Have you ever tried to step on to a high-speed moving walkway in an airport? Your speed suddenly accelerates and the firm ground you just left is fast disappearing behind you?
Consider this a metaphor for today’s modern society. Our world is characterized by undergoing multiple accelerations – all at the same time – fundamentally reshaping how we live, work, raise our children, fight wars, build our cities, consume and much more.
In his recent book “Thank you for being late” Thomas Friedman explains how we are living in an age of acceleration characterized by globalization (Market), climate change (Mother Nature) and exponential increase in computing power (Moores Law). Friedman shows how – within each of these spheres – development is happening at an ever increasing pace. Some people react to these fast changes with fear and isolation while others manage to find ways to adapt and benefit.
Being a global professional with ambitions for personal and professional growth you have already stepped on to the high-speed moving walkway and you might be looking for ways to keep control of where this walkway takes you. For that you need a “plan to succeed” as Thomas Freidman puts it; “a plan for lifelong learning and skills growth. That means more personal leadership, more of everyone taking ownership of their own future and embracing the “start-up of you””.
The here we are Competency Matrix (available on our digital platform and in the workbook ‘See life in brighter colours’) provides a way for global professionals to plan for the “start-up of you”. However, we also believe that a plan for how you can succeed should always include the other – a peer, someone less resourceful than you, a young student, an entrepreneur needing guidance or part of your knowledge. This is one of the cornerstones of our commitment to Social Impact at here we are. And the reason why you will find a dedicated track for Social Impact in the matrix:
“With here we are you are invited to move beyond yourself to create positive changes in society. Engage and contribute by helping build capacity and create lasting bonds across borders. Consider how your experience and professional tool box can benefit others”
Through engaging in our network you are part of a community that is global and local at the same time. It’s a community connecting people with a global mindset, ready to engage and contribute through and with the local community where we live or across borders and time zones. You can engage and contribute in multiple ways; using your skills and talents to help a small start-up succeed, become the mentor/coach that will support the young student achieve her dreams, supporting a local NGO getting the grant they need to help people in need. Having in mind the duality of giving and receiving the list can go on. Only your imagination sets the limits.
In an accelerating and increasingly complex world a healthy community, argues Friedman, provides an anchor enabling you to take the advantage of the energy and possibilities that comes with acceleration. People who are part of strong and healthy communities usually feel “protected, respected and connected”. The opposite feeling makes you wary of the accelerating world. As Thomas Friedman writes “a model twenty-first-century community would be one that is focused on supporting the employability, productivity, inclusion, and quality of life of its members”.
Here we are supports building and supporting communities – virtual and local networks – because these provide the platform from where you – as an individual – can grow, help others grow and succeed. And thereby nurturing a healthy community.
Blogpost by Thomas Skov-Hansen, Key Ressource Person on Social Impact at here we are. He is Senior Humanitarian Advisor at DanChurchAid in Copenhagen and has held international positions in Asia and travelled extensively in Africa.