Spotlight on a Student Star ⭐️ – My Story

By | Changemaker, Featured, Inspiration | No Comments

On the 24th of July 2016, I graduated from Coventry University with a 2:1 and a first class in my dissertation that raised a lot of discussions in my department. I never saw myself as someone to accomplish anything, however I was a go-getter. My drive for success, not just in my education, but in my self-development was an ability that represented me everywhere even with my mouth closed. Throughout my bachelor’s degree, I always came across situations that introduced me to my real myself. From having one on one conversations with tutors on race representations in my department to leading group presentations and voicing out problems international students went through, I was always ready for the next best thing. My dissertation was focused on the after-effects of colonialism in Nigeria and the traumatising problems the rural Ndi-Igbo women encounter due to patriarchy. I always felt like I was sent to this earth to do something different.

After a few meetings with my professor on the completion of this project. He personally sent off the dissertation to the UN International Rescue Committee Nigeria on my behalf. It was meant to help the officials working in West Africa have a consensus and ideology of the demographic the were dealing with lack of representation (in this case women). I was very proud. It was something to lean on to after suffering from not being able to connect to my university classmates during my BSc. I have always seen myself to be very confident but there is a salient issue when it comes to bridging the communication gap between foreign and home students. It takes a lot and I feel that is something I lacked during my BSc. On a more positive note, things got better.

I moved back to Nigeria that same year and stayed for 4 years working in corporate offices and was even privileged to start my own company back home. In 2020, I arrived in the UK for my MSc in International Management at Loughborough University London, unfortunately during a global pandemic COVID-19. I felt the fear of communicating with students creeping in, even worse it had to be done virtually. I was frantic. I had to dig deep to find that inner confidence that brought out a great dissertation, one that made me stand out. I decided to be fully involved in every aspect of the university. I was older and wiser now. I knew change had to start from me, I could not be that girl with communication issues again. I wanted to help others especially foreign students feel more confident in making friends virtually and to build a positive virtual community despite all odds. Being a student ambassador and working with We see i2i has helped me instill the confidence I lacked in my BSc to my MSc colleagues. We plan games nights via the app and some of us have made friends from other universities on the i2i app. The experience has been wonderful.

We are more confident despite the pandemic that may have crippled communication for others. Aside from being a student ambassador, the i2i app has been one of my greatest projects I have been privileged to handle. From the team to the CEO, I am glad I can be a part of a community that helps foster growth and create long term relationships. I am now confident with friends I have made through the app. On the 19th of March 2021, I hosted the Loughborough University London first social bubble where students came together to form an activity. We were able to share the problems we are currently facing due to the pandemic and opened to each other while playing the scribbl game. It was so refreshing that despite how busy we all are, we decided to plan another social bubble on the i2i app. Things have been great and students are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have decided not to wallow in ourselves due to the isolating pandemic and hefty schoolwork. We want to communicate, have fun, and meet other students.

I am grateful for how far I have got, and We see i2i has given me that bump that I need. I can now confidently say that I have friends who come from different parts of the world that I will cherish for a very long time.

Hadiza Adetunmbi
Loughborough University London

Every month i2i will feature a student who is doing, or has done, something amazing. It can be overcoming difficulties or breaking new ground or highlighting something that needs to be said. If you would like to be featured or know of someone you think is amazing please let us know. Send your email here.

The 5 friends you need in your tribe

By | friends, personal growth | No Comments

Have you ever spent an evening with a friend who turned every positive emotion into something negative? I bet you walked away feeling mentally drained. On the flip side, when you spend time with friends who lift you up, you are inspired to conquer the world.

There is an old saying that goes something like this: “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” Your self-worth shouldn’t be dependent on others, but incredible things are rarely accomplished alone. Friends help.
Like-minded people can stagnate growth. When someone always agrees with you, it gives you a certain level of comfort. Unfortunately, that security doesn’t push you to expand your horizons. It doesn’t challenge your thoughts.

If everyone in your network has the same opinion, what do you learn? Nothing.

Differing perspectives force you to think about other possibilities, truths or alternatives.
Some friendships can form at an early age and we may even stay friends with people from high school or college. But we change. Our goals change, and we evolve and grow. It can be a stark realisation that the friends we grew to know and trust may not understand our new path or journey. That realisation doesn’t have to stop you from being friends, but spending a lot of time with people who don’t get excited about your success won’t motivate you to succeed.

The people you spend the most time with should:
• Make you a better person
• Support you
• Push you to meet your goals
• Inspire you
• Help you transform

The Dreamer
Some dreamers may be seen as unrealistic or undisciplined, but they can also be insightful visionaries. They think of things that others do not. They help you imagine what if. You feel life’s vitality when you are around them. Dreamers have a strong tendency to be highly creative and they make you believe that everything is possible.

The Driver
The driver brings the dream to reality. They understand the big picture, but they have the talent to break it down into actionable steps. They are results-oriented and are usually decisive, direct and pragmatic. They may fall to the practical side, but they know how to get things done and thrive on the thrill of the challenge.

The Motivator
This is your voice of inspiration. They keep pushing you to meet your goals. They help you understand that goals are met more frequently when they are tied to a “higher purpose.” This person infuses you with energy and enthusiasm.

The Supporter

This is the true friend. This is the person with whom you can let your guard down. They are your comfort zone. They are your safe haven. Comfort is not all that bad at times; just remember that you still have to reach for more. This person will be there with you as you journey through life and they will journey with you. They are excited when you realize success and support you in times of need.

The Devil’s Advocate
This person is the critical thinker. They ask questions and lots of them. They see problems before they arise. This person is crucial because you need their perspective. They won’t sugarcoat it. They’re blunt, but they try to look out for you. You may not always like what they have to say, but they are often the voice of reason.

To sum it up:
• A dreamer will help you dream it.
• A driver will turn dreams into reality.
• A motivator will inspire you every step of the way.
• A supporter will never leave your side, through good and bad times.
• A devil’s advocate will cut through the BS and tell you the real deal.

Be persistent with surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you. Be relentless in having a network of people who constantly challenge you as much as you challenge yourself.

Remarkable people beget remarkable people.

by Jan Johnston Osbburn.

The attention merchants: time for a new type of tech

By | Technology, The Social Dilemma | No Comments

Have you seen The Social Dilemma on Netflix yet? If you haven’t you really should. It’s about how technology has developed in the past decade from good intentions to draining our attention, creating mental health problems and dividing society. It’s time for a change and we at i2i want to be part of that change. The documentary was driven by The Center for Humane Technology and you can see more about how it came in to being here.

The Center for Humane Technology was founded by Tristan Harris, Called the “closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience” by The Atlantic magazine, Tristan was the former Design Ethicist at Google. He is a world expert on how technology steers us all, leaving Google to engage the issue publicly. Tristan spent over a decade understanding subtle psychological forces, from his childhood as a magician to working with the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, to his role as CEO of Apture, which was acquired by Google. Tristan has been sounding the alarm about technology’s dark sides before most of the world caught on, according to Bloomberg, having been featured on 60 Minutes, TED, the PBS News Hour and more. He has worked with major technology CEOs and briefed Heads of State and other political leaders. He is the co-host of the podcast, “Your Undivided Attention.”

Tech culture needs an upgrade. To enter a world where all technology is humane, we need to replace old assumptions with a deeper understanding of how to add value to people’s lives. It is essential to design new tech products with human vulnerabilities in mind as the human brain is inherently vulnerable. While social networks claim to connect us, all too often they distract us from connecting with those directly in front of us, leaving many feeling both connected and socially isolated.

Social media companies whose business models based on ads are driving the so-called ‘attention economy’ which means aggressively optimising for engagement metrics at all costs, which is what has created the ‘ledger of harms’, including loneliness, lack of self-worth and decreased focus and cognition.

We believe at i2i you can be values-driven while still being informed by metrics. You can spend your time thinking about the specific values (e.g., health, well-being, connection, productivity, fun, creativity…) you intend to create with your product or feature. Under the right conditions, humans are highly capable of accomplishing goals, connecting with others, having fun, and doing many other things technology seeks to help with. Technology can give space for that brilliance to thrive, or it can displace and atrophy it. In each design choice, we aim to support the conditions in which brilliance naturally occurs.

We believe in asking our community for feedback and involving them in the ways we move forward. We will be fully launching in the autumn with the social bubble feature that came about via our research with students from the LSE. It was originally meant to be small groups of 1 organiser and 10 participants meeting around topics that they want to discuss or learn about. However, because of the Covid ‘Rule of 6’ restrictions, we have had to reduce the participants to 5, which means we will launch a but later.

We welcome your feedback about the app and ideas for future development. Please do contact us here.