Isabella Grandic's Personal Update for May 2020 View in browser
Isabella Grandic | May 2020

Sometimes, I have trouble being human. Which is ironic for obvious reasons. I get caught up in working, doing, and creating, that I forget to feel, praise, and love. 

As your standard overachiever, I've always been a "working machine." My brain is sharp. I have good discipline and motivation. I find what I do so incredibly fulfilling. 

But, I've neglected vulnerability. Emotional intelligence. My ability to support others. As a girl, I've also felt this additional pressue to "prove myself." 

I started to change my view after a lunch I had in February with some of the coolest women ever. It was with Adrienne Lahens, Whitney Moore, and Talin Koutnouyan from Influential. We talked about so many things, but I think my biggest takeaway was that it's important to also be a human

I really have underestimated the value of my social and emotional skills. The world is run by people, not working machines (yet). People feel emotions, they love attention and kindness. It's a superpower to learn how to work with different people.

Oddly enough, these months in quarantine have given me an opportunity to improve that. I've worked on new teams. Re-connected with old friends. And had a lot of time to research human relations (yes, I somehow make everything nerdy). 

I feel humbled and appreciative to be surrounded by people who push me to grow, and inspire me to become better. Again, thanks to Adrienne, Whitney, and Talin for igniting a spark in me 💖.

    Welcome back to my newsletter! This is a 5-minute update about:

    • My path towards solving maternal mortality
    • Kenyan Early childhood development project update đŸ€—
    • Startup life @TKS
    • A resource for you with simple (and creative) ways to improve your life

    P.s. Before we dig in, last month I gave a talk at the British Standards Institute on women's health technology! If you're interested in learning a few new things about female healthcare, check it out here

    Maternal Health Pilot: Nigeria

    We're 2 months into building our maternal mortality project! It has been a rollercoaster 🎱 .  I've shed my sleep time in half, tripled coffee intake, and started living according to West Africa Time (WAT). 

    But - this is only the beginning. We have a long long long way to go, but at least we're on the path towards something big. 

    At a glance: my team and I are building a social enterprise that distributes life-saving medication to women post-delivery. We are trying to reduce the number of women who die due to postpartum hemorrhages (severe bleeding after birth) with a drug called misoprostol

    🧠 If you're curious about the details, I wrote an article about out solution: 

    Misoprostol Solution Article

    ✹ Highlights 🌟

    • Presenting for the UNFPA innovation team 
    • Having our proposal shared with some of the top health officials in Northern Nigeria for their feedback
    • Anddddd geting closer to government approvals đŸ€©

    What's Next? 

    • We're building a pilot plan proposal for the government in Jigawa, Nigeria over the next month. Once we get the ministry of health's approval, we'll kick-start a pilot post-COVID-19 😎. 
    • The team is also building a training curriculum for the local health workers & community! We are doing this with mentorship from the United Nations, Clinton Health Access Initiative, and medical leaders. We'll be able to sell/distribute this curriculum to any organization that wants to train health workers in the future.
    • Securing funding to launch the pilot and training initiative đŸ’ž .
    Kidogo Project

    2 months ago, I worked with (another) team to build a recommendation for the social enterprise, Kidogo. They're creating the largest network of early childhood development centers across informal settlements in Kenya! 

    The Kidogo executive team enjoyed our recommendation! We're now seeing what the next steps towards execution might look like 😊. 

    TL;DR of recommendation: selling products internationally to subsidize low-profit centers. This will double the profits at their current centers, and allow them to increase operations by 700-1000%

    Kudos 🙏

    • Thank you to Chandler Perog for mentoring and supporting our team during the Kidogo project planning. We seriously couldn't have done it without you! 
    • Thank you to Debbie & Logan Sullivan for being invaluable support throughout the Kidogo process; helping our team understand business in Kenya, and early childhood development. 

      This month, we built a prototype for a potential product: Kidogo At Home. It's a subscription box with early childhood curriculum + activities delivered right to your door. I won't be linking it because of IP yet, but I'm sure you'll see it soon (: 

      Startup-ing @TKS

      I have no doubt you're well aware of this, but gosh these past few months have been wild! Like any company, we've made a lot of changes to practically every department. 

      This experience has made me internalize the importance of adaptability and execution. Ideas are good, results are better. 

      Soooooo, what have I been working on? Great question. You know you're at a startup when your role changes weekly 😂. 

      Ok but actually, I've been focused on all-things-analytics, building copy & communication materials, and helping juggle emergencies as they come up. 

      ✹P.s. I hear TKS has a new, awesome website that I may or may not have helped build. 

      Life Improvement

      I wrote a blog on 77 things you can start doing to improve your life, productivity, and relationships. I promise it's easily skimable :p !

      Read about 77 ways to improve your life
      Do you have any feedback for this update?

      Thanks for reading! If you're able to, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on these updates. How can they be better for you? What do you like or dislike? What do you want to see more/less of? 

      I hope you and your friends/families are staying safe, learning, and enjoying some of the warm weather! I'll see you next month!


      Was this email forwarded/shared with you? Subscribe for my monthly updates!

      Isabella Grandic

      Toronto, Canada

      linkedin twitter website

      You received this email because you've been an awesome mentor or supporter of mine.