Moving Out of Our Comfort Zones

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Ashesi is a school of scholarship, leadership, and citizenship and I have experienced and learned about how open, calm, humble, enthusiastic, and friendly it is. My expectation is that, by the end of this two-week experience, I will know almost everybody

and upgrade my skills in my field of studies. I have also learned that gaining money doesn’t require having money first. Also, I learned that being a leader isn’t about who you are, but rather is about what you are capable of doing, also it’s about influence.

I have learned that who you are is not who people think you are. We have to be creative, lateral, and critical thinkers. Finally, I have learned how to construct a better presentation.

Adwoa Konadu Priscilla

I boarded the bus at Accra Mall with weak knees and sweaty palms, regretting even applying for AIX, but I think that’s the wisest action I have taken in so long. The people are sweet and welcoming. There is always a variety of meals to choose from and that appeases me because of how picky I can be with food.

I don’t really like the fact that in sessions, we, the participants, are put on the spot to contribute; it gets my heart racing! However, I appreciate it because it is shoving me, in fact, jostling me out of my comfort zone into my learning zone.

It’s just day two and I’m loving it here. I honestly can’t wait to see what each in these two weeks brings.

Chelsea Yea Abodem Oppong

 

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Ashesi Innovation Experience, I notice, has been a wonderful experience. Just during the beginning of AIX, I learned many things about the Ashesi University College. They train people to become leaders, help people become disciplined, and also show the brightness of the future.

I also learned how to leave a legacy, love, learn, and lead myself. I have also experienced some mental blocks that get in our creativity (i.e. dangers, restriction, fear of concern, and so on). I discovered the word feedback and its examples.

In addition, I learned more about how to present a work in public and answer questions in public. I also understood the meaning of innovation very well and how it links with leadership. I hope by the end of AIX I will be able to know more about it and the experience.

Yirenkyi Mary

 

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Second Day, More Vim

 

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Students interacting during a group session

 

Today was an admixture of feelings. It started off with an aerobic session which I will term as physical stress but the rest of the day was purely mental. With the aid of the S.W.O.T. analysis, I was able to take a more detailed look at myself and from that rediscover my strengths as well as my flaws. I appreciate this opportunity that AIX has provided as it is a step towards being the best version of myself possible.

_____________Cyril Ayegbe_____________

 

Today was quite challenging. I faced new challenges that made me think broader as compared to a normal day. It taught me to look at challenges from a different point of view and opened my eyes to other avenues of thought.

_____________Isaac Laryea________________

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My name is Sarah Duah and I’m 16 years old and attend Kwahu Tafo Senior High School. First, I have learned how to overcome my weaknesses; some of which are problems with public speaking and timidity. I now have tips for speaking publicly like, knowing how to keep posture, being time conscious, as well as tips for handling anxiety.

Secondly, AIX has taught me self-discipline and how to practice self-awareness. I know my strengths, goals etc. I have also started learning about leadership and the things that make a leader. I have learned that a leader is smart, ready to learn and know himself or herself. I have also learned that a leader needs to be creative. AIX has been a nice program so far and I have had a lot of experiences and cannot wait to have even more.

 ___________Sarah Duah_____________

Today has been eye opening for me.  I realize that there’s a lot I have to learn and I’m willing to learn by making mistakes. The day started off with aerobics which I actually enjoyed and I look forward to more of that, surprisingly.

I hope to make new friends but I can’t be too hasty because today is just the first day. We had quite a number of stimulating sessions from multiple leaders who shared varied things.  I like how we are constantly put in different groups, it enables us to meet new people from different backgrounds and this allows us to understand things from other perspectives.

I believe this is just the beginning of something great.

__________Naana____________

 

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On the 7th of August, I started the day with aerobics. It was cold at the time, so I didn’t feel happy getting up from my bed but I had to. And I really enjoyed the aerobics. We went for breakfast afterwards, which was cool and fun.

We were assembled first as a large group, and later, in two smaller groups and did a lot of challenges.  I also attended the computer class that was organized for us. We also had coaching session in the evening which I had a lot of fun at. Overall, it was a very enjoyable first day of AIX.

____________Abigail____________

 

 

The Journey Begins!

I think I have had lots of experiences, considering that this is just my first day. First off, at the mall where I was picked up, I was warmly welcomed and assisted by the coaches. It was a long and tiring journey to Ashesi, but when we reached the school I was feeling cool. The welcoming and registration went very well too.

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I was very delighted by the way the AIX team welcomed us. They made me feel so important and I was filled with joy. We were introduced to AIX and during that period, we learned about how Ashesi was founded and how it has impacted people’s lives. I liked the activities which kept us moving but did not make us tired at all. AIX so far has been so good and I think it will be even better in the coming days.

___________________Sarah Yohuno____________________

First Day Was A Blast

I started the day not really knowing what to expect out of AIX. Is this going to be good? Will I be disappointed? Am I wasting my time? I truly didn’t know what to think. When I got to the bus, I met Phillip and Joseph and as we got talking, I realized I’d made the right decision.

After a comfortable bus ride to Ashesi, I was registered and checked in, then shown to my room. Everyone was nice and friendly throughout the process and it really touched me. It was heart-warming to see so many people of different cultural backgrounds working so efficiently together to make AIX work.

 

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Treasure Hunt Prep

 

No sooner had I dropped my bags in my room than I was whisked off to join a treasure hunt. It actually began well, but my team and I quickly tired out after finding out a few. The creativity expressed by all of us in deciphering the riddles told me I was going to have a great time here. Tired and hungry, we headed to the Norton-Motulsky hall where we had a briefing on Ashesi and AIX, then had a delectable dinner.

If I were to pick, the highlights of my first day would be deciphering riddles and grasping the significance and ingenuity of Ashesi. I look forward to everything I’m going to experience at AIX 2017.

___________________________Calvin Tettey___________________________

“Whoa, Whoa! What a beautiful and tidy campus!”

My first day at Ashesi Innovation Experience was on the 6th of August 2017 when I was called around 7 o’clock to join their team bus. Luckily, I was the first person to be at the bus stop where I could freely talk to one of their coaches. Later, the rest joined us and we set off from Kumasi. We were being introduced to one another and that was when our friendship started. Later, I found myself asleep and what I could hear from one of our guys was, “Boy, wake up”, because we have gotten to Ashesi campus.

IMG_20170806_143859“Whoa, whoa, what a beautiful and tidy campus”. That was the only thing I could say when I got down from the bus but and this was just the entrance. So, I was then led by one of the coaches for a brief interview and registration process. After everything was done I could see many students around taking selfies and I gladly joined them to do away with any shyness in me. The first thing we did was to group ourselves, then we were presented with a treasure hunt on the school campus. Through this avenue, I was able to socialize with lots of people. After everything was done we assembled at the conference hall. I am enjoying AIX already and feel there is more to come.

___________________________Nicholas Ofosuhene___________________________

Monday Buzz [day 9]

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Teammates working on their robot

It’s been almost two weeks now, two creative, innovative, mind-stretching, entertaining and worthwhile weeks in Ashesi Univeristy.

Its been a tough learning experience but very fruitful, I have learnt so much from leadership design and engineering.The challenges given to us from design were tricky and I loved them. It brought out our crazy creativity. Also building smart houses was so much fun in engineering.

Working in groups promoted teamwork and the various presentations boosted up our confidence in public speaking.Everything in general, from the kind-hearted and understanding faculty, to the friendly and amazing coaches and even to the kitchen

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Participants prepping their robots

staff was wonderful.

If I had a chance I’d love to come to AIX 17 for another round of innovative experience

•Maame Akosua Odei Kyei•

My name Ayodeji Adeniran Joseph, I am from CAC Grammar School, in Ekiti Sate of Nigeria. One of my most memorable experience in AIX 16 is learning how to adapt in interacting with people from different countries, different cultures and different personalities.

Another experience is acquiring leadership skills and thinking critically and laterally to bring about solutions to problems or challenges,

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Morning aerobics bright and early

Finally, aerobics which I think is somewhat stressful but necessary to exercise the body and have some fun. Also the engineering department has made me more comfortable in what we’re learning, so much that I think the AIX 16 should which is two weeks should be extended to two years because I felt extremely happy and had fun in class.

                                                       •Ayodeji Joseph Adeniran•

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Generation Challenge

Generations have come in times of yesteryear

From the generational chamber of memories

Tools have run through the hands of men

To the philosopher’s words

That baffle the worlds

To the Teresas

It was no sympathy but empathy

That sent them to the streets

To feed to clothe to treat

In the world of the Shakespeareans

Pages have turned and inks have flown

And so have minds been blown

The Yaa Asantewaas, the Kofi Annans,

The Mahatma Ghandis, the Nkrumahs and the Mandelas

Made a portrait of mother Africa

And showed it to the rest of the world

 

– An AIX 2016 Innovator & Poet

Sunday Best [day 8]

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Not all work!

Waking up earlier than usual yesterday was really needed. I felt prepared for class, session began at 1:30. I chose entrepreneurship and it was really fun.

In class, we started off with an ice breaker, the Human Knot, which was about communicating effectively. Later we were divided into groups and were taught about the basics of entrepreneurship. The major things I learnt was that there is a difference between an entrepreneur, an intrapreneur and a social entrepreneur. We finally ended the sessions around 8pm.

After that, I went for my coaching session from 8pm to 9pm. It was really intense because we were discussing personal stuff about each other and I returned to my hostel around 9:15. In short, the day was intense but useful and interesting.

_________Raffia Olass_________

An awesome day in the life of Seyram Amezah:

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Team working on a circuit

The day started like any normal Sunday for me, slow, quiet at about 7am I was up. I got ready as in I bathed and dressed because I had to go for bible study at the MPH. At about 8:45am, I reached the MPH but not many people were there so we waited till about 9:30, about then more people had come. We kicked off the study with a prayer, the study was about maturity, led by  Dr. Esi Ansah. We ended at about 11:30am, later on I had lunch at 12pm  and at 1pm we we were guided into our various models. I’m doing Engineering so I went to the Engineering Lab.

______Seyram Amezah_______

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Blissful moments during entrepreneurship

 

At the beginning, Dr. Nathan Amanquah showed us a video about engineering which was interesting. After we talked about introduction to machinery. After we had a short break, then we moved to introduction to electronic components, building circuits, which was very new to me. I really enjoyed it today.

 

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Race between participants’ robots

Well, robotics was fun. We started off with flying an agricultural drone and then, learnt what a robot is, the difference between a robot and a machine. We then divided into our groups and began the challenges. With the first challenge, we had to build robots in 5 minutes in pairs. After the winners qualified for the second round where one member of each pair had to be blindfolded while assembling the robot. In all, yesterday was fun filled but very educative.

______Maxine Bruce-Tagoe_____

_____Chantell Abena Akuffo____

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Fun moment during coaching session

Dear Diary,

I am able to control that which I am aware of, that which I unaware of controls me. Awareness empowers me. This is a saying by a great person that has been running through our minds for the past four days.

Our day began with a hearty breakfast after a good night sleep ( because we did not have aerobics ). After which we watched a video of a Sierra Leonean which made us realize that the child in you should never die because it is where creativity and determination come from. Also, it made us realize that no situation is permanent. And then in the other light, it made us realize that human beings are not perfect and so they are human becomings. What struck us the most was the analogy of the moon which is the fact that most people do not complain when the moon shines – the moon is gentle and it brings light to darkness.

The fact that you haven’t achieved your ultimate goal does not mean we should not talk about it, we should not try and fit in society and also we should have empathy for people who are in less privileged situations. These are some of the lessons we derived from Kwasi Mawuli’s talk. It was an eye opening talk given one of the faculty members. It elaborated on the fact that we should not lose sight of our dreams but rather get closer to it and dive deeper. He summarized his entire talk by saying in everything God first, our purpose and then determination.

The rest of the day was filled with fun activities such as Disney’s three rooms. One-on-one interaction with people of different professions and the drama rehearsals in our various coaching groups with goal setting as the highlight of our day.

In as much as we hope to relive this day, we are glad it has ended because we know the best is yet to come.

Yours truly,

– Your favourite AIX2016 Innovator

 

Structures and Stereotypes [day 4]

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Discussion of City of Life

Can you guess what this will be ??? Well ..20 sticks of spaghetti, 1 yard of tape, an A4  sheet, and a MARSHMALLOW may not seem like a lot to work with but that is all we had to improvise with. In this challenge we had to build the tallest structure that could stand without support with the marshmallow situated on top. The singular challenge taught us the essence of teamwork, and that we shouldn’t rush into any challenge,thinking through before we act.

We learnt about the various character colors; cool blue, fiery red, sunshine yellow, earth green. They are all different from each other, but here’s s fun fact; each person has different combinations of all these different traits in them. This affects the careers they enter and the people they move with.

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Marshmallow Challenge

Wednesday was a tiring start for day since I had barely had 5 hours of sleep only to have aerobics for 15 minutes ! Oh the horror! 15 minutes of muscle stretching, bone wrenching(exaggeration), exercise quickly brought my dull senses to life.

I had a good breakfast and headed to my cohort for the next lesson, only to realise we had a top secret exercise where we had to play the role of various people and make the most out of our situations. It was dubbed ‘new life simulation’. Being a fulani herdsman with only a few cedis, I could afford nothing and ended up going to jail for 22 years. I robbed the bank and with that money, I was given a high school diploma as well as a bachelors degree. I found that this exercise brought to light, ‘how stereotypes could fuel people’s behaviour like stealing. Since I was discriminated against several times, I completely gained an understanding of what the Fulani community go through and what they do to make the most out of it. I then had a design thinking lecture on developing point-of-view statements, as well as how might we statements. This taught me a very effective approach to problem solving.

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City of Life

We then had a workshop on careers and learnt on breakdowns developed by Hippocrates on the types of people we have on earth and according to that their possible careers. We also had a marshmallow challenge, which required placing a marshmallow on top of spaghetti while still making it as tall as possible and to keep it standing on its own. My group had a good structure, but decided to make it taller, because we believed the competition was fierce. At the end of it all. We did not have a standing frame, and therefore lost our place in the competition.What I really learnt from this was to be focused and ensure you plan before prototyping.

 

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Team work makes the difference

       |Ako Benjamin Nai|       |Michael Agyeman-Prempeh|

                               |Elikem Vogbe Kobla|