a new group of people as you take them on a journey into thinking outside boundaries and investigating the slightly mad world of creatives. Today was no exception. I completely enjoyed working to push people outside their comfort zone before bringing the group round and showing them how these ideas relate to their own business.
‘How can you relate the word moonstone to your business?’
‘How will people buy food in the future?’
‘How would your favorite superhero solve the problem?’
Although these questions may seem random, they can all help to stretch the imagination and provoke new thoughts and ideas about how your business can be creative.
A big thanks to the NYC team for letting us release creative chaos upon their entrepreneurship class and I hope they enjoyed the session as much as we did!
So here we are, I am currently sitting in the World Changers academy above writing this. It is Sunday morning, 4 days into the challenge. I am astonished by the opportunities, level of discussion and deep thought we have tackled during the challenge. Just to get you up to date if you haven’t managed to keep up we have just updated the website to include our calendar.