By Yako and Krystal

January 8, 2015, 8:11 am

 

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We have not heard about Ebola in a while. It seems that once the media ceases to report on Ebola, the overall interest (or fear) among the population also disappears.

Since the outbreak of Ebola in 2013, almost 8,000 people succumbed to the disease and more than 20,000 were infected. But now there is hope!

A Dutch pharmaceutical company developed a vaccine against Ebola and according to the latest report in Dutch newspapers, the first tests on humans have started. Once the test are successful, millions of vaccines will be produced to be distributed to Africa, where Ebola hits hardest.

I like this kind of news because it not only puts my country in a positive light, but it also shows something else:

create_collaborateIt was not just a Dutch company that developed the vaccine, but to make this happen a host of countries were involved. A Dutch/ Belgium company, Janssen Pharmaceutical, developed the vaccine also in collaboration with the French. Janssen is a subsidiary of the American company Johnson and Johnson.

In partnering with a Danish company, 400,000 vaccines have been produced in Switzerland for testing on humans. And the test will take place in Oxford (United Kingdom). Seven countries and others were probably involved as well.

This shows that progress is made through collaboration rather than competition or opposition. So collaborating leads to better results that when we are going at in on our own. What can this mean for addressing some of our other challenges?

Can the police and the Mayor’s office please start communicating on solutions rather than fight each other? It starts with either side acknowledging that they are not perfect and that improvements can be made.

As a matter of fact, can’t all city agencies work a little bit better together so that services to New Yorkers are coordinated? Now you need to go for one thing to this office and for another to the next. I would like to see a one-stop counter for residents for all government service related matters– sort of a physical 311. It works in other countries, why not here?

urlWhat about Republicans and Democrats? Did you know that when the government changes administration and both parties have to move into their new offices across Pennsylvania Avenue, they wreck their old offices to spite the opposition? Perhaps asking them to collaborate is futile.

We might have to start simple and promise ourselves to collaborate a bit better. Key ingredients: listen more, talk less, acknowledge shortcomings, and focus on the bigger picture.

Or as Vanilla Ice put it so eloquently back in 1989 in his song Ice, Ice Baby: “All right, stop! Collaborate! And listen!”

Happy 2015 Collaboration!

Yako


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About The Author

Yako: Born on a farm in The Netherlands, Europe, I was always on quest for adventure. As a small boy, I was already interested in learning about other cultures and pretended I was fluent in American (I later learned that Americans speak English). At the age of 23, I traveled to South Africa where I lived for seven months to finalize my thesis for my master's in Business Administration. After that, I worked for eight years for a bank in Amsterdam, but I became restless and decided to quit my job and make the big leap across the ocean to New York. Studying arts and culture management at Pratt Institute helped me eradicate some of the prejudices I had of Americans. I never thought I would stay this long. But now eight years later, I'm still here. I live in Central Brooklyn and work for Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation with great satisfaction. So far, my life feels as if I’m on one big adventure. | Krystal: As a native of Michigan, I moved to New York with a limited perspective of the depth and importance of social differences. Having a passion for creativity, I accepted the various ideas behind expression and equality that poured out from this beautiful, diverse place called Brooklyn. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 2006 with a degree in Communications Design and barely surviving the effects of forced independence, I started an open relationship with the nonprofit world and began to willingly become my own person. Since then, I have been employed and freelance as a graphic designer, with tons of exposure to the things that fascinated me as a child. Living in two culturally different environments has granted me a faceted understanding of social norms and injustices that I feel compelled to speak on. Though visual art and design have been my concentrations since grade school, writing and sharing thoughts socially has been my core calling. In keeping my promise to my parents, I have finally decided to write for social impact. Standing up for my truth while seeking and discovering the truths of others is the way in which I've chosen to take that on. So far, I've discovered that the most direct route to societal improvements begins with the coupling of self-awareness and humility.

Yako: Born on a farm in The Netherlands, Europe, I was always on quest for adventure. As a small boy, I was already interested in learning about other cultures and pretended I was fluent in American (I later learned that Americans speak English). At the age of 23, I traveled to South Africa where I lived for seven months to finalize my thesis for my master's in Business Administration. After that, I worked for eight years for a bank in Amsterdam, but I became restless and decided to quit my job and make the big leap across the ocean to New York. Studying arts and culture management at Pratt Institute helped me eradicate some of the prejudices I had of Americans. I never thought I would stay this long. But now eight years later, I'm still here. I live in Central Brooklyn and work for Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation with great satisfaction. So far, my life feels as if I’m on one big adventure. | Krystal: As a native of Michigan, I moved to New York with a limited perspective of the depth and importance of social differences. Having a passion for creativity, I accepted the various ideas behind expression and equality that poured out from this beautiful, diverse place called Brooklyn. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 2006 with a degree in Communications Design and barely surviving the effects of forced independence, I started an open relationship with the nonprofit world and began to willingly become my own person. Since then, I have been employed and freelance as a graphic designer, with tons of exposure to the things that fascinated me as a child. Living in two culturally different environments has granted me a faceted understanding of social norms and injustices that I feel compelled to speak on. Though visual art and design have been my concentrations since grade school, writing and sharing thoughts socially has been my core calling. In keeping my promise to my parents, I have finally decided to write for social impact. Standing up for my truth while seeking and discovering the truths of others is the way in which I've chosen to take that on. So far, I've discovered that the most direct route to societal improvements begins with the coupling of self-awareness and humility.

One Response

  1. Shani Moore

    Wow…good information – i didn’t know that and I work for the UN where Ebola has continued to be a hot topic! It’s typical that the interest has died down for the US because most things do (unfortunately). Thanks for sharing Yako.

    Reply

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