Magento Imagine – those two words together mean a lot to me, especially right now. Continual improvement. An impassioned community. Tried and true friendships. Inspiration above all else – I’ve been experiencing all this yearly since 2011. Nearly 1/3 of my life. Thinking about that just blows my mind. Many of us were once again planning our own versions of the #RoadToImagine, but then a black swan called COVID-19 swam right up to all of us and shook the world we knew to its core. We’ve faced a new reality and are all finding our ways to cope with it.
Perhaps, moments like this let us see and experience life differently, letting us realize how much we depend on our families, teammates and extended community for a sense of belonging, happiness and fulfillment. I know I am not alone in feeling this way.
The first Magento Imagine in 2011. Source: Magento Flickr.
Fortunately, we’re all lucky to be a part of Magento community, which even across the tech world sets itself apart with its diversity, collectiveness and genuine kindness. Seeing how amidst COVID-19 our community quickly shifted aside business for social well-being and mutual support across all online channels warms my heart and truly inspires.
Even though we’re not gathering offline in Las Vegas this year, Magento Imagine 2020 is still going to take place as a virtual experience. I’m very much looking forward to it happening next week. After all, this event has never been about a particular place, it is all about that similar unique blending of community, generosity and contribution. And beyond the upcoming virtual meet up and digital roles we can play, I find myself reflecting on my own personal journeys and experiences. I sense this is my way of looking for what can feel out of reach right now – answers, goodness, direction.
I share and ask others to join in sharing their personal stories.
In 2018, I took a sabbatical, driving a car from Ukraine to Cape Town…and back. This trip traversed 34 African countries and put much in perspective for me. What I viewed as important back home paled in comparison with daily struggles I saw others experiencing, firsthand. Less privileged people exist and have a far more difficult life. I was plainly reminded to not take food, medicine, or government services for granted. I was reminded firsthand that much of what I consider basic, is a far out of reach luxury to others. This especially becomes magnified during the times of crisis – when the whole world struggles, those who suffer the most are often forgotten and somehow, their suffering increases.
Visiting Ebola survivors in the Magazine Wharf slum in Sierra Leone, 2018.
Good news is that we can all help more than we might even appreciate. The possibilities to engage and offer assistance are seemingly endless – be it charitable organizations, direct help to someone you might know or, for example, Kiva.org – where you can help entrepreneurs and communities all over the world fund their businesses to make living (there’s even a Magento team!).
Whichever your approach, my ask is that you engage and share just like you planned to do in-person in Las Vegas. I invite you to share your personal stories, life recipes, and timely causes whether in comments under this post or on any media you prefer. I promise to ‘like’ them all!
P.S. Our yearly tradition at Atwix was giving out a new set of Magento stickers at every Imagine. This year, my colleague, Igor Polishchuk, used his art gifts to create and generously share with us a background mood for the virtual Magento Imagine 2020 experience, which can be used as a desktop or phone background picture. You will find those pictures below. What’s your favorite one?
Force of Imagine
Need another image size? Just let us know and we’ll make it for you.