2020 has been a year of change, adaptation, grief, reawakenings around social justice movements, anxiety, hope. It’s meant extended time connecting over screens, abandoning and recreating routines, and adapting prolonged uncertainty.
As we close out the year, we wanted to lift up things that have brought our team joy over the past several months - hoping that they may resonate with our network, inspire reflection or share a new way to spend time this winter. One of my bright spots of joy? Deciding to move forward with a scaled down version of our wedding, and saying our vows in our own backyard.
Marcia Chong Rosado, Future of Finance Practice Lead
Walking outside four to five times a week with our doggie and dad who is also working remotely. Dancing sessions with my mom whenever, good for the soul.
Listening to podcasts of real, safe, and learning-focused conversations in times when it can be hard for us to find those spaces. (Latino USA NPR, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, I Weigh with Jameela Jamil, Still Processing, Our America with Julián Castro)
Joining weekly Ethel Club’s sessions with other BIPOC across spaces. Ethel’s Club is a social and wellness platform designed for people of color to thrive, online and IRL.
Peter Lundquist, Chief Operating Officer
Our son is living at home while attending college, largely virtually. We’ve spent our at-home time nerding out on sci-fi shows, including introducing him to one of our favorites from the 1990s, the X-Files. He’s helped us keep track of Star Wars canon, connecting the dots between the Clone Wars animated series that came out when he was little and The Mandalorian.
Alana Davicino, Senior Associate, Innovations
Getting involved in my community by volunteering at a food pantry and grassroots organizing has alleviated a lot of my feelings of anxiety and isolation - it’s been really helpful to get out of my head and take the focus off of myself by focusing on supporting others.
Also prioritizing winter self-care by putting up twinkly lights in my room and spending an unreasonable amount of money on candles.
Dahlia Joseph, Platform Manager
Soapmaking - It’s such a blast customizing scents and oils.
Victoria Fram, Managing Director of VilCap Investments, Co-Founder of Village Capital
Anything in / focused on nature has been a salve - especially in a year where we’ve learned to never take a day of good air quality for granted in California.
When not outdoors running (either to clear my own head daily or to chase after two small kids), I’ve relished the escapism of reading about the quiet genius of the natural world in books like What a Plant Knows, The Genius of Birds, and the Overstory. And I’ve been captivated by the photographer Jamie Beck, who chronicles in great detail her process of creating an #isolationcreation photograph each day of quarantine on instagram (days 25, 41, 84 are some of my favorites).
Ben Wrobel, Communications Director
Bullet Journaling - mapping out every minute of your day might sound crazy, but it’s a way to eliminate the “tyranny of choice” and add structure to your life. Just make sure to work in time for fun and relaxation
Peixian Lu, Impact Metrics Analyst
Hiking in local parks and forests: pick the destinations in the morning of the hiking day, without much planning - simply embrace the uncertainty.
Teaching high-schoolers in China (mostly rural) on social innovation / entrepreneurship. It’s been a blessing and gives me hope.
Annie Wood, Digital Marketing Specialist
Making my way through Snacking Cakes by Yossy Arefi - recipes that don't require fancy equipment or a ton of effort and turn out wonderfully. My favorite so far is the espresso chocolate chip cake.
I’ve also been getting more into sending snail mail - even short little notes - after acquiring a stack of 100 postcards. Getting letters for no reason is even more fun now and also helps document this time in our lives.
Rustin Finkler, Communications and Research Manager
Adedana Ashebir, Regional Manager, Africa
Cooking consistently (no delivery since March! which is huge for me as I didn’t cook much before).
Taking improv comedy, writing, and acting classes online which has been great fun with a mix of a good challenge - it’s nice to return to old interests that are pandemic-proof since I can’t salsa and tango anymore.
Matt Zieger, Chief Program Officer - Americas
Hiking & snowshoeing - Our family has loved getting outside exploring mountains and parks.
We’ve also really enjoyed rewatching The Simpsons as a family. Our boys crack up constantly and the writing still stands up to modern issues even decades later. Justice reform related example from the episode we watched last night.
Sofía Cándano, Communications Associate, Latin America
I’ve been taking daily walks with my dog for at least one hour, time I would have otherwise spent in traffic. Mexico City is not a place with extreme seasons, but throughout this year I got to enjoy the smooth changes from the purple Jacarandas, to the rainy days and falling autumn leaves.
Allison Nixon, Associate, Abaca Entrepreneur and Investor Services
I’ve loved getting to dig out an old hobby and crochet a baby blanket for my sister-in-law. It’s a craft I find very peaceful, and it was exciting to challenge myself creatively in a way I haven’t taken the time for in several years.
Also, it’s been fun to find ways to hang out with family members virtually. Some of our favorites right now are playing Jackbox Games over Zoom, and Among Us.
Deepak Menon, Chief Program Officer - EMEAA
Trekking & travelling with the kids... Road trips are a family thing & despite the pandemic, we’ve been able to do a few safe spots- managed to get away to the hills a couple of times + to an isolated island once!!
I finally introduced my kids to ET!
I also found an amazing bookshop that has editions of several books that my wife & I enjoyed when we were kids- it’s so much fun sharing these with our daughters & discussing what they thought. Personally...just reading a lot more in 2020 than I did in the past two years put together….
Amazingly clear skies from the terrace of our house- invested in a decent telescope & stargazing has become another favourite family activity.