NGYouthSDGs 2024 Visioning Retreat with Deborah Deji-Kurunmi

As part of NGYouthSDGs commitment to building thought leaders and the capacity of our teams, we participated in a 2-day visioning 2024 retreat with DDK, organized by Ideation Hub Africa. The retreat, which took place on Friday, 9th of February, and Saturday, 10th of February 2024, focused on catalytic coaching to shift social enterprises and NGOs into visionary clarity, execution and greater impact in 2024. The year 2024 is a pivotal year for us, and our participation in the retreat aimed to uncover specific strategies that we can leverage to ensure proper systems and structures for programme execution and the meaningful engagement of young people across the country.

NGYouthSDGs’ Programmes Associate, Boluwatife Ajayi, and Communications Associate, Praise Okezie, participated in the virtual day one of the retreat, where the Moderator, Oluwatoyin Banjo, set the pace for the retreat as everyone shared their expectations. The Executive Director of Ideation Hub Africa, Mrs. Deborah Deji-Kurunmi, popularly known as DDK, then commenced the retreat.

Day One Overview

The first day of the visioning retreat was held online, with the Moderator, Oluwatoyin Banjo, leading the way. We all shared our expectations for the retreat, and then Mrs. Deborah Deji-Kurunmi, also known as DDK, the Executive Director of Ideation Hub Africa and the speaker for the retreat, began her session.

A picture of Debola Deji-Kunrunmi leading the day one session during the retreat

During the discussion, DDK emphasized the importance of identifying and building effective teams to increase productivity. She outlined two key points to keep in mind:
Firstly, it is crucial to identify competent and resourceful individuals.
Secondly, it is advisable to start with a core team and then supplement it with volunteers, as needed.

Moving on, DDK talked about the concept of leveraging for growth. According to her, leveraging involves utilizing high resources or tools to achieve more. This approach can help organizations achieve significant progress and growth.

The Five significant kinds of leverage for non-profit work:

  • Technology: Maximize technological tools that simplify work and increase
  • Communities: Becoming part of industry-specific or catalytic communities where your ideal future is a reality.
  • A strong brand Identity: Building a strong brand identity that translates and effectively communicates the work you do.
  • Volunteering leverage: Utilizing the passion and interest of volunteers to
    strengthen the work in an organisation.
  • Expertise leverage: Accessing expertise resources from partners and competitors,
    and integrating them into a bigger resource in an organisation.
  • Expantiating on volunteering leverage, she shared how the volunteering strategy can be implemented for effective delivery for nonprofit organisations and Social Innovators in 2024.

The Volunteering Strategy

The volunteering strategy entails bringing individuals together and converting their passion into productive results for the organisation. This also requires intentionality, scheduling a meeting time with volunteers, maximizing their time, tracking progress
reports, highlighting milestones and celebrating their successes.

Currency of Volunteer Compensation

  • The currency of a strong brand.
  • The currency of an Insider information.
  • Access to training and resources.
  • Opportunity to build their expertise.
  • Recommendation letters

Day One Assessment:

Organizational Assessment:
What would success look like for NGYouthSDGs by 2024?

Personal Assessment:
What are the top three skills or areas of expertise that I need to develop to be in
the top three in my field within the next three years?
What is my vision of an ideal 2024?
What negative thoughts or emotions are holding me back?
What is one decision I can make in 2024 that will significantly impact my year?
What unique skills, talents, and abilities do I have that can help me reach the
next level?
What limiting beliefs have I held onto that keep me in my comfort zone?

Day Two Overview

A picture of Debola Deji-Kunrunmi leading the sessions during the retreat

The second day of the visioning retreat took an in-person mode and was held at The Zone Event Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. To set the tone for the physical day two of the 2024 Visioning Retreat, the programmes Director Oluwatoyin Banjo welcomed attendees to the training, thanking everyone for their cooperation and interest in the 2024 Visioning Retreat and setting expectations for the day. Participants also gave their feedback from the previous day, all filled with positive remarks and mentioned their expectations from the training. The second day was equally impactful and had practicals and all-around sessions led by Debola Deji-Kunrunmi.

The program flowed to the session of Debola Deji-Kunrunmi (DDK) who led all sessions of the retreat. Day two was focused on Strategic Direction, Execution and Future Mapping. She kicked off by appreciating the attendees for their feedback and cooperation from the previous day. She started the session by letting the attendees know ‘The world is waiting for you’ . She explained that it is not enough to dream but to make the commitment to put in the work. She went further to highlight the steps to move forward with a vision.

Five Things That Will Help You Achieve Your Objectives/ Make You Move Forward

  • Nature of the prominent opulent; Drill down to the exact problem you’re trying to solve. Why are you doing what you are doing? Build to provide the solution
  • Strategic Solution: It is not too late to create a strategic solution for the year. Ensure your strategic solution should weaken the problem.
  • How to build your strategic solution
    Your strategic solution identifies a problem and can significantly reduce/weaken the problem.
    Create a success matrix which would show what would happen if your solution is implemented
    Understand what you are able to directly impact, check the practicality, what works for 5, might not work for 100.
  • Data gathering: There is a data problem in Nigeria. Event registrations can be used as a tool to gather data and inform your solution.
    Identify the skills and tools you need to solve the problems you seek to address
    Carry out a capstone project, you can start small and scale
    Operate the 120% Rule; Your staff can multitask roles before you employ more people but ensure you offer the required skills they need to thrive and do the work.
  • Resource Mobilization: You might not have all the resources you need but the key is to use the principle of Ask. Ask people for what you need, sometimes you can substitute for kind instead of cash. One trick is to tell what exactly you need, for instance, I need a hall instead of I need 100 thousand naira.
  • Expertise Exchange: You need expertise to build good systems/structures. Try to pay to speak to experts and leverage what they say for your other projects.

During her session, she highlighted the 12 wealth asset classes emphasizing how wealth is no longer tied to one particular way. She explained that sources of wealth have evolved over the decades with the coming of new paths such as digital assets, cryptocurrency, renewable energy, thought leadership and others. She grouped these wealth asset classes into Ideas, Brand, Genius, Times and Trends, Hard money, Patents, People, Militia, Soft money, Faith, Philanthropy and Value.

DDK’s Things to Look Out for in 2024 ( Weighty Windfinders for 2024)

The Decade of Dynamism: Things are changing in a rapid and exciting way. Understand that you can also facilitate inventions and shifts.
The God-man will be the final greatest wonder: Those who stick with God and be in sync with him, will change things.
Resilient Resurgence: 2024 is a year of significant bounce back, a great year to go after your passion.
The Year of Ideas and Ideals: Expect to witness uncommon ideas
Re-emergence of Senior Citizens: 2024 will welcome elder statesmen and the majority will start projects as a way to give back. You can key in as an implementing partner.
Wealth Transfers and Power shifts: The underdog will begin to gain the upper hand in wealth transfers, and inheritance will be accessed.
Year of Enigmas: Strange things will happen, and surprising developments.

Group Activity

The session also had a practical aspect to it as attendees got to map out an Enigma Schema. The idea was to talk about a project of choice and identify the key challenges, affected population, and other inputs needed for the success of the project. This took the form of group work as attendees were grouped together to work on this.

DDK went further to highlight and discuss the categories of gifts which are detailed below.

Dormant Gifts: These gifts are in you but will not be active until you start to hit the goal.
Premium Gifts: They will deliver the highest impact once maximised.
A Fine-Tuned Gift: This is when you test your gifts, track and be a student of it.

A snapshot of some of the retreat attendees