”An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” Oscar Wilde
I start with my favourite quote by the man I admire the most in his wit, humour, tragedy and boldness: Oscar Wilde. The one quote that always makes me feel reckless, in a very courageous and calculating sort of way. We will come back to Wilde later. You can tell from the way I started this I am high on something. I assure you it is nothing but inspiration, support and a restlessness in my spirit all starting from the 5 days of Startingbloc. Before this post gets anymore baffling, allow me to introduce to you undoubtedly the most exhilarating experience of my life: Startingbloc. Here is how Startingbloc describes themselves:
Since 2005, StartingBloc has been training the next generation of leaders on how to do well and do good. Through the StartingBloc Fellowship, we select the brightest young leaders and provide them with access to the resources they need to address the most pressing global challenges of our time. The most critical resource that our Fellows gain access to is a tight-knit community of social innovators based across the country and the world.
Now let me tell you 30 words what they do: They support and inspire the next generation of global leaders to do what they want to do desperately but are afraid of the first few steps to creating social change. Primarily based in the U.S, Startingbloc accepts applications from all around the world and this year had an acceptance rate of only 40%.
So how did I end up there?
Mainly because of Dell Social Innovation which is a global business idea competition for social entrepreneurship. I entered my business idea and two months later I got an email saying that though I did not win, they still thought my idea was in the top 200 and they were giving these ideas the opportunity of sponsoring Startingbloc New York’11 but only for 20 out of the first 100 to apply. I don’t think I have ever squealed harder(almost scaring my poor friend off her bed) and then ran across the other building in my student residence to my room and started typing away. Within half an hour, I had filled in the form and then the waiting game began….. A few weeks fast forward and I still received no reply. Desolate and disheartened I emailed Dell Social Innovation saying I never got a reply. A crisp email soon came back saying that it meant I probably did not make it. I had the saddest two hours but something stirred within me and I tweeted Startingbloc asking about why I had not received a reply. Within a few hours I got a reply telling me to hold tight because there was a technical glitch and then this:
I screamed so hard that my flatmate came rushing to my room thinking I had fallen! It may seem like a scene out of a movie but actually it is a moment that changed my life.
So, Dell paid for my place at Startingbloc and I jetted off to New York becoming the first Scot to be a
Startingbloc fellow. Everythingalmost settled into place as I secured an internship for the summer a day before my flight and I can proudly admit- this year has been the best year of my life…. I went to New York feeling slightly out-of-place in life and came back knowing I found my tribe.
To be continued….