She illustrated her work in Malawi, where she and Microsoft worked with a refugee camp to assist them in improving their quality of life. To get an insider’s look into the dynamics of the population, Krukiel and her team appointed and collaborated with refugee ambassadors who could coordinate with them on what the camp needed.
Looking at it from a technology company’s perspective, Microsoft thought that the most obvious way to help the community was to provide them with mobile phones. However, doing so would have done more harm than good. Krukiel and her team had to stop their initial plan, as it posed a threat to Malawi’s economy, with local vendors making a living from selling phones.
In this light, Krukiel emphasized the importance of understanding communities and identifying the problems that truly need solving. Collaborating closely with the refugee ambassadors, Krukiel’s team found that they could use other means of technology to make a larger impact on the Malawi camp.
They discovered that Malawians have a knack for coding. Together with Takenolab, a local computer programming and app development academy, Microsoft was able to pinpoint how they could make it easier for students to code. Takenolab had been teaching refugees with merely a blackboard and printed out keyboards. Krukiel and her team were able to encourage locals to learn by providing the camp with more computers and a three-month program that catered especially to women.
Not only did the program help the students, but it also had a rippling effect on the community. These students ended up creating innovative solutions to automate processes within the camp. For instance, they developed an app that notified camp residents whenever there were food deliveries. This was an improvement from the usual announcements written on paper and posted on a wall. Instead of waiting for the delivery schedule and the food, the refugees were notified via their phones, providing them more time to focus on their day-to-day responsibilities.
With this, Krukiel relayed the impact a group of individuals can make. Had her team relied only on what they thought the refugee camp needed, they would not have made as much impact as they did.
Catalysts for a Meaningful Impact
It all starts with you—your influence, how you use it, how far you’ll take it. You can fuel a culture—a culture of innovation, world-changing solutions, and a digital revolution.
Before Lead-In’s conclusion, the program featured Globe Business’ #IgniteYourInfluence video, urging the audience to go beyond and not just focus on personal goals. The audience was asked to take on the challenge of being catalysts for a better future. The video calls on both individuals and enterprises to use their influence to do good—because change starts with everyone. This is in line with what Globe Telecom Chief Human Resource Officer, Renato Jiao, said during his closing speech, “Be your own catalyst. Give, serve, sustain, and, most importantly, lead.”
Globe Business has always been a strong advocate for going beyond. This era is no longer about enterprises focusing solely on numbers and profit, but rather creating a much larger impact on a greater socio-economic need. Businesses have the power to ignite transformation within the four walls of their offices—and hopefully beyond. It is only by being catalysts will they be able to contribute to the Philippines and the rest of the world, setting the path toward a more sustainable future.