We’re delighted and very proud that one of our current students, Hemant Chandran is one of a select few AMBA Global AMBAssador’s. You can read more about the Global AMBAssador programme here but Hemant reflects below on his trip earlier this year, to the Global AMBAssador Leadership Conference which was held at Stellenbosch Business School in Cape Town, South Africa in February this year.
“As I write this, Madiba is critical. I cannot help but reminisce the trip I had made to the great nation of South Africa where Madiba led his struggle against the apartheid. However, the taxi driver who picked me up from the airport surprised me with his positive thinking and spirit that embodied all South Africans. The Global Leadership Conference of 2013 was held in the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Town, which was an excellent venue surrounded by a combination of the Table Mountain and the ocean. This venue seemed perfect for the conference that gathered 33 global AMBAssadors from different parts of the world.
The conference lasted three days. It featured speakers from the academic world along with those who represented reputed social and commercial spaces and some independent entrepreneurs. The most inspirational speakers, however, were from NASA and CNN who demonstrated how they play a part increasing global influence by communicating through the social media channels and other communication platforms. Among the most interesting presentations was the one on the Open Innovation Program of NASA.
The conference offered the AMBAssadors a great platform for purpose-driven networking. It suggested ways for taking the programme forward in order to make some meaningful changes in the business environment. All of us concurred that this should be done through value-/ need-based and sustainable leadership.
The last day of the conference was devoted to a guided tour for the AMBAssadors, offering them a splendid opportunity to visit the District Six Museum. The Museum stores artefacts from the apartheid era. Langa Township, one of the biggest slums of South Africa, was the next destination for the AMBAssadors. The taxi driver who had picked me up at the airport stayed in the same township and offered us to show around the place. I was, however, cynical of the whole episode since I thought it virtually bordered on poverty tourism. However, I later realized that the reason we were conducted there was probably to take heart from the fact that people in Langa still nurtured hope for a better tomorrow. Good lesson indeed when we meet those who have less material wealth and still manage to live in hope. Is that another name for Material Management? I wonder.
The AMBAssadors then let their hair down to have a fun evening in a fine dining restaurant at the Victoria Wharf. Wasn’t this a guilt-free evening, or was it a bit pretentious of us all to choose an elegant sea-facing restaurant to end the day! Is the money splurged the money well-earned? Well…!
On my return-flight to Glasgow, I couldn’t help but reflect on the richly elegant experience I have just had. In addition to making some great friends during my short trip, the nice days and nights seemed to elevate and ennoble my poor self. I must certainly sign off by heartily thanking my Business School for the opportunity, for bestowing upon me this privilege of representing my current cohort at Cape Town.”