We were very proud to participate in panel discussion "Perspectives on transformative governance" at the UN in New York City, yesterday. The discussion which focused on Africa revealed a number of important transformative leadership lessons to us.
1. Leveraging cultural heritage: While the continent of Africa is in full transition, members of the panel and the audience noted how important it is that the transition is driven by the African people. With all willingness to learn from others, the importance of preserving the cultural heritage was stressed.
2. Strengthening underlying processes and infrastructure: While a number of participants noted how important it is to unify the continent and to leverage the strengths of all African countries, it was also mentioned that there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to improving the overall processes and infrastructure.
3. Uniting and not polarizing: In what sometimes looked like a heated discussion when crucial and difficult topics such as people trafficking or weapon transfers were brought up, the notion of firmly addressing issues while standing united was expressed: An important message for most any transformation process.
4. Change the narrative: Africa is a beautiful example of how things can change over time. Several delegates contended that if we continue to change the narratives in our heads we can continue to further the various regions in their own individual ways. Shifting from a problem-oriented to a solution-oriented perspective was stressed.
5. Keep at it. Sustainable change and true transformation don't happen over time. With the African Agenda 65, delegates reminded themselves to adhere to their very tight timeline to help bring more innovation and well-being to the continent.
For us it was a very interesting and inspirational morning at the Headquarters of the UN in New York City.