In June 2018 scores of young Deloitte professionals applied for just 12 positions on a new body, the Consulting Africa Millennial Council. The council (commonly referred to as “the Mill Council”) was created to improve communication between the senior consulting leaders within Deloitte Africa and younger leaders – the millennials who will take up the firm’s consulting reins in the not-too-distant future.
But the council is not just an intracompany, inter-generational talking shop. The dozen millennials picked for the council – from Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya – quickly got down to work on a number of concrete initiatives.
The council’s initiatives are about bringing to life Deloitte Africa as a social enterprise. By “social enterprise” we mean that Deloitte is a firm which does more than just make money; it’s a purpose-driven business that creates real value for the communities, the societies and economies in which it operates.
3,400: Estimated hours spent by council members on social initiatives (2018 - 2019)
USD 275,000: is the estimated value in time invested
Two key members of the Council tell us more:
2018/2019 chairman of the Consulting Africa Millennial Council
I work with the Enterprise Technology unit within Consulting, Deloitte Nigeria, and we felt that one way we could make a real impact was by sharing the expertise, insights and knowledge which we at Deloitte have built up with young Nigerians in the areas of science and technology. So we partnered with the Dhack Institute, a respected NGO providing quality STEM education, including artificial intelligence and robotics, to young Nigerians. We selected one school, the Supreme Education Foundation in Magodo, Lagos, and, with the Dhack Institute, 23 consultants spent the day with 50 students from grades 10, 11 and 12 to teach them about robotics, science and technology, coding and drones.
We have a lot of knowledge, but the people from Dhack Institute are expert educators – at everything from early childhood development to secondary school. We’re not early childhood educators so, by working closely with them, we are, in a real sense, “training the trainers”. With Dhack we held a SMART [Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound] goal-setting workshop with the students, listening to what their goals were and provided mentorship on how, practically, they could achieve those goals with the right support.
In 2019 we’re working to reach out to even more schools, especially underprivileged Nigerian schools, to see how we can impact more communities through education and technology. And we’re working right now to broaden our impact not just in Nigeria but across Africa, to involve 1000 students.
In 2019 the council did a great deal of work to rapidly achieve this objective, through conceptualising the Deloitte Digital Academy. The academy was initiated by the firm’s Consulting Africa Millennial Council in 2019. It is finalising the planning stage to empower 1000 young students and others with digital and entrepreneurial training, including business planning with implementation, to roll out with a pilot programme and then scale rapidly with lessons learned across Africa. Each of 20 centres will train and mentor at least 50 young people and others in robotics, artificial intelligence and vital technological skills, as well as the soft skills which are becoming increasingly important (communication, emotional intelligence, teamwork and innovation). The academy is being rolled out in west, east and southern Africa but has continent-wide aspirations. Digital leaders within Deloitte and the executive council members in partnership with millennials have pledged to support the academy. After the academy’s first year, the five best technology business ideas will be shortlisted for a prize which will be celebrated across the Deloitte network and in the media. The academy envisages employing fulltime staff to ensure a consistent focus and to drive as it goes from concept to launch across the continent.
We’re planning achievable, sustainable outcomes through 20 centres of excellence. For now, the council is based in just four countries, but we’re planning to build the academy out in those countries and in others. One thousand is definitely achievable, especially considering the talent and commitment we experience among Deloitte millennials and others. Our people are really invested in the concept of Deloitte as a social enterprise and they’re determined that Deloitte should help our communities be on the winning side of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Nigerian Millennial Council member
The Digital Deloitte Academy was the brainchild of the council in an ideation session with Deloitte Africa Consulting’s CEO, Thiru Pillay. It’s a pan-African Deloitte initiative to replicate what we’re achieving with a few schools and a few learners now on a much bigger scale. Driven by Deloitte millennials and carried out by all ages within the firm.
All over the world and in Africa we’re seeing a lot of manual work being automated. This is the future, and Africa needs to be part of that future, part of shaping and leading it. Deloitte wants to be part of Africa’s future.