Corporate Activism: Ubuntu Workshops
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HENLEY BUSINESS SCHOOL. July 2018 - July 2020
Over a period of 2 years for monthly six-week engagement cycles, ReimagineSA gathered a handful of experts in their field to offer a different way of teaching and thinking about 'self' and our relationship with one another.
Areas of Focus
Management of Self : in context to awareness of skill capacity and embracing limits as opportunity for growth
Management of Attention in relation to inclusivity
Management of Meaning in communicating dreams, ideas, visions and desired states.
Management of Trust - consistency and focus, deliberate action.
Based on a THOUGHTS=ACTIONS=RESULTS approach, the message centred on the essence of impact as saying and doing things in a new way. In other words, impact cannot happen in isolation, it requires collective action.
Students felt that this approach is missing in our public institutions and allows for deeper immersion. The lectures encouraged people to open up and have honest conversations in the context of a need to 'reimagine my life' before I can 'reimagine SA'. Transformation begins with every individual.This is relevant to our philosophy of Renewal and Resilience: Renewed and Resilient People build Renewed and Resilient Organisations; and Renewed and Resilient Organisations build Renewed and Resilient Communities – and so the cycle continues.
Participants also felt that attempts to solve society’s problems without understanding people’s perspectives was a profound learning experience. We are human before anything else and everyone has stories that need to be respected, listening to the stories of others is essential. Multiple perspectives of the same situation offer a deeper understanding of the true nature of any problem and truly sustainable ways to solve it. Others realised that working through strategic projects and partnerships to make the benefits of inclusivity real for all living in South Africa.
Learnings & Possibility
As part of Henley's Action Learning component of their post-grad diploma in leadership and management, students work with community-based organisations, offering recommendations for support. Another notable finding from these engagements was the importance of managing expectations among the communities who were being engaged. Once completing their studies, the communities would be left without sustained engagements., impacting trust building. Through our work on the Marikana Renewal Programme, our academic relationship with the University of Pretoria's Department of Public Management will focus its research on bridging the gap between sectors to address the gap in this regard.
"An emotional settlement would unleash the talents and energies of all citizens to work together to restructure our society into one that is more equal and just. It would enable empathy to flow in our society and bind us together as citizens united in our diversity. It is through the motto of living the unity in diversity that we can link hands as unselfconscious South Africans to build ours into a just and prosperous society”
Dr Mamphela Ramphele