What is the value of one’s heartbeat? What is the meaning of life? Do I matter? These are existential questions that people increasingly reflect on in light of the covid pandemic and the rising number of existential threats facing humanity. Placing a value on life is a poignant ontological question, nearly impossible to answer, yet profound enough to drive many a passion.
The devastating impact of Covid, an increasingly fragile natural environment and the potential widening conflict in Ukraine have disrupted our somnolent lives and triggered deep introspection on the meaning of life and yearnings to live relevant lives. Therefore, what is emerging on a global scale and rapidly accelerating is the pursuit of a ‘purpose-lived’ life. Covid was merely one of the many tipping points to prompt us to expand our consciousness and engage in unprecedented self-introspection to shift us from materialistic obsession toward deeper empathy and solidarity as humans.
The notion of ‘Purpose-lived’ could have multiple meanings and is therefore elusive to simplistic explanations. However, it connects us to our higher aspirations through what we express through our values. ‘Purpose-lived’ makes us active participants to change the world we’re living in; similar to the growing trend of many ultra-rich signing up for the ‘Giving Pledge’ to donate their wealth to worthy causes.
So how do we live a ‘Purpose-lived’ life? The fundamental question to answer is, how do we want to validate our lives? Do we wish to measure life’s value through accumulation, or in the legacy that we build and leave for posterity? When Apple founder, Steve Jobs, in his dying moments wrote, ’Being the richest man in a cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night. saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me,” makes one realise that the value of true wealth is actually a life well-shared.
‘Purpose-lived’ is a value that TSIBA Business School espouses in praxis and philosophy. This has given rise to numerous opportunities which have benefited the lives of thousands of young people! By harnessing the aspirational and philanthropic values of a Business School with philanthropists who over a period of 18 years provided access and full-tuition scholarships to over 6000 deserving young people from the most marginalised sectors of South African society. These ambitious young learners were able to transform
Philanthropy is purpose in its purest form! Grants that enable the less fortunate to live or learn express an individual’s unique innate desire to determine someone else’s reality in a positive way.
It is therefore not surprising that in its short history that TSIBA Education NPC, won numerous awards which including the Impumelelo Gold Award for Social Innovation in 2013, Winner of the Mail and Guardian Drivers of Change Awards in 2014 and Winner of the Eduweek Africa Award in Higher Education Category in 2015.
The biggest winners however are the thousands of learners who are able to access the fully accredited programmes; the Higher Certificate in Business Administration, Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and the Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and, by so doing, embark on a personal and professional transformation.
TSIBA’s ‘Purpose-lived’ success has made a very significant impact in the harsh South African reality of high unemployment. Graduate employability is >90% which is sector leading. In addition, many TSIBA’s students and graduates have established successful social and commercial enterprises. Some examples include Chev’s Kitchen (a community-based social entrepreneurship feeding scheme in Kewtown, Cape Town), Bee-Inspired (a honey and beeswax production company, Somerset West) and Khaltsha Cycles (a successful cycling enterprise, Khayelitsha, Cape Town).
TSIBA Business School’s ‘Batho Pele’ (people first) education model is unique in a world obsessed with technology and consumer-driven commercial enterprise. By placing humans at the centre of commercial endeavour, the TSIBA model aims not only to unlock the purpose-lived ethos in its students but also to contribute toward social advancement as well as environmental sustainability.
More recently, TSIBA has released the first Purpose-Lived Podcast episodes. The episodes are wonderfully enlightening conversations between TSIBA Co-Founder and Chairperson Gia Whitehead and iconic people from various walks of life. I strongly encourage readers of this article to become listeners of the TSIBA Purpose-Lived podcast series which are available on the TSIBA podcast platform www.tsibapodcasts.co.za or on Spotify, Apple and Google Podcast.
Rudi Kimmie (PhD) is CEO at TSIBA Business School. He writes in his personal capacity.