I am speaking at a few universities which happen to all fall around the same time, and I thought I would try something new. I posted this blog before heading off to the first talk, and at each talk I will mention to the students I speak to that this space is here for them to add their thoughts, questions, and ideas to further or challenge the topics we discuss. The topics are: Youth in Development (Imperial College London), From Service Learning to Learning Service (SOAS), a Voluntourism Debate (National University of Ireland), and social entrepreneurship TiasNimbas. I will largely focus on the key question I think many of the audience members, and us panelists, are struggling with: “How can I do good in the world?” We’ll probably talk about “development schizophrenia”, a term my colleague Claire Bennett often uses to refer to the highs and lows, ups and downs, and constant 360 analysis you have when working in and critically analyzing development work. I’m going to relate that question to the “savior” mentality sold in international volunteering, as well as the sometimes inaccurately perceived bifurcation of business and development career paths. Each talk is different, but overall I will hopefully touch on social entrepreneurship, some organizations I find really interesting, lessons from my own work and experiences, and some of my favorite quotes and tips.
Let’s see how it goes! If you were at any of the talks, share some comments below – How did my talk relate to or stray from the current reality of the decisions you are making and things you are thinking about? What was really relevant to you, and what could I have done to make my talk more useful? Is there anything I mentioned that you want to add to? Want to challenge? Want to question?
I look forward to hearing from you!