If you talk to anyone that has attended an IDDS, they may refer to the “IDDS dynamic.” This is a hard thing to quantify, but can be summed up best by our philosophical motto — “Boa me na me mmoa wo” — a Ghanaian proverb that roughly translates to “help me and I will help you.”

Here are some of the qualities that encapsulate the IDDS spirit:

Empathetic & Resilient
We value what other people think and how they feel. We are comfortable living in rough conditions that most of the world’s population live in—perhaps with irregular access to water and electricity, and where relationships are valued more than time. We each have something to teach and we each have something to learn.

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” — Lee Harper, “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Diverse & Open-Minded
We not only respect diversity, but celebrate it. We are open-minded to new ideas and new ways of thinking and actively seek to be a part of communities where diversity of thought, background, gender, age, religion, and nationality are celebrated and brought together.
We are hands-on makers who believe we have the power to create things, not just receive them. But we also know that we not only should, but have to work together to co-create something that can actually have impact.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with the group.” — African Proverb
We appreciate everything around us as a resource and potential provision to the problem at hand. We seek ways to engage and connect those people and pieces together to create a comprehensive solution.
“A necessidade é a mãe da invenção.” — Portuguese proverb meaning “necessity is the mother of invention.”
We are a group that learns experientially. Instead of producing papers, we build prototypes.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” —Confucius