IIG News

Class of 2020: Rising up to meet the future with Swiss Re and Penny Bird

The 30-strong high calibre young talent making up the IIG Class of 2020 has begun their year one development programme under unusual conditions. Rather than the planned round of industry networking events and functions providing them with exposure, opportunities to gain experience and leadership training, they are innovating to draw as much as they can from the online world with great success. Natasha Maroun, IIG Head of Impact and Transformation, who understands the importance of the people factor says she is very impressed with the attitude and wonderful morale of the teams. “They are coming up with ideas all the time to look for new ways to navigate our changed landscape, connecting, studying and searching for new fundraising angles. I’m very proud of them all.”

“Our supporting organisations are also thinking out of the box. Carli Jacobs, Swiss Re’s Head P&C Southern Africa, for example, has given the tribes access to the online Swiss Re Academy Portal so they can gain internationally recognised credentials. Swiss Re has also sponsored two virtual talks by Penny Bird who is passionate about spreading the word on the power of inspiration. A big thank you to Swiss Re for giving the Bokamoso and Phakama tribes a boost in this way.”



Here is Penny Bird’s message to our Class Of:

Dear Tribes Bokamoso (Future) and Phakama (Rise Up)

As you will remember from my talk, just 10 years ago I was a self-employed mum of two with a sunny disposition, but no real interest outside my family. Then, by chance, I found my passion and embarked on an adventure of epic proportions, most recently discovering my purpose: to show people where to find inspiration, so they can set their lives on fire too!

In June, I had the honor of being sponsored by Swiss Re to talk to you all: the Insurance Institute of Gauteng Class of 2020.

I knew before the sessions that I would be faced with the top young talent in insurance, selected for an industry-sponsored development programme, but I didn’t realize how bright you shone until I met you.

Despite being located 13,000 km away from each other, connected only by a tenuous network screen to screen, I was invited into your homes and offices, your world, and given a few precious moments to learn a little about you (I was even lucky enough to meet one of your children!) and all you are doing to inspire and lift up the people around you.

I was blown away. Deeply inspired to hear your stories. And humbled. You demonstrate a culture of reaching out to your fellow human beings, to help, give advice and provide moral support, without a thought for yourselves. You are such wonderful human beings, with a kind, positive energy, and lots of laughs along the way. I really hope that you recognize the amazing difference you are making to the people around you, and to the world.

Most of all, thank you for sharing a little of yourselves with me. I thought the challenge of writing down and telling my story would help me grow. Instead, the greatest growth comes from hearing your stories. My iHeroes! #tellyourstory #inspirationjunkies

Wishing you a life fuelled by inspiration, drawn from those around you.

Penny Bird (Photographer and speaker on the power of inspiration)

Here is what some of our Class of 2020 had to say about the inspirational talk from Penny Bird: 

Sarafina Sibiya: Meeting Penny Bird rekindled a burning desire within me to use my talents fully and tangibly, while being grounded in a similar appreciation and love for them that Penny found with her camera. I am grateful to be reminded that dreams don’t have to fade away into grayscale backgrounds with the passing of time, but that the breath in ones lungs is a colourful palette of paint to bring those dreams to life, regardless of time. 

Anika Maharaj: People tell their stories today but in a slightly different format – they use speeches to express their experiences but Penny does this in a creative way by using pictures and videos of her most treasured memories.Certain people in our lives have this special ability to inspire, they motivate us to do the things we want but are afraid of, they influence us by the way they live theirs lives. She is a role model in the lives of most people who have the privilege of knowing her.

Find out more at www.pennybird.co.uk/webinar or connect with Penny on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/connect_inspire_repeat/

*Pictures taken prior to lockdown