All posts filed under: Innovation

A Story of Self, Us and Now

For two days, we had the privilege of being taught a very important class by Amani Institute’s co-founder Roshan Paul : storytelling for leadership. I have been writing for years and was expecting this class to be easy peasy. I was so wrong! This class challenged me in so many ways. I love stories, and more importantly, I love telling stories. Understanding why people are doing what they are doing. Understanding who they really are, going beyond their job title or nationality. A good story, we learnt, is made up of three elements : a story of Self, a story of Us and a call to action. During this session, we practiced each step individually, and it was incredibly difficult. Writing a short story in five minutes and sharing with my peers, was probably my definition of a nightmare. I have been writing for years but I never was good at sharing. I had blogs but I never wrote anything really personal (until today, you will have noticed). That day was no different, I did not …

Who am I? Past, Present, Future

When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time doing skill assessments. I had a hard time finding out what I wanted to study at university, and what career could suit me best,  so my mother thought that going through these tests would help. It didn’t really, as I was always more confused about my abilities and my choices. However, it was an enjoyable experience as I always discovered something new about myself. So when I had to complete a test on strengths as a homework for the second inner journey class, it was quite familiar and I thought I had an idea of what to expect of the session. The purpose of this class was to help us answer what could seem a simple question – who am I and what am I bringing to the table? If I had to answer this question at the beginning of the session, I would have probably talked about my multicultural background and my various work experiences. I am very glad no one asked …

What makes me burn? ASIF #1

One of the key deliverables of the SIM programme is the social innovation project. We have to create an innovation for a pressing social problem. This innovation could be a brand new idea or it can be a solution to a problem the organisation we are currently working at faces. To complete this project, we have to follow the eight steps of the Amani Social Innovation Framework. The first one, ‘’burning’’ helps us answer this question: what social challenge or opportunity do you personally care a lot about? This could be a social problem or a missed opportunity in society; something that I care a lot about or makes me angry; something that connects with my values; something that I wish to act upon.                                             I have been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time, so I naturally chose to work on a new innovation. I have been waiting for so long, but when I had to frame the problem I wanted to solve, I got stuck. What makes me burn? What makes …

Looking Inside for Truth and Guidance

What I particularly like about the curriculum of the SIM programme is the space we are given to reflect on the reasons that prompted us to embark on this changemaking journey. Why do I want to create change? To find the answer to this question, one must look inside. During our first inner journey class, we explored various concepts and framework that allowed us to reflect on this question; Jerry White’s alignment, fixed vs. growth mindset, mental models, personal values, etc. The last concept is the one that resonated with me the most. I believe that knowing what values you stand for is a crucial, and probably most important step when you want to create change. In order to figure these personal values out, we had to reflect on some of the major events in our lives, positive and negative. This exercise required to dig deeper than I thought I would have to do. So many emotions came to the surface, many of which I was not ready or willing to feel in a room …

Social Intrapreneurship : Where Business meets Society

What is the best thing to do on a Saturday morning? Learning, growing and expanding our horizon! The first class of the Apprenticeship colloquium was about understanding how we can maximize social impact within the structure of an already existing organisation. I was curious about this class, and ready to let it challenge my own assumptions. I have always craved freedom, and as a result, have been frustrated by big organisations as I saw processes and rules as a constraint and a killer of creativity. For years, I have been dreaming of creating my own venture, a small enterprise, in order to conduct the impact I wanted to see in this world. To me, that was the only way. I was surprised that social intrapreneurship resonated within me. However, it shouldn’t have been so surprising. It was an interesting conversation, as we revisited ideas I am a preacher in; the need to realign business and society, often seen as conflicting entities. Business needs society, as much as society needs business. They operate in the same …

Re-aligning with Nature and the Self

When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time helping my grand-mother in her immense garden; planting seeds, watering flowers, picking up mushrooms. I would also feed the ducks and the hens, gather the laid eggs in the morning, and pretend to clean the barn. In her garden, there was an oak tree. I was often the only kid at her house, so I would sit down in the garden and spend hours talking to that tree, imagining it was a human being. For a long time, that tree was my best friend.  Growing up, I lost touch with nature, and for a long time, I did not even enjoy leaving my busy city to spend time in the countryside. I could feel that something was missing in my life, but I never really took action. I became more and more interested about issues surrounding sustainability but, oddly enough, I did not connect the dots. Bio-empathy is the first course of the Social Innovation Management programme, i.e. 4 days away from …

Taking the leap

May 2017. I wanted change. I needed change. I was feeling stuck on a journey that I  had chosen, and I could not understand why. I was feeling lost and confused; I had committed to a life of purpose, of service, but I was having a mid-twenties crisis. I was in a complicated relationship with myself. I did not know who I was, what I felt or what I wanted anymore. I was feeling disconnected from myself, my dreams, the world around me. I had lost my drive, my power, my ambition. Every day I was hoping to find my way back. This is when I heard about the Amani Institute. After 6 years of intense studying, I did not think I would set foot in a classroom ever again. Not willingly, at least. But when I first looked at the curriculum of the Social Innovation Management programme (SIM), I just knew. It was the first time in months that I was so sure about something. It was the first time in months that I …