What It Means To Be an Ashoka Changemaker
Ashoka ChangemakerXchange organized a four day power packed seminar on Co-creation, Innovation and Collaboration in Africa. Created purposefully to bring Social Entrepreneurs from across the world together, the seminar fostered the discussion on cross-cutting issues of aging processes, alternative study designs for enhancing individuals, synergism of member impact and creating a world to initiate positive change from individuals.
Having settled in comfortably after a warm and receptive welcome from fellow changemakers across the globe, a Pitch & Networking seminar was conducted. The Pitch session granted me the unique opportunity to present Developers in Vogue in an engaging 90-second pitch. Succeeding the Pitch session was the Ashoka Networking reception, which give me the honour of sharing information on approaches to key problems with my fellow changemakers. These events were preceded by my arrival at Impact Hub Ghana, at 3:00 pm.
We arrived at Aqua Safari Resort Hotel at 11:30 pm, after a successful first start at Impact Hub, Ghana.
An Open Space session was facilitated under the topic “Self care as a social entrepreneur” to begin the activities of the day. This eye opening session let me with the knowledge of:
1. Paramountcy of deep and close relationships and discussions in ensuring adequate self care
2. Cultivating the Work-Family life balance by being responsible for myself as I would for my business
3. Unavailability of room for mistakes as a leader, as such I have to always make the choices that are right for the business and people
4. Continuously moving, improving and generating good work 24/7 that will enlarge opportunity spaces
Dedicated entirely to a retreat on open space sessions and its rules, was the scope of activities for today. Sessions on themes, issues and skills of which we have either an interest, expertise, or experience was conducted and delivered by my fellow changemakers and I. I led a session on “How Social Entrepreneurs Can Scale up Their Businesses Leveraging Technology” which went very well, leaving my fellow changemakers equipped with knowledge to take their businesses digital.
Great people, amazing places and lots of free time for the exchange of ideas and thoughts were the highlights of the ChangemakerXchange retreat. The significance of teamwork and cooperation was grasped from the collaboration session. We played a number of games to teach various lessons and traits relevant in being a successful Social Entrepreneur.
➢ Punishment Game: An activity I led which taught me the lesson of respecting the value of my time and the time of others as well as adopting a new dimension of being a future leader.
➢ Feeling Game: Through this game, I understood the need to respect the feelings of others and to be more empathetic.
➢ Balloons Game: A collaboration game which shed light on several things particularly the need for being one another’s keeper.
➢ Whispering Voice: A blindfold game creating an avenue for other changemakers to share their sentiments and thoughts about me with anonymity. This game taught me to always create a space for others to share how they feel about me and my actions without fear or favor, in order to help me improve.
Calling it a good day would be an understatement of this experience, as it gave me the opportunity to learn and imbibe the 4 principles of life as a Social Entrepreneur which are:
Principle 1: It starts when it starts.
Principle 2: It ends when it ends.
Principle 3: Whatever happens is the only thing that could happen.
Principle 4: Whoever comes are the right people.
Returning to Accra on Friday was not easy, as the journey was filled with nostalgia from the days before. The memories created were worthwhile and valuable in my life. Thanks a lot to Ashoka for making this exhilarating and informative experience possible. Thank you, Developers in Vogue for being a great support system to this life changing journey.