Hosted by Sid Smith, Ana Maldonado de Ceppi, Kathy Benemann, Oorlagh George &
Dr. John Tymitz
Hosted by Scott Hefter & Anne Hefter, Mila Petrova, Carol Sawdye & Zainab Wadood
Hosted by Diana Amoa, Arsha Cazazian-Clement, Cindy Chastain & Melroy Patterson
Hosted by André, Déja, Ezgi, Heidi, Isabella, Lauren, Naomi, Mosa & Talha
Bob C. Hagerty
Chairman of the Board, Poly
Global Advisory Leader at PwC
President & Chief Executive Officer, Herman Miller, Inc
“YOU REALLY GET TO KNOW PEOPLE. AND THE BOTTOM LINE IS PEOPLE HAVE THE SAME ASPIRATIONS. YOUR THEORETICAL ENEMY IS JUST THE SAME AS YOU.”
Bob Hagerty recalls the shift he experienced in the 1980s when he was spending six weeks at a time in the Soviet Union with a client buying television and audio recording equipment from his company. “I’d grown up doing duck and cover drills and learning about nuclear war, and here I was,” says Bob. “You really get to know people. And the bottom line is people have the same aspirations. Your theoretical enemy is just the same as you.”
Global Nomads began its relationship with Bob during his time as CEO of Poly, then called Polycom, a provider of personal video systems, video and voice collaboration infrastructures, and conference phones. Poly facilitated Global Nomads’ first project—a Polycom video conference on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 connecting high school students in Connecticut with students in Baghdad.
That launched a 17-year partnership, including a 10-part video conference led by Global Nomads, connecting students in Canada, the UK, the US, and Uganda, and opportunities for dialogue among students in the US, Syria, Antarctica, Rwanda, Haiti, and on the shipboard education program Semester at Sea.
Bob brings nearly 40 years of leadership and experience in communications technology to his role as Chairman of the Board at Poly, and he is unsurprised by the vitality of the partnership with Global Nomads. “It was such a good match to the company and our mission that it was able to go through different executives and different leadership teams—it took hold and stayed.”
Technology captured Bob’s imagination when he visited the IBM headquarters in 1968 on a school trip and saw a computer for the first time. The space race was next. “Those things were very impactful for engineers and science people in my generation.” He sees video and voice and content sharing as the way to enhance communications and improve education for this and future generations.
For his commitment to provide technology that carries students across any distance to find community and solidarity with one another, Global Nomads is honored to present to Bob Hagerty the 2021 Award for Digital Innovation.
“GLOBAL ACUMEN IS A REQUIREMENT— NOT JUST TO WORK WITH PEOPLE IN EUROPE OR IN AFRICA, BUT TO WORK WITH AMERICANS.”
When asked to describe himself, Mohamed Kande will often use the term “global citizen”. He grew up in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa and studied abroad in France, Canada and the US, earning degrees in electrical engineering and business, before settling in the US.
Now the Vice Chair and Global Advisory Leader at PwC, his influence continues to be felt all over the world. But he maintains that critical work needs to be done here in the U.S.
“Being a global citizen doesn’t mean that we have to leave the US to live in another country,” says Mohamed. “Aspiring leaders will lead diverse groups of people from multiple cultures, races, and genders. Global acumen is a requirement—not just to work with people in Europe or in Africa, but to work with Americans.”
And his firm, PwC, agrees with him. PwC leads CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, a community of 2,000 CEOs who made a business commitment to enact these values in the workplace. With a goal of systemic change, PwC also launched their Access Your Potential program, investing $125 million to assure opportunities for Black and LatinX students to get a seat in the rooms where their skills can be recognized and rewarded, at PwC and elsewhere.
Mohamed has walked in their shoes. Earlier this year, he published an essay titled, “Race, Resolve, and Reinvention “ talking about his experiences adapting to new environments, overcoming obstacles and entering—and excelling—in those rooms. When asked what people might learn from his journey, he says “Don’t judge people, and trust in yourself.”
For demonstrating the continuous learning that connects people across differences and assures our technological and human progress, Global Nomads is honored to present Mohamed Kande the 2021 Award for Dynamic Leadership.
“THE WORLD CHANGES AND YOU ALWAYS WANT TO TAKE A LOOK AND SEE IF YOU’VE CHANGED AND EVOLVED WITH IT.”
Andi Owen was in her twenties the first time she traveled to China for her work in the apparel industry. She remembers clutching a piece of paper that instructed cab drivers to take her from one small factory to another, then to her hotel. One night, she got in a cab without her instructions. Using pantomime, pen, paper, and nonverbal reassurances, she and the driver slowly, eventually made it to the W Hotel. “We grabbed each other’s hands because we’d had this moment of shared understanding,” says Andi.
Until this point, Andi’s experience of travel was “wherever we could drive in the car and stay with relatives.” The performing arts high school she attended offered a slightly broader view of the world because kids attended from out of state. Andi relishes the moment with the cab driver as an opening that stayed open. “I learned not to be afraid.”
Since 2018, Andi has led the global design and innovation company Herman Miller, Inc., which provides furnishings and related technologies and services for use in environments where people “live, work, learn, heal, and play.”
Herman Miller delved into matters of accountability the past year, though it had already built a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion into its approach to community engagement and supplier diversity. Numerous additional programs now celebrate difference and promote understanding within the company. “The world changes and you always want to take a look and see if you’ve changed and evolved with it,” says Andi.
She recognizes that for Herman Miller to evolve fully, “it starts with meeting each other and spending time together and telling stories about our lives.” She marvels at the fact that Global Nomads has honed this practice for two decades. “Global Nomads, which does that so well at such a young age, is the encapsulation of what we hope to do.”
For her commitment to “design for the good of humankind”—not only furnishings, but a work environment that embraces the whole human, Global Nomads is honored to present to Andi Owen the 2021 Award for Connecting Across Difference.
Name: Mosa Taule (But my friends call me Chad.)
Age: I’m 15 and I’m in the middle of the 10th grade at Spark High School in South Africa.
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
Secret Super Power: Humor. I love making people laugh with my goofy personality.
Random Factoid: I’m a huge anime and manga fan—I’m even studying Japanese!
What’s Next For Me: 11th grade. So far, I’ve gotten multiple certificates of high distinctions in the IBTs for my command of the English language—and my group and I placed third in 2019 at the Eskom STEM expo.
My Favorite Thing About Global Nomads: My internship at Global Nomads was cool because I got to interact with people from all around the world and get their perspective on things.
Name: Ezgi Eyigor
Age: I'm 21 and just graduated from Boston University in May with a degree in Psychology and Brain Sciences.
Hometown: Bursa, Turkey
Secret Super Power: Observing nuance. Culture is very much the way we see the world, how we make sense of it—and it’s only one way. That’s why it’s important to see different perspectives and not to judge or stigmatize others.
Random Factoid: I was in the midst of a study abroad program in Australia when Covid hit and I had one day’s notice to pack and fly home to Turkey.
What’s Next For Me: Job-hunting! I’m excited to work for an organization rooted in human-centered design-focused on youth empowerment to create a more just and peaceful world.
My Favorite Thing About Global Nomads: I love that Global Nomads uses technology as a tool to promote international peace by creating space to connect and explore a diverse range of topics—without necessarily traveling. This opens up a new definition for cross cultural exchange and I love being a part of it.
Name: Heidi Berger
Age: I’m 18 and about to graduate from Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, Vermont.
Hometown: Shelburne, Vermont
Secret Super Power: Focus. Instead of getting overwhelmed by all the sad things in the world and how much work there is to be done, I just focus on small little steps I can take. There are lots of small ways to be an activist.
Random Factoid: I love scrapbooking and collaging because it allows me to creatively express myself however I want.
What’s Next For Me: College. I’m starting Swarthmore College in the fall where I plan to major in Educational Studies and/or Sociology. I want to be a social studies teacher and bring a social justice lens to all my lessons. I want to dispel myths and deconstruct stereotypes with my future students, making a difference in their lives—one young person at a time.
My Favorite Thing About Global Nomads: Before Global Nomads, my world was very small. Now I’m actually getting to meet different people from different countries and cultures, hear directly from them, ask them questions, and build a real connection. I’m able to see the world through a much wider lens, and I have more compassion for other people because now I know people who live in various areas of the world. And so, of course, I’m going to care just as deeply about their situation as I would if it was happening right here.
Name: André Eisenberg
Age: I’m 19 and a first generation college student. I’m currently a sophomore at the University of Rochester studying International Relations, Economics, and Arabic.
Hometown: New York, New York, but my parents are originally from Brazil and Argentina.
Secret Super Power: Storytelling. Stories really move people—way more than reading articles and learning cold facts. Hearing stories creates empathy and understanding. It’s more than just hearing what happens in other people’s lives. It’s also about listening to how they feel about those experiences.
Random Factoid: I not only play soccer and run triathlons, I also play the clarinet and saxophone.
What’s Next For Me: Downtime. Honestly, after an exhausting year, I plan on taking a break from work this summer to recharge. I’m looking forward to the fall—heading back to school and finishing my degree.
My Favorite Thing About Global Nomads: It’s hard to completely remove your own cultural lens and all your biases. But Global Nomads programs really helped me to recognize what influences my views so I can better understand the experiences and perspectives of others.
Name: Déja Santana
Age: I'm 21 and I just graduated from Drew University with a degree in Sociology with a concentration in Computer Science.
Hometown: Montclair, New Jersey
Secret Super Power: Adaptability and curiosity. My “superpowers” are useful in all professional and social settings, however I enjoy them the most when I travel. Being adaptable and curious has given me access to the most beautiful and life-changing experiences while traveling.
Random Factoid: I’ve travelled to about ten different countries and got to spend a semester in Tokyo at Temple University in Japan. I really appreciated the emphasis on communal respect. I made lifelong friends there and I definitely plan on going back.
What’s Next For Me: Getting my career going. I would like to eventually work for Google in an information security position. This summer, along with starting my first full-time information technology position, I will be working on building a social app with my friend that we plan on pitching to investors by the beginning of next year.
My Favorite Thing About Global Nomads: The company culture. Global Nomads Group has such a collaborative dynamic that values respect and professional growth. I am grateful I had the privilege of interning with them. I worked on revamping the new hire orientation process and evaluating the user experience in the Art In Action program.