Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Closing One Chapter and Opening Another

In spite of my brief six-week stint in Honduras, I feel confident that I was able to make a positive contribution to the Cooperative. While some of the more tangible outcomes included the formation of two new microbusinesses and the restructuring of the Cooperative, probably my longest lasting impact will be more intangible. During my time in Honduras, I noticed the Cooperative members change from an attitude of dependence upon donors to one of seeking sustainability. I hope that this key revelation will continue to bear fruit long after my departure.

After a brief stopover in Alabama for some R&R with my family, I made my way to the Big Apple to begin my fellowship with Acumen Fund. The fellowship began with seven weeks of intense training that included leadership development, team-building, in-depth discussions on the foundations of democracy, and access to incredible speakers such as David Bornstein (Author of “How to Change the World”), Martin Fisher (CEO of Kick Start), and Seth Godin (Marketing Guru). I was fortunate to be joined on this journey by nine exceptional individuals who had also been selected for the fellowship program: Premal Desai (India), Sophie Forbes (USA), Ram Haribaran (India), Joanna Harries (Canada), Mubarik Imam (Pakistan), Karthik Janakiraman (India), Heidi Krauel (USA), Nicole Orillac (Panama), and Suraj Sudhakar (India). What surprised me most about this group of highly successful and passionate people was their incredible humility. In a world that is full of self-righteous egomaniacs, it was truly an honor to serve alongside such incredibly humble people.

Joel Montgomery

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