I had just finished our keynote speech at the AIESEC International Congress in Egypt and an AIESECer came up to me, shook my hand and said “This really is going to change the world.” I was just recovering from a standing ovation and this comment forced me to accept that maybe it was actually true! I mean, it has been my vision from the inception of Ubiquity, to make a serious positive impact in the world, but sometimes after years of working on something, with all the ups and downs, it is hard to believe that it might actually happen.
The response from every AIESECer I talked to was positive. At last we are going to get recognition for what we learn and how we develop ourselves in our years with AIESEC. There was spontaneous applause in the middle of the talk when I mentioned that you could use your AIESEC points towards an MBA. The AIESEC alumni had the same “at last” reaction—combined with some regret that they didn’t have the same opportunity that future AIESECers will get.
Another dimension of the event which deepened my belief in the impact we can have was the collection of other great partners of AIESEC who we connected to. From WWF to Junior Chamber International (JCI) to World Merit to the Asian Development Bank – they all saw the great potential of what we are doing to help them serve their stakeholders and achieve their missions, particularly around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The combination of Ubiquity’s offering was very well received—providing professional and academic credits and credentials for competencies people develop and demonstrate on the job, with courses and integral learning experiences designed to help them make a living making a positive difference.
Getting out of my office and virtual meetings into a hot and sweaty conference venue on the Red Sea in Egypt, heaving with hundreds of passionate, energetic and committed AIESECers (not to mention the Russian and Ukrainian tourists!) helped me reconnect to the realness of what we are creating at Ubiquity. I felt once again the difference we are going to make in real people’s lives and the future of our planet. It’s a privilege to be partnering with purpose.