This week, Sanergy traveled to New York for the Echoing Green New Fellows Retreat. It was a chance for us to work with 14 other impressive social enterprises, each attempting to tackle a massive challenge.

Echoing Green is leading the way on Work on Purpose. They have released a new book which focuses on combining Head, Heart and Hustle. The book actually features one of our mentors, Andrew Youn of the One Acre Fund, whose work is doubling the income of over 50,000 farmers in rural Kenya.

Team Sanergy in the trenches of sanitation.

For us at Sanergy, I think the Head and the Hustle are reinforced daily. We constantly ask each other WHY we should take certain courses of action, knowing that every question has many viable answers. And we certainly HUSTLE trying to make the most of our summer team, limited funds and that feeling that the winds is to our backs at the moment. But the HEART, that’s often the hardest to look after. We jump into the trenches of sanitation, but once there, how do we keep up the emotional energy needed?

Echoing Green is helping us to think about this in profound ways that we are slowly incorporating into the Sanergy culture. Culture is like coral reef; humans can’t make it, but they sure can break it.

Stories: Narratives enhance empathy. Each Sanergy member took a very personal path to come to this moment and sharing those with each other helps us understand our journeys.

Joseph and Benji reflect on their professional and personal goals for the summer.

Silence: Reflection time to think about ourselves, our friends and family, and our purpose. And, with our new garden in Nairobi, could we have found a more serene place?

Sharing in Success: The road is long with many a winding turn. And we beat ourselves up at every turn, every mistake and every missed turn. But we’ve come a long way since the beginning and, on a weekly basis, we need to share in our successes. So yes, team, that means we’ll provide dessert some day!

Discussions: On Monday nights, during dinner, one of our team members presents a pressing topic around Sanergy’s growth. We all bring our expertise and experience to the table to help us collaboratively think through our work.

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