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  • Writer's pictureBaker Institute Team

"Truly been blown away"

Drone launch demonstration

Devon Jackson '21 | Los Angeles, CA Major | International Relations 

Minor | Environmental Studies and Entrepreneurship

I have truly been blown away by everyone we have heard speak on this trip. However, one person in particular really stood out to me and that was the cofounder of Zipline Ryan Oksenhor. Listening to him speak and answer questions was not only riveting but enlightening. I say this because in today’s society it often feels like the problems, we want to solve revolve around ourselves. And in the case of Ryan it was the farthest thing from the truth. He went out not looking to solve a problem for himself and find a way in which he can directly benefit, but instead trying to fight injustice in the world in the form of inadequate accessibility to medicine and healthcare in developing countries.

It was so refreshing and truly inspiring to hear the passion and conviction in his voice when he spoke. It was honestly the best experience I have had this entire trip so far because it reminded me that there are genuine good people in the world that just want to help others. If I had to ask him anything or have a one on one conversation with him, I think I would ask him about the bigger picture. For instance, he mentioned how the batteries the drones use can only be used by ports that use fossil fuels and I would be very curious to see if he sees himself and the company is moving toward a completely eco-friendly direction in the future. I can see his company going from not only thriving in terms of making the world a more equal place in relation to accessible healthcare but also in being a frontrunner and innovator in the realm of environmental sustainability. I would also ask him where he thinks his compassion for others first emerged. Was there an experience in his childhood? In high school or college? I want to ask him about this because I know that he and his company are going to change the world and create a positive impact. Not only that but I want to replicate his mindset and willingness to help others genuinely because then I will consider myself successful no matter what I end up doing.

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