2 years in CISV Sweden's headquarters.

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The first ever Outgoing Interview - with Adam/SWE.

Adam impressed most people in the board with this sharp and structured analysis and provocative suggestions during his term as CISV Sweden's trustee. In 2007 he got elected into the International Executive Committee. As if that wasn't enough, he soon thereafter started to work as CISV Swedens 's national secretary. This summer he retired after two years busily innovating the structures of one of CISVs biggest NAs.


FTB: How did you experience the difference in doing a paid job for CISV compared to volunteering for the organisation?

Adam: The difference in tasks is not big. In almost all national, promotional and local chapters around the world the Secretary position is a volunteer job. The difference lies in the time you can focus on CISV. During the two years, when I had CISV both as my job (at least
40 hours per week) and as one of my volunteer commitments, many hours of the normal day was about CISV. Sometimes it became a bit too much. But almost all of the time it was a great thing - getting paid for what I was willing to do for free, and being able to do much more of

The past years I've been active in CISV programmes, local chapters, NA and PA development, and CISV International - working with various aspects of the organisation. Being able to tie all of that into the job allowed me to develop a unique experience, giving back to my NA,
and also developing me further as a CISVer, leader and manager.

FTB: What would you list as your biggest achievements during the last two years?

Adam: On an organisational development level I was pretty much interlinked with most of the larger development-projects in CISV Sweden. Meaning, I played a bigger or smaller part in most of them. Nothing could be contributed fully to me, nor could they have been achieved without the diversity within the different teams that worked on them.

During the two years we rewrote the statues for the NA and all chapters, developed a new webpage and implemented a new members-database-system, launched concrete local marketing tools, more than doubled our member base by adding an on-line community as a
chapter, developed a new training system ("Impact"), built an office, made our democratic processes more inclusive and creative, made our cooperation with LMOs more effective, and last but not least rallied the organisation behind a peace educational focus (seen concretely in
Mosquito tactics - A Book About Peace Education).

On a personal level I am proud of having been part in encouraging the development of other leading CISVers in Sweden, both in their roles inside CISV, as outside.

FTB: Sanna/SWE told me earlier this year, that she feels you have successfully turned CISV Sweden into a more professional NGO. What is she talking about?

Adam: The "professionalisation" is most visible in the expansion of the office. More staff in the office helps to better support the volunteer leaders of the organisation, so that they can focus on what is important and motivating for them (usually peace education rather than administration). Also, having more staff allowed us to develop systems (for example for training, information, members-data-base, marketing and evaluation) that could more easily be scaled up and continuously developed as the organisation grows and people change.

But mostly I'd say that the "professionalisation" is visible in the attitude change in which CISVers from Sweden today view them selves, their organisation and the work that CISV does. Basically, it its more fun to be part of an organisation that has a nice webpage, a cool
downtown office, great trainings open for all, and inspirational material (Mosquito tactics) that you can hand to your family and friends.

FTB: Can you tell us more about CISV Sweden's "quest for leaders"?

Adam: We wanted to make CISV Sweden work smarter and more together in different communication/marketing tasks. When building this we talked a lot about working in "campaigns", and by that we meant "communicating one thing, over a set period of time, thru different media".

The "quest for leaders" is the campaign we call "300". The message was "CISV Sweden is looking for 300 volunteer leaders" and the media we used was e-newsletters, ads on facebook, posters and the CISV Sweden webpage. On the CISV Sweden webpage we created a section where we put all the volunteer programme-positions in CISV Sweden (age 16+) for the coming year, app 300 different positions. The section of the webpage allowed the visitor to search on all positions, read more and click on a "I'm interested" on each position.

The results was that we got a lot of non-CISVers to click that they are interested in taking part in our programmes, and several also ended up in different programmes. But the evaluation also shows that we as an organisation were not ready (yet) to take on a lot of new motivated
volunteers a the same time. The campaign will be used again in the fall of 2009.

FTB: Being a paid CISVer did you ever experience any negative feelings towards the volunteers?

Adam: No more or less than before or after being paid by CISV.

FTB: Thank you.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick published on November 24, 2009 11:31 AM.

Our biggest NA ain't doing Youth Meetings. was the previous entry in this blog.

Metrics vs. Gut Feeling. is the next entry in this blog.

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