Guess who’s 4 today?

enke 4 birthday

Today is enke: Make Your Mark’s 4th anniversary and we are feeling quite nostalgic about how far we’ve come over the last few years! We asked enke CEO and co-founder Pip (Wheaton) to reflect on this day, four years ago, which she happily shared with us below:

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Message from Pip:

Four years ago today (at around 10:30am), Tom (Walsh) and I traveled to OR Tambo airport to be reunited with Kat (Maunders) after 6 weeks scattered across the globe.  Which makes today the official fourth birthday of what was to become enke: Make Your Mark.  It was the first day that we really started putting in place the foundations.

So to mark the occasion I went through my old emails and found myself laughing out loud at our excitement in those early days.  I also found myself filled with incredibly gratitude for the two people who I started this journey with.  So, while there have been many people who have been part of getting us to where we are, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the people I started this crazy journey with.  A love letter to my two co-founders:

To the wonderful, ever-crazy, Tom and Kat,

I’m not sure if you remember those first hot days in Johannesburg.  We’d had 6 restless weeks all off doing our own thing and had all been counting down until we were back into the same place.  I remember the Skype calls, battling the time difference, looking out over Sydney Harbour, knowing that I was putting in place the plans that would take me away from the city I love.  I remember the constant stream of emails between the three of us in the lead up to arrival, which are now hilarious to re-read.  Looking back through them, I found the most wonderful rants on top-down vs. bottom up development, comics we sent each other about flow-charts and serious plans for the future.  My favourite is probably Tom saying that he’d die a happy man, simply because I was advocating a particularly geeky team management tool.

And then, finally we were all here.  And it was hot.

We had some pretty heated conversations during those first few days, trying to get clarity of what on earth this crazy thing we were doing actually was.  Locked in an empty classroom in Monash South Africa’s C Building (playing with their awesome new smart boards…) we started to make this whole “enke” thing take shape.  In hindsight, we’d all committed to something without really knowing what we were getting ourselves in for.  For Kat and I, we’d jumped on planes without really even knowing each other.  I’m glad we had no idea what we were getting ourselves in for or else perhaps we wouldn’t have done it?

Going through emails from that time, I found my “farewell to Australia” email – entitled “An exciting (ad)venture”.  The paragraph that jumped out at me was this:

Why are we doing all of this?  We believe that young people are the key to making change in this world but that as individuals our power is limited.  Connecting and supporting young people is to let them have a voice, to let them have their say about the future of their world.  With enke we want to give young people the courage and passion needed to make a difference, and to let them join with other young people who are doing it too.  

I miss you both terribly.  But the reason that we started this?  Well, it’s still what keeps me motivated.  We might have changed how we talk about it but the passion remains the same.

Thank you so much for being crazy enough to start this, for being naive enough to not realise it should have been impossible, and for being the fantastic support since you left.  The past four years have been extraordinary.

With all the love in the world,

Pip

1 Comment

  1. Gina Olivieri on 18 September, 2013 at 1:19 am

    Big, beautiful love to all of you, and happy birthday enke! You made the right call xox

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