Foluso Gbadamosi on Achieving Sustainable Development Using Technology.
Foluso Gbadamosi is the Executive Director JAN (Junior Achievement Nigeria), a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Social Advocate, Speaker &Author. She is an astute Business Leader, adept at providing solutions to business problems and challenges using technology. Her portfolio spans working in different Technology & Operations roles in the United States & Nigeria across various industries, including Telecommunications, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Financial Services, and Oil & Gas. In this interview, She shares her drive to bring about sustainable development using technology.
Sustainable Development And Tech
When I started out my career, I didn’t plan to operate in the development sector. Although I am very passionate about development as it relates to the African Continent, Women Empowerment, and Youth Development and this passion has evolved over time.
The truth is, a country that doesn’t invest in its women and youth will suffer for it. These two groups are very critical to nation-building, and in addition, it is important to speak the language of the 21st century, which is technology. Technology is a major gap-bridger and problem-solver. It gives access to a wider network, knowledge, information, and resources that truly empower people. Technology opens up the minds of young people to experiences beyond their immediate environment and inspires them to solve problems and do and create amazing things.
When people have access to information & knowledge, they become empowered. They begin to build businesses, create jobs, and ultimately contribute to making the economy better.I am happy that young people are now taking their lives into their own hands by leveraging the millions of free resources and courses on the internet to better improve themselves and grow their capacities.
My Driving Force
One thing I love doing is encouraging people to become the best version of themselves. However, I realized I wouldn’t be able to do that effectively until I got a full understanding of myself and my abilities. This was one of the reasons I went on a journey of self-discovery. Every single person has God-given talents. However, to get those talents to their peak, they must be developed.
The first step is to know yourself better, understand what your natural talents are, and then figure out ways to develop them. One of my favorite examples is Beyonce, she has a natural talent for singing, but if you compare her voice from when she started her career with her voice now, you will definitely see a difference. She has always been a good singer, but
She has also invested a lot into developing that talent to its peak. What we really need to do is to identify what our talents are and stop trying to be like anyone else.
One major milestone for me is getting appointed as the Executive Director at Junior Achievement Nigeria. This is my first role in the development sector. Prior to this, I had always been in the private sector.
I have also been involved in the work done by a number of reputable organizations in the development sector. In all, I am proud of the achievements around using technology to reach more people, give them access and help inspire positive change in them.
A few years ago, I began to feel like I didn’t have any natural talents. I didn’t know what my natural gifts and abilities were, and this stirred me to go on a journey of self-discovery. During this journey, I took a series of self-assessment tests on a mission to understand myself better. After doing this, a lot of things began to make sense to me; it was a great epiphany. I started to understand myself better, and that was how I got to realize all my special sparks. Things that came naturally to me that I assumed came naturally to everyone as well! I would say a pair of my major superpowers is my ability to connect with people and my natural positivity! I am a full-fledged extrovert; I get energized when I am around people and helping people in different ways. I have the ability to network with people easily and also connect people to each other.
Beyond the female gender, everyone needs to “Be the change you want to see”. This should not be limited to a particular gender, age bracket, or demography but is a commonplace ideal for everyone. We all need to step up. If we want to see a particular change in our society, our first task is to be that change. We need to stop complaining about everything and start taking steps to change whatever we can in our own areas of influence. That said, I also want to live in a more inclusive society. I don’t want to live in a society where wealth is only shared by a very small percentage of the population and the larger Society suffers.
If you look deeply at women and what women represent, you’ll notice that societies that empower their women do so much better. When you see organizations that want to thrive, they’re very big on women’s inclusion in their Board and Management positions. We all have to come together to solve the problems that plague our society. I really hope for a world where we can all be intentional about the change we want to see. This is not the time for complaints and nagging. It is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
If I had the power to make one change, it would be to change people’s mindsets!
Over the years, I have observed that the major thing that is holding many of us back is a limiting mindset which leads to limiting beliefs! Most times, this comes as a result of upbringing, exposure, background, environment, or education.
I think if we could intentionally find ways to stop these limiting beliefs, we would do better as people, and that will affect all areas of our lives, including our Nation. The barriers caused by those limiting mindsets & beliefs will be removed and people will truly be able to be all they were created to be.