I have usually lived my life with an attitude that I have nothing to lose … so why not.  This attitude has not always served me well. I have suffered much loss, failure, heartache, and headache for putting myself out there.  Not that I have major regrets but if I was to do life over again (hopefully not), I would like to approach life with more certainty. In other words, I would like to be more hesitant and spend more time testing the waters. I want to make sure that I do not dive into an empty pool.  It can be quite painful if not deadly. Yet once in a while my attitude takes me to places that I could never imagine. It has taken me around the globe and introduced me to some of the most memorable experiences, like walking in the West Bank as Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers.  And most recently, my what-the-hell attitude has allowed me to develop the roundtable on social entrepreneurship. I did not go into the roundtable blindly - like all the events at Platform, we tried to plan everything very carefully. We give 200%.

But one cannot easily control a conversation.  We could easily have had a panel in which the presenters introduced their work followed by a questioning period.  This way we would know more about the material beforehand and cut off the questions if need be. However, I decided to have an open discussion.  We wanted everyone’s input so that we could creatively develop a practical tool kit. So the decision was very deliberate. And I did this knowing that as soon as one opens up a discussion to everyone - all could potentially go awry.  I guess we could have directed the conversation with pointed questions. But seriously, how could one ask pointed questions when we did not know the answers ourselves or how the conversation should unfold. It had the makings of a disaster.

Luckily, the discussions were very productive.  We were able to effectively cover most of the topics in a short period of time with some really great ideas.  I was pleasantly surprised. Not that I knew what my expectations were. To be honest, I did not know what to expect.  But I had a smile, a huge grin, throughout the whole event. The discussions were just spectacular and the questions were amazing.  I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised. After all, we intentionally gathered some really experienced presenters and handpicked interested participants.  Yet it was wonderful to witness the chemistry between everyone. Yes, chemistry which is important in any group setting. This I could not have predicted but was extremely happy that we were able to bring people who understood and respected each others’ passion for social justice.

And so I am glad that this time my attitude made this roundtable possible.  It was here in this space that I realized that we could visualize a future in which organizations can grow funds for their cause.


Founder. Executive Director

October. 01, 2018


Samantha Joo