How Emily is sowing the seeds of change
“Just do it!” that is Emily’s advice to all young professionals. Emily Kennedy, Wild Card participant of the Nudge Global Impact Challenge 2016 made rapid progress in realising her Impact Plan. Less than a year after the ‘Nudge experience’, Emily has channeled her passion into reality – she has set up a whole organisation from scratch!
Youth in Agriculture Initiative is a project in progress, promoting mutual cooperation between development professionals and the local community. The Initiative sprouted from Emily’s Impact Plan. Her idea was to set up an agricultural training program for youth. A program that would provide youth with a complete skillset to run an operation: hands-on agricultural experience and business knowhow. The initial idea originated from a chat among friends, entered the planning stage through the Impact Challenge 2016, and has become reality. At the moment, Youth in Agriculture Initiative is an officially registered organization in Uganda, and is in the process of receiving charitable status and securing funding. It is Emily’s hope that by February 2018, the initiative will register its first class.
A self-sustaining project
According to Emily, one of the most significant features of the Youth in Agriculture Initiative is it’s cooperative and sustainable nature. Classes will take place on three acres of land donated by local government, with a 50-50 split between classroom and field time. Teaching and administration positions will also be occupied by locals, to provide employment and ensure clarity of education. To establish project self-sustenance, all profits from produce sold during program duration will return into the program. More importantly, this program will provide Ugandans with an opportunity to discover a new type of food production – one that is more climate friendly and long-term – and trigger a cycle of intra and inter-community training.
The Challenge: share, learn and grow
Emily clearly expressed that participating in Impact Challenge provided her with an excellent opportunity to share, learn and grow. “It was great to share the model with everyone, get their feedback, new perspectives and new ideas”. She was able to develop as a leader and build up abilities like constructive criticism, compromise and accepting alternative ideas. At present, Emily still keeps in contact with Challenge participants and organisers, sharing mutual support and project progress.
Joining such strong networks of like-minded professionals is something that Emily strongly recommends young professionals, in addition to the fundamental action-oriented mindset. More importantly, Emily states that participating in leadership development events like the Challenge is critical – “Hands down!”, young professionals should seriously consider this amazing opportunity.
Aside from professional support, Emily’s extensive social network is fueling an exciting individual undertaking. She has dubbed it “In Search of Humanity”. This project aims to understand worldwide connections and divisions – the origins of widespread “us and them” categories – by cataloguing life stories of her acquaintances, colleagues and friends.