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04
Mobilizing
Society

Sonia Blandford: “Nobody is born to fail. Everybody has greatness inside of them”

The founder of the British non-profit organization Achievement for All talks about the shortcomings of the current education system, the need for inclusion and her personal motivation to engage with disadvantaged children.

We have to care about everybody. And we have to care enough. So nobody is born to fail, irrespective of their background, their challenges, their needs. We have to provide opportunities for everybody to grow their talents, to grow their experience of the world, to participate, to belong. If we don’t do that, then we are segregating people from society, from the human race.

 

We have to be inclusive. If we’re not inclusive, what does and will happen. is those people then become dependent on everybody else. Each of us is dependent on other people, but what we don’t want to happen is for people to lose out. People have something to give. Everybody has something to give. We have to allow that to happen.

 

You can find the entire article in the book Futuring Human Mobility. The trade edition will be published in Spring 2019.

Five bold “Pro-theses” about the Future – An essay by Eckart von Hirschhausen

The physician, comedian and best-selling author presents five insights on our changing perception of bodily limitations, the human in human medicine and the healthy function of humor by telling the stories of five inspiring and unusual people.

Predicting the future is always difficult. Which is why I refrain from speculating about artificial intelligence and the question of what will happen when prostheses get better than what they are meant to replace. I am interested in the change inside our heads and that is revolutionary enough.

 

And just as I am politically more interested in people who stand for something, rather than always just focusing on those loudly ranting against something, I want to formulate five positive theses, that is to say pro-theses, that I already observe today and that will have an even more pronounced influence in the future on how we view dealing with limitations that we are learning to grow beyond. I have gained all five of these insights from encounters with unusual and inspiring people, to whom I want to introduce you to.

 

You can find the entire article in the book Futuring Human Mobility. The trade edition will be published in Spring 2019.

Jenny Lay-Flurrie: “Hire someone with a disability!”

Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer tells us how veterans helped develop a disability-friendly game controller, why inclusion is economically imperative, and what role AI will play for a future without barriers.

People in companies tell me all the time: I don’t have someone with a disability in my company. But that’s not true. The demographics tell us that in the UK nearly 1 in 5 has a disability, and it is more than a billion people worldwide. So, in every company around the world there will be people with disabilities. You may not know it, because the majority of disability, over 70 percent, is invisible. So, follow a methodical process to value disability as a strength and as an expertise that you want. Empower people systematically.

 

And those can be very simple things: make sure that the HR team knows what to do when someone requests an accommodation, needs a sign language interpreter or a braille device. Make sure your building is accessible. And if you do those things and work on the company culture, people will start self-identifying with their disability. With accessibility, especially in the digital world, start by understanding how accessible you are today. There is a very simple rule here: if you don’t know how accessible you are, you’re not.

Helping Children in Need: The Work of the Ottobock Global Foundation - An essay by Julia Näder

The 28-year-old business economist was appointed board member of the Ottobock Global Foundation early in 2018. With her engagement and commitment she continues the philanthropic tradition of her family. Back in the day, her grandparents Max and Maria Näder were already committed to helping socially disadvantaged children.

Philanthropy, charity, as well as regional engagement and commitment, have always been of great importance to my family.

Already as a child I witnessed how important it was for my grandparents to help those who may not have been as fortunate as they were. This was deeply rooted in their Christian beliefs. Whenever employees at the company suffered from health issues, they supported them. It was simply natural to take care of one another. But also outside of the company they both felt responsible to step in for people in need. My father created a safe haven for children in need in Duderstadt. Together with his long-time friend singer Peter Maffay he initiated the project “shelters for children.”

At Tabaluga House children and young adults can withdraw from the troubles of everyday life into a cozy and welcoming environment.

On the occasion of the Paralympics in Brazil, my father opened a second Tabaluga House in Rio de Janeiro. It offers free education to street kids. In order to help more directly and understand the needs of the children even better, my father has a godchild in Rio. He funds her education and every time we visit the country we also visit Layla and her parents. It’s great to see how our support can make such an impact. For my family it’s always been important to get involved directly. We believe that it’s not simply about making donations, but that long-lasting personal relationships as well as an exchange on eye level can achieve way more.

 

You can find the entire article in the book Futuring Human Mobility. The trade edition will be published in Spring 2019.

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