Baobab Summit 2020

Baobab Goes Global  #Resilience 

This event has ended.

The Baobab Summit is an annual signature event that brings together Mastercard Foundation Scholars for  three days of fellowship, learningand mentorship. Since the global pandemic upended plans to host the Summit in Rwanda, Mastercard Foundation held the first ever virtual Baobab Summit, an interactive experience that Scholars could enjoy from the comfort of their own computer screens 

Opening Remarks from Reeta Roy, President and CEO

Resilience: A Marathon Not A Sprint

The Summit kicked off on Friday, August 21, 2020 with a Facebook Live session with Mastercard Foundation President and CEO, Reeta Roy and three-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge — Resilience: A Marathon Not a Sprint.

Watch the session.

What Does #Resilience Mean?

Mastercard Foundation Scholars have a deep personal commitment to changing the world around them and improving the lives of their families, communities, and countries. It is fitting then, that the theme in 2020 was resilience. Defined as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress”, resilience involves both “bouncing back from these difficult experiences…[and] profound personal growth”. Resilience is imperative, more than ever as Scholars began to navigate an uncertain landscape radically different from the they knew 

Grounded in the values of transformative leadership and inspired by the Scholars Program’s new targets to engage more young people with disabilities, refugees, and those who have been displaced, resilience offers participants an opportunity to explore the intersection between personal growth, inclusion and social transformation. As we discussed resilience and its building blocks:  connection, adaption, compassion, innovation and purpose, Baobab 2020 was an opportunity to learn from each other and build the critical thinking, grit and entrepreneurial skills needed to re-think challenges and forge new solutions. 

Our Roving Reporters

Two Scholars, Sandra Kalua and Mahmoud Kanso, reported from the Summit, sharing their thoughts and experiences on our Facebook and Instagram channels. Follow them for updates from the event.

See highlights from #Baobab2020 Day 1.

See highlights from #Baobab2020 Day 2.

See highlights from #Baobab2020 Day 3.

2020’s Plenary Speakers

The Virtual Space

Due to COVID-19, 2020’s summit was virtual:


Speak Your Mind

Every year, Mastercard Foundation Scholars have a chance to enter the Speak Your Mind content, where they share personal insights around the theme of the Baobab Summit. 2020’s resilience theme was one that resonated strongly with Scholars for obvious reasons, and garnered more than 200 submissions.  From spoken word to speeches, from dance to videos, each piece was poignant, compelling and deeply personal. Here are some of the winners.

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