Happy New Year from ICAI

This post was first published in ICAI’s monthly bulletin the Global Buzz.

ICA International

Happy New Year to ICAI members and ICA colleagues worldwide. I am excited and honoured to begin my term as ICAI President on January 1, and wanted to start the year with a brief message to the ICA global network on behalf of the new ICAI Board.

First of all, sincere thanks to my predecessor Larry Philbrook of ICA Taiwan, and to Kevin Balm of ICA Australia, Sabah Khalifa of ICA MENA in Egypt and Dick Alton of ICA USA, as they complete their terms and stand down now from the ICAI Board. Under Larry’s energetic and inclusive leadership over the past two years, ICA International has been transformed in line with the new ‘peer to peer’ approach agreed by the 2010 General Assembly in India. Also, that meeting’s decision to close the Montreal-based Secretariat has been effectively and responsibly executed. This has been no small or easy task, and I am grateful also to all those members and colleagues who have played their part – not least our colleagues in Canada who continue to provide invaluable financial and administrative support to ICAI, our creditors who have generously agreed to write off the loans they had made to support the Montreal operation, ICA Nepal for delivering an outstanding 8th Global Conference on Human Development in Kathmandu, and the publications team and Sisters of Virtual Facilitation who have done so much to renew and revitalise our global relationships through innovative new online forms of meetings and communications. ICAI now enters the New Year not only with a new President and Board, but with a clean slate and in a very strong position to consolidate and build on these achievements – in order to better advance human development worldwide through the efforts and activities of our members and wider network.

At the online General Assembly in December we presented the roles of the new Board, and a strategic framework and outline budget that were approved by the Assembly to guide the work of ICAI and the Board over the next two years 2013-14.

Shankar Jadhav of ICA India, Isabel de la Maza of ICA Chile and Gerald Gomani of ICA Zimbabwe will continue on the Board and serve respectively as Treasurer, Vice-President for the Americas and Vice-President for Africa, MENA & Europe. Newly elected Board members Saci Kentish of ICA Canada, Seva Gandhi of ICA USA, Krishna Shretha of ICA Australia, and I will serve respectively as Secretary, Vice-President for Communications, Vice-President for Asia Pacific and President.

The strategic framework identifies eight key areas by which we shall structure our own work, and facilitate and communicate members’ contributions by means of ICAI’s decentralized “peer to peer” approach:

  1. Support & encourage existing & emerging ICAs to achieve & maintain statutory membership where possible, otherwise associate
  2. Develop, maintain & promote effective means for online networking & collaboration among members & colleagues, synchronous & asynchronous
  3. Facilitate peer to peer support & collaboration among members, including face-to-face networking, staff, programme & curriculum development, resource mobilization & institutional sustainability
  4. Oversee & support global initiatives of members, eg: global conferencing, ToP worldwide expansion, journal & policy advocacy
  5. Focus the messages & expand the reach of internal & external publications including website, Global Buzz and Winds & Waves
  6. Renew & maintain global relationships on behalf of members, eg: UNICEF, ECOSOC, CIVICUS
  7. Clarify and strengthen inclusive ICAI governance and operations – inclusive relative to geography, language, age, technology etc.
  8. Engage members & colleagues to develop longer-term vision & strategy for global ICA movement & ICAI.

The simple and prudent budget shows income from membership dues rising gradually to $15k in 2013 and $20k in 2014, and basic governance and administration expenses from $5.5k to $5.8k over the two years. Coupled with the small surplus accumulated through very prudent financial management of the past two years, this allows for $11k and $14.2k in 2013 & 2014 to support members’ peer-to-peer initiatives.

The Board is now developing a work plan to translate this strategic framework into priorities and objectives for each Board member’s area of responsibility, and we will share this with the network next month. We would very much welcome your feedback and input as we work on this, so please do get in touch with any of us to share how you would like to see the strategic priorities of ICAI and the Board. I think that ICA International is now again in a position to be bold in its ambition to the extent that our members are ready and able to be bold in their ambitions and contributions.

Finally, a little about me for those that don’t know me. I have been involved with ICA in a variety of roles for most of my career, since first training through the ICA:UK volunteer programme to work with ICA India in 1986-87. After a couple of years involved with ICA’s returned volunteer network in the UK I then spent six years with ICA in Egypt. Since 1997 I worked with colleagues in Britain to re-establish and grow ICA there, and after 16 years I have just stepped down as Chief Executive of ICA:UK in September. I am therefore delighted to have this opportunity to continue to serve ICA and our global mission now as ICAI President. I previously served on the ICAI Board from 1998-2006, including six years as Treasurer. I have since served for four years on the Board of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), and have just now completed a term as IAF Chair. I am now working on a freelance basis as a facilitator, trainer and consultant based in London, and would welcome opportunities to be of service to individual ICAs and to work with ICA colleagues in that capacity as well. To find out more about me, and to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on twitter, please visit www.martingilbraith.com.

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