Miriam Garvi - Leaving a legacy
Miriam Garvi is not afraid to do the unexpected. Nothing is more important to her than to live a life where she can be of importance to people.
“I hope I will never be so firmly rooted in one place that I cannot do what I believe I am supposed to do, or be where I will be of most use to other people. I want to leave behind a good legacy, and I want my life to have been significant to others."
It is no surprise, considering her background, that Miriam thinks like this. When she was six years old, her family moved first to Cyprus, then to Tunisia and finally to Niger, where her parents founded the Eden Project, helping local farmers and their families achieve a sustainable life. Her parents' devotion to helping others has influenced Miriam's life a great deal, she says, in combination with gaining experience from many different cultures, languages, religions and schooling systems.
“My mother and father followed their hearts and did something most people wouldn't even consider possible, let alone, attractive. They dared to go that road even though it was tough. With that background, I feel that just focusing on my career or just doing things for my own benefit has no real value, it doesn´t give me any satisfaction. I want my life to be a blessing for other people, I feel that very strongly. The challenge is also important. I want to tackle new things. When I wrote my thesis I had a very clear image of what I wanted, which questions I was passionate about and what my message was. Based on that, I started thinking about how I could convey my ideas. I wanted to position my reader in that context and really make them see what I was describing. And so I wrote my thesis in the form of a play — to visualize my ideas."
Miriam successfully defended her thesis, titled “Venture Capital for the Future - Implications of Founding Visions in the Venture Capital Setting" at JIBS in June 2007. It juxtaposes contemporary stories of venture capital with a pioneering initiative that was started in the U.S. just after WWII.
“My thesis is a story about people and what they want with the initiative that they started - something I call founding visions. I look at venture capital, an industry associated with investing and financing issues, and describe two different environments in Sweden."
Today Miriam works as a consultant. The step felt natural, she says, since there is a strong connection between the role as a consultant and that as a teacher. She also runs a network to support and help people with ideas and visions, and she is writing a book about Olav Kr. Strømme, a Norwegian minister and chaplain who did pioneering work in the development aid setting. It started out as a commission from the Stromme Foundation, to help find their founding visions and build on that. But the story of Strømme was so captivating that she wanted to explore it more.
“In ten years I hope to be working with people and with research that resembles what I'm doing now. I think it will involve people in many different contexts and cultures, where my language skills will be useful. The strongest satisfaction I know professionally is to feel that I can contribute and help another person to see something clearly. To convey something that opens their eyes."