by Muhammed Bilaal Ismail
Almost a month after the Brightest Young Minds 2014 Summit, the impact the organization is having a superbly strong impact on my life!
In previously attended conferences/summits (mostly Chemistry related), I was always one of the youngest delegates. Although I made it a habit to listen to many, not many doctors or professors would lend me an ear. You see, scientists have a tendency to be too focussed on their work – if you aren’t talking atoms, molecules or numbers, they usually aren’t listening.
BYM 2014 was refreshingly different. Since we were all in the same age group and all doing wonderful things outside academia, there was a great amount of respect between the peers. We each knew what it took to be involved in communities beyond profession and everybody was eager to learn how the other person achieved such a mind-set. I found myself hearing the question, “So what do you do?” all too often! A question that was much appreciated by me, as I hope my answer was by those who had asked.
I learnt from the summit that one’s background or circumstance do not matter in determining this open mind-set. The rich diversity of the delegates and the projects they’ve delved in is beyond proof of this. I learnt that the real beauty of each individual at the summit came from their willingness to create change for the better – to step up above doubt, restriction and negativity and do what is necessary. It is a mind-set that is difficult to acquire, tremendously necessary and will without a doubt take our country forward.
So to rewind a bit, I did not expect much of BYM after the summit because of past experiences. But having connected to almost 70% of the delegates on Facebook/LinkedIn and peeking into these people’s lives, I feel the same surge of motivation that I felt directly at the summit.
The Facebook group is going strong and provides a platform for discussion, insights and opinions. Delegates are meeting in person or via Skype more often than not. There is a wonderful sense of togetherness. We know we are all there for each other in the future. The BYM2014 summit has created a family.
I wish to formally express my gratitude to the BYM team who played a pivotal role in creating such an experience for us. The speakers and workshops were exceptional, the venue, catering and accommodation was almost perfect (we understand how much effort it all took!).
And lastly, I wish to challenge every individual who attended BYM2014 to use what was taught and rise up beyond the thought of the possible. I will certainly be working on it!
Muhammed Bilaal Ismail is a 2014 BYM alumnus.