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I’m not wishing you good luck

(Speech given to my classmates at the lift-off event of the batch #14 of the Executive Program @ THNK School of Creative Leadership. Amsterdam, 09th March 2019)

The feeling I have now standing in front of you for 30 seconds without saying anything, just been present, being myself, it is completely different today that was then, back in September 2018 when we started this journey at THNK., at that moment it felt like the longest 30 seconds in my life!

Today it is different, we have walked the path together, we have challenged and care about each other and have mutually accompanied along those months. Therefore, I stand up here at ease, surrounded by friends that inspired me along the way. 

Those 30 seconds couldn’t be a more powerful and disruptive way to start this transformation journey, and I want to thank you all class mates and faculties to put myself in front of situations that took me out of my comfort zone, pushed myself beyond my little square box.

I thought to wish you all good luck for the future, but it didn’t feel the right words to use because it sounded like an ending situation while it is only the beginning of our brighter and wider future as we could heard just now with all the powerful ideas we shared and embraced. 

I’m not wishing you good luck

And as I was thinking about wishing you luck my mind went back to March 2005 when I was a humanitarian worker and we have just finished a 10-day deeper assessment in a remote area of South Sudan where several tribes were lacking the basic health care services. 

There we were, in front of the council of traditional chiefs, sharing our findings and committing ourselves to defend before our bosses the needs of the population that backed the urgency to open a project to bring health care to the region. 

At the end of our talk, the elder chief, known as the red-hat-chief, stood up in front of us and after few words in their own language did the ritual that they normally do to wish good luck to their warriors when they started a dangerous journey to search for food or faced the enemies. 

We both felt the spit in our face and despite how disgusting or unhygienic was, we stood still, speechless and only hoped that the ritual was only done by the red-hat chief and not all the 15 chief members of the council.  

I want to thank you all class mates and faculties to put myself in front of situations that took me out of my comfort zone

I’m not going to repeat the ritual with you today here at THNK! 
Basically, because the future is not a matter of luck but effort, perseverance, resilience and serendipity. 

I offer you my active listening, my honest feedback and all my happiness and positivism when you feel it is needed. As a return, I’m asking you to keep challenging me, helping me to reshape and polish my ideas and to hold me accountable if I deviated from the spectrum. 

And my last ask for you is very simple yet powerful: please jump! 
Close the door that will open more doors. And do it with happiness and conviction.

Make it happy, make it happen!!