August 13, 2017
To kick-start the Global Citizenship Conference 2017 at Ashesi, the Melton Foundation held the Springboard Sessions talk series.
Launched in 2013 as part of the annual conference, the Springboard Sessions are designed to stimulate new thinking and new action for global citizens. Beyond simply transmitting ideas and information, the focus is for the audience to be inspired, challenged and motivated to take action on some of today’s most challenging problems.
Speakers at the sessions, who shared personal stories of their impact work, included: Sangu Delle, Cofounder of cleanacwa, Farida Bedwei, co-founder of Logiciel, Renee Neblett, founding director of Kokrobitey Institute, Nana Akwasi Awuah co-founder of CitizenGhana Movement, and Shadrack Osei Frimpong founder of Cocoa360
The Springboard sessions also marked the start of the 2017 Global Citizenship Conference, to be held over a period of seven days at Ashesi. On the theme What is the role of a Global Citizen in a world that is in flux? the conference will bring over 60 Melton fellows from across the world to Ashesi, where they will take part in workshops, lectures and projects that will drive conversations around global citizenship.
Here are quotes from the speakers
Identify your disability – Farida Bedwei
Let’s not run away from our problems. We all have some form of disability, and until you’re able to identify what your disability is, you’ll not be able to turn it around and make it into something worthwhile. So I encourage you to try to identify what your disability is and turn it around to work for you. It’s about time that we realise that unless we empower the informal sector, we’ll never be able to grow as we want to grow as a country.
You should be bothered – Nana Akwasi Awuah
Can you imagine a world without activism? A world where only one opinion goes: no dissent, no opposition. That certainly will perpetuate injustice, and widen the inequality gap. It would suppress freedoms, liberalities and rights, and it is a clear recipe for oppression. And human development does not thrive under these circumstances. You should be bothered because you are a part of humanity, and that gives you the obligation to be concerned about what happens elsewhere. We don’t all have to be activists, but in your own little corner, pick an issue and work at it, that’s what makes you a global citizen, and you’ll be amazed to learn that the things you do in your corner have massive ripple effect.
Deconstructing Social constructs – Renee C. Neblett
Cultural, political and ethnic boundaries are not innate, but instead are socially engineered constructs – and if these are mere constructs, certainly, they can be deconstructed. These differences make as diverse, but by no means, materially different. When you approach people with the expectation of seeing this, you will find it. The role of the global citizen is to transcend borders and lines of separation to learn from one another’s experiences. The world, not just Ghana, needs a new model of development; one that prioritizes the prudent management of the world’s natural resources. If Ghana would value, practice and incorporate into its development, its traditional knowledge that preserves the landscapes and balanced ecosystems for generations, then Ghanaians could, as global citizens, enter the world discourse as a global leader.
Entrepreneurship: A tool for impact – Sangu Delle
People want to be empowered, so how do we go about creating economic transformation? How do we create businesses and how do we back business that will be world class, create jobs and support the local economy. Even with the for-profit model of entrepreneurship, you can do things differently. As a business, you’re an employer, as an employer you make a decision on who you hire, and that decision can be impactful. As a business owner, as an employer you have the capacity to make certain decisions that can create impact.
Giving back to our communities – Shadrack Osei Frimpong
In spite of our varying backgrounds, we all share a commonality that we all have had different people inspire or help us to get where we are today. No one ever makes it alone: we are all raised by our communities in a variety of ways, and we have to look forward to give back to them. Talent is universal, and the opportunity for a supportive network is almost also as universal. Use your community of friends, your community of mentors, your community of teachers to spark the change you want to see in the world.
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