Going Forth Episode 38: Driven by Impact – Making Change at the Micro and Macro Levels

Deqa Aden, class of 2018, is all about making an impact. Working in the field of international development, she’s applied her research skills, degrees in political science and psychology, and lived experience towards improving the world. A 2022 Obama Scholar, she’s now wrapping up her master’s degree program at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Her lived experience, professional background in the world of international development, and ongoing academic journey lends her a unique perspective on how the field can make positive change—and highlights the ways that the field itself must change in order to be truly responsive to community needs.

In this conversation, Deqa reflects on her experiences working at both macro and the micro institutions—from the World Bank to an entrepreneurial incubator in Somaliland, and the unique challenges and opportunities innate to both. We touch on building a positive workplace culture, leading with enthusiasm, and the importance of personal mission in driving change.