This year's Thesis Festival keynote speaker was Leadership, Ethics, and Professional Practice teacher Munawar Ahmed. Munawar is a design and technology consultant, and founding partner at Bluprint. Her work over the last 17 years has spanned brand development, digital strategy, user experience design, workflow streamlining, data modeling, and large-scale back-end system implementations.
My greatest struggles over the years, professionally or personally or politically, can easily be traced back to not being able to have a conversation. And not just a check-the-box conversation.
Munawar's keynote encouraged the students to learn how to be open and honest with those around them, and those who they may end up working with. That it takes courage to initiate meaningful conversations with your teammate, a boss, a family member, or a person who has influence over political outcomes.
She stressed the importance of dealing with the unspoken challenges of working, creating, managing, leading, and resolving, and how honest discourse in the classroom and honest discourse in the workplace are central to our ability to be the very best version of ourselves.
Keep your hearts and your minds open. Be that person who is always willing to start the conversation, whether it’s across party lines, across a conference room, or across the dinner table.