August 6, 2013
The third annual Nexus Global Youth Summit on Innovative Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship ran from July 24-27, 2013. This conference aimed to inspire young entrepreneurs from over 60 countries to take part in leadership roles, be generous to their communities, and invest in social and environmental projects. Akshay Kalle, Pathway’s Head of Technology, had the pleasure of attending this year’s conference and was happy to answer some of our questions about his experience. 1) Can you tell us about your experience at the Nexus Global Youth Summit? It was like being thrown into a really nice blender. It was a congress of people with resources and good intent, those with capabilities, and those with context. As a family and a firm, we’ve always held a powerful set of capabilities and a desire to apply them to contexts that are underserved. My attendance was very much in line with this ethic and outlook: to apply technology and know-how to areas beyond, well, technology. 2) What did you learn at this Conference? That it’s a big world out there, and that there are varied skills and needs. We often take our skills for granted. The things that we consider simple can often make a world of difference for a someone halfway around the world. Some of our collaborations with people overseas really illustrate a good exchange of ideas. A global perspective is very instructive. And humbling. There are a lot of problems that can be solved in an impactful and rewarding way. How? Pure philanthropy isn’t the only path: impact investing is another ‘win-win’ method of doing good and gaining from the experience. Hearing successful people tell their stories is very inspiring. They’ve succeeded by not giving up, adapting, and addressing a concrete need. 3) Did you meet anyone in particular at the Conference you would like to introduce to us? We’ll announce our collaborations in due course. It’s good not to get too ahead of ourselves. Patient and simple execution is really key, and we want to show successes and returns for all involved. 4) How do you plan to contribute what you learned at the Nexus Global Youth Summit to benefit Pathway stakeholders? If we’re deciding to make contributions of any type, they ultimately have to be done without the expectation of immediate rewards. Be it goodwill, publicity, new friends, or a return on investment, it takes risk. It’s this risk that embodies entrepreneurs. It benefits Pathway stakeholders by re-asserting our outlook of being economic builders, and helping others grow. Our ethic and outlook IS our brand. We’ve taken many risks over the past 18 years in helping companies grow and prosper, often stepping into new and uncharted territory. And we’ve been very fortunate and grateful for the loyalty of our clients, who we’ve considered partners. In a sense, we’ve invested in them. Our ventures borne from such summits are no different. It’s our outlook that sets us apart. We’re judged by what we do with what we have. 5) Can you summarize your experience for us in 1-2 sentences? This meeting reinforced the idea of treating any venture like an objective project, and the importance of doing this to address a need with an action. And there’s no shortage of needs or ideas. The execution is the golden nugget for both sides. 6) Is there anything else you would like to tell us about? Everyone leaves these summits with a great desire to do good. And they can, with good resources, planning, adaptability and a good attitude. We all try to make our mark in the world and are often expected to be extraordinary. The founders of industry giants at Nexus have been extraordinary due more to their relentless pursuit of completing a daring risk that solves a basic need, rather than trying to get ahead by complexity. They went to the moon on a calculator and a fridge because they had an audacious but simply stated need. And why do I speak more of needs and daring? The “analogue” world is where 99% of the world lives. That’s where the needs — and opportunities — are. We dared to look away from the fax machine 20 years ago to make businesses global, better and faster, not because it was cool. Our generation is trying to find purpose and needs because they haven’t grown up with scarcity or constraints. Things are globalized. What’s next; where do we risk and dare to disrupt? We’ve managed to create a lot of unique technologies as we tried to write the book on how to be an Internet provider, in order to serve businesses. The Nexus summit gave us more contexts and problems to tackle. They’re risky areas, and that’s a wonderful thing.