Kenya: The Great Minds Challenge
The Great Minds Challenge – Nairobi took place between the 19th and 21st of October 2018, and brought together over 30 participants, coaches and partners from Kenya, Turkey, Congo, Netherlands, United States and the Philippines. The event was true to the words of Lupita Nyongó, the first Kenyan actress to win an Oscar: “All dreams are valid, no matter where you come from.”
The three days filled with inspiration, challenges and cutting-edge information sharing marked the end of the first month of the Great Minds Challenge. Five highly talented social impact entrepreneurs and 13 participants from Nairobi-based companies had received extensive coaching for a month, and now convened with the aim of transforming their challenges into tangible impact plans. First month coaching entailed guidance on CREPES Tool, a customized Business Model Canvas and Clarity4D Profiling Tool.
The reward of tears, sweat and hard work paid off handsomely during the networking dinner on the second day, where the participants had a rare opportunity to network with reputable market leaders who are drivers of the economy in Kenya and around the region.
Powerful topics to enhance highly efficient processes and performances in organizations and businesses were delivered by various experts. For example, Amnon Zamir from Israel with an experience of over 30 years in his field, offered a Masterclass on Design and Systems Thinking, and Mr. Emeka Okwonko, gave a workshop on the backbone tool for GMC: The CREPES (Consistence, Responsiveness, Efficiency, Profit, Effectiveness and Sustainability).
Outstanding social impact projects from young new generation leaders were presented as well, such as the one from Carol Nduta who is creating the Blood Bank Data Base, first of its kind to respond to crises and emergencies in Africa where data and technology is unavailable to enable immediate response to emergencies. The leaders presented their projects on Sunday to a panel of experienced coaches and representatives from the Board of Inspiration and United States International University.
The highlight ushered in the last phase of the challenge, which involves further coaching as well as the implementation of the impact plans. The participants have been empowered to not only think through and implement their impact plans with the main tenets of being innovative, sustainable and future-proof but they have also gained a clear focus on personal development with the guidance of the Clarity4D tool and leading coach Mrs. Susan Wamae, the Director of Allied Resource Partners.
The objective of the Great Minds Challenge Nairobi is to continue acting as the epicenter of innovation, sustainability and a platform to nurture a New Generation of Leaders, who will work with businesses and societies to create an eco-balance of planet, people and profitability.
Partnering companies: Bowmans Law Firm, Incentro Africa, Dow, Scopic Africa, Soulco Kenya, Royal flora Holland, KLM
More information and contact information HERE.
MasterPeace Global Bootcamp 2018
The official aftermovie:
"It was a journey of a lifetime."
This is how one of MasterPeace Club leaders summarized his experience of the 7th edition of the MasterPeace Bootcamp in Medellin, Colombia. That sentiment definitely echoed with everyone present at the event. This year, MasterPeace chose Medellin, ‘the city of eternal spring’, to host the activities of its annual Bootcamp, where MasterPeace Club leaders from around the world come to meet and exchange ideas, plans and inspiration.
Medellín was everything we dreamt of and more: the city was a mix of culture, creativity and peace-building! It made headlines during the past few years for its transformational story, growing from the world’s most dangerous city to an award-winning example of positivity, creativity and innovation. From small alleys to big conference rooms, passing walls of hope and art, we completed an amazing journey of five days as one team. We went through all the uphills and deep valleys of what this city and its experts had to offer.
All pictures are taken by our talented photographer Luis Barreto.
Recap Day One
While shaking off the jetlag, everyone was ready to start the Bootcamp journey full of eagerness and enthusiasm. We kicked off the event with a warm welcome by MasterPeace Medellín and MasterPeace organizing team. Pilar Ibáñez, an outstanding Colombian author and expert in the ‘art of happiness’ and ‘transformational leadership’ gave a great first opening session with her talk ‘Why We Are Here’, describing the reasons behind coming together in Medellín, the city of creativity and happiness. Among the many takeaways, we especially loved the quote ‘Creativity is imagination with responsibility’.
Pilar was followed by Sergio Gutiérrez, the president of Urbano Medellín, one of the prominent names in the scene of urban transformation projects in Medellín. Sergio explained how Urbano Medellín is supporting sustainable urban development through citizen empowerment and transformative political participation, and how the #CitizensBeforeCity project has helped the city transform itself across the recent years to promote safety, civic participation, tolerance, and education – the main success factors of Medellín.
Finally, MasterPeace CEO Aart Bos held an inspiring session that mapped out the concepts and future plans of the global movement of MasterPeace. Using leadership and storytelling aspects, he aims to continue learning from the past while moving towards future ideas.
To continue the series of Medellín’s transformational factors, Ideas for Peace Foundation (FIP), an independent think-tank with the mission to generate knowledge, propose initiatives, and develop practices for a stable and lasting peace in Colombia, followed up with some more inspiring ideas. Psychologist and anthropologist Tatiana Mosquera Angulo brought to our club leaders some of the lessons from conflict resolution and peace-building trainings that can be adopted in different parts of the world.
During this day of kick-off, MasterPeace Clubs from around the world splashed colors on the first official Wall of Connection in ‘the city of eternal spring’ with the support of the creative artist Cristian Alvarez from Casa La Loma. Cristian risked his young life spraying paint over violent messages from gangs in order to turn them into beautiful paintings of hummingbirds, watching over the city. The club leaders learned more about his story and joined in painting together the first wall in the city with collaborative efforts.
Recap Day Two
As the best learning happens outside of closed conference rooms, MasterPeace team went for a full tour around Medellín’s several transformational projects. The team hopped on a bus to explore different Medellin Barrios (neighborhoods). They started with La Loma, where young people have created Casa Loma, a space dedicated for the promotion and strengthening of culture, art, sport and healthy leisure. Its young artists have made this place into a beautiful and colorful stop in Medellin. What started as a project to improve people’s lives has now become a center of beauty and color. Not to be missed!
Inspired club leaders moved together to another spot at the Comuna 13, marked as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods and marred by continuous armed conflicts. However, this area that clings to the mountainside above the San Javier metro station has undergone an impressive transformation in recent times, and is now considered safe to visit. The focal point of a trip to the Comuna 13 is the area around the ‘Escaleras Electricas’, the outdoor escalators that provide access to homes in marginalized barrios that were formerly isolated from the city below. The club leaders followed an impressive Graffiti tour around the neighborhood, which has now been turned into a cultural space full of music and happiness. Comuna 13 is just one example of Medellín’s impressive transformational stories, where the innovation of escalators has brought in a powerful sense of connection.
The journey continued as we made a stop to another part of city, visiting the crew of Suenos De Papel and their capoeira show, which is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines (non-violent) fighting, dance, acrobatics and music. It originates in Brazil, but has been adopted in Colombia by some world-famous masters. This type of dance is increasingly popular as a way of peaceful resistance, using power, speed, and control across a wide variety of kicks, spins, and other techniques to peacefully channel energy into art rather than into conflict. The neighborhood transformed from a landfill of trash into a beautiful garden and cultural center.
MasterPeacers then reached to the most inspiring part of the trip: the award-winning Union Latina, one of the projects supported by MasterPeace Medellín. It is an academy of dance in the barrio of Manrique, which breaks the social stereotypes through dance and expression of the body. The dance group brings together kids and adults from all age groups and backgrounds, especially from the most vulnerable ones. We experienced first-hand the transformation that dance can induce. From their tiny studio came out an explosive dance, where every move created a new future of a brighter Medellín and a brighter Colombia.
Recap Day Three
The agenda of the third day involved a deep dive within MasterPeace Clubs. We discussed various elements that make a sustainable organization, ranging from fundraising to communications and team-building, enabling clubs leaders to share their success stories and learnt lessons.
In their session of best practices on grants, Levan from MasterPeace Georgia and Nedim from MasterPeace Bosnia & Herzegovina discussed their successes with gaining confidence on grant applications, ways to look out for opportunities and some tips and tricks for other clubs. Kristine from MasterPeace Germany-Wiesbaden explained the success factors of her crowdfunding efforts for the book ‘Why are we here?’, telling stories from refugees. The book successfully completed its fundraising goal, making it a highlight for the club and the movement. Dr. Manu from MasterPeace India-Odisha and Slawomir from MasterPeace Poland brought forward their ideas on social entrepreneurship. Slawomir explained their brilliant interactive game on this topic, which received overwhelming interest from different club leaders who look forward to adopting the game locally in their home countries. Dr. Manu told us about the various programs of elderly healthcare and reconciliation that he is successfully implementing in Odisha, India. MasterPeace core team tackled the topic of online presence, presenting four case studies from clubs’ best practices, mentioning the social media efforts of MasterPeace Wiesbaden and the 100 Days of Peace campaign in Uganda. They also explained the changes to the MasterPeace website regarding the story features and what makes a perfect design.
With the International Day of Peace strong on everyone’s memory, MasterPeace clubs team shared some statistics and highlights from the #IDP2018 celebration. We discussed the idea of pairing MasterPeace clubs and listened to the amazing example of collaboration between MasterPeace Colombia-Cali and MasterPeace Uganda. Jackie shared the challenges that Uganda faced when organizing the IDP celebration in the midst of sensitive political atmosphere, while Luisa told the impressive story of MasterPeace Cali working with victims of the armed conflict to create art to forgive their attackers. It was powerful story of resilience between these two unlikely but very connected MasterPeace clubs. Another somewhat unlikely pair we explored was MasterPeace Afghanistan and MasterPeace Slovakia, who shared through a live stream their celebrations but also the struggle to get there. From around the globe, the clubs showed how ACT! (Artists Creating Together) for the SDGs gained momentum across different countries and continents. Finally, the sessions focusing on the SDGs of 4, 11 and 16 witnessed a high interactivity from both the clubs that shared their work experience as well as the clubs that listened with interest to start similar projects in their own country. For each SDG, we gave the chance for two clubs to share their work.
Recap Day Four
The next day was once again impressive and inspiring, as the social projects supported by MasterPeace Medellín joined our Clubs at the location of Comfama, one of our biggest local sponsors and partners. Comfama is a nationwide institution of many industries in the Antioquia region, offering services in the areas of health and well-being, education, employment, entrepreneurship, housing and habitat, recreation, sports, tourism, culture and financials. The crucial objective of the day was to connect MasterPeace Clubs with the brilliant 7 transformational projects, so that they could interact with these groups, get inspired and transfer some of these techniques back home. These were the local social projects:
- Union Latina: An art school offering dance, music & theatre studies for developing empathy, solidarity, life skills and commitment in a vulnerable community.
- La Loma: Cultural center in a conflict-ridden, but transformed neighborhood.
- Mangle: “artherapy” and empowerment of the youth through capoeira, dance and martial arts.
- SíHembra: Empowering woman from vulnerable communities, equipping them with confidence and self-awareness.
- Dharti Yoga: Using yoga to treat post-trauma victims from the Colombian conflict.
- Sueños de Papel: A library for promoting education, human rights and art, but most importantly, to build a peaceful community in theviolent neighborhood of La Cruz.
- Deditos Verdes: Promoting the importance of life through nature, planting trees and and edible plants at the cities (Huertas Urbanas)
In an unconventional way, we gave some of our clubs leaders the chance to give an open workshop such as ‘Storytelling’ with Kristine Tauch from MasterPeace Germany-Wiesbaden, ‘Territorial Peace’ with Juan Mulford from MasterPeace Colombia-Barranquilla, ‘Inter-religious Dialogue’ with Taras Dzyubanskyy from MasterPeace Ukraine-Lviv and ‘Building Resilient Communities’ Through Art’ with Ligia Benitez Kiamaru and Gaby from MasterPeace Ecuador.
Recap Day Five
MasterPeace CEO Aart Bos started the final day with some reflections on the success factors of Medellín as a city and what we can learn from that. It was a session that witnessed huge interactions from inspired club leaders sharing their ideas and reflections.
The day included two sessions about the power of music and art in transformation, starting with MasterPeace Mexico and MasterPeace Colombia-Bogota showing examples from around the world where music has been used as a means of reconciliation and peace-building. With a big dance circle, the duo played music from different traditions and asked the club leaders to start the local dance when they recognize the music, which spontaneously turned into a phenomenal dance frenzy clearly demonstrating the power of your local music away from home.
To continue the talks about music, we welcomed an expert on the history of salsa to explain the strong Afro-Cuban, European and American influences on salsa, and how this dance transformed bonds of nations to make its way from streets and bars to opera houses. The Bootcamp ended with sharing the moments of pride with all our MasterPeace clubs, with everyone sharing their lesson learnt and takeaway messages, and most importantly, thanking MasterPeace Colombia-Medellín for making it possible to share such unforgettable moments.
Quotes by MasterPeace leaders:
"For MasterPeace Club Leaders Medellin, as a city of transformation and hope, with its amazing history, the ongoing peace process, the lively and friendly people, was a perfect place to be. Latin America has taught me a lot and stole my heart in such a short period of time."
Club Leader MasterPeace of Germany-Wiesbaden
"In Medellin we saw how art and music can change the world."
Club Leader of MasterPeace Croatia
"Medellin proved that dancing, painting have the power to change lives if people came together and took the initiatives."
Club Leader of MasterPeace Morocco
"Never give up on your dream and talent!"
Club Leader of MasterPeace Myanmar
Fifth great minds meeting in The Netherlands
Join the dialogue about diversity and inclusivity, Together we can create a sustainable future with less conflict.
On the 3rd of September, MasterPeace organized the 5th MasterPeace Great Minds Meeting. With over 200 participants, we discussed the urgency of the global and local dilemmas such as the number of 68 million refugees worldwide, the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” (2.5 billion people live on less than 2.50$), the global yearly expenditure on weapons (1.700.000.000.000$) and the impact of the climate change on various levels. These problems have put extreme pressure on the social cohesion in all societies on all continents.
However, despite their complexity, even small solutions from you and I can start making a difference. With our positive talents and influence, we can outnumber the negative: It’s crucial to celebrate diversity, and work day and night, step by step towards a more inclusive society.
During the Great Minds Meeting, we learned from and laughed with the storytellers and storylisteners, as we were all actively participating to create productive dialogues. Some examples of the topics were Quality Education, the Soft Power of Theatre, Soccer and Dialogue, Leadership and Diversity, and Sustainable Cities.
Serious topics were discussed with laughs and tears. It was a colourful and unique moment to connect brilliant minds and deeds. Some examples of the topics were Quality Education in Amsterdam, Silicon Valley and Nepal; the Soft Power of Theatre, Soccer as way to connect in a post conflict situation in Burundi and how to use Deep Dialogue as the way to create common grounds; Leadership and Diversity, and rethinking Cities as the urbanization creates complex social and environmental dilemma’s.
As MasterPeace, we voice the civil society and believe in the co-creation with businesses. For this reason, we also covered the important opportunities and challenges of social enterprises and the inclusiveness aspects of modern business models.
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