I am not a blogger but a journalist. A journalist for a weekly street newspaper helping people fight exclusion. I am a total stranger to the specialised and technical world of start-ups. So, I am anxious, but I will write this blog to tell the story of a start-up originating from an empty room, like an article from a blank sheet. A story made of human interactions, some dating 30 years back. The story of the Uriji Jami…
The Origins of Uriji Jami
The origins of Uriji Jami take us back to the eighties, in the heart of the Venezuelan rain forest and to a conversation between a father, Rodolphe, and his son, Jean. A conversation about the desire to set-up a network of men and women of good will, a network both supportive and professional, full of humanity and interaction. The idea remained in the son’s heart, who thirty years later, after a rich professional experience as the CEO of a multinational company, decided to make it happen.
Why Uriji Jami?
Uriji Jami is a new way of humanely interacting in a world virtually and totally connected. A new way of fighting against our main cause of societal exclusion: loneliness. Nowadays, we are all connected, digital networks are uber-developed and totally ingrained in our everyday life… And yet, we have never so miscommunicated as currently: do you think our lives are truly connected when the quantity of “likes” seems to prevail over the quality of the interaction?
Therefore, Uriji Jami is a mobilising utopia. It’s a special approach to time that both links and liberates us. It is a way of engaging with the future using the past to grasp our present. Uriji Jami is a new way of experiencing the virtual world of internet by rooting it in the most personal of reality, and sometimes the most intimate of our lives: our dreams for the future and our past experiences. Uriji Jami is a way of linking our innermost being to human universality… life is our main asset.
Uriji Jami is a place…
Uriji Jami is also a name and a place…Whose history brings us closer to ancestral values of the Yanomami Indians of the Venezuelan Amazon. Dr Inga Steinvorth-Goetz, a German anthropologist, who studied the Yanomami Indians, wrote a book called “Uriji Jami!”. In the Indian language, “uriji jami” means “to walk in a shared space”. Today, life has linked Inga’s story to Jean’s dream. The latter, living in Caracas in the house that had belonged to the German anthropologist, was inspired by her book on the Yanomami and named his young start-up after it. So, that’s how in the course of 2015, Uriji Jami came to life in the abandoned garage of Inga’s old house.