Recently in Guest Post Category

A guest post outlining visions by Teo/ITA.

Even though FTB is on hiatus, and the author is spending is energy elsewhere, I've promised to post Teo's guest post now, so maybe, people will be inspired, while AIM bumped everybody's minds deep into CISV matters. This post includes ideas and concepts for at least 10 regular FTB posts, so prepare yourself for a smoking head, once you've finished reading. But it's 100% worth the time. Cheers, Nick.

The ideas  come from a serendipitous moment on the beach of Rio in which my brain was spinning tring to put together different inputs I had in the last weeks:

1) discussions at the celebration of CISV 60th anniversary by CISV Italy spurred from a panel on how the competencies of design with diversity that you acquire in CISV are nowadays very relevant in many multinational companies. This discussion also generated an interesting digression on how companies might be interested on one side to the pool of talents in CISV (today hiring costs are very high), but also our leadership training tools. To generate those insights were former cisver now at high executive levels in the italian level of some multinational companies.

2) new promotional video by CISV Italy that tries to control the way the organization is presented by centralizing the identity
representation and avoid fragmentation. (

3) brainstorming with 2 very good and smart cisv friends about creating a startup that could use, together with out skills and
knowledge from our educational and professional background, our cisv ASK. This exercise was focused (and still is) to identify a nice for consulting services on the topics of: diversity, leadership, communication, team bundling, innovation, stakeholder engagement, community impact and CSR.

4) seeds of peace video: find the difference with CISV

5) buzz on social networking companies evolution and valuation:
LinkedIn IPO, Skype acquisition, Google and Apple new launches, Facebook and Zynga valuation, etc.

6) value based marketing such as Coca Cola last video

7) CISV Portugal motion about electing IEC as a team, idea that I love if it brings together the idea of a program platform


1) integrate participants from "real" conflict areas in our programs (see seed of peace example: Palestine, Pakistan, etc.) by:
- develop training material and train people to deal with people coming from "real" conflict, possibly hiring specialists
- fly people out and enable them to meet in "neutral" areas
- pay, maybe partially, staff and people/local chapters to "accept" such delegation in camps, to promote this strategy
- fundraise entities sensible to this issues (see coca cola video)

2) create non profit entity, completely controlled by CISV international, aimed at offering  services to companies in exchange of
fee to cover both the cost of the services (full time employees with competitive consulting salaries shall be hired) and program expenses, in order to lower participation and travel fees. The services to be
offered include:
- talent scouting within CISV database, for members that opt in the service. Possibly using tech partnership such as LinkedIn.
- training covering: diversity, leadership, communication, team bundling.
- implementing strategies: innovation, stakeholder engagement, community impact and CSR.

Separate organization will ensure autonomy, similarly to the insurance company.
Fundamental will be the presence in top school focused in the fields of business, conflict resolution, psychology etc etc (e.g. Kennedy school - Harvard, CIPA - Columbia, UN institute - Geneva, ...)

3) create technological tools to expand programs beyond the physical space to the Internet, possibly with the use of social network such as facebook. Partnership should be created in order to anticipate changes coming in society in the next 5-10 years and start thinking about how to include them already in the programs. Possible partners include Facebook, Skype, google.

4) centralized communication strategy, by realizing videos to be translated in all languages and available on the web to unify the brand perception and follow up the rebranding process, not only visually but also with content. it will just required to uniform the external image as we did with the creating of the passport internally. This would not mean stiffly creativity and autonomy of each NA but support them in promoting the organization in a coordinated way.

5) move office to location that enable:
- talent attraction, both full time and interns (today the "war for talents" is as such that companies such as UBS are considering
changing  location)
- networking with NGOs and corporation with funding availability (face to face meeting is still very important for these issues)


a) to make this world a better place we should reach more in all parts of society, with the appropriate means for each audience
b) one of the most impactful way to reach out is changing business as these are the most pervasive institution in society
c) more impactful work could be achieved having people from conflicting countries in our programs (both for our current participants and new target groups)
d) financing programs and the organization in general is becoming more challenging, while ideally participation fees should be lower to increase inclusiveness of the organization.

Integrating the pieces:

- Action 2 will increase revenue to support further actions as well as promote our values and knowledge in contexts much more powerful where a real difference can be made (see why sections point a, b and d)
- Action 1 will strengthen our content and image, to be used for action 4 (why section a and c)
- action 3 and 5 are just required to survive

Action plan:

sell this plan to the current IEC or to the next team to be elected in 2013, but for some items might be too late...

Circles, Lines or Triangles

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks
A guest post by Sarah/USA.
In looking at what CISV has taught us, I think the way of acting within a group, like facilitation, and leadership skills, are at the top.  But then, what happens when you are in an environment where those skills are not helpful?  Of course, being able to work in a group is important in all settings, but in different ways.  At the moment in my work (in a New York law firm), I am expected to work in a group which I'll call a "line" -  each person as a hierarchy above the other so that if you drew the structure it would be a line (or, if it makes more sense, steps with one person on each step).  In that setting, the newer you are to the job, the less your leadership and facilitation is helpful - in fact, the better thing is to follow.  This is a very difficult situation for me as a CISVer, since I am more used to contributing ideas, making sure everyone is heard, and focusing on the end product.  Instead, I am having to "un-learn" some of the CISV methods in order to be good at my job. 
So I have been wondering whether CISV can make it harder than it might otherwise be to succeed in bureaucratic settings which, for many of us, is necessary at the beginning of a career even if it won't be the future. 
I asked some CISVers who have had what I'll call structural roles in CISV as well as program roles. Carla from Costa Rica has also noticed some of the same re-learning process in her jobs working at the department of education and culture at the OAS and now at the education division at the inter-american development bank.  But she has been able to make small changes to the setting - even organizing "national night" lunches! 
I mentioned this question to Teo from Italy, who is in business school here in New York.  He disagreed - to a point.  Even though he is in a corporate setting, business works differently from law.  He usually works in a group like a triangle - lots of people at the bottom and fewer as you go toward the top.  In that setting, being able to facilitate the work of your peer group, as well as the other skills, helps the product be successful and might help you stand out from that group and thus move up the pyramid.  (This is what I remember of what he said anyhow - maybe he can add more). 
Then James from the USA (who started a new business these last few years) weighed in that maybe it doesn't matter, because none of us really want to be successful in that environment anyway - but want to use it as a learning environment before moving on.  So perhaps we shouldn't change our ways, but only change to a new environment as soon as feasible?
As we look at the idea of what CISV teaches and focus a lot on the ASK model and other things - it is interesting to look at where CISVers are 10 or 20 or more years after doing programs, JB, etc. and whether maybe CISV works very well in preparing people for some types of lives or jobs but doesn't help them too much in others.  So to people in other work settings outside of CISV - what CISV skills do you think are really useful for helping you succeed at your job?  Are there any that you've had to "unlearn"?  Do you think the group dynamics of your work matters so much in the end, or is it the subject matter that CISV impacts more? 

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Guest Post category.

Editorial Note is the previous category.

NGOYSK is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.