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    Two heads are always better than one

    Day 296

    Lightbulb Moments

    Two heads are always better than one. And on Day 296, we’re putting that idea to the test.

    Asili is our social enterprise project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And from the very beginning, Asili has been all about letting people in – co-creating with businesses, organizations, and individuals to make what we do better and more relevant.

    So for the next few days, and in the spirit of co-creation that’s made Asili what it is, we’re doing the doable in Congo – with the help of some friends.

    Five visitors with a breadth of experience and knowledge – in business, marketing, finance, and more – hopped on a plane from Minneapolis, Minnesota and journeyed across the ocean to spend some time with the Asili team. Their goal? To work together to come up with some breakthrough business ideas – and then go out and test them with real customers.

    But to start, they needed big ideas. What ideas did the Asili staff have to reach more people, in better and more effective ways? And how could the Minnesota team use their knowledge and expertise to fuel them? The group hunkered down at the Asili office in Bukavu, sitting outside to let the beauty of Bukavu’s rolling hills and lapping waves of Lake Kivu provide some inspiration.

    Sitting in a circle, everyone wrote all their thoughts out on post-it notes – lots of them. Soon, the little neon squares papered tables, walls, and poster boards, flapping in the wind. The group talked through how their ideas could add value to Asili, and what the challenges of implementation might be. They prioritized and reorganized. Slowly but surely, over the course of the day, the post-it notes grew into something real and tangible – the ideas took shape.

    As the day drew to a close, the teams gathered supply lists, and role-played how the ideas would go with real customers. They were ready to test.

    “I have to say I was a little skeptical of this process at first,”
    said Jake Jacobsen, one of the visitors. How could just one whirlwind day that began so unclear end up with solid, testable business ideas? “But it’s worked.”

    Team Asili knows firsthand how one incredible idea can change the world. And our friends are learning, too. Sometimes, it takes just a few post-it notes, permanent markers, and great minds thinking together to come up with an idea that could end up changing lives.

    Tomorrow, the team is prototyping their first great idea – bringing healthcare into the home. Stay tuned to see how it goes, and how we can build on that knowledge to do more for Congolese families.

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