“Instead of pursuing many-sided mediocrity…, a definite person determines the one best thing to do and then does it. Instead of working tirelessly to make herself indistinguishable, she strives to be great at something substantive—to be a monopoly of one.” Peter Thiel
Opportunity is not always what it seems. Just over a hundred years ago a small advert was placed in a London newspaper. It read as follows:
“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success”
It was placed by Irish explorer, Ernest Shackleton, as he sought to build a team to cross Antarctica. Incredibly, despite its grim description, the advert resulted in an avalanche of 5,000 applications for the required 27 person team. Yet should we be surprised? The words were an invitation to something much bigger than the possibility of discomfort and danger, they represented an opportunity for significance, an opportunity to fulfil that ongoing and deep seated search for meaning.
Now the Allan Gray Fellowship might not hold the threat of physical danger, even if entrepreneurship was once described as “staring into the abyss and eating glass”, but it too offers the opportunity for significance. As with the Shackleton expedition, it does not promise an easy ride, but one that will allow you to build a different future, a future that results from being equipped and supported to both imagine and create.
In each of the last 10 years, on average around 2000 matrics and first year students have found it in themselves to accept the challenge to shape a new future and apply for the Allan Gray Fellowship. They have ignored the obstacles and been stirred by the possibility of joining a community of now some 675 like-minded individuals to pursue responsible entrepreneurship for the common good. They have been encouraged by the stories of existing Allan Gray Fellows and Candidate Fellows such as Kholofelo, Mashokane, Dominic, Arushka and Siya.
They have been struck by our passionate dream to intentionally develop the entrepreneurial and innovative talents of young people—to nurture their initiative, curiosity, imagination, creativity, as well as their analytical abilities—alongside the essential qualities of character such as commitment, empathy and a strong moral foundation?
Will you join them?
The Foundation has this week embarked on its annual journey to find those individuals who sense a bigger purpose for their lives and who want to help shape our future. Visit our website to find out how you can Shape Your Future with an Allan Gray Fellowship
Learn more by watching the Foundation Experience video below