I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a “company” lately. In many ways being a part of Dimagi is more than being a part of an organization with a common goal or theme—more than just a bunch of co-workers. We have a common passion. We enjoy being together and we provide each other with more than just water cooler chats. We turn the word company into companionship (see what I did there).
A few weeks ago we had the first ever “Africa summit.” It was about a year in the making and something we have desperately wanted through the distant Skype calls and witty online banter—the chance to get to meet one another face-to-face and share our stories from the field and ideas for the future. We rented a house in the mountains of South Africa. After hours of travelling by plane and an exciting road trip, we made it to our destination – the mountainous wine lands of South Africa.
The Internet connection was pretty poor, something that our field team is all too used to dealing with. However it was probably one of the best things that could have happened because we had to close down our laptops, shut off our phones, and form human connections.
At one point in during the weekend we were singing our national anthems, and I realized that we unintentionally (or maybe intentionally) are an incredibly diverse and well-traveled group. The type of diversity that most organizations attempt to create artificially we have just by the nature of the people that are drawn to Dimagi. American, Canadian, Italian, South African, and Zambian were just a few of the anthems sung If you had asked those of us at the summit where we were “from,” even more countries could be added – Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Zimbabwe, China, and Iran — just to name a few. We also live or have lived in a wide variety of places – Kenya, Senegal, Suriname, Philippines, Lebanon, Switzerland, Malawi, South Korea, Nigeria, Mozambique…the list goes on. It is pretty astonishing that this group of people found their way to the same company.
Individually, Dimagineers are incredible people. Together, we are able to accept one another for both our similarities and our differences and celebrate the work that we do. We are passionate about different topics, places, and ideas. We form a common bond through our shared adventures, love for the work that we do, and a vision of making the world a better place.
The main takeaway from the summit—Dimagi’s future looks bright in Africa.