IJB Thinks #19
Change & Development
The Editorsâ€™ note A time of change
by IJRs 2011-2012
2012, CISV International is focusing on 'Sustainable Development' in our
educational content; a difficult topic to tackle not only as there are no easy solutions to the problems that society faces, but it is also a subject that has been dealt with many times before so it is not always easy to come up with innovative approaches or avoid repeating what is already common knowledge. However it remains a pressing and current theme in the face of issues such as more observed changes to the global climate, to the continued fast-paced development in many countries. CISV began working with this theme with a new cooperation with the Earth Hour initiative, encouraging our chapters and meetings to turn our power off for one hour on the 31 March, and also take part in the 60+ challenge, where chapters have pledged to undertake tasks or initiatives to reduce their environmental impact. As well as this external cooperation
however, we have also looked internally, and launched initiatives to look at improving the sustainability of our camps, and also educating our participants.
However, the idea of 'Sustainable Development' cuts deeper in 2012 than simply thinking about our environmental impact. 2012 is an important time of change for CISV International, as we are faced with making decisions about developing our organisation to function more efficiently and sustainablyÂ in the future. The recommendations of the Organisational Review challenge us to analyse the organisation we are and how we achieve our purpose, and this will call on all of us to think carefully to assure the future of the organisation that we all devote time and energy to. This edition of IJB Thinks is therefore dedicated to ideas of change and development, where juniors have shared things from projects dealing with Sustainable Development as a theme, to ideas about change and development. We hope these inspire you to change and develop. "They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." - Andy Warhol Enjoy, Mateo & James
What’s inside? A time of Change by Mateo Vélez & James Pattinson
Time for a paradigm shift? by Jess Wanless
Collapsibility by Thomas Bryenton
Walking the talk by Anna Forrest
Inception by Niklas Juhl
Impressions from NaJuWo by Anjo, Marvin & Rachele
Inspiring and Impacting projects by Francisco Pavão
The Lunchbox by Alejandra Echeverri
Big jump 2012! by Kathrin Mangelsen
Post JB Challenge by Katie Basse
Promoting Change through Social Sustainability by Cande Lucero
Time for a paradigm shift ? Jess Wanless (GB) Par•a•digm shift noun - a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.
I completed the module “the
history and philosophy of Geography” - a compulsory module which hoped to teach us that the only way to truly under a subject is by first understanding its past. The basis of the module was understanding the numerous paradigm shifts that have taken place within the discipline since its conception - from the days in which it facilitated exploration and imperialism, to the questionable days of spatial science through the cultural turn and onto today - essentially lots of change! These shifts, however, were far from straight forward; rife with conflict and difficulties. This is exemplified by 1950s geography when traditional Geographers were still strong
believers in regional geography - the appreciation of the beauty and individuality of place, a new generation of Geographers were moving swiftly through a ‘quantitative revolution’, to the new paradigm of spatial science - dominated by models and efficiency. Over time spatial science won out, becoming to dominant paradigm in Geography for a decade or so, when it was inevitably replaced by something the academics of the day believed of more value. Today, the era of Spatial Science is being reexamined - did it take so long to become dominant because we were just afraid of change, or did regional geography really have elements that should not be forgotten? Did spatial science limit the questions in which Geography could engage with, or did it all a whole new perspective on the areas in which we are concerned? One thing is for sure Geography needed spatial science and the change it brought. In the dynamic world of academia disciplines must constantly be
So why am I telling you this? Not only is it because I spent far too long in lectures contemplating the Organisational Review that all of my modules seem to relate to it, but because I believe this moment in Geography teaches us a number of lessons to take with us to AIM this summer. Our practices in CISV may be widely considered far from perfect, however this does not mean that we should push out the ‘regional geographer’ within us and abandon all past practices because we don’t want to miss out on the bandwagon. Equally we should not be
the ‘grumpy old Geographer’, as one of my lecturers affectionately called them, too stuck in their old ways to embrace an exciting change that could potentially lead to a ‘revolution’. Is CISV coming towards a paradigm shift, just as it must have felt like when we expanded beyond Village, Junior Branch was formalised or the new logo was approved? Only time will tell. The important message is not to fear change, but to embrace it, and ensure that whatever steps we take they are in the right direction.
Thomas Bryenton (USA) Collapsibility: when something can be folded so that it fits into a smaller space. For example, a tent for camping that can be taken down and then put into a little bag is collapsible. A telescope is collapsible. And CISV can – and should be – collapsible. There are two points I want to make by linking CISV to this concept. First, less is more. To achieve collapsibility in CISV, we have to focus on what’s important and let go of the rest.
Second, the top of the organization must have the willingness to come directly into contact with the bottom. (Ideally CISV’s volunteers shouldn’t be categorized that way. But CISV’s culture is, at present, all about hierarchy. So this is the set of terms for us to work with.) It’s when this mixing happens that CISV is at its best. It wouldn’t be practical to do that all the time – to have CISV constantly folded up, compact. Structure exists for a reason. But if we start building collapsibility into our thinking, then that’s how we’ll see real change & development.
Walking the Talk Anna Forrest (Denmark) The
Danish school is well-known for not
only educating in democracy, but with democracy. From an early stage on pupils are taking part in decision making, having consensus seeking dialogues and dealing with local community issues. I guess the rationale is: if we want people to act as democratic citizens we will have to teach them by letting them be democratic citizens in all aspects of their life. (talk about experiential learning) Why is the Danish school system relevant to IJB Thinks? In the ongoing debates on organizational change I have heard arguments coming from many different directions. Some talk with their feelings, some with the fear of loosing their voice, some from the perspective of effectiveness, some talk on the behalf of others and some just do not talk. To sum it up in a well-known methodology: There are the activists - the people who say: The time is now, letâ€™s do something and adjust along the way. The reflectionists - the people who say: We need to think of the consequences of the choices we make. The theorists - the people who add comments on how different organizational structures work. Finally, there are the pragmatists - the people who say: Well, what will this look like in the end?
There is one aspect, that I would like to bring i n f ro m t h e D a n i s h s ch o o l s t o t h e organizational review debate arena: values. In our trainings, all of our trainings, we aim at making people able to respond appropriately to change and conflict and be willing to act inclusively and with an open mind. In our camps, all of our camps, we run activities accordingly to our Educational Principles. The question is: How can we create a structure that supports our Educational Principles, that supports our training goals, that supports our educational method? How can we, as the Danish schools, structure ourselves around our principles? How can we walk the talk all the way? How about having these six (or other somewhat similar) quality standards for the new structure? 1. The new structure reflects appreciation of similarities between the volunteers and value of their differences. 2. The new structure supports equality of opportunity for all the volunteers. 3. The new structure encourages the resolution of conflicts within the volunteer work through peaceful means.
4. The new structure supports the creation of sustainable solutions to problems relating to the organizational works impact upon the organization, itâ€™s volunteers and the surrounding environment. 5. The new structure creates opportunities for volunteers to learn from experience 6. The new structure creates inclusive communities. My point: Bring our purpose and principles to the centre of the organizational change debate. Take the chance to create a structure that emphasises why and how we do what we do. Add that extra element of experiential learning to our work, so that not only trainings and programmes give us educational
experience, but that volunteering itself has standards and is a part of the education we deliver. (I would say that volunteering is already considered a learning experience is in most cases and especially in the case of Junior Branch, but there is a point in starting to think of it as a way we educate) ... and a final thought on effectiveness: if our own approach to peace education is not the most effective way towards a more just and peaceful way, then why do we do what we do in the way we do it?
Inception Niklas Juhl (Germany) A lot of you have probably seen the movie “Inception”. For those who haven’t the main idea is that you will always know if an idea derives from yourself or from someone else, and you will easily reject anyone else’s idea but stick rather close to something you perceive as your own creation. So what does that have to do with CISV? Prejudices come from hearing things about others. Someone might tell you “oh the arcadians steal and all utopians smell bad.” and the more often you hear it, the more you will believe it. Because if everyone is saying this about "those people" there must be some truth in it, but you will still remember that you actually don’t know. So what CISV does is give people, and especially youth, the opportunity to find out for themselves. To find out that other people are not as different as others think. And even if they are different that this is a good think and enriches our daily lives. We don’t tell
them what to believe but we give them a small push towards other cultures and try to show them how diverse the world is and why this is a thing to embrace and not to disgust. What I personally value immensely about our organization is the voluntary nature of how we approach potential participants. In contrast to a lot of other peace-promoting organizations we don’t tell people what to do but enable them to find out themselves. We give them the opportunity to become more open and subsequently “better” human beings. We give them the opportunity to grow and to develop a strong independent view on the world and how it works. I hope that with all the advancements happening in JB and CISV we don’t forget this - to me - very vital detail of how we do things. That counts for all of us. Don’t try to force people to be more than they were before but give them the opportunity and let them do it themselves.
Impressions from NaJuWo Anjo (Germany), Marvin (Germany) & Rachele (Italy) NaJuWo is Germany's international JB weekend in Hamburg. Sustainable Development is next year’s theme and the 100 participants at NaJuWo in Hamburg got an early start on working on this topic from 2-4 December. “Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” - 'Our Common Future', the Brundtland Report from the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987.
thoughts showed us the many levels of work going on in the development of this country, the basis of which is a secure environment also for NGOs to work in. The question of gender, the development of education and the reintegration of former Taliban fighters are all aspects that are necessary for the sustainable development of Afghan society. Strengthening civil society, fighting corruption and developing economic sectors that will be viable in the future are also part of this process.
Achim is an experienced CISVer who served in Afghanistan as a NATO Information Coordination Staff Officer.
Achim brought to our attention the complex interconnectedness of these issues and the importance of bringing safety to a country in need of reconstruction.
His presentation and points of view made us look at the problems facing Afghanistan from a different perspective. His opinions and
Speaking to a person with first-hand experience on the topic was enriching: in the discussion that followed, it was fascinating to
see the very different and strong opinions the participants had on the topic. The ‘I have a Mango’ Project, as most of you know, is a cooperation between CISV Colombia and CISV Norway working on sustainable development. The activities were an excellent and comprehensive introduction into the topic, it was easy to follow. We felt involved because many of the activities included talking about your own consumer behavior and because you can contribute to the project’s website by sharing videos or articles (cisv.no/mango). In their workshop, “the mangos” stressed that sustainable development goes beyond environmental protection.
We were impressed by the cooperation of the two NAs (Colombia & Norway) - Having fulltime CISVers on tour, working on a theme, is a great idea and an excellent way of improving our organization content-wise. “Sowing a seed and planting a tree”, the lyrics from the CISV Song, summed up Achim’s understanding of sustainable development This tree can be both an actual tree and an analogy for other projects in need of s u s t a i n a b i l i t y, c o n s i d e r i n g b o t h t h e environmental and the other aspects.
Inspiring and Impacting Projects Francisco Pavão (Portugal) In JB we spend some good time talking about successful stories and projects; we share what we did, we watch videos and learn from them. I have always found it interesting to hear people describing how they bring their projects to success. One of my favourite descriptions of the process is the Peace One Day video, where founder Jeremy Gilley explains to the world each step he took to make 21st September the International Day of Peace. The fact amazes me that he started from nothing and step by step he achieved something as big as Peace One Day, which has a big impact on people’s life and that we are all aware of it. The success of Jeremy Gilley’s project came to my mind again some days ago. In the beginning of April I ran a session about Sustainable Development, together with my friend Ale. We were both excited about this session and therefore we did some research on Sustainable Development. We found some cool definitions about the topic and some
interesting insights too, but what made us discuss more but also excited us more were the successful stories that we found. We realised that there was a clear distinction between the projects that aimed to do something but failed and the ones that actually had an impact. I guess it is very easy to come up with a proposal for a change and say: “let’s do this and things will get better”, but bringing that project to success is hard. The more we researched successful stories, the more certain we were about two aspects that were common to most of these stories: They all had a very strong goal and a long term plan but they all started by small actions. What inspired me in these projects was not the plan that they made to reach the goal but the fact that by achieving the goal through small steps, these projects was very inclusive. Those that showed some interest could easily become part of it, since small actions were so easy to do.
All these amazing projects and the way they were planned made me realise once again how cool JB is and what a great opportunity we all have by being part of this space. They way these projects were planned is exactly what we seek in JB; coming up with projects that have an impact in our local community, that aim to reach a specific a goal but at the same time are inclusive and let everybody participate.
These are also the reasons why CISV is such a big supporter of Peace One Day; we believe in the cause and goals of the project and the project is built in a way that everybody can participate. So letâ€™s have more of these projects, with strong goals that we believe in but also very inclusive ones that make everybody take part and care and about it!
Alejandra Echeverri (Colombia) When people hear the term sustainable development they immediately relate it to recycling, windmills or not leaving any leftovers. People still think that sustainable development is only a matter of being ecofriendly and just caring for the environment,
but they often ignore the real meaning of sustainable development and the importance of it in our rapidly growing human population. By definition, sustainable development comprises the three aspects: economy, ecology and society. Development is
then considered sustainable once it finds a balance point between the three areas. Sustainable development also means that in our use of natural resources to meet our needs, we shall not compromise the resources required to fulfill the needs of future generations. But what really is sustainable development on a daily basis? Well in every action we make we can choose between doing a sustainable or an unsustainable action. Let’s take buying coffee on our way to work as an example - an action many of us do very often. We can choose between buying it from a well-known coffee shop or in a small café, we can buy coffee grown in small scale or large scale production farms, we can choose between organic and non-organic coffee and we can also choose a take away coffee in a plastic cup or bring our own cup to take the coffee with us. All those choices affect the environmental impact we have. It is with our actions that we can contribute to a more sustainable world. In this booklet we aim to show you different approaches to sustainable development. Through short articles we hope to explain current issues in the field of sustainability, facts and inspiring stories to get you thinking about the world and your actions towards it. It is structured with articles comparing situations between Norway and Colombia or comparing any North/South issue, articles highlighting case studies and interviews with researchers, people working with other organisations and businesses regarding sustainable development. A m o n g o t h e r t o p i c s we t a l k a b o u t consumerism, environmental policies and the meaning of “being green”. The articles are based on academic material, personal experiences and information found in the media. All the topics we have chosen are familiar to our readers and are just a few
topics under the big theme of sustainable development. The Lunchbox is a product of the project “I have a mango: think, educate and act for sustainable development”, a cooperation between CISV Norway and CISV Colombia. In this project, two Colombians (Juan Manuel Oviedo and Alejandra Echeverri) and two Norwegians (Karianne Sørbø and Kamilla Haaland) worked in Norway from August to December 2011 and in Colombia from January to May 2012. We educated youth on sustainable development by giving workshops, seminars and movie nights in several cities in both countries. The team also studied d i f f e r e n t a p p ro a ch e s t o s u s t a i n a b l e development by interviewing researchers and people from several organisations working with the topic. We developed local projects with communities in Norway and Colombia. One of the main goals of the project was to be a link between the academic field of sustainable development and the general society, particularly youth. Through The Lunchbox we hope to communicate some of our experiences and summarise some topics that we believe it is important to raise awareness of. We also believe that there is a need to educate the general society about sustainable development as a whole. Values, lifestyles and attitudes can be changed once we understand the problems our world is facing. Once we discover the links between those issues and our own actions we will be ready to begin the path of sustainable decision making.
Big Jump 2012! Kathrin Mangelsen (Germany) â€œHumanity has the ability to make development sustainableâ€”to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations.â€? I love CISV, Junior Branch weekends and the discussions we usually have. I really do! But what I like more is acting and putting into practice what we discuss. There is a campaign I would like to introduce you to concerning the Theme of the Year, Sustainable Development. It is called the Big Jump Challenge. The Challange started in 2002, has spread all over Europe and has even reached the Middle East. The initiator, Roberto Ebble, has the vision that people identify more with their lakes and rivers and that the citizens of the world stand up for better water quality so we can bathe in our waters without a care. In a nutshell, the Big Jump is a European wide event (so far), where people reclaim their environment and demonstrate their wish for clean and non-polluted rivers. On one day, at one time, people jump into their rivers to support the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which is a law about water protection for all member states of the European Union and its candidate
states. This is not only a European issue but a global challenge to improve the water quality in every country in the world. In developing countries people might even drink water from their rivers, wash themselves or cook their meals with it. This is neither healthy nor hygienic and no human life should depend on the water of rivers that are unsafe due to pollution. Let us set an example regardless of where we are from and how we live and let us jump into our lakes and rivers with our Junior Branch, friends, family, grannie, grandpa or likeminded organizations on June 17th 2012 to raise awareness of the bad water quality of our lakes and rivers! If it is too dangerous, too dirty or you simply do not want to jump into natural water - go to a public pool (or a private one if you have one !), get a bucket of water or a sprinkler, be creative! In order to ensure our wellbeing, let us not endanger the wellbeing of future generations. As a start, be part of the Big Jump Challenge 2012 and improve the condition of our waters! If you would like to participate write an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact me any time if you have further questions and send me the pictures of your amazing jumps!
Post JB Challenge Katie Basse (USA)
Are we doing enough? It is a question I hear often in my involvement in this organization. The mission of this organization is to educate and inspire for a more just and peaceful world. Some JBers are driven to go out into their communities and make things happen. They are the change they wish to see in the world. Most of us, on the other hand, like to think of ourselves as students of the subject of peace. We would rather be ambassadors or educators. Some of us even study International Relations in university to learn about world issues from an academic point of view (I donâ€™t recommend it as you will have learned all of this through CISV).
How do I fit into this framework? At the moment I am definitely in the ambassador group. I like to think that people around me are influenced by my actions and my attitude therefore spreading the CISV message. I spend a great deal of time working for my local chapter and my national organization. My attitudes, skills, and knowledge are useful in these arenas. My passion is appreciated in CISV. Once I am done with my tenure in JB, and I have tons of free time, I hope to spend that time getting involved in other organizations. You are probably nearing the end of your term as a JBer. Maybe not this year but in just a few yearsâ€™ time you will either be too old or will live in another city. When this inevitably happens, my challenge to you is two-part:
1) Talk about Junior Branch at your international programs this summer. Everyone from the Village delegate to the JC to the staff should know about JB, what its goals are, and how it has been a great aspect of your life. Encourage them to get involved locally. So often JB isn’t talked about at the international level when it should be. For the continued success of JB, we always need new members. Plus, JB is arguably the best aspect of CISV.
So back to the question at hand: Are we doing enough? Yes, I think that we, as an organization, are doing enough. That being said, we, as graduates of this organization- especially JB-can probably do more. Let’s challenge ourselves to take action for a more just and peaceful world. If we all work together, as a global movement, we will make a positive difference.
2) I know you’re inspired, for there must be a reason you are still involved in JB and reading this document, now do something. Look to the future and how you can better the global community outside of the reach of CISV.
Promoting Change through Social Sustainability Cande Lucero (Argentina)
“ We ’ r e w o r r y i n g a b o u t e n v i r o n m e n t a l sustainability, but we’re not actually doing anything – only putting patches which do not ‘patch’ that much – for what we call social sustainability, which means, the construction of a society that gives everyone the possibility to participate under equal conditions within it.” (Marchioni, 2002) As Marchioni states, a very important element about sustainability is the fact that it is global. If we want to build a sustainable society – both economically and ecologically - we will simultaneously need to build a socially sustainable society. So my question today is, how much are we working through CISV to promote a socially sustainable society? I read and re-read the above quote and the only thing I can reflect about is: “In CISV we are definitely working towards social sustainability. Isn’t educating and inspiring action for a more just an peaceful world are purpose?” This leads me to an automatic sense of proudness and satisfaction towards the work we’re carrying out in CISV. But then I think about what I’ve learnt in the field of my studies and realize that we can still do much more; and not ‘more’ only as in quantity but also as in quality. One year ago I started studying Social Education in Madrid and it has been an intense but rewarding experience. It opened my eyes to another way of looking at our societies and truly understanding the real diversity and richness of it. I thought I lived quite an aware life but this new career/university taught me much more than theories and methods. Just to mention some examples, I got to talk with Manuel who is blind since he was six and understand the fascinated world of people who feel but don’t see. I also got to help illegal immigrants learn a language that would open them new doors. And I got to plan projects that would enable pregnant teenagers continue their studies and attend their newborn babies.
Sometimes when looking at our work in CISV I feel we are not paying that much attention to the tiny things that would actually make this world a more just one. I mean, YES, do take your own bag when shopping for groceries and, YES, let’s try and reuse the plastic bottles we use. But I believe we need to start paying more attention to the social aspect of sustainability, we need to start paying attention to people. I believe a truly socially sustainable society is one in which all decisions are made by representative and inclusive parties that are open and flexible and which integrate different needs, aspirations and approaches about the future of the community. In this way, we should promote that all socio-ecological issues, priorities and plans of action don’t walk in a parallel direction and without connection with the daily problems that affect the life of the citizens. So, by paying more attention to people I mean not ignoring those who ask for money in the streets but looking them at the eyes and greeting them. Dignifying. By paying more attention to people I mean being grateful for the work, time and happiness our volunteers put in CISV. Thanking. I am a volunteer in CISV because I believe in all the work it has been developing towards peace and education, but also because I know how much we can still do. So, having some more months on 2012 to work on Sustainable Development I encourage you not only to work on the ecological aspect of it but also focus on simple daily day actions and/or community-based projects that seek to empower people to be the protagonists of their own positive change; community-based projects that do not only focus on what is missing but actually on the values the people and groups have and try to boost them. I hope we can help give more and greater opportunities to people who do not have it right now. I believe in you. I believe in us. I believe in CISV.
“Sustainable development is like teenage sex Everybody claims they are doing it but most people aren’t, and those that are, are doing it very badly”