We’re all about collaboration. It’s in our DNA. That’s why we sat down with over fifty people close to OG to ask them which values best represent the organization. Together, we built this manifesto that serves as a working document and helps guide everything we do.
For us, these are the values that epitomize travellers who are socially, environmentally, and politically aware of their impact in the places that they live in and travel to. Beyond that, these values inform how we make our day-to-day decisions at OGHQ.
prepared to change
Our most important quality is the ability to reflect and adapt. We need to be prepared to change ourselves, prepared to change our perspective of a new place, and prepared to change the lives of others. It’s not just about keeping an open mind. We are actively changing who we are and how we interact with the world around us.
FULL LIFE LIVIN’
The world has infinite opportunities for wonder and joy. Every tree can be a playground, every street can be a dance floor. We try to squeeze the sweet nectar out of every opportunity the world throws at us. “Gee, that mountain seems impossibly high,” to which we would respond, “That must mean that the top is impossibly beautiful!”
We are guests in a place others call home. Adhering to local traditions and customs allows us to understand the value of cultures different from our own. It opens the door for a greater understanding of our similarities and not just our differences.
People clash. That’s natural. Being a part of a cohesive group has less to do with how much everyone likes each other and more to do with how much respect there is between those who like each other least. This respect extends to the people we meet at home and all around the world. We make an effort to understand the people we don’t get along with. Why are our perspectives different? What can we learn from them?
Travelling is a humbling experience so long as we let it be. Humility allows us to connect to anyone – be they a doctor, teacher, farmer or street performer. We may look silly searching for words in a new language, but the very attempt might help us connect to someone on a deeper level.
“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” This phrase from an Aboriginal Rights group in Queensland, Australia has served as a motto for many activist groups and it is in this spirit that we aspire to work in solidarity with those who are confronted by oppressive powers and stand in solidarity with all peoples. Solidarity promotes greater understanding and inspires our collective action towards making a more just and equitable world.
Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Groups make us confront ourselves in a way that can’t be mimicked by individual experience. Groups challenge the way we think, the way we empathize, and the way we relate to the world. We leverage the power of a group to develop a deeper understanding of the world around us and a deeper understanding of ourselves.
THIRST FOR LEARNING
The road is the best classroom. At the heart of OG is a quest for knowledge of a great big world none of us can fully comprehend. But we can try to understand it better and find our place within it. So, we look for truth.
We are a group of movers and shakers training the next generation of thinkers and doers. There are enough leaders in the world that tell people how to think. We believe the greatest leaders are the ones that teach people how to think for themselves.