The experience that I had at Upswell is very uplifting. In only three days, my brain opened up in a way it never has after previous Independent Sector events I’ve attended. Everyone that was part of Upswell played a role in which you realize how we weave and interconnect for a greater cause. Changemakers from every part of the world were put in the same room to exchange advice, empower one another, and most importantly listen to each other—in order for everyone to play their roles.
The most provocative part for me was when, during my workshop (Settling Differences, Making Change) with Amanda Broun, the Executive Vice President at the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, spoke to my small group about hardship. We were talking aboutthe hardship of collaborating with companies and organizations in my country, Senegal, Dakar. This has been a real challenge for me for the past three years. During this workshop, I received a word of wisdom from this respectful and poised women. She so beautifully made me understand that there is an equal interest for the companies I approach to collaborate or partner with me. She told me that there is "shared interest" from the both of us when I approach them and never look at it as a one way street. I believed that they were already known and respected and I needed their help, which was not the case. This shared interest, purpose and value is the common ground focus on the future generation. This has shifted my perception and gave me a new approach when I talk to potential sponsors or partners.
Thanks to Amanda Broun, social responsibility to improve the community is my perception and approach for better communication. This has been a real blockage for me on persuading people of why my cause SenEco Africa is important for our future generation. I very much enjoyed this journey of fruitful advice and exchange. The Upswell wave really came by and I believe will be making a big splash.
I would like to thank Dan Cardinali and his staff on organizing this event and having me be a part of it. I'm most grateful to know I can do it, because people like them believe in me.