gorilla Hope Happenslo res

Small world-Universal challenges

Posted on 30-08-2019 , by: Catherine Devrye , in , 0 Comments

I’m just home from Africa, having avoided a coup in Ethiopia where the government closed down all Wi-Fi for 3 weeks; which gave me fresh material on disruption to address a leadership team event in Sydney this week. Every nation, organisation and individual faces different challenges in times of rapid change.

Yet, did you know that all humans are virtually alike and have shared over 99% of the same DNA for centuries?  In Uganda, the Ebola outbreak concerned me but more people have died of the flu in Australia this winter. Risk management has many faces. And the gorillas, who share 98.4% of our DNA, left me lost for words. This photo was taken just on my phone, a few meters away and not photo-shopped! (until a friend cheekily inserted a copy of ‘Hope Happens’ and titled it ‘discerning reader’)

It’s surprising that there are more phones than toilets in most of Africa; but sobering to witness the Rwandan genocide museum with a million people murdered in 100 days. However that country today epitomises hope; and at the border, suitcases are checked for plastic bags which are illegal to have in your possession.

There in Rwanda, on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, I shared a German beer with a Saudi Arabian guy in a Chinese restaurant listening to a live country and Western band play Welcome to the Hotel California-while on what’s app with a friend in Mongolia.

The world truly has got smaller but messages of hope and resilience amidst ever evolving paradigm shifts are universal and timeless; so dropped copies of ‘Hope Happens…words of encouragement for tough times’ in libraries of 5 countries before heading to an intense writing workshop in the hallowed halls of Cambridge University.

Even though I’m now researching my 10th book, I truly believe we all only grow by learning something new every day; especially in times of rapid change. So guess that’s why organisations hire external speakers to offer some new insight and/or timeless wisdom presented in a different and relevant context because even if it’s something you know yourself, it’s sometimes difficult to be a ‘prophet in your own land’.

All the best as you head into the second quarter of this financial year or the last quarter of the calendar year-depending on how you look at things.  Because in spite of that shared DNA, we all view things differently. Even though we live under the same sky, we see diverse horizons.