“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I was raised to speak truth to power.
In fourth grade, I walked my first picket line. By eleventh grade, I had learned to filibuster government class until Mr. Michalski would agree to discuss international human trafficking. It was like a stage play: I had my role down, but the stakes were low.
Then I met Johiron.
Johiron was emaciated, living in a shelter of palm leaves in Bangladesh and surviving by begging for rice. I shadowed her as an intern for Grameen Bank'sbeggar lending program, and she shared how she'd used a micro-loan to buy a goat, which turned out to be barren. This investment flop actually forced her toeat one day less each week, so that she could save to repay her loan. I told Grameen they needed to add business training to their beggar lending program, or else they weren't fulfilling their mission. They did. For the first time, I realized that having been raised to speak truth to power was a gift, and that it could have important consequences.
I am committed to helping people build businesses in challenging economic and political landscapes. As I do so, I'll keep in mind a few guiding principles: Be curious. Listen. Understand that actions have consequences, intended and otherwise. And, never forget the power of being willing to take a stand and speak a simple truth.
— Emily Slota
Each year we ask our classmates a straightforward, simple question taken from the lines of a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Mary Oliver.
We share with you intimate and candid responses to this question, "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Concept and photography:
Tony Deifell, MBA '02
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Harvard Business SchoolDillon HouseSoldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163