On Thursday 16th August the usual triplet of speeches entertained all the members and guests who attended our meeting.
Hendrick Hendrick delivered his first speech entitled “A Beautiful Mind” for his “Persuasive Influence” Pathway program. With this icebreaker, he wanted to talk a bit about growth. In his opinion, growth gives him a better balance in life, and any kind of growth improves relationships, beliefs, etc. He studied Chemical engineering for 4 years in Manchester: when he succeeded in his exams, he felt he had positively grown because he could grasp the subject; when they didn’t work well, he felt he had grown in that occasion, too, despite the results. Now he is working in the IT field, but he doesn’t think he wasted any time studying something completely different from what he is currently doing because that period made him grow. Looking back at his past, he realizes he had an attitude slightly narrow: he only thought at the academy and not about other things. On the contrary, now he is trying to learn different things. He is also trying to change his mindset: the most important growth is the mind so he invites everybody to make our beautiful mind even more beautiful.
Then with “My Grandfather, an extraordinary man”, Ricardo Galera continued his Competent Communication manual, with his second speech – that is, “Organise your Speech”, whose objective is “Strong opening and conclusion; outline that can be followed and understood; clear message with supporting material; appropriate transitions”. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, his grandfather took a spoon before they fled to Catalonia, because it would have been useful to eat. The man had always had a hard life: at 4 he lost his mother; at 7 he went to live with a relative because his father married a second time and his new wife didn’t want him with them; at 11 he became a shepherd, at 17 he went to the Army and some time later he married Carmen. They had 7 children and lived on a farm. His grandfather had a passion to tell stories, and Ricardo provided us with an example: when he was a boy, he used to climb a tree to watch the birds. Once, however, he found a snake and to escape him, he fell from 20 feet high. When he woke up, he returned home and was punished for his lateness. His grandfather, with all the difficulties he experienced and with his seven children, left a legacy of love and kindness.
Finally, Mabel Prieto delivered, too, her second speech, as Ricardo did, and the title was a declaration of what she was going to tell: “Digital Humanitarians”. In Mabel’s words and experience, the Internet deeply changed the world. She volunteered in a refugee camp, and she noticed that refugees couldn’t do anything while they were waiting for their visa, and this process could take up to 2 years. There, she discovered how the Internet could help them. For example, there was an app which was able to top up the mobiles of the people in need. This opened her eyes to the possibilities which could lie in front of her. Last Christmas a teacher, who was teaching English through Skype, contacted her because she was looking for a partner in her new project: to teach languages to refugees. She accepted the challenge, she learnt how social media work and the possible impact they may have, and now she has a company working only online, without a physical office. She also gave three examples of people they helped to learn a new language because they had to leave their countries and relocate somewhere else, because of their beliefs, skills or sexual orientation.
Three different personal experiences and speeches, which let us wonder what we might expect at the next meeting on 30th August.