SiGMA Foundation: An invitation to shift from privilege to purpose

Shirley Pulis Xerxen 1 month ago
SiGMA Foundation: An invitation to shift from privilege to purpose

In a keynote address during the recently held SiGMA Asia Summit in the Philippines, Keith Marshall, Chief Philanthropy Officer and co-founder of the SiGMA Foundation, delivered an impassioned plea to move from privilege to purpose. Marshall shared his story as a pharmacist, with his critical moment being when he finally realised that life’s greatest injustice is ignorance and poverty while in Ethiopia.

Creating meaningful change

In his speech, Marshall emphasised the power of individual action to create meaningful change.  He narrated his first encounter with the cruel living conditions of Ethiopian kids, which made him re-think his life direction. “I was blown away by the injustices and the crazy conditions that these kids were living within,” Marshall said, adding, “I was stuck at a crossroads. I could either wash away the situation and say, listen, it’s a problem, but it’s not my problem. Or else I could say, listen, I’m not going to change the world, but I can be involved in change.”

Choosing the latter, Marshall shifted his focus, integrating philanthropy into his life without abandoning his other pursuits. He said, “You can comfortably juggle in life.” This balance helped him to continue running his pharmaceutical company, but at the same time, he had the time and resources to help the underprivileged of Ethiopia. From the work of the SiGMA Foundation, the idea has ballooned from helping children in Ethiopia to more than 100,000 children in seven countries on four continents.

Shift from privilege to purpose

Marshall noted everyone’s purpose for being alive, urging everyone to ensure that no matter how small it is, there is always something they can do to. “Everyone can do something for someone,” he went on to say, stressing that everybody matters in the end. Marshall also elaborated on the coexistence of the two different dimensions of life by sharing the professional and personal commitments which cannot stay apart from philanthropic works. “It’s how much time you want to dedicate to kindred spirit—that is, to philanthropy. It could be stretching a metre, a mile, dedicating a week, dedicating a month, or dedicating an hour a day. But it all counts,” he said.

He concluded by calling for action, as Marshall noted that there is much need for support; 380 million children all over the globe are suffering, and all these are because of failing social systems. He asked everyone in the room to take up the possibility of making a difference and to be the change agent within their community for that change. Marshall invited the audience at the summit to “make it count” by using their privileged positions for good. Recent SiGMA Foundation projects, such as the inauguration last week of a Music hall in Bataan have set an example for others to convert their privilege into purpose in practice.

SiGMA East Europe, Budapest, September 2024

Looking ahead, the gaming industry will shift its focus to Eastern Europe this September with the SiGMA East Europe Summit 2024 in Budapest. This event is expected to attract industry professionals from across the region, providing a platform for networking, business development, and exploring the latest trends in the gaming sector.

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