Exhaustion and stimulation
How do you get exhausted and stimulated at the same time? One way I discovered over the last four days is to follow the helter skelter i...
How do you get exhausted and stimulated at the same time? One way I discovered over the last four days is to follow the helter skelter itinerary of the 21 young Canadian ambassadors who descended on Panama on Friday of last week.
In a previous column I mentioned that they hit the ground running, I should have written sprinting.
The ambassadors are members of Canadian Vision, each of whom has gone through a rigorous selection program, demonstrating how deeply involved they are in local communities, and expressing verbally why they should be part of a team building cultural and business relations between Panama and Canada, and their ability to knock on doors to obtain sponsors to fund their trip, in return for the production of a report on business opportunities.
Their itinerary includes meetings with government and business leaders, including events hosted by the Canal Authority, The Bank of Nova Scotia, and The Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Watching these young entrepreneurs at work was a lesson in networking. Without backslapping, or aggressive hard selling, they quickly established common ground with their hosts, seeking information and contacts from everything from banking and renewable energy to development and IT (information technology). In between programmed events they rushed off to one on one meetings with businessmen, questioning, probing and garnering information for their reports. Some even discussed internships in Panama, and two members of the group who will remain behind when the rest leave on Wednesday, were actively soliciting information on establishing a company in Panama.
One of the highlights if their trip , apart from the mandatory visit to Miraflores, only hours before the start of work the new locks, was a meeting at the National Assembly, with a group of young Panamanian leaders, who come close. to the aims of Global Vision.
These were members of the Juvenile Youth Assembly, who come from all parts of the isthmus and have been selected in a manner similar to that used by Global Vision. They travel from their various provinces for training at the Assembly, and use their new found knowledge to get even more deeply involved in their local communities in everything from helping juvenile delinquents to targeting companies harming the environment, and
teaching community groups how to build media support.
The two groups climbed the language barrier and had a lively exchange of backgrounds and experiences.
Contacts, contacts, contacts, between future leaders.
In between the high flying activity level, the young ambassadors made time for review meetings and discussion of ways of extending the Vision program to an even wider audience. As you would expect, there was a cornucopia of ideas.