I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. If you’ve managed to survive the last 2 years of living and working through the pandemic, you know exactly what I am referring to. But I am writing this with a renewed sense of purpose and clarity as we head into the new year.
Like everyone these days, our team has been working long hours – pushing the blurred boundaries of personal work/life balance as we build the foundation for Ecogenia. Starting a non-profit organization is not a simple task in its own right, let alone during a global pandemic with team members in 5 different time zones working virtually; not to mention, many of us were also juggling other full-time or part-time jobs.
But despite all of the challenges, we have a lot to be thankful for as 2021 was the year we became a full-fledged non-profit organization in Greece, and now we look ahead to 2022, where we get to roll up our sleeves and finally get to work on the ground.
We recently received exciting funding pledges that would cover our costs for the Dorida pilot (more details to be announced soon), which means we have the green light to start recruiting our first cohort members in January 2022. We know these cohort members are going to become the heart and soul of our organization – we cannot wait to get this process started and for you all to meet the first group of 10 young people mobilized in civic service for the climate in Greece.
But, if the last 2 years have taught us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared for the unexpected. This is why, as we head into 2022, our mindset and approach to our work can be summed up as dynamic, collaborative, and determined.
Dynamic. What is a pilot year, if not dynamic? We are ready to test our theory of change in the Greek context and even more ready to be humbled by the process. Honoring our own Socrates, we know there is so much we don’t know yet, and so much we will learn in the process, which will allow us to adapt and improve our model as we look ahead to scale our program. We are also ready to pivot, adjust, change, redesign and/or modify our work as needed – whether as a result of a new variant, an unexpected need from a host site, and most importantly from feedback from our cohort members and host sites. We will remain focused on our vision while remaining sensitive and responsive to the process and circumstances that unfold during our pilot year.
Collaborative. Motivated by the urgency of the climate crisis, we know that there is no silver bullet solution and that, in fact, it will take a collaborative approach for any real progress to be achieved by our global 2030 deadline. We will continue to expand our network of collaborators and partners in Greece and beyond, knowing that we have a lot to learn from one another and can achieve so much more if we all work together. We are already so inspired by the non-profits in Greece with a strong track record of impact and thought leadership and we admire our fellow Greek startup non-profits, who are just getting started. Together, we can uplift one another and amplify each other’s efforts and impact across the country. Additionally, we look forward to working across sectors and industries with the continued support of our advisors, mentors, and program partners. We are committed to strengthening our relationships across the board, creating a culture of feedback and collaboration from the very beginning.
Determined. We know 2022 will be another challenging year, but we are more than committed to persevere and succeed in executing our pilot year. We know we have the team, tools, frameworks, collaborators and supporters to make it happen. We are ready to adapt as needed, while staying focused on the goal set out for us.
We never would have made it this far without support from our family, friends, peers and of course our generous donors who contributed to our work during our critical fledgling stage. We cannot thank you all enough for believing in us.
And to our Ecogenia team and family, we would be nowhere without you. You’ve chosen to dedicate yourself to a cause bigger than yourselves, and the road ahead certainly is long and windy – but we know that together we can navigate anything that comes our way. Now, let’s get to work!