Co-Founder of Y4PT Foundation
I just want to take this time, really briefly, to share some thoughts with you after this wonderful experience.
Y4PT is like one of those big, numerous families we used to see in the past, the bigger it gets, the more diverse it gets, and in fact that’s one of our main assets: our diversity.
All people involved in Y4PT have a particular story behind to tell, and throughout all these years we have shared different perspectives of life, how we understand reality, and why those personal realities differ from one geography to another.
We have learned not to live in our own bubbles anymore, ignoring what it is happening out there, beyond our social circles, the cities we grew up in, the countries we were born in. We are now more empathic for other people’s problems and aware of our interconnected way of living.
We are all humans, right? In the end we have all the same needs and desires. Everyone is on the quest of pursuing happiness, isn’t it?
For some people it might sound obvious, but for other not.
For instance breathing in fresh, clean air should be the same in Norway, in India, and elsewhere, but unfortunately is not. Having equal access to education should be the same in Switzerland, in Nigeria, and elsewhere, but is not. Riding on a quality public transport system should be the same in London (UK), in Dhaka (Bangladesh) and elsewhere, but is not. Being a woman and walking safely on the street should be the same in Iceland, in Mexico, and elsewhere, but is not.
In Y4PT we have learned not only to address problems from a local perspective, but to make them globally known and to find solutions in a collective way.
During all these years, especially when we evolved to our current hackathon format, we noticed how diversity became important to create a more completed, more agreed knowledge, one that is built up on consensus and based on facts.
But creating consensus requires leadership. When you guys have the opportunity to steer a team, guide them, let everyone to have a say, build up agreement in a constructive way in order for all of them to feel part of the solution, and to create a sense of belonging, of identity.
Stay also curious, do not take all for granted and do not allow others think, decide for you. Over the past years information is getting more open for everyone, so please read as much as you can, confront sources and establish your own criteria. But keep yourselves alert, not all information circulating is fact-proved. Stay humble but also responsive, attentive. Knowledge is so vast that sometimes it is hard to pretend to own the truth.
Time is changing, not all shall remain the same forever. So guys adapt to new paradigms. We know that altering our comfort zone is tough, but we humans are made for becoming accustomed to new realities, to a new normal like the one we are striving for setting up on these days.
And this is what you have done all here guys, team members of each project. Despite virtuality, you were open to come out with ideas, collaborating one each other, and integrating the perspective of your home countries into a global problem-solving process, to create solutions that are scalable, because of in the end we are now facing a more palpable, common issue, that is impacting to all of us at this right moment, like the current COVID-19 pandemic.
No matter what the final results were, we encourage you guys, from each team, not to live at the moment, but to keep up your motivation, always willing to contribute to a change.
Keep a sense of purpose in every single thing you do in life, now and after. We hope that in one-year time, in Melbourne, all these projects have reached an advanced level of progress to prove yourselves and to show to the world how far you are capable to go.
Be aware that developing a working solution as the ones you put forward during our virtual hackathon, you might be saving lives and that’s the noble side of your endeavors. So hands up for that!
Last but not least and on behalf of Y4PT we want to thank the people who were there, on a daily basis, making this event possible and because of timing limitations we could not hear from them during the finale and they were there connected, from the beginning to the end. Thank you mentors, thanks to Alessandra from Italy, Alfredo from Mexico, Laura from UK, Rafael from Colombia, Nabeel from India, Tristan from Germany, Alvaro from Spain, Dario from Italy, Victoria from Uruguay, Juan Diego from Ecuador and Daniel from Colombia.
We hope then that we can keep enabling this kind of spaces, along with the valuable support of the UITP, under the visionary leadership of Mohamed, the president of Y4PT, who is proving to us now that no matter what leadership position is holding, he finds the way to listen to everyone for having a say.
That’s all what I wanted to say.
Thank you so much to all and good luck for the new chapter we just started!
See you soon in Australia 2021.