Impact At Scale

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The Golden Thinkers

By: Anna Stone, Georgetown University, ThinkImpact South Africa Scholar

The goal of my time here with ThinkImpact is to start a social business or innovation that uses local assets to change lives. This goal is ambitious, and none of us can achieve it alone. Since my last blog, another scholar and I have formed a team who will spend the next three weeks working tirelessly to achieve our goal.

I am working with another scholar named Will, who’s from Shanghai and goes to USC. Two weeks ago, we recruited who we thought were the smartest, most dedicated community members to be on our design team. Our team is called the Goue Denkers (Afrikaans for Golden Thinker) and is full of Lutzville Wes’ most wonderful women. We have Marie, who cooks, caters, housekeeps, AND sells insurance, to provide a balanced, honest voice to our team. We have Juanette, a community health worker and excellent mother, who provides us with local health information (such as the alarming fact that nearly 90% of children here have fetal alcohol syndrome). All six of our community team members are smart, skilled, and dedicated to the cause of starting a social business to improve Lutzville Wes.

On Thursday, we decided that our business or project will strive to achieve improved school performance. Whether that means starting a library or changing something about the local school, we hope that our innovation will have a long-ranging, life-changing impact.

We only have three weeks left in Lutzville Wes. These weeks will be busy as we begin to solidify our idea and present it to the community. After we leave, the Golden Thinkers will be in charge of maintaining the business and ensuring that it benefits the community for years to come. The beautiful thing about ThinkImpact is that it recognizes that young outsiders like us are not the experts here—the community members are. I feel so lucky to be able to be part of the process, and I cannot wait to see what the Golden Thinkers come up with!

The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the author of this article do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University or any employee thereof.

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