Youth

Dear Graduate: What’s Next? I have some ideas…

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This may sound crazy to a recent graduate – but, and I mean it, get yourself a copy of the book Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz. There are 4 important things you need to do and they are very well elaborated int this book.

First. Welcome to the social world. Your network is going to be a key measure of your destiny. You are going to hear about social networking and social contagion theories – (c’mon, you can google that, right?) – essentially your net worth is going to be determined by the people you interact with. Start now, to think about how you fair in the social game.

Second. Don’t keep score. You will get many opportunities in the coming future, to help someone else get ahead. You will be tempted to keep a score card – some call it paying it forward – but do not fall into that trap. Give to the people around you because you truly want to make sure other people get what they want. Now is a great time to learn to volunteer. Do not ever attend a networking event to give out your business cards – always go to meet someone’s need – introduce them to someone you know, invite them to a coffee, or give your time and skill to get them to achieve something. Give, and give. This is about building your social capital.

Third. Remain in Touch. You (should) have a smartphone, it can store up to 500 contacts – the other 1500 – just kidding- can be stored on your email contacts app. Make it a point to reach out to your contacts at least once a month. For some, email, others, text or call, and yet for others, schedule time in person. Yes, you have to reach out to your contacts all the time – not just when you need
something.

Forth – Choose to become the ‘king of content’ using your social media to
make truly meaningful connections. This starts with figuring what your voice is going to be. What do you want to be known for? whatever you choose your voice to be, your social media needs to communicate this. Before long there will be people coming to your pages for insights and specific knowledge – and if they don’t remember, Facebook will remind them 1 year later about all your amazing wisdom in that area.

Now about that resume you are going to drop a million times… please and please do not get tempted to say you are an expert (or use words like seasoned, accomplished et al). Not yet. You see when you face your first interview panel, for a job, we are evaluating for authenticity. Actually, we know you just left school, so we know you haven’t worked much yet. Mostly, I want to hear about reasonably believable wins from the few experiences you have. Your honesty and self awareness becomes more valuable at this time, than any padding you might add to your resume. When you face hiring managers, like myself, you best know I will have detailed your resume pretty well, and I will be looking for what isn’t there. As with everything in life, the truth always wins out.

Fifth. Do some career mapping. What kind of boss do you want? Which kind of colleagues do you fancy? Not every job or sector is going to work for you. Not every commute makes sense. You are going to need skills, knowledge and many experiences. You need to know which job or organization will give you what you need in that moment in time. when to chase for what. When it comes to finding the right career, there’s many narrow paths of wisdom. Find the one that works for you. To do this, speak to career coach. Attend a career mapping session with the Kampala Leadership Hub this coming month, and let us support you to make the right decisions about the future.

What’s Next? The answers to this question are more inward than they are outward. The rest of us are here to nudge you along, but you already know what’s next.

The hustle is real.

My Speech On the Occasion of the 7th Graduation of Greenbridge School of Open Technologies – Kampala

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to share my life and thoughts with you. GreenBridge

Today, I lead a team of 10, supporting ICT for Watoto Ministries having previously worked with USAID and EGPAF’s STAR-SW Project in Mbarara. Before this, I led a team of 4 managing ICT at the International Health Sciences University, work that I took up after supporting the Ministry of Health’s efforts in Health Management Information Systems as far as Rakai and Bududa!

I have been fortunate to travel this country, from Laminadera to Bunagana, from Lake Katwe to Malaba – Uganda is gifted by nature; but most importantly, this country has potential in the multitudes of young people across hundreds of communities.

My work has also taken me to Nigeria, Ghana, SA, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. I have met more young people, lived through better infrastructure and you can’t help but marvel at flying back home. It’s beautiful here.

You also cant help but see that the world out there is changing so fast, I started out in this profession when my course works would fit on a3.5 inch floppy disk – and now, only a dozen plus one years later, they are gone! You can check blood-pressure on a wearable gadget, you can study without ever being in a classroom, and my preschool kids know their way around a phablet!

Education, Health and all of life is not what it used to be. The product of education is perhaps a most interesting thing – the world now desires a knowledge worker – fast, radical, with highly relevant and immediately applicable skills. There are 2 lessons that I have learnt in the last few years that I feel are profound in my profession.

 

Multi-Disciplinary Technology Evangelists

You see, traditional approaches to life have changed.  Wealth and economic development in the information era has now shifted to knowledge, learning and innovation, which reside in the minds of people like you and me.

 The challenge is to live and thrive in a world and community that demands more innovation. And the demands are off the keyboards and app-stores that we are so familiar with. The challenge is in the slum trenches, in hospital document stores and in government departments that are straddled with archaic use, access and management of information and systems.

But who will be the technology evangelist that will take interest in health systems? Who is interested in how citizenry access open data? Who will make ICT 4 Education their priority? Because I have learned that I cannot just be a great innovator and technology evangelist, I need to anchor into a social sector in order for my technology to be felt. That is what how I attempt to define ICT for development. The defining indicators for development are immunized infants, literate children, active young people, empowered communities and informed citizens.

Which sector will you influence with technology today?

Please note that there will be no quick fixes. Success will be intentional, over time with major commitment and dedication from leaders, knowledge workers, resource mobilisers and everyone. The starting point is a generation that has in equal measure an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit which can be supported with vibrant research and training (such as at Greenbridge) as well as innovative programming delivered by governments.

Being a Young Leader

That brings me to the second most important lesson in my life, one that I am passionate about and continues to be exciting and challenging. This is the question of young leaders – you see, this is not about age, after all that is just a number – “young leaders” is much more about leading in this generation; about identifying with the issues of this generation; and about connecting with this generation in their own unique way.

How do you lead a generation that prefers a mobile screen to face time? How do you connect with a language based on shorthand? How do you inform an informed generation? Moreover, how do you “hang out” with them – at their wells and grazing grounds?

You can, if you are one of us. If we let you lead us – something we do when we know that you understand our language and can communicate with us; but also that you can uniquely congregate us around the most important issues of our time. Jobs. Opportunities. Empowerment.

To be one of us, you have got to be young – literary and at heart. But you cannot be a leader without learning the most important aspects of being a leader:

  • That Leaders Eat Last – That there is a social contract we sign with our leaders, affording them all the perks, privileges and rights; in order that they will stand up for us and protect us and identify with us. If you want to become a leader, putting others first is important. Always.
  • That Leadership is Learned Over Time – Its not like an instant message; like a picture download, actually it feels more like a 6 semester course, spread over the rest of your life. And no, google does not work either, you cannot google leadership. To enjoy the perks andprivileges above, you have to work for it. To be in Hon. Anite’s shoes in 2016, you ought to have started, because leadership takes time.

I believe in young people, and I believe in their empowerment. I believe in the power of education to transform a generation and in the power of a generation to transform a nation.

But you must remember this, Uganda needs young technology evangelists who are ready to permeate all of life’s spheres of influence – The Arts, Education, The Media, Religion, Business, Medicine – with transformative technology.

Greenbridge and institutions such as this seek to curve out a different mould of a young technologically apt leader – are you the one Uganda is waiting for?

Lastly, I find this Alvin Toffler quote very interesting: ‘The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.’

Thank you for listening to me.