Sofie Blog 2: The Leader in Me

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Halfway through our trip in Bali, we embarked on a Social Innovation Sprint in partnership with Undiksha University. My group was given the task of creating a social enterprise or innovation that addressed a problem under the category of Community and Global Health. As we ideated we came to a consensus that our problem statement would be: How might we address rape culture in Bali? After a hectic week, some disagreements and a whole lot of fun, we created an app that works as a platform for both men and women to explore and educate themselves on all topics sexual health and empowerment. Personally, I was proud of the work we did and finished the week feeling full. Full hearted, full energetically, and full of knowledge. I felt accomplished, like I had done my job. What I didn’t realize is this, my job had just started. My job as a leader and a young woman was and is an everlasting path, prone to evolution and manifestation.

Externality, is a word used frequently in the field of social innovation and entrepreneurship. Typically, it is used to describe the unintended effects of an action, weather that be positive or negative. An externality of this social innovation sprint that I didn’t consider was how much of an impact I would have on the Undiksha students, and how much they would and have affected my life.

As we rapped up our sprint and it was time to bid adieu a young student by the name of Shanti gifted everyone a portrait that she had drawn herself. A PORTRAIT. Mind you, no one has ever taken the time to draw me. The closest thing I had ever come to that was going to New York City and paying someone on the street to draw up a caricature. The words are hard to piece together for how I feel, I feel humbled, blessed, impressed, and simply awed. This young woman took the time to draw every-single one of us either from memory, during class, or through images on social media. And THEN, when I reached out to thank this young woman she used a word to describe me that brought me to tears. She thanked me for being me, for unapologetically being true to myself, eccentric and unique and called me her role model. I was taken aback for a moment; how could I be a role model to someone who only knew me for a week? That’s when it hit me, I have the power and ability to inspire, make a change, and impact those around me. Collectively and individually we all have that power within, and with that I ask myself; how might we be our best selves today to make a better tomorrow?

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