The perfect combination between a cactus and a pillow, I had the privilege of having a conversation with Andrew “Andy” Kirchner. He is a lovable grouch. And a wise one. By Gilberto Morishaw.
Andy is an ambivert, he loves educating and helping people. A true-self-developer, he understands the need for people to own their paths. Captivating you at the very start. He identifies himself as a boy born in Curaçao, destined to become a strong man. Basically a Master Ugwe from Kung Fu Panda, he aspires to be a kung-fu ninja in communication, purpose and love. Andy is one of the most resilient people I know.
Andy improves people’s lives by helping them to reprogram themselves. He is a true facilitator, a coach, a creator, a public speaker, and an overall great guy. He is the founder of The Recycled Pirate, a social enterprise that aims to spark life into people and organizations by helping them do their work, unleashing the invisible potential within them in a way that is true to themselves. He recognizes that self-love and ownership is necessary and states often in his favorite quote: You’re not perfect. Period. So own it.
Andy loves to make people feel seen and heard. He longs for people to know that they too, deserve a place in this world. At the same time Andy also understands that you cannot force healing on people. For him love means kindness, protection and empowerment, and his work is an extension of the love that he has for people, and the desire he has to see them improve and excel. In fact, this connects us to his vision on innovation. In his own words, innovation is improvement. Reshaping the old and creating something new. It’s almost impossible to change the past and to fix the pains of history. But we can create a new reality.
As a core member of Innovation C, Andy brings so much to the table. Keeping us on track, organizing the conference, he really shows up. His entrance into Innovation C was a synchronous moment. It came at the perfect time and place, and gave him the opportunity to empower the people on the island, and serve as a catalyst for a diverse educational experience.
Andy has a holistic approach. The technological side, the emotional side, the more human side and also the business side, by bringing it all together Andy keeps the momentum going. The conference allows him (and in extension us) to, to reach people in small ways that can create large impact.
As I had mentioned before, Andy is one of the most resilient people I know (check out his personal website), as we continued speaking his mindset resonated with me. “I try to live as an example to my community.” His motto (other motto because he has many) is to live your moment as good as you possibly can at the time. Humility plays a pivotal role in his life. He knows that he does not know everything, and that sometimes he was not even ready to know something. And now, he does. We need to celebrate and own our growth.
His vision of resilience, empowerment and hope is also for Curaçao. Especially this year. Tell the truth. We are a community of multiple backgrounds. Many people in our community are still stuck in the pains of the past and are still blinded to a path towards creating their own future. Our community needs to say yes to healing. Our community cannot be stuck in the past forever. Yet, we cannot get there if we are not willing to be honest about where we are today. We need to own our growth. We are not perfect, but as we own our truth, adapt and innovate, we can become great. And, I think Andy knows a thing or two about becoming great.
Rounding off I really want to reiterate the extreme admiration and honor that I have for Andrew Kirchner. The work and the impact that he is doing will continue to be magnified and multiplied throughout the years. Go and check out the Innovation C conferences and also his own personal website www.therecyledpirate.com to stay in touch with him.
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