IJB Thinks #16 - Elections Edition

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IJB Thinks 16 Elections Edition

July 2010

IEC & IJR Candidates - AIM 2010


On the importance of democratic participation Editor’s Note

A call for fair elections, democratic change, allowing independent candidates to run for president... these are among the phrases that have been making headlines in Egypt, my beloved country, in the past few months. Egypt, or as the official name states, The Arab Republic of Egypt has seen the same president for the past 29 years. Most people of my generation have not seen another leader for our nation since they were brought to life. The president of Egypt, Hosny Mubarak, currently 82 years old, is representing the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). He has supposedly been democratically re-elected every five years, processes that many opposition newspapers and opposition parties believe to be unfair and rigged elections. However, we’ll not get into that here, as we say in Egypt “Only god knows the truth”. The country has seen many developments in his time, whether these developments are positive or negative is also not the topic of this editorial, possibly my last one in this publication (insert awe-moment here). So what is it that I’m talking about? I’m talking about the return of Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, former head of the UN Nuclear Watchdog, who came back to Egypt and started the National Association for change. This association is calling for a constitutional reform on more than one point. He has also been expressing his interest to run for president in case a fair internationally monitored election is promised. There is are a lot of complications following Dr. Baradei and his movement, but the most important contribution he made in my personal opinion has been to inspire people, especially youth, the generation that saw no one but Mubarak. He inspired people to fill a petition calling for ending the emergency law the state is in, demanding a fair election among other topics. For the first time in my life I saw people around me stimulated, and actually discussing the possibility of an alternative candidate to Mubarak and the possibility for a new president, new government and new leadership. Which can mean change and development for us. For someone coming from a country like Egypt, where we have had the same president for the past 29 years, where most people I know don’t even have a voting card (myself included, but it is on my to-do list) the only chances I have had to participate in democratic elections has been through my involvement in CISV locally and internationally. I was around for JB Elections in Egypt since I was 13 years old and wasn’t even old enough to vote, and have been both participating and running for positions locally since then. Internationally the first election I was a part of was voting for JEM (Junior Eastern Mediterranean, a previous region of IJB that was dissolved in 2007 due to many issues) ReCo in 2005. Since then I have been involved internationally and locally and saw many different elections, with impressive candidates who were ready to stand to share their vision for the organisation and how they can contribute to it in the respective position, and I have to say, that is just inspiring. Just like Baradei has inspired Egyptian youth to take part in how our state is governed, the fact that we have 11 candidates for the International Executive Committee (IEC) and two Candidates for the International Junior Representative position (IJR) should inspire us all. We should get to know these candidates as much as we can to be able to get a clearer idea of where this organisation can possibly be led in the next 2-3 years. The idea to put together an “Elections Issue” is not exactly an original one –it has been done before–, but I’m not a believer in “reinventing the wheel” when it does not need to be reinvented. The last IJB Thinks elections issue was released in the last IEC election in 2007 (to check it out click here). I decided to put together this issue because I felt it was important for us as members of CISV on all levels to get to know the people who are running for the top leadership of it on an international level. It is an attempt to bring those amazing volunteers with their motivation, ideas and contributions closer to each and every one of us.

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As I wrote an email to invite these wonderful people to contribute to the issue, I felt the need to ask them some key questions about CISV. This is what I wrote them: There are many NGOs, international organisations and governmental organisations that like CISV operate on a local and international level. What is it that makes CISV stand out? What is the contribution that CISV makes in the global society? What is CISV's impact in your opinion? What direction should CISV go to take that contribution even further? How can we develop our organisation to better reach our goals? I asked these key questions, because as a volunteer in this organisation, I felt the need to know how these people saw CISV as an organisation and what was their vision and plan to move forward from this point to better reach our goals. In this very special issue of IJB Thinks, each of these candidates will share with you their ideas, vision and their answers to these very important questions, that we must ask not only these people, but more importantly ourselves constantly. For it is only when we ask ourselves these questions will we be able to have a clear idea of how we want to develop CISV, individuals and local communities. Keep thinking. Keep evolving. Rowan El Shimi | IJB Thinks Editor Disclaimer: If I mysteriously disappear after this issue is released, please don’t panic, I just probably took a vacation paid by the government. :)

What’s inside “Looking beyond the box and the obvious”, By Basma Hosny “Answers that lie in asking the right questions”, By Brett Vottero “What makes CISV special?”, By Chris Pollock “A view from down under”, By Graeme Munro “Meeting the needs of future youth”, By Guadalupe Guzman “Since its creation in 1951, CISV has increased world peace by 42%”, By Laura Green “Proud moments”, By Lene Eltvik “Overstanding CISV”, By Maru Ayam “Reaching our tipping point”, By Mateo Velez “Our uniqueness lies in our target audience”, By Pilar Villanuevo “CISV: Art Vs. Science”, By Sarah Montgomery “CISV in 16 boxes... and a few words out of the boxes”, By Teo Zanella “CISV - Diversified in 60 years”, By Tore Heerup

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Looking beyond the box and the obvious By Basma Hosny

The first time my parents sent me to a CISV local day trip I was 10 years old and I completely resisted going. In fact, I almost didn’t go if it wasn’t for my parents who insisted I should try something new and meet new people and that this would be fun and that I would not regret it. To me, if my friends were not doing this, I didn’t understand why I had to do it. I was fine around my circle of friends and the people I knew, I didn’t need more friends, so why go? Was it about traveling? It couldn’t be cause we were traveling as a family all the time and all around. Eventually, I went and I’m not going to tell you the rest is history, cause it’s not. I hated it, I didn’t like it and I didn’t enjoy it and being the shy kid that I was, I just wanted to be left totally alone. Yet that wasn’t enough to get my parents off my back, I kept going to activities and day trips and mini camps and eventually got selected to go to a village in Norway. Now that’s when I realized I have no way out of this, so I just might as well see what this organization has to offer and try and have fun. Now with that mind set and letting down my guard, I actually started having fun. I was getting along ok with the rest of my delegation and things started falling into place once I was on that plane and off to my village. I really can’t say it was the Cinderella story where my life changed totally and everything was pink and rosy, cause that’s not what this organization is all about. It wasn’t the perfect experience, I didn’t totally bond and become best friends with my delegation, although my leader and some of the other leaders and JCs I still remember very well until today and have vivid positive and good memories of/with them. However, I did change. I think it was how much I looked up to these leaders and JCs and realized I can just be who I am and things would be okay and I don’t need to be perfect and things don’t need to be perfect to be good. I learnt that this is what life is about and that it’s okay to say the wrong thing or not know everything. It was good to try new things and go through new experiences and different ones. It wasn’t too scary to explore the unknown. My village, which I resisted so much at the beginning, was an eye opening and learning experience for me. One that I would have regretted tremendously had I not done it. My aspiration after village became to be like these leaders and JCs and someday maybe be a leader or JC myself. As an organization CISV to me is not ideal nor a utopia (as much as we would like to think it is). We are realistic and have clear goals and a mission that we strive to achieve. We do make a change in the lives of young people (and I’m living proof of it among many others). What makes us stand out and distinguishes us from other organizations that might be similar in concept is that we don’t just teach or educate about peace and cross-cultural understanding and develop leadership skills and confidence. It goes further than that: we help with self discovery and the skills, attitudes and knowledge CISV promotes don’t just come in handy in our camps or activities or programs they go beyond that and actually conceptualize in our lives. Working at a school for 10 years, I could clearly see the difference between students who were CISVers and those who went to similar programs with other organizations. It was obvious that CISV as an organization became a life style for them and what they learnt and experienced in it didn’t stop once they left camp. On the contrary, you take it with you and start to unconsciously implement it in your day-to-day life. With family, with friends, at school, at university and at work… it just becomes your norm. Trust me, you will realize that you are more flexible, understanding and handle things differently within your work environment than others do.

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CISV stands for individuality and there are a lot of other organizations out there who might promote the same values or ideas, but CISV prepares us for a life time of experiences and we become unaware that the traits and skills we’ve acquired just surface in everything we do and become part of who we are. They actually make us who we are and contribute to our individuality. Most of the time, it becomes evident to you as you grow up and develop and go through the different phases of life, that what you’ve learnt with CISV stays with you for life and doesn’t fade away as it becomes part of you. We might not contribute clear and instant change to the world, but we do change a lot within our societies that with time will have a great impact on the world. We just need to keep doing what we are doing, do more of it and do it the best way we can!

Basma is also known as Freska, Baskota and Shish Kebab. She is currently finishing her term as ISU Chair and previous to that was the president of CISV Egypt. Basma likes chocolate and is very proud to have been the editor’s leader in a Summer Camp in 2002. She is running for the position of Executive Trustee.

Answers that lie in asking the right questions By Brett Vottero Dear Rou Thank you for asking me to contribute to the special Election Issue of IJB Thinks. I can tell you that you have asked the most significant and important questions and so it has been a genuine pleasure to be able to answer each question. Perhaps because I was very active as a Junior in CISV in the 1970’s and attended the first IJBC in Germany in 1979, I have always felt a very strong connection to the Junior Branch of CISV. Although there have been many changes over the years, CISV Juniors continue to provide the passion and energy for constructive change that has kept the CISV a vibrant and significant global organization. It is clear that IJB Thinks will continue that great tradition with this issue. What makes CISV stand out? First, it must be said that CISV belongs to a very distinct and special group of international organizations. There are many things that make CISV stand out, but it is wise to begin by recalling why CISV began. CISV was designed to prevent war.

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For those who have studied the causes and events of the Second World War, it is not hard to imagine Doris Allen’s very personal commitment to preventing war. As the mother of a young boy… as a professional in child psychology… as a citizen of the world before that became fashionable… Doris Allen believed that there was a way to prevent war. Though she conceived the idea almost 65 years ago, the essential purpose of CISV remains – in my view – unchanged. I believe that CISV stands out – and has since our inception in 1946 – because of three distinct reasons. Those reasons are (1) our emphasis on multinational programs,(2) our commitment to beginning our educational programs with children before adolescence, and (3) our emphasis on professional research and educational content in our programs. In short, CISV deserves recognition for its long-standing and unique contribution to peace among nations. No other youth exchange organization starts at such a young age, brings together so many nationalities at one time, and makes such a commitment to educational content and professional research. What is the contribution that CISV makes in the global society? It is less than we think, but more than we can prove. I have remained active in CISV for close to forty years. I stayed involved because I have always felt strongly that CISV’s approach to preventing war is fundamentally sound. Yet we deal in such small numbers that it often feels like our contribution is not noticed by others. However, I think that some of the problem is because we have failed to stay in close conduct with past participants. Because we begin with such young children, it takes decades for many of our alumni to build careers and families and to make their own contributions to the global community. Consider this: If Doris Allen had been a child delegate at the first Village in 1951, she would not have developed her idea for CISV until 1986 (at age 46) and the first Village would not have taken place until 1991. My point is that CISV was always intended to be a long-term approach to world peace and we should not expect our contributions to be immediately noticeable. However, because we have failed to establish and maintain a strong alumni program, we do not know the many ways in which we have impacted the world. This is one of my highest development priorities for CISV International. Our alumni are our most valuable asset and are certainly are most important contribution to global society. It is time to find our alumni and ask them your next question: What is CISV’s impact in your opinion? As I have noted, it is not my opinion that is important. Instead, we must devote more organizational effort to asking this question of all our participants. Certainly we must ask the question in program evaluations, but we

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must also ask the same question as our participants leave CISV, as they leave college, and throughout their lives. Only by gathering the answers to this question over many years will CISV be better able to know (and show) the impact of our organization. What direction should CISV go to take that contribution even further? Both individuals and organizations can sometimes lose their way. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to ask difficult questions about what we are doing. For CISV, I think that we can “take our contribution even further” by embracing our core values and competencies. Yet I think this can be done in a dramatic and powerful way. The sad reality is that war and violence driven by cultural prejudice remain a significant threat to communities around the world. Yet CISV remains virtually completely uninvolved in those parts of the world where our message and methods are most needed. It is time for CISV to begin spending its significant human, financial and organizational assets to provide CISV programs to children and young people in nations where cultural and religious violence is commonplace. We must begin to focus outside of ourselves. I am confident that such an effort will allow CISV to begin demonstrating the effectiveness of our educational program and will raise our global profile. We have 60 years of experience and it is time for us to put it to use in places where it is needed most. This is the essential next step for CISV – but one that will propel us to the next great stage of our growth. We need to remind ourselves that war and violence are very real and we need to have the courage of our convictions that the CISV educational program can make a difference. How can we develop our organisation to better reach our goals? I think that CISV needs to take a very close look at the amount of money and human resources that we devote to the administration of CISV. Between local, national and international budgets, CISV spends a significant amount on meetings, workshops, trainings aimed largely at our volunteers. In a digital age marked by low cost communication, CISV remains remarkably dependant on in-person meetings that carry significant human, financial and environmental cost. With strong leadership and support from all CISV regions, I think that CISV can devote more of these resources to our global mission – and spend less on ourselves. Done properly, this will allow CISV to grow as an organization by impacting more and more young lives with our programs. Finally, I think that CISV can better reach its goals by encouraging our members to leave CISV. We are very successful in our effort to inspire people to strive for a more just and peaceful world. And yet we seem to think that CISV must provide an outlet for those we inspire. Instead, I think that CISV should be eager to send our alumni out into the world. Having instilled the desire for a peaceful world, we should allow our alumni to choose their own path – including other organizations – to make their own unique contributions to the global community. We cannot be all things to all people. To better reach our goals, we need to understand our particular strengths and maximize our own contributions.

Brett is a lawyer and specialises in arson and murder cases. He has been in CISV for decades and he is currently working on the CISV Insurance Company. Brett has been in CISV for decades (literally) and he attended the first ever IJBC in Hamburg, 1971. He is running for the position of President of CISV.

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What makes CISV Special? By Chris Pollock What makes CISV Special? Why should we spend our time, money, and energy supporting this organization? These questions, essentially, are a marketer's way of asking "What is CISV's Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?" Well, clearly, we have a USP. The facts speak for themselves. CISV has developed new, innovative programs (Mosaic, IPP); created better communication tools (CISV Friends, IJB Thinks); and become more professional (Strategic Planning, more Regionalization). And, most importantly I think, we have an ever-increasing number of volunteers locally - and internationally - who believe in our work. So, obviously we have something unique, something that "sells". So, what is it that truly makes us unique? In my opinion, we have two special characteristics. (1) We are an old organization. (2) We are a young organization. (1) OLD CISV. CISV was founded in 1951, making us 59 years old. Amnesty international is 49 years old. Medecins Sans Frontiers - 39. Habitat for Humanity - 34. Feed the Children - only 31! (Note: United Way and Red Cross are a bit older: 123 years and 147 years, respectively). CISV has a long history, and we have spent these years refining some of our earliest programs. The Village, still a core of our program offerings, is firmly grounded on educational principles, and on history. Our organizational structure (volunteer-run National Associations) was created near CISV's founding, and has evolved into the intricate (and usually efficient) structure that still now exists. (2) YOUNG CISV. Although we have a long history, we haven't lost the ability to innovate. The Summer camp program is a relatively new creation. Mosaic and IPP even more so. The ability to keep one hand firmly gripped on our history, and allow the other hand to experiment with new creations has keep CISV relevant and exciting. In closing, what can CISV do to improve and enlarge its contribution? We have to remember our core competencies: education, local programs, international programs, and a structure of professional employees supporting thousands of enthusiastic volunteers. And we have to continue to innovate, improving our "old" programs, and creating new ones. The IJB has always taken a leadership role on both of these tasks, and CISV relies on the IJB to ask the hard questions, to help us maintain the paradox of simultaneously being "old" and "young".

Chris has recently gotten married (as you see in the picture) so congratulations are due. He finished his term last year as Chair of the International Finance committee and is part of CISV Canada. Chris studies medicine and has been very involved in JB in the past. He is running for the position of Vice President.

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A view from down under By Graeme Munro Doris Allen stated that one of the prime objectives of CISV was to provide the environment where ‘individuals have the opportunity to learn to live peacefully with many nationalities’. We all know from our personal experience what a great organisation CISV is and we can cite many examples of where CISV has made a difference to an individual or a group of individuals. In one sense, this is the contribution that CISV has and continues to make to the global society. While we can all feel good about this, we have to understand that, in reality, CISV does not stand out! People outside CISV have little or no idea about CISV and therefore cannot appreciate what we hope to achieve or have achieved. Unfortunately we also have to accept that many inside CISV have no real appreciation of the global achievements of the last 60 years. I have heard it said many times over a number of years that ‘CISV is the world’s best kept secret’ but this should not been use as an excuse for our current poor level of international recognition. Sometimes recognition can happen out of one significant incident but generally lots of hard work is required to break through in a competitive world. The truth is that CISV has a self image problem as, deep down, we do not believe that we are as good as we really are. We seem reluctant to project our success to the outside world and have a tendency to look continually inwardly and try and make our world more perfect before we are prepared to risk advertising ourselves to the world in a serious way. Moving forward we have to maintain the focus of the quality of our programs and out training so that all our participants can have the best opportunity to learn how to live peacefully with many nationalities. In parallel to that core activity, we have to have an increased focus on how we present ourselves to the world as we have a great story to tell. In increasing this profile raising effort, we must reconnect with our past delegates or alumni as their stories are the stories that will reinforce the positive contribution CISV has made to the world. We must communicate this with concentration, passion and conviction.

Graeme comes from well, the land down under, also known as Australia. He is currently chair of the External Relations Committee. He works in finance and information technology. He is a father of 8 and grandfather of 7 (maybe 9 by now). He is running for the position of president of CISV.

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Meeting the needs of future youth By Maria Guzman (Also Known As: Guadalupe) CISV is definitely an international organization which makes a difference compared to other NGOs. We know that CISV is an independent and charitable organization that promotes peace education and cross cultural friendship. All in all we open our doors to almost everybody – we give the chance to all those who would like to develop values such as friendship, inclusiveness, enthusiasm and cooperation. In this global society we need people who can actually make a difference using these values and we create this opportunity for young people to make this happen. CISV is growing continuously around the globe through different activities and we are sowing all these seeds through those who are part of these programmes. By sharing our culture, values and beliefs, we connect with people, we let them know who we are and learn who they are. We contribute to make a world more tolerant. In the future years, CISV will be facing new challenges and this is the time when we all need to contribute. Our organization should focus in how to meet the needs of the future youth – a way to reach them all, and this includes their families and communities. Certainly we are aware this is a big job. However I am more than positive that we will be able to do so!

Activity between CISV Guatemala and CISV El Salvador

Guadalupe comes from CISV El Salvador. She is the trustee and ARC representative. She also works with the Organisational Development Committee. Lupe enjoys doing yoga and pilates. She is a primary school teacher and She is running for the position of Executive Trustee.

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Since its creation in 1951, CISV has increased world peace by 42% By Laura Green Around the time that Wikipedia started getting pretty big, I was enjoying a wikiful afternoon and stumbled across CISV’s wiki page. I thought ‘Wow, how incredibly 21st century of us’. I then noticed a brief statement roughly half way down the page stating: ‘Since it’s creation in 1951, CISV has increased world peace by 42%’, and I had a little giggle. Now I’m a very big fan of little tid-bits of humour punctuating my life, so thank you and congratulations to the author of this remark. I wanted to show a friend the funny little comment, which made me smile that afternoon, but a couple of days later, it had been removed. The wiki gremlins had clearly been doing a little house cleaning (or fact checking). However, this got me to thinking: Where is our data? Where are our facts? Where is the proof of what we do? Here are some thoughts. Would data be a reliable representation of what we do? Now I love data (especially when it’s visual), but will statistical information ever be able to truly paint a picture of CISV’s influence on a global society? We often struggle to define and sell ourselves as an organisation because of how personal CISV’s influence is, and because what we do or achieve in CISV does differ from country to country. A CISV friend recently said that he thought that storytelling is often the best way to describe what we do in this organisation. I do think that CISV’s influence is extremely personal, and therefore if you investigated the influence that we have on a society you would need to look at all the people involved in the particular aspect that you thinking about (a project, a programme, a chapter…etc). You could therefore conclude that qualitative data (for example interviewing someone) would be more appropriate then looking at a bar chart or page of information about what CISV does. Basti – A CISV friend, who many of you may know, introduced me to a fantastic project some years ago and one that his wife, Dora, works on. The idea is called ‘Human Library’ http://humanlibrary.org/. It works a like a normal library, except that instead of books you have a group of people, different people with different stories, lives, backgrounds that you may wish to ‘read’. Now, the sheer nature of what we do in CISV affects people personally, often in ways that they are not aware of until some time after their ‘CISV experience’ and therefore wouldn’t a series of interviews, or conversations be an interesting way of projecting what we do as an organisation?

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On the opposite side of the equation, there have been some developments and improvements in how we describe what we do concisely… In my opinion, a number of projects have happened since the previously mentioned wikiful afternoon that should be acknowledged for their significance: 1. The tremendous work of CISV Sweden for identifying how CISV contributes to peace education through their book ‘mosquito tactics’ 2. The development of the PDPEF – allowing us to readdress our programme goals, but also enabling us to look at our accomplishments statistically – in the hope that this will allow us to improve our programmes in the future 3. The rebirth of section ‘T’ and creation of the passport. What an amazingly concise and attractive way of describing what we do With such glorious resources currently at our fingertips, how could we not embrace the possibility of identifying, measuring, then telling everyone what we do? How could we measure what we do by capturing the essence of a personal experience? Could we also identify the significance of that part that CISV has played? My suggestion takes us into a futuristic world. For those of you who are familiar with Professor Dumbledore’s Pensieve, this may be easier for you (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penseive#Pensieve). Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could extract our memories and enter them into a machine that stores, categorises or helps us to order or see relevance in each experience? I chose to brand such machine ‘Web of Interconnectivity’ (WEI). WEI version. 2.0 would naturally develop into a tool to be used for CISV’s research. It would visually map the connections between our CISV experiences and our life experiences, between events, conversations, opinions and choices. I would expect version 2.1 to also be able to clarify the fraction that a named experience has had to play in a decision or opinion (Eg: the fact that I bought this fair trade banana has been influenced 14% by CISV interactions, or knowing ‘x’ person has influenced my choice to chose one job over another by 8%). There are numerous ways that the WEI could be used by CISV, to measure it’s affect on a society is only one. We could look at the influence of individuals over programme content, the way that each experience translates back in our day-to-day lives. Some very interesting data could be extracted. We could also map this information globally to observe how CISV’s web relates to certain issues or certain parts of the world. This is not completely unachievable, considering how web-based tools and social networking has developed in recent years. We could never have imagined the level of connectivity that we currently experience. What will the web of CISV stories, experiences and influences look like over the next five years? Let’s ensure that we chose an innovative way to express what we do. I bet Dumbledore would know what to do.

Laura is the Coordinator of the AIM Restructuring Taskforce and has most recently served as Trustee for GB. She has also taken on many roles nationally and internationally within Junior Branch and feels very strongly about making things clear and visually appealing. She teaches in Manchester, a city she loves. She is running for the position of Executive Trustee.

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Proud moments By Lene Eltvik To answer these questions we were asked in this issue, I will tell you a story about a very proud moment in my life, or rather a series of proud moments. A couple of weeks ago I read a CISV friends´ status on facebook. She was going to staff a CISV project called Verden i Bergen – ”the world in Bergen”. Bergen is my hometown on the west coast of Norway. Some days later another CISVer’s status read ”collecting money for a great project”. This one was in Oslo, the Norwegian capital. Proudly I copied the links from their statuses and sent it to a couple of friends I shared some great weeks with eight years earlier at the IPP ”Verden i Bergen”, the project that started it all. In 2001 the very first thoughts of an IPP in Bergen, Norway were thought. They developed into an idea of ”doing something with immigrant children” in Bergen, taking advantage of CISV’s core competencies in an international environment in a local community. A year later IPPers from seven countries were welcoming an unpredictable number of immigrant children and a very predictable number of Norwegian children every morning, for a day of activities and fun. We were at the home turf of the immigrant children, an area where most of the Norwegian kids were not allowed to go out of their parents’ ignorance, fear or simply lack of knowledge. Some of the children went to the same school but never knew each other. Now, they shared a playground for a week. The rest is history. While planning, realizing and never seizing to dream of the great potential of the project, the staff got to know each other better day by day, month by month. We were ambitious, self-critical and found more opportunities than challenges. Retrospectively I realize this surely caused frustrations in other parts of the organisation. At that point we ignored it, or fought the fights needed to fulfil the dream. So why am I proud? We made a change, for the children, the local society and within the organisation. And over and over again we see proof that the dream we had lived on. It has been taken over by someone else, many times, over the past nine years and found its rightful place within the organisation. That is the best outcome we could have ever hoped for. To me the story about this IPP has shaped my attitude towards organisational development and my view on CISV’s role in society: 1. Give opportunities to young people with ideas. Let them grow! 2. Don’t be afraid of the new. Innovations will either become a success or die when the initiators leave. No harm done. 3. Know what CISV is good at and take advantage of it. Don’t go to far from the core, rather challenge it to adapt to new situations. 4. Never underestimate the values of strong friendships and the feeling of belonging and doing something important together with other people. 5. Celebrate successes and learn from them. And yes, as many other IPPs this was a life changing event for many of the staff members. But that’s another story.

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Lene has recently had a little baby as you can see in the picture. She lives in Norway and works as a business developer in a large newspaper there. Lene enjoys skiing, hiking and being outdoors She was part of the outgoing IEC as an Executive Trustee and she is running for the position of President of CISV.

Overstanding CISV By Maru Ayam

"No, no, no – you do not understand. You overstand." When I first heard this expression, I just found it catchy and amusing. It was only with time that I realised that the key to improving what we do lies deep in the art of overstanding. Today, I want to share some reflections about overstanding with you, an idea that might revolutionise the way we conceive why we are so special as an organisation. CISV is not about understanding – whether we are talking about differences, similarities, cultures, people or ideas. What makes CISV so unique is overstanding all of these. Sometimes we tend to follow a quite self-critical line in order to realise what it is we want to improve in our work. But I recommend we look at our strengths too, and not only our weaknesses. There are many organisations in the 'market' that share CISV's vision and promote its same values. However, how many of them can create programmes and projects as distinctively special as ours? What I believe to be our biggest 'educational weapon' –that is, what makes us achieve overstanding– is experiential learning. We manage to go beyond camapaigns, demonstrations and publications to achieve our goals. I do not mean to disqualify these as means of making an impact in the world – but I do believe that CISV combines these with 'learning by doing'. We are engaging people and empowering them to transform this world into a more fair and just one. Campaigns and leaflets can get someone to understand the nature of a pressing issue. Participating in an IPP can get someone to overstand that issue and the people involved in it, as well as identifying potential actions to take in order to solve it. Experiential learning seems to definitely be 'our thing', what we can take pride in having as that special ingredient. Now, adopting the more self-critical road I had mentioned before, I do think that there is a lot we need to work on in order to spread the overstanding! This applies both at an organisational level, as well as at an educational level. Over the past years, both these levels have undergone significant transformations: the adoption of a Departamental structure, the renewal of our Educational tools, the development of a common approach to training conceived at the Writeshop, the revisiting of programme goals and indicators, the implementation of

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new training and certification systems and standards... Therefore, having reached such a significant momentum in the development of both of these levels, we still have a lot of aspects to improve. The Strategic Plan which we are currently working on is, I believe, taking us in a great direction towards improving and consolidating our organisation. However, we cannot sleep in the laurels of understanding – now is the time, we must dare to overstand! Understanding can organise an AIM. Yes: and make it cost-efficient and productive too. Overstanding could make AIM be relevant to all chapters and volunteers. It could equip those who want to participate (both in person and perhaps over the internet) to adopt the new decisions and trends the organisation decides to follow. Understanding can make our chapters grow and host more programmes. Overstanding could turn them into local centres for peace action. Overstanding could also get chapters to develop through cooperation with other organisations, and could ensure their health and activity throughout the whole year – not just when programmes are just around the corner. Overstanding could make them aware of how to better take advantage of promotion opportunities: by translating and distributing the Passport, by organising a 60th Anniversary event with relevant coverage, or by getting CISV experts to train volunteers/ employees of other organisations in the things we are good at – such as facilitation, goals-based planning, experiential knowledge and Active Global Citizenship. Understanding can make a Regional Training Forum happen. Overstanding could turn them into open forums in which our volunteers not only got trained, but also engaged with the structures and plans of the organisation. Overstanding could ensure that the homecoming trainees apply our common approach to training, multiplying its effect. Overstanding could let us follow all the organisation's training processes that sprout from RTFs. It could turn the Education Department into an open consultation group which volunteers all across the organisation could turn to, pitch ideas to, find support in. As an aspiring Executive Trustee, I think the role of the incoming IEC should be to overstand our challenges, and most importantly: to help the organisation overstand itself. My vision is that the IEC as a team should engage our volunteers in the process of finding long-lasting solutions that would result from collective reflection and brainstorming. There is a difference between getting people to participate versus engaging people and empowering them. Overstanding will definitely bear its fruits once we start doing the latter. Expanding any further on this would take too much of your time, and of this edition's length – so I encourage you to read all the candidates' Questionnaires in order to find out more about us and our ideas. Thank you, come again!

Maru is currently in her last days as IJR. She studies sociology in Madrid and is originally from the beautiful Argentina. Maru has been involved in JB for many years and has been recently working with the Education department on the 2010 Diversity focus. Maru recently became an aunt to little Benjamin and he is probably the person she loves the most in life. She is running for the position of Executive Trustee.

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Reaching our tipping point By Mateo Velez A couple of weeks ago when traveling to Sweden for the TTT I bought this book called The Tipping Point (by Malcolm Gladwell) at Schiphol airport. I tend to rely on friends' advice when it comes to good books to read, and this wasn't an exception. I am currently an undergraduate student at the School of Business and Economics of the University of Maastricht, thus I spend most of my time digging into business related literature and when I read for leisure I try to diversify the genre. In a nutshell, as described by Gladwell tipping points are "the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable”. He defines a tipping point as this moment when an idea, trend or a particular social behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads its way like a wildfire does. Regardless of the focus of the book -business oriented, it was inevitable for me to think about CISV. What are those little things that we do that can ultimately lead to make a big difference? The editor of IJB Thinks asked several questions to be addressed in the article. As I read the book, I kept making these linkages in my head between the theories and concepts depicted by the author and the day-to-day activities that we all do in CISV. I found that the three rules Gladwell explained were a good starting point in order to explain why the ideas, messages and behaviors of CISV have such an impact in our lives and our surroundings. The "three rules of epidemics" (or the three agents of change) in the tipping point are: The law of the Few, The Stickiness Factor and The power of Context. I will further elaborate the first two. The Law of the Few| You have probably met people with a particular set of social gifts. These people are described in the following ways: Connectors: are the people who connect us with the world and by principle they are known to have a vast social network. So we are one of the lucky few to have a network of friends all over the world. Moreover, we do not only rely on people, we count on great connecting tools to link… Mavens: the book described them as people who accumulate knowledge and know how to share it with others. CISV is constantly looking for effective ways to manage knowledge and spread it to the grassroots. Take IJB as an example, we work on helpful ways of creating, documenting, compiling and distributing knowledge. Salesmen: people who tend to have an indefinable trait that goes beyond what they say, which makes you want to agree with them. This type of people and their role makes me question how are we getting across what CISV is and what we actually do? It is time for us to reach out and share with the world the relevance of our efforts. The Stickiness Factor| It is basically the specific content of a message that makes its impact memorable. Our main task right now is to convey what we do in the right way. Starting by sharing our educational statement of purpose and the four content areas as the backbone of our organization. These together with your personal experiences that have made a difference or have influenced you in different ways will enhance the effective retention of the true value and purpose of CISV. There is no question about the quality of the work and the impact we have on society. I think the 60th anniversary is the right time for us to unite this potential and make CISV truly reach its tipping point. Taking full advantage of the power of word-of-mouth we have the mission to share with people our

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achievements and compel people into action. Tipping points are a validation of the potential for change if desired, and the power of intelligent action. We might think that the world around us is immovable, or that our impact might be small. The truth is that change is possible, people can radically transform their behavior in the face of the right kind of incentive. I believe CISV it’s the right one, and it should start from you! Mateo is from CISV Colombia but currently lives in Maastricht, the Netherlands where he studies international business. He is part of the IJB Committee and the Youth Meeting Committee. Among his famous quotes are “eeish” and “whaaaaduuuup”. Say those to him and he will be very excited. He is running for the position of IJR (International Junior Representative).

Our uniqueness lies in our target audience By Pilar Villanueva Typically, the disadvantaged youth is the primary focus of most international and governmental organizations. On the other hand, because our international, national and chapter levels require fees, CISV necessarily focuses on those from a higher strata who have greater chances of becoming influential leaders within their community, their country and even globally. I believe the impact of CISV is far greater because these future leaders have the opportunity of being instruments of change of a wider audience. The results of the Longitudinal Study made by Jennifer Watson prove the effectiveness of our CISV programmes. I therefore believe that our organization, especially at the National and Chapter levels, should thus continue to focus on education and training so that the content of our programmes can be better assimilated and thereby further achieve consistent results. As we continue with our strategic planning process, it would be beneficial for NAs and Chapters to define their own respective goals and indicators in support of the priorities. As our three-fold priorities – education and training; chapter development; and profile raising – seem to ultimately draw more attention to CISV, within all levels of the organization working in unison, their challenge ultimately lies in our ability to maintain retention. We therefore need to find better ways to effectively address this. The IJB plays an important role here as you can provide the opportunities for the young adults to stay interested and involved in CISV.

Pilar is passionate about cooking and her family. She runs two home based businesses. She has been in CISV since 1965 when she was a delegate in a village. Pilar recently finished her term as Regional Coordinator of the Asia Pacific region and is involved in CISV Quezon City in the Philippines. She is running for the position of Vice President.

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CISV: Art Vs. Science By Sarah Montgomery When I talk to people about CISV, which I do a lot, they are usually interested to hear about our programs, the type of education we do, and the exciting people I’ve met through CISV. But what really impresses them is when they find out that our organization is virtually all-volunteer. In the world of non-profits, this sets us apart and shows that we have a passionate group of people willing to make CISV part of their lives and dedicate their extra time to it. I think in the same way that we sometimes forget that it is something truly amazing to have friends from 25 countries (or more) it is also amazing that we do it with very few paid employees. When I think about the impact of CISV, I start with the impact it has had on my life. Several years ago at our National Board Meeting I made a speech in front of the whole meeting, which was about 300 people. I was 21 or so, and even now some of the parents who were there have commented to me how surprised they were at how easy it seemed to be for me – and it was. In addition to my program experiences, being a volunteer in CISV gave me opportunities at a young age to gain leadership and management skills that I never could have gained in another organization. Because we are all volunteers, CISV provides a laboratory for people to try out new things, make mistakes sometimes, and learn how to be a good volunteer, which translates very well to being a good leader, a good project manager, a good colleague, and other things that are extremely useful in life and for CISV. As educators, we overlook that not only our programs, but the way that the entire organization functions is an educational system that also gives back to CISV in a somewhat unconscious system. Creating exciting volunteer opportunities results in skilled, dynamic, excited and motivated volunteers willing to give more to the organization. For an example from my own life, I can say that yes, we could have hired outside consultants to “re-think” Local Work (now Mosaic) back in 2004, but the chance to be part of that team and the process we went through was an incredible learning experience. Having that kind of challenge within CISV has helped keep me motivated to continue being an active volunteer and has made me a better volunteer as well. CISV is more an Art than a Science. It is hard to measure our impact, because it is so subjective. A Village can run like clockwork with the perfect people and the perfect situation and still not be a “good village” in its heart. In the same way, a Village can be a total mess with nothing working the way you hoped, and yet be something that changes your life. How to work with this complexity is something we are really thinking about right now in CISV: How can we rely on our employees at the International Office and in National Associations, who give structure to our volunteer base and offer valuable expertise, without losing the creative energy and motivation of our volunteers? How can we create very necessary accountability for our volunteers and “professionalize” the work we do without taking away the space for new ideas, risks, learning, and feeling valued? This will be one of the biggest responsibilities of the next IEC. The IEC is responsible for finding the balance. Sometimes our volunteers don’t have the time to accomplish something in the time frame we need, or they don’t have an outside perspective that would help us grow. In that case, it is valuable to reach outside of our

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CISV network to find new resources or be creative with ways to compensate those of our volunteers who have special knowledge from their lives or careers. However, the IEC has to also be aware of how far that should. Some projects should be done by people who know CISV really well, and the process they go through has two outcomes – the product they create and the skills and motivation they develop through working together. The IEC is responsible for creating an environment and creating results, for using judgment and finding a balance, for knowing the science but being the artists.

Sarah is from CISV USA. Apart from that she is a lawyer who enjoys traveling and meeting new people. She is currently working for the IPP committee and was part of the group that made Local work into Mosaic. Sarah is running for the position of Executive trustee.

CISV in 16 boxes... and a few words out of the boxes By Teo Zanella

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Teo is from CISV Italy but is currently living in New York doing his Masters’ Degree in business. He is involved in External Relations Committee and the International Village Committee. He also used to be IJR between 2003-2005. Teo loves the smell of the ocean and cooking for his friends. He is running for the position of Vice President of CISV.

CISV - Diversified in 60 years By Tore Heerup

Sometimes you come to a point in life where you stop for a second and think of why you are doing the things you are doing. Why am I studying business psychology? What do I want to be when I grow up? How come I am not spending more time with my family? And why does CISV take up such a big and important part of my life? To answer this last question I have been thinking about why I even joined CISV in the first place. I must be honest and admit that one of reasons for doing as much work in CISV as I do, is because I believe that I personally develop and grow from doing it. This leads me to think of what it is that makes CISV so special that I chose this organization and not just another organization to work in?

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When CISV was first established 60 years ago, the idea originally came from Doris Allen. She, and many others, believed that in order to make the world a better place it is essential to start with the children. So she started CISV and arranged the first village in 1951. Back then, the main objective for the village was for the delegates to become friends and understand each other. They had to understand the different cultures, and even though many of them didn’t speak the same language they were able to communicate and play with each other in a friendly and fun way. All of the kids were chosen specifically by the leader, who all had some kind of higher degree in the work with children and education. For most people simply the idea of having this many cultures and kids at the age of 11 meet at a camp for 4 weeks was surprising and astonishing, which is also why it got as much media attention as it did. However, nowadays CISV is a bit different, and the world has changed dramatically since 1951. Due to technology it is easy to travel from one end of the world to another - tourism and student exchange programs is a common thing. People can acces the internet and immediately enter a chat room and start talking to people from other countries. Products from all around the world can be bought most places, and in general the world has become more globalized. For this reason it is no longer “as big a deal” to learn about other cultures, and even become friends with people from other countries. I would go as far as to say that we sometimes don’t even think about it anymore. CISV therefore has developed accordingly and is now focussing directly at peace education. I tried to google “Peace Education” and see how far I had to go before I found CISV - I gave up. I then tried to google “Peace Education Volunteer Organizatoin” - by googling this I found CISV after 10 pages. I then started to wonder, what is that makes other peace educational organization have so much succes, and why we don’t? By doing a bit of research I quickly understood that most other organizations are doing peace education in a much more direct way - by planting trees, helping the ones in need, or other initiatives that have a direct impact in the society or community right away. In short they are a actually “Peace acting” organizations, rather than “Peace Educating” organizations. And isn’t this ironic? Because isn’t this exactly what makes CISV so special, that we give the participants the attitudes, akills and knowledge to act on their own? We inspire people to take action for a more just and peaceful world. We are creating agents of change, but we don’t “act” on the change as much as other organizations do (with all my respect for those who do actually make the change. I think this is great). To me this is truly one of the most beautiful things about CISV. We believe in the best of people, and we believe that we all want a peaceful world. We are simply preparing our members and participants to go out and do what they believe is the right thing to do. And even though we don’t appear on the first page of google, I do believe that we are having a huge impact. We are not changing the world, but we are the changing the world to some people - and those people will do their best to change the world.

Tore is from CISV Denmark and like all Danish people he is missing the mermaid these days. He is part of the IJB Committee and the Youth Meeting committee and used to be the NJR of JB Denmark. He recently took on a challenging course of intense Salsa lessons. So watch out for that at AIM. Tore is running for the position of IJR (International Junior Representative).

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IJB Thinks & Thanks “Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up” - Pablo Picasso Letter from the Editor

IJB Thanks...

Dearest IJB Community, This is probably going to be my last IJB Thinks as editor, and I wanted to write a little note to say thank you to everyone. It’s been a great first year as IJR, so one of the big thank you’s will be going to Maru, who has been a great support and a wonderful friend this past year. The next thank you will be going to the IJB Committee, who have been such a great committee to work with. It’s really wonderful to work with such a diverse and inspiring team, and I look forward to another year with them and all the new people who will join us. Last, but definitely not least, I’d like to give a big shout-out to each and every volunteer working in JB and the organisation as a whole. Your work and dedication is always an inspiration. Cheers, Rou - IJB Think Editor

ALL the IEC & IJR candidates ... For taking the time out of their busy lives to write their articles

Letters to the Editor Ze Baptista: Thanks for the sweet IJB Thinks! I loved to stumble upon your stumblings!

Maru Ayam... Who is stepping down as IJR in the coming days and I will really miss her

Kelly Bowden: Hey friends, I see that Banksy is still making his way into IJB imagery (featured in the last IJB thinks). Good man! Love and stencils, Kelly

Paul Hinterberger... For being an amazing host in Berlin

Elena Fumagalli: Looooved it. (as always) :)

Jennifer Lopez... For always inspiring us in IJB

Any more thoughts? Just email! ijbthinks@ijb.cisv.org

What the IJRs are thinking today...

Rou

Maru

IJB Thinks gives me an excuse to stalk people on facebook.

I may not be able to climb fences but when I make coffee it looks really nice.


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