“There are only two ways to influence human behavior, you can manipulate it or you can inspire it”. – Simon Sinek
What happens when you bring together a bunch of inspired young men and women to work together alongside different stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem on developing policy recommendation?
The answer might revolve around phrases that have to do with positive impact and change, etc… However, in this short piece I am going to try and familiarize the reader with the concept of serial inspiration and why it is extremely important for individuals from different backgrounds with common goals to work together.
I am personally, a firm believer in the power of unity and the actuality that only through unity we as Africans will be able to rise. Meaning, that only when people from different ethnic backgrounds, nationalities and race come together to solve the problems of this beautiful continent, will it reach prosperity.
This is definitely harder than it sounds, however not too long ago, a group of hardworking and change driven individuals got together and decided to initiate i4policy. i4policy simply represents you, as an individual taking part in the process of policy making, or influencing policy that supports innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa. One of the beautiful aspects of this is the fact that you get to be involved firsthand in influencing the policy making of another country and experiencing how these people are creating change in their countries.
Lucky enough for me, I got the chance to take part in two rounds of policy recommendation. Initially, ‘The African Hub Innovation Convention’ an event which was more focused on a regional agenda -the first of its kind- took place in Kigali, Rwanda in May 2018 where a Manifesto was produced by the collaboration of over 50 hub representative from around the continent. However, the second event took part in Dakar, Senegal in July 2018, where the SenStartUpAct focusing on national policy was co-produced.
These two countries had two completely different eco-systems, however they both shared one common element; the passion the people had for the development of their country. This again, sheds light on the importance of unification.
Taking part in this has somehow allowed me to develop this sense of empathy towards my own country. A country that can easily fall in the list of the least developing countries in Africa let alone the rest of the world.
Now, what does this have to do with being inspired?
You see, inspiration is not willed, it happens. Inspiration boosts personal abilities, self-esteem and optimism. Hence, when being in a room with over 20 people after an extremely long day full of harvesting of information, analysis, back and forth conversations about how policy needs to be designed to benefit the population you might think that by 8PM everyone would be in their respective rooms resting. But to your surprise, you’ll find them working up until 4AM to summarize all the harvested data & information into a well written and structured StartUp Act that is to be presented to Government officials and other stakeholders the next morning, there is no doubt that you will be inspired by each and every individual that took part in this.
Where did they get this energy from? To answer the question, they got it from every single individual present in that room. This is where true inspiration takes place, if you feel like giving up, you’ll take a look at the person sitting next to you and notice how he/she is completely devoted, this will create this sense of responsibility in you, at least that is how I felt when I almost gave up.
i4policy really does provide a different insight into everyone being involved in entrepreneurial policy drafting and recommendation. This movement is more powerful than the individuals present in that room, it is more than long nights of hard work, or research, i4policy is the embodiment of inspiration to the youth and to every single African that is hoping for a better tomorrow. It isn’t just a group of people that decided to support their government with policy; i4policy is a movement that brings about many aspects of self growth and empowerment. i4policy represents creativity. The link between inspiration and creativity is consistent with the transcendent aspect of inspiration, since creativity involves seeing possibility beyond existing constraints.
Serial inspiration happens when work is co-created whilst everyone is in harmony.
Co-created work stimulates inspiration and inspiration is contagious.
For more information on i4policy, visit: https://i4policy.org/