In this inaugural talk, Fred reflected on his deepest learnings from building the African Leadership Group, how it’s shaped his beliefs about what kind of leaders we need, and what he’s learned through his work about how to develop this type of leadership.
What we are reading
Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial justice uprisings have moved us to reflect on the type of society and world we want to share. These upheavals have illuminated the colonial roots of our current global development system and the limitations of medical and technological advances to reach the most vulnerable. At the same time, we’ve seen the power of collaborative movements and collective leadership in action. How can we leverage this historical moment to strengthen inclusive networks of diverse, adaptive, equity-driven leaders to effect change across entire ecosystems? This interactive discussion engaging diverse perspectives from funders, government, and local leaders, will explore how collective leadership is cultivated and how greater investments in this networked approach to leadership development can advance our shared vision for a more sustainable and equitable world. Co-organized by Emerging Public Leaders, Global Health Corps, and Teach For All.
8 April 2022 | Skoll Ecosystem Event | Learning from the past to move forward: Systems don’t have agency, people do
From HIV to Ebola to COVID, the history of pandemics has shown that a powerful tool for systems change is cultivating the individual and collective potential of proximate leaders. This conversation will highlight how proximate leaders exercised their agency and mobilized their communities in moments of crisis to build forward better and address system gaps. Hear their views on what it will take to strengthen health and education systems for pandemic preparedness and gain insights into how leadership development functions as a transformative lever for sustainable development. Featuring Hon. Dr. Mark Dybul and rising leaders from Liberia, Pakistan, and Uganda. Co-organized by African Leadership Academy, Global Health Corps and Teach For All.
In this sixteenth interview of the “17 Rooms” podcast, Jamie Drummond and Kennedy Odede discuss shifts in power, process, and funding to uplift proximate leaders and value local knowledge and community-based solutions. Drummond, co-founder of ONE and Odede, CEO and co-founder of Shining Hope for Communities, moderated Room 11 focused on Sustainable Development Goal number 11—on sustainable cities and communities—during the 2021 17 Rooms flagship process.
The COVID-19 pandemic has vividly demonstrated that thoughtful, data-driven, and accountable
leadership has been a significant determinant of the trajectory of this emergency – locally, nationally,
and globally. The current crisis also highlighted the importance of effective teams and meticulous
management in overcoming complex challenges.
Growing up in Zimbabwe, “wakangwara semurungu,” a Shona phrase that means “wise white person,” was a typical compliment given if you did well in school or looked particularly chic — for example, “You’re so smart, like a white person.” To this day, similar anecdotes can be found throughout African countries. Behaving like a white person, thinking like a white person, or looking like a white person was the yardstick used to measure a person’s worth.
Can philanthropy deliver what is expected?
Much has been written about the role philanthropy could play in resetting our fractured and extraordinarily polarised modern world. However, there are disagreements about the way forward. Great resets being mooted. New economic systems. Technology that will save the day. New apps that can entice, cajole, and inform students across the spectrum. Increasing numbers of global forums and think-tanks. Yet, very little is changing.
Over the last few years, the Black Lives Matter Movement and #AIDToo scandals have ushered in a period of self-reflection in the humanitarian sector and elevated calls to “decolonize” its systems. To keep up the momentum and address systemic issues, humanitarian nonprofit organizations should focus on governance: specifically, their governing boards.
Two 5am starts followed by 16 hours of screen time. Yet by the end of the 2021 Humanitarian Leadership Conference, ‘energised’ was the word I used to sum up my feelings. Quite a feat!
Hosted by the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership at Deakin University, the conference challenged delegates to critically reflect on the humanitarian status quo. Speakers and participants dialled in from across the globe. There were representatives from local civil society organisations and large international agencies (INGOs), plus a whole host of individuals, from academics and journalists, to poets and at least one musician!
The theme of this edition of Humanitarian Exchange is localisation and local humanitarian action. Five years ago this week, donors, United Nations (UN) agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) committed within the Grand Bargain to increase multi-year investments in the institutional capacities of local and national responders, and to provide at least 25% of humanitarian funding to them as directly as possible. Since then, there is increasing consensus at policy and normative level, underscored by the Covid-19 pandemic, that local leadership should be supported. Localisation has gone from a fringe conversation among policy-makers and aid agencies in 2016 to a formal priority under the Grand Bargain. Wider global movements on anti-racism and decolonisation have also brought new momentum to critical reflections on where power, knowledge and capacity reside in the humanitarian system. Yet progress has been slow and major gaps remain between the rhetoric around humanitarian partnerships, funding and coordination and practices on the ground.