ICA International Board update, October 2015

ICAI Global Buzz, October 2015
This post was written for ICAI’s monthly bulletin the Global Buzz, October 2015.

The Institute of Cultural Affairs is a global community of non-profit organisations advancing human development worldwide. The ICAI network comprises member organisations and related groups in over 40 countries.  The role of ICA International is to facilitate peer-to-peer interchange, learning and mutual support across the network, for greater and deeper impact. ICA International maintains consultative status with UN ECOSOC, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO & FAO.


home page thumbnailWe are excited to have launched the new ICAI website in September. This new site is designed to provide an engaging platform for member ICAs and ICA colleagues to communicate with each other and with the wider world. We hope that you will like it, and and that you will use it and share it!

In the launch post on the website itself  you can read an overview of some of what you can already find on the site, some of what is coming and some of what will be possible for the future.  Member ICAs have been invited to complete and update their ICA Worldwide profiles by completing a simple online form, and we encourage them to do so right away and let us know of any support that they might need.

Following decisions of the General Assembly in July, nominations have been received for member representatives to serve on the new 2016 Global Conference working group and the new Global ToP policy working group. The two new global working groups are now beginning their work.

The Board were pleased that ICAI was able to provide some small financial support for the West & Central Africa regional gathering hosted by ICA Cote D’Ivoire in September.  We hope to be able to support upcoming regional gatherings of the Asia Pacific region in India and the Europe MENA region in the Netherlands in November as well.

Many member ICAs’ annual dues become payable at this time of year, and we are grateful to all those who are responding promtply to the dues reminders that ICAI Treasurer Seva Gandhi has been circulating.

Welcome to the new ICAI new website, launched today!

Welcome to the new ICAI website, launched today!  This new site is designed to provide an engaging platform for member ICAs and ICA colleagues to communicate with each other and with the wider world. We hope that you will like it, and and that you will use it and share it!

Everything that you used to find on the ICAI site is still available somewhere, including online archives of our Winds & Waves magazine and monthly news bulletin the Global Buzz.  If you can’t find what you are looking for, feel free to contact us to ask. Read on for an overview of some of what you can already find here, some of what is coming and some of what will be possible for the future.

On the Home page you will find the latest tweets and news updatates from ICAI and our members around the world, plus featured news posts and publications, and menus and a search function to help you to navigate the site.  You can also opt to have Google auto-translate the entire site into another language of your choice.  We may want to add a calendar here, for ICAI and members to publicise their events.

The news posts you will find already here are mostly drawn from recent issues of our current monthly bulletin the Global Buzz.  The new site will enable member ICAs to log in and post their news updates and photos directly, whenever they have news to share, and a monthly digest will then be emailed to Global Buzz subscribers.  There will be a role to play for volunteer editors to support members to do this, at least at first, and to monitor members’ own websites and social media posts for news and stories to re-publish here – so if you might be interested in such a role, please contact us.

About us is substantially updated to reflect how ICAI now operates since we introduced our present peer to peer approach in 2010.  Still to come soon are individual profiles for each Board member to complete and maintain, that will be linked to Our global Board and to Contact us.  I hope we will also add a members’ section here, to share internal ICA policy, governance and other documents with members only.

ICA Worldwide provides a platform for member ICAs to share and update their profiles, to connect with each other and enable others to connect with them.  At present it includes just a very limited profile of each member, drawn from their response to ICAI’s recent global membership survey (and in some cases from their own websites), and email contacts only for their ICAI representatives on our global email list. Over the coming weeks and months, ICAI Board members will be supporting members to log in to complete and update their profiles themselves by completing a simple form.  In future, members will be asked to update their profile at least annually, as they complete and update the annual membership survey in the same way.  Members will also be able to create additional pages and sub-pages (in whatever language they choose), in order to use their profile as a mini website of their own if they wish. I hope that we will be arrange also for members’ own news updates to appear on their own profile pages.

Conferences at present includes just a brief overview of the quadrennial Global Conference on Human Development that has ICAI has convened since 1984, and of the most recent hosted by ICA Nepal in 2012.  Our new 2016 Global Conference committee will be able to create and maintain additional pages here for our next conference.

Publications includes links to our archives of Winds & Waves magazine, the Global Buzz, and our pre-2010 newsletter Network Exchange, plus the 2012 book of ICA Nepal Changing Lives Changing Societies and the new 2015 ICA Handbook of Terry Bergdall od ICA USA.  Future issues of Winds & Waves magazine and other ICAI publications will be posted here, and ICAs will be encouraged and supported to post their own publications here as well.

ToP Facilitation includes an overview of ICA’s Technology of Participation facilitation methods, training and CTF certification, copied over from the ToP pages of the previous site, and links to ICA ToP training providers around the world.  Our new Global ToP Policy Working Group will be able to use these pages, and new pages here as needed, to communicate the new ICA global ToP policy that was adopted by GA in July and to support its implementation by members.  I hope we will also be able to add a twitter feed from @ToPfacilitation to this section, as we have from @ICAI on the Home page.

We are grateful to Robert Liverpool for sharing his WordPress skills and considerable volunteer time to build this site for us.  Now it is up to us to use it, make it our own and make it work for us!

We welcome your feedback or suggestions for the website, and any other queries. Most of all, we will welcome your commitment to co-create the site with us by entering and updating your own profiles, news posts and publications, and by reading, sharing and engaging with what you find here.  Please do share comments on the site, or contact us directly.

ICA International Board update, August 2015

ICAI Global Buzz, June 2015
This post was written for ICAI’s monthly bulletin the Global Buzz, August 2015.

The Institute of Cultural Affairs is a global community of non-profit organisations advancing human development worldwide. The ICAI network comprises member organisations and related groups in over 40 countries.  The role of ICA International is to facilitate peer-to-peer interchange, learning and mutual support across the network, for greater and deeper impact. ICA International maintains consultative status with UN ECOSOC, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO & FAO.


The main event for the ICAI Board last month was the July General Assembly. Final preparations were concluded at the online Board meeting of July 8. An online GA meeting in Adobe Connect was repeated twice for two time zones on July 21, and attended by 20 representatives of 13 member ICAs. Finally, an asynchronous online poll was held by surveymonkey over 10 days to July 31, to confirm and symbolise the consensus of the General Assembly.  Nineteen representatives of 25 statutory members cast their ICAs’ votes in the poll.

GA screenshotFour resolutions were passed by the General Assembly:

  • the 2015-16 ICAI Strategic Directions developed by the May Board meeting in Tanzania were approved
  • three new nominations for non-voting Associate membership were approved – welcome to ICAI to ORP of Korea, EPDI of Nigeria and SNCF of Uganda!
  • a recommendation of the ICAI Global Conference working group was accepted, to seek to work in partnership with Initiaitives of Change to convene a global conference next year at IofC’s centre at Caux, Switzerland
  • a new global policy on ICA’s Technology of Participation was adopted, following 18 months of collaborative development and consultation among ICAs worldwide, led by the global ToP policy working group.

The online meetings provided a final opportunity to discuss these resolutions before the online poll. They also provided an opportunity for the Board and our volunteer web developer Robert Liverpool to share the new draft ICAI website that is under development in WordPress.  We are now testing and populating the website with content with a view to launching it publicly later in the year.

wordpress screenshot

ICA International Board update, June 2015

ICAI Global Buzz, June 2015
This post was written for ICAI’s monthly bulletin the Global Buzz, June 2015. This month’s issue includes updates from ICAs in Cote D’Ivoire, India, Japan, Nepal, Spain, Taiwan & USA.

The Institute of Cultural Affairs is a global community of non-profit organisations advancing human development worldwide. The ICAI network comprises member organisations and related groups in over 40 countries.  The role of ICA International is to facilitate peer-to-peer interchange, learning and mutual support across the network, for greater and deeper impact. ICA International maintains consultative status with UN ECOSOC, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO & FAO.


Raising our ambition – a face-to-face meeting of the virtual ICAI BoardLast month provided a rare and invaluable opportunity for the largely virtual Board of ICA International to meet face-to-face, in conjunction with the East & Southern Africa ICA regional gathering held near Arusha in Tanzania – see my review of the Board meeting Raising our ambition – a face-to-face meeting of the virtual ICAI Board, and please SAVE THE DATE for the 21 July ICAI General Assembly (online sessions 10am & 2pm London time).

Four Board members stayed on for the regional gathering, which will be reported separately.  A WhatsApp group has since been established for the region, to enable participants and others to share reflections and photos and to stay in touch and to facilitate peer-to-peer support and collaboration.

The following week I travelled to Moscow to deliver ToP Group Facilitation Methods and Action Planning training with Victoria & Segey Bekhtereva of Rules Play, who are working to promote ToP facilitation and ICA in Russia.  I was pleased to be able to meet also one evening with them and another 8 or so Russian ToP facilitators, to hear more of their interests and aspirations for ToP and ICA in Russia, including making ToP training and Certified ToP Facilitator certification available in Russia.  We also spoke of how they might make best advantage of Bill Staples’ planned trip to Moscow from Canada in October.

While in Moscow I spoke with Sabah Khalifa of ICA MENA in Egypt, and confirmed plans to visit them from June 13-17, after my next client trip to Beirut.  ICA MENA is now delivering a programme of community and youth development in four governorates of Upper Egypt, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs, and curently has around a dozen staff plus volunteers in offices in Bayad El Arab (Beni Suef), Fayoum and Cairo – many of whom were already on the staff when I myself worked with ICA MENA from 1989-95.  So I am looking forward to revisiting Bayad and Beni Suef and meeting old friends and colleagues, as well as catching up with recent developments – I last visited over 10 years ago. I am also looking forward to supporting ICA MENA however I can in its current 5-year strategic planning, and in taking advantage of possibilities for peer-to-peer collaboration and support with other ICAs.

ICA International Board update, March 2015

ICAI Global Buzz, Sseptember 2014
This post was written for ICAI’s monthly bulletin the Global Buzz, March 2015.This month’s issue includes updates from ICAs in Australia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Germany, UK & USA.

The Institute of Cultural Affairs is a global community of non-profit organisations advancing human development worldwide. The ICAI network comprises member organisations and related groups in over 40 countries.  The role of ICA International is to facilitate peer-to-peer interchange, learning and mutual support across the network, for greater and deeper impact. ICA International maintains consultative status with UN ECOSOC, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO & FAO.


At the February meeting of the ICAI Board, with all members in attendance, we agreed updates to the ICAI business planning framework for 2015-16 and a process for us to plan our work together in more detail.  We also discussed options for a face-to-face Board meeting for in-depth induction and planning for the new Board, having had five new members join three continuing members since January, and we agreed interim Board roles (subject to confirmation and elaboration when we meet face to face).

We agreed dates in May to reserve for a face-to-face meeting, and we agreed to research the relative costs and explore the potential benefits of meeting in Chicago, Kiev or Tanzania.  These were the three locations identified as most likely to offer the best value for money, as a result of flight routes and costs and opportunities for meeting and learning with member ICAs in those locations.  A regional meeting of East African ICAs is planned for May in Tanzania.

We have since begun drafting our own individual workplans for discussion at our March meeting, on the basis of the roles agreed as follows:

  • President – Martin Gilbraith, ICA:UK
  • Secretary – Staci Kentish, ICA Canada
  • Treasurer – Seva Gandhi, ICA USA
  • Vice-President (Americas) – Lisseth Lorenzo, ICA Guatemala
  • Vice-President (Europe & MENA) – Svitlana Salamatova, ICA Ukraine
  • Vice-President (West & Central Africa) – Yawo Gator Adufu,ICA Togo
  • Vice-President (East & Southern Africa) – Charles Luoga, ICA Tanzania
  • Vice-President (Asia Pacific) – Shizuyo Sato, ICA Japan
  • Vice-President (Communications) -– Seva Gandhi, ICA USA & Svitlana Salamatova, ICA Ukraine

The ICAI Global ToP policy working group met again in February to consider how to prepare for a General Assembly vote on the topic in 2015, and the ICAI Global Conferencing working group is due to reconvene shortly in March to continue its work toward preapring a programme and budget for global conferencing in 2016 for GA approval.  The Asia region continued its monthly meetings by google hangout, and decided to convene a face-to-face regional meeting in India in December.  Associate membership applications are underway and/or expected from ICA partner organisations in Nigeria, Russia, Korea and the Philippines.

Plans developed last year to rebuild and redesign the ICAI website in WordPress, for easy updating and posting by multiple users, are being revisited after a suitable volunteer has evenually come forward as a result of a vacancy posted on a recruitment site last year.  We are now in discussion with the UK-based developer and looking forward to working with him and our global communications team to develop the new site in such a way as to best support their work and the needs and aspirations of members.

ICA International Board update, January 2015

ICAI Global Buzz, Sseptember 2014
This post was written for ICAI’s monthly bulletin the Global Buzz, January 2015.

The Institute of Cultural Affairs is a global community of non-profit organisations advancing human development worldwide. The ICAI network comprises member organisations and related groups in over 40 countries.  The role of ICA International is to facilitate peer-to-peer interchange, learning and mutual support across the network, for greater and deeper impact. ICA International maintains consultative status with UN ECOSOC, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO & FAO.


In December we held two online General Assembly (GA) meetings in Adobe Connect on December 12 (early & late for different time zones), and we conducted asynchronous voting on GA resolutions by Surveymonkey poll between December 12-22.  Full reports were circulated to members before Christmas.

The aims of the ICAI General Assembly, currently held twice per year in June & December, are:

  • to take ICAI membership decisions, including approval of Associate & Statutory memberships
  • to take ICAI strategy & policy decisions, to direct the work of the Board and to guide & support the peer-to-peer collaboration among ICAs
  • to elect the ICAI Board and hold it accountable to the membership, including by receipt of an annual finance report.

A total of sixteen member ICAs were represented by 24 participants at the two online meetings, and 23 of 24 statutory member ICAs participated in the asynchoronous voting.  We are grateful to all who participated.

A full 2013 Financial Statement was presented to the membership, along with summary financial report and Board report for 2014, and a budget for 2015-16 was approved. Two new Associate members were approved for membership, and five new Board members were elected, succeeding four retiring members and bringing the total to eight. The ICAI working group on global conference was extended to work with six potential hosts to recommend a programme and budget for ICAI global conferencing to the GA in June 2015. A revised draft global ToP (Technology of Participation) policy, incorporating feedback from global consultation, was presented by the ICAI global ToP working group for discussion with a view to bringing the policy to a GA vote in the new year.

I take this opportunity now to congratulate, thank and welcome our five new members joining the Board from 1 January – Shizuyo Sato of ICA Japan (a former Board member and President of ICAI), Svetlana Salamatova of ICA Ukraine, Lisseth Lorenzo of ICA Guatmala, Adufu Yawo Gator of ICA Togo and Charles Luoga of ICA Tanzania.  Also I offer warmest thanks on behalf of all the Board and members for the service of our outgoing Board members – Isabel De La Maza of ICA Chile, Shankar Jadhav of ICA India, Gerald Gomani of ICA Zimbabwe and Krishna Shrestha of ICA Australia.  And of course many thanks to my two fellow continuing Board members, Seva Gandhi of ICA USA and Staci Kentish of ICA Canada. At our January meeting this week, the new Board will be joined by outgoing Board members to reflect and learn from the experience of 2013-14 as a prelude to induction, teambuilding and planning for 2015-16.

I am also delighted to welcome now our two new Associate members the Development Institute of Ghana (nominated by ICA Ghana, ICA Zimbabwe & ICA:UK) and Emerging Ecology of USA (nominated by ICA USA, ICA India, ICA Nepal).  Find them now, and all of our worldwide community, on our online Global Network map.

Image change through coaching and mentoring

This article was written for ICAI Winds and Waves, December 2014 issue.

Welcome to this latest issue of Winds & Waves, the online magazine of ICA International.

Mentoring and coaching, as well as facilitation, training and demonstration projects, are among the many ways that ICA works worldwide to change images, or worldviews, and thus to bring about positive personal, organisational and societal change. I have been both a mentor and a mentee this year, supporting a Ukrainian colleague to prepare for her Certified ToP Facilitator assessment as I have prepared for my own.

Larry Philbrook of ICA Taiwan refers to the ‘image theory’ that underlines this approach (page 9) and how he has applied it to coaching and mentoring. Jen Schanen and Beverly Scow’s story from the USA (page 13) illustrates the approach in action. This issue also includes stories of personal coaching and mentoring from Aruba, Canada, Chile, Nepal, Taiwan, Ukraine, UK & Africa and the USA, among others. Common themes include partnership and intentionality, as well as the application of ICA’s Technology of Participation (ToP) methodology and in particular the ToP Focused Conversation method and ‘ORID’ framework (page 11).

ICA International’s ‘peer-to-peer’ approach to mutual support and collaboration among its member ICAs reflects the same values and principles of partnership and intentionality, applied to shared learning and development within and among organisations. How this approach unfolds at a global level is illustrated by stories in this issue from Svetlana Salamatova of ICA Ukraine (page 17) and from Steve Harrington in Costa Rica (page 19).

It is a key role of ICA International to facilitate and support such intentional partnership working, learning and development among members. As we approach the ICAI General Assembly on December 12, we are approaching the culmination of the work of two ICAI global working groups that have been tasked this year with helping to further develop the conditions for such collaboration to flourish – the global ToP Policy working group and the Global Conferencing working group. We are also approaching the election of four new members to the ICAI Board, and the retirement of four – Krishna Shrestha of ICA Australia, Isabel de la Maza of ICA Chile, Shankar Jadhav of ICA India and Gerald Gomani of ICA Zimbabwe. I am grateful to all of them, and to all those who have volunteered their time and energy to support our global mission this year – including as members of the Board, of our global working groups, and of course of the tireless editorial team of this Winds and Waves magazine and our monthly bulletin the Global Buzz.

Please ask for details to join the General Assembly on December 12 if you have not received them directly, and watch this space for the outcome in the next issue. In the meantime, season’s greetings and a Happy New Year to all our readers, and enjoy this issue!