This year, we discovered the concept of ‘Ubuntu’. It’s core to our ethos, and next year we intend to deploy it consciously as well as instinctively.
It originates from the Zulu phrase “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” meaning “a person is a person through other people”. In essence it means that we’re all part of an interconnected community, so we all belong and our own growth is for the good of everyone in that community, as theirs is to us.
There’s a lovely phrase ‘extroverted communities’, which is its visible impact and means that those groups have a real warmth to other people, whether their own people or strangers. This allows communities to connect in mutually beneficial, sincere ways.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes a person with ubuntu as “open and available to others, affirming of others … has a proper self-assurance.” We reckon that sounds a pretty good aspiration!
As a political philosophy, the term underpins equality at all levels – financial, emotional and practical. The individual’s ability to progress and achieve their personal potential is not seen as divisive, but as for the good of the whole community.
Nelson Mandela explained it thus: “Ubuntu does not mean people should not enrich themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to improve?”
Those of you who pay close attention will know that Spring’s mission is ‘To prosper, and cause others to prosper’. This is something that landed for me about three years ago as a personal philosophy and is also threaded through Spring: our mission is Ubuntu to the core.
This is taken from a briefing to the Springers, late November 2019