On a sleety Sunday in January 2018, the Wings of Hope Back to School Day united household names, top executives, and students from across the UK and Europe in a unique day of intergenerational learning. The vibrant music of Kiss FM DJ AJ King ushered us all into the grand halls of Dulwich College, and our morning assembly began with a breathtaking dance performance by dancers from Pineapple Studios.
The first lesson was delivered by the eminent Lord Robin Butler, sharing with us lessons learnt from working closely alongside five Prime Ministers. After some interactive learning, our Back to School Day class of 2018 voted that the most important lessons for leadership are to make the direction of leadership clear, and to stick to your guns. Sounds about right to us!
Following on from these insights into recent political history, came Michael Dapaah, the comedian behind the grime personality Big Shaq. Michael’s unique stage presence made his journey from potential medical student to viral sensation enormously captivating. His message of positivity certainly resonated, and inspired executives and students alike to follow Michael’s example in chanting ‘I CAN’.
Next up: Roz Savage, the only woman to row solo across the world’s largest oceans, all in the name of environmental action. After light-heartedly sharing just a few of her near-death experiences, Roz explained that what spurred her into action was the motivation to make change, which then created the courage she needed to do so. The lesson drew to a close with a class exercise; each person had to visualise what it would feel like to have just achieved a dream of theirs. This certainly had the entire audience thinking about the power of motivation in achieving our goals.
Parallel to this lesson, Justin Webb offered a holistic view of the dynamic world of journalism, and emphasized on the importance of perception when dealing with difficult situations. From a well-rehearsed hand shake with Nelson Mandela to an accidental rendezvous with Donald Trump, Webb had a whole array of exciting stories and a lesson embedded in them all.
The afternoon’s lessons focused on technology and the human. Teddy Collins from Google Deepmind gave us a brief insight into the complex world of AI, making this difficult subject relatable to students and professionals alike.After sharing the enormous achievements of creating programmes such as AlphaGo, Teddy reinforced the lesson of the day, by explaining to our audience that he neededdetermination and vision to achieve in a field which barely existed ten years ago.
Our lessons were rounded off by the Professor Lord Robert Winston, an expert in the field of human potential. Here we learned the importance of ethics in science, and how uncertainty strengthens a perspective. It was fascinating to hear about Lord Robert’s ground-breaking research and insight into the beginnings of IVF, and the immense possibilities of the human mind.
The day was finally brought to a close by another phenomenal performance by the Pineapple dancers, and as a perfect match for their energetic grooves, the beautiful music of the Tabernacle Youth Choir. We would like to say an enormous thank you to all students, executive guests, speakers, and teachers who came along to engage in this unique day of learning, truly proving our strapline right – we are all students.
WOHAA Accelerator Day with London Business School students
On Sunday 22nd February, WOHAA participants travelled to London Business School (LBS)
to take part in the Accelerator Day, designed by its MBA students (and WOHAA mentors) to
develop the students’ project management skills.
The afternoon got off to an action-packed start, with students competing in a treasure hunt
and other games to break the ice. The teams were excited to meet their mentors in person,
but this didn’t stop them from trying to trick the latter into wearing the ‘Cone of Shame’ hat
as part of a word game!
Following the activities, the mentors began the workshop, opening with a presentation on
project management. Teams were then encouraged to apply this framework to their own
fundraising projects, planning out an event with the mentors’ guidance.
After this, students got to hear some top tips from the LBS mentors about events they had
carried out in the past. Another highlight for many was the advice given by members of last
year’s winning team, Team Rise, about how to succeed in WOHAA. Team Rise touched on
important areas such as team coordination, sponsorship, and most importantly – having fun.
After the obligatory group photo it was time for goodbyes. Thanks to all who attended and
organised such a fantastic afternoon.
Students overwhelmingly voted the event 9 or 10 out of 10.
Here are just some of the positive things the participants had to say about the day:
“I loved coming here to understand what this award was about”
“I learnt a lot, and found solutions to the problems we were facing”
“Really helped improve and refine ideas. We learned a lot about WOHAA and tips to help us achieve our goal”
“Very enjoyable, great hearing from experienced individuals and professionals”
Speed Mentoring 2017
We at WOHAA are excited to announce that tickets are now available for our annual Speed Mentoring event. The event mimics a speed dating format, with students rotating around tables in order to chat with young professionals from a range of industries and explore their own opportunities for the future. Tickets are free for WOHAA participants, their parents, and teachers, and for those wanting to bring along a friend, the cost is £10.00. The event is being held at the Royal College of Surgeons in London on Saturday 4th February 2017 and is guaranteed to be an unmissable day for all involved. For more details, and to get your ticket now, please click on the Eventbrite link below: