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“Partnering” by Jean Oelwang

Tangible lessons from 65+ of the world's most remarkable partnerships.


Life partners and cofounders of The Future Project

Andrew Maxwell Mangino and Kanya Balakrishna


Andrew Mangino and Kanya Balakrishna met as staff of the Yale student newspaper, where they discovered a shared desire to help youth discover their purpose and potential. In 2009, they founded the Future Project to help transform high schools into a place of inspiration and change.

“In a partnership, I think it’s the greatest gift, to have a shared purpose, in addition to shared values and a lot of the other things that are really important for partners. I think it creates this tremendous amount of trust, actually, especially when we’re building something.”

Kanya Balakrishna

“For us, it’s very meta, you know, because our purpose—I think this is the thing that we just feel like there’s this deep implicit understanding—our purpose is just exactly the same, which is we just believe in unlocking the purpose within every person, and the power to fulfill on it, and to us, it’s never been more complicated than that. And so I think that because that has been such a bedrock, it’s actually allowed us to be very agile because nothing else has seemed sacred, besides, ‘Are we taking the most bold step possible toward that at any given point in time?”

Andrew Mangino

“We have both independently and together screwed up a million times. We’ve done something that we then in hindsight realized was not the right way to build whatever. There were lots of times that we have tried things and not succeeded in doing them, but there’s always been this fundamental trust that we are aligned around the ultimate purpose, and that gives us space as individuals to try things, and grow, and fail…just knowing the other person always has our back.”

Kanya Balakrishna
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    Kanya Balakrishna | Quote on Trust


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