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This is the team

There are only two days left until we all take off to Colombia. The whole team is very excited by now and looking forward to this upcoming great experience. But who are these people going to Bogotá actually? Where are they from? What drives them forward? Why do they fly so many hours just for a Design Thinking Workshop?

Let me introduce you to the team! It’s an international group of 22 people, mostly from allover Germany but also from Switzerland, Colombia itself and the US. What unites us all is the passion to move things forward, to come up with innovative solutions that create an impact. And also, we share a great enthusiasm for working with people, getting to know different cultures and being creative as a team.

Michael Koegel and Camila Lombana had the idea to take ImpactWeek to Colombia.

Organizer and moderator Michael Koegel is working for SAP in Heidelberg. He took part in the ImpactWeek in Kenya last year, which had been such an impressive experience to him that this year he wanted to organize an impact week by himself. He wants to help students to see the challenges in their environment as business opportunities and entrepreneurship as a potential future. Thus he told his collegue Camila Lombana about the project, who loved the idea immediately. Since she is originally from Colombia, they developed the idea of taking ImpactWeek to Bogotá. “I consider it to be important to bring well known tools to countries in transformation instead of importing solutions that are not empathetic to local cultures”, she says.

Our team members at the first All-hands-meeting at SAP Apphaus in Heidelberg.

The rest of the team consists of a couple of people from SAP as well as a bunch of participants who work for Lufthansa, the main sponsor of the whole project. Even though the team is mixed, in regards to age as well as each individual background, and almost no one knew anyone beforehand – the aim is the same for everyone. Working towards the same goal and striving for the same ideas and values automatically fosters some kind of team spirit. During our frist All-hands-meeting Hartmut put it into words when he said: “It’s a great opportunity to make a contribution to something valuable, for a useful purpose while having the chance to learn and grow myself through the experience.”

But ImpactWeek would not be ImpactWeek without any participants from the destination country. And of course, they are just as much a part of the team as well. There will be around 120 students and teachers in Bogotá who want to learn Design Thinking methods to bring about change. What is their motivation to join ImpactWeek?

Manuela and Lolly are two of the 120 students in Bogotá looking forward to ImpactWeek.

Lolly Arévalo Ayala for example wants “to get to know different cultures and different people in a way that helps me to learn about internationalization and that adds to my personal knowledge.” And Manuela Ferroni Castro feels “passionate for learning new ways to create things that are sustainable and involve cultural aspects.”

Like Phil Jackson (a famous NBA Coach) once said: “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” With this in mind and also with the famous quote of Henry Ford, who said “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” the ImpactWeek can actually become nothing else but a great success.

So let’s have a great time together and create some impact! :)