We’re happy to introduce the first ever all-female international orga team for Impact Week Ghana. Who are these women? How did they meet? How did Impact Week Ghana take off? Read on to find out more…
Let’s go back to November 2019. It’s a beautiful sunny day in Kathmandu. Four women touch down in Nepal’s capital city ready for the first Impact Week Kathmandu. It was the first Impact Week for Silke and Conny, where they would start their journey to become junior coaches in design thinking. Anni joined as senior coach for the education track. And Lyndal joined as head of marketing and communication. Little did these four women know - as they met each other for the first time at the bed and breakfast - that they would not only become incredibly good friends, but also end up organising an Impact Week together!
How did the Impact Week Ghana come to be? Co-lead organizer Conny explains:
“Impact Week left an incredible impression; it felt like a life-changing experience. It was stressful, hard, exhausting - and so rewarding! So we felt like we wanted more of it. When we knew that onsite events would be possible again after two years of Covid limitations, we immediately signed up to be part of the family again, hoping to join in a supporting role. But when the opportunity to become co-lead organizers presented itself, Silke and I jumped at it! Backed by our Impact Week community, and together with our great university partner, we can create our own “baby”!”
Looking back at their Impact Week journeys thus far, what was a memorable moment for these ladies?
Conny: “When working in the Agriculture track in Nepal, my students came up with an idea, that I felt already existed on the market. I tried to give them hints that we need to find something else, something new, but they insisted on working on their idea. Once they designed their prototype and tested it, it clicked. Yes, the product per se is on the market already. But not affordable for an average Nepalese person. So, they found a way to produce it completely locally with only material from Nepal. The feedback of the next testing group was awesome. I felt like a proud mum and realized how crucial it is for the students to follow the process, do proper testings and for us internationals to not think we know what local people need.”
Lyndal: As I coached my first ever team through the design thinking process in Colombia, I could see their frustration growing during the “problem” space of the process. My team was so passionate about their topic and so keen to find solutions, that they just wanted to skip to the “solution” space. At the end of day 2, we condensed all the information we had gathered, and wrote down our point of view in a single statement. There was a moment when the team members all looked at each other and had their “a-ha” moment and finally understood why we spent so much time understanding, before jumping into ideation. This “a-ha” moment was such a testament to the design thinking process, and left my team incredibly motivated to continue through it.
Silke: “As a junior coach in Nepal we had a situation within our student group. One girl felt left out of the group. I asked an experienced senior coach how to handle the situation and she gave me awesome advice. She told me to bring the group together for a team play and to instruct one random person of the group not to participate at all. In the beginning, the group was confused and shortly after confronted that person why there was a lack of participation. I stepped in and clarified that I instructed her to do so and asked how the group felt about it. I could see in their faces that they understood why we did this exercise. I explained that we need the whole group to work together to create the best outcome. They all understood and realized how the girl felt. It was a magical moment when everyone said sorry and re-bonded as a group. From then on, the group worked perfectly together and our bond also tightened. That was a wonderful and fulfilling moment for me and a rewarding success as a brand-new junior coach.”