Updated: Jan 29, 2020
While attending the WCA Regional Workforce Development Summit on January 16th, 2020, the ecosystem was an often-used term that I believe is a perfect example of how we shall view our position in life. Although this summit was focusing on building the connection to educations, development organizations, and surrounding companies on how to engage with non-utilized talents, the main concern was how to help disadvantaged individuals of non-standard backgrounds to succeed in this competitive workforce.
As defined by the dictionary Britannica, an ecosystem is "the complex of living organisms, their physical environment, and all their interrelationships in a particular unit of space." The definition describes how the only way we succeed is if we understand the basis of our necessity.
In the environment of today, there are many vital aspects to survive. First and foremost, we require a roof over our heads that helps us establish a sense of safety and belonging. To afford this space, we need a job that supports us to pay for it. And on top of that, we are expected to have a specific education level. If one of the above facets are missing, society considers us not enough. So how are we able to function within our ecosystem?
As brought to our attention in this relevant summit, it is demanded that the bigger and better organizations out there to start thinking outside the box, to be more creative, and to take a chance, and start believing in the underdog, the person with fewer credentials but more willpower than the privileged. To begin thinking of the difference they can make on a small scale that will skyrocket into something unimaginable. Only the people who dream big and reach for the stars are the ones that can look back and say I did it, which then can turn into we did it.
Sometimes it takes a leap of faith in believing in humanity again in being okay with failure, imperfections, and seeing the opportunities that lay ahead of us. When we let go of our expectations, when we let go of being afraid, hurt, or different, then we will be able to function in an ecosystem that supports and elevates us to who we, as a community, are and want to be. There won't be instant gratification, though it will last a lifetime.