The term Ubuntu is loosely shared among social impact circles. However, sometimes we forget the true meaning of what it truly means. Ubuntu, “I am because you are, you are because I am, we are one”. This term surprisingly enough is not unique to the African culture.
There are similar words the convey the same meaning in other cultures. In the Oglala Lakota Sioux community, Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ means, all are related. Essentially, we are all one people. There is something that inherently connects all humanity around this concept and we see it strongly within indigenous and native communities.
Like yesterday, today is not much different, aside from technological advances and infrastructure, we as humans still have this desire to connect. If anything technology is are the center of our ability to connect to others instantly, yet it is challenged by the ability to deliver what a physical and real interaction provides. Therefore, creating a time and space for teams who want to transform their lives and therefore the world, it is imperative that they have this space.
This MLK weekend of 2019 we took our first cohort of students in the Product Prodigy Institute out to a local indigenous retreat center to escape their normal routines, get to know one another, and build life-long bonds. When asked why we would do something like this, our answer is simple. We cannot create movements and change makers without creating a space for trust and alignment.
Over the three days, the students stayed at our weekend retreat and participated in morning rituals like yoga and meditation. They collectively prepared and served their own meals. We had great chaperones that came out to help facilitate some of our weekend workshops. They participated in a full day of low ropes team building exercises.
The students reflected on what it is to become a leader in their community and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. What impact do they want to have with their business and how are they able to build trust amongst themselves and their external networks to advance their ideas.
We had a drop in visit from VP. Of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Dr. Leonard N. Moore who inspired and told the students that in order to truly be successful they must do and go places where they have never gone and to start thinking as owners of their destiny and their community. Regardless of what final career path they choose this year will shape them to not only learn the technical skills, it takes to build a product/service and company but to build their confidence as the creators of tomorrow.
This semester you should expect to see more of their progress as we document the different teams and the solutions they prototype.
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