Last Saturday, we held our first event called “Tenenet: Seeking Light in Times of Darkness”, a panel discussion that focused on mental health and wellness in our community. The event was truly gratifying for the organizers and people who attended were inspired by what they witnessed. In fact, the reaction was so positive and so many people asked us to host a second part that we are in the planning stages of holding another Tenenet event to be held at the end of September.

As we noted in our mission statement, Ethiopians for Constitutional Monarchy is not in this to be a talking society nor is our aim to partake in the broken system of tribal politics that is dividing our country—our purpose is to deliver solutions. It is with this objective in mind that we are announcing the next iteration of our community conversation events. The topic this time around will be how collaboration is better than competition.

Here is what we know to be true, Ethiopia has the intellectual capital and natural resources needed to transform our country and our communities abroad into a powerhouse. The reason we have regressed as a society and why we have become a donor nation instead of a beacon to the world is because we lack the will to collaborate as a people. We have been conditioned to believe in a zero sum game where one person can only win if another person loses. In this paradigm, competition is valued and trust is diminished.

If we flipped our thinking and embraced collaboration and working together, there would be a sea change for Ethiopia and all her people. Collaboration doesn’t mean we eliminate the competitive spirit that is needed to drive innovation, people can still push each other to do better in a collective environment. What collaboration does is put a premium on creating synergies between enterprising individuals and creates a “win-win” atmosphere.

“Hebret: Collaboration is Better than Competition” will be a half day symposium that will feature successful Ethiopians in various fields who will talk about how they succeeded by fostering a collaborative ecosystem within their ventures and among their network. In order to highlight the value of collaboration, we are calling on business people, entrepreneurs and visionary thinkers alike within the Ethiopian community and beyond to take part in the “Collaboration over Competition” event.

Our aim is to host this event either in the Washington DC metro area or in New York City. We are looking for a venue that can hold up to 250 people and has the AV capacities that will allow for multiple speakers, video projection and potentially breakout rooms for small groups to discuss ideas and goals. We are planning to host this event mid to late October. If you have a passion for organizing events, driven to give back to our country and our community and interested in being a part of the “Hebret: Collaboration is Better than Competition” working group, email us at gobez@ethiopians4cm.org and use subject header “Gobez Aleka” or call 202.553.7804 and talk to the main organizer Lij Teodrose Fikremariam directly.