A month at the moment feels like a lifetime.

I’m sure all of you reading this agree. The world is evolving at a tremendous pace.

Following on from our newsletter last month, Brazil is now the new epicentre of the virus. 

The situation is critical in the Amazon rainforest, where many indigenous tribes, who are reachable only through lengthy boat journeys, are being wiped out. Still, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro keeps dismissing the virus as a “little flu” and demanding that the economy reopens immediately. The term “genocide” is already being used in the media to describe the president’s actions. 

In Nigeria, the pandemic has also been on a steady upward curve. Outbreaks have already taken over the country’s largest cities, with limited governmental response. “The leadership is in denial,” said Usman Yusuf, a hematology-oncology professor and the former head of Nigeria’s national health insurance agency, in a New York Times article. “It’s almost like saying there is no Covid in New York.” 

This virus is the disease of a connected world, and now is the time to understand how we are all connected.

We are as strong as the weakest link of the chain – and developing countries (and the development sector) are going to be dramatically impacted by this virus. Now is the time we need to double down and safeguard economies and livelihoods across the global South.

And this is where TIE comes in.

We have created opportunities where people can not only make a real difference to communities and organisations around the world, but also grow while they are at it. 

A chance to truly respond to this global crisis with their skills, to step out of their bubble and silo and push themselves in new ways, to meet other like-minded people and work with them to solve real problems in developing countries, and to get under the skin of international development and truly understand what is happening around the world.  

And, we have just kicked off our first-ever virtual TIE project! 

Our TIE Advisor Experience will be connecting Golden Baobab’s Founder & CEO, Deborah Ahenkorah, to Cameron Milne, formerly a WPP fellow and currently Business Development Director at The&Partnership in New York.

Check out what Deborah has to say about working with us again!

I have deep admiration for the resiliency that TIE has shown in this crisis. From working with them over the years, I know that this resiliency is fuelled by a commitment to keep supporting organizations at this time of uncertainty and need and I’m excited to be working with them once again. I have high expectations for this new virtual model and look forward to our collective work continuing to make a difference in the world.
– Deborah Ahenkorah (Founder & CEO at The Golden Baobab)

And when we asked Cameron why he applied, and how he expects to impact his company from the experience, we heard this!

One key aspect of my role in business development is flexibility, so I’m looking forward to applying my skills to a new challenge, within a new context. It’s very easy to get too familiar with your role, too familiar with the way it’s done. Working with The Golden Baobab will force me to think differently, helping me come up with new ways to tackle challenges in my role back at The&Partnership.” 
– Cameron Milne (Business Development Director at The&Partnership)

Ghanaian Golden Baobab’s mission is to foster a sense of self-worth and national/continental pride among children in Africa, which they do through the valorisation of African children’s writers and illustrators, and the publication and publicity of their stories. 

This is a match made in heaven. 

Cameron told us that “Since the days I could toddle around, I’ve been pulling books off shelves. It was instinctive. The stories within the pages I flipped through undoubtedly shaped me as a young boy, and they still shape me as a (young) man. I studied literature at university, spending significant time studying children’s literature and the effects they have on young minds. 

It’s no surprise that my love of words led to a career in communications. I was lucky enough to tour around the communications industry as part of WPP’s Fellowship program, spending time in research at Kantar, digital content at Wunderman, and media at VICE. I now work at The&Partnership, where we combine the long separated disciplines of creativity and media as a means of telling more powerful and effective brand stories. Along the way, I left my hometown of London to live in New York. The first item of furniture I bought for my apartment was a bookcase.
” 

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be working with these two, and to see what the next few months have in store. This is going to be a game changer, and make a difference in many more ways than one.

If you also want to get involved with Virtual TIE, get in touch.

We currently have 30 projects and challenges around the world that need a solution.

And we have two Virtual TIE Programme opportunities (the TIE Advisor Experience and the TIE Team Leadership Development Experience) ready to go where we can make incredible things happen.

If you want to respond to this crisis, whilst helping staff think globally, develop their cultural intelligence, develop their ability to think in innovative ways, work better virtually, and understand what is happening around the world, then get in touch!

Or, if you are interested to get involved without your company’s support. We are about to launch a third opportunity. So watch this space!

This is a chance to not only change the lives of people around the world, but you’ll see TIE experiences will change you, and your company too.

The most powerful force on earth is the human soul on fire. 

Let’s do this!