Be. Leadership March 2020- Day Two

A reflection from one of our 2020 participants, Eric Ufi Poa Knapp

Headshot of Be. Leader, Eric, smiling, wearing a green shirt and his Be. Leadership badge

Be Leadership March 2020 Day Two: Society – what’s really going on here?

Nothing could have been more positive, or more opportune, than having our second Be. Leadership session during this surreal time.

I must admit I was gutted I wouldn’t be seeing my new “Be.” friends in person, but I was grateful our session could carry on despite the Level 4 lockdown. Thanks to technology we were all able connect face to face from the comfort of our homes and persevere.

It was pretty cool seeing all of us in our own environments, wearing our casual clothes, having our pets try and steal the show!

Day Two began with our second speaker, Dr Philippa Smith, Senior Lecturer at AUT. She holds a PhD in IT, has an MA with Honours in Communication Studies, studied Journalism at AUT and has a BA in English Literature. Wow! With all this if Philippa says something, you drop everything and listen! Being a researcher on the report on New Zealanders with disabilities and their internet use, Dr Smith was a fitting speaker during this time of crisis.

Keeping to the theme of Covid-19, Dr Smith talked about how this crisis has impacted the world and New Zealand with regards to technology. We are almost forced to be technology savvy. Older generations are having to use social media, where they wouldn’t normally, in order to stay connected. As our previous speaker Major Campbell Roberts also stated this crisis is also an “opportunity”, Philippa discussed how from this opportunity we can grow as a community, physically and online, hand in hand.

Who has a friend that firmly believes in everything they read on the net? I certainly do, several of them in fact. Philippa raised the question of how do we distinguish fact from fiction? This resonated with me as I live with someone who believes everything; therefore I get an earful every day! Simple answer: look for evidence.

I find it very ironic how some of us despise technology, yet in this Covid-19 crisis we are forced to use it for work, family, and social events. I think we need to move with the times and grow together with technology. As leaders I think we need to acknowledge the innovations or, at the very least, be aware of them.  

Our group found the video conference to be very cool but very tiring at the same time. Philip running the session through Zoom was fantastic. I think he was quite chuffed with the power he had to mute anyone at any time. Of course, Philip didn’t abuse his “special powers”, but he did remind us now and then just in case it slipped our minds!!

I’m looking forward to our next session already knowing nothing can hold us back!


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