Welcome to the July 2017 issue of the Global Washington newsletter.
IN THIS ISSUE
- Letter from our Executive Director
- Partnership Highlights
- Welcome New Members
- GlobalWA Member Events
- Career Center
- GlobalWA Events
Letter from our Executive Director
Renewing Global Leadership: A look ahead at this year’s annual conference
If you think about the word “renew,” what comes to mind? First off, you might be thinking about library books or parking permits. But dig a little deeper. Think about your summer vacation. Re-New. The word itself speaks of making something new again. It conveys freshness, revival, and a restoration to fullness. Renewal also brings strength to rebuild and hold fast to one’s commitments and beliefs.
For the Global Washington Annual Conference in 2017 we chose as our theme “Renewing Global Leadership” to bring the global development community together and bolster our individual and collective commitment to improving lives in developing countries. The speakers and attendees will discuss our global connections and the economic, political, and cultural impacts of globalization. We’ll also explore what type of leadership is needed to adapt to a shifting global landscape.
What does a global leader look like? You may picture an influential donor, a corporate executive, or an NGO practitioner. But a girl going to school in Afghanistan can be every bit as much of a leader to her community. Leadership with a global mindset is needed at all levels of society around the world.
What qualities of leadership are called for today and in the future depends on your worldview. Global Washington’s board chair, Akhtar Badshaw, and board vice chair, Melissa Merritt, have shared their thoughts on the latest backlash to globalization and the critical skills that global leaders need to cultivate.
I hope you can join the conversation at the Renewing Global Leadership conference on November 29, 2017 in Seattle. More information can be found here and we will update you soon about our keynote speakers and concurrent panels.
Globalization’s Backlash and Critical Skills for Global Leaders
We asked Global Washington’s board chair Akhtar Badshah and board vice chair Melissa Merritt to reflect on this year’s conference theme, Renewing Global Leadership.
Akhtar is an expert on philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and international development. He teaches at the University of Washington on entrepreneurism and accelerating social impact and led Microsoft’s corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer program for 10 years.
Melissa is the Vice President and Managing Director at Waldron, where she leads senior leadership talent recruitment for clients, with a specialty in serving foundations, start-ups, social enterprises, and NGOs that are scaling nationally and internationally.
Their comments have been edited for length and clarity.
IS GLOBALIZATION CURRENTLY FACING A BACKLASH?
There are clearly winners and losers in our increasing global interdependence. I don’t think anyone has figured out how to change that paradigm. The tables have turned in different directions as you have different kinds of leadership in place. That changes the power dynamic. How to level that out is where we’re seeing the backlash.
There’s a populism that’s trying to be very vocal about the leveling out. It’s healthy. I think that the collaborations across sectors are a way to make sure approaches to international relations are not one-sided. You have to take in a lot more viewpoints, and therefore, one would hope that the outcomes would be better for everyone. I don’t think you can have deep social change without disruption. There’s going to be some chaos along the way.
We know globalization’s impact has been uneven. Thomas Friedman has talked about the world becoming flat, where people in India and China have the same opportunities as people in the U.S. In reality, it’s more like what Richard Florida says, the world is spiky. There are peaks and valleys in terms of economic opportunity around the world, and people living in the peak areas have more in common with each other than they do with those living in the valleys right next to them. And the folks in the valleys are most often forgotten and ignored.
Those left behind have real angst. This year’s theme allows us to explore the issues.
WHAT MAKES GLOBAL WASHINGTON’S CONFERENCE THEME RELEVANT IN THIS CONTEXT?
In terms of the conference, every time there’s a big shift in the world, there’s a moment to regroup, renew, rethink. That’s where we are. I think it’s an exciting theme for us to explore. How the different organizations in our membership are addressing the changes going on around the world that are affecting their work, directly or indirectly.
Global Washington is actually a great place for it to play out. Those concepts of globalization, leadership, collaboration, really reaching across the table and trying to understand another’s point of view, and how that can impact what you’re doing — this is a great forum for that because it brings together business, nonprofit, NGO, government and academic leaders.
People are becoming distrustful of external interventions. We need to bring people along with us. We should see some interesting models and examples at the conference of people doing things in a new way.
Companies, too, need to understand that they are an integral part of global development. If they’re focused on business, they should understand how to work in these environments and create the right incentives. They have the skillsets, knowhow and resources that can be effectively utilized to augment the efforts of governments and nonprofits. It should be part of business interest to be part of the changing global dynamic.
WHAT SKILLS ARE CRITICAL FOR GLOBAL LEADERS TODAY?
The lines between for-profit and non-profit sectors are blurring. They’re all complex organizations with multiple dimensions, and the leadership needs are similar. The necessary leadership qualities haven’t changed, but there’s a heightened need for what are traditionally called “soft skills.”
We did a survey in 2013 looking at broad trends among executives at the largest NGOs in the country. One of the things we asked them was what they felt were the most important characteristics for their success. Fundamentally, they mentioned leadership skills that emphasize collaboration, not heavy-handedness. Also a cultural awareness and responsiveness.
The audiences for leaders are always changing so they need to be able to pivot. There’s such a need for versatility, to be a consensus-builder, and relationship-nurturer. Those skills start to outweigh some of the functional skills as factors for success. The functional skills are the necessary foundation for anyone seeking these positions.
People respond to strong, positive leadership. They become more motivated and have a clearer idea of what is expected of them to reach their goals. They become more effective at their own jobs. As you expand that circle, a good leader reaches across the table, inviting all types of partners, particularly the strange bedfellows, to see how they can work together. People who are particularly skilled at that, bringing people with different points of view to the table in a productive and cooperative way, those are
the people who will be able to change the world. It sometimes feels slower, but ultimately what you get is sustained momentum, instead of dramatic swings.
I always ask, “Are you willing to taste the ground?” People are tired of being told to do things. They want to work with people who understand the context in which they’re operating. Peace Corps works well from this standpoint because it’s an immersion.
It starts with the mindset that we are not here to solve a problem. We’re here to discover solutions. Instead of coming in to see what’s not working, look to see what is working. It depends on the situation what the right thing is.
Global leaders are often told they must win at all costs. But an effective global leader is not a warrior, she’s a diplomat.
GlobalWA Members Join Global Emergency Response Coalition to Fight Extreme Hunger
For the first time, eight of the leading U.S.-based international relief organizations, including four GlobalWA members (International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, and World Vision)
have joined forces to urge the American public to donate to the new Hunger Relief Fund in response to looming famines and persistent hunger threatening millions of people in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia and neighboring countries. More than 20 million people face starvation in the coming months and, without immediate help, 1.4 million children who are severely malnourished could die.
Splash and Days for Girls Team Up to Shatter Taboos and Celebrate Young Women
By Sandy Clark and Cyndie Berg
When Global Washington NGOs come together, sparks fly, so it’s no surprise that a partnership between Splash and Days for Girls (DfG) would create fireworks. Combining forces to improve health awareness and conditions for kids – we have leveraged our collective strengths to double our impact, reaching thousands of youth in schools.
Bringing Health and Love to Guatemala
By Aimee Khuu, Senior Director for International Programs, Providence Health & Services
Over the past three years, Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) Global Partnerships and Medical Teams International have set out to improve health outcomes in Chicaman, El Quiche—a rural municipality in the highlands of Guatemala. We are continuing international outreach efforts started by the Sisters of Providence 160 years ago when they journeyed to Vancouver, Washington from Montreal.
Welcome New Members
Please welcome our newest Global Washington members. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with their work and consider opportunities for support and collaboration!
Center for Infectious Disease Research
The Center for Infectious Disease Research, the nation’s largest independent non-profit of its kind, performs groundbreaking research on diseases that kill over 14 million people annually and cause devastating suffering, disability and economic loss. We focus on unravelling the complexities of parasitic diseases such as malaria, bacterial diseases such as tuberculosis and viral diseases such as HIV, Dengue and Zika Our goal is to make transformative advances that will effectively diagnose, treat and develop vaccines and treatments to prevent and cure diseases. www.cidresearch.org
World Relief Seattle
World Relief Seattle provides vital services to refugees and immigrants as they rebuild their lives in Washington state. The organization provides foundational resettlement services, including economic empowerment training for women, ESL classes, and a legal clinic. In 2016, World Relief Seattle resettled more than one-quarter of all the refugees entering Washington state, a total of 1,135 individuals. Over the long-term, refugees build mutually transformative relationships that prepare them to become fully functioning and vibrant participants in their communities. worldreliefseattle.org
July 19: Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce // Young Professionals Network at the Gates Foundation
July 22 – 25: RESULTS // International Conference
July 24 – 26: Microsoft // 2017 Hackathon: Hack for Good resources for non-profits
Hospitality Coordinator, iLEAP
Associate Advisor, Seattle Foundation
Manager, Development and Communications, Literacy Bridge
For more jobs and resources, visit http://globalwa.org/job-board/
July 19: Careers in International Development
July 27: Serving Global Populations