New bosses.

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Why we got the IEC we got.

Congratulations to Pilar, Laura, Basma, Chris and Brett for being elected as our new IEC (International Executive Committee). Thank you, Lupe, Sarah, Lene, Maru, Graeme and Teo for running for those positions - The fact that there are so many volunteers willing to take over responsibility in our organization draws a positive picture of the future. Lars and the Elections Committee did a great job in finding candidates and organizing the elections. I was especially impressed with skyping in Pilar for the Q&A session - without that, I don't think she'd ever have had a chance of becoming elected.


FTB endorsed 3 of those 5 candidates, so we're mostly happy. A few thoughts, however, should be aired:

Was the board of trustees so unhappy with the work of the past IEC, that they chose to elect a completely new IEC? At first it gives that impression, but the truth is that the trustess had but one choice to vote for continuity, and that was to elect Lene as the new president; No other individual from the old IEC ran again, and Lene only ran for that position. I do think that Lene would have easily beaten Chris, Teo and Pilar as a vice president, but with the current setup of trustees, and taking cultural views into account, Brett seemed to fullfill the expectations of a senior head of the organisation more than Lene. Brett furthermore represents a continuity of the tradition of Doris Allen and thus has seems to center on the village programme when talking CISV (Check out his article in IJBThinks). No situation could have better described Bretts view of CISV, when during the Q&A he dreamt up a new programme for CISV that would spin off CISVers into hands-on projects, pretending that IPP and Mosaic didn't exist. Also, many a trustee said behind closed doors that  Lene should rather prioritize her newborn baby, whereas Brett's current political aspirations were never really on the table. These rather conservative views of the electorate makes us wonder how we ever deserved such a rather progressive IEC as the last one.

In a recent article I spoke about the importance of getting things done among our group of leaders. People that have worked with her know that maybe next to Teo/ITA no other person among the candidates exemplifies this better than Sarah/USA. However, this is a quality that is hardly recognized during meetings, and having a cultural balance among the IEC members seems to rank higher in the list of priorities. Thus, Sarah never had a chance of winning, after Brett had become president. Basma and Pilar with their rather „exotic" cultural background apparently better complemented Laura, who easily won the second round of elections for executive trustee, especially after her impressive presentation of the AIM structures analysis. Again I wonder, how the heck did the board ever free itself from cultural limitations and agree on two Norwegians and one Swede in the past IEC?

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, FTB is optimistic with the current IEC setup, and time will tell if the trustees have chosen wisely. As much as I liked the old IEC and repsect their work done, they left behind a huge mess with the service committees. More big chunks of work lie ahead, if CISV wants to increase its impact on society and stay at the cutting edge of building active global citizenship.

(Did you notice my use of the tentative new tagline?)

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Solid analysis.

Question left in my mind is to which degree different cultural and age backgrounds in the IEC are important for the organisation vs. how much it is an "irrational" electorate behaviour. Is it also a need for groups in the electorate also to have somebody to look up to in a board, somebody of their "type"?


Of course it's logical for NAs to want people of their own "type" in the IEC. But the point is that having someone of your own type is not the first criterion to decide the vote on. It should be having someone very qualified and from your own "type". If that person is not really the best, then he should not be there. But if he is as qualified as the other candidates, then his type "nearness" makes him a more favorite candidate to me because of geographical nearness, cultural nearness, NA situation nearness...

The irrational part from this AIM was the stupidity that made the SCC lose two of its most vital members because of the "type" issue. SO what if two Brazilians were to lead the SCC??? You people voted a uniform IEC three years ago that had two people from the same town!!! and all Nordic! SO what's the problem now??? Is the board of trustee trying to compensate for their failure in electing a non-uniform IEC by fucking up and destabilizing the SCC? Who's more important, this "type" issue in leadership or active citizenship leaders regardless of their "type" working for better SCs??? The board of trustees is oblivious of the damage they have done.

@Hani; the board of trustees is exchanged every 3 years at a minimum (as no trustee can sit longer in one stretch), so of those voting then I would expect that none were still sitting in the board at this AIM. (Too lazy to check...)

Another difference; where as the IEC elections in Colombia were open elections with sufficient candidates, the committee approvals are closed, so maybe the discussions were only focused on country background, or, with the IEC elections in the back of the head - maybe we have a board of trustees that now wants geographical spread to counter what happened 3 years ago. (Note: 3 board members are "anglo-saxons", so the spread is not all that great.)

@Hani: I wasn't there when Bernado stepped down, and of course I wasn't in the closed session, where the trustees discuss personnel, BUT when I heard what had happened, I sensed that what was communicated was just the tip of the iceberg, and talking to a few people involved proved me right. Apparently there has been more than one issue and if trust is already gone, it just takes a minor problem to make something like this happen. But besides that, you're perfectly right: Trying to break down cultural barriers, we should always look for the most competent person to take over responsibility - irrespective of their nationality.

I know the board of trustees is changed ever 3 years so very few trustees are still there since Columbia, but each new board of trustees is influenced and is guided in its decisions by previous decisions and events that took place at previous AIMs and try to "rectify" what was done wrong by the board before them and try to make the "best" decision as the current board. I wasn't at AIM so I do not know what has happened inside the dark alleys of that session, and I don't claim to have heard a lot of what has happened. All I know is, as a member of the SCC since 2008, Bernardo and Felipe have been two of the foundations of SCC (among others) that are really working their asses off for it, and that now the SCC is trying to pick itself up after this. A lot of work was put into the SCC before AIM and a lot of work was divided and done, and now all that work is gone and needs to be re-done again.

All I'm trying to say is such decisions based on cultural barriers have affected a programme - which at the end is all that matters: our programmes above all - be it nationality or responsibility

I was probably the only trustee serving both in Colombia and in Germany this year.
What happened with SCC was that many trustees were voting on something without knowing at all what they were about to do. Trustee training needed as soon as possible.

Same goes with IEC. Pilar was elected JUST because she's from Asia.

When you have many new trustees, they want to be influenced by others because they fear their probable mistakes.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick published on August 9, 2010 12:46 AM.

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