A New Leaf
2021: Eyes (and ears) wide open
New resolutions and the euphoria of a new year notwithstanding, 2021 has started off feeling like the B-side of a 2020-mixtape.
The advent of a new strain of the COVID-19 virus, insurrection in the United States of America, and a continuing global economic crunch. And yet, there is hope. Hope when and finality to writing two thousand and twenty-one, that triggers a mental indication that we individually and collectively have the opportunity to turn a new leaf.
Of the press releases, news updates, and tweets during President Joe Biden & Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration, the quote that resonates with me was shared byThe Youngest Inaugural Poet in US History, Amanda Gorman: “There is always light if only we are brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
I’m walking into 2021 and I am claiming it, my eyes are wide open because my year is going to be lit!
By employing this energy as a personal mantra I am looking forward to framing the conversation I have with Heavy Chef’s January 2021 Event: The Futurists 2021 — What the Hell Just Happened? And What Now? with Bronwyn Williams & Dion Chang. Deets here.
As a moderator fostering this discussion, there are three buckets I am keen to share insights on, namely: health vulnerabilities — the Coronavirus pandemic; leadership disappointment: the global response to disseminating information, managing a shared crisis, and charting a clear, equitable vaccine distribution path moving forward; & economic challenges — the whittling down of opportunities and fractured world of work with millions of young people struggling to find jobs after years-investment of education/skills acquisition.
Most critically, with Bronwyn and Dion, we shall explore our what now? moment. Personally, the emphasis is on community empowerment. Our communities are the foundations of our local industries as well as our national and international modes of commerce. During these challenging times with border closures to mitigate the virus; we need to ever more present, ever more community-focused, and up-lifting. After all, none of us can escape where we find ourselves at home; work, school, and other activities are all done from our homes, in our communities.
If there is a time to give, of our time, our talents and resources to those close to us (literally, in our communities), it is now. Eliu — God is here I interpret is unconditional love is here situates our actions, establishes our need for presence, and as I build on the idea of Eliu Gift Hub and practice. A rallying call for artisans, confectionary makers, and creatives to participate in the global economy, digitally and benefit from the ratification of the AfCFTA/continental trade agreement.
I’m excited to transition research, discussion, and empathetic listening into a real-life community-focused Africa to the world innovation process with the gift hub. Join here to participate.
Be well, be safe, be brave, be loved.
p.s.s. We (Google Podcast Creator’s program advisors) are purposefully building convergent opportunities, I am starting with the KukuZafest Podcasters Festival in 2021 to create alignment with a changing traditional to the digital broadcasting ecosystem. We hope that these efforts empower even more (sometimes marginalized) voices for positive impact.
Originally published to Unpacking Africa newsletter’s 15,000 + subscribers on January 26, 2021.