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This Tuesday, Oct. 3/2013, along with 11 of my cohorts, we just completed the 7th week of preparations to our upcoming trip to Brazil, and this trip to Brazil, I believe, will be an opportunity of a life time!

Hear me out why …

Working for SAP for over 3 years now, I got this opportunity to be part of a social sabbatical program. The SAP Social Sabbatical is a unique, short term assignment for high potential talent who work in international teams to solve business challenges for entrepreneurs and the SME sector in emerging markets, while strengthening their leadership competencies, cross industry sector know-how and intercultural sensitivity, In essence it’s a win-win-win scenario, both for the participants, our company and the entrepreneurs & enterprises in the emerging markets.

In my dictionary, this definitely qualifies as an opportunity of a life time – and judging from the conversations that I had with my fellow ‘Sabbatical’ites’, over the last one month and a half, I strongly sense that we all have the feeling that such is going to be the case.

So, a brief background…

Corporate volunteerism: various employees in the corporate world do volunteerism at different scales. And there are companies like mine and a few other companies that take such volunteerism to a totally different scale. Last year, 9 of our colleagues went to Belo Horizonte and a couple projects that they did as shown in this You Tube video here captures the essence of the Social Sabbatical.

This year, SAP is sending 50 of its high potential employees to what SAP calls this volunteerism program – The SAP Social Sabbatical Program (12 of us are heading for Brazil – the other locations are China, India and South Africa).

‘The Guaiba Team’, Porto Alegre, Brazil…

Our Team, ‘Team Guaiba’, (named after the famous river that runs by the city of Porto Alegre), will meet up in person for the first team this weekend after a month and half of 90min conference calls, in Port Alegre Brazil. We had 7 calls thus far, and the 8th will actually be the face to face meeting in person in Brazil! Very excited!!

Over the 7 sessions, we have built a strong virtual team – working on a range of topics, including team building, knowing our host countries, and also getting the first contacts with the assignments and the projects that we will be working on. All told I feel adequately prepared to head of to Brazil, and I will be updating on this sustainability blog site about how the SAP Social sabbatical, 2013, is progressing in Brazil and how we at SAP are working on helping create a win-win-win situation for all involved.

Till the next blog, which I will post from Brazil, Porto Alegre,

So long …

@sapsenta

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