RSM’s mission is to be a force for positive change in the world. The SDG framework specified by the United Nations serves as a translation of what we mean by positive change. And the hummingbird story nicely illustrates our line of thinking.

You may have seen the hummingbird symbol online and in your work or study, but do you know the story? As told by the late Prof. Wangari Maathai, first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, this story relays a message of hope and determination, which aligns with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Read about how one little hummingbird set out to affect change.

RSM’s positive change initiative is anchored in the 17 SDGs, which act as universal calls to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity. We can combine the SDGs with the attitude of the hummingbird and its mantra – I WILL do the best I can. Focus on seeing the opportunities and grabbing the possibilities that we can grab, instead of only looking at the risks and improbabilities. Refuse to be paralysed in the face of adversity.

How I WILL relates to the hummingbird

At RSM, we ask everyone to create an I WILL statement. To accompany your statement, we also arrange a photographer to take professional headshots. Your I WILL statement  combines your purpose, expertise, network, knowledge, goals and ambitions. Which, referring to the story, implies that everyone can make their own contribution to an improved society. That even small actions can address global challenges. Your I WILL helps you to set goals and determine where you want to make a difference. What’s your I WILL? 

 Become a changemaker using IDGs

Highlighted in the hummingbird story is the importance of using the right skills and having the right mindset and sense of responsibility. For example, innovating and developing new perspectives or collaborating in an impactful way.

These innovative and collaborative perspectives have been fused into a competence framework called Inner Development Goals  (IDGs). Defined by a global consortium of partnering universities and companies, of which, RSM became a member in October 2021, IDGs refer to 23 capabilities  that changemakers should have in their wheelhouse. As a changemaker, you can use these IDG capabilities to take our programmes and systems by the hand and help transform them into the achievement of the SDGs.

Prof. Maathai’s hummingbird story reminds all of us that we should not be discouraged by the enormity of the problems we face. Even small actions can make a significant difference in achieving the SDGs. We must remember we’re all responsible for the well-being of our planet and its inhabitants, and we should work together to achieve a sustainable future. Let’s contribute to finding opportunities and solutions, instead of contributing to the problem and avoiding risks.   What WILL you do?