One of the things which inspires me most about FrontlineSMS is how it inspires and motivates other people. I've met students, developers, out-and-out techies, non-profits, academics, members of the media, graphics designers - even members of the public - all of whom seem to resonate with the history, objectives and DNA of what we're trying to do. If showing people what's possible is the only legacy we leave, I'm more than happy. But I sense it will be a little more than that. Last Friday I visited the London offices of Wieden+Kennedy - the incredibly talented people behind the o/ FrontlineSMS logo. I was expecting a sit-down meeting, a brief chat, a coffee and overview of where FrontlineSMS - and other kiwanja projects - were all heading. What I didn't expect was this.
Four young supercharged members of W+K's Platform initiative had spent the previous two-and-a-half days turning a decent-sized meeting room into a living and breathing FrontlineSMS/mobile/Africa/kiwanja nerve centre. The walls were plastered with stickies and posters and images of ideas and clever concepts, all themed around "Where could we take FrontlineSMS?".
After two of the most stimulating hours imaginable, I left a little shaken - in a good way. Feeling the excitement and passion of four incredible young individuals - Will, Yuki and Teemu (pictured, below, and Neslihan who joined us remotely) - who had put so much of their hearts and minds into this, I was reminded what an incredible initiative FrontlineSMS has become, and how blessed we are to continue to attract so many passionate and talented people to the cause.
The timing of last week's session was also perfect. In three days time we start work on an exciting new project - in partnership with Accenture and the GSM Association - and promotion, branding and marketing was the missing piece. Enter Will, Yuki, Teemu and Neslihan (and Lucy and Sam, who run the Platform initiative). Adding W+K to our impressive line-up of partners not only strengthens our capacity yet further, but reinforces our belief in the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to solving some of the trickier challenges of the social mobile world.
Will, Yuki, Teemu, Neslihan, Lucy, Sam - welcome aboard! o/