‘’I am because we are; we are because I am’
On June 4th & 5th, we held our 3rd annual awards & conference for the European Women Payments Network (EWPN) in Amsterdam. Today (6th June), I spent most of the day reflecting on every detail and activities that took place before, during and after the event. I couldn't be more happier, prouder and grateful enough to every single person and organisations involved in making this possible.
I remembered a chat I had with one of the delegates over coffee break and she asked me what my proudest moment was when I look at EWPN. My answer was immediate: ''The sense of community, belonging and humanity that I see with my colleagues at EWPN, our members, partners and sponsors. We have created a community of people (and organisations) who have a genuine and authentic desire to make our industry better, not because of their ego, but because they genuinely care and want to see things change. Change takes a whole community in order to happen.''
This chat took me back to my childhood and the important role that the community played in my life and life of the community as a whole. The impact of a collective. See, I was born in a little village in Kenya, in Taita Hills. One of the most beautiful places. My parents separated before I turned 9, and life was tough. We walked to school barefoot, walked for 2 hours to a far-away farm (barefoot), then work for hours, then walk back home for another two hours after hard day’s work. I carried 20 litter jerrycan of water when I wasn’t even 10 years old, learned how to cook for the whole family when I was 9. Life was hard, but also so very beautiful, simple and full of love.
We lived in a community where everyone knew everyone and children belonged to the community regardless of who their father or mother was. We shared what we had. If the neighbour didn't have salt, flour, sugar, or food, they went to their neighbours to ask for help. Everyone cared and everyone provided when they could. It was such a strong sense of community, belonging and love.
Seeing how incredible the EWPN community has grown and turned out, fills my heart with pure joy and gratefulness. It reminds me of an African saying:
''Today we are community members; tomorrow we will be the ancestors of the community''
What we do and think today prepares us for what will be the community’s assessment tomorrow. If we are today, simple individuals within the community, we may tomorrow be deified, i.e. be considered as the source of driving forces and radiations within the living community, and this is accordance with our attitude vis-a-vis to that community during our physical lifetime. Any seed can give life to a big tree.
The Ubuntu philosophy, ''I am because we are; we are because I am'', is pretty much "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity'
'A person is a person through other people' strikes an affirmation of one’s humanity through recognition of an ‘other’ in his or her uniqueness and difference. It is a demand for a creative intersubjective formation in which the ‘other’ becomes a mirror (but only a mirror) for my subjectivity. This idealism suggests to us that humanity is not embedded in my person solely as an individual; my humanity is co-substantively bestowed upon the other and me. Humanity is a quality we owe to each other. We create each other and need to sustain this otherness creation. And if we belong to each other, we participate in our creations: we are because you are, and since you are, definitely I am. The ‘I am’ is not a rigid subject, but a dynamic self-constitution dependent on this otherness creation of relation and distance''- Michael Onyebuchi Eze
EWPN community continues to show just what Ubuntu philosophy says.
For that, I would like to thank our sponsors, partners and team for the incredible work and support for the #EWPN2019 event.
Thank you to our generous host and exclusive partner- Money2020
Thank you to our Headline sponsor- Mastercard
Thank you to our Awards Dinner Sponsor- Paysafe
Thank you to our Cocktail Sponsor- Credorax
Thank you to our Individual Awards Sponsors:
- The Young Innovator Award Sponsor- ACI Worldwide
- Fintech/Payments Leader of the Year Awards Sponsor- Ingenico
- The Trailblazer Award Sponsor- Segpay
- Emerging Fintech/Payments Leader of the Year Awards Sponsor- PXP Financial
Thank you to our Lunch Sponsor- NS8
Thank you to all our incredible speakers, moderators, volunteers and everyone involved in making this possible. This would not have happened without your incredible dedication, support and help.
While moving forward, we have to remind ourselves that as a community, it is our responsibility to be the change we want to see in our world. We owe it to our human kind and future generations to make this place a better place. We dedicate to use our power, capabilities and voices to doing what we can to ensure that we take responsibility in doing good.
EWPN is committed to doing just that through tangible and measurable actions.The EWPN 2019 Actions:
- Mobilising the industry to combat modern day slavery, human trafficking, forced prostitution and child pornography.
- Deliver inclusive, ethical and sustainable products and services
- Older people, the vulnerable and new technologies: ensuring older people, the vulnerable & misplaced persons are included in the development of new technologies.
- Taking tangible actions to ensure more diversity & inclusion.
Let us all continue to live by and use our collectiveness to move humanity forward.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you dearly for being part of EWPN Family.