30 Jun Acting Director’s Foreword: June 2022
Acting Director’s Foreword
By Simphiwe Mntambo
The seemingly insurmountable challenges that we face in the world, have the potential to become an inspiration for conceptualising and implementing world-changing ideas. The question is how might we, collectively, identify the main obstacles that stand in the way of accelerating growth in our communities? In some instances, it may seem that many of the problems experienced by communities are located far from our own individual realms. However, it is important to realise that the shattering impact of unemployment, inequality and deep poverty, compromise our state of well-being and mental health, resulting in unhealthy coping mechanisms. To this end, we are increasingly focusing our attention on the well-being and mental health of our community, and this is where we need your help.
On a recent flight to the Cape Town office, I picked up a read that really made me reflect deeply about the power of community, ‘Being connected is being included’ by Maria Soares van Niekerk. While the context of the article related to the electricity challenges facing our country, I found it very inspiring, when thinking about our goals, for the upcoming Foundation strategy session. While we have great ambitions for the role of the Foundation and everyone connected to it, we hardly ever analyse how our inclusion practices and behaviours, contribute to the connectedness of the community of which we are all a part. We must find the opportunities to gather, engage and positively influence each other so that the direction of the Foundation and the spaces in which we operate can be transformed and shaped by leadership insight that can only be fostered when we delve deeply into the uncomfortable space of asking each other the tough questions.
Some recent interactions and events in the Association community engagement channels have shown an encouraging future for the connectedness of the Association community. The robust, honest and critical sharing of views, questions and solutions demonstrates that Fellows can lead the efforts to create a community that is connected and inclusive of multiple worldviews and lived experiences, without compromising the co-existence of diversity and individual thought. We look forward to opening more formal platforms for engagement between Association members, but in the meantime, we are thankful for your sincerity and authenticity as you hold each other to the highest ethical leadership standards, as purported by Mr Gray from inception of the Foundation.